Monday, September 23, 2013

2013-09-23 We had a surprise baptism this week.

Hey everyone,
Happy Birthday Mom!!  Hope you have a great week.  

This was a pretty crazy week.  We spent one day in a training meeting with Elder Calderon of the Seventy. It was good and then the next day he met with all of the bishoprics in Cochabamba and told them that the wards should be more involved in helping the missionaries.  That should help us out a lot to get people to go do visits with us and give us references.  Then I spent a day in the hospital, not for me.  Another elder had his appendix out and we are taking turns spending the day there. It was actually a really fun day. They brought me Burger King for lunch and the elder who had his appendix out is American so it was easy to chat with him.  Marco, Anghi, and Arthur came by to visit too.  
Last Monday I went to visit the Flores family too.  They made us pizza and it made me miss my old area. Arthur put my name and his in the cement in front of the house.  The other missionaries who are there put their names too.  (the other two names).  Sebastian and Kimberly both called me this week. As long as their mom gives them permission they said that they are going to get baptized this Saturday.  Jhonny Diaz called me to tell me his mom has a baptismal date for next month too.  That’s pretty exciting.

We had a surprise baptism this week.  Edward who already had all of the lessons in the past called us on Wednesday to say he wanted to be baptized on Thursday.  This time I called to the church offices to get them to send us a water truck to fill the font so we would have clean water.  It actually made me feel pretty good that I was able to get that all worked out over the phone in Spanish.  It means my Spanish has improved significantly.

Today for p-day we played soccer against another zone.  I got to see Elder Chavez so that was a lot of fun.  We walked for forever to get to the field though.  We walked for like an hour and a half down this pretty dirt road. I’ll send a picture. 
I'm in los Alamos, now.  We will truck in water from now on for baptisms.  [The Flores family] lives like 20 minutes away from me by taxi or 30 to 35 by trufi.  Yes, they pick up and drop off my laundry.  I told them they didn't have to.  They don't have a car.  They came in a trufi.

Mom, could you do me a favor and look into how much it costs to fly between here and Salt Lake City (both ways, starting from both locations)?  Also look into what the Flores family would have to do to visit us in the US (only have passport or more?)  Also I heard we can send them an invitation of some type that makes it easier to do the paper work to visit.

My companion is a good guy but our personalities don’t really match very well. It’s working out though.  I figure I’ll only have him this one cambio because he has been here for 5 months already.

This week I got to thinking about how I’ve lived one of the most blessed lives of anyone.  I’ve really never had any major trials or problems and I’ve always been successful in what I want to do.  I figure I have the Church to thank for that.  There are some people here who are just incredibly lost without the church to guide them.  They live a low quality life and don’t know how to change it. I don’t think I ever realized before the extent of temporal blessing we receive for being obedient to God.

Elder Howlett's buddy, Raul--nephew of his pensionista
Also, I’ve been thinking that I’ve had two great successes so far in my mission.  One is the baptism of Jhonny. He is absolutely incredible and more committed to the gospel than the majority of the other members here.  He also introduced us to 14 or 15 of his friends and brought them all to church at least once.  Six of his friends and his mom currently have a baptismal date.  The other success would be with the Flores family.  They were almost completely inactive when I arrived here.  They are active again and doing everything they can to live the gospel.  Arthur, especially, has turned things around.  He had gotten his eyebrow pierced, was still a teacher even though he was 16, and said he had no interest in serving a mission.  Now he's been ordained a priest and goes early with Jhonny every week to set up the sacrament and bless it.  He is incredibly excited to serve a mission now and is always asking me about how missions are. He went with me to visits at least once a week.  That was really helpful because my last companion always refused to go up high so Arthur always went with me to teach those people.  Hermana Flores told me when she came to visit at the hospital, that he convinced them to go with him and visit the investigators up high in the mountains this past week.  His parents both tell me that he gets along way better with his family than he ever did in the past.  He’s absolutely awesome and a great member of the church.

Also time is FLYING.  This week I’ll have been here for 6 months!  I can´t believe it.  It freaks me out that time is going by so quickly and it motivates me to do more every day because I’m afraid that I’ll look back and think I could have done more.  I can’t imagine how I’ll feel going into my last 6 months.  

I love you all, have an awesome week!

Elder Howlett

P.S.  Alma 36:3

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