Thursday, December 22, 2011

Week Seven 12/21/11


ITS CHRISTMAS SEASON!!!! What a wonderful time of year I'm so glad i have
this time of year to really focus on the real meaning of it. As i am here
in this MTC away from the rest of the real world i have really been
able to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. And I'm so glad that
right now in my life i am able to finally give him a gift for his birthday, that gift is
the next 2 years of my life. I know that as i go about preaching his
gospel he will be with me and strengthen me just like all of you
continue to do as I can read in your wonderful letters. I'm so blessed
to have such good friends and Family that support me in all my decisions in life. This
Christmas i would encourage all of you to remember a little but more of
Christ, and don't be like the inn keepers who didn't have room to receive him,
but instead open your hearts to him and let him in. Give him a gift, do
good for someone, spread the Christmas cheer, maybe by singing loud for all
to hear (i miss elf, that's such a good movie) but if you don't want to sing
just do an act of kindness it will go so far! I love you all and Wish you a
Merry Christmas!!!

Love Elder Howe

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Week Six 12/14/11


This week has been so awesome. The learning has seemed to just keep increasing and Portuguese is coming more easily now... now I just have to force myself to speak it and get use to it. hahah I mean I still have a lot to learn but I can communicate with my Brazilian roommates and hold a conversation with them so it’s come a long way in these weeks.

Elder Cooper and I have really been able to work better together. He always amazes me with his insight and ability to teach our "investigators" haha and we have really seen the differance when we are teaching by the spirit and when we are not. Elder Cooper is also such a boss with the scriptures! at the end of the day like 6-8 (hhaha I know not that late) we have an hour for language and scripture study, we have been doing that just us two and we talk about what we learned in personal study in the morning and his insights are so crazy!! His growth in the past month is crazy! He just pulls all these insights out of the scriptures that I would never see; I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful companion.
Yesterday we had a nice surprise from our teachers, we went into our room in the afternoon and they had decorated it with Christmas decorations and eve n a little tree in the coroner with some candy under it! and all over the tack boards there were pictures of Christ and temples! it was just a wonderful feeling. The love that they show us amazes me and I cannot believe all the thought and preparation they put in for us. It amazes me I wish I could show them how much I appreciate it. they are so awesome!!

This last week I finished the Book of Mormon and I was so excited to pray again and receive confirmation of its truthfulness. I had decided to read it again because I know that my testimony of its truthfulness could be stronger and should be stronger since it is the keystone of our religion. so I prayed and the last times I had prayed I had received a confirmation but it was more of a "you know it a true book." so I don’t really know what I was expecting as I prayed but as I began I didn’t really feel anything special but then I kept praying and really asking, and as I did this the distinct thought of the way to gain an unshakeable testimony of this book is by constant study of it. while it would of been nice to receive some earth quaking visit of angles I am also glad of the confirmation that I now know that if I keep studying the Book of Mormon everyday my testimony of it will become unshakable. just as strong as if angles had proclaimed it to me. I encourage all who are reading this to read the Book of Mormon and find for yourself if it is true by asking God. God cannot lie and I am not a lying. if you ask him he will answer you and you will know that the book of Mormon is the word of god. I love you all so much! And I wish you all a happy and safe week!!!

Elder Howe

Week Five 12/7/11


Thank you all for the letters I love all the stickers you put on them and the drawings (Marlene) it’s so sweet... and the cat stickers hahaha.
Sounds like a lot of changes have been going on. Allan with a new bed and Irene and Erica with new phones and Bunk beds? And a white Christmas tree!!!! It that right you guys are now in bunk beds? I’m glad to hear raking went fast sounds like it went too fast and Irene Got injured, and now we don’t have Icicles!! So crazy the MTC doesn’t have any traditions that I know of for Christmas but I hear we all get a tie (surprise) and another Ice cream night!!! Hamah I’m pumped. We have also been singing lots of xmas songs. Twice a week we have devotionals Tuesday night and Sunday night, and both times we sing and this whole month we are doing Christmas songs. It’s awesome to sing about Christ in Portuguese and with 200 other missionaries.
It sounds like you guys all enjoyed Cafe rio. thanks for eating a burrito for me dad.

So mom asked what my favorite scripture is and to be honest I can’t really think of just one... I think last week I told you guys alma 41 10 and I do love that one so much. But since being here I have found so many cool scriptures I will see how many I can talk about.

Alma 26:22
Ammon is rejoicing with his brethren over the success they have had in converting thousands of their brothers to the gospel of Christ I love this whole chapter but this verse tells me 4 things I need to do and then blessing that will come if I do them. 1 repent 2 exercise faith 3 brings forth good works and 4 pray continually. and then the blessing s is you will be given the mysteries of god, and also given to bring 1000´s of people unto Christ! What an awesome scripture. I turn to this one whenever I need a quick lift.

alma 17:11

this in ammon and his brothers before their missions and it is how the lord tells them to be patient, long-suffering, in my afflictions and show forth good examples and the lord with make me an instrument of me in his hands to bring the salvation of many souls unto him! I love this one I found it just flipping though the Book of Mormon one day when I was really struggling with Portuguese. and it’s just so awesome to know that all I do the lord will help me and be with me and use me as in instrument in his hands. it is quite a blessing, which is really my desire, to do the lords will. To be that missionary that he goes to when he needs a job done.

This week was also really awesome, Elder cooper and I have truly witnessed the lord’s power. Let’s just say that a few weeks ago we were not very good at teaching... like at all we had lost all our "invesgatiors" and it was just really bad. But with a push from Brother Zamboni we were able to get refocused and become a unified companionship. we began to talk about our weaknesses and how to overcome them. we then went to the lord in prayer together as companions, and I know that I had never felt so humbled in my life. I was called to serve the lord and I couldn’t even teach some "investigators" about the gospel I had been living my whole life. over the next few weeks we set some goals together, to be 100% obedient to use all our study time to its fullest and to help each other overcome our weaknesses... and you know what? the lord was aware of our sacrifices and our wanting to be able to teach and learn, and he blessed us for it. now I’m not saying we are like super awesome at teaching or anything but what I have witnesses can only be described at the hand of the lord guiding us and the spirit of the lord helping us learn and teach. I know he will continue to help me and will help me whenever I humble myself and ask. I love you guys! Have another awesome week!!!

Love Elder Howe

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week Four 11/30/11

HELLO FAMILY!!! 24 min let’s see what I can do!

First I have not sent you guys letters in the mail because it takes like 3 or more some parents just got letter that guys sent the first week 5 weeks ago so I don’t see really a point to send them maybe Teresina will be quicker.. If you would like me to write in the snail mail I can do that just let me know.... got your letters from last Sunday yesterday.

Um so a little about the past week. Thanksgiving was nice, they did give us a thanksgiving meal with mashed potatoes it was so good!!! And they had the cafeteria all decorated and done up with thanksgiving stuff (not nearly as well done as at home) but then it was really funny we came back for dinner that night and all the thanksgiving stuff was down and replaced by Christmas... they had a really fast turnover, faster than at home, THNKASGIVING WASNT EVEN OVER!!! hahaha then we had this awesome lighting thing, where all the palm trees in the center court yard were lit we sang Christmas songs and they even gave us ICECREAM!! Man it was soo good! Hahah so it’s officially Christmas, I don’t think I’ll be able to get a camera until Teresina, so no Christmas camera for me (thank you for the suggestion mom) but I am thinking of getting myself a nice Portuguese Book of Mormon from the distribution center the week of Christmas so I’m excited for that.

Glad the closet finally got organized and sorted Irene and Erica, and glad you got your nice phones... Dad looks like you might want in too?
Happy to hear BYD went well even with the "Water" problems.
Marlene/dad may the lord guide you in your new calling!

So you guys have been asking question about my companion so I’ll answer those to the best of my ability. Yes I get to keep him as my companion the whole time here at the CTM and we have been really growing together. He is so energetic and willing to do the lords work it makes my life super easy. The only problem I think we have been having is being too excited and during the lessons that comes out as being scary. It has been a problem we are trying to fix. Last night I was praying and all of a sudden Alma 38:12 popped into my head... It says Use boldness but not overbarence; see that ye bridle your passions." I was like ELDER COOPER!!! ELDER COOPER!!! Look here is our answer; we need to turn our energy in to boldness not overbarence! I LOVE REVELATION!!! I have learned that revelation can and should be an everyday experience. The lord truly wants you to be happy and if you will just spend some time asking and listening to him he will make it known to you what you are wondering. I wish I could share all my experiences but there is too many and not nearly enough time to do so.

Yesterday we were asked to pick our favorite scripture from the Book of Mormon, and I flipped right to Alma 41:10 (thank you mom) and the truth of that scripture is so amazing it just BLOWS my mind. You truly can’t be happy doing wicked things. they might make you experience excitement or some other fake form of happiness but after a certain amount of time it leaves and you truly are not happy any more, If only all people knew this scriptures and would seek out happiness by turning to and learning the Plan of happiness That's where my happiness comes from, knowing that I will be with my family forever and that this life is not all I have to look forward to.

The language is starting to come to me... not that I'm nearly good AT IT YET, BUT YESTERDAY WE TAUGHT A FULL lesson in Portuguese and we didn’t do too bad, I can also read and understand (for the most part) Preach my gospel. The book of Mormon is harder to understand, especially now that I and elder cooper are in to the Isaiah Chapters of 2nd NE.
I hope you all have a wonderful week, my prayers go out to you. And I am so grateful for the prayers that you guys offer in my behalf please keep praying I know in a very really since the lord is listening and answering.

Elder Howe

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Week Three


So it’s been another week... it’s starting to pick up pace and I wonder where the day has gone when it’s at night and I’m saying my prayers. I feel like looking back the days all just kinda are starting to cram together and they are going faster and faster.

I hope you guys have a Happy thanksgiving and eat lots of food... don’t eat beans and rice; I’ve started to cut my intake of beans and rice. They fill you up but after so many days you wanna take a break so then it’s like a present went you eat them hahaha. This week was pretty Awesome. A lot of learning both Portuguese and Gospel. Zamboni always gets us started in the morning with some awesome scripture and gospel point. He is so amazing whenever I feel like I am faltering on a aspect of anything, he is just like well let’s see what Preach my gospel says... or lets see what the scriptures say... and then he flips to a quote of verse that is like so right on point and exactly what I needed, its amazing! I have truly learned that the scriptures and modern prophets can answer any question we might have and can resolve any concerns we might be feeling. It’s amazing. I would love to be the type of person who knows the scriptures so well that I could just flip to a specific verse and have it help someone!

I want to thank you guys so much for the letters I got them on Friday... only took FIVE DAYS!! That’s crazy. Haha and I love all the stories you guys include its nice to read them and see how each of you are doing. I did want to mention Irene’s she quoted a verse in 2tim 4:7”I have fought the good fight I have finished my course I have kept the faith" because the very next day in class that was the scripture Zamboni gave us a devotional about. And how Paul had fought the good fight he had conquered the natural man. This got me thinking and so I studied the scriptures a bit more and was reminded of the Great Captain Moroni who in Alma 47 we are told "if all men had been and would be like unto him the very foundation of hell would shake." I was just so Amazed at these examples of great Followers of Christ of course there are so many, and just wondering what made these great men so great in their faith and unshakeable in their testimonies. Their examples are truly something I aspire to and wish I could someday become like them. Somehow overcome the natural man and "delight in keeping the commandments" as Nephi did. So far the best way I have fond to begin on that path of spiritual strength is by prayer. Constantly praying to our father in heaven. It is by prayer that our faith increases and our spirit comes into line with the will of god.

I love you guys and I’m out of time..... Sadness

With all my love,

Elder Howe

Monday, November 21, 2011

Week Two

Bom Tarde! (Good afternoon)

Man this week flew by, I’m so glad that its p-day and I get to email you! I got your letters from the 6th yesterday in the mail its always so nice to get mail, right now I have received more mail than anyone else in the district a whole 3 letters all from my loving family:) ahah but seri the mail flow down here is so slow. So thank you for the letters and the stickers and also I love how you guys decorate them haha

Let me see where do I start about the last week, Thursday we got Brazilian roommates. They like to stay up late... so it’s hard to get to bed. haha but they are super awesome and they teach us some Portuguese. we try to have a phrase of the day; sometimes it’s harder to translate then others. like one day it was "what’s that..." took 30min to figure it out... it was so confusing. hahah It really cool though to see how the church is really a worldwide thing. these other young men have set aside 2 years of their life and have decided to give it to the lord, just like me, and when I realize that we have that in common it really makes the language barrier we have seem so small.

This week we also got a chance to teach our first lesson in Portuguese... mmm let me step back for a sec. so our teachers we have two, brother Zamboni and sister Elias. Zamboni has us in the morning Elias in the afternoon. so they give us "investigators" to teach with backgrounds and everything, and we go knock on their door (a class room) and practice all our teaching and all the skills we need to develop. SO for these first 2 weeks they have been majority in English, but yesterday we had to do it all in Portuguese, needless to say it was a short lesson... hahah we said in shattered Portuguese "we have a Father in heaven who loves us" "Christ is central to his plan." and "though (that was a tough word to remember in Portuguese) Christ we can return to him." hahah they was it. we then asked her to come to church and to read 2ne chapter 2 about the plan of salvation. haha she accepted both challenges so I guess it could have gone worse. It was quite amazing to me though that we were able to say that much to her, the lord will truly bring the things to your mind that you have studied just like he promises in DC 11.

earlier in the week I got really excited for going to Teresina because someone said something about Teresina other than its hot, or "it's so hot your skin will turn this color (pointing to my black pants). Sister Elias said the people of Teresina are so nice they will let you in their homes, always. I was like YES!!! that made me sooo excited to get up there and teach those people who are just so ready to receive the gospel, I feel like it will be like when alma taught the poor in heart in chapter 32 about faith, (obvi I’m not alma so it won’t make it into the Book of Mormon" but I hope it can be just as spiritual for the people of Teresina as it was for those who were taught by Alma.

Sunday was such an awesome day... AGAIN! haha the sacrament meetings here are so awesome, I can’t even describe it. there were 3 speakers; you just get called out of the audience so everyone holds their breath. but anyway the talks were good 2 were on the Book of Mormon and one was on patience and humility. but as I was sitting there I just got this overwhelming surge of love for all the guys in my district. I had been praying for quite some time that the lord would bless me with charity and that I could feel the love he has for them. and he gave me that blessing, it was truly awesome. I have been working on further developing that charity and the lord has continued to bless me by giving me chances to see how awesome they all really are, and that they also want to serve the lord, but just like all of us we are not perfect and we get distracted, and fall off course a little bit. Another thing I realized over the week that kind of humbled me even more is these men have all been called of God, and they are just like me in every way.

Another awesome even was at the fireside Sunday night the speaker told us to go and write in our journal: "why are you a missionary?" and as soon as he asked if I began thinking and I came to the realization that when I first put in my papers it was simply for the reason that I wanted to do it, I wanted to serve the lord. It was my choice and it was just what I wanted to do, but then over the summer and with some more study I came to realize that I am a missionary because I want others to feel the joy of the atonement in their lives. this life is way too short to go though holding feeling of guilt and sadness for things that we have done in the past and the amazing thing it that those feelings can become joy. Alma 36 recounts alma and the pains he had "the pains of a dammed soul" then after a turned his thoughts to Christ and his mind caught hold of that his "joy was so exceedingly great, yea as did exceed my pain." truly the atonement of Christ is the single most important event in the world and I want others to see what it can do for them, their friends and their families. It will affect them not for the rest of their lives but for the rest of TIME.

I got to go to the temple again today. it’s such an awesome place I look forward to returning there next week. Just going to the temple makes me happy and then being there with these other Elders makes it 1000x better!!! I love you GUYS SO MUCH THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!!!

With Love,

Elder Howe

ps. sister empey got here today; I was able to shake her hand so she is safe in Sao Paulo!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

First Week

BOM DIA!!!! (bomb-gia)
That's good day in portuguese haha. so the mtc first week has been awesome!! It is such a place of learning! ok but first to answer some questions.
1) st. mary didnt work, i didnt get my leaf :( the took it out hahah but i did get all your letters yesterday including the one from dear elder, so it takes about 6 days for mail to get here.
2) U cant send me packages in the MTC and the adress for when i get out is in all my call packet.
3) My p-day is Wenesday SURPRISE!
4) No sister empy yet... but i imagine ill see her soon, maybe.
5) my return mail takes like a week. so if i get a letter after p-day it might take 3 weeks to get a response even if i am able to wirte back that first p-day so everyone please have pacience.
So I guess ill(I dont have an apostrophe) just start with when i left. The filght to JFK was good and i met up with 6 other missionaries at JFK. All were coming from Provo, some had been there for 8 weeks (im in here for 9 weeks then we go into the field). So this one Elder Sampson was just like speaking Portuguese like it was his job, he is now out in the field he just left yesterday. The flight to Sao Paulo was LONG. I sat next to a native Brazillian he was really cool and could speak english(he actually learned it from missionaries ha). So we talked about a lot of stuff. The first day we got here (the picture you saw was like after no sleep and no shower so really not the best time for a group photo) and it was really just a day to relax and recover.

I met 3 other Elders going to Teresina, we are rooming together; Elder King, Elder Davis, and my companion Elder Cooper. They are all super awesome! The only thing was they all had name tags. They all got theirs with their visas! i was so confused so for the first day i didnt have a name tag and everyone kept asking me in portuguese where it was... i didnt know what they were saying hahah. but i have one now so its all good. the next day we began learning some portuguese, mostly how to pray and pronounce everything. But in this one week i have learned as much portuguese as i did spanish in my first 2 years, of course you guys understand that means i know next to nothing but its still some progress and im pleased with it.

My teacer Irmão (bother) Zamboni (like the ice cleaner) is a BOSS! he is 4 years off his mission and he is such a good teacher it is amazing to see his love for us translated to teaching. We have done mock teaching appointments, ITS SO hard!!! oh my gosh, our teachers play the invesgatior and like they are such good actors its scary... Me and elder cooper keep bombing it, and not being able to teach Simple truths mixed with learning the language has made this first week such a humbling experience.

The Food here is pretty good i have grown to like beans and rice at every meal haha its nice and fills you up. they give fruit at every meal and it's really good.

Whenever i tell people my mission they just say very hot! haha so thats not a good sign, thats literally all i have learned about my mission is that it is the hottest place in Brazil. the weather here is super nice but right now im hot because on p-day they let you out and you can walk around the shops and stuff which is like1000x better then provo because provo you are not allowed outside ever unless your going to the temple. Oh we got to go to the temple this morning, it was so awesome to go through with 80 other missionaries and it was in english so that was really nice.

The MTC is truly amazing, on sunday it was testimony meeting, and man the spirit did not hold back, I cant remember a time when i fet the sprit so strongly. Maybe Testimony meeting at EFY or after youth conference but it was crazy how strong and smart all these guys are. all these missionaries are so awesome and truly called of God, that i know for sure Heavenly Father is looking down and smiling at us becasue we are all so willing to do his work and allign our selves with his will. Even the spirit in this building is amazing, you can truly tell it is a place where god prepares his sons and daughters to learn his gosple and teach his children of Brazil.

Monday we had a devotional by President Evans of the presidency of the 70. His testimony was so powerful, after he taught us for over an hour and kept us engaged the whole time he testified that of the savior that he knew his savior lived, he said Quote: I know my savior lives, it is no longer a matter of faith for me." oh he said that and i just got goose bumps all over my body. i had never hear anyone testify of that. i had felt impressions of the spirit of that when listening to some of the apostles speak, like holland and his talk about the atonement, but it hit me so hard when Elder Evans said it, I know he has seen our lord, and i know that if we are pure in heart just like the scriptures say we may also get to see God, but even if we are not blessed in this life to see him i know that one day i will get to bow my self before him and feel the prints in his hands and his feet i will get to weep at his feet and thank him for the wonderful things he has done in my life.

This week like i said has been truly humbling experience. I have learned that man in nothing... I am nothing. I haved learned that inorder to learn you must rely on the savior and have faith in him. The mix of not knowing how to teach and not knowing portuguese had made this week a monstrous mountain to start climbing. but i know that with your guys support and some miracles from the lord i might leave this MTC with a little understanding of how to speak to this fine chlildern of god and maybe be able to teach them some of the gospel. I love you guys so much! and am sorry i cant write you all i only have 30min and it is not nearly enough time to read and write you all. but i hope i answered the main questions you guys have and if i didnt you can always send it again.
I know this is where the lord wantes me to be, even more so i know this is were the lord wants all his sons ages 19-26 to be. Spreading his glorous news that He loves us, his son died for us, that the same church jesus himself established is once again on the earth, and it was restored by Joseph Smith who was a prophet of God. Today the Lord still speaks to us though the prophets and we have one alive on the earth today. The Book of Mormon is another testament of christ and if you read from it and ask the Lord if it is true he will let you know though the spirit that it is. and why not give it a shot, you dont lose anything by asking.
I love you guys and pray for you daily, I hope you guys can pray for me to learn what to teach and to learn the language, and pray for those that i will teach, that their hearts may be open and that they may be prepared to hear this gospel.
Elder Howe

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pictures from Last Days in VA

Here are a few pictures with family and friends before Elder Howe departed to Brazil.

Burger Time

BFFs for life

Carmen, Jim and Mom

Dad, Elder, and Mom

Older siblings

Matt and Irene

Classic sibling pic

Elder Howe and Aunt Helen

Grandma Howe


The whole family

Last photo before security

Elder Howe arrives to Brazil MTC

Below is a letter received from the President of the Brazil MTC informing us of Elder Howe's safe arrival. We are so glad he made it safely. 

These are all the missionaries that arrived today (11/2/11). Elder Howe is in the middle, 3rd row back.

Dear Parents,

We are happy to send the good news that your missionary has arrived safely at the Brazil MTC.  What a great joy and privilege it is to greet each missionary as they come through the front door of the MTC for the first time. We promise to take good care of your missionary.
They now have companions and are settled into their rooms.  They are assigned to a district with capable and caring instructors for language and lesson study.  The branch presidents and their wives, will soon give them a second greeting.  These couples are rewarded in their callings through the love they always develop as they embrace and watch over the missionaries.
The MTC has a full time live-in physician to care for their health needs.  He is assisted by his able wife. We are also happy to report that the Cafeteria food is abundant and very good.
Your missionary will be able to e-mail home on Preparation Day after a morning at the Temple.  This will be either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on individual assignments.
Your very important young person is about to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.  We hope you will be encouraged and comforted by this quote by President Lorenzo Snow: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an elder [sister] when he is preaching the gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord’s children.”
Please accept our love,
President Donald L Clark and Sister Zaza Clark
DO NOT SEND PACKAGES to the Brazil Missionary Training Center. All packages must be sent directly to the mission where your missionary will be serving not the MTC. If you have already mailed a package to the Brazil MTC and it arrives after your missionary has left for the field, please understand that the package can not be forwarded to his or her mission and will be returned to you. The only other option is for us to open the package and forward the letters and photographs, giving the rest of the content of the package to the missionaries that are here.
WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE SENDING HAND WRITTEN LETTERS. Please write your missionary´s first and last name. Your missionary will provide you with his district and box number. Also, please DO NOT SEND ANYTHING BY FEDEX, DHL, UPS, or other private carriers.  The cost to get this type of correspondence is exorbitant.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Farewell speech to the Annandale ward

Thank you Grandma for sharing your beautiful voice and talent with us, and to making a wonderful invitation for the spirit to be with us. I also would like to thank my friends and family who are here today, thank you for coming and supporting me in this new chapter of my life.

I am so delighted to be able to speak to you today, and I pray that the spirit will continue to be present and aid me as I attempt to speak to you and also that your hearts and minds will be receptive to the spirit.

My comments for this talk come from two main sources, President Eyring’s talk titled, “let us raise our voice of warning”, and from Doctrine and covenants chapter 88 verse 81 which states, “behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.”  
 Speaking about this scripture President Eyring stated, “The Lord would not use the word warn if there is no danger. Yet not many people we know sense it. They have learned to ignore the increasing evidence that society is unraveling and that their lives and family lack the peace they once thought was possible. That willingness to ignore the signs of danger can make it easy for you to think: Why should I speak to anyone about the gospel who seems content? What danger is there to them or to me if I do or say nothing? Well, the danger may be hard to see, but it is real, both for them and for us. For instance, at some moment in the world to come, everyone you will ever meet will know what you know now. They will know that the only way to live forever in association with our families and in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, was to choose to enter into the gate by baptism at the hands of those with authority from God. They will know that the only way families can be together forever is to accept and keep sacred covenants offered in the temples of God on this earth. And they will know that you knew. And they will remember whether you offered them what someone had offered you.”

President Eyring shared this story: "Years ago I worked for a man in California. He hired me, he was kind to me, he seemed to regard me highly. I may have been the only Latter-day Saint he ever knew well. I don’t know all the reasons I found to wait for a better moment to talk with him about the gospel. I just remember my feeling of sorrow when I learned, after he had retired and I lived far away, that he and his wife had been killed in a late night drive to their home in Carmel, California. He loved his wife. He loved his children. He had loved his parents. He loved his grandchildren, and he will love their children and will want to be with them forever. Now, I don’t know how the crowds will be handled in the world to come. But I suppose that I will meet him, that he will look into my eyes, and that I will see in them the question: “Hal, you knew. Why didn’t you tell me?”

Now that we realize the urgency in warning our neighbor how do we go about doing this? To answer this question President Eyring gives a story of his mother,
“I can still remember my mother speaking softly to me one Saturday afternoon when, as a little boy, I asked her for permission to do something I thought was perfectly reasonable and which she knew was dangerous. I still am amazed at the power she was granted, I believe from the Lord, to turn me around with so few words. As I remember them, they were: “Oh, I suppose you could do that. But the choice is yours.” The only warning was in the emphasis she put on the words could and choice. Yet that was enough for me. Her power to warn with so few words sprang from three things I knew about her. First, I knew she loved me. Second, I knew she had already made correct choices and been blessed by them. And third, she had conveyed to me her sure testimony that the choice I had to make was so important that the Lord would tell me what to do if I asked Him. Love, example, and testimony: those were keys that day, and they have been whenever I have been blessed to hear and then heed the warning of a servant of the Lord.”

Let us further discuss the three keys of Love, Example, and Testimony president Eyring has given us.

The first is love. One of my favorite sayings is, “They don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  Our ward mission has taken this idea and established it as the foundation for our ward mission plan. The first step in the plan is letting your non-member friends know that you are a Latter-day Saint who cares about them. The second step is much the same, that there are other Latter-day Saint members who also care about them. If it is so important to show love what is the best way we can demonstrate this?  Barbara Thompson of the General Relief Society presidency gives us an answer to this question, “Serving others is the way to show love. Perhaps love and service are one and the same.” It is through service that hearts are warmed and people become receptive to the gospel of Christ. I would like to share a story that exemplifies this idea from two missionaries.

“Pablo came regularly to our weekly English class. He was a retired gentleman who was learning English to help keep his mind off his concern for his ailing wife. One week he quit coming. No one seemed to know why. About a month later, he came to class again. He looked different. He had lost weight, and he looked depressed. He didn’t participate in class as he had before, and he left class before we could talk with him. During the following week, my companion and I prayed that Pablo would come back to class so we could talk to him. Our prayers were answered as he came to the next class. As we talked with him after class, he shared that his wife had died. He told us a little bit about the experience, and we expressed our sympathy. We told him that we wanted to help him understand how he could be with his wife again. He raised his head, looked in my eyes, and with tears of anger and sadness said, “If you really want to help me, you would come over to my house and help me get my life back in order. Isn’t that what missionaries do?” We were surprised and humbled by Pablo’s comments. We offered our help for anything he needed. I think that was the point he started trusting our intentions. He told us to be over at his house the next day to help him prune his trees. We went to his house at the appointed time and began working at his side. In the months he took care of his wife, he had neglected chores around his yard and home. There was plenty of work for the three of us to do. This became a weekly service experience at his home. We pruned trees, pulled weeds, and picked fruit. We didn’t start teaching—whenever we tried to start, he quickly ended our conversations. He was most comfortable as we spoke about his life and family. Mostly, we just listened. After about a month and a half, Pablo surprised us by asking, “Will I really see my wife again?” We joyously responded that he would. We testified of eternal families and did our best to answer his questions. We taught Pablo the plan of salvation. He was moved by the doctrine. Before we left he had a list of questions he wanted answered, such as, “Will my wife have a body when I see her again?” and “Will we be free from illness and pain?” We answered his questions and set up another appointment to discuss the principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, Pablo’s countenance changed. He smiled more often and seemed more at peace. He actually had hope.”

Once our friends know that we care and love them, then we can begin to make use of president Eyring’s second key, be an example. Paul tells us in Timothy 4:12 “Be thou an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”  Christ encourages us during the Sermon on the Mount to, “let your light so shine that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven.”   I have lived in this wonderful ward my whole life; I have had many teachers and leaders in the past 19 years all of whom have been examples to me. You have taught me the gospel, you have strengthened my testimony, you have shown me the path of righteousness that I strive every day to follow, you have been an example of the believers. And I thank you all for that, for helping me get to where I now stand, as a willing servant of the lord ready to give two years of my life into his hands.

 The final key is Testimony.  Even if we have loved with all our heart and been the best example we can be, the bearing of a testimony leaves no doubt in the mind of your friends what you believe and stand for. When prompted by the spirit we need to remember to act quickly. In D&C 107:100 it states “He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen.”
President Eyring states, “The duty to warn our neighbor falls on all of us who have accepted the covenant of baptism. We are to talk with nonmember friends and relatives about the gospel. Our purpose is to invite them to be taught by the full-time missionaries who are called and set apart to teach.” 

Do not be afraid the lord has promised in D&C 84. “And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.”
Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of god…And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth! Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.  And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

In preparing for this talk my testimony has been further strengthened that missionary work is for each and every member of this church, every member a missionary. And the best way to be missionaries to our friends, neighbors and family is by Loving them, being an example to them and by bearing testimony, that the gospel is restored and that God once again speaks to us though his prophets. I am so grateful for these next two years that I have to bring the people of Brazil the joy that comes with the knowledge of their savior Jesus Christ.

Brothers and sisters it is my testimony that this is the same organization, even the same church that Christ established on the earth during his ministry. We have Prophets, apostles, and quorums of seventy just like he established. We enjoy the restoration of this gospel after centuries of religious confusion in the world. This church and its gospel was restored though the prophet Joseph Smith in the 1800’s. Joseph Smith, wondering what church to join went to the lord in prayer and was visited by out Heavenly Father and his beloved son Jesus Christ. Over the next few years he received the priesthood, the power to act in God’s name, and its keys, the authority to use that power from Peter, James, and John. He also translated the Book of Mormon, which is an ancient account of gods people on the American continent written for us today. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. It has been made known unto me by the power of the Holy Spirit and all who have a desire may also come to know of its truth as I have. All you need to do is read and ask the father with real intent.  The Book of Mormon is the key stone of our religion, with it comes a knowledge of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God. If the Book of Mormon is true then Joseph Smith is a prophet of god, and if he is a prophet of god then this is the true Church of Christ.
I know that this church is led by a Prophet of God, and he receives daily revelation on how to lead this church. You can also receive revelation in your everyday life. Questions that you have, and problems that you face every day. Ask your father in heaven and he will guide your steps as exercise faith in him.

I know that Christ is our savior, he atoned for our sins. It is only though him that we can again live with our families and Father in heaven again. Christ suffered everything, all pain and suffering, he sunk to the bottom, the lowest of lows so that no matter how much pain, sorrow, or trouble you have gotten into the lord knows what you are going through, he knows your suffering and your pain, and he will always be there for you. Any wrongs that you have done are covered by the atonement of Christ just repent by confessing and forsaking.

I know that the temple is a house of God, we are so blessed to have them dot the earth. In them we make promises with God that allow us to return to his presence. In them we can be sealed to our families for all eternity. There is no greater joy then knowing you are linked to your family for all eternity. I love this Gospel and I love my savior Jesus Christ. I Hope that your prayers will be with me and those I teach, that I may have the spirit with me and that those I teach will feel the spirit and know the truth. Living the principals of the gospel brings joy to all those who live it, So why shall we not go on in so great a cause?  This is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ amen.