76: Another week in paradise

This week was fairly uneventful, besides the usual missionary stuff.
We did see like six different crazy people just dancing on the side of the road yesterday. Also a guy riding a bike with his fishing pole. (There is nowhere to fish here, as far as either Sister Spencer or I are aware.) Hemet is a pretty interesting place.
We had a nice multi-zone conference with President and Sister Mullen and the Assistants on Tuesday. We talked a lot about finding new people to teach, which is good because our teaching pool has been evaporating of late. We’ve been trying to put the things we learned into practice and  we expect to soon see the fruits of our faith and our labors!
I also got volunteered to do the musical number for the “chapel portion” of multi-zones. I sang “Abide With Me; ‘Tis Eventide” in Spanish. It’s one of my favorite hymns, and I believe the Spanish translation is even more beautiful. Since my voice is WAY out of shape from being on a mission for a good while, I don’t think I did it justice. But it was still nice and the Spirit was there, and that is what actually counts.
Another cool thing that happens at multi-zones is the “incoming and outgoing testimonies.” All the missionaries that came in the last 2 transfers get to stand up and share their testimonies. Then all the missionaries that will be leaving in the next 2 transfers get to stand up and share theirs. It’s always really cool… except this time I had to stand up. It’s so surreal to me- I feel like I JUST BARELY gave my incoming testimony. The time has gone by SO FAST and I can’t believe how little time is left. I got pretty emotional as I shared my feelings about the gospel and this sacred work of sharing it with our Heavenly Father’s children.
Luckily I still have a good few weeks left to work myself to the bone. I’m determined not to “die” prematurely and to endure to the end! My time here is so precious and so limited, and I’m going to make the most of the last three weeks I’ve got to wear my name next to Christ’s on my chest and “invite others to come to Christ.” And there’s no better time of year than now, as Christmas draws nearer and people’s minds start to turn to the first Christmas gift- our loving Heavenly Father’s only begotten Son. (The Church is going to put out a SWEET video, like the Easter “Because of Him” video for Christmas, called “He is the Gift.” We got a sneak peek of it this week- I think it’s going to be on YouTube on Dec 7? Not exactly sure on the date.)
Anyways, that’s about it for this week. Have a great Thanksgiving! Special birthday shoutout to Elder Trevy- put some candles on the turkey or something. :]
Hasta la proxima,
Hermana Howell
fotos: Hemet zone
Behold the Dragon Wagon
I’ll just leave this one up to your interpretation.

75: Heavenly Father loves us!

This week was quite a learning experience. Sometimes Heavenly Father needs to remind us to be humble, and that’s what He did to me this week.
The week started off with our teaching pool basically evaporating. V’s current treatment means that we can’t teach or visit him until around Christmastime, and another of our more solid investigators started avoiding us for some reason unknown to us. That left us with just one family that we’re teaching, and they were too busy this week to meet with us. So we basically had nothing and nobody to teach.
By Friday night, our “numbers” were pretty bad, and we got a firm talking-to from our mission leaders. We were left feeling really discouraged and not knowing what to do.
I realized that there wasn’t anything that I could do that we weren’t already doing. That was discouraging, too. Then I was reminded that I don’t have to do it all.
Saturday was one of the most miraculous days I’ve seen in my mission. God truly is aware of us and our individual needs. We were led to two new people to teach that day. One of them has been taught by missionaries for a while, but really wants to make the Church a bigger part of her family’s life. She seems really cool and I’m very excited to be teaching her!
Little things kept happening all day that just showed us how much God loves us. We accidentally walked right into 2 “member present” lessons, when the family we were having dinner with had their friends over, and when we decided to return a Tupperware that we’ve had for an embarrassingly long time- and the Hermana’s brother (not a member) and his family were visiting. The whole day was filled with little tender mercies- like that we had unlimited tacos de papa (potato tacos) for dinner. SO GOOD. Between Sister Spencer and I we ate 17 tacos- and we would’ve kept going but we decided that it wouldn’t be the healthiest choice to make. (Family, I’ve decided that that’s what I’m going to make for you first after I get home. Get excited.)
The miracles didn’t stop there, though. On Sunday, we had some people unexpectedly show up at church! Really unexpectedly. They had told us last week that they were going to be in San Diego on Sunday, and we hadn’t really talked to them since then. When I saw them coming down the hallway towards the chapel, it took a little while for it to register in my head who they were! I was all, “Who are the new people in our ward?…. oh wait, those are our investigators!” I think they enjoyed church though, and we’ll be seeing their whole family on Tuesday.
We also had the opportunity to teach the lesson in Relief Society this week. We taught about how important it is to love one another. It was a great reminder to me that we are all God’s children, and He just wants us to be nice to each other. Just like any parent. It reminded me of when I was little and would fight with my siblings and my mom would make us sing “I love you, you love me” from Barney. Why is it so hard for us to just love each other sometimes? When we focus on the good in people (which isn’t really that hard) you’re just happier and you love everyone and you’re the kind of person that people like to be around! It’s simple. Putting it into practice, not so much. But when we trust in God and ask for His help, I KNOW it’s possible. It was a great lesson and the Hermanas all loved it and participated a lot, so Sister Spencer and I didn’t have to do too much speaking in Spanish in front of everyone. It was great.
Love you all tons! Have a great week and make good choices!
Hermana Howell

74: We be jammin’

There’s not a whole lot to report this week. Sister Spencer and I are still working hard and jamming to bluegrass hymns and Alex Boye’s “I Know that my Redeemer Lives” because it sounds like the two guys singing are just trying to one-up each other and it’s HILARIOUS.
Our investigators are doing pretty well… except V. Because of his cancer treatments, he’s radioactive right now and can’t have human contact for 40 days. Which is a huge bummer. He’s such a sweet guy and has been progressing so well… We’re going to try and continue contact with him via phone and stuff though. :[
Right now we’re actually teaching a TON of less-active members. We keep finding these people that got baptized like 30 years ago and want to come back now. It’s crazy. But it’s great too. I’m really coming to love these people a lot. My perspective on less-active work has changed a lot. It may not look as good in our numbers, but I know it’s just as important as visiting non-members. These people need the gospel too! It’s great getting to see their progress and their spirituality increasing. :]
Love you all tons! Hasta la proxima, (Until next time,)
Hermana Howell

73: Firesides will SAVE THE WORLD.

Transfers rolled around again this week, and…

Nothing happened.

Sister Spencer and I are staying here in Hemet for my last transfer. I’m really excited about it. We’ve got some really great people that we’re teaching right now who should be getting baptized in the next month or so and I love working with Sister Spencer. We’re both old ladies/gangsters at heart, so we fit right in here in Hemet.

The weather is starting to cool off a little bit- I had to wear a light jacket a couple of times last week. Haha going back to Idaho in the dead of winter is going to be a struggle!

We also made history this week in the Hemet stake. One of the members in the San Jacinto ward somehow managed to get all the missionaries to pull together a fireside. He was so excited about it- Brother D  LOVES firesides, and I think he’s convinced that firesides are what is going to prepare the world for the second coming. So over the course of the last transfer, he’s been delegating to the missionaries different aspects of pulling together a fireside, and it finally happened last night. It actually turned out really nice. We did a “music and the spoken word” presentation of the first missionary lesson, the Restoration. Some missionaries taught the principles and then we had musical numbers to go with each principle. I sang “Redeemer of Israel” in a duet with another sister and accompanied a few other numbers. It was pretty good, but I forgot right up until I got up to sing that I get nervous and then my voice gets tight and then it’s hard to hit high notes- especially when my voice is SUPER out of shape from lack of practice. It turned out okay and my voice only cracked two or three times, and I don’t think the microphone quite picked up my pounding heartbeat. Haha. Really though, the fireside was a big success and the Spirit was really strong. It was a neat experience.

We also saw two castles this week. One was the Camelot- a retirement castle. The other was the famous Scientology castle. Rumor has it that they also have a pirate ship somewhere around here.

DSCN0312   DSCN0318

Well, hasta luego. Escribanme si me quieren! Si no me quieren, escribanme anyway. ;]
(Google translate is a little sketchy… this is the translation… or I guess it could be the author…. )

Well, write me if I want to ! If you do not want me, write me anyway.

Hermana Howell