Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

FAMILY!!!  Holy cow it was so amazing talking to you guys on Christmas!!  I miss and love you all like crazy!!  Sorry I was havin a hard time with my English ;) hahaha

This week was a great one!!  We are teaching a girl named Maiara who is 16 years old and is getting baptized this thursday, one day after her 17th birthday!  So dope!  She asked me to baptize her and for Maldonado to confirm her.  We are super excited.  She has showed a lot of faith and is stoked for her baptism.

Also, we have been working with this less active named Tereza who has been less active for years.  She came to church this week!!!!  How crazy is that???  There were members that said that they have been members for over 20 years and have never seen her in the church!!! hahah it was way good to see her there.  We were stoked for her!

We are teaching this couple named Danielle and Joben.  They are a great couple but are having some difficulties in their marriage.  The last visit, we were only able to visit with JOben.  We taught him about faith and he asked us about the baptism process.  It was way cool!  Then sunday rolled around and we went to pick them up for church and they werent home... It was a little strange.  We will try to visit them tonight to see whats up.

We are visiting this 10 year old named John who has gone to church for months now.  We are teaching his mom too.  We taught them the first lesson and it went really well.  John wants to get baptized, we just need to get him and his mom firmly going every week.  We will visit them this week as well.

Well I love you all and hope you all have a great week!!!  Feliz Ano Novo!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

FAMILY!!!!   How are you all doin??  Sounds like it was a good week for you all!  This week was a great one!  the Christmas conference was great and I got my package from you guys!  I loved it so much!!!  Thank you all so much for your letters as well.

Well at conference, President announced that I was going to be a zone leader.  So after a 4 hour bus ride I am currently in Lages where I will be serving.  My new comp is Elder Maldonado.  He is from Argentina.  I will try to learn a little bit of Spanish with him ;) haha.  I am excited to work in Lages.  It is a bigger city.  Joaçaba was great tho.  It was tough saying goodbye to everyone!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!!  I will write more next week!  I love you all!!!

Elder Howard

December 9, 2013

FAMILY!!!  I am glad that you guys had a great night for moms birthday, but I am sorry about all the sickness!! That is so rough!  I hope that everyone can get over it soon!!!  I love you all!! 

This week was a great one!!  We had Maria and Pedros baptism on Saturday and it was so dope!!  I got to baptize Maria and Burton baptized Pedro.  It was awesome.  Also, we sang the primary song "Childs Prayer" during the baptismal service and it brought a fantastic spirit, even with my crappy singing voice.  On Sunday, I confirmed Pedro and Burton confirmed Maria. They said they liked the confirmation better than the baptism. Not sure why, they just said they felt great during it.  We visited them after church on Sunday and their non member mom called us the kids's "godfathers" from the baptism! haha it was funny. She is catholic, but is a great lady!!

Also, we started teaching a guy named João again, that me and Elder Guimaraes taught a while ago.  He is a members dad and we marked his baptism for this SAturday.  WE will meet with them tonight, and maybe we will have a baptism on Saturday :)

Friday is the Christmas conference with half the mission in Lages.  Each district had to prepare an act, a song or a poem.  Well we interpreted "song or poem" as being a "rap", so thats what my district is planning on doing! haha we wrote a Christmas rap that should be pretty dope.I will send you guys a video!

I love you all and hope that you have a great week!  Shout out to Laur, the best sister in the world, this week!!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!  Wish that Ic ould be there for it!!  LOVE YOU LAUR AND LOVE YOU ALL!!

Elder Howard

December 2, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you all doin??  This week was a good one here in Brasil!  I hope that you had a great thanksgiving!  I sure did.... hahahah.  We ordered pizza tho so that was good!

So we met with Maria and Pedro again this week and taught them the rest of the lessons.  They are such great kids!  They listen well and always have answers to our questions.  The other elders did their baptism interview and it is lined up for friday night at 7:30.  We are way stoked about it!  I will get to baptize Maria and Pedro will be baptized by his brother.

We will be meeting with Claudia and Marcos this week.  Marcos gets back from his trip on Tuesday so we will see how that goes.

We had district conference (it isnt a stake here yet).  That was really good too!

We did lots of door contacts again.  We actually met some pretty dang cool people.  A couple peple who speak english really well too, which is always great!  We will go visit them this week!

I love you all and hope that you have a great week!  Special shout out to the best mom in the world for having her birthday this week!!!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!  I love you so much.  I could not have asked for a better mom.  I cant thank you enough for all that you have taught me and done for me.  I love you with my whole heart!  Have a great birthday, and next birthday that you have, I  will be there to celebrate it with you :)  Love you all!!!

Elder Howard

November 25, 2013

FAMILY!!!  How are you all doin??  This week was a good one!!!  We did tons of contacts again, but we had a lot more people actually let us into their houses! haha it caught us off guard how qucik we got into some houses.  A lot of people who didnt progress, but at least they got to hear about Joseph.

We taught Marcos and Claudia this week again and it went great!!  We taught them the second lesson about the plan of salvation.  They have tons of questions and have been truly searching for an answer.  They have been reading the BOM and been praying about it as well.  Marcos traveled this week and will be gone for about two weeks.  we gave him a BOM to take with him.  Claudia came to church this week and really enjoyed it.  We will visit her again this week.

This week at church was the primary program.  It is my favorite Sunday every year.  We got called to help the primary as well which was way dope.  I played two songs for them on the piano, and me and Burton sang "We'll Bring the World His Truth" with them.  It was so cool!  I love the little kids in our ward.  It was a great program.  The parents here are so grateful for how much we have reached out to their kids and made an impact in their lives.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Have a great Thanksgiving and eat tons of turkey for me.  I will be back for the next Thanksgiving!!!  :)  LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Elder Howard

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November 18, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you all doin??  This week was definitely a busy one!!  Anderson and Mayara got your gift in the mail.  They loved it.  I asked Anderson if he was gonna transfer it to Brasilian money and he said no cuz he wants to keep it as remembrance! haha so cool!

We taught Hellen's brother and sister this week.  Their names are Pedro and Maria.  Hellen is the one who got baptized two weeks ago.  We taught them the first lesson and it went really well.  They both told us how they want to be baptized.  We marked their baptism for the 7th of December.  Helton will baptize Pedro and Maria asked me to baptize her.  I am pretty stoked about that!!!

We also met just real quickly with Marcos and Claudia again as we were passing by their house.  They didnt come to church this week, not sure why.  But they are an awesome family!  We are meeting with them again tomorrow to teach them the pan of salvation.  We are gonna teach them a lot about eternal families and we think that will touch them for sure.

We are still trying to find more people to teach.  That is the hardest part about missionary work in any mission! haha.  But we will keep workin hard!  Yesterday, both me and Burton gave a talk in Sacrament meeting.  It went really well.  I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!

Elder Howard

November 11, 2013

FAMILY!!!  This week was a great one!  Such a fantastic wee.  Friday night was Anderson and Mayara's wedding and it couldnt have gone more perfect.  So many members and non members went to support them.  The ceremony went great.  Afterwards, we went up and gave them both a big hug and told them congrats.  Then Mayara turned to us and said, "Por causa de voces dois."  Saying that all this happened because of me and Burton.  Holy cow, talk about the best thing ever to hear!! haha.  The next day was their baptism and it went great as well.  Burton baptized Anderson and I got to baptize Mayara.  On Sunday was their confirmation and also, Anderson already got the priesthood!  They are so happy for their decision.  We spent a little time with them after church and he just kept saying how happy he was.  You can just tell they are extremely happy.  It has been a long and great journey helping them get to this point.  Such an amazing experience!

We also met this awesome family that I talked a little bit about in last weeks email.  Well we visited them on saturday and it was great.  Marcos and Claudia are their names.  Claudia has taken us in with such love and care already!  And they barely even know us! haha.  We taught them about recieving an answer about Joseph and about the BOM.  That is probably their biggest difficulty right now.  We invited them to come to church yesterday and THEY CAME!!!  It was so awesome to see them there.  The members took them in and they had a great experience.  We are so stoked for them.  We are hoping for great things to come with this family.

Also, Hellen that got baptized a week ago, her brother and sister now want to be baptized! haha and her mom is allowing it!  So we will start teaching them this week and help them prepare for baptism.

I love you all and I am so grateful to be a missionary.  The experiences out here are priceless.  Eu amo este evangelho.  Eu sei que esta igreja é verdadeira e é a igreja de Cristo.  Eu sei que Joseph viu.  Se ele não visse, não estaríamos com a igreja verdadeira de Cristo hoje.  AMO VOCÊS MUITO!!!!

Elder Howard

November 4, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  This week was an awesome one!!  Yesterday, we had the baptism of Hellen and it went great!  She is 20 years old and is the sister of a member here named Helton.  Helton was able to do the baptism and he loved it.  It was a great experience for all the people who were there.

This friday is Anderson and Mayara's wedding!!  We are so stoked for them!!!  We will go to the wedding on Friday and then the baptism will be on Saturday.  Burton will baptize Anderson and I will baptize Mayara.  We are so excited for them.  It is so cool to see people change their lives for the better and accept the gospel in their lives.

We met a super cool family this week as we were knockin doors, cuz we knock a lot of freakin doors! haha.  The dad is named Marcos, his wife Claudia, their son and Caudia's mom Cecilia.  They are a super catholic family, but were open to learn more.  We taught them the first lesson and it went great!  They seriously understood the importance of the message and the importance of the BOM.  I then asked what would change in their lives if they recieved an answer that the book is true.  Marcos responded quickly and said "Tudo" which means "everything".  They will read the BOM and pray about it and we will return on Saturday.

We are still doin lots of contacts and working with the members to find new people to teach.  Me and Burton are staying together longer and a new American is coming to be companions with the Bolivian that we live with.  It will be dope!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Howard

Sunday, November 3, 2013

October 28, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you all doing??  Sounds like you guys had a great week!!  I had a good one as well!!  Anderson and Mayara are doing great.  They got almost all of their wedding invites out this week and they are super excited for the baptism and the wedding!  We are so excited for them!!

Also, a couple weeks ago, we started teaching this girl named Hellen, who is a members brother.  We taught her one quick lesson and passed her to the other elders here cuz she lives in their area.  Well, this week she moved into our area and we will teach her again.  The other elders have taught her all the messages already, so now we are just going to try to get her lined up for baptism!  I am stoked about it!

Antonio and Sirlei are doing good as well.  We were able to go and visit them this week.  Sirlei is still wishy washy about the baptism, but she keeps thinking that she cant keep putting it off until tomorrow cuz one day, tomorrow might not come.  She says that she knows it all is true.  So we arent sure what the problem is exactly.  They keep coming to church tho and are enjoying it a lot.

Also, we planned a family night with a member family here and their non member relatives.  We taught a family of four: Paulo, Sandra, Leo and Renan.  The family night went really great!  We taught the first lesson using videos and stuff.  We taught all about my man Joseph and the first vision.  There was a great spirit with us and we could tell that everyone felt it.  The next day, Sandra and Renan went to church.  Paulo coulnt make it cuz of work.  We will visit them again this week.

Well I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Aust, congrats on getting to the Semis in the state cup and for your hard work this year!  You are doing way better than your older brother ever did :)  I love you all!!!  Next week is the transfer, so we will see what happens!

Elder Howard

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 21, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you all doin??  This week was a really good one, but definitely a tiring one!!  Anderson and Mayara are doing great!  Mayara had bachelorette party the other day and tons of the woman from the ward went.  They said it went great!  Also, Anderson and Mayara are finishing up their wedding invites and they are looking great!  They have the San Diego temple on them with their names and the address and stuff.  I told them to send you guys one so be on the look for it :)

This week we did tons of door to door knocking.  We werent able to get into many houses, but we have some marked for this week to visit so hopefully those go well! haha.  We are sick of knockin doors! haha but what do ya do? ;) We met a cool guy named Bruno that we will visit this week.  He has tons of questions and is the kind of guy that has to see things to believe it.  Me and Elder Val will be doing a division on Thursday and we will visit him.

Not too much more happened this week.  President made a surprise visit at all the apartments in the mission to se if they were clean.  He gave ours a rating of "Celestial Kingdom" so looks like I am set! hahah.  Love you all and I hope that you have a great week!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you all doin??  Sure miss you all like crazy!!!  This week was a great one!  ANDERSON AND MAYARA ARE GETTING MARRIED!!!!  We are so excited for them!  We went into the court house this week with all their documents and now we just have to wait for their wedding date.  I got to be a testimony for it all too which was cool.  They are planning on getting married on November 8th and baptized the next day.  I am soo excited for them!!!

Today I am in Floripa!! haha how awesome is that??  I have missed it here for sure.  I had to come and get my visa renewed along with the rest of the group.  I am starting to get old on the mission ;)  It is so awesome here and it is great to see everyone after so much time.  I will be catching a nine hour bus tomorrow morning to head back to Joacaba.

Antonio and Sirlei went to church this week as well and we marked to meet with them tomorrow night.  We are hoping to baptize Sirlei this month and to start on their marriage paperwork as well.  They arent living together so she can get baptized before the wedding.

Things here are going great!  I am liking this area a lot and I am meeting fantastic people.  I love you all and hope that you have a fantastic week.  I hope dad had a great birthday as well!  LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Elder Howard

Sunday, October 13, 2013

October 7, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How the heck are you guys??  Today we are trying a different lanhouse to send emails so hopefully the internet will be better!  It was freakin weird not being able to chat with you guys!!! hahah.  HOW AWESOME WAS CONFERENCE??  Me and Burton watched it all in English and I enjoyed it a ton!  I felt like so many of the talks and the things said were written just for me.  It is way cool how the things they say apply so much to the things that I need.  Hollands talk was fantastic.  I also liked how all of the talked about missionary work with members, enduring to the end, and having faith and hope through our trials.  It was great!!!

This week we also visited Anderson and Mayara a lot.  We try to visit them and talk to them as often as we can.  On friday they called us to take us out to eat.  When we got to the restaurant, there were three little lakes next to it.  They said we were going fishing!!! hahah it was so cool!!!  We fished with them and ate and had a great time.  Then we taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost and Endure to the End.  It looks like it will take a little while for them to get married and baptized tho cuz of family problems.  But we are here to help them every step of the way.  They are reading the BOM everyday and are already to 1 Nephi 14.  It is great!

We also had a family night this week which was great.  We taught one of the twins and we are planning on visiting them this Saturday.  It is tough to visit them cuz of their schedule.  Also, their mom isnt too supportive of the church and stuff so that gets in the way too.  But we will see how the visit on Saturday goes.

We are back to doing a lot of contacts to find more people to teach.  It is tough, but thats what needs to be done! haha.  We are trying to get references from members as well, so we will see how that goes.  I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Shout out to the best dad in the world having his birthday on Saturday!  35 years old right? ;)  I love you dad!!!  I will be thinking of you!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  Sounds like you guys had a good week!  My weeek was freakin awesome!!!  We have been meeting with Anderson and Maiara a lot this week!!  They are so great!  We have grown a love for them in such a small amount of time.  We taught them the plan of salvation, about eternal marriage, and the ten commandments.  It went really well.  They know that they need to be baptized, they are just nervous of how their family will react to it all.  Anderson is a sick guy and is just like me when it comes to being hard on myself.  He beats himself up a lot too and worries about perfection.  We talked to him a lot about how God doesnt expect us to be perfect in this life and that the Savior paid for our sins.  I felt like I was teaching myself when I was teaching him! haha.  I have prayed and hoped so bad that I could find someone just like me on my mission.  I found him and it is great!  They have been coming to church regularly and they always ask for more parts in the BOM to read.  It is great!  Mayara brings here little brother Leonardo with them as well.  Today we went and had lunch with the just for fun.  This week we will meet with them and try to get them lined up for marriage and then mark a baptism date.

We are still teaching Antonio and Sirlei.  Sirlei knows that everything is true, she is still just hesitant on the baptism.  This week we decided to do a fast with them, specifically for her, whether she should be baptized on the 12th of this mmonth or not.  We will meet with them again this week to see how the fast went and if she got an answer.  They are great people.

We are still teachin Eduarda and Elaina.  They are twins and we are going to have a family night with them tomorrow.  They werent able to come to church yesterday, but have been coming to most of the activites.  They have both commented that they want to be baptized.  We need to get their moms permission cuz they are only 15, but we will try to mark a date with them tomorrow.

We met with Stefania and Jhonne, a couple we met last week knocking doors.  We taught them the first lesson and it went really well.  They understood it really well and enjoyed the message.  They were supposed to go to church yesterday, but they had family come visit them so they werent able to make it.  We are going to go visit them later tonight.

Last week was awesome and we are stoked for the work this week! I am lovin Joacaba and me and Burton are havin a great time together!  I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Joseph saw.

Elder Howard

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  I hope that you all had a great week!!!  My week was a really good one!  We have some awesome investigators and we are stoked for the next transfer.  The transfer is today and me and Burton will be staying together for another transfer!  I am stoked about it!!!

So last Sunday this couple randomly went to church.  They used to go a lot a few months ago, then stopped, but then decided they wanted to come back.  There names are Anderson and Maiara.  Well they invited us to eat lunch with them yesterday and so we went.  Also, Alex and his family from the ward went.  We had a churrasco (Brasilian BBQ) and it was fantastic!  Then we taught them the first lesson and invited them to be baptized.  They really want to be baptized and they kept asking what they need to do to be baptized.  We told them that they will have to get married, cuz they are living together.  I really think they will get married and get baptized.  They are great people.  After lunch, we all went to church together.  Anderson went in a freakin suit!  haha it was awesome!  I think that is the first time on my mission that my investigator has gone to church in a suit.

We are also teaching these two twins named Eduarda and Elaina. They are 15 years old.  They came to church for the second time yesterday.  They really enjoyed it.  They have both commented multiple times that they want to be baptized, so we will probably plan it for October 12th.  We are hoping that everything goes as planned.

We are still teaching Antonio and Sirlei.  We will go visit them again this week and teach them the rest of the commandments.  I am hopin that we will be able to baptize Sirlei this transfer too.  She said that she knows the BOM is true, but wants to learn more before being baptized.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Conference is coming up and you all better make time to watch some of it!!!  I love you!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013

FAMILY!!!  How are you doin??  This week was a good one!!!  We got some pizza for my one year mark which was fantastic!!!  I cant believe that one year is down and there is one to go!  Pretty dang crazy!!!

So this week we taught Antonio and Sirlei again.  We taught them the plan of salvation and also some of the commandments.  It went great!  There was a great spirit with us through the whole lesson and they accepted to keep these commandments.  Sirlei has been reading the BOM and had a lot of questions for us.  We are still pushin here for the baptism this month so I hope that works out.  We will go back and visit them this week.

So there was another random couple that came to the church this week.  Marcos, less active member, and Valeria, non-member.  They are living together and dating.  We are going to go visit them this week.  We are hopin to help them get married and get a baptism marked as well.

We taught Leandro, Jandira and their family this week.  That went good as well.  We taught them the plan of salvation and they had a lot of questions about it all.  It went really well.  They are a great family, we just need to get them to come to church.  They read part of the BOM that we left for them, but they havent prayed about it yet.  I dont think we will be able to go back and visit them this week, but next week we will.

I hope that you all have a great week!!!  I love you all and tell Morg that I love her too!  I hope that everyone is doing great and that school started off good.  Have a great week!!!

Elder Howard

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 2, 2013

FAMILY!!!  How the heck are you guys doin??  Sounds like you all had a good week!!!  My week was great too, other than almost being kissed by an old gay guy!! hahah that was pretty dang weird.  But I was quick enough to react and he didnt kiss me on the cheek.  hahah freakin weird!!!

Last Monday we taught a super cool family.  The dad is Leandro, the mom Jandira and they have two kids: João who is 14 and Julia who is 7.  I told the little girl that she had the same name as my mom that I missed so bad.  We taught them the first lesson and there was a great spirit there with us.  They opened up a lot and told us that they felt good throughout the message and it made them think about things that they had never thought of before.  It was a great lesson and we will go back and visit them today!

We are also teaching this guy named Bruno.  He didnt make it to church which sucked, but he came to an activity at the church.  We taught him this week about faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost and endure to the end.  It went really well.  He has been reading the BOM but said he doesnt feel like he has gotten an answer that the book is true.  We will visit him this week again too.

Two weeks ago, this less active named Antonio came back to church and he brought his girlfriend named Sirlei.  We visited them last week and taught them the first lesson.  It was great!  Antonio bore his testimony many times and Sirlei accepted baptism this month if she gets an answer that the church is true.  They went to church again on Sunday which was great and we will visit them tomorrow night.

We did lots of contacts this week again.  I did two more bus contacts, which was almost 70 more people in total.  I lost fear of getting in front of them, so I decided that each time we use a bus that is full, I will get up in front of everyone.  We also started our English Class and only had a few people.  But we will put a banner in front of the church and keep talking to everyone about it.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Tell Morg that I love her as well!  1 year this week!!!  How crazy is that?!?!  LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Elder Howard

Thursday, August 29, 2013

August 26, 2013

FAMILY!!!  How are you all doin??  Sounds like you guys had a great week!  I cant believe that the boys already started school again!  That is crazy!!!

My week was a good one!  On Saturday we had Simoni's baptism and it went great!  There was a great turn out of people there and a great spirit throughout the whole meeting.  Me and the other 3 elders that I live with played a special hymn for her for her baptism.  I played teach me to walk in the light on the piano while the other elders sang three verses:  one in Portugues, one in Spanish, and one in English!  It was awesome!  Elder Castro was the one to baptize her and I got to confirm her on sunday which was really cool as well.

So we started teaching this guy named Bruno.  He is about 25 years old and lives next door to a member.  We did a family night at Alex's house, and then two days later we went and taught him the first lesson.  It went great!  /there wasnt an overwelming spirit, but just a strong constant one throughout the whole lesson.  It was great!  Elder Burton invited him to be baptized and he said that if he gets an answer to know that the book of mormon is true then he will be baptized.  He didnt come to church, even tho he said he would.  But we will keep working with him.

We did a lot of contacts this week again.  Knockin doors and stuff.  I also did a contact on the city bus in front of 30 people! haha. I will send the video home so check it out :)  Also, our English class starts this week.  We are pretty excited about that!  I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Tel Morg that I love her as well!!

Elder Howard

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you all doin??  It sounds like you guys had a great week!!!  I saw Austin with all the girls in the hot tub!  hahah what a freakin stud!!!!

So this week was a really good one.  I got swapped around with missionaries all week as I was waiting for my new comp to get here.  My new comp is sick and we are having a good time together!  He is a new American from South Carolina.  He had been waiting for his Visa in Tennessee and it finally came.  He is learning Portuguese and it reminds me of when I first started.  He is a cool kid!  We are also living with Elder Castro, from North East Brasil, and he is training a new missionary from Bolivia, Elder Calani.  They are both cool kids and we have a good time living together!  I am learning a little bit of spanish too ;) hahah

So we have a baptism marked for this Saturday.  We are pretty stoked about it.  Her name is Simoni and is 17 years old.  She had her baptism marked before I got here, so we have just been helping her continue to prepare.  We started the BOM with her and gave her a BOM reading chart so that she can read one chapter eeach day.  She was pretty excited about it.  Elder Castro will baptize her and I will get to confirm her on Saturday.  Im stoked!

We also have a few others that we are teaching and we are trying to get the members involved in the work too.  There are about 45 people that go to church each week and it is a branch here as well.  There are some great people here tho!  We are also planning on starting an English Class so we can have a little bit of fun with the Brasilians :)

I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Tell Morg that I love her too!  I will talk to you all in a week!!!  

Elder Howard

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

FAMILY!!!!!  How are you all doin???  Sounds like you all had a great week with the trip and everything!!!  Im glad that the boys had such a great time!!!  This week was a pretty good one.  I got to know the area a lot this week, cuz my companion from here already got transfered.  I am going to train a new missionary and I think it should be an American.  I sure hope so cuz I think it would be really fun to train an American.  My new comp will get here on Wednesday.  We live in four here in one of the nicest apartments on the mission.  Thats pretty cool!!!  Joaçaba is full of hills and has been cold this last week.  It has rained pretty hard and the other night I got home and I was soaked head to toe! haha but we are doing good here!

So we have a baptism marked for a girl named Simone on the 24th of this month.  We are also going to start teaching her friend Gabriella who has already come to church 2 times with her.  Thats pretty cool!  We also started teaching an older man named João (John in English).  He is the dad of a member here.  We taught him the first lesson and also read 3rd Nephi 11 with him.  It went pretty good.  He has been to church a bunch, we just need to get him to pray about the BOM to know that it is true.

So the members here are really cool too.  This Sunday we had a meeting with the leaders of all the organizations.  I presented a plan about using the pass along cards with a stamp on the back that has our phone number and the church's address.  Then we will enter in each organization every Sunday and give 2 people a pass along card that they have to give to a friend that week.  Then the next week they have to report to everyone how their experience was.  All of them accepted the plan and are excited to help out with the missionary work.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Tell Morg that I love her too!  Next week I will let you know all about my new comp and everything!!!

Elder Howard

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 5, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you guys doing???  So I got transfered this week... hahah I am in a new city called Joaçaba and I got called as District Leader here.  I am pretty excited about it.  I left Biguaçu on friday and after a 7 hour bus ride, I got to Joaçaba at 1 in the morning on Saturday! haha.  I got to meet all the members at church.  It is also a branch here.  I live with four elders in total.  My companion is named Elder Guimarães and is a cool kid from northern brasil!  Also, Joaçaba is in the middle of the state and is full of hills! haha it sucks climbin all the hills, but I will get used to it.  I was sad to leave some of the people in Biguaçu, but I am excited for whats ahead of me here.

On saturday we visited this couple Silva and Pablo for the first time and it turned out to be an awesome experience.  We went to there house and decided to teach them the first lesson, which is about the Restoration of the gospel.  We started off talking about prophets and then about Christs life.  Then I started talking about the life of Joseph Smith.  When I began to recite the first vision, the spirit filled the room.  As I was reciting it, Silva eyes filled with tears.  The spirit was so strong that I was fighting back my own tears! haha.  The first vision ended and we continued the lesson and I was speakin better portuguese than ever.  The spirit was really strong and it went great.  I dont know if they will get baptized, but I know they will always remember the way that they felt during the message.

We had 5 investigators in church as well, so we will have a good amount of people to teach.  A few of these investigators are preparing for baptism so I am excited about that.  I love you all and I hope that you great week!  Tell Morg that I love her too!  Aust, have a great time at EFY!  Haydz and dad have a great time in Nauvoo!  I love you all!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you guys??  I hope you all had a great week!!!  This week turned out to be a good one.  We cut a lot of our investigators from last week, so this week we did a lot of street contacts.  Here in Biguacu there is a park that everyone goes to.  We talked to everyone about the church and also about our English Class.  We found a few new people that we will visit.  We are hoping to increase the number in our English Class.

We are teaching this super cool family.  The dads name is Duda, his wife Chris and their daughter Dara.  They arent married, and have been living together for about 8 years.  They were taught by the Elders over a year ago and had been to church a few times.  We met with Duda and taught him cuz his wife was at work.  We read 2 Nephi 31 with him and taught him about Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.  We then pushed the invite to get him to come to church.  He accepted and when Sunday rolled around, him and his family came to church.  It was great to have them there!  They had a great time and the branch welcomed them really well.  They invited us to have lunch with them after church so we did.  It went great!

This week we will be meeting with some new people and making more contacts to find people to teach.  It is a pretty tough area here, and has been a long time since there has been much success here, but we will continue to do our part and we know that the Lord will do his part.  I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Tell Morg that I love her too!  Boys, have a great trip with dad and do great at your soccer tournament!!!

Elder Howard

Friday, July 26, 2013

July 22, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How the heck are you??  It was weird being away from home for my birthday but it turned out to be a great one!!!  Eddy and Dani threw me a surprise birthday party at the branch presidents home here.  It was a great surprise!  There were some members from here that went and also some members from Itajai that came with Eddy.  They made tons of cake and other snacks and we all had a great time!  So grateful for Eddy and Dani and all that they do for me!!!  And I cant believe I am 20 years old... hahah crazy!!!

This week we met with a lot of people, but a lot of them arent fulfilling the commitments that we give them like reading the BOM, and going to church.  We cut a bunch of them and this week we will do a lot of contacts to meet new people.  We got 500 more English class invites so we will be talking to everyone about that.

The highlight of my week was definitely the surprise birthday party.  There isnt a whole lot more to say about this week! haha.  Thanks for all the cards from home and all the birthday wishes!!!  I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Tell Morg that I love her too!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you guys doin??  Miss you all like crazy!!!  I got all of your letters this week for my birthday!!!  It made me so dang happy!  I have the best family in the world!!!  Thank you all so much!  I also loved the dollar bills that I got.  Brasilians go crazy when they see dollars! haha so I show them off.  Thanks again!!!

This week was a pretty good one and a pretty tiring one.  Most of our investigators live about 45 minutes to an hour from our house so we do a lot of walking! haha I have never walked so much in my life!  It is good tho!  This week we met with a less active member named Jeyce.  She is such a great lady!  She has been a member for quite some time, but it has been years since she has gone to church.  We visited her this week with some members and left her a message from the Liahona.  It was a great visit!  Then when sunday came, Jeyce came to church for the first time in years!  It was so great to see her there and I know she enjoyed coming back!

Our English class is growing as well.  Slowly, but it is still growing! haha.  We have between 3 and 7 people each class.  We have given out so many invites and everything and people just dont come.  But thats okay!  We met a guy named Ariel from our English class and he had a lot of questions about the church.  We read 3rd Nephi 11 with him this week and gave him another part to read.  He didnt come to church, but we are hoping that he comes next week. That is the hardest part, is getting the people to come to church!

We have a couple other investigators, but this week we are going to try to find a lot more.  The hardest part about missionary work is finding people to teach.  We are trying to work with members a lot more and I know that will help us.

I hope that you all have a great week!!!  I wish you all were with me for my birthday this saturday!  I think Eddy will come visit us and we will go get pizza!!!  I love you all!  Tell Morg that I love her too!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you all doin??  I hope everyone had a great fourth of July!  I sure didnt see any fireworks! hahah.  This week was a great one with Elder Neris.  He is my new companion and he is from the northeast part of Brasil.  He is a shorter brown dude and looks just like Carlton Banks off of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. haha.  He is a great kid and we are working really well together.  His birthday is on the 13th of this month and then mine is the week after.  We are gonna have some good times.  There is also a new American living with us from Pennsylvania.  He looks just like Harry Potter.  I am living with tons of famous people here! haha.  I am missin Carvalho tho, thats for sure!

This week we knocked a lot of doors and talked with a lot of new people to try to find people to teach.  We taught the first lesson, the Restoration, a lot, which is normal.  We found a lady named Maria.  She is super catholic, but as soon as we got talking about the first vision, she went absolutely silent and just smiled! haha. it was pretty cool!  we left her a BOM to read and we are going to visit her tonight.

We also met with Bruno again and taught him the Plan of Salvation.  His mom listened to our message for the first time which was really cool.  They are such a great family!  The lesson went good, but we still have a hard time getting them, and our other investigators to come to church.  We are going to visit them again on Wednesday.

English Class is getting a little better.  We have about 3 students each class! hahaha.  But we did find a new investigator to teach.  His name is Ariel and is really curious about religions.  We taught him the first lesson and gave him a BOM as well.  We will follow up with him again on Saturday.

Our neighbor that we met this week has a ranch with tons of fruit.  He is such an awesome guy and invited us to go visit it.  It looked like the Amazon rainforest! haha with tons of trees, a small waterfall, and small ponds and streams.  He let us pick as many pieces of fruit as we wanted.  So we brought home about 10 sack fulls.

I hope everyone is doing great at home!!  I sure did miss having the 4th of July with you guys!! haha.  I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!  Tell Morg that I love her too!

Elder Howard

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  I miss you all like crazy!!!  I hope that you all had a great week!!!  This week was a pretty good one hear.  I dont have a lot to say this week cuz we have the transfer going down.  Elder Lima is going to another city in our zone and my new companion will get here tomorrow.  His name is Elder Neres and looks like Carlton Banks off the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! hahaha.  I have met him and he is a super sick kid and a great missionary.  I will learn a lot from him.  Also, Elder Carvalho, the other elder I live with, is heading to Blumenau and a new American will be coming in his spot.  So I will be living with one American and 2 Brasilians.  So much freakin Portugues!!! hahah

This week we met with Bruno again and it went great.  We read 2 Nephi 31 with him and he had tons of questions again.  It was really cool!  We were going to teach him the Plan of Salvation on Saturday but he had to stay late at work and then he didnt get up for church on Sunday.  It was a little frustrating but we will keep working with him.

We had a meeting with the ward leaders this week.  We are trying to get everyone going in the missionary work here.  This branch struggles a little bit.  We are going to try to work with members more and also do more contacts to find people.  That is the hardest thing about this area, and about most areas, is finding people who will listen to the message.  I am excited to work with Elder Neres tho!

I love you all and I hope that you have a great week!!!  Tell Morg that I love her as well!!!

Elder Howard

June 24, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  Sounds like you had a great week!!!  This week the work was pretty dang tough and the weather sure didnt help! haha it rained a freakin lot this week!!!  We knocked a lot of doors, but it seemed like nobody wanted to hear our message.  On Thursday we went and taught Bruno again and it was awesome!  He had so many questions from the reading that we left him in 3 nephi 11.  We read it together and answered all of his questions.  We also taught him about Christ's baptism and he accepted the baptismal invite.  We will plan it for the month of July as long as he comes to church and prepares.  It was really frustrating, cuz Sunday came around and he didnt make it to church.  But we will visit him again this week.

This Saturday we had a ward activity at the church called "Festa Junina".  It is a big party that they have in Brasil every June.  It was a lot of fun.  It is pretty much where everyone dresses up as Hillbillies, eats a lot of food and gets there dance on! hahaha.  We had over 100 people there at the activity and tons of investigators.  Then Sunday rolled around and we only had our regular frequency of less than 50! haha.  Super frustrating!!!!

We also went and watched the broadcast in Floripa yesterday!!!  I am curious to see how all these new things will be applied here!  Sorry this is short, dont have tons of time today!  I love you all and hope that you are doing great!!!  Tell Morg that I love her too!  And Aust, I hope you had a great birthday!!!!  Love you all!!!  Have a great week!

Elder Howard

Monday, June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  I miss you guys like crazy!!!  I hope that you are doing well and I hope that Hayden's break wasnt too bad!!!  Sounds like you guys had an eventful week!

This week was a pretty good one!  We started our English class this last Wednesday.  Only three people showed up and on Saturday nobody came! haha.  It looks like it will be pretty tough to start an English class here.  We have passed out tons of fliers about it and hung up posters and everything.  I guess some other Elders in the past tried to start one here and it didnt go well, so we will see if we can get it going good.

This week was tough with our investigators.  Biguaçu isnt the easiest area, so we are trying to find a lot more people to teach.  We got a reference from a member that we visited yesterday.  The investigator is named Bruno and is 22 years old.  We went with a brother from the ward named Emerson.  We taught him the first lesson and it went great!!  It was a really good experience.  I could tell that he felt the spirit.  While I was reciting the first vision, he had a big smile on his face.  It was really cool.  After the message he asked us when church was and said he wants to start coming.  I feel like he has a lot of potential!  We will visit him again on Thursday.

Also, I got the package that you guys sent me.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!  It had everything in there that I wanted and more!  You guys are the best family ever!  I was so stoked to get everything that I got.  I cant thank you guys enough!  I love you all and I hope that you guys have a great week!!!  Tell Morg that I love her too!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How the heck are you all doin??  Miss you guys like crazy!!!  This week was a good one!  We met a super cool family.  The grandma is named Lucia and she is raising 5 grandkids between the ages of 6 and 13.  She had some of her kids pass away and that is why she took in the grandkids.  We taught the first lesson and it went great!  We then visited them again on Saturday and read 3 Nephi 11 with them and taught them about baptism.  It was really cool!  We joked around a lot with the kids.  They are such a great family!  One boy is named Eduardo and he is six years old.  He had a loose tooth and we told him that if he let us pull it out, the tooth fairy would give him $100. haha I think Lucia was nervous that he would actually let us pull it.  He got a super serious face and almost pulled it out himself! hahah but we had him stop!  It was super funny!  Great family!  They will be coming to church this Sunday.

Also this last week we got stopped by a guy who told us that he read the Book of Mormon and that it was all a lie.  He said that Joseph Smith was all a lie and all the stories about him never happened.  haha it was actually pretty funny all the crap he was saying.  We tried to bear testimony but he kept cutting us off and saying that it was all a lie.  It helped me realize how true everything really is.  It was a cool experience.  We also had another night where a super drunk guy got in my face and told me that the church is wrong too! haha not gonna lie, I started laughing in his face because of the dumb things he was saying and cuz of his bad breath! haha it was great!

We have a lot of good things planned for this week.  Eddy is making me some English invites there in Itajai and will bring them to me this week probably.  I think that we will start English class next week.  I am excited to get it going again, but I am hoping that we can make it as fun as we did in Itajai.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!  Tell Morg that I love her too!  I will talk to you all again on Monday.  Crazy that tomorrow is my 9 month mark!!!

Elder Howard

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 27, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you all doin??  I cant believe Austins team made it to the finals!!!  I am so proud of him!  He made it farther than I ever did! haha.  This week was a lot better.  We are trying to find more people to teach, which is tough, but we have found some great families who are interested in hearing our message.

We taught Selmira and her family this week.  We read a little in the BOM with them and also it was Juliannas birthday this week so they had a surprise party for her and invited us.  It was a lot of fun.  They are a great family!  We have talked to them about baptism and we are planning it for 22nd of June to work around Selmiras work schedule and also to take care of everything with the Word of Wisdom.  Selmira didnt make it to church yesterdy but Julianna and Karina (her daughters) both came which was really cool!  We will meet with them again this week.

We also taught Preta and her family.  We taught them the Plan of Salvation.  We had Carvalho and Lima teach it so they could have good practice cuz they are both new on the mission.  They taught it really well and then I stepped in when they were talking about the Celestial Kingdom.  I had everyone close their eyes and think of the people that they want to live with for eternity.  We all sat there for a minute with our eyes closed.  The spirit came and was really strong.  I had everyone open their eyes and I bore my testimony about eternal families.  There was such a great spirit in the room.  It was a great lesson!  Sunday rolled around and Preta and her two daughters came to church.  We will visit them again this week.

We met some new people this week who we marked to visit.  Also, I am starting another English class here so be ready for some more pranks on my students ;) haha.  I am excited to start it up.  It will be Wednesday and Saturday every week at the chapel.

I love you all and hope that you have a great week!  Tell Morg that I love her too!  I will talk to you guys on Monday.

Elder Howard

May 20, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How the heck are you all doin??  Congrats on the two wins Austin!!!  Thanks for getting some revenge on Alta for me :)  

This week was an alright one.  I got sick with a cold so that sucked!  But we have met some awesome families here in Biguacu that we are teaching.  We made this lady named Selmira and she has three kids: Julianna, Karina and Rafael.  They are a super cute family and we have a lot of fun with them!  We have taught them a few lessons and Julianna and Karina accepted baptism on June 1st and Selmira accepted baptism on June 22nd (Austins Birthday) cuz of her work schedule.  I hope that everything goes as planned.  They came to church yesterday and I think that they enjoyed it.  They are such a great family!  We will teach them again this week about the commandments.

We also met another family.  The moms name is Preta and she has four kids.  We have taught them a few times, but when Sunday rolled around they didnt show up to church.  We went and visited them after church and told them that we missed them and everything.  I am hopin that this next week they will come to church.

This week wasnt too exciting of one cuz I went to the doctor and felt sick and stuff.  But I am starting to get over it and I am excited for this week.  My professor from the MTC came to visit our Branch President this week.  It was so cool to see him again.  We are going to have a family night with them tonight!!

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!!  Tell Morg that I love her too!  Aust, good luck on your games this week!!!  Win state!!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you all doin??  This week went a lot better than the last one! haha thats for sure!  It is rough opening a new area.  We dont have a lot to work with so we have been making tons of contacts, talking to everyone!  The people here in Biguaçu arent super open to hearing about the gospel, but we have found some that are accepting of a visit in their house.

We got stopped by a lady named Renata who has a husband and two kids.  She asked us more about family search, so we are going to meet with her tomorrow.  We are going to to help her tomorrow, as well as teach her the first lesson.  She said that she practices a little bit of Budhism, so it should be interesting!

We also made a contact with a lady named Sonha.  She said that her daughter had heard a little bit about the Mormons from a friend of hers.  Before we could even ask to come to her house, she invited us.  We went there the next day like we had planned with her but we couldnt find her house.  Everyone we asked didnt know where she lived.  We asked so many people in the neighborhood.  Then we decided to say a prayer that we could get a hold of her.  We kept askin around and askin around, and we were lucky to find a lady who knew exactly where she lived.  We went to the house and her cousin gave us her phone number cuz she wasnt home.  We called her and we hope to visit her this week.  The Lord answered our prayers cuz we were able to get a hold of her.

Other than that, we are trying to find more and more people to teach!  I have never walked so much in my life and I have never climbed taller hills! haha.  But we will keep talking to everyone and find the people who are looking for the gospel.  Yesterday we had a stake conference and I played prelude and the opening hymn on the piano for everyone.  I was nervous out of my mind! hahah.  Austin and Hayden, Practice Practice Practice.  Especially hymns.  Mom and Dad were always right when they said I'd use it on the mission.  I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!  I cant wait to call home in less than two weeks!  Tell Morg that I love her too!

Elder Howard

Monday, April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  I hope you are all doing great!!!  This week was a stressful one!!!  Monday I headed to Floripa and spent two nights there!  It was so cool!  It is such a pretty island and I got to hang out with a bunch of the other missionaries.  Then we got assigned to our companions who were fresh off the plane from Sao Paulo.  My new companion is Elder Lima and he is from Mato Grosso.  He is a super cool kid!  Right now I am living with 3 other Brasilians!  I have never spoken so much Portuguese in my life! hahah.

We got to Biguaçu and had absolutely nothing to work with.  This week we did a lot of contacts and got to know the area.  We werent able to find much success, cuz a lot of the people here arent very open.  We have found a few people to teach this week, so I hope that everything goes well with them.  We will do a lot more contacts this week and try to find people interested in the gospel.  It is super stressful, but it is slowly coming along.

They have just a branch here, with about 50 members who go each week.  Our goal is to help turn it into a ward.  On Sunday we got to meet everyone.  We all bore our testimonies and introduced ourselves.  The members here are really great!  I am excited to work with them, I just need to be patient with getting the work going.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!  Tell Morg that I love her too!  And Aust, CONGRATS on making SBO!!!  I am so proud of you bro!  You are gonna love it!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15, 2013

There won't be a family email today. Landon is being transferred to Biguaçu -- a city on the coast just north of Florianopolis. He is now a senior companion and will be training a  new missionary.

April 8, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  This week was a great one!  It seemed to fly by super fast!  I hope that you all had a great week at home.  Conference was absolutely amazing wasnt it??  I love listening to the Prophet and the other church leaders.  It truly is amazing to have a living prophet on the other to lead and guide us each day.

Monday we met a lady named Maria and her granddaughter Brenda.  They are great people!  We went with some of the members and left the first message with a BOM.  Maria really liked it and was so happy for our visit.  Then Sunday rolled around and she came to conference.  It was so great to see her!  We meet with her again tonight and I am super stoked.

To top off an amazing conference weekend, was the baptism of Leo!!!  It was an awesome experience being able to watch 5 sessions of conference, and then having a baptism right after.  Leo truly is an amazing kid and the baptism went great.  He has showed so much faith through our whole teaching process.  He will be confirmed next week in sacrament meeting!  Also, I showed him pics of me with my nature tees and he loves them! hahaha it is hilarious! I wanna get him wearing them down here in Brazil ;)

We met another family this week named Antonio and Bernadete with their son and daughter.  They are another great wfamily and were very accepting to our message.  We left them the first lesson and it went really good.  We follow up again with them tomorrow.

Thursday we had a training with the president in Lages.  Lages is an awesome city, and the bus ride from Curitibanos to Lages is beautiful.  Full of green and everything.

I hope you all have a great week!  I love you all so much and tell Morg that I love her too!  Aust, good luck with all your SBO stuff!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 1, 2013

FAMILY!!!!!  Wow that week went by fast! haha I hit my 7th month mark this week! It is pretty crazy, sometimes it feels like it has gone slow, but looking back it has gone pretty dang fast! haha.  This week was a good one and it sounds like you all had a good one too!

We met with Leo this week!  It went really well!  He is such a good kid.  We taught him the plan of salvation, and also taught him about the word of wisdom.  He told us that he would stop drinking coffee.  So far he has stopped a little bit, and he is improving so much.  I truly can see a spiritual change in him.  He is a genuine good kid.  He comes to church every week on his own and has been reading the Book of Mormon on top of school, work, and everything else.  He is a great example to me.  We are trying to mark his baptism for next week.  We meet with him again tomorrow night.

We also met with this girl named Pamela, who is friends with a Recent Convert family.  We taught her the first lesson and invited her to be baptized on the 13th.  She accepted, but when Sunday rolled around, she didnt come to church.  We will have to push the baptism off another week if she still follows through.  We met with her two times, and we will meet with her a third time this week.

We met a new guy named Jair.  We met him last week doing some contacts.  We returned on Saturday and shared the first lesson with him, and gave him a Book of Mormon.  He seemed to really enjoy the message we left, and is looking forward to meeting with us again on Friday.  We left him a part to read and said he will read a bunch this week and pray to know if it is true.  He is a really great guy and I hope he follows through.

We have been working a lot with Less Active Members, and trying to find new people to teach.  It isnt very easy to find new people! haha.  A lot of people already have their religion, and they just say, "We love the work you are doing." haha but they dont accept our lessons.  But we are trying to find new people and we are working with a bunch!

I love you all and tell Morg that I love her too!  I missed Easter without you guys, but me and Elmer chilled and made some cookies for the neighbors.  I am super excited for Conference this weekend!!!!  You all better watch it :) Have a great week!

Elder Howard

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are you all doin??  It sounds like it was a good week at home!  This week was really good!  I was able to adjust really fast to Curitibanos.  It is a small town, and it feels like a different country than Itajai!  haha it is pretty crazy!!  It reminds me of Richfield with a lot of farmers and a small town feel.  I am starting to like it though!

We have a few investigators that they have been teaching here for a little while.  Also, there are about 600 to 700 members here, but only 60 to 70 are active.  So this week we got a list of all the names of the ward members and cut them individually and put them into a notebook separated by neighborhoods.  We are working with a lot of these names to try to help re-activate, as well as find new people to teach.  We worked a couple days already with this notebook and we were able to teach a lot of lessons.  It went great!

Tonight, we are meeting with this kid named Leanderson.  He is a great kid!  He is about 16 years old and lives on his own.  His parents have drug problems and abandoned him.  It is a super sad story.  He has been coming to church for three weeks in a row now, so I think we will talk to him about baptism and see how that goes.  I am excited to meet with him!  

I am still getting the area down, so I will have more to talk about next week.  I am starting to like it here though!  It is really different, but it is cool to experience a different type of city like Curitibanos!  I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!!  I will write more next week, once I get the hang of everything here.  Tell Morg that I love her too!!

Elder Howard

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March 18, 2013

FAMILY!!!!!  So some pretty crazy news from this weekend... I'm not in Itajai anymore.  I was transfered yesterday in an emergency transfer cuz I was in Itajai for so long and the missionary I switched with was having some problems so President sent him to Itajai.  I am now in a city called Curitibanos and it is super small!  haha it reminds me of good ol Richfield Utah! haha I got here late last night and just seen a little of it today.  It is rough leaving Itajai, cuz the people there were so amazing!  But I am also excited to start work here in a new city.  I am a little stressed out because of my first transfer, but it will be great!  Yesterday at church they announced that I was leaving and had me share my testimony.  After church I said all my goodbyes, and then Eddy and his family and Peter and Rafaela took me to the bus station and dropped me off.  It is sad leaving them.  The bus ride was over 7 hours long and that wasnt too fun! haha but I met a lady from Rio Grande do Sul and she asked me more about the church.  I taught her the lesson of the Restoration on the bus and then we visited for a while.  She was an older lady and her daughters live in the US.  She visited Nauvoo one time with them and had some more questions about Joseph Smith.  I am excited to be here in Curitibanos, even though it will be something to get used to after being in such a big city! haha but I am excited!  Not much other to say this week.  I will have more next week!  I love you all and tell Morgan that I love her too!!!  Have a great week!

Elder Howard

Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11, 2013

FAMILY!!!!!!!!  How are you guys doin??  Sounds like everyone is doing great at home!!!  I am glad that Bingham Soccer got two wins this week!!!  Keep up the good work Aust!  This week here was an awesome one!!!

On Friday, was Lilian´s baptism!  It went great!  She is really shy, and didnt want a whole lot of people there, so we planned a small baptismal service.  When she got to the church, a lot of the youth were at the church and we asked Lilian if we could invite them in for her baptism and she accepted.  It was a great turn out and was a very spiritual service.  Elder Hunt got to baptize her, and me and Eddy got to be testimonies for the baptism.  It was a great experince for Lilian.  She is the only one from her family that is getting baptized, and only her sister came to watch.  She doesnt have much family support, but it was so cool to see the faith that she has to be baptized, and to come to church every Sunday.  On Sunday, I got to confirm her in front of everyone.  I was definitely nervous, but it went really well.

On Saturday was Gabriel´s baptism.  He is 12 years old and is such a stud!  He showed us a list of goals that he has made for after his baptism.  On his list he had things like: Have an eternal family, get married in the temple, always stay firm in the church, etc.  He has such a strong testimony for being so young!  He is such a great kid.  His dad got to baptize him, and he cried the whole time.  He was a great experience for everyone there.

Yesterday we went and met with Peter and Rafaela and they are doing great!  We are helping them get everything figured out for their wedding, and Rafaela is really excited to be baptized right after.  They are working hard to pray everyday and to read the scriptures together, and you can definitely see the change that it has made.  They also told us how grateful they were for me and Elder Hunt.  They have met with a lot of missionaries in the past, but they said that none have helped them as much as we have, and none other missionaries have ever touched their hearts like we have.  That made me feel really great!  It is a proof that I am in the right place, and I am finding the people that I need to help.

This was a great week!  This next week should be another busy one, finding new people to teach.  I love you all and I hope you have a great week!  Tell Morg that I love her too!!  I will talk to you all next week!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

 FAMILY!!!!  Today is my sixth month mark and I cant believe it!!  It has gone by pretty fast looking back!  This week was a great one!  Me and Elder Hunt are really working well together and we have a lot of fun. Oh yeah, and I am staying in ITAJAI!!!!  :)

So last Sunday, (not yesterday, but the sunday before) this girl named Lilian and her little sister Beatriz showed up to church.  We talked to them and Lilian said that she saw the plaque in front of the church that said "Meetings 9 AM" and decided to come.  We met with her on Tuesday and we taught her the first lesson.  When we got there, her mom told us how she wanted to join our church.  At the end of the lesson, she accepted baptism, and we marked it for this Saturday the 9th!  I am so excited for her.  She has a strong testimony already.  She said that she had visited a lot of churches in her life, but this one she felt different at.  She came to church again yesterday, and then we taught her about the commandments.  It went great!  She is ready for baptism.  We will meet with her one more time this week before the baptism on Saturday.  I am super excited.

So there is a member in our ward, and his wife isnt a member, and neither is his son.  His son is 12 years old, and told his dad he wanted to be baptized the day after his birthday, which is this Saturday as well.  His name is Gabriel, and he is a great kid!  His mom, who is a non-member, gave him a list of things he had to do before she would let him be baptized, and he got everything done and got her permission.  We are gonna finish teaching him this week too before the baptism on Saturday!

We are also teaching Rafaela and Peter.  Peter has been a member for a while but Rafaela isnt.  Right now they are working on their marriage paperwork, because she is ready to be baptized.  They are such awesome people!  They had their wedding planned for April 20th, cuz it takes a while for the paperwork, but I told them that I would probably leave before then.  So they switched the date to the 13th of April so I can be here for the wedding!  I am super excited for them!!  They are also making plans for a year after Rafaela's baptism to be sealed in the temple as a family.  

This week was a good one and I am excited to stay a little longer in Itajai!  Also, I am proud of you Aust for making the team!!!!  I love you all and tell Morg that I love her too.  That is awesome that she came and visited you guys this week!!!  Have a great week :)

Elder Howard

Monday, February 25, 2013

February 25, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How the heck are you all??  This week was a great one, and a really busy one!!  I really love Itajai and the people here are so cool.  Me and Elder Hunt have met some awesome people.  The transfer is next Monday or Tuesday, but I dono yet if I will be transfered or if I get to stay.

So this week we met with this less active family.  It has 6 members of the family that havent been to church in a long time.  We met them twice this week and shared messages with them, and we invited them to come back to church.  Sunday rolled around, and almost all of them came back to church for the first time in a long time.  One girl brought her boyfriend who isnt a member, and I think he had a good experience.  They are a great family!  We have a family night with them tonight and we are really excited about it.

We are also meeting with Peter and Rafaela.  They have two cute little daughters.  Peter is a less active member, and Rafaela isnt a member, but they have been coming back to church lately.  We met with them yesterday and taught them the Plan of Salvation.  It was awesome!  Rafaela told us she is ready to be baptized.  They arent married, so we are gonna help them get married, and then after, she will be baptized.  In Brasil, the process takes 40 days for the marriage paperwork.  It kinda sucks.  I hope that I am still here for her baptism.

Last night we went to meet with this guy named Luis.  We got to his house and clapped at the door (cuz you dont knock on doors in Brasil) and he wasnt there, but his neighbor came outside.  We started to talk to him about what we do as missionaries and asked if we could leave him a message.  His name is Miranda and is a great guy.  I liked this experience, cuz even though our appointment with Luis fell through, the Lord still put someone else in our way to teach.

This week was a great one and we have another busy week ahead of us!!  I hope that I will be able to stay here more time, but we will have to see.  Also, my package came!!!!  Thank you all so much!!!  Me, Hunt and Eddy's family, all loved eating the chocolate :)  I love you all and I hope you have a good week!!!  AUSTIN, good luck at tryouts!  Kill it out there!!!  Tell Morgan that I love her too.

Elder Howard