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.

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