Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 12 - Merry Christmas!

Hello! Merry Christmas and soon to be a Happy New Year! I hope all is well. Everything is good down on my end, Christmas wasn't terribly eventful, but it has been a great week to be a Missionary. I love it. We work hard, especially this time of the year. The opportunity to Skype was just wonderful, and much needed. And once we hit 2016 I know that time is just going to fly, so no worries there. But I hope all is well, not a lot to report on my end. Happy New Years, I will talk to you all Next Year! Oh, and I forgot to say last week, Go UTES!

Brad made bread from a pizza dough recipe laying around.  I think he's quite proud of himself.

Family Picture!
Sanibel, Florida and Tupiza, Bolivia

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week 11 - I'm now officially a Latin Missionary ;)

Hello all!

This week wasn't exactly the best. I was very sick Monday night and Tuesday. Then I had a 17 hour ride to Cochabamba by bus, followed by 7 hours there for immigrations. After that, I went to Burger King, which brought me indescribable joy. We left by plane to Sucre, a 30 minute flight. And I had 8 hours in a bus from Sucre to Tupiza, all on my own. When I arrived at 4 in the morning, we slept for a few hours and went to Quiriza where we harvested 3 garlic fields, weeded in another, and had a wonderful Sacrament meeting the next day. Now, I am in Tupiza, and have officially become a Latin Missionary. If you know what that means, it is probably from experience. I hope you all have an amazing Christmas, and I hope that the Spirit of Christ can be with every single one of you at this time of the year. Merry Christmas!

Elder Howells

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week 10 - Harvesting Garlic and Alejandro!

The work this week was good. We harvested garlic for two days straight. Watch a youtube video on the harvest itself, it is straight miserable. I really love the people in my area, they are just awesome. It is literally like working with the pioneers, they use horses and mules to break up the ground as we start to harvest, we harvest acres by hand, and it is great. I feel like I'm a few centuries earlier, which is a neat feeling. But the highlight of this week was one of our investigators came to sacrament meeting yesterday, he is 11 and his name is Alejandro. He rode his bike 30 minutes to come, and we didn't even get a chance to visit him this week. Before, we have talked to him about baptism and he has always been kind of skeptical about it. But he was sitting next to me and Elder Cortez was talking to somebody else and I started talking to Alejandro. And I shared John 3:5 with him, and he read the part that says, you can not enter into the Kingdom of God with out baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and he just sat there. Then he goes, Cuando suede ser bautizado? When can I be baptized? And I said, as soon as you want. So, we are tlking with his parents about it Wednesday at 10, and I think he will have me do it because he likes me a lot. I am so excited, he is just an awesome, obedient little farm boy. He does his chores, works hard, I love the dude. So excited for him and for this week. The spanish is coming along very well, probably in another month I will be completely fluent.

I love you all, have a great week!

Love, Elder Howells

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 9 - Teaching

This week has been good and bad. We had the opportunity to teach 12 lessons, some of the best numbers my area has had in years. The work in Quiriza is mostly supposed to be service, harvest garlic and stuff along those lines. I will send you a picture next week of a rough map of our area. But we have at least a two mile walk to any of the other Pueblos in our area, and that's where the bulk of our investigators live. The area we are doing best with one of our investigators is a little place called Espicaya, and her name is Deila. Her husband is inactive but I think with more lessons we can baptize her. Here are the ¨cities¨ in my area - Tittihoyo, Monte, Quiriza, Kataty, Viscachani, Espicaya, Pampa Grande. Haven`t been to pampa grande yet and I think there is one more that I missed but I don`t remember.

It is hard to do Christmas with no snow or family out here, but we are managing. We hung Christmas lights on the Chapel and had a movie night for the kids in Quriza. Had 20 kids come over to watch Big Hero 6 in Spanish. A really cool experience. Elder Cortez and I continue to get along, but there is a clear culture difference between us, but we are making it work just fine. I am happy to be here doing the work that we are doing. Time is starting to move and Christmas and 2016 are rapidly approaching. I love you all and I hope you have a great week.

Espicaya, Bolivia

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 8 - Dual Zone Conference in Sucre


What a week! We had a Dual zone conference in Sucre which is about a 10ish hour bus ride there, and we spent two days there. Then we had a return bus ride of the same length. What fun. But I got to spend more time in Quiriza, 2 days to be exact. It is a great place, look up pictures if you can. But it is good, I enjoy the field, time is going slow but I know that it will start to pick up. I am bummed that there is no snow here for this Christmas season, but that is okay. I will have plenty of snow in the future. Next week is time to harvest Garlic, so we will be very busy, and busy is good.

I am halfway through this transfer and have not yet spent a full week in my area. And this week we are coming back to Tupiza on Saturday for the Christmas Devotional and don`t leave until next Tuesday. But oh well. I know time will start moving after Christmas. The language is coming along fairly well, I can`t tell but Elder Cortez said so.

I hope you all have a great week.

Love, Elder Howells

**This is a link to the Mission President's Blog when they held a zone conference in Quiriza.  You can see pictures read about Brad's area.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 7 - Planes, Trains and Automobiles!

I´ve literally lived planes, trains, and automobiles. I am a master at charades now, too. A little of what I´d like to call a language barrier. I have an area that is awesome, every single person in the mission wants to go there. It is called Quiriza. About an hours walk from Argentina. It is a service area with no real electricity, internet, or roads. You would think I was in Arizona with the Navajo. Really cool, we wear p-day clothes every day, work in the fields farming, we get to ride horses, go camping on our way to other pueblos, and I get to learn how to speak Quetchwa. It is a neat area, but I have hardly spent any time there becuase we´ve had a lot of conferences in Tuipza, which is about a 5 hour walk or a 1 hour by hitchhiking. It is a great place really great people, but it is like living in the old west. It is the place where Richard G. Scott first started the Church in Bolivia. It has the first chapel, which we live in, and the first member and his wife in Bolivia. They have no teeth, so understanding them was a monumental struggle, but it was a neat experience to meet them. I am glad to be where I am. He had the priesthood ordained to him by Richard G. Scott himself. Pretty cool. My Spanish has improved drastically with Elder Cortez, my non English speaking trainer. He is an excellent guy, I really enjoy working with him. But man, time is crawling at a glacial pace. I know that in about a month I wish it will start slowing down again. But it is good out here.

Another thing I forgot to add about Quiriza. It hasn´t had a new missionary and trainer or anyone less than 1 year experience in 2.5 years. Since before president Hansen was here. And hasn´t had a baptism in that long of time too. The people are all really nice and receptive to the message, but don´t care that much I guess. Hermana Hansen says that president must have a lot of trust in me to send me out there. Hopefully we can get the ball rolling.

Getting from Cochabamba to Quiriza was interesting. It was a 30 minute flight from Cocha to Sucre, then 1 hour in a taxi to a bus stop (busses are called Floatas) and then 8 or 9 hours to Tupiza which is where we slept. Got in at about 5:30 in the morning. Then another 1.5 hours to Quiriza. You would be right at home with the RZR in Quiriza. Literaly everything looks like Moab, just with insanely massive mountains everywhere. The Andes are nuts!

Love you all!
Quiriza, Bolivia
Brad w/ President and Sister Hansen

The Newbies

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 6 - Cochabamba!


Got to Cochabamba at about 7:30 this morning. I don't have a lot of time to email, just to say that I made it. It is so amazing here, the city is so quiet and clean and beautiful. And the mountains are unreal. But I am alive.

I love you, my P-Days are on Monday, so I will shoot you some emails then! Love you!!

*Parent Note (Brad left Lima last night at Midnight and flew to La Paz, Bolivia and then to Cochabamba.  He was able to call us from the Airport in Lima.  It was so good to talk to him.  I (Chris) was at the Utah Basketball Game and talked to him for a few minutes while watching the game.  He sounds so good!  He is so excited to be in the field and leave the monotony of the MTC.  He loved the MTC but was ready to move on.  We are so excited to hear about his trainer and first area on Monday.) 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week 5 - Devotional w/ a member of the 70


Life here is repetitive to say the least. Zone Leader is mentally exhausting, but a rewarding thing to do. We had a live devotional last night with a Member of the 70, it was excellent. Not a whole lot to report on this week. I am leaving for Bolivia on Tuesday, and I am so excited. I will for sure have a lot more to report on at that time. I hope you are all enjoying the snow, and just know that I am seething with jealousy. It is hotter than sin here, but nevertheless I still enjoy it.

That´s all I´ve got for today. Love you all and have a great week!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week 4 - Splits w/ Elders of the Lima South Mission

Things are going pretty well here. I am now the Zone Leader of the CCM (MTC). Pretty cool. Took away most of the very limited free time I had, but it's just fine.

It is going well, we went door to door in the Lima South Mission on splits with the Elders already out there. Great stuff. And the spanish is coming along, feels like we're coming to a language platuea, however.  I went with one of the Zone leaders from Lima south teaching less active members. You would've thought they were non members, but it went well. Lots and lots and lots of dogs all over the place, kinda crazy. But thankfully I could understand almost all of the lessons and could get points across.

My friend from high school is struggling. Last night I had to give him a blessing. He wants to come home, but he doesn't want to at the same time. 3 Kids from his district already went home. Dropping
like flies.

I love you all and can't wait to talk to you next week. Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Week 3 - A Little More of the Same

I´m doing well. This week was good, very similar to last week. Nothing major happened, unfortunately. But it was still good. The new group of latinos are really competetive at soccer, and my game is really starting to improve. No rugby balls anywhere in this country I've decided, but I have had the opportunity to teach the Latinos real football, and they aren't very good but they love it and ask about it every day.

I can understand more and more every day, but I feel as if I´m coming to a plateau that I will only be able to conquer with a Latino companion once I get to Bolivia. I can teach a lesson, albeit a simple lesson in Spanish on any of the doctrinal principles. Even better if I have one of the foilletos. But this week has been good. We watched a live stream of Neil A. Anderson last night from Provo MTC, that was good.

I havent had homesickness to bad at all, thank goodness. Seriously the hardest part is not seeing the stars and no real mountains. I am having a good time, hard to stay awake during study time. Can´t wait to actually be able to get to Bolivia. The latinos either love or hate bolivian food, no in between

In Lima the sky is orange, literally, at night from all of the light polution. Crazy stuff. I'm jealous I didn't get to go to yellowstone with you guys last week. Everyone here is yuppie and know seriously nothing about hunting or mountains or animals or anything. It´s really stressful when they talk about it because they make themselves look like darned fools. lol

I have to go. I love you, have a great week, I will make sure to do something interesting this week so that I have something to send next week!! I love you; have a great week!!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Week 2 Down. What a place!

I can not express what it is like here. The food is either good or it's quite the struggle to keep it down. But mostly good. A lot of the Elders spend a tremendous amount of time in the baƱo, if you know what I mean... But I have been blessed, thank goodness. The Latino elders are still just the absolute best, I love them to death. It is complete language immersion here, hardly any English is spoken, a blessing and a curse. Telling the lunch ladies what I want to eat is a monumental struggle at times. They just laugh and throw whatever they want on the plate, but that's okay. My companion and I have had opportunities to teach several mock lessons with fake investigators, that we didn't know were fake before hand, as well as some actual investigators. I had the opportunity to invite a guy named Yonni to baptism yesterday, it was quite the experience. I can understand most of a gospel related discussion in Spanish, and I manage to get broken sentences out while still being able to express myself fairly well. I´ll only be getting better.

I´m thrilled to hear that my UTES are doing well, also thrilled to hear that the team down south isn't doing so well. Just kidding, kind of.

I love you guys, I look forward to writing you again next week.

This picture is from the Temple this morning.

From left to right: Elder Horan from California, Elder Heaps, Elder Van Skyhawk, Elder Crosby (my companion), Elder Wirth from Dallas, he's 6 foot 4 and 260, and me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Week 1 - Peru is Crazy!

Peru is crazy. We left Tuesday morning, got in at about 3 am Wednesday morning. They let us sleep in until 7. There are about 30% of us who speak English; that means total immersion except for in the dormitories. The Latino people who dominate the CCM are the best people I have ever met. I love them to death. So happy, so willing to help us learn Spanish even when it takes me 10 minutes to figure out the word for running from them. They are amazing people. My companion is a kid from Alpine, Utah. His name is Elder Crosby. We have gotten along very well so far. My district has 4 kids from Utah, one from Dallas and one from California. 5 of the 6 are going to Cochabamba, Texas is going to Peru.

The language is coming along well. I went from understanding about nothing with hardly any language in school to being able to understand about 20% of an actual conversation with the Latinos in one week. It's nuts. The desserts are kind of goopy, not a huge fan of them. Rice is in EVERY lunch and dinner, without fail. We play soccer with the Latino elders every day, and they rally the gringos. They are all so saucy with their footwork even though they are a foot shorter and slower than us. It is so much fun. I love it so far, but I can not wait to get out in the field and
actually do work.

Elder Howells


The foggy Lima sky
      Elder Crosby
Elder Quispe is in the chair (He is Brad’s favorite so far)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

He made it!

I made it safely. The flight was long but it was good. I don´t have a
lot of time here, I´m sorry. Next Wednesday I will be able to talk
more. I hope you have a great week. 

I love and miss you all!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 6, 2015 - Airport

Elder Howells is on his way to the MTC in Lima, Peru for the next 6 weeks and then he will be on his way to Cochabamba!  We are so grateful for his desire and willingness to serve the Lord.  He will be a great missionary!

Love you Brad!