Thursday, December 22, 2011
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
Love Elder Howe
Saturday, December 17, 2011
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!!!
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.
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.
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
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.
LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Thursday, November 24, 2011
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!! (almost)
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,
Monday, November 21, 2011
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!!!
ps. sister empey got here today; I was able to shake her hand so she is safe in Sao Paulo!!
Friday, November 11, 2011
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
|BFFs for life|
|Carmen, Jim and Mom|
|Dad, Elder, and Mom|
|Matt and Irene|
|Classic sibling pic|
|Elder Howe and Aunt Helen|
|The whole family|
|Last photo before security|
|These are all the missionaries that arrived today (11/2/11). Elder Howe is in the middle, 3rd row back.|
Sunday, October 30, 2011
“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.”
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.”