Monday, January 6, 2014

2014-01-06 ...I guess that means it rains inside a little too.

Hey Everyone,

This week was pretty crazy.  My companion is gone.  He left to his house on New Year's Eve for health issues. They called us at 4:30 to tell us we needed to be in the airport at 6:30 for his 7pm flight. We ran home and packed up and away he went.  That left me without a companion.  I spent that night with one companionship and the next day with another companionship in my zone.  Since I wasn't getting anything done in my area, I asked permission to work with Junior and he was my companion all day Thursday.  Thursday at 8:30, I went to pick up my new companion in downtown Cochabamba.  His name is Elder Melgar--he's from Beni here in Bolivia.  

I miss Elder Contreras.  We got along really well. Things are going ok with Melgar though.  

Cambios are on Sunday and I don't want to leave here.

We have a new family we are teaching that is very open and interested--the mom and 14-year-old son especially.  We had helped her carry her big cholita bag of bottles several weeks ago but were just able to contact her for a lesson this week.  She also came to a baptism when we invited her on Saturday.  It's great to see God's hand in what we do.  I remember seeing her and thinking we should help and now I know why I had that impression.  She is very grateful that we are visiting her and her family.

We taught a lot of lessons to less-active members this week.  I really like working with them.  I think it's because they are a lot more like me than investigators are.  I always had the gospel, I just didn't always grasp its importance.  

Thank you for the packages, Grandma Marie and Papa Dave & Atwood Family.  Yours hasn't made it mom.  I'm only about a week away from needing the new journal you sent me, grandma, and bubbles don't exist here, so whoever thought of putting that in the Atwoods' package is a genius.  The kids here love them.

Today we went to Pairumani in the morning.  That's the green pictures and waterfalls.  It was fun. We had a water fight with our zone.

I spent New Year's Eve with Mercedes and Junior's family.   We had permission to be out until 10:30 for that night.  Back in the apartment, the fireworks woke me up at midnight though, and it was a ton of fireworks that I could see very well from the balcony.  

It's been raining like crazy every day for weeks now.  One night it rained really really hard and here in Bolivia, I guess that means it rains inside a little too.  My desk was very wet the next morning.  I do like it a lot better than the sun.

I'm very pleased with how everything is going right now with the people we are working with.  Have a great week everyone!

Elder Howlett

2013-12-30 I love that family to death

Hey Everyone,

I had an awesome Christmas this week.   On Christmas Eve the Flores family made ph´am paku and brought it over for dinner.  I pushed the desks and our one table together to make our dinner table.  We had tumbo, peach, and guayaba juices with dinner which were all very good.  I love that family to death and was very happy to be able to spend Christmas Eve with them.  The parents bought me ties, Arthur bought me a wallet and belt.  The girls made me the big sign you can see in the picture.  They told me about 50 times that they don't have money so they couldn't buy me anything.

On Christmas we had baptisms in the zone at 4:00 which we went to and later that night we went to hermana Mercedes' (our pensionista) for a couple hours.  We played with my laser a lot.  I'm really loving that family a lot too.  One day after lunch when my companion was sick, Junior told me all about their life before they were baptized 6 months ago.  They've made massive changes and continue changing and it's great to see.

My companion has not been doing well at all this week which means I've had a ton of time to study and think.

The mission is incredible.  It allows you to think about religion all of the time.  I feel the Spirit all of the time.  I'm able to learn unbelievably quickly.  My mind has never been so clear and sharp.  I want to and am able to make changes to live more in harmony with the gospel as I learn more.  One of the things I've been working on lately is doing good things because it's what God wants.  

I also realize more and more everyday what a huge blessing it is to have the gospel.  People without the gospel not only lack happiness and purpose but they don't even know how to find it.  There is a marked difference between those who have a knowledge of God´s plan--especially an understanding of the Atonement--and those who don't.

Well, I'm out of time but I hope you all have an awesome New Years!  2014 would be a good year to start writing about your important experiences in a journal.  If you have meaningful experiences it would be a waste to forget them.

Elder Howlett

P.S.  Mosiah 27:14