37: Empieza translado numero 6 en el campo misional (Transfer Begins number 6 in the mission field)

That’s right- transfers have rolled around again, and I’m starting to get dizzy from how fast time is going by. I can’t believe it’s been 8 months since I left good old Idaho.

Anyways, Saturday was super tense as we waited for transfer calls to discover our fate. We received a HUGE shock when Elder Yeung (our District leader) called and said that I would be going to Moreno Valley, serving in the Valley View ward. I was a little dumbfounded- I served in MoVal for 6 months! And Valley View is an ENGLISH ward! Sister Bowen and Sister Hartling decided that the zone leaders were playing a joke on us (since we tried to make them sing with us in sacrament meeting), but Elder Yeung assured us that he was entirely serious, but said that he would call the ZLs and try to clear things up.
He called again a few minutes later and apologized- he’d misunderstood the other elders when they said that Sister Allen was going to MoVal. Elder Yeung is from Hong Kong and English is his second language… por eso. Anyways, I’m actually staying here in Jurupa with Sister Bowen and Sister Hartling for another transfer. (Which was also a surprise- we were SURE that we’d be split into two companionships and get someone else over here with us.) Another 6 weeks in a trio amongst the caballos! Yee-haw.
This past transfer has been great. There have been challenges- working in a trio, covering two areas, being in a trio, getting to know a whole new ward, being in a trio… just to name a few. But I’ve learned and grown SO much, and this next transfer will definitely be another opportunity to learn and grow. I love my companions SO much and I’ve learned a ton from each of them. They’re great missionaries.
Shoutout to my mom and dad on their SWEET vacation- not saying that I’m jealous (‘cuz I’m a missionary and there’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be right now) but I am just a little bit. Looks like you guys are having a lot of fun!
Hasta la proxima, (Until next time)
Hermana Howell

35: Temple week!

Buenos dias, familia y amigos!
Can I just start off by saying how much I LOVE Spanish? The language is so beautiful and I love how God has helped me so much to be able to speak it as well as I do right now. It’s such a wonderful blessing that I’m going to treasure for the rest of my life. The culture, too, is so beautiful. Everyone is so focused on their families and working hard. Everyone is so generous and open about everything. And I LOVE the food. I love chile- and before my mission I couldn’t even handle “hot” sauce at Taco Bell. Hahaha. It makes me sad to think about when I eventually go home and won’t be able to find ladies selling tamales in the grocery store parking lots or taco stands in people’s front yards…
It was kind of a crazy week- we went to the Temple in Redlands on Tuesday, and we had interviews with President Smart on Thursday. It was a wonderful experience and I felt so spiritually recharged. I learned so much… and realized how very little I know. Funny how that works out, isn’t it?
Also on Thursday, we got a phone call from one of our investigators. She needed our help because she had just a few hours to move EVERYTHING out of her apartment. So we threw on some service clothes, called some Elders from our zone, and hurried over to pack up her whole apartment. It was awesome. The family really appreciated our help, and got to see that we’re there to help people, not convince people to join the Church. We were able to help them out when they really needed it- I know that we were there as an answer to prayers.
Funny thing though… Sisters Hartling, Bowen, and I were the only missionaries who spoke Spanish. But I taught Elder Yeung (one of three Chinese-speaking Elders in the mission) to say “Como podemos ayudar?” or “How can we help?”
So this week we’ve been teaching someone we found a while back, named D. She’s AMAZING. Her grandma is a member, and just moved in with D and her family. She didn’t know where the Spanish ward met, so a friend of D’s (also a member) sent us over through Mormon.org. We got there and told Grandma about our ward and met D, who said she would give her grandma a ride to church and maybe stay for the services, too.
She LOVED church. She came the last two weeks and we’ve been seeing her every couple of days. She has so many good, thoughtful questions. She really has such a strong desire to understand and find the truth. She says she has felt a greater peace in her life as she reads the Book of Mormon and meets with us, and feels like God’s telling her she’s in the right path. We’re so excited for her!
Love you so much! Feliz Dia de San Valentin! ❤
Hermana Howell
In front of the Redlands temple with my companions
At a recent convert family’s house with the famous “masked mormon”
I don’t even know.

34: Curve ball

Some seriously crazy stuff went down this week!
On Monday we had a lesson with the Cuiniche family. It wasn’t a very organized lesson, kind of talking about their baptism that was coming up and answering some of their questions… and it came to light that THE PARENTS WEREN’T MARRIED. The missionaries have been teaching them since November, and we had NO IDEA. I imagine the look on our faces was pretty memorable. (The dad has joked about it repeatedly).
We talked about the procedure to get legally married so that they could be baptized, with going to the county office and getting the license and planning everything out with the bishop so he could marry them.
MIRACLE: The very next morning, the Cuiniches went to the county office and got the paperwork all figured out. They invited a bunch of family over as well as us and the bishop and the ward mission leader on Thursday and suddenly they were married. It just happened. They are such a wonderful family and they are so converted to the Gospel. They know it’s true and they’re ready to ACT on it. It’s so beautiful seeing the faith that they’ve grown. Their interview was on Saturday, and all four of them were baptized on Sunday. It was such a sweet experience to see this family make a covenant with their Heavenly Father and take these steps to return to His presence as an eternal family. I just love them so much!
I love being a missionary. I get to bring this happy message to everyone I meet and see their lives literally change right before my eyes. My faith has grown so much as I’ve had the opportunity to help others here that I’ve come to love to grow their faith and take steps to act on that faith.
Les quiero mucho!
Hermana Howell
PS. Biking isn’t working out so well. (No more accidents or anything- don’t worry.) We went out on bikes about every other day this week… It’s just not a very effective use of time. So we’re probably not going to be using the bikes that much anymore.
PPS. Fotos- The Twins
Cuiniche’s wedding
ImageCuiniche’s baptism
-I got to run back to MoVal to see the baptism of Consuelo, the wife of Bernardo (whom Sister Dicarolo and I taught and baptized.) It was such a sweet experience to see the family “completed” and united in the Gospel!