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