55: Bautismopalooza

This was a fun week. As I mentioned last week, I’m back with Sister Beck again! We’ve been partying almost as hard as we’ve been working. It’s been fun catching up on what’s happened in the 6 months since we were companions last time!

We picked up a former investigator named S… and she’s dead-set on getting baptized. She was talking about “when I get baptized” before we even asked her about it! There’s going to be a bit of a longer process about it, but we’re pumped for her. We even miraculously got in touch with one of the first Elders that taught her, who’s now living in New York. Way cool. Anyways, we’re hoping that she and her daughters and her husband will all soon be able to accept and become part of the true Church of Jesus Christ!
S also cuts hair, so we’re probably going over to her house today for Sister Beck to get a haircut.
Yesterday, Sunday, we attended two baptisms! One was of N, the daughter of some recent converts. She turned 8 a few weeks ago and a bunch of missionaries got permission to come to her baptism. It was very sweet- her dad got to baptize her. I also helped A, her older brother, prepare a little talk for primary about how priesthood ordinances bless his family. It was such a sweet experience, and it reminded me how thankful I am that I always have had a worthy priesthood holder in my home. You rock, dad. :]
Afterwards, we stayed for another baptism in one of the English wards. They needed a pianist, and I guess those are few and far between here. I’m also SO glad that my mom made me learn and practice the piano. It’s been such a blessing to me and I’m glad I have this talent that I can use to bless others as well. The baptism was really nice, too- it was a cute little Irish dad named D, and he bore his testimony after he got baptized. The Spirit was strong and I could feel how happy Heavenly Father was that His children N and D had decided to make a covenant with Him and come closer to Him.
I love you all!
Hermana Howell

bautismo de N
One of my many favorite families from MoVal gave a ride to some missionaries, so we got to say hi!


So the biggest news this week is that we have TRANSFERS today! I’m staying here in beautiful Corona, and Hermanititititita Geets (Or Gates for those of you who don’t speak Spanish) is going to Lake Elsinore with Hermana Bowen! I’m … Continue reading

53: Following the Spirit and not getting chased by a dog this time

Howdy howdy howdy. (Like the shark in toy story when he steals Woody’s hat.) Como estan todos? (How is everyone?)

Things are really picking up here in Corona. The weird thing is that it’s a short transfer, so this is the last week before transfer calls on Saturday! We’ll have multi-zones on Friday, and then PRESIDENT AND SISTER SMART ARE GOING HOME!!!! D: Que triste. They’re such great people and we’re sure going to miss them!
But anyway, a lot of stuff happened this week too! We found some awesome and super prepared people to start teaching.
We’ve been trying to leave a blessing with this lady named R for a couple of weeks, but she’s always just on her way out when we get there. Well, this week we finally caught her at home and said the prayer with her. It was so powerful! The Spirit was so strong as we talked about her relationship with God. She said that she felt like she was pretty distanced from God. However, she knew that He’d never moved away from her, but it had been her own actions that caused that distance to form. We talked about how we can come closer to God as we make more time for Him and prepare to make covenants with him. She accepted the challenge to prepare to be baptized and make a covenant with her Heavenly Father.
We also found another guy named C. He actually requested missionaries to bring him a Libro de Mormon through Mormon.org, but somehow the referral was given to the English elders. So they texted us to tell us to go see him. We were running about an hour behind schedule one day this week and were about to go to a different appointment, but something (the SPIRIT!) told us we needed to go see C instead. So finally we made it over to his house to give him the Libro de Mormon that he requested. When we knocked on his door, he COULD NOT BELIEVE that we were there. He was so excited. He thought we weren’t going to come. When we gave him the Book of Mormon he almost started crying! He also accepted a date as a baptismal goal.
God really does prepare people to receive the gospel! He loves each and every one of us more than we can possibly imagine. Being a missionary and sharing this joyous message with the world is the BEST. THING. EVER.
Love you all!
Hermana Howell

52: Finding, Exchanges, and the Macarena.

Hola hola!

It’s been a hard week. Our teaching pool is looking pretty shallow at this point- We find new people to teach and then shortly afterward get dropped. Several people dropped us yesterday right before church. It was a major bummer. :/
But we still have one super solid investigator! His name is E and he’s the bomb. He’s been taught by missionaries for a long time, but he had some pretty tough stuff to overcome in order to prepare to be baptized. He had another interview with President Smart this week, and he’s doing awesome. The next day we helped him write his testimony in a letter to the First Presidency of the Church, to explain why he wants to be baptized. It was one of the most spiritual lessons I’ve had in my mission so far. E has changed so much thanks to the gospel and wants so badly to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost so that he can be clean from his past and have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. We’re hoping the process can go quickly!
I also had the opportunity to go on exchanges this week. Sister Graham (from my MTC district) came from Riverside to spend the day as my companion here in Corona while Sister Gates went with Sister Williams in Riverside. It was great- we got to get some good work done and learn together, and we reminisced and realized how OLD we are! It’s hard to believe how fast the time has gone by!
Thursday we had a “weekly planning party” with Sister Beck and Sister Dulong, in which a spontaneous Macarena dance party broke out. Sister Gates took a video and it’s hilarious. Unfortunately I don’t think the computers will let us send video files. (They’re too big?) So I’ll have to show you all one day when I get home.
Love you all tons!
Sister Howell
Instead of a Macarena video, you get to see the “planning pants”… =] 
Hna Beck, Hna DuLong, Hna Howell, Hna Gates and Sophie the Westie – Planning meeting
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— MTC reunion plus Hermana Dulong!  Hna Howell, Hna Graham, Hna Dulong, Hna Beck

51: Life’s just awesome.

Buenos dias!

It’s been a good, hard-working week! We had our zone meeting and have a lot of great plans for the month to help our investigators progress. We’ll be focusing a lot on finding new people and helping them to feel and recognize the Spirit. 
We’ve already seen miracles from this! When I first got here there were a lot of people in the “teaching pool” that had been taught for a long time but weren’t keeping commitments. Basically they just weren’t ready right now. So we’ve been “dropping” a lot of people- which is kind of scary because then WHO DO WE TEACH? But we just had faith that God would help us find someone who was ready to take their place!
And boy, has he ever! This week we found 3 new awesome FAMILIES that seem really genuinely interested. We’re so excited and thankful for this awesome blessing. God really does reward us when we exercise our faith in Him!
Also, my companion is awesome. Have I said that before? I feel like I say that about all my companions. I’ve been lucky and had only awesome companions. Que bendicion! Que milagro!
Anyway, Sister Gates rocks for SO MANY reasons. Mostly because she laughs at all my jokes. Haha. Also she’s so eager to learn and work hard and doesn’t get discouraged. She’s pumped up all the time about everything we’re going to do. I haven’t heard her complain about a single task. SHE’S SO AWESOME!
This week we had a special (not real) stake conference, where Elder Richards from the second quorum of the seventy came and spoke to us. (If you remember, he was the one that came and talked to us missionaries a couple months ago when I was serving with Sister Dicarolo in Moreno Valley.) He talked about faith and how it relates to repentance. It was a really good talk and I felt the Spirit really strongly.
Being a missionary is awesome. I love it. It’s SO HARD. But now that I’m figuring out how to “forget myself and go to work,” it’s turned into something wonderful. I’m just upset it’s taken me this long!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Howell
Pic from family letter this week:
Hermana Howell, Hermana Anderson, Hermana Baumgart, Duckies.