Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  I miss you guys like crazy!!!  I am sorry about all the sickness at home this week.  I hope that everything is going well.  So Elder Val is being transferred  and I will stay here one week to show my new companion the area, and then I will be transferred next Monday or Tuesday.  Not sure where too yet, but I will know next week.  Val leaves in a couple hours.

This week was really good tho!  We worked really hard and taught a good amount of lessons. We met with Adrianna and Leonardo and set up a baptism date with them for February 9th.  It sucks that we wont be here for it, but I am super excited for them!  It felt good to be able to help people come to baptism.  They are great people.

We also met with Marcelo again this week.  We taught him about the Restoration of the gospel and Joseph Smith.  It went well, and then we invited him to be baptized.  He said that he was already baptized in the Baptist church and didnt understand why he needed to be baptized again.  So we taught him the importance of the Priesthood.  We invited him to pray about baptism and then to come to church.  He didnt come to church yesterday so that was kinda frustrating.  But we are doing our part.

This week, we didnt have a ton of appointments marked, so that means making contacts.  We decided to give a tour of the chapel, cuz it is on a busy street and it is a very beautiful chapel.  We stood out front and talked to about 50 people.  A lot of people wouldnt give us the time of day.  Others said they were too busy.  One guy even faked a phone call! haha so ridiculous.  But we were able to give 3 different tours and talk about the church.  It went really well!

I am sad to leave Itajai, but I am looking forward to the work in whatever area I am sent to.  We had a good week here, and we will leave the new elders with some stuff to work with.  I love you all and I will email you next week!!!  Tell Morgan that I love her too!  Also, shout out to T-Flow for his baptism this week.  What a STUD!!!  I love you guys and I hope you all have a great week!!

Elder Howard

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  How are all of you doing??  I miss you guys like crazy!!!  This week was pretty good!  On Monday, right after we got done emailing, we got a call from a lady at the hospital.  Her son had just had surgery.  Her name is Adriana and her sons name is Leonardo and they arent members.  We got there and Leonardo was doing great.  Adriana called us to talk about being baptized!!!  We talked to her all about it.  She is dating a former bishop who has been less active for the last 6 years.  They are getting married next month.  He has a desire to get back to church, and now Adriana and Leonardo have the desire to be baptized.  We marked to meet with them Saturday, and when we got there, we taught them the first lesson.  They had already heard most of it cuz they have been to church many times.  After, we set a baptismal date for February 9th!  Two weeks from Saturday!  We cant do it any earlier cuz Leonardo is going out of town.  I really hope that I am here for it, cuz the transfer is next Tuesday so I should find out this weekend if I get transfered.  I really dont wanna leave here yet.  I would love to stay one more transfer and be here for their baptism.  They all came to church yesterday and enjoyed it.  They have known about the church for a while and are all ready to be baptized.  So cool!!!

On Friday, we headed to Marcelo's house to meet with him, Leblum and Ajona.  We had planned to invite Marcelo to be baptized.  We got there and nobody came to the door.  It sucked so bad!  He has already been to church twice, and seemed to be doing great.  I dono if they were just busy, but we called them and nobody answered.  Sunday rolled around and I was hopin that he would come to church again, but he never showed up.  We are gonna try to get ahold of him this week.  It just sucks cuz he seemed to be doing so good!  I hope that he is still doing well and is just busy.

We also got a couple new investigators this week.  One lady is named Tanya.  We were teaching her the first lesson and talking about baptism, and she stopped us and said, "but I cant be baptized cuz I smoke."  So right now with her, it is important to focus on her smoking problem.  I want to do all that I can to help her stop.  Me and Elder Val have some ideas this week to help her out.  She is a sweet lady!

Yesterday at church, we were sitting in our second class, and Irmão Anderson, the second counselor, came in and told us we needed to give a talk in church.  haha I was so nervous!  But I instantly thought of speaking on the Book of Mormon.  I have grown so close to this book out here, and I want others to realize the importance of this book too.  I got up and gave my talk and it went really well.  I started by telling everyone to be patient with me and my Português! haha cuz I was super nervous!  But it went really well and I was able to give a good little talk.

I am glad that everyone is all doing well at home!  I am sorry about all the sickness tho.  That is rough!  I am glad you guys had a blast in Vegas as well, and that the boys played great!  I love you all and tell Morg that I love her too!!!  Thanks for sending the package.  I will be waiting for it!  Also, I will let you know next week whether I am gonna stay in Itajai or not.  Love you all!!!

Elder Howard

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  Holy cow I miss you all!!  I am so glad to hear that everything is going great at home.  I got my Christmas package, and I loved it so much!!!  I loved the sheet that dad made of our vacation of 2012.  That was awesome!  Dad is so talented on the computers. I also loved each of the cards you guys wrote, and the Jesus Calender.  You guys are the best family ever!  Thank you so much!  That was also so nice that you guys got Elder Val a bunch of things too!

So this week started off and we met with Francisco and Luisa again.  We taught them lesson 2, the plan of salvation.  It went really well and they seemed to like it.  But Luisa has so many questions, and feels like she needs to prepare a lot more.  We said that we are here to help.  We are going to try to meet with them again this week, so hopefully something will change.  I wish I could just make her believe! haha. But I understand that it is on the Lord's time and that they need to find out for themselves.  

The next night we met with Leblum, Ajona and Marcelo.  We also taught them the plan of salvation.  It went really well!  I think they enjoyed it a lot, and it answered many questions that they had.  They have lost many close family members, so I think it meant a lot to them.  Leblum and Ajona said they are going to continue going to their church, but Marcelo said he would come to church again.  Sunday rolled around, and we were walking past the church to go pick him up from his house, and he was already at the church waiting for us! haha such a stud!  He reminds me of the guy off of the Blindside.  He isnt as big, but he is this super nice guy.  I think he really enjoyed church again.  We meet with him again on Friday and we are gonna invite him to be baptized!

On wednesday, we had 5 calls for English class throughout the day.  We got to class and had 7 new people there.  At the end, I shared a short message about the Book of Mormon, and we invited anybody who wanted to learn more to give us their address and we could visit them.  We had on couple mark an appointment for this week, and another couple, Felipe and his wife, said they wanted to come to church.  English class was awesome that day!  When Sunday rolled around, Felipe never showed up to church.  We got a text 20 minutes into church, saying he had come late and he didnt know where to go so he went home.  We went outside and called him, and he came right back.  His wife was sick, but he came and spent the whole time.  I think that he enjoyed it as well.  We are gonna meet with him and his wife this week.  

A lot of our other appointments fell through this week, so we knocked more doors.  This week will be busy again, so I hope that the appointment will follow through this time.  I am grateful to be a missionary.  It is awesome to be out here!  I love being able to share the gospel with people every single day.  Also, I heard that my friend Thomas "T-FLOW" Rogers is getting baptized!!!!  That made me so happy to hear that!!!  I have prayed for him every night since being out here.  He is such a stud!  

I love you all and it was so good to hear from you guys!!!  I miss you guys like crazy, but things are awesome out here!  Eddy and his wife are planning on coming to the states in December of 2014.  I told them that if they do, they could stay at our house.  I hope that is okay with you guys :) haha I love you all!!!  Tell Morg that I love her too!!!

Elder Howard

January 7, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  That seemed like a quick week!  I feel like I talked to you guys just yesterday! haha.  I miss you guys like crazy!  I am glad that everyone is doing good at home.  I am sorry about all the sickness.  That stinks!  There is no way to catch a cold here cuz it is so dang hot! haha.  Keep reading the Book of Mormon each day!  I started again, and I am almost through 2nd Nephi.  It has been such a blessing in my life.  I really do love this book.  So keep reading everyday!!!

This week was kinda a regrouping week for us.  Everyone was gone from all the holidays, so this week we had to find new people to teach.  We spent a lot of our time clapping doors here.  I actually kinda enjoy it.  We met a lot of people.  A lot of people are set on their own religion, but thank us for our service.  Others make eye contact with us through the window, and then hide and never come out!  haha.  But we were able to find some people who were interested in hearing about the gospel, and this week we have appointments everyday to teach people.  We set up 4 different families to begin teaching this week.  I hope everything goes well with them.

This week we met with Leblum and Ajona again.  We got there, and there friend Marcelo was there.  They are all from Haiti.  Leblum and Ajona werent too interested, but Marcelo was.  We read a little out of the Book of Mormon with them, and then invited them to church.  Leblum and Ajona had their church at the same time, so they said no.  But Marcelo told us that he would come to church.  Sunday rolled around, and we met him in front of his house at 8:15.  We turned the corner of his street, and there he was standing in front of his house in a button up shirt with the Book of Mormon in his hand.  Church was great!  He is a very quiet guy, but I think that he enjoyed it.  I talked to him a lot, and got to know him better.  All the members were very welcoming too.  He is a really nice guy!  We meet with him, Leblum and Ajona again tomorrow, and I am super stoked about it!

We had a lot of appointments fall through this week.  Kinda crappy, but it happens.  I am hopin that this week all the appointments will follow through and that they will enjoy our lessons.  Also, we meet with Francisco and Louisa tonight again.  We couldnt meet with them last week cuz they were out of town.  I am excited to teach them.  They went to the temple last week, so we will get to talk about that experience for them too.

I really love Itajai.  All the members here are great!  We have made a lot of new friends.  I am very excited for the busy week that we have ahead of us.  I will be praying that things follow through and we will be able to teach the people that we need to teach.  I love you all and I miss you guys like crazy!!!  Tell Morgan that I love her too!  Good luck to everyone starting school again, and mom, be safe and have fun in vegas!  I love you all and I will talk to you in a week!

Elder Howard

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 1, 2013

FAMILY!!!!  So sorry about yesterday!!  Every place was closed for the holidays and the members here were busy so we had no place to email.  But dont worry, we are safe :) haha.

This week was a good one!  It was so great being able to talk to you all on Christmas!!  I miss you guys like crazy!  It was weird spending Christmas and New Years somewhere else, but I know that this is where I need to be.  But it was so good to talk to each one of you.  You are all doing so great!!

So during the Holiday season, missionary work is tough.  Everyone is gone traveling or busy with other things.  But we had some lessons this week and knocked on some doors.  Well actually clapped at doors.  Thats what you do here! haha cuz every house has gates in front of it, so you clap a few times and then they come outside.  Brasil is strange!

We have been teaching this older couple Francisco and Louisa for the last two weeks.  They are such great people.  They are living with this lady in our ward who is a recent convert so that is a big help.  We taught them the first lesson, and also answered a lot of their questions about what they read in the Book of Mormon.  Our lessons have been really good with them.  We challenged them to read some parts out of the Book of Mormon and to pray about it to know if it is true.  They said that they havent recieved an answer yet whether it is true or not.  On Saturday, they were able to go to the temple with our Stake, even though they couldnt go inside.  We gave them a chapter to read there, and to pray about it there cuz we knew they'd feel an extra Spirit being at the temple.  We follow up with them next week ccuz they are out of town this week.  I hope they recieved an answer that it is true, cuz the Book of Mormon is key to conversion.

We also have been meeting with Fabio regularly.  He is a less active member, and hasnt been to church in years.  He owns a restaurant here, so we meet with him there and read out of the Book of Mormon with him.  He has been reading everyday for the last two weeks.  He speaks english too, so I get to participate a lot! haha. He is a great guy, he just needs to start comin to church.  He has bailed on us 4 Sundays now, but we are still trying to get him there.

We also met with our good friend Guilherme a few times this week.  He has his own religion, but since we have become really good friends with him, I wanted to introduce him to ours.  I told him that I care about him a lot, so I want him to give our church a try.  We gave him a Book of Mormon, and read with him this week.  He also speaks English so that makes it really nice.  He is such a great kid.  He is 18 years old.  He is strong in his churh, but I am hoping that the Book of Mormon will make a difference in his life as he gives it a try.

This week we will be finding more people to teach.  It has been tough with the Holidays, but things will be getting back to normal.  I am grateful to be here and I am grateful for all the new experiences I have had.  I love you all and miss you guys like crazy!!!  I will email next Monday for sure.  Tell Morg that I love her too!!

Elder Howard