Tuesday, October 8, 2013

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 CCM...new 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!!

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