Monday, December 23, 2013

2013-12-23 I'm sure Jesus would like that.

Hey everybody,
This has been a good week despite the fact that I'm missing Christmas at home.

We had an awesome conference with president on Tuesday for Christmas.  I felt the Spirit strongly and it got me really excited.  I've been enjoying working and extra happy ever since.  

Three missionaries who I've gotten to know, Elders Walker, Tanner, and Eyre are gone now but were at our Christmas conference to give their farewell testimonies.  They were all with their parents and Eyre was with his entire family.  That got me really missing you guys.  The conference ended with a dinner and I chatted with Elder Eyre's 14 year old brother a little and that got me missing you guys even more.  

Javier has disappeared off the face of the earth.  We can't find that guy.

My companion got sick one day and fell asleep at the pensionista's house so I got to help decorate the Christmas tree.  That was fun (for me, not for my companion).

On Monday we went bowling, then we went to lunch with Junior and Gerardo and ate a giant pique macho. Then we went to the Flores' and they were putting up their tree too.

Sorry the internet is the worst it's been in months and my letter's going to be short.

I'm pretty much the happiest I've ever been.  I love being here, I love serving a mission.  I feel the Spirit all of the time.  Probably one of the best feelings is to be impressed by the Spirit to do or say something, to act, and later find out that it really helped someone out.  

We aren't having great luck with investigators but it's going really well with less active members. Victor has been coming to church for 2 months now and was ordained a teacher yesterday.  It was a good feeling to finally see that. 

Gerardo and Junior really impressed us.  Without us saying anything, they got together and went and invited Brandon (the kid who can talk well) to the ward Christmas dinner.  They got him and his whole family to come.

Anyway, I love Christmas and I love the mission so I'm having an awesome time.  Family, I love you and can't wait to talk to you on Christmas.

Since it's Christmastime, you all should be extra nice and do good things for people.  I'm sure Jesus would like that.

I hope you all have a wonderful MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Christ was born in Bethlehem, gave his life for us, and lives again.  And it's all for our benefit.  Take advantage of his Atonement, help others do the same.  It's the best way to feel of the Christmas spirit.

I love you all.

Elder Howlett

P.S.  Your scripture for the week is to open your bible and read your favorite version of the story of Christ´s birth.  Elder Howlett's mom's favorite is Luke 2 in the New Testament of the Bible.

Monday, December 16, 2013

2013-12-16 I was wrong when I said it just rains a little bit...

dinner was cake, a donut, and a cheese-filled croissant
with a banana milk shake to drink
Hey Everybody,
No packages or letters have arrived in the zone for 2 weeks.
Being district leader is good, this week I taught about how to work with your ward.  

Celeste is doing a lot better than before.  I'm going to go visit them today and she'll be there so I'll know more next week.

They were supposed to get sealed this coming week but not anymore. Hopefully it will happen in January. The stake president didn't give Marco the Melchizedek Priesthood because he hadn't read the Book of Mormon all the way through.  I was pretty upset about that actually.  Anyway he's reading now and has another interview at the end of the month.

My shoes are doing alright.  They are getting well worn though.  I think I'll probably need to buy another pair before the end of the mission.

Yep, I got my skype info.  I'm planning on trying to talk to you in the morningish (11 or 12 my time) but I'm not sure yet.  I'll let you know next week.

This was a good week.  

Last Monday transportation was on strike and there were blockades so I just stayed in my own area. We went with Gerardo to a restaurant and ate a huge Pique Macho.  I forgot my camera so I didn't take a picture though.

Today I think we are going to go there again with him and Junior and then later I'm going to visit the Floreses. 

Tuesday there still wasn't transportation.  Also the rainy season really has started.  It rained for like 16 hours straight that day.  It was also the day of our district meeting.  We walked 7 kilometers (I think that's over 4 miles) to the meeting in the pouring rain.  Their roads aren't made well so when it rains they turn into small rivers.  It rains a lot here now.  I was wrong when I said it just rains a little bit like it did in Florida.  It's pretty much rained nonstop all week long.  We left a door open by accident a couple days ago and when we got back for the night we had a small pond in our apartment. oops.

We finally got Santiago and his mom together to talk to them and they both have baptismal dates for the 11th of January (Elder Howlett's birthday).  Santiago says he already has his answer that the church is true but his mom doesn't.  She said even if she doesn't get baptized on the 11th she'll let him and support him in going to church every week.  I'm really excited about that.  They are both really nice people and I really think his mom can be ready for the 11th too.

Next week is our ward mission activity.  Everyone in the ward is going to go out and knock doors for a few hours after church to find us more people to teach.  I hope it works out as well as we'd like.

I did an interview for someone who only speaks Quechua this week.  I had a translator.  The translator and the lady getting baptized are both kind of older and they kept getting distracted and just started chatting in Quechua during the interview.  It was different.

Javier didn't get baptized... we aren't really sure what happened.  We had a normal appointment the day before his interview that went well but he didn't show up to his interview the next day.  He won't answer his phone and he didn't come to church yesterday.  Hopefully we get in touch with him this week and get things worked out.

Things are going really well in my area.  I haven't been as excited about how it's going since I got to Alamos.

We visited Jeampier and when we finished our lesson we asked him to pray like we always do.  He always tells us no but that day he told us yes.  He bowed his head like he was going to start and we waited for like 5 minutes and nothing.  He changed his mind and told us no.  O well, I'm not sure why he changed his mind but it still feels like progress.

Ana is still progressing well.  We had a long visit with her this week because it started pouring rain and we were waiting for it to stop a little.

Hope everything is going well back home.  (hey, I'd like to have pictures of the house decorated for Christmas and also the Flores family really wants to see pictures of how our house is.  At first I thought they were just kind of joking but they ask me every week if you've sent any pictures of our house yet.  If you could just send some pictures of the rooms of the house that would be good.  They want one of my room too.)

I'm looking forward to talking to you on Christmas.

Elder Howlett

P.S.  Luke 2:52

Monday, December 9, 2013

2013-12-09 I felt the Spirit a ton this week…

Elder Howlett with one of the "very baby cats"
Hey Everyone,
My companion is doing great now.

District Leader doesn’t mean too much more to do. The district is 10 people.  I give a 1 hour class every Tuesday in our district meeting.  I get the district’s numbers every Sunday to give to the zone leaders.  I go on intercambios with the other elders in my district.  I do the baptismal interviews for everyone who gets baptized in the district.  It doesn’t really take any more of my time.

This week was probably one of my favorite weeks in the mission.  It was great.  We worked hard and had success.  My companion didn’t have any health issues and we get along great.  

We started teaching Gabriela (23) this week and put a baptismal date for Jan 4th.  She’s friends with a member in the other ward that shares our church and already came to church once.  She is very interested in finding out if the church is true and our first lesson with her went really well and we all felt the Spirit strongly.  

We put a baptismal date for Jan 2nd with Ana this week.  Her daughter is a member in the ward and they are helping us and she already believes that it’s true so I think her baptismal date is pretty sure.

We had a great lesson with Javier this week and sured up his baptismal for this Saturday. He has a problem with his foot and we gave him a health blessing which brought the Spirit strongly.  

I felt the Spirit a ton this week and that’s one of the things that made it so great.  My companion is still learning how to teach and I’m still learning Spanish so our lessons aren’t exactly smooth but the Spirit helps and it always turns out well.  I feel the Spirit more being with Elder Contreras than I have with any of my other companions.  It’s incredible the way the Spirit always guides the lesson to something that the person we are teaching needs to hear.

Can you guess what this is?
Rodrigo (17) came to the baptism that the other ward had on Saturday.  Afterward we talked and I asked him if he’d felt the Spirit during the baptism.  He said, “no,” but that made him wonder how all of these people have their answers that the church is true but he still doesn’t have his answer.  I feel kind of bad for him.  He’s had all of the lessons at least 3 times and has been investigating the church for almost a year. We had a really good talk with him after the baptism though, and for the first time he chose a date to work for--my birthday, Jan 11.  I really hope it works out.  He already spends more time at the church than the members do.

We finally got to talk to Santiago (13).  He and his mom talked to the missionaries for 6 months about a year ago. They’ve had all the lessons and he knows it all really well.  He wants to be baptized.  We made an appointment to talk with him and his mom together so we could get her permission but no one was home when we went.  I hope she gives permission and that she’ll get baptized too.  From talking with her son, it seems like she really likes the church except for the fact that we don’t drink coffee.

We taught the Parra family about temples this week and are planning on going with them to do baptisms before Christmas.  I’m excited for that.

I love being here a lot.  I love so many people I’ve met here.  It’s crazy how fast I grow to care for them.

Christmas time doesn’t feel the same here.  It’s too hot and also no one cares that it’s Christmas time.

Elder Howlett

Monday, December 2, 2013

2013-12-2 a country made for short people

Hey Everyone,

Well, we had our cambio call yesterday and I finally get to stay with a companion.  I’m staying in Los Alamos to finish training Elder Contreras, the only change is that I’m the new district leader. I’m very content with that.  I didn’t want to leave Cochabamba before Christmas.

Picture--the Flores family has very baby cats. 

Today at 3 we are going to the Flores´ because Saturday was Anghy’s birthday and they are going to make anticucho.  That will be fun.  

Thinking about Christmas usually makes me sad.  I’ll probably spend time with the Flores´and Gerardo´s family (they both already invited us). The Flores family said they’ll come to my area if we aren’t allowed to leave our area on Christmas.  We were by the temple and they have a nativity set up and a big Christmas tree but it’s weird because it’s so sunny and hot and it just doesn’t feel the same.

This week we started teaching a recent convert’s mom.  We gave her a blessing a couple of weeks ago because she had some kind of surgery and she healed really well and quickly so that was a good way to start things off.  I think she´ll get baptized in the next month or two.  She already says she believes what we taught about Joseph Smith is true.

Hermana Mercedes made us some delicious fried balls that I think you would love, mom.  They are called fritos and are flour, egg, and cheese and very crispy.

I love studying my patriarchal blessing.  

The Flores family tells me every single week to tell you guys hi and that they love you but I usually forget.

We are doing really well working with less active families.  We mainly find families that have young men because the young men are the only people in the ward who go out and visit with us.  Right now we have 3 who have come back with their families for 3 weeks in a row.

We talked to Jeampierre this week and he actually talked to us.  Wed had several visits where he’d hardly said a word.  He still doesn’t want to pray, we still can’t figure out why.

Javier has made it to the attendance requirement for baptism and believes it’s true.  He’ll be baptized on the 14th unless he decides to wait for his wife to decide to be baptized too.  I don’t remember if I told you how we found him but it’s pretty cool.  Several weeks ago, as sacrament meeting was starting, a member told us a woman was looking for us outside the church.  We went out to find her but there wasn’t anyone in the street except Javier. We asked if he’d seen where the woman went but he hadn’t.  He pulled an English Book of Mormon out of his bag though, and told me I looked like the person who gave it to him years ago.  I told him that I was a missionary too and that our church was starting and he agreed to come in.  Since then he’s just come on his own and loves it. His wife is Catholic though and isn’t too interested.

We are going to do a training for the 3rd hour of church next week about how missionaries and members can work together.  I’m excited for that.

Bolivians are very short.  I hit my head on something every day because it’s a country made for short people.

I was chosen to sing in the missionary choir for the Christmas conference and we are singing “What Child is This” arranged by Lindy Kerby.

I ate cow hoof gelatin and actually thought it was pretty good.

Our zone will be the youngest zone in the mission this cambio.  There are 10 companionships and they are all training except for the zone leaders.  

I love being in the mission a lot.  I can’t believe that I hit 8 months this week.  Time is flying.  

Elder Howlett


Monday, November 25, 2013

2013-11-25 sometimes when you ask…they tell you that they should have time next year.

peach juice and milk
Hey Everyone,

I got letters this week from Grandma Lori, Neka, Emily Atwood, Lauren Mcmullin and a package from Grandma Marie and a photo book with all old pictures.  Thank you everyone!

My companion has really bad headaches at least every other day.  We still don’t know what the problem is but we got an MRI this week.  I’m figuring out how Bolivian insurance works pretty well and I’m getting to know the [mission] president’s wife since she’s in charge of medical stuff.
Junior and Gerardo--they are the youth who always go
with us on visits.  They are both deacons and both do a
really good job in our lessons and they are good about
inviting and bringing inactive youth to church and mutual.
There is a family who we started teaching over a month ago but then lost contact with for a while. This week we ran into them on the street and they asked us why we hadn’t been by to visit them for so long.  When I asked when we could teach them they said, “tomorrow” (always a good sign, sometimes when you ask when you can visit them again they tell you that they should have time next year.)  When we went for the appointment, the mom was there with her 2 kids, her mother, and she’d invited 2 friends to come listen too. Her mom, without us even asking anything, just started telling us that she felt that everything we had taught about Joseph Smith and the Restoration was true.  The people of Bolivia are incredibly open and ready to believe but they have a really hard time acting. None of them came to church on Sunday even though they all said they were going to come. I’m really excited to be teaching them though and I feel like they will probably be baptized all together as a family.
In our zone meeting we played a game where we put a lot of cheeto-like things in that guy's mouth.
The lesson was there can be too much of a good thing.
Victor (not sure if I’ve talked about him before) came to church yesterday for the 2nd time in a row after not going for 2 years.  During the week he took us to visit his inactive aunt and she also came on Sunday with him. He had his interview yesterday and is going to be ordained a teacher next Sunday. He’s also inviting all of his inactive family over to his house on Wednesday so we can have a family home evening with them.  I’ve met several members of his family now and they are some of the nicest and friendliest people I’ve ever met.  I love visiting them.

 For dinner one night Hermana Mercedes just made a
bunch of pastries.  It was really good.
Yesterday there was a broadcast for the northwest South America area about how ward council should work effectively in the work of salvation.  The entire ward council was supposed to go but only the Relief Society president and the young single adult leader showed up from our ward.  Our ward leaders aren’t very interested in being involved in the work of salvation. The mission president always tells us we can’t work effectively without the help of the members so it’s frustrating.  We, us and the sister missionaries in our ward, spent almost the whole last transfer trying to get the ward involved through the leaders.  Since that hasn’t been successful, we came up with a new idea that’s working a lot better. With the sister missionaries, we put together a fun lesson that we are going to try teach
Sonso--fried yucca with cheese.  It's like a potato cake.
ing to all of the families in our ward.  We talk about the importance of the work of salvation and show some of the short videos the church has done recently about how members and missionaries should work together.  Then we play a game where the missionaries sing a hymn while the all of the family members write down names of people they know who aren’t members.  Then we see who got the most and give them a candy bar.  Then we talk about the importance of prayer and the Spirit in sharing the gospel and ask the head of the household to pray for guidance about who in their list they can share the gospel with.  So far we’ve taught the lesson 3 times and it has worked really well.  We ask everyone to choose one name from their list and set a goal to talk with that person during the week.  From there it has always turned into the family just listing of everyone we can go visit with them.  Yesterday we got 8 references from the lesson.  I hope it keeps going that well.

(I’ve heard some rumors about the cambios on Sunday and if it’s true Elder Mero is coming to be the zone leader for my area.  I sure hope it is true.)

One night it rained harder than I've ever seen in my life.  The rain here reminds me of when we went to Disney
World during the summer and it would rain really hard in the afternoon but just for a little while.  When it rains
here is starts suddenly and rains heavy but doesn't last very long usually.  The lightning here is awesome too.
 It sometimes looks like a big net of lightning that just covers the whole sky.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!  They don’t celebrate it here so it will be a normal day for us.

Elder Howlett


Monday, November 18, 2013


Hey Everybody,

This has been a pretty good week.  I’ve had to take my companion to different hospitals almost every day this week though.  While it’s been fun getting to know downtown Cochabamba, it drives me crazy when we don’t get to teach very much.  I found that I was pretty frustrated at the beginning of the week because we were missing important appointments and didn’t have time to work very much between hospital trips and my companion saying he’s too sick to leave the house.  Then I remembered that God loves the people here and that as long as I do everything I can, things will work out.  Once I’d changed my attitude about it I felt a lot a better and we started to find a lot of success in the little time we have to work.
It’s been a rough week for the Flores family. They would love prayers I’m sure. The date they were planning on getting sealed is the 21 of December. I’m going to visit them today.

We found a ton of success working with the young men this week.  Last week we taught lessons to the deacon and teacher quorum presidencies about their responsibilities and how they can help inactive members of their quorums.  This week the teachers quorum president called me to see if we could go visit some people with him and the first counselor and they took us to 2 families to visit. Both of them then came to church on Sunday.  We have visited 3 inactive deacons with Gerardo and Junior and they’ve all come to church—2 with their whole families as well.  Right now we are working on getting them interviews so they can be ordained to the priesthood office they should have.

We’ve been spending a lot of time looking for inactive members because president told us if we did we would have more baptisms.  We have found some good investigators because the inactive families always seem to have non-members living with them (usually their own family).  It turns out that I’m actually really good with working with the non members too.  I’m more comfortable talking with them and I feel like some of the best lessons I’ve taught have been with inactive families this week.

I would love a Chick-Fil-A sandwich.

I did visit Jeampierre a couple of times this week.  His sister is excited to help us get him baptized. This week we’re going to go teach him and eat salchipapa (french fries with cut up sausage covered in mayo).

I love you all, have an awesome week.  Also remember to be a good example and good person.  By far, the most common reason that people here are inactive is that a member did or said something they shouldn’t have.

Elder Howlett

Monday, November 11, 2013

2013-11-11 I really hate those ants.

Hey Everybody,

Gerardo and Viqui Vega
We had a pretty good week here.  My companion is having tons of headaches and nosebleeds though so we are going to have to go to the hospital this week to get it checked out.  I do feel like I’ve finally found a few people who are willing to help us out in this ward so I’m excited for that.

We did some service cleaning up the flower patch of our pensionista this week.  Bolivia has some nasty red ants that bite--and it stings.  I accidently stood in a group of these ants and they were all over my leg. The pensionista was really worried and told me to take off my shoe and shake them off my leg.  I only got bit like 3 times.  Then, 10 minutes later, I stuck my hand into a group of the ants and got bit like 50 times.  I hate those ants.

Interesting Bolivia thing... if you compliment someone on their tie, hat, jacket, etc., they will give it to you and it’s rude not to take it.  I have clothes from several Bolivians.

I haven’t been able to visit Jeampierre for a while but we are going tomorrow.

We had a great week with inactive families.  Three entire families came to church on Sunday who haven’t come in the 2 months I’ve been in the area.  They are all accepting visits from us too.

I’ve read my patriarchal blessing a lot since I’ve been here and I’ve loved to see it fulfilled.  I’ve especially noticed the part about my mission but a few other things I’ve also connected with experiences I’ve had here in the mission.  I find a lot of comfort and happiness in some of the promises from my patriarchal blessing. 

Last Monday I went to the cancha with Marco and Anghy.  We went to eat at a chicken place first which was good.  While we were at the cancha, Anghy showed me these little sweet pancake balls (picture).  They are cheap too--10 for 1 boliviano. 
I bought some new ties and a usb drive to back up my photos on. 

It is hot here when we sleep now which I don’t like. I miss air conditioning.  This week it has been hot and sunny instead of rainy. I’m not sure what happened after 2 solid weeks of rain every day.   I hope it comes back.

We are working with the youth a lot to go find inactive youths and their families.  It’s been working well.  

I still miss Villa Graciela, but oh well, we can hang out there when you guys come in 17 months.

Elder Howlett

P.S. 1 Ne. 4:6 (I hope I didn’t already send this one, it’s one of my favorites though, so read it again if I have.)

Also, President sent suggestions/rules for packages.  Less than 4 pounds or it will never get here. Only declare candy, religious stuff, medicine... if you declare something valuable they will steal it. Less than 100 dollars of value or it will never arrive.  You will have to send it this week if you want it to arrive before Christmas and it still might not.


Monday, November 4, 2013

2013-11-04 Dead people don’t eat it though…

We had a meeting to plan for a fireside that we
are going to do, (us and the Hermanas) and Saul
(getting ready to go on his mission from the other ward)
picked us up the pizza to eat while we planned.

Hey Everybody,
This has been a pretty good week.  I am still getting along really well with my companion and I really like him. The one thing that bothers me is we stayed in twice this week because he had a headache. Oh well.  We got several new baptismal dates this week.  It has rained all week long which makes it a lot easier to work.

Elder Contreras is a strange little guy but nice.  He does kung fu every night and can do the splits.  He asks adults their age every time we meet them which I explained isn’t ok but he keeps doing it so we’re going to have to talk about that again.  He looks really young and everyone tells him he looks 15.

Beta is the daughter of a friend of Hermana Mercedes and we started teaching her last week.  This week we asked how it went with her prayer and she told us she’d had a dream.  She didn’t tell us what the dream was but she said it was positive and that she considers it an answer that the church is true.  She has a baptismal date for the end of the month.  A couple days ago we taught her mom too and it was a great lesson.  I think her mom will get baptized too.

On Saturday we did 6 hours of service throwing brick from the ground up to the 2nd story of house that members are constructing.  It seems like I have done a lot of service with moving bricks since I’ve been here. Luckily they fed us cow stomach with rice to thank us for helping them.  Cow stomach has a texture similar to gum but tastes terrible.

It has rained all week long which I love.  Right now it’s
raining this really light mist and it looks like snow falling.

We found of family of 4 and taught them the first lesson this week.  They seem interested and I hope it continues to go well. I like to teach families together. 
I think I told you about Gerardo before.  Yesterday, I got calls from several people in Villa Graciela to tell me that he had gone to their ward yesterday (his aunt lives there) and talked about me as he bore his testimony and talked about how blessed he’s been since becoming active in the church.  We had a lesson with him and his mom later that night and he thanked us for helping him decide to come back to church.  It feels really good to know that you’ve helped someone else out, especially with something as important as the church.

I can’t believe how many people don’t seem to understand the importance of God and church and the commandments.  Almost everyone believes in God and knows he exists but somehow that doesn’t affect most peoples’ decisions.  They don’t make the connection between a supreme, all powerful being and the importance of doing what He says.
Waiting with the hermanas for a family to finish cooking us lunch.  We aren’t actually flying even if it looks that way.

This week we are going to start working with the youth to find members of the church who are inactive in our ward.  There is something like 230 inactive families in our ward.  We only have about 30 percent attendance.

One of the best things about training is it makes me feel really responsible to set a good example by being obedient and using all of my time wisely.  It’s a good motivator to work hard.

I miss Villa Graciela a ton.  I miss the area and the people.  I really hope that I luck out and get to finish my mission there.
We did nothing for Halloween. They don’t really celebrate it here.  They do celebrate the Day of the Dead which was the 2nd of November.  Mostly they make tons of little breads and empanadas and put them on the table for the dead people to eat.  Dead people don’t eat it though so later the living people eat it and give it to the missionaries when they come to visit.

(In response to a question from his mother) I have sunscreen but sometimes I get burned anyway.  It’s better now that it’s always raining though.
Elder Howlett

P.S. Mark 2:27

view from Elder Howlett's apartment balcony

Monday, October 28, 2013

2013-10-28 I found out he really likes to thumb wrestle.

Hey everybody,
Sergio, Jose, me, and Jhonny
This has been a pretty crazy but great week.  Last p-day we went and ate giant pizzas from Ellie's. Tuesday is the day that I went to drop Elder Campo off in downtown with his new companion but I didn’t get my companion until Wednesday.   The zone leaders were supposed to meet me downtown when I dropped Elder Campo off but they were ridiculously late and I needed to get back to our baptism.  Elder Campo and his new companion took me back to the ward and dropped me of with one of the young men so I could get the baptism going.  It’s probably the only baptism I’ll have without a companion.  Later that night another missionary who was going to train met up with me and we slept in my apartment and went to the new missionary meeting together the next day.

The new missionary meeting was fun.  It was way smaller than when my group came into the mission there were about 50 new missionaries in my group. There were only 14 missionaries that came in this transfer.  They fed us good food and we played some games and had a good training with President.  My zone leaders told me the wrong time so I was already in the stake center for the meeting at 9 am, 2 hours before it started.  Sister Dyer showed up and needed some help so she took me and the missionary I was with to the mission home to pick up something for the meeting.  I finally got to see the mission home. It’s nice and peaceful.

My new companion is Elder Contreras from Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  He’s 20 years old and nice and laid back and we get along really well.  He doesn’t really know much about how the mission works and it makes me think I was even more confused when I first got here than I realized.  He gets really nervous when we teach and he shakes when he’s nervous.  He doesn’t teach in a very organized way yet but I feel the Spirit more teaching with him than I did with Elder Campo.  He likes American music.  I’m excited to be with him.

We had a family home evening with Jeampierre and his siblings. It went well we got him laughing and talking a little.  I found out he really likes to thumb wrestle. 

It continues to rain every day here which is really nice.  I love the rain.

In the new missionary meeting I met Tyler Coffing who went to Lone Peak [High School] and just got here.  He told me he’d read my blog every week and it got him excited for the mission.  I thought that sounds like what I did with Elder Eyre but I didn’t tell him.

The baptism on Tuesday was great.  It was Maria Terrazas and she seems more and more converted and committed to the gospel every time we talk.  She has changed a ton and it’s great to see.

Arthur called me super excited last night to tell me that Miguel Luis, who I had always visited with him, finally says he got his answer and wants to be baptized.  That’s really good news and it’s pretty great to see Arthur so excited about it too.

Bad news of the week was Devvi´s baptism fell through.  Her parents say she get can get baptized in November if she gets good grades.  There was also good news though.  Jairo Vasquez (older brother of Fernado and Paola) finally decided he was ready to get baptized, so I still got to go back on Saturday to baptize him.  We ate dinner with the Flores family after that instead of at our pension. Sergio Villca and his brother Jose came to the baptism.  He’s one of the youth I went on splits with a lot.  
Jairo is to Elder Howlett's right
We are going to be working a lot more with inactive members from now on.  We met with the bishop and got a full ward list so we can go see how many we can find.  We are also going to put on a fireside in a couple of weeks to see if we can get the members to help us out more.

I ran into Sebastian and Brian when I went back for the baptism.  We chatted for a while and they both told me they’d start meeting with the missionaries again.  I don’t know what happened that they stopped.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Elder Howlett

Monday, October 21, 2013

2013-10-21 Jeampierre is teaching me to play the Sanpoña.

Hey Everybody,
No letters arrived this week.
Sorry, no pictures again, the computer won’t connect with my camera.

We all went to the zone leader’s house last night to wait for cambios together.  At about 10 we finally got the call.  I’m staying here in Alamos, my companion is leaving to Jaihuaco (ghetto part of Cochabamba.)  I am going to train so I don’t know who my new companion is yet.  Tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll go to the meeting where the new missionaries arrive to pick up my companion.  I think that it will be fun to train and I was surprised because it was a small group of elders coming in this time.  It’s kind of weird that I’m getting my 5th companion though.  Most people from my group have only had 2 or maybe 3.
Last night as we were waiting for the call, Jhonny Diaz called me.  His friend Devvi (Debbie) who I taught for a long time is going to get baptized and wants me to baptize her.  I started teaching her my second week with Elder Mero and she already would have been baptized but her parents are super Catholic and wouldn’t give her permission.  They finally changed their minds though.  Last night was awesome between that and cambios.
Last week for p-day we went paintballing in the rain.   It was really fun.  Here they charge like 4 dollars for the equipment and 20 paintballs and then 7ish cents for every paintball more than the 20 that you use.  After that we went downtown and ate with the zone and then went to the Flores family’s for an hour and had Hawaiian pizza.
Jeampierre is starting to be a little more comfortable around us.  I picked up a pizza and we went and ate it with them this week.  Jeampierre is teaching me to play the Sanpoña, (small wood pipes), and most of the time talks to me when I talk to him.  He finally came to church yesterday too.
The Flores family says “hi” and Marco says he worried because you and Lizzie haven’t been on facebook to chat all week.
I went on exchanges on Wednesday this week with the zone leaders and I went to their area.  In one of our lessons I gave a blessing to a lady who got baptized on Saturday.  I’ve never felt so good about a blessing I’ve given.  I knew exactly what to say and how to say it and felt the presence of the Spirit the entire time.
During the exchange, I was in a more rural area than mine and it made me realize how many fewer dogs there are where I am now than there were in Villa Graciela.  There were crazy dogs all over during the intercambio just like there always were in my old area.
It was really cloudy and rainy at the beginning of the week but it’s been hot and sunny the last couple days.
It is incredible how the Lord leads us to people.  We found a family of 5 when we helped them push their car for 2 miles to a gas station.  The dad was so grateful that he told us to call him any day and he would get all of his family together and come pick us up in his car so we can teach them.  

Bolivian stuff-
There are so many little street vendors.  I love how in the morning there are little carts that sell scones and scones filled with cheese.  The scones are big and only half of a boliviano.
Nothing here ever starts even close to on time, no matter what it is.
In general people aren’t too educated about the outside world.  People guess that I’m Argentine a lot because I’m white.
Anytime you are in someone’s house they will offer you a drink and it is rude not to drink it.
Everyone is unbelievably short.  I hit my head on stuff all of the time and my legs don’t fit between the seats on trufis because things are not made for people of my size
Periodically there just isn’t water for a few days and that’s normal.
There is graffiti everywhere. 
They blame Chile for stealing their coast.  
They still use antennas with their TVs.
Spelling is not important.  I spell much better than they do in Spanish.
If anything is wrong with you they want you to drink mate. 
They burn garbage and weeds and stuff and aren’t careful about it so there are always fires on the mountain. Firemen beat fires out with bundles of reeds.
A lot of times they answer the door through a 3 inch by 3 inch little window in the door.  Then we sometimes teach them through that little hole.
The mission is always out of something we need--Books of Mormon, pamphlets, agendas.  Oh well, we make do.
In general, people are very honest.  They never let me pay too much for anything.
Trucks drive around selling fruit.  They have speakers attached to the top and the driver does a sing-song-y thing with the names of whatever fruit he has.
Anyway, hope you have a good week and I’ll have lots of photos next time.
Elder Howlett