March 28, 2014

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


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!



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!


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 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 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

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