March 31, 2014

So happy!!

¡Hola a mi familia y mis amigos!

The weeks just keep getting better and better. I'm sitting here in the internet café feeling so good, haha, and I really don't even know why! I just feel so happy. This past week was such a good week full of WORK, which always makes us happy. Hermana Carranza goes home in 7 weeks, so she just wants to work work work, and I love it. This past week we put a date for baptism with one of our investigators, Leo. He's a teenager who maybe has made a few wrong turns in his life, but wants to change so much. We're gonna try to prepare him for baptism on April 19th. Our last lesson with him, we taught him about the law of chastity, and he took it really well. He said it made sense to wait until marriage. Still, he says it's gonna be hard, but you can just see it in his eyes that he wants to do all he can to turn his life around. That's what I love about being a missionary...seeing that desire in the eyes of so many people, and seeing God change their lives, if they let Him.

We had splits with the sister leader trainers on Wednesday, and I got to work with Hermana Cluff from Mesa, AZ. She was so fun to work with. We went to the plaza here in Tal Tal and sang hymns. There was this man sitting all by himself listening to us sing, so we went over and talked to him, and shared a little bit about our purpose in life and how God loves him. He doesn't really live in Tal Tal, so I don't know what happened to him afterwards, but I know he felt at least a little bit of the Spirit.

Today, Hermana Carranza and I went to what's called La Puntilla, and it's this beach about 3 km out of Tal Tal (We walked of course. Missionaries.), and the water there is GREEN. But that pretty ocean green, and you can see right through the water. We sat there and enjoyed the creations of God. Woooo :)

Mom, I won´t be hearing for about another transfer...I lack about 4 1/2 months, and they start talking about all that stuff about 3 months left. So yeah, I'll be letting you know as soon as I know...BUT GAHHHHHHHH....4 AND A HALF MONTHS. THIS IS LOCO. I love the mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope all is well en casa. I miss you all, and I hope that you all are studying your scriptures every night!!! They are the key to finding answers to the questions of the soul.


Love,
Hermana Howell



March 30, 2014

Of Things That Matter Most

Hello everybody!!!

What a crazy week! It was so good to go to Copiapó this week, after almost a year leaving that town. After the conference, we went and visited a couple members! It was so nice to see them and talk a little bit :) 

We did splits with the sisters of the Relief Society yesterday, and that was nice to get to know a little bit more the sisters here in Taltal :)

When we did the splits yesterday, I heard about the terremoto in Iquique (and Arica). I was so worried for Hermana Quispe and all the members I JUST left 3 weeks ago! It was the weirdest feeling I had. I had never felt like that before, that feeling of "I could have been there. I was JUST there!!" I called one of the Elder's in the office to see if what the knew. They said that everyone was still up on high ground waiting for the tsunami, but that all the missionaries were safe. But wow. I was so grateful to Heavenly Father that He moved me out of there just in time.

Seminary has been going great. The teens will be teens, but they're good kids. I really like this little branch :)

Hope all is well!

Hermana Howell

Me and Hermana Carranza
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Hey everyone!

As far as the earthquakes go, we haven't felt anything at all, except for this morning there was a tiny short one. I didn't even feel it, I heard it. Weird huh haha, it sounded like there was a car accident outside or something, but I saw the lights moving, so it was an earthquake, but not much else than that.

This was a week of miracles. As a district, we fasted for the extra help from heaven :) And we definitely saw results. We had a car wash on Friday, and an inactive couple drove by and had their car washed. We asked them where they lived, and so we passed by on Saturday. They have a daughter named Javiera, who is the sweetest girl ever. She's not a member, but we invited them all to church, and Javiera went! We also had 6 other people who are investigating come to church. We had 52 people in church! This branch really is growing. And teaching seminary to the youth is super fun. I'm learning so much about the Book of Mormon that I just didn't see before. It's pretty awesome. We also had a Movie Night Friday night, and one of the Elder's investigators came!

So apparantly my email from last week didn't send or something, from my point of view it looks like it didn't send. But pretty much not much happened. I got to visit some people from Copiapó, and that was the best :) They were all pretty surprised that I could speak Spanish now haha. But also President Dalton said he doesn't want us knocking on doors anymore! Yay hahaha, nah, but he really wants us to work with the members to find more people.

Well, I just wanted to say that life is good. We are so blessed to live in a world that has so many beautiful things, like the ocean, mountains, lions, tigers, bears (oh my), horses, puppies, flowers, rivers, colors, strawberries, bikes, cars, music, guitars, pianos, temples, dresses, suites, friends, families, swing sets, slides, three-legged races, bubbles, rain (except in the Chile Antofagasta Mission), clouds, sun, moon, stars, popsicles, pools, umbrellas, cows (moo), smiles, cameras, movies, stuffed animals, drums, fun, love, happiness...and everything else. Oh, can't forget hot wings and hot cheetos haha. But life really is wonderful. And to know that God loves us and we're his children just makes life even more colorful. There are things that seem to dim that light sometimes, but we gotta keep it mind that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins, died for us, and was resurrected so that we can enjoy that happiness that lasts forever. There are two videos that help me understand that even more. They're my favorite :)



I know that God has a plan for us. That He loves us and has not forgotten us. I know that He is there listening when we pray...if we're unsure, all we have to do is ask.


With all my love,
Hermana Howell

Loving Taltal!

So I'm loving Taltal. It's s super small town where everyone knows everyone, kind of like Hurricane, but even smaller than that. It's super quiet and lovely. The people here are so excited to finally have sister missionaries!! The branch is full of really great people who want to do what's right. And since it's a tiny branch where this Sunday 45 people went to church, the missionaries have a lot of callings! We've been called to help with visiting teachers, Young Women, and of course, teach seminary. GAH. TEACH SEMINARY. I'm so excited as well as challenged. It's gonna be hard, but we're gonna learn so much!!!
So I'm writing super late today because we've been traveling all day!!! Ok, not all day, but let me tell you what happened. So we've got a conference tomorrow morning in COPIAPÓ...WHOOOOO!!!! I'm so excited to be back in Copiapó after almost a year! So our bus left Taltal at 3:30, but there was no internet in the whole town all day (hahaha oh tiny towns) so we couldn't write! But we're here in Copiapó! :) All is well.
Hermana Carranza is the bomb. We have so much fun together. Honestly, I thought having a companion who's 32 years old would be boring or even hard to get along, but she is hilarious and super smart, and we get along great! It doesn't even seem like she's 11 years older than me.
All my missionary girlfriends are great from what I hear! Tayler is freezing up there in Indiana, along with Tomi and Megyn! Hahah but I'm sure they manage. Chiedu is loving it down in the Phillies, getting eaten alive of course hahaha. Sandra of course is eating it up in Brazil! I love being a missionary, and I'm sure that can understand that.
I hope all is well at home! I love you all so much!
Hermana 

PS - I'm gonna stay with Hermana Tuft while i'm here in COPIAPÓ! yay! :)

Taltal

I am so happy. This week was the best/most interesting week of my mission ever. Hermana Carranzea is a super hard worker, and really hilarious. All we could do is laugh about all the crazy things that happened to us this week.

So we finally arrived Tuesday night to this cute little house in the very corner of Taltal. But at night we didn't see it for how it really was. It really is a nice place, but UNBELIEVABLEY dirty. Disgusting. Remember all those commercials about scrubbing bubbles or some cleaning product and we always say "Nobody's house is THAT dirty." No guys, there are people's houses that are THAT dirty. COCHINOS. And you wouldn't believe how many spiders are in our house. We've killed about 5 a day or something like that. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. But don't worry. This morning we bought like a million dollars worth of cleaning stuff and started with the kitchen, the worst part. You'd think the bathroom would be the worst, but it really wasn't that bad, so that got cleaned up pretty quick. Oh, but the kitchen....ewewwwwwwww I have no idea what they did in that kitchen, what they made that blew up all over the walls and down the side of the stove and inside the cupboards and bothered not to clean up, but it was bad. And we still haven't finished. BUT we cleaned up a ton this morning, and it's seriously a different place. We just need to finish up with the stove and under the sink. But now I understand the importance of doing your chores every week! You cannot let it get that way! But we're good to go now :)

On Wednesday, we had mutual, and since we're serving a tiny branch where only like 35 people go to church every week, we have a lot to do in the branch, like presidency of Young Women, Relief Society, and Seminary teacher. Well, the mutual was pretty sweet! About half the branch is the youth, so a lot were there. They're all converts, and super nice! I already love it here.

We had a talent show on Thursday, and immediately asked me to do something. So I sang a song haha. I think I like serving in a tiny branch a lot more!!! The people here are hilarious and warm and happy. Taltal is a great place :)

Yesterday, we passed by a less-active who's husband isn't a member. Apparently he hasn't allowed missionaries in his home...ever. Only one year ago (well, and his companion because he had to) but as long as he's home, missionaries can't enter. Well he let us in. The very first thing he said (literally the FIRST thing) was that he would like it if his kids served missions, and that it'd probably be better to have both parents in the church. The only bummer is that he works for like 2 months at a time, depends sometimes, and he left today. But you can count on us getting over there as soon as he gets home! He said he notices that we're the first sister missionaries in Taltal, and he thinks it's a good thing that we're here to help unite the branch and help a lot more people than the Elders could. Wow.

So, as you can see, I'm loving Taltal. We still get lost sometimes, but it really is a tiny town, so we can't be lost for long! 

Love you all!

Hermana Howell

March 29, 2014

More of my adventure.....(February '14)


In my last post I mentioned that I was afraid of dying young and my mom said to me "your fear comes mostly from missing out on things you want to do more than dying itself"...that was it, the fear of dying thing...not that I doubted in the plan of salvation, just the fear of not being able to live my life, go home, study, get married, make babies, stuff like that. But this last Wednesday we had interviews, and I talked to president about it. He had something super interesting to say. He said that throughout his life, when he sees that someone is about to pass away, they seem peaceful, like..."Yeah, I lived a good, full life" or along the lines that they're happy with God's will or I don't know, something like that. But what he saw in me was completely opposite  and he told me that God knows that he, President Dalton, couldn't handle a missionary dying on his watch, and then he looked me dead in the eyes and promised me that I would finish my mission, come home to you all, get married, have kids, and be a grandma. I felt completely calm after that. Cool experience.

Not much happened this week. Just the same ol' same ol'. I hope all is well in casa, and remember, the will of God is always what's better for us, even if we don't understand it. Don't doubt. Doubting? So ask.

Hermana Howell

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Hey everyone :)

Well, this week was kind of a bummer and slow. Not much happened when it comes to progressing investigators. We had to cut almost all of the people we were teaching for one reason or another. We didn't find anyone new either. Oh well, have to start over that's all.

This morning we went to Humberstone, a ghost town more inland. It was so sweet to see the whole town all old and what not. Aside from the millions of houses, they had a theatre, hospital (creepy), grocery store, school, church, hotel, dance hall, pool, EVERYTHING. It was creepy and old, like Grafton, but HUGE. I took TONS of pictures, but I'm only sending the coolest ones. And everything there was original! All the same stuff has been there since it's been abandoned. SWEET, cool place to take pics :)

Sorry this email is so short, but really, nothing happened this week. This week will be better :) 
Love,

Hermana Howell




























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Hey y'all!

Well, we officially have no one to work with. This last week, our final hopes of progressing investigators went down the drain. We visited that family I told you about that we met in the Registro Civil...yeah well they told us that we're always welcome in their house, but they'd rather not continute with the lessons. They said they don't see themselves in church or really doing anything we believe in....NOOOOOOOOO they were so perfect too. So then we really had ZERO investigators. Boy this sector is tough. But we did have a lesson with an investigator yesterday that we kinda left alone for awhile...I hope and pray she feels the Spirit, and that we're teaching with it too! We have transfers this next week...and the rumor is I'm staying. You really never know, it could just be a rumor to get me stressed, but hey, if I gotta stay another transfer, there's something I gotta do here that I still haven't done yet.

Well, I completed a year this last week. Weird. Never thought this day would come haha. Thursday was like, oh yeah, a year ago I went to the MTC....cool. Not much different. But my lovely missionary friends here did give me a cake and sang to me! Well, another Elder "completed" his two years, so that sang to him too. He's ending his mission this...Saturday??? CRAZZZZYYYY. But really, I can't believe how fast the time has flown. We gotta enjoy every minute we're given, because we can't get them back.

Wow, look at those blessings of tithing and having a missionary. God really does help out in every facet of life. 

Lots of love!

Hermana Howell

Happy one year to me! (and two for Elder Oliva)

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Cambios!

Well, would you look at that. Another transfer went by, and I've only got 4 to go. FOUR. The time passes by way too fast. I guess by now that you can see that I'm writing Tuesday morning because, yes, I got transferred. FINALLY GOT OUT OF IQUIQUE. Man I was there forever. It was a good forever, but still, I was relieved to hear that I was leaving. And technically, I'm STILL not in my sector, and probably won't be until tomorrow morning....

I've been transferred to Taltal. It's this super tiny town on the coast, and me and my new companion, Hermana Carranza from Argentina, we're the first sister missionaries EVER, in the history of that town, to serve there. GAHHH. I've never opened a sector before, but it should be really good. I'm so excited. And I met Hermana Carranza while serving in Arica. She leaves in 2 transfers, and she's so awesome. I'm really excited to work with her.

So Hermana Pack (a sister who was in the MTC with me) and I left Iquique about 10 in the morning yesterday. She's going to El Salvador, another teeny tiny town about two hours from Taltal. (Sidenote, me and Hna. Pack went to Copiapò together too when we first got to Chile. It was like good ol' times!) So we got on the bus and headed down south. We stopped like 4 different times, and FINALLY got to Chañaral about 9:30 last night (almost 12 hours!). Well, we stayed the night here in Chañaral (Hna. LeFevre's here!!!! Yay!!) and our bus to Taltal was at 6:45 this morning. So we woke up early and everything, and got to the bus station RIGHT at 6:45, and the bus had already left. Great. The next bus for Taltal leaves at 6 in the afternoon, but there's only one seat open. We're gonna go in the afternoon and see maybe if someone misses the bus, but if not, we gotta wait til TOMORROW morning! Oh, what an adventure. SOOO I might be in Taltal by tonight, but hopefully for sure by tomorrow! Chañaral is also about 2 hours away. The crazy part is that we're all part of the same zone! Because we're all these tiny towns in the middle of nowhere, so every week we have to travel to Chañaral to have district meeting. That should be fun :) But really, I'm super excited. This was the change I needed I think. Hermana Quispe is staying in Iquique training! I hope all goes well with that!

Well, that's pretty much what happened this week! I hope all is well at home. I love you all!!!

Hermana Howell

me saying goodbye to the first counselor and his wife in Iquique

saying goodbye to my good missionary friends of Barrio Renacimiento, Iquique

March 28, 2014

Why I, Jennifer Howell, had to serve a Mission

Hey family & friends!!!

So, I think I'm finally beginning to understand why I had to serve a mission. Okay, we all know that the purpose of missionaries is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."  And I got that clear. There's no doubt that I'm on a mission to teach the people of Chile the gospel of Jesus Christ, the things we need to do to return to our Father in Heaven. But I have been wondering why I, JENNIFER HOWELL, ME, had to serve a mission. But I'm beginning to see why.

Before I explain what I'm talking about, I gotta tell you what happened this week. Well, it all started last week. We went to the Registro Civil to get Hermana Quispe's ID. I sat next to this couple with a little girl. As soon as I saw them, I felt so strong that I needed to talk to them. I was scared...can you believe it...almost a year of knocking on doors and talking to strangers, and I was scared to talk to these people. I think it's because it's a lot easier to knock on a door. They answer ready to hear what you've got to say and don't wanna waste time small talkin' it. But when you're sitting next to them in silence, it's a bit awkward to start off. Can't just turn to them and say "Oh hi, so, I'm a missionary and I wanna teach your family."....and in spanish, I still don't know all the phrases for "small talk." Haha, but that feeling would not go away, so I some how found a way to start talking to them. They're from Concepción, and got here to Iquique on the 10th. After a little getting to know you stuff, I told them who I was and what it is I do. We asked if they'd let us come and teach them. I was praying that they'd live in our sector. And guess what, they do!!! Well, fast forward to our first lesson. The dad was at work, so we taught the wife and their daughter that's 12 years old. It was a super lesson. They're both really receptive and want to know more. On Saturday, we went back, and the husband was there! So we got to share with them, and he's a bit more hesitant to really learn more. Not completely "No, get out of my house" closed, but he'll take more time to get to. They didn't come to church either, but I really feel that they can progress a ton!

Ok, so why did JENNIFER HOWELL have to serve a mission. I don't think there's a straight answer to that one, but just in this last week have I learned SO MANY things! I look back at my life before, and think "Wow, I knew NOTHING. I understood NOTHING. I took advantage of everything."....and although that might be a little exhaggerated, it's true. I understand more about the Restoration, the plan of salvation, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the commandments God has given us, and so much more. I've also come to learn so many things about life in general. If you could see me now, I mean, see me during the day, talking and interacting with people, you wouldn't recognize me. I've come to develop that thing called patience. SAY WHAT! Okay, I've got a long way to go still, but I really don't get mad a whole lot anymore, or annoyed. And if I am irritated, I don't act on it. I have developed that self mastery where I think before I act, take a few deep breaths and repeat "Love, patience, love, patience." It works. Hahaha. I've also developed a great, deeper love for my papitos!!! Mommy, Daddy, I love you soooo much, and I miss you like crazy, and when I come home, I promise to do all I can to help around the house, to love and care for everyone, and to listen. Something I didn't see before is how much you loved me, really. I always knew it, that's a no brainer, but that I didn't show you guys enough love, well, I'm gonna make up for it! Don't you doubt it. As well as the love I have for my siblings. YOU'RE NEVER GETTING RID OF ME FOLKS. I love you all...

Y'all might laugh at this, but last night, Hermana Quispe and I were talking...more like she was talking, and I was crying. You know why I was crying? Because I was afraid of dying young. With the anniversary of the deaths of both my grandmas this month, with the passing of Brian, and everyone in this ward who knows someone that has cancer or recently discovered some kind of disease really got me to thinking a lot about death. We're missionaries who hear EVERYTHING about EVERYONE'S problems. They confide in us to help them feel better, and we've heard it all. Last night it just hit me how short life REALLY is, and how it can end in a second. I was scared that I could die. And I think that that scared me, because I had NEVER thought about that or felt that way IN MY LIFE. It was weird and new, and I didn't like it. So I cried. All is well now, but now I really appreciate life more.

I think of these things I've learned so far, and wonder if I would have ever learned them to the same degree had I not served a mission. I think not.

I love you all soooo much. We'll see you in no time :)

Love,
Jen

Happy New Year!............(January '14)

Heyyyyyy!!!!

Well, this week was a bit hard to work, because it was New Years haha, but surprisingly we had a lot of work compared to other holidays, so that was good. For New Years, we just spent it with the family we live with! Not much different than the states. At midnight we saw the fireworks from the house! Happy New Year!!!!

Later that day, we cleaned the chapel. Here in our ward, they don't have like a system or anything so it gets cleaned every week, and since EVERYONE IN THE COUNTRY was sleeping, we, along with the Elders, decided to go clean the chapel. It really felt nice to finally have a clean church. Another thing I didn't realize before the mission. It really is important that the church gets cleaned EVERY week, because if someone who's not a member, or and investigator shows up and sees that we don't care for our church, and can send a really bad message. Besides, the Spirit can't dwell in a dirty place!! So go and clean the church :)

One member in our ward, Hermano Cortes, has a sister who has cancer, and the doctors recently told her that she has about a month left to live. So we went and sang hymns to her last night. It was so sad to see and also hear her story. She's a member, but inactive, and never wanted to go to church. She never did her yearly checkups, and found the cancer too late, right after she had a baby. As soon as they found out she had cancer, her husband left her and still to this day doesn't want anything to do with her. It was so sad. To think that your husband didn't really love you enough to stay with you, to know what you know about the gospel and didn't do anything about it, and to hear you have one month left......really makes you appreciate life a little more. I looked at her and really felt pain for her. You could see it in her eyes that she knew she was going to die within the next few weeks, and she couldn't do anything about it. So sad.

Love you all! Take care!

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Hello!

Well, the weeks go by and the work goes one. Transfers was this weekend, but I'm staying here again with Hermana Quispe. When this transfer ends, I'll have been in Iquique 6 months. That's a loooooong time. And being in one sector for that long (and the same companion for 3 outta 4 transfers) can get pretty discouraging or even boring. But we're hoping to make this transfer a lot better.

So, this week has also been one of a lot of preparation! There have been a lot of earthquakes here in Iquique. (Quick Spanish lesson! A mini earthquake, where it just shakes for a little and not very long is a "temblor"...when it's an earthquake, like, HUGE, where you can't walk and stuff starts to fall, it's a "terremoto"...if it makes it so there's a tsunami, it's a "maremoto"...and if it's really big, so big that there's a new mountain or continent or something, that's a "cataclismo") About every day this past week, there was a few temblores. Nothing big. The biggest one was like 5.8. I was super scared when I was in Copiapò and felt mini temblores, but now, because Chile moves A LOT and I've felt mini earthquakes like every month, I'm not so terrified anymore. The only thing that makes me nervous is that we are 2 blocks away from the sea. So if there's a terremoto (which always, usually happen in the middle of the night), we gotta get dressed and start booking it so if the tsunami comes, we're not in danger. Well, since the temblores have been pretty consistent (still having at least one every day), every night, we've been packing our backpacks with what we're gonna need if we need to run. At first I was really nervous, because terremotos can start off really small, and build up, so everytime it moves a little bit, we wait to see if it gets stronger. It hasn't yet. Everyone says that the northern part of Chile is due for a big maremoto soon (but they've been saying that for the past 30 years). Still, with every day, we're closer to when the next terremoto comes! But I do sleep better at night knowing my backpack is ready to go if there's the need to run. Well, I don't really sleep better because there's always a temblor at night haha, but I do feel more prepared! A member looked up the list for the biggest earthquakes in history, the top ten, and Chile was on that list 3 times. Great. hahaha nah, but don't worry. God protects His servants. But I finally understood that feeling of being prepared. You really are more relaxed and more prone to act rational in a sticky situation if you've prepared. So I was thinking, some of you live pretty close to the Wasatch Fault That Never Moves, don't ya. Okay, not really that close, but hey, we really are in the last days, preparing for the second coming of Jesus Christ. If that baby decides to move one of these days, and I mean MOVE, I'm pretty sure you're still gonna feel it. Maybe you don't have to run in case of a tsunami, but you still gotta be prepared. Especially with water, because that'll be the first thing to go, after the electricity. But I've definitely gained a stronger testimony about food storage, and storage in general. If you haven't started on that, get on it! Because I'm serious, the earth is gonna start moving a lot more than we're used to, because Jesus Christ is coming SOON. And I want my family & friends prepared.

Chile is nice and HOT, like always. So much better that we're right in the middle of the huge hole in the ozone layer....CANCER. I'm bathing in sunblock. Hahaha it's pretty nice though.

We don't really have new investigators  just the same ones we've been working with. Like I said, a lot of them left for vacation, but now they're back and we're hoping to get the ball rolling with them!

Love you all!

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I didn't know why, but this past month or so, Brian (for those in Southern Utah, Brian Scott) had been entering my mind, especially with 2 sisters in our ward that have cancer, and one just passed away. I kept forgetting to ask about him. The last thing I had heard (from Elder Braden Church) was that the cancer had come back, and that if he didn't respond well to the treatments, he would pass away. That was right before I came here to Iquique. Somehow, I knew when he said that, that it was Brian's time. I was hoping you would tell me when it happened.  Thanks mom for letting me know.

I cried. A lot. Maybe we weren't the closest friends in the world, and we had our little "discussions" here and there, but we were friends. And what really made me hurt was to think about his parents. His sweet, loving parents. I loved his parents. They always welcomed me in their home and always treated me with soooo much love. I just hope that they remember their Father in Heaven, and that He has promised us that our families are forever. God never backs out on His promises.

Brian really was a great kid. That's why Heavenly Father needed him now. He needed his great spirit on the other side. This was pretty hard news to take, but it's so true...how great it is to know what we know about the plan of salvation.

And to top it all off, this week was pretty fome (foam-ay...Chilean for lame/stupid/dumb/stuff like that). We haven't had much luck with the investigators...one disappeared...literally.  And it's still summer, so everyone's traveling  again. But the good part is that it has gotten a lot better between me and Hermana Quispe. We figured if we're gonna be together ANOTHER transfer, we gotta get over the little things and enjoy this time we have. So that's good. I've really gotten to know her better now that we talk more. It was really hard for her to leave on a mission. She was engaged. And there were no plans for spliting up. She went to the temple one week to do baptisms for the dead, and suddenly found herself asking "What's better for me right now?"....the lady sitting next to her turned and said "Are you going on a mission?" Hermana Quispe said that with those words, it hit her like a ton of bricks that THAT was what was better for her in this time in her life. Everyone told her not to go, because she already had plans to get married, and that's what the apostles say...get married first. But she couldn't deny what she felt. She said she didn't tell her boyfriend the time she was flying out because if she saw him in the airport, she wasn't sure if she could leave. (Her life is like a movie, seriously.) They were in the car driving to the airport when her boyfriend called her brother's fiancee (hahahahaha get that?) She told him that they were on their way right now. Hermana Quispe was mad at her for telling him, but she didn't think he would make it anyway. She said as she was boarding the plane, she could see his truck in the parking lot. She KNEW it was his truck because of all the times she climbed in and out of it. But she knew she wouldn't see him, because she was already boarding the plane. She turned to wave goodbye to her family one last time, and there he was, waaaaayyyyyy in the back, looking at her with the saddest face. He didn't wave or smile or anything. He just stood there and literally saw her walk away. And that was the last memory she had of him. She asked him not to write so she could focus on her mission. She says it's still hard for her to understand the will of God, and what it was she has to learn. But she's trusting that feeling she recieved in the temple. She's pretty strong.

I hope you all are safe and healthy, and keeping your faith strong. Don't worry about me too much! I'm fine :) I really do love you all.

Hermana Howell




March 22, 2014

The Adventure continues.....(December '13)



. . . . . .Wow. What a great week! We found a few more people, and they seem really prepared. One girl is named Pamela, and she's awesome!!! We're gonna take her to an FHE tonight at a members house, let's hope it all goes well!

It's getting hotter and hotter here. I've never in my life been so close to the sun. Even though it's actually hotter (degree wise) back home in Utah during the summer, we're right here on the equator (close enough) so you just feel the sun a lot more. It's soooooooooooo strong. I'm wearing sunblock like none other, but it doesn't help when we're walking and walking and walking and I sweat it all off. For some reason, we walked more this week than any other week! And guess what....my shoes have holes in them! HAHAHAHA I'm actually pretty bumbed because it's my Sperry's, but I'm really impressed they've held up for TEN months! The holes are pretty bareable still, but within a month or so....who knows haha. But just goes to show how much walking we do!

Yeah, I watched the Christmas Devotional, but it was in Spanish. Just not the same. When I have time, I'll have to watch it again, but in English. Not that I didn't understand, but it's just not the same to hear a translation!

I'M TURNING 21 THIS WEEK...SAY WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT???? And I also turn 10 months in the mission. Time is flying by faster and faster every day! I seriously can't believe it!!!!!!!!!

I hope everyone's well and enjoying that snow!!!!!! That sounds so good right now haha. We have to sleep with the windows open, no blankets, and a fan going.....and I still die and sweat bullets. BUT I STILL LOVE THE HEAT. YOU CAN NEVER CHANGE THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT THAT. Hahaha. 

Me & the daughter of the family we live with.


. . . . .Well this week, nothing super spectucular happened, but we found a few new investigators! So I suppose that is pretty spectucular :) We found this family that lives out on the peninsula of Iquique, a mom and her two kids. She's more or less interested, the son the same, but the daughter, who's 17 years old, she's super interested! She's so nice, and she's not afraid to ask us something if she doesn't understand or something she heard that she wants to know if it's true. She went to church yesterday and there was a Christmas devotional as well. She went to both and loved it! I hope she prays and gets an answer that this is the true church of Christ!! Speaking of the devotional, it was for the whole stake, and they had a choir.  They aren't the most musically gifted people here in Chile, but the choir started off with Heark! The Herald Angels Sing, and it was soooo good! I was really impressed. Made me a little bit sad because I've been in a choir practically my whole life, and this was the first Christmas I wasn't in a choir. Haha, oh well, I still enjoyed it :)

Well, I expected my birthday to really be nothing, being in the mission and all, but Heavenly Father showed me how many people really do care about me!!! The 1st counselor and his wife called me up and sang to me Happy Birthday, then later on we passed by their house and they gave me a little gift. So sweet of them. He kind of reminds me of Papa haha! That day we had lunch with a less active, and when we sat at the table, much to my surprise...you'll never believe it...HOT WINGS. I pretty much died. Okay, they were NOTHING close to how hot wings really should be, but in Chile, it was as close as I was gonna get, and seriously, it made me feel so good that they remembered that that was my FAVORITE FOOD in the whole world, and that they made it for me! Such great people. Then the members we live with gave me a cake and sang to me. It really was a pretty special day :)

Well, that's about it for this week!   Ciao!


My Birthday!

Iquique


¡¡¡Feliz Navidad!!!     ¡Que Dios les bendiga! 

. . . . .The work is going and all is well! Just waiting for the New Year to pass because everyone is on vacation haha, we need them to come back so we can teach them some more!!!


The district (with the ZLs) on Christmas eve (the DLs birthday)



March 19, 2014

Catching up, part 4...(November '13)

. . . . Well this week really wasn't the best. It was just like what you hear about the mission when you hear the rough parts. We walked and walked and walked and nobody opened the door. All of the baptismal dates we set have now fallen. No one wanted to go to church, or even answer our phone calls. It was a really discouraging week, but I know I can't let it get to me. When there's weeks this bad, there's always something awesome waiting around the corner :)

Oh yeah, guess what?! I got tonsilitis again. Hahahah but it wasn't as bad as the last time I had it. We stopped it before it could get really bad. But don't worry, all better now. I just have a stuffy nose hahaha.

Well, not much else to say this week!!! Let's hope next week is better! 


P-Day


. . . . Well, I think there's something I'm supposed to learn this transfer, because this week was just as bad as last week. Yesterday, we literally had serveral houses yell at us and kick us out/slam the door in our faces. Still no investigators progressing. How much longer is this to go on? President Dalton was in Iquique on Saturday, and he talked about finding new people. Now that Christmas is coming up, we can go caroling. I hope we find some people, because our sector is struggling. But we're still giving it everything we've got. Last night I cried and cried. It's good to cry. Helped my relax a little bit more. I know things will get better eventually.

This morning we hiked another big mountain! Haha, I know I said I'd never do it again, but this was a different one, and it was actually a lot easier. Still unbelievably hard, but not so hard I wanted to chop off my legs like the other mountain. This one was called Cerro Dragón, or Dragon Hill for the gringos ;) It always feels good to come up on top :)
I'm dying in the heat here. And it's not even technically summer yet!!!! Oh boy, I don't know what I'm gonna do. I already have a nice tan going on....I'm sweating bullets here! But it's all part of the missionary experience, no? Haha. But I still love the heat more than the cold!!!! I just can't go swimming...oh well haha. It's not like I have the ocean and pretty beaches to tempt me...haha kidding.
Well, that's about it for this week! Let's pray someone's waiting for their life to be changed forever.


. . . . This week was a little better. We actually recieved quite a few references from members! We taught them the first lesson which is the restoration, and it really helps them feel the Spirit of when they heard it for the first time, and all they wanna do is share!! So that was something good this week :) We're working with this one investigator who is really awesome. She says she's really confused about which church is true (Joseph Smith). She reads the Bible and she notices that people do things differently in the church she goes to (Joseph Smith). She has this huge desire to know the truth and pray to God to get the answer (Joseph Smith). We taught her the Restoration, and she said she believed it. But the only thing she doesn't really grasp is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church with the authority, or the priesthood. Everytime we go we have to explain a little more. But I sure hope she progresses well! We took the bishop's daughter with us to the last lesson, and it was awesome. We were also able to teach the husband!!! There is hope!

 The sun is so dang strong here. I put sunblock on everyday, and guess what, I'm finally tan the first time in my life. I may have weird tan lines, but I'm tan. It's weird haha. And my hair is getting a lot lighter. GAH I'M CHANGING. I also speak Spanish! You won't be able to recognize me when I get home! hahahah

I miss everybody, take care!  Hermana Howell

Catching up, part 3...(October '13)

. . . . I loved General Conference of course. We had an investigator come. I told you about him last week, his name is Liam, and we're going to challenge him for baptism this week. He's definitely prepared. But even though he's 21, he's a momma's boy, and she doesn't exactly like the Mormon's....so we'll see!

Not much else is going on here in Iquique. Just the normal routine of teaching and finding!!!


. . . . .Wow, Halloween is just getting started here in Chile. They want to copy the United States, so they adopted Halloween and it's only been around for about 6 or 7 years. Not many people are too into it yet. We're planning an activity this Wednesday for the ward for Halloween, but it's hard when no one really knows the point of Halloween or are into it. But I think it'll turn out great if we can get a lot of help from the members. It's also hard to find decorations haha, but we can do it!

Saying goodbye to Hermana Kennedy was hard. Even though we were only together for 6 weeks, we really connected and got along really well. Let's just say there were a lot of tears. But it's okay because we're gonna see each other after the mission back in Utah!!! I hope! haha. Hermana Quispe arrived, and it's definitely going to be different. We're fine and we laugh, and she teaches really well. She knows a lot! She is funny too when she isn't too serious haha. She's from Peru, so my spanish is gonna get better again! It has to after two gringa companions for 4 1/2 months! But she says I speak better than her trainer, who finished her mission already. Wow hahaha, but I still have a lot to learn!

The last few days were horrible! No body wanted to let us in their house. We had 4 lessons TOTAL the past three days. I have no idea why it was so bad. There was a soccer game on Saturday night (and you know, they are CRAZY for soccer here), so that was understandable as to why we couldn't find anyone to teach. But Friday and Sunday, I don't know what it was, but it was really hard to get lessons. Just one of those times in the mission that you hear about. Super rough, walking all day....ah well. That just means a super awesome week is just around the corner! :)

Well, off to another week!! Love you all!


Eating lunch together one last time

Me & Hermana Kennedy

Sunset on the ocean

. . . . .Hermana Quispe is great. We get along relatively well, I mean, her being latina and me a gringa. Let's just say it's even harder to go running in the morning haha, but everything is great.

We had a ward activity for Halloween.....it was bad. We were sitting there for TWO hours and nobody showed up. NOBODY. Finally, someone showed up. The ZL's Garcia and Dixon showed up with the kids of their investigator, how embarrassing. They walked in and Garcia and Dixon were like "Where is everyone?" Eventually more kids showed up, but no more than like 15. Aww man it was bad. Oh!!! Maria Luz showed up (old investigator). SAY WHAT?? And she invited her friends too!!!! We have a cita with the mom today! That was a good surprise.

Familia Fernandez are good! We got a new dog in the house :) One morning right at 7:30 there was this really loud whining and crying right outside our window. It went on for FOREVER and around 8 I finally went out to see what it was. It was the smallest, cutest little puppy ever. Well, Papito..."No podemos dejarlo botado." So they adopted it. It's about 2 and a half months old. white lab I think, so it's gonna be another big dog. But it's a little mujer dog, so they named it Luna. It's so cute, but pees everywhere and always wants to chew on everything, but it's pretty spoiled here haha.

Dalibor has a fecha. He finally came to church yesterday. He's gonna get baptized the 16th, if all goes well. The thing is that he wants to get baptized in some hot water springs like 2 hours aways from Iquique. Crazy guy hahah, but we still gotta teach him the word of wisdom. He smokes. Great. But we have 2 other fechas!!! One, I'm not so sure about, but it's from an antiguo that we decided to stop by. The lesson turned into challenging her to get baptized. She said yeah, but we still got a while to go til she's really prepared. The other fecha we set yesterday. We FINALLY got that reference from Deibi haha. He brought him to church, and we set up an appointment for later on that day. Went over, set the fecha, bam he's gold. We found 8 news this week, and 2 the last. All we're doing here is finding finding finding, and it's actually paying off. We found a family. Mom, Dad, and two kids. One of the kids is only a year and a half, but the daughter is 12. They all came to church yesterday, minus the daughter, she wanted to sleep. But they live right across the street from the chapel. They seem like they could really progress. We wanna put a fecha with them this week!!!

Hard but really rewarding week. Feels good to work :) 

Love Ya!  Hermana Howell

March 18, 2014

Catching up, part 2...(September '13)

. . . .We were going to have a baptism last Saturday, but the grandma called us and said that the little girl's father wants to see it, but he lives in Santiago, and can't come up till this weekend. We're hoping it's true. It's taking everything we have and more to get this little girl baptized. I have no idea how many missionaries have been working with this family. I don't think I told you last week...we were visiting them and asked us if we could help them paint a room in their house. We told them sure, why not! Well we went, and it ended up being two rooms and the outside of the house. Took all day! Man....so. much. paint. But it paid off, because the mom FINALLY signed the form giving permission to baptize her daughter!!! We're really hoping everything goes smoothly.

We went contacting in one of the street malls on Saturday, and I got fried. Oh boy, my neck and arms are so unbelievably red, it's actually pretty hilarious. But it's just starting to be summer here, so I was used to not having to wear sunscreen all day during the winter...but the sun is coming out more and more...gah, I can't imagine what it's going to be like in December, the middle of summer! I'm going to melt. But I love it. I love the heat!!!! I will just have to make sure I wear a TON of sunscreen. It actually doesn't get that hot here, so I hear...the highest it gets is like 80 degrees, but because of the climate, it feels a lot more hotter. I couldn't tell you if it's a dry climate or humid because we really are in the desert, and it feels kind of dry, but I remember first arriving here and thinking about how humid it is. We have to be careful in our apartment with everything because everything molds if it sits for too long....so I'm guessing it's humid here...hahahah maybe I've just gotten used to it because I don't feel like it's that humid. Oh well. I'm loving the climate. The dead of winter here was like 40 degrees. It was nice :)

We went paintballing again this morning! I got some nice welts on my thigh. But it was way fun!



Everything for Paulina and Edgar's wedding is going great! I am so excited! But with stake conference this weekend, Paulina is going to wait to be baptized next weekend, and I really hope I am here to see it! We have transfers this Saturday! I have no idea what to think. I've been here in the same sector for 3 cambios, so what is that...about 4 and a half months. But I wanna stay at least one more! I guess you'll know next Monday!

. . . . . What a crazy week! You ready for this loaded email? Friday was the craziest day ever. I don't even know where to start. In the morning, we helped Paulina and Edgar decorate the church for their wedding later that night. They had around 400 balloons for us to blow up. That took up a lot of the morning. But once everything was set up and ready, it looked really great. Their wedding started at 7:00 and it was just beautiful! I loved it! But this is where it gets crazy. Maria Jesus, one of our investigators, was also getting baptized after stake conference...which also started at 7:00. So immediately after they got hitched, we literally booked it down the street. And I mean seriously, we ran down the highway until we could find a taxi to take us to the stake center all the way on the other side of Arica. But we made it in time to see Maria Jesus get baptized and congratulate her and take pictures. Then Edgar had called us telling us they were waiting for us to cut the cake. So we ran again until we found a taxi and booked it to the church where they finally cut the cake and everything. Then we had to run home to get home by ten. But Maria Jesus got baptized and Paulina and Edgar are married!!!! Yay!!!!



Saturday President called us and told us that two Hermanas from Iquique were having visa problems and needed to stay in our pension for the weekend. We already have four sisters staying there, so let's just say it was a fun-packed weekened. And later that night we found out cambios. Hermana LeFevre and I didn't wanna leave or get separated because we both wanted to see Maria Jesus get confirmed and Paulina get baptized (side note: it was stake conference this weekend so Maria Jesus couldn't get confirmed). But Hermana LeFevre is actually staying in the same pension, but working in a different sector, the other ward across the highway. I found out that I'm going to Iquique (ee-kee-kay) and working with Hermana Kennedy, and that they're putting Elders in Costanera A. I hope they send me lots of pictures of Paulina's baptism!!!

But now I'm here in Iquique with Hermana Kennedy, and I can tell I'm going to love it. We live with members, and they already seem great! Our sector is pure hills, we're right on the side of the mountain, but I'm excited! Change is good!!! Let's do this!

. . . . .We had a conference with President Dalton this last Wednesday. We just talked about goals for the mission and how he expects us to accomplish them. Wasn't much more than that. One of the goals is to have a temple at least announced for northern Chile....it's definitely a high goal, seeing as how it's hard for people to attend church, let alone the one temple they have in Santiago. But that's how we accomplish that...getting people to church!!! Oh, but I heard that Paulina got baptized on Saturday and Edgar got an advancement in the priesthood the Sunday before. Yay!!! That was good news :)

We had this Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening) for the ward on Friday....this ward doesn't really do activities, so not much people showed up, because I think they just aren't used to that kind of thing. But of the people that did come, two were investigators! One came on his own and the other, a member brought. So something did come out of it. And the members that came really liked it. So let's hope the habit of having ward activities picks up.

Saturday, we cleaned the church. Just me, Kennedy, and the two Elders in our ward. I don't think our chapel has been cleaned since like....ever. It was so dirty, but it really felt nice to clean up as much as we could. We focused on cleaning the sacrament room. The bishop commented on it too. I hope the members also realize the importance of a clean church, because really, I feel like church was so different yesterday....

This morning, we hiked up the side of a mountain of sand. It was the hardest thing, but man, it felt sooooooo good to finally reach the top. You could easily gospel relate it too. And being missionaries, that's what we did. Life (or the mission) is a huge mountain. And it really bites the big one to climb and climb and feel like you're never gonna reach the top. You wind and zig-zag and just go straight up to find what works, but it's still hard no matter what. But if you walk in the footsteps of the person in front of you that knows the way (that being Christ) it really does make it easier. Sometimes you have to get on your hands and knees to reach the top, but when you get there and look back on what you climbed, this joy just fills you up because then you see everything so clearly. Man, it was definitely a one-in-a-lifetime thing (because I definitely never wanna do it again)...but it was awesome that's for sure.






Love ya!  Hermana Howell

Catching up! ...(September '13)

Hi all,

I know it's been awhile, sorry, but missionary works keeps me busy.  Since I last posted Hermana Lefevre was my comp & I was in Arica, since then . . . . . 

. . . . we went to the mummy museum with the oldest mummies in the world. It was pretty sweet, but also kind of a one time thing. All the mummies are liked wrapped in this cloth so you just see this blanket figure. Some of them have hands sticking out, and you can see the nails and everything, but yeah, not much else haha. Still cool though!

Normal teaching and whatnot. There are a lot of changes to the mission with President Dalton, but they're pretty much just like the way we report numbers and stuff like that. Nothing huge.
Today we all went to the beach and played around. We have the coolest missionaries here in Arica. Loving life and the mish. Hope all is well at home! 

**Pic's from the Mummy Museum





. . . . Remember Paulina and Edgar?! They're getting married the Friday before transfers, 6th of September! I am so excited! They are willing to take this step in life without their families being present to be obedient to the commandments of God and also so she can get baptized. They are so wonderful!

This Friday, Elder Viñas of the Sevently will be here and we are having a conference. Should be good!!!

Sorry this email is so short, but it gets hard to write about things when we do the same thing everyday. But don't worry, I tell you all the cool stuff. We went to a horse jumping competition...whatever it's called in English, and it was pretty cool. 


. . . . We had a conference on Friday with Elder Viñas, area 70. Of course, we were asked to do the musical number. It turned out really really good. It was a nice conference. I love conferences! I learn so much.

**Conference with Elder Viñas

¡Les amo mucho!
Hermana Howell