Monday, October 7, 2013

2013-10-07 There is nowhere else that feels quite the same to me.

Hey Everyone,
This was a pretty great week, with a marriage, baptism, temple trip, lots of rain, and General Conference
I did miss the first half of the last session though, because we lost the signal.  I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t too hard to understand in Spanish.  Talks that I particularly liked would be President Eyring’s and President Monson’s from Sunday morning and Carole Stephens’ from Saturday Morning (I don’t usually like the women’s talks as well but that might have been my favorite).  Elder Holland’s talk from Saturday afternoon was interesting but was a little hard to understand in Spanish for me.  I also enjoyed all of Priesthood session. (scroll down)

Themes--Lots about missionary work and I really noticed it as a missionary.  Thoughts that came to me a lot in terms of missionary work were finding a way to get the members to participate.  I think we will put on a fireside for the ward in the coming weeks about missionary work and to ask for help from the members.  We’ll see if we can get everyone to make good on Elder Ballard’s request to share the gospel with 1 person before Christmas.
I also felt like there was a lot about becoming more Christ-like, especially in terms of loving others and a lot in repenting and utilizing the atonement.
The temple was absolutely amazing.  This was one of the times I’ve felt the Spirit most strongly in the temple.  We were in the waiting chapel for almost an hour and they have a huge painting of Jesus kneeling in Gethsemane.  That got me thinking about the Atonement and helped me feel the Spirit as we waited.  I found that one of my favorite things to study is the power of the Atonement and I’ve learned to appreciate it considerably more in the mission.  There was no new movie in Spanish.  Afterward I sat in the Celestial room for a long time.  It made me realize how much I miss being able to go to the temple frequently.  There is nowhere else that feels quite the same to me.
We’ve continued working with Salome.  We had a really good lesson about prayer after which she was able to say a very nice prayer.  We’ve decided to work on prayer until she can remember how to do it.  We figure after that she can ask for God’s help in learning the rest of what we want to teach her.
We visited with Jeam Pierre a couple of times this week.  It’s hard to teach someone who doesn’t talk much.  Some days are just better than others for him though.  We haven’t gotten him to say a prayer aloud yet but he did finally agree to say a prayer on his own.  His brother and sister are consistently going to church now though, so they should be able to help us out.
left:"good food at my pensionista’s house--beef and sausage and right after I took the picture she brought in Chicken Milanesa (chicken pounded flat and then fried in egg) too.  The drink was mango and way better than the mango I’ve had at home."
Oliver got married and baptized on Friday night.  His wife is already a member and only recently returned to activity.  They are a really nice family
I can’t remember if I’ve told you about George yet.  He’s a member and lived in New York until he was 13.  He speaks English and recently has started coming back to church.  His wife is pregnant and not a member.  They are both chefs and so he’s decided to invite us over every Thursday to eat and teach his wife.  This past week he made us wings with buffalo, barbecue and honey mustard.  This Thursday he’s going to make pizza and he told me that he can make Chinese food too.  That’s pretty fun.  I miss American food a lot. I’m tired of eating cooked vegetables.
My English class is really popular with kids here.  We had 15 people show up and almost all of them were 16 or younger.  We pretty much play games with English vocabulary word and I give the winners the tootsie pop suckers you sent me. 

We have a new family we are teaching that I’m excited about.  The mom’s name is Ruth and she is a member since birth.  She has been inactive though for 15 years.  She’s married to a Catholic and has a 14-year-old daughter, 12-year-old son, and 3-year-old daughter.  She really wants to come back to the church and wants us to teach the 2 older kids so they can decide if they want to join the church.  The husband is always working but we are going to see if we can teach him too.  All but the husband came to Conference and the kids are really nice and well behaved.  Lucas, the 12-year-old, seems particularly interested. 

Photo: our balcony looking to the North.  Almost every night, there are lightning storms over those mountains and behind the mountains by the Christus to our East that we can see.  Cochabamba nights are awesome.  It’s always a pleasant temperature.  Once we get home for the night, I spend almost all of my time on the balcony until I have to go to bed.  I always write in my journal out there and I enjoy just looking over the city and at the mountains and stars.  Every day is a holiday here, so I usually can see fireworks somewhere if I look out over the city in the night.
Hope you all have a great week! 
Elder Howlett

P.S. Ephesians 2:19



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