68: Welcome to Hemet

I am in Hemet.

It’s funny because
For those of you who haven’t heard of Hemet, (which I can hardly imagine that you haven’t!) I’ll describe it a little bit for you.
Hemet used to be a retirement community. That means there are still a ton of elderly people here. Their favorite mode of transportation is in little scooters that they’ve tricked out with basket/truck beds in the back for their things and a canopy similar to the bimini top on our boat. They just scoot down the sides of the road in these things, walking their dogs or going wherever it is that they go.
Hemet is the HOTTEST part of the California Riverside mission. Bien caliente. Luckily it cooled off this weekend and hopefully it keeps cooling down as we transition towards winter.
Hemet has its own museum! Unfortunately, the ONLY DAY that it’s closed is on Mondays, so I can’t tell you too much about it, except that it exists.
And that’s pretty much it.
My companion, Sister Spencer, is awesome. She’s a great missionary and I’m learning a lot from her. She cares so much about the people we’re teaching and has been so patient with me while I try to get my feet back underneath me in a new area.
I’m still getting to know our investigators at this point. A lot of them have been difficult to get in contact with. We’ve seen so many miracles this week though, and have picked up quite a few new people to teach, and they all seem pretty cool! We’ve been focusing on asking every single person for referrals, and have really seen the fruits of our efforts- We received and contacted 7 REFERRALS this week. (A lot of them were for English-speaking people, but still!) I’m excited to see the work explode here. It’s gonna be great.
One of the people I’ve gotten to meet this week is M. She is SO COOL. Sister Spencer and her last companion had been teaching her for a little while, when she got in a REALLY BAD car accident. Right now she’s still recuperating and can’t walk, but she and her 3 girls are SO great. She has so much faith in God and really wants to do what will bring her and her family closer to Him.
I love you all tons and hope to hear from you soon! Loves,
Sister Howell


SO another 6 weeks have gone by, and you know what that means- transfers!

The eternal companionship of Howell and Beck is getting broken up, and we’re both getting shipped out of Corona. They’re replacing us with Elders.
Sister Beck is headed to Menifee, which has a reputation of being ON FIRE (as far as the work goes) and of having some of the coolest members to hang out with.
I am going to Hemet, which has a reputation of having lots of crazy/old people and of nobody ever hearing of you again. Not in a creepy way, but it’s more like all the missionaries are like, “What ever happened to Elder/Sister so-and-so?” “I don’t know. Last I heard, they went to Hemet.” It also has a reputation of being ON FIRE, but mostly because it’s REALLY HOT there. Luckily the weather’s supposed to be cooling off finally… but people have been saying that for a couple of weeks.
My new companion’s name is Sister Spencer, and I’ve only talked to two missionaries who have even met her before. That’s because she’s fairly new and has been in Hemet her entire mission, probably. I’ve seen a picture of her (she has blond hair) and have heard that she has really good Spanish.
This week was kinda weird. We had a lot of people cancel their appointments on us. A LOT. We didn’t get very many lessons in this week. It was kind of a bummer.
This week, however, Sister Beck and I hit our 15-month mark! We decided to celebrate by throwing a quinceanera. For those of you unfamiliar with hispanic birthday traditions, a quinceanera is a BIG DEAL BIRTHDAY PARTY for a girl when she turns 15, with a giant ball gown, rehearsed dances, a huge cake… basically a wedding but for a 15th birthday instead. People go ALL OUT for these things. But since we are missionaries and are living on a tight budget, we decided to forgo a few things, like the ball gown. We went to the dollar store and got some birthday candles, balloons, tiaras, mini-Martinelli’s … everything you need for a high-class quince. We also got a cheesecake and made a fancy giant sugar cookie. It was the classiest quince I’ve ever thrown for myself.
Anyways, time’s pretty short due to transfers and everything, so I’ll call that good for now. Love you! Send letters porfas!
Hermanita Howee

66: The gospel is for families

Things are going great! I can’t believe this transfer is almost over. It’s gone by so fast!

Corona’s still great. And super caliente. But somehow I don’t think I’m getting any tanner. But that might just be because I mostly hang out with Hispanics and so I always feel like I’m super white. Haha.
Sister Beck and I were super blessed this week in finding 10 NEW INVESTIGATORS!  What? Yeah.
We picked up 3 different families to teach this week- it was such a miracle. Well, several miracles I guess.
One of the coolest things that happened this week was on Thursday. We stopped in to try again to find a guy named A that we’d talked to outside his apartment a couple weeks previous. We didn’t really expect it to turn out very well- he hadn’t seemed genuinely interested when we first talked to him. Anyway, when we knocked on the door, the whole family was sitting around the dining room table. It looked like they’d just finished eating dinner. I fully expected them to tell us to try coming back later when they weren’t busy. INSTEAD, they greeted us warmly and sat us down at their table, gathered the whole family in, and listened super attentively as we taught about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was one of the coolest first lessons I’ve been able to teach. The Spirit was so strong and they were so into it! Teaching the Gospel is just the bomb. We’re super excited to go see them again this coming week!
This week will be the last week of the transfer, and then who knows what will happen! It’s crazy how fast time goes by- we need to make sure and use every moment to its fullest! I can’t believe that I only have 2 more transfers. It’s insane.
Sorry for the short email this week! Here’s a picture of me and Sister Beck having dinner a couple weeks ago with the R family.
Love, Sister Howell

65: A Full Week

This week was a week full of lots of things.

It was a week full of new goals and plans! We had a zone meeting, in which we talked all about our goals and plans as missionaries for the month of September. We have a new plan of attack to find new people to teach and to help those people to progress better and faster. We’re pumped and devoted to making our goals this month, and it’s gonna be AWESOME.
It was a week full of challenges. We had a lot of appointments fall through this week. And by a lot, I mean almost all of them. It’s frustrating and discouraging. BUT I know that it’s always darkest just before the dawn, or something like that. (Isn’t that in a song? I don’t even remember that stuff anymore.) God gives us trials to help us grow and test our faith so that we really appreciate the miracles when He gives them to us.
It was also a week full of miracles! One such miracle happened on Friday. We had an appointment set with A, and we REALLY wanted to get one of the Hermanos from the ward to come so that A would have friends at church. Well, we called just about everyone. They ALL had good excuses, like going to a mid-singles stake dance or going to a young men’s campout. We weren’t about to dissuade someone from such good activities! So Sister Beck received inspiration and said, “Let’s call Obispo (Bishop).” Then we did. And he said he could come with us! Yay! Then later, like 2 minutes before our appointment, A called us. People only call right before their appointment to cancel on us. So we didn’t answer, because we HAD TO SEE HIM! We said a prayer, hoping that he’d be home. We ran into A walking in the street toward his apartment, and he told us we couldn’t come over because his brother had a bunch of visitors over. So we just taught him on the side of the road with Obispo in the dark. It was awesome. A prayed right there about his baptismal date, and the Spirit was SO STRONG! We’re so excited for him. And it was so great that Obispo was there. He shared a strong, simple testimony about the gospel and how it blesses our lives. It was one of the coolest lessons I’ve taught.
It was a week full of service! We had the chance to help out with the Corona Multi-Faith service project on Saturday. People from a bunch of different churches came to help fix up the YMCA. We spent like 8 hours sanding and painting the stair railing, the fences, and the inside of a preschool/playground. We got to meet lots of people and just help out. I’m still a little sore from it though. Haha.
I love being a missionary. It’s the best. I won’t say that I’m loving every moment, because there are definitely moments that are really hard and I almost want to give up. BUT it’s so worth it because I get to see the miracles of the Lord every single day, and I get the chance to be His hands here as I share His gospel with His children here in Corona.
I love you tons!
Hermana Howell

64: Reaching your potential

Buenos dias, familia y amigos y todos! Good morning, family and friends and everyone!

Corona is HOT. Probably because I’m ON FIRE! Haha just kidding.
But seriously, Sister Beck and I are seeing so many miracles right now! We’re finding a bunch of cool new people to teach who are plain super prepared to hear about the gospel. It’s awesome.
This last week we also had multi-zone conferences, the first one we’ve had since President Mullen came. President had all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders help with some of the training, which is pretty cool. Unfortunately, neither of the two zones in Corona have STLs in them. So Sister Beck and I were designated as “back-up STLs” (not actually a thing- I just barely made that up) and were asked to train with the ZLs on 9pm daily planning. I was thrilled. Just kidding. I definitely wasn’t. Not exactly a fan of public speaking.
Anyways, as soon as I got over being upset about “having the opportunity” to train at multi-zones, we met with the ZLs and decided how to divide up the training. Sister Beck and I got to talk about focusing on our vision, goals, plans, and accountability.
You know how they always say that the person who teaches always learns the most about the subject? This definitely was the case. As Sister Beck and I studied and discussed the principles behind nightly planning, my testimony, especially of goals, grew exponentially.
We all have an infinite potential. We can become ANYTHING. We have the same potential as any other person- we’re all children of the same God. So why don’t some of us reach that potential? Why are some people “greater” than others?
It starts with our vision. We need to visualize what we want to be, what we want to become. As missionaries, our vision, our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ.
To achieve that vision, we need to set goals. Goals solidify our vision into something attainable. If we don’t set goals, we can’t achieve them, and we’ll never ever reach our full potential and become the “great” person God wants us to be. Preach My Gospel, the missionary handbook, tells us that setting goals is an act of faith.
As the Bible tells us, “faith without works is dead.” So we have to put some work into those goals. That’s where planning comes in. And making back-up plans. We have to do everything in our power to reach those goals. When we’ve done everything we can, that’s when God comes in and makes up the difference. D&C 123:17.
As we push towards our goals and put our plans into action, we have to be held accountable. And not just now. We’re going to give our accountability before the Lord one day, and we need to be prepared for that. He’s going to ask us what we did with our time here on earth, and we can either say, “I made goals and worked to reach my potential,” or “I watched Netflix.” I think I’d rather be able to say the former, personally.
Sorry my email is so preachy… I learned a lot this week and I just wanted to share it with you! I love you all tons and hope you’re doing well! I’d love to hear from you! Make good choices!
Sister Howell
ALSO, this is AWESOME!
Meridian Idaho Mormon Temple