Monday, October 28, 2013

Flower Juice!

Hello to the most wonderful people in the world!

How is everyone doing? I am so glad that you all received my letters this week! Ah I just love you all so much. I hope you know that. Talking about how much I love you all, I hit my first wall of homesickness since I left, but as all the missionaries here say, I was "trunki." Meaning, I wanted to pack up my bag and head home or something like that. I miss you all so much. It is hard to know that life is going on for everyone and I am missing all of it. I am a little worried that everything will be so different when I get home. Every day this week I thought of my wonderful family and friends and tried not to cry. It just kinda hit me that I wouldn't see everyone for sixteen more months. It is difficult knowing I won't be there for Christmas, see Natalie run in cross country meets, eat Mom's good food, talk to Dad about boy problems, help Miss with college, and watch Ethan's basketball games. So that was kinda a struggle this week but it has slowly been getting better. I have tried to apply what President Hinckley was told, "forget yourself and go to work."
Hermana Mendez and me Roaring

So guess what I ate this week? Flower juice! It was the strangest thing ever! It was pretty good but it was this really vivid violet color. Everyone here comments how I am weird because I don't buy junk food at the store and I don't eat huge plates of food like they do. Whatever, I don't want to come home some rolly polly sister missionary. But Mom and Dad, don't worry, I am still eating plenty! I have gained three pounds sadly. I am so lucky though because I haven't gotten sick at all here! Everyone else has vomited and such but nope, not me. 

 I feel so dumb here because everyone comments how bad my Spanish is. Like for example, I will say something and no one will understand. Then my comp repeats it and she says the exact same words I did and they understand. Ugh it is so frustrating! I have been praying a lot to have an immense love for the people. This past week, I have read this quote so many times: "We should cultivate the capacity to see people not how they are now but how they can become." I have begun to apply this quote into my life and it totally changed my way of looking at people. Every time I would contact someone or be teaching someone, I would picture them dressed in white ready to be baptized. This just brought me so much joy and love for them. I could feel Christ´s love for them and I wanted to help them come unto  Christ. There are some days that I have struggled with this but I continue to push on and remember that God knows I am strong enough to do this.

My new nickname, Hermana Barbie!
I officially have a baurracho stalker or in English a drunk stalker. This dude is always drunk. It is just sad. Anyways, every time he sees me he starts yelling at me. hahaha but one day he came up to me and my comp flipped out and yelled NO molesta mi companera! HAHAHA I was dying because he totally ran away. So many people always yell "chicita" or "goodbye my love". Oh man it is pretty funny. Today someone yelled, "Barbie! Barbie is real!" hahahahha um, no. It is pretty entertaining! Also, I am slowly learning the language of the Nicas here which has helped me feel like I am starting to fit in! And guess who called me this week. The one and only Wilsynn! Such a great surprise! We talked for about half an hour about the mission. It was so good to talk to her! I don't know when I will get to see her but I am hoping it is soon!

Hermanas and me, with a local hermana from the ward

Days like I had on Wednesday make me love my calling as a representative of the Lord. Hermana Hawkins' comp has been sick all week so she has been with us basically the whole week. Yea, someone who can understand me! Anyways, Wednesday was the first day in the field that I could see people preparing for baptism. First was our investigator. We met him in the street and we have taught him four times. He is so receptive of the gospel but he won't come to church which has been frustrating. Next was this other woman Marìa. She had already read the Book of Mormon and has a testimony of Joseph Smith and just wants to receive an answer that she needs to get baptized. Next is this amazing kid named Mario. He is eleven years old and is basically the dad of his family. He works everyday and takes care of his little sister. He is such an amazing example to me! He goes to church every Sunday by himself and this week he came up to us and said he wanted to get baptized. AHH OK!! So we began teaching him and it has just been awesome. Straight up golden investigators. We also had a stellar day of contacting too! We contacted 22 people, seven priesthood holders, and five families. Seeing people in white totally helps. I just have this instant love for everyone we talk to. While we were tracting that night I saw my very first lightning bug! Those things are so legit! 

Thunder clouds rolling over a street in Leon
This week has definitely been a week of up and downs. I have learned things about myself that I don't like and need to change which has been humbling. Two days ago was a pretty difficult day for me. I was struggling with everything, the language, and just continuing to adjust to missionary life. But scriptures and General Conference talks come to the rescue. Christ is here for me and can help me through everything that I will experience here. I just need to have faith in him. I was reading in the Book of Mormon and 3 Nephi 18:24 and 25 just stood out to me. Christ is my light and I have the opportunity to preach and share his message. I also learned I need to be patient during trials. Christ suffered so much and what I am going through is nothing compared to me. In Elder Maynes general conference talk he stated, "Try your very best to follow the spiritual stamina of Christ." Christ endured all which means I can endure all as well. I just love this so much! Christ is such an amazing example and I am so grateful for all the help he has given me in my life! This is tough but I know that this is what God wants me to do right now in my life. 

I love you all so much and am so grateful to have such an amazing family! Thanks for all your support and love! In less that two months I get to see your hot faces through Skye! SO PUMPED!! Have a wonderful week! 

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Howell

Funny moment of the week:

We are teaching this family and they have a boy who is eighteen and he actually reminds me a lot of Pierre. Anyways, after the lesson we were talking about how tall I am. He then states, "Your shoes are sexy." HAHA WHAT!? I was wearing those hideous clunky sister missionary shoes. Ah it made me laugh so hard. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

I am becoming a Nica!

Hola familia!!
Can you believe I am already here in Nicaragua! aw man this place is crazy! So I am assigned to serve in Leon! wooohooo I was right! I absolutely LOVE Leon! My area is outside the heart of the city. It is called Coyolar. Okay there is so much to say and not enough time so I am just going to get straight in to it.

When I first got here it was totally culture shock and third-world poverty. But after three days I got adjusted and am loving it now! All of the buildings here are really colorful which I love. The trees are very green and they are everywhere. The houses here have either tile or dirt floors. I am lucky and live in such a nice house compared to others: I have a shower, tile floor, and two fans in our room! Talk about blessed. The food here is pretty good. My first meal was gross but ever since then I have been eating pretty good. Meals consist of usually chicken, rice, plantains, tortillas, and really good fruit juice. 

And if we are lucky, we get to have vegetables! 
The people here are very friendly. It is just the norm to go around saying hi so that is fun! In Coyolar, I am the only white person so everyone stares.Today for P-day we went to Leon and looked at all the beautiful cathedrals and I guess that area is really touristy so there were so many white people. It kinda freaked me out because I was not used to seeing white people. I am so lucky because Hermana Behan and Hawkins are in my zone so I get to see them twice to three times a week! I would die if I didn't see them weekly. It is like the only time I talk to people who can understand me. But you know how we were thinking it would be easy to convert others here? Yeah, well wrong. My area is apparently harder because everyone is Catholic and testigo. So that has been a challenge, but I am not letting it get me discouraged! 

It is soooo hot here. I have just gotten use to always being sweaty. And apparently right now is their winter! SAY WHAT. I don't know how it can get any hotter here. And I am already starting to get really weird tan lines but don't worry, I am putting on my sunscreen! Surprisingly, I haven't gotten any bug bites yet so I haven't really used my bug spray.

One thing that has been really hard is the language. I can’t understand anyone and no one can understand me. So there will be days when I have only said a couple things because my companion doesn't speak English and struggles to understand me and the people don't understand me when I speak in lessons. It had been really hard but I have relied on the Lord and he has helped me! I just have to be patient and know the language will come. So my companion is Hermana Mendez and she is from Guatemala. 

So, the drunk men here are loco. That is one thing I am grateful for about having a native comp is that she keeps me safe. So many men yell at me and whistle and blow kisses. I don't even wear makeup, wear my hair in a braid, wear ugly clothes, and they still whistle. I like try to look ugly so I don't attract attention. It’s just because I am white, tall and blonde. Luckily nothing bad has happened with the drunks. One guy grabbed my hand but I pulled it away and just walked away. The Savior has kept me safe! There are so many times where I have prayed that the drunk men at night wouldn't see me and they don't! That is one thing that I have learned, God protects his missionaries! For example, one night we were tracting and I just didn't have a good feeling. My comp asked me how I felt and she said she was feeling the same way so we both went home early. I don't know what was up but I know the spirit was protecting us. 

The rain storms here are crazyyyy. Like I have never been scared of rain until I got here. SO side note, it get darks here at like 6 and the street lights are very dim. One night we were trying to find the house of someone we found on the street. When we were looking, it started to rain. The rain here is insane! You are drenched in like a minute. The thunder shakes the ground and the lightning lights up the whole sky. So we are looking for this house in the rain and we finally think we found it. It was this sketchy shack in some little forest area off of the road. Well, we go up and knock on the door and suddenly every single light in Leon goes out because of the rain. I have never been this scared in a long time. My comp starts freaking out and yelling "we have to get out of here now!" Well, I can’t even see so I am yelling "I can’t see!" Luckily, I found her because of the flashes of lightning and we ran to a member’s house and stayed with them until the lights came back on which was an hour later. I felt like I was in some dramatic action movie. Well, after the storm was over, my comp said in the 7 months she has been here in Leon the lights have never gone out which says how crazy the storm was. Later that night, I was thinking about what happened and I realized something, she was yelling at me in Spanish and I was yelling in English. My comp knows no English but she understood me in that moment. I KNOW God gave us the gift of tongues in the moment. It was so amazing to see first hand the Lord’s hand in helping us. 

I have learned to rely on my Savior so much here. The Lord called me to do his work here in Leon and is not going to let me do it alone. He is here with me every second of the day, helping me and keeping me safe. Especially giving me comfort and strength. I couldn't do this work without him. I love the primary song, “If The Savior Stood Beside Me.” I have thought about this song a lot this week. Every time I am struggling or need to be lifted up, I think of the Savior walking next to me in the streets of Coyolar. I can feel he is there with me and is helping me preach his gospel! I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord and come closer to him.

I am sorry but I don't have any time let to write more! I will try to write more next week. I got 60 emails today! UM yeah def can’t respond to all of them. I will try to send pics too! This computer is old. Anyways, I love you all SOOOOO much!!! I hope you are all doing well! Have a wonderful week and rely on the Savior during times of needs! He is ALWAYS there! Love you so much!!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Howell 

Sunday, October 13, 2013



I am going to be in Nicaragua in 24 hours!! AHHHHH!!! I leave the Mexico CCM at 5:30 am Monday morning to get my flight on COPA Airlines #137 departing for Panama City, Panama at 10:15am. We will have a five hour layover there. Our next flight will be on COPA Airlines #711 departing for Managua, Nicaragua at 7:06 pm arriving in Managua at 7:46pm (one hour time zone change)  It is going to be a long day! A little worried about packing so wish me lucky. Missy you looked gorgeous for homecoming!!!!  Dad, ahhhhh I have no idea how you packed my stuff. All of my luggage is overweight. especially my carry on. It is 40 pounds when it is suppose to be 22. The books they gave us weigh an extra 15 pounds or more! Could i get away with 40 pound carry on? I love you soo much!!
MOMMMMM please don't hate me. I am ruining all of my clothes. I went to go iron that one skirt that is blue and has the white stripes from Coo De Ker. When I put the iron on the skirt, and pulled the iron up, there was a HOLE in my skirt. THE FREAKING IRON MELTED MY SKIRT!! So now there is a hole. What do I do? Try to sew it back together? I wear that skirt all the time so I am kinda freaking out. Suggestions would be lovely.
 I have the best family in the world! Stay strong and keep smiling! Thanks for all the love and support. I will talk to you in Nicaragua! AHHHHHHHHHHHH. I love this work! Te amo mucho! Padre te amo much! Es un buen ejemplo por mi. I miss usted mucho pero yo se que este es que i am suppose hacer. Te amo much! Hable a usted en Nicaragua! xoxoxoxo te amooo!!!! pray for my espanol porque es no bueno. are some photos from my time at the Mexico CCM-

Me, my companion and instructors

Hermano Gutierrez  (instructor)
Dancing in the rain

Hermana Dewey (instructor)

Scripture Power-Sister Style!

It's what we do!

New scripture covers

Yeah it is going to be a long day! Nat that is so awesome!! good job!! you are the best runner in utah! If only I was that good. You will have to hurry and get me in shape when I get home because I haven't exercised hard since I left home and I eat so much here haha. But that is so awesome! I am so proud of you! I am going to need some clothes later in my mission that is for sure! Ah I miss your cooking so bad. That sounds SOOO good right now. Mom your cooking has always been good! I miss it so much! Even the shepherds pie is heaven to stuff here. Ah grandma's bread also sounds lovely! I love how everyone is wearing the braclets. makes me feel loved! Love you all!! you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Where did the month go?

Buenos tardes familia! So I have officially been out a month. Wait what?! Seriously it was yesterday that you guys dropped me off at the airport. So crazy! It is even crazier to think that in 13 days i will be in Nicaragua. I am not ready at all I feel like! I still am not even close in mastering the spanish language. But hopefully when I am surrounded by espanol in Nicaragua I will just be able to start picking up on the language! I loved reading all of you emails this week! I also got a lot of letters to which is always a tender mercy. I AM SO EXCITED FOR RUBY AND SARAH!!! Annie and I were talking and she said she knew where they were going. So she told me and I literally started jumping up and down with excitement! Everyone was looking at me like I was loco but who cares. I am SO excited for them! It is so awesome how all these girls are going! Represent sisters! So this week a lot of people left leaving my comp and two other hermanas the ONLY hermanas in our zone. It is kinda lonely! But it is kinda fun being the oldest and acting like you know what is going on when most of the time you don't. So answering your question mom, YES i can call home when I get to the airport so I will keep you updated on when i keep my flight itinerary so we can talk. Mostly likely it will be at like 4 in the morning your your choice but I would love to hear all of your lovely voices!
So this week has been a full week of really highs and really lows. Hopefully I will become more stable in the mission field because this is exhausting feeling all of these emotions!  On saturday night, an Elder in my district gave a lesson on pride. Wow was that needed for me. I realized that I had been very prideful and just focusing on myself, not on the companionship. The Lord doesn't call just one person to teach, he calls two. This was a very humbly experience for me. 
You know how in the story of the brother of Jared how he says he was chastened by the Lord for three hours? This is how I felt basically for the past 6 days. Which in the long run was very helpful! I learned a lot about my weaknesses which according to Ether 12:27, if I turned to the Lord he will make them my strengths. This previous week I have been so emotional. The most emotional I have ever been in my life which looking back is very embarrassing.  God knows me and is looking out for me. Though this week has been the hardest week yet, I have learned SO much! I think I needed this in order to focus me on the path the Lord wants me to go.
Since I have been here, I felt like I haven't been trying my hardest and have been focusing on myself. This trial helped me realize I need to forget myself and go to WORK. Hermana Dewey gave my district an essay called The Fourth Missionary. I read the essay and it was exactly what I needed to hear. The main theme was, what kind of person will you become? Corbridge, the author, then goes on in depth describing four types of missionary, four being the best. The fourth missionary surrenders himself to the Lord and serves with all of his heart. I realized I needed to forget about what I miss at home and give everything I have for the Lord for the next 17 months. By submitting ourselves to the work of the Lord, the Lord can change us for the better. (Go to the bottom of the letter to see this awesome quote and then continue reading) How true is that statement! It helped me evaluate myself causing me to realize I have been the third missionary. In my journal i wrote a promise to myself to help me be the fourth missionary. I am just going to write what I wrote in my journal: "I make a promise now and for the rest of my mission that I will serve the people and not focus on myself. I will forget myself and go to work. I will work my hardest and serve others. This is the Lord's time and I need to use it to the fullest. I will strive to become the missionary that God knows I can be and I will strive to become like my Savior." This experience that I had helped me evaluate the missionary that I am right now which I know I can be better. Though It was hard, it was worth it! So don't be worried about me because I am all good! God has taken good care of me haha. Same with all of the wonderful people here! I learned that I can turn to my Savior and he will help me. Also, it is all about attitude! I can choose whether I am going to be happy or sad and I choose to always look on the positive!
This week has been so awesome with our investigators Juan and Juana! So the past couple of lessons with Juana have been kinda bad. She hasn't been progressing and has refused to pray. My comp and I decided to have a really good planning session to know what we needed to teach Juana for her to open her heart. Last time we taught, we told Juana to read Mormon 9 so as a companionship, we read it and then discussed what we felt guided by the Spirit to teach. We both felt like we needed to talk about faith, specifically verse 27 in the chapter. Before we went and taught, we prayed that we would be guided by the Spirit and know what to teach Juana. The lesson stared and we asked Juana what verse stood out to her from the chapter we gave her to read. She said she was impressed by verse 27. AHHH!! I was freaking out! The Holy Ghost totally guided us to teach her about faith. So we taught her and at the end of the lesson we asked her to pray...and she said YES! This experience taught me to rely on the Spirit to know what my investigators need. The exact same experience happened to us when we taught Juan and this other investigator Carlos this week! The spirit is the essential teacher! I have really learned that only through the Spirit is when others become converted unto Christ.
This week I started to read Jesus the Christ. It is so good and intriguing! I cant put it down! I love the different insights and in depth the book goes. So if any of you want to learn more about Christ, read that book! Yesterday was a pretty good day! Hermana Hall and Hermana Lesher, my roommates, finally pranked back me and hermana Rogers! they switched all of the clothes in our closets with each others clothes! It was so funny! I opened my closet and freaked. Where are my clothes. hahaha I was laughing so hard when I figured out what was going on! Also, last night me and Hermana Rogers were saying how we sing better low than high. So we started singing all these hymns in man voices and man it is sad how good we were. President Pratt and his wife were in their car in front of our casa and we were scared they were going to come and check on us because it sounded like there was Elders in our Room! Don't worry they didn't though. Anyway, just a fun little moment of my week! I will never understand how when you are a missionary everything is funny. I like it though because I love to laugh!
Well I loved hearing all of your emails this week! You are in my prayers every day! I wrote letters today and sent them so expect a letter coming your way! Sorry it took me so long. I am guessing they will get there in two weeks! I hope you all have a great week! LOVE YOU!!!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Howell
Quote of the week: "The Lord will create of you a masterpiece. You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man; He will create a God."

A missionary who can laugh, lasts!

Here are some pictures from this week! Yesterday POURED here. Seriously I have never seen rain come down sooo hard. So I went and played in it! Everyone else was chicken. So that is what picture 2 is, me soaking wet. Except you cant really see it!

I JUST WENT TO THE POST OFFICE AND SAW THE NOTICE I HAD A PACKAGE AND STARTED SCREAMING WITH JOY!!! THANK YOU SO SO SOS OS OSOS OS MUCH!!!!  i absolutely love it! I love everything in it! I have the BEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD!! you honestly don't know how much packages mean here. Its like becoming a millionaire!! i haven't been able to read all your sweet notes yet but i devoured aunt steph's cookie and it was soooooo GOOD!!!!! thank you!!!!!! I love you all SO STINKIN MUCH!!!!

Buenas tardes familia! Como esta? Okay I just love you all so much! i hope you know that. Thank you for sending me weekly emails and always uplifting me. I need it so much and am so grateful! Especially thank you for the AMAZING package. My heart is still beating from all the excitement. I loved it. I got sooo many letters this week! THANK YOU!! Shout out to Becca, Em, and Morg for their awesome letters and for Grandma and Grandpa´s letter! I loved them all so much! I also got some dear elders this week I think from you mom so thank you! Honestly, last week was hard but God totally made this week amazing by giving me all this support and love through letters from home. Letters take forever to get here though so just a heads up, don't send anything after next week. I print off you emails and read them again and again throughout the week, so keep sending emails :)So this week totally compensated for the hard week last week. I have never felt so love, happy, and close to the savior before in my life. There is soooo much to say and it is sooo hard to decide what to write each week! I would probably be on the computer for at least 5 hours emailing everyone back if I could. So I am SO sorry I haven't been able to write everyone personally back. Know i love hearing from all of you! Oh and side note, is 6 days I will have been here in the CCm for a month...ummm wait what? YEAH SO CRAZY!!!
This week has been so amazing. Let me start out with I just have the most amazing teachers ever. Hermana Dewey and Hermano Gutierrez teach in the morning and Hermana Wilson teach at night. So this week, Hermana Dewey was talking to us and asked us a question that has impressed me all week: what is your life word? A life word is a word that describes what you aim for in life. This question really puzzled me and caused me to ponder what my life word is. After much contemplation, I came up with two life words: radiate and forward. Radiate for me means to radiate joy, love, and Christ. I want so badly to radiate the light of Christ. I want to radiate joy from my eyes and happiness through my smile. Forward for me means continue forward. Not to hard to understand but i think its a great principle. During hard times in life all we can do is move forward. Moving backwards gets you nowhere in life. You must keep moving forward. I challenge all of you to think of your life word. It helps you so much focus on what you want in life and helps you strive to be a better person. I love it!
God just knows me too well and knows what exactly I need in my life. I have had so many tender mercies this week it just blows my mind. So last week was rough I will admit that. I definitely felt the power of the adversary trying to get down on me. In class, Hermana Dewey could tell that we were all having a hard time. After lunch, my district all came back for language study but it ended up as wonderful testimony meeting. Elder Diaz said that Hermana Dewey wanted him and two other elders in my district to bear their testimony to the rest of us. They all shared their feelings how they have been having a lot of doubts and their faith is being tested. I have been been feeling the exact same way so it was great to hear others going through the same thing I was! We all helped each other out so much and I could just feel the saviors love for all of us. Everyone bore their testimonies and the spirit was so sweet and strong. I knew that God was mindful of what every one of us were going through. It was definitely another experience that brought out district closer together!
Hermana Dewey challenged all of us to get to know the Mexican workers because most of them aren't members. So during exercise time, Hermana Rogers and I had the opportunity to talk to a worker named Moses. He was the sweetest old man ever! He was a member but he was so excited that we were serving missions and he just had so much love for this Gospel! I had so much fun talking to him. Another time this week, Hermana Rogers and I saw a worker just hanging out on a bench so we decided to go up and talk to him. His name is Jose and he is Catholic. I didn't understand really anything he was saying but he was a really sweet old guy. So we got to knew him a little and then said adios. Well later in the week, we were walking around campus in the morning and we walked by Jose. He recognized us so we said hello and chatted in our awful spanish for a little bit. Well he said something in spanish to us but we didn't understand so we just said bye. DUMB move on our part. About an hour later, we were sitting in class and we both suddenly realized he told us he had a question to ask us. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? AHH!!! He could have been wanting to know about the church and we just walked away. Smooth. I was totally freaking out. I said a prayer that we would be able to find Jose and redeem ourselves. MIRACLES HAPPEN PEOPLE!! Literally five minutes later, we were walking in the hall and I look out the window and guess who it is. Yep Jose. So we run to him and say lo siento and ask Usted tiene una pregunta? He just wanted to know what our names were again...but at least we redeemed ourselves! How cool would it be if I baptize someone before leaving the goal. Jose better watch out because I am coming to teach him all the lessons!
On night in Class, Hermana Wilson had us pray about a problem we were having in our life and then as a district we read from Moroni 10. I prayed to help me be a better missionary. Miracle happen and God answers prayers. As we were reading from the chapter, my prayer was answered. In the tenth chapter of Moroni, it talks about different gifts that God has given all of his children. We are all different so we all have different gifts from God which i needed to remember. God has blessed me with certain gifts that make me a great missionary. These gifts are what will help me bring others to Christ. I realized I have special gifts and I need to strengthen my gifts so I can utilize them to the fullest abilities! After I received this revelation thing, I was like..okay what are my gifts? God continues to answer prayers. The next morning, Hermana Dewey had each of us write down spiritual gifts of each other. My district is just the sweetest. They wrote down the nicest things about me. I know that if you all have a question, pray to god, and you WILL find your answer in the scriptures. You have to have FAITH. God loves you SO much so why wouldn't he answer our prayers? He always does. Maybe not in that moment, but he will answer our prayers. So pray always!
I have begun to realize that I am more like Dad after all. I am obsessed with pulling pranks. So I had this great idea to prank the Elders in my district. I told them that we had to sing on Sunday in sacrament. First, our elders DO NOT like to sing. Second, our district sounds terrible at singing. Anyways, I was dying with laughter because they were all freaking out that we had to sing!! They picked the hymn Praise To The Man and started practicing it. So they practiced it a lot Saturday and Sunday so we started to sound not to bad. Well the prank kinda backfired on me. I was going to tell our Bishop that the Elders in our district had prepared a song to sing in sacrament so me and my comp didn't have to sing. Well Elder Najarian was talking to the Bishop and somehow he found out we were preparing a song. I don't really know what happened next because I was in another room but suddenly I had everyone around me sooo confused what was going on. Our Bishop thought we wanted to sing, our elders found out we didn't have to sing, and it just got messy. So we did end up singing in sacrament! IT WAS SO FUNNY! All of the elders thought it was a pretty good prank other than two. Two elders were ticked but whatever they got over it. So I must say it was a pretty good one. Well once you play a prank on a elder, they just have to prank you hard core back. So later during Sunday we were all studying, which is a first, in class. Elder Christensen walked in the classroom and told Elder Najarain that Elder Gibb needed to talk to him. So Elder Najarain leaves and comes back in looking very sad and disturbed. Elder Gibbs walks in the classroom crying and announces to everyone that he has something he needs to tell us. He said he just finished talking with President Pratt and because he didn't resolve some things at home, he was being sent home. My stomach and jaw just dropped. Like I was in complete shock. My eyes started to water and I just wanted to give Elder Gibb a big hug! He then said he had to go back and pack. He left the room and looked at Elder Najarian who looked like he was going to cry. All of a sudden Elder Gibb runs back in to the room yelling GOTCHA! AHHHH ARE YOU KIDDING!?! you can not mess with my emotions like that. I wanted to hit him but remembered I cant touch boys so I threw my scriptures at him, don't think that was a good thing either, but he caught them so its all good. hahahah they totally got us back so good! it took me about an hour though to calm my emotions down though. I guess it is not a good thing being that gullible! I love my district!
So now back to spiritual stuff because that is what missionaries do. On Sunday night we watched the church movie about Christ, To This End Was I Born. Wow what an incredible movie. My heart ached as I watched my savior suffer for everyones sins and then sacrifice his life in order for all of us to return to live with our Father in Heaven again. For the past couple of months, I have wanted more than ever to become closer to Christ. And can I say I am already starting to grow so close to him. I never really understood how to utilize the Atonement but I have definitely started to gain a deeper understanding. The Atonement is simple amazing. We can become clean of all of our sins if we just humbly go before God and ask for forgiveness and then strive to follow his commandments. I am forever indebted to my Savior. He has strengthened me so much since I have been here. I have become to understand the love he has for me and everyone else. I challenge you all that if your relationship is not close with Christ, STRENGTHEN IT!! He knows exactly how you are feeling because he has experienced it. I have never felt so much love and peace from anyone as much as I have from Christ. I know that as your pray, read the book of mormon, and follow Christ's footsteps, you will come to know Christ more.
As much as Christ loves you all, I DO TOO!! I feel so grateful to have such a wonderful family who supports me, loves me, taught me correct principles, and who is close like a family should be! I couldn't express how much I am thankful for all the letters and emails. I pray for each and every one of you daily. Keep being amazing people! I love you all SO SO SO MUCH!!! have a wonderful week and I am already looking forward to hearing from you next week!! LOVE YOU!!!
Con MUCHO amor,
Hermana Howell
Favorite quote of the week: "Live in such a way that people who know you but don't know Christ will want to know Christ because they know you." David Burton
P.S. Update me on your lives pleaseeee. Also don't judge if I start to look fat in my pictures I send, I have lost all desire to exercise and my stomach is now an endless pit. I am trying to keep strong! anyways, love you!!