Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Week 51

This week was really good! We did some proselyting, well... as much as we could given the circumstances. And it rained, for like an hour, thank goodness. It's been cooler these days, which is weird... considering that summer is about to start. I think the four of us are going to stick together for conference. It should be cool, I am really really excited for conference. Elder Wren (Brad's second companion from Southern California) told me about the game (Utah vs. USC), I don't know how he knows, but I am thrilled. I even sang the fight song for my comps. ;) I miss this time of the year, I really do, I tell ya, I really do. A year ago tomorrow I gave my farewell talk... How do you feel about that.....?

Have an awesome week and enjoy General Conference, listen with your spiritual ears, and have the best week ever.

 Love, Elder Howells

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week 50 - The Office

My first week was good, stressful but good. I really do enjoy it, it's cool. My comp is the immigrations secretary and I am the records secretary. I'm responsible for all of the baptism records, references, english and spanish tests, listing and filing the names of all of the converts and rescue in the mission (like 300 people) up to now, and President has given me two projects. But I already finished one of them, thank goodness. This is probably my favorite area... the 4 secretaries live in a house, and we have so much fun. It's me, Elder Tatum (my comp) from California, Elder Jorgensen from Idaho, and Elder Coronado from Nicaragua. Those guys are awesome, I love my new job.

My new area is like two blocks from my old area.... But in another zone. The office lies in the Colón Ward limits. So I have not gone far. We have a couple of investigators. Tomorrow I don't think I'll leave the office. We will go to the temple way early in the morning, then after I give a district class, and then I have a lot and a lot and a lot of paperwork to do. But today we have a family home evening at 7:00 so we'll go to do that tonight!!

I love you all, have a great week!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Week 49 - Transfer Time

I've been transfered as one of the four Secretaries of the Mission and I stay as a District Leader... My comp is named Elder Tatum, he is way tall and I think from California, a really good guy. Elder Coloma is receiving a Mexican companion who is really a stellar guy who should help Elder Coloma out a lot. The other secretaries pick me up tonight, we will live in another city, but we work in the Mission Offices, where you guys label the packages to send them. That's my building. I have my own computer and desk and chores. I have to pick up the new people that get here, help with their immigrations, log baptismal records, make the mission digital and not electronic, and all that jazz.

My last week with Elder Coloma was good, we worked as hard as his body would allow, we had good sucess, and I feel like I've left Colón in a better way than when I got here. I am 100% satisfied with my time here.

I love you all!  Have a great week!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Week 48 - Good Friends

Here are some excerpts from Brad's email on Monday.
I have found that my patience with people has grown incredibly, but with inatimate objects, it has drastically shrunk. Our cellphone makes me wanna jump off a bridge sometimes. I get mad at doors, locks, pens, I'm a wreck. :)

Katherine and I are out of town on a photography workshop, hence the following comment and of course he is aware of a particular football game this weekend.  I'm not sure who told him :) Bolivia has some great photo elements, but also a lot of robbers, so, a win lose situation out here. I think the Utes should win, I'll pray for them.

My week was good, nothing too special. I made my comp have another interview with Pres., we worked hard this week, we did splits like 3 times, but it was worth it. We have a lot of new investigators that listen and read and all that, but they don't come to church. It's tough sometimes.

And this week we have a lot of appointments, a baptsimal interview this Wednesday for the assistants, and transfers next Sunday. Tomorrow is 11 months, a fat inch away from you folks, and time is flying. I am ready for a transfer, I wanna explore the country... ;)  Time goes by really fast, I'm serious. And this next transfer is one year and a little. That's crazy. That's when everyone really says that time really begins to fly by.  It's probable that I stay here, but then again, I could very well head out to Potosi or Sucre, Who knows? 

And my scripture this week is Mosiah 28:3. It really urges the members to help the missionaries with the work

Katherine asked Brad to share a spiritual experience.  This paragraph makes it all worth it....
I would say that while out here, in the humblest place in South America, sometimes it seems like the humblest place in the world, I have gained an understanding of really how and where the Savior walked. Especially after my time in Quiriza. To live there, you step out of our world, and back many centuries to a simpler life. Working hand in hand with the people taught me a greater lesson in humility and charity than I think I could've learned any place else, or in any other way. I have grown closer to God in these short 11 months than the 18 years previously, and I would not trade it for anything else in the world. Words can't express it, you just have to live it and love every minute of it, good or bad. And there really aren't any truly bad minutes.

This picture is of Brad and a good friend Steve Adamson who was in Cochabamba this week on business.  He knew Brad was there but had no idea where he was and Brad literally walked in front of Steve.  They had a nice chat and Steve gave he and his comp some money for a nice dinner.  We are so grateful to Steve, he has taken down packages for us and has been so kind to Brad.  I guess he doesn't hold anything against me for being his Jr. Jazz Coach :)