63: Que quieres aprender? What do you learn?

I ran out of typing juice… so this’ll prolly be a shorter email.

 
This week we went on exchanges! Sister Beck went to Riverside with her ex-compa Sister Graham, and SISTER BOWEN came to hang out with me in Corona for the day! It was a blast to be back together with her again. We took East Corona by storm and had a lot of success, y ademas we had 4 Jack in the Box tacos each. I freaking love that girl. She’s an awesome missionary and I learned a lot from our exchange. My motivation fire got some gasoline thrown on it and now it’s a raging inferno. BOOYAH.
 
Our friend Antonio, who came to church last week, accepted a baptismal date for the beginning of September! Woohoo! He’s super cool. We taught him about the restoration, and he LOVED it! We’re seeing him again tomorrow.
 
We’ve also been working with Edgar, our recent convert, on his family history. We helped him find several names that he can take with him to the temple next month and do baptisms for the dead. It was super cool y me quede con ganas de look up more of my family tree as well! Something else to add to the list of things to do when I’m not a missionary anymore.
 
Church this week was great. (Even though none of our investigators came.) There was a speaker that talked about furthering our education and continually progressing. He asked a question that really stuck with me. “Que quieres aprender?” “What do you want to learn?” I realized that I can learn anything I want to… I just have to decide what it is and then just put in the effort and learn it. I started writing a list of things I want to learn… to dance, about psychology, how to cook all the delicious Hispanic dishes I’ve tried here. Then I asked myself, “what do I want to learn before I go home?” My time left as a missionary is super limited, and I want to make the most of it. So I’ve been thinking about that a lot. I still haven’t formulated my answer, but I’m working on it.
 
So what do you want to learn? DO IT!
 
Love you!
Sister Howell
 
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​Also this week we helped an investigator make ceviche! It’s basically chopped up fish, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro with lime juice, eaten on tostadas. Yummy!
 

62: Chuggin’ along

It’s been another great week in Corona!

We’ve been seeing E almost every day since he got baptized. He’s doing awesome and we can see the difference that having the gift of the Holy Ghost has made. He’s so much happier and he’s not having as much difficulty with temptations of his past bad habits. It’s so great to see the blessings that people receive as they act on their faith and live the gospel. It truly is designed to bring happiness into our lives.
This week we’ve been focusing on finding new people to visit and teach. We’ve been talking to everyone we know and asking everyone if they know anyone that we can visit. We’ve even made a list of some people in our old records that missionaries have taught in the past and we’ve been trying to go see them as well. We’ve been trying really hard to work diligently with all the time we’re allotted, and we’re starting to see the miracles and blessings from it.
We had 4 of our people come to church this week, the first time in quite a while! One of them was A. We met him on Saturday and invited him to church. He said he’d love to come, but said he didn’t have a car. We told him we would find him a ride, but he told us he’d rather walk. (Church is a couple of miles from his home). He got to church right as the first meeting was starting, then stayed for all 3 hours! It seems like he enjoyed it and we’ll be able to answer his questions about it when we see him again this week.
Not a whole lot more to talk about this week… Love you all tons! Read your scriptures, say your prayers, and go to church!
Love,
Hermana Howell
Hna Howell and friend backside

61: Round 4 I guess

So it’s that time again… TRANSFERS! And guess what changed?

NOTHING!
I’m staying with Sister Beck AGAIN. By the end of this transfer we will have spent 6 MONTHS as companions. Crazy stuff. Good thing we don’t hate each other. It was a huge surprise, to say the least.
BUT the best thing that happened was E’S BAPTISM on Saturday!
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E has been seeing the missionaries for about 10 months now. He’s had a pretty rough past, and so he had some stuff that he had to overcome. I’ve had the opportunity to be here working with him for the last 3 months and I’ve seen such wonderful changes in his life.
Due to some stuff in his past, he had to write to the 1st Presidency of the Church to ask permission to be baptized. A few months ago, Sister Gates and I got to help him write his testimony and explain why he wanted to become a member of the Church. It was such a beautiful experience- the Spirit was very strong.
After that, we just had to wait to hear back. A couple of weeks ago, E’s permission came. We set up the baptismal date… and he got nervous. He wasn’t so sure anymore if it was what he wanted to do. He started checking out other churches as well and had fallen back into some bad habits. We kept visiting him and helping him resist the temptations that he has, reading and praying with him.
Last Saturday, he said he was ready again to be baptized. It’s been a long journey for him this far, and now he’s got the extra help from the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to help him continue as he endures to the end and keeps progressing in the Gospel.
E is SO AWESOME. I’ve learned a lot from working with him and I am SO PROUD of everything that he’s done so far. He has helped me remember why I’m out here on my mission. His baptism was great- ALL the sisters that had ever taught him were able to come, and we sang “I know that my Redeemer lives.” The Spirit was so strong (even though I started off playing the wrong hymn on the piano- oops!)
Sunday we also had a WONDERFUL lesson in Relief Society. A, a recent convert of about 10 months just got assigned as a teacher. We helped her a little bit beforehand to prepare her class- she was so nervous! She kept talking about how she was going to use her pregnancy nausea as an excuse to just leave the class to hide in the bathroom. She’s so funny. Anyway, she gave a talk about the power to seal families in the temple and family history work. It was amazing. She talked about how excited she was to go and be sealed to her husband and her kids, and that she’d gained a testimony of family history and doing work for the dead while she studied the lesson. She said that her kids had been complaining that there wouldn’t be anyone left for them to do the work for since she was going to do it for her mom and her grandma and her great-grandma… it was so cute. I felt the Spirit so strong and I am SO excited for this family to be able to be sealed for time and all eternity in just a few short months.
I love you all tons! Write me if you have time!
Sister Howell

60: Temple, exchanges, and crossfit

Where to begin?! This week has been a very eventful one… I guess I’ll just tell you about it day-by-day.

Monday- We and the other Sisters here in Corona had a “Christmas in July” party. We drank sparkling cider, listened to Christmas music, and exchanged white elephant gifts. Which is code for “the old missionaries got rid of some of their old junk they’ve accumulated.” So Sister Beck and I supplied most of the gifts. Haha. I got a frisbee and 2 half-used bottles of lotion from a missionary that’s going home next week.
Tuesday- TEMPLE DAY! I’m so thankful for the blessing of being able to attend the temple. The peace that can be felt there is so profound and exactly what I’ve been needing these past few weeks. I’m so excited that when I do go home someday, I’ll be able to more regularly visit the House of the Lord.
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Wednesday through Friday- Pretty average days. We visited our 2 real investigators and a few newer people. There’s some real potential with a few of them! On Friday we had our Zone meeting and talked about our goals and the people we’re working with. We set a goal of 1 baptism for our companionship for the month… and we’ll be meeting that goal this weekend because of the miracle that happened on…
Saturday- Exchanges! I went back to Moreno Valley for the day with an English Sister Training Leader, while Sister Beck and the other STL stayed here in Corona. And they put our investigator, E, back on date!!! He was going to be baptized a few weeks ago, but at the last minute he changed his mind. He’ll be getting baptized on Saturday. I don’t have time to write his whole story now, but I’ll include it next week! Meanwhile, I was in Moreno Valley, in “Englishland.” It was kind of a bummer, since we couldn’t go see any of the members or people I taught while I served there last year. But I learned a lot from Sister Beagley and got to meet some English Sisters that I’d never met before. It was an interesting experience.
Sunday- We had a great lesson in Gospel Principles about the value of hard work. I learned a lot. We also had a great lesson with E in the evening and we planned out most of the details for his baptism.
Today- So you may have noticed that I’m sending this WAYYYY later in the day than usual. It’s because our mission president issued us a challenge/invitation last week…

Dear Elders and Sisters — During the recent mission tour Elders Maxfield and Moss kept referring to their “really old” investigators in their 60’s. Sister Mullen and I would kindly remind them that we were in our 60’s and that we did not feel really old. 😉 

I have challenged our assistants to see if they can keep up with a “really old” guy in a crossfit workout on Monday, August 4 at 8:30 am in the Grand Ave. cultural hall in Riverside. They have accepted the challenge. We have decided to extend this invitation to all those in the mission who want to participate and see if they can keep up with me. This invitation is for the northern part of the mission — all zones except Menifee, Lake Elsinore, Hemet and San Jacinto zones. We will hold a similar workout for the southern the part of the mission later in August.

A crossfit workout is one of endurance and not speed. It will last 20 minutes and be in ten, two-minute intervals with four exercises in each interval. I will demonstrate the exercises and we will warm up beginning at 8:30 am. We will be finished by 9:30 am for those that want to use the cultural hall for basketball. Please bring your workout gear. I will be following MTC guidelines — wearing garments beneath these clothes. Both Elders and Sisters are invited to participate. All companions not participating in the workout can cheer the participating companions doing the workout. I would also suggest that you bring a towel or exercise mat for one of the exercises.

If you have any questions, please direct them to Elders Moss and Maxfield.
Pres. Mullen (the “really old” guy)

 

It was SO FUN. I didn’t keep up (surprise), but it was a lot of fun seeing a bunch of my friends from all over the mission. We all hung out and socialized for a good while afterwards. Then us Corona Sisters (minus a few) went to the mall in Riverside to shop and had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Good stuff, I’ll tell you!
I love you all tons! Have a great week and write me letters to tell me all about it! ;]
Sister Howell