I had a great week, we worked hard, and had seven people come to church yesterday, so I'm thrilled about that! We had a pretty good week, a couple of appointments, and a few services too, which I enjoyed. This week is a normal week, as far as I know, nothing out of the ordinary should happen! I am doing great! And yeah, of the seven people that came to church we have two brothers on date for the 12th August, I think they are on the right track for now!
I can't believe Brennen is on the way home and Chase too. Have you thought of a theme for my homecoming talk?? My week was great, I loved the zone conference, it was sweet. The new president is a great guy, he has no clue how to do missionary stuff yet, but he is a doctrinal wiz, so that's sweet. What he lacks for in mission knowledge and how to teach the way missionaries do, he makes up for it in the spirit, so I'd say he's just fine. I still miss Pres. Hansen though. Elder Gill and I are getting along good.
The work is going well, 7 investigators came to church yesterday, and we probably will have some baptisms the middle of August. Lately, I've been studying Sec. 93, there is so much more before spiritual life, and so much more after this life than, unless you look for it, you never find or even think of. It's sweet. I have gotten good at teaching specific principles, especially in a class setting, and or applying them into the plan of salvation, I love that kind of stuff.
Toady, we went on a tour of some old cathedrals from the 16th century, they were neat, but not one ounce of the spirit in those buildings.
We are doing great, no broken windows this week! ;) We worked hard, but nothing amazing this week, awesome gospel experiences, like always, but nothing off the walls! Today, we have been here and there, cleaned the house and now we are emailing our families. I can't believe how quick this is coming to an end, less than 80 days! Geez. Tuesday afternoon we are traveling to Sucre for our first Zone Conference with our new Mission President. I've heard he's a nice guy and a great teacher, so I'm excited to meet him. We will go in a bus tomorrow (Tuesday) at five in the afternoon, get there around 9 at night, more or less. Sucre is a lot closer than Tupiza (Tupiza was part of Brad's first area). The Tupiza Zone are going to be there too, so that will be cool.
Thought for the day.... The Prophet said if we read the Book of Mormon everyday it will make us sin resistant, and I feel that it's true, I've put it to the test and I can't deny it.
Happy 4th of July! I am good, I had a great week. One of the kids who is 9 years old got baptized, my comp baptized him and it was his first time, so I had the words written out on a paper (I was one of the witnesses) so he wouldn't forget them. My companion and I were swordfighting a little bit a few nights ago (with broom sticks) and he threw it, and broke a window.... Funny stuff, I have a video!I am so jealous you guys are going to the Oakley Rodeo tonight. Dang. President is gone.... That stinks! But they deserve the rest, they've worked too hard. I think the new President is going to do a good job, but I have never seen him so we'll see how that goes!
My comp wants to be an anesthesiologist, but I told him go big or go home, surgery or nothing, and he said "no way", lol. I'm converting him to the hick ways! He's still trying to stick the the yuppy life but I'll get him here quick!
And for this week we are a little empty, we have a meeting on Friday, and just normal appointments throughout the week! :) I hope you all have a great week.
I am good, the area is great and we've had better numbers in these last two weeks than the area has had in months, which makes me happy. The baptism didn't come through, so we rescheduled it for this week, and we should have one more too, so two in total. In my last area two of the three happened last week, so I am thrilled about that! :) I am doing really great, happy, I am good with the altitude now, have been for a couple of days, haven't been stomach sick at all, I am doing great!
How are you? :) Not a lot of air out here, my goodness. My comp (Elder Gill) is awesome, he has been out 4 months and lives by the Seare's (Katherine's Sister in Gilbert, AZ) kind of. It does get real cold at night, I put on my thermals and I have a double blanket, so I'm pretty good. Being up here has already caused me to start losing weight #thankgoodness. The area is big, but still half the size of my last one. The ward is big too, it's a ward of a 1000 members, but about 100 attend... sad. So, I don't have to iron my shirts anymore because I always wear a little sweater dealio, hahaha.
(I told Brad about our Father's Day activities) Haha, I wish I could've watched Poppy play ball! HAPPY FATHERS DAY to everyone!!! My area is big, but the other senior comps who were there before worked stupid while trying to work smart. So we've tracted a bit and are just trying to help everyone here. We have one guy that should get baptized this week. He didn't want to, but we had two chats, and now he's ready, I'm happy for him, his name is Juan Pablo Rios. And in my last area, I don't know what happened, but no one got baptized (He had 2-3 people ready for baptism when he left on Tuesday), which stinks, but there must be a reason... Well, I hope you all have a great week. Love, Elder Howells
I had a great week, and the baptism on Saturday was wonderful! I am going to go to Potosi, Centro 1 (area), with Elder Gill from Arizona as Senior Comp. I'm excited, Potosi is at like 13,400 ft. normally, so not bad! Yeah, it's winter so there should be pretty good weather (He's hoping for a little snow), supposed to be cold there, I don't know! I passed through Potosi when I was in a bus coming to Cochabamba or Sucre for immigrations. Just google it, and you'll get the jist of it from the first picture. The big hill is called Cerro Rico, or rich hill. Got a crazy story about the gold and silver, supposed to be a pretty haunted city, a lot of devil worshiping and crap. Don't like that at all, lol. I miss Dave Alcorn (Dave is a family friend who just passed away), he was one of the greatest in the Kingdom, that I know. Today we went to a barbecue, I made bratts, then lunch, and now we're here emailing! Tonight we have just a few appointments, then getting my bags ready. My flight leaves tomorrow (Tuesday 6/13) at 7 in the morning, only a half hour flight!
My week was good, we were busy, had things happen that weren't expected, but all in all, a great week! My companion is great, we are getting along just fine! And yes, he (President Hansen) is wrapping things up, he leaves here on the 31st of this month :( I promised them Texas Roadhouse when I get home, and they laughed and said it would be great. :) I love him!
(The unexpected things that happened?) Just some investigators who have cancer out of nowwhere, one who got raped (She is just 13), just sad stuff. But they are getting better! :) I feel great! And just preparing two people to get baptized this week! We have made great progress with them!!
I am doing pretty great, just chugging along. Elder Gumucio and I are happy, working hard, no complaints. We have 6 ready for baptism, 3 on the 10th and 3 on the 17th :) We played basketball and soccer today.
(Brad shared two conversion stories that stand out to him)
I don't know.... There is one named John Lennon, and his brother is named Kevin. The mom is a convert for a year now, no dad in the picture. John, when we met him, was atheist, but when we taught him why repentance was necesary, and we had him read Alma 39, he started to cry and wanted more than anything to change. He was baptized with his brother in February, and he is the most repented, humble and God seeking person I know. I love that guy. Every time he sees me (he is about 6' 6") he hugs me and says "hola house, como estas?" (no one can pronounce my last name). I love that guy.
Norma was receiving the chats for a couple of months, but she wasn't sure and was scared of messing up after her baptism. She came to General Conference, and the message by the Argentinan 70 changed her mind, and she and her daughter got baptized together, I baptized her and Elder Larrea baptized her daughter, Lindaly!!
When the members bring people, they are all referrals. In this area, knocking on doors yields very few results, the members bring us people and we teach them and try to baptize them, and we usually suceed! :)
My week ended a lot better than it started, but I miss Elder Larrea like crazy, I love that guy! I will get a new Bolivian ID, Hermana Hansen said the mission would cover it, thank goodness! And my new Comp is Elder Gumuccio, from Santa Cruz! He is a good guy, I've known him for a long time! We were friends before, but this transfer is only for 3 weeks, so we're gonna have to work like dogs to get everything taught to him! No, President hasn't told me anything, but based on how the transfers line up, I'll be having to leave this area at the end of the 3 weeks. I am happy though, because I feel like I've left the area better than when I found it! :)
Today was a good day too, we went to burger king and played basketball! :) My favorite scripture of the week is Mosiah 3:19!
I hope you all have a great week! Love, Elder Howells
Hey pops, somebody robbed me and my whole wallet, so can you hurry and cancel my credit card so that they can't take any money out! I love you, talk to you later! (That was the email Brad sent first thing Monday morning, I had to wait until later to find out if he was okay)
I'm good, just upset! ;) They only took 80 b's (Boliviano's; local currency), but I lost my Bolivian ID (200 b's to get replaced), my church insurance card, church and home credit cards, Temple Recommend, notes from you and mom, and my Sportsman's Warehouse frequent customer card (real upset about that one), and my pride, but that's okay!
We have a lot of appointments this week, so Elder Larrea will go home with a bang! :) The baptism was great, Javier is a special needs youth, mentally, and he was scared of the water, so the fifth time baptizing him was the charm.
We were able to Skype w/ Brad on Mothers Day. It was so good to see and talk to him. He is doing really well (other than getting robbed on Monday morning).
How are you?? :) This week was a hard week, a lot of doors and very very few answers, but we saw little miracles and tender mercies each day, which makes it all worth it. Today we played indoor volley ball, called wally, and then we went and ate, changed, and now we're here emailings. As far as calling on Mother's Day we haven't even found a computer to use yet, but we will email you during the week to let you know. It will probably be in the afternoon, I think! Elder Larrea is pretty worn out (He has 2 weeks left), but giving it his all, which is admirable. And transfers are the Sunday after Mother's day, I don't know what day that would be! I love you guys! Talk to you on Sunday!
My day has been good, I went and bought some souvenirs... It's weird that I'm to that point to buying stuff to take home. Then we went home, my comp took a shower and I accidentally fell asleep for two hours, and now we're here! ;) Elder Larrea is doing good, finishing strong! If these three planned baptisms for next Saturday happen, we will break records of baptisms together in two transfers for his whole mission!
That went on National news (The video below) and the newspaper. It was a holiday activity, and the stake president wasn't there for an interview, so, seeing as I'm ZL1, they made me do it, and then the clown wanted the one in charge, and the missionaries decided to shout my name, and there I was...
My day was good, we took a nap, got our hair cut, and now we're here! This last week was great, and this next week should be too. We've been trying to find more people to teach, and so far I'm happy with the people we've found. 2 of the new ones have a baptismal date for the 13th, and one other older investigator has a date for the 13th too! I am feeling pretty good, no complaints!
And this week is going to be pretty standard issue! And the only difference here in the fall is that the mornings are a little bit nippy, but really, not bad at all! It still can get hotter than sin and you can get burned in literally 5 minutes if you don't stick to the shade. For the high altitude the sun has a stronger effect. And Pres. is great, I saw him yesterday in a stake/mission president meeting with the zone leaders. It was cool, he drove us home! I think he might be a little trunky, but he really doesn't show it at all!
I am doing great. Better than a pig in a puddle. The baptisms went great this weekend, in fact, it was the first that actually started within 15 minutes of when it should. Usually everything in this country starts about an hour or 1.5 hours after it was supposed to start. That means everything, general conference, church, whatever. Hahaha.
Today we went and played soccer, I'm still no good, and this week looks to be a pretty laid back week as far as administrative stuff is concerned. Elder Larrea and I have a pretty great rythim, our area is buzzing and we've got the zone firing on all cylinders. We're excited.
Well... I didn't have a transfer, Ì'm going to be killing Elder Larrea (Sending him home), and then stay for the next transfer of 3 weeks, which I'm happy about! The baptisms were rescheduled for this week, and it's pretty sure that they're going to happen! We had a good week. A lot of lessons, new people, we are happy with how it went!! :) And this week is just a normal week of teaching with a regular district and zone meeting on Friday! :) This assignment (area, comp, etc.) it's my favorite assignment so far!! :)
General conference was awesome, I really enjoyed it! I'd say my favorite talks were by the counselors in the First Presidency in Priesthood session, and by the Australian guy, with Elder Rasband as well! I liked em all, I guess. Haha. This week we have two scheduled baptisms of Norma and her daughter Lindalee. They are about 85% percent sure for this week, and if not this week then the next. The temple was great and the interview was great! President asked me about the status of the mission, how I thought we could meet our goals of 900 baptisms a year (Currently at 670 in 2016), and how I thought we could improve the work. In conference, what stood out to me was that I heard, John 3:16 4 times and "Perfect love casteth out all fears" 4 times as well, if I'm not mistaken (I probably am ;).
I went pretty hard on indoor volleyball today, so we're a little tight right now. And transfers are on Sunday! I was trying to send some pictures and I just got a virus on my flash card. I hope it didn't delete all of my 1500 pictures! I am going to see in the offices because they have virus killing software!
My week was great!! Josè Gabriel's baptism was wonderful :) And my birthday was great! I am really happy :) Yesterday was a great day, hard to think it's my last birthday in the mission, that means I'm about to tap out. I have to take advantage of my time. I have already, but there is surely more to take advantage of, which I will. Today we went and played soccer and then bowling, and it was pretty fun. Now we're here emailing. And soon we're going to head off and preach the good word! And tomorrow we have district and zone meetings, Wednesday the Temple and the zone's interviews right after in the mission house (which is right behind the temple, literally), and Saturday and Sunday General Conference. I am thrilled for the conference, it should be great!
This week was a great week! We have Josè Gabriel who is going to get baptized this Saturday at 6:30 (Bolivian time), and two preparing themselves for the 8th of April. The zone did a lot better this week as a whole, which we are grateful for. Coming up this week, on Thursday we have zone conference, then just normal work the rest of the week!
I have been speaking pure spanish the whole mission except for in the offices and when I was with Elder Wren. Because of my different companions my vocabulary consists of Peruvian, Chilean, Ecuadorian, Argentinan, Panamanian, Bolivian and a little bit of Mexican. I have my r rolling down so good, especially when speaking fast or in slangs, people sometimes ask if I'm from Chile. One problem I have from time to time is that one word is fine here, but in Peru it's the worst thing. In the Dominican Republic you can say let's get in the bus, but here it means something bad. Hahaha you have to be careful depending on who you're with. I told a bunch of kids to screw off yesterday on accident in church. I wanted to say stop bugging the teacher, but I used an Ecuadorian word, which is fine there and every other country besides Bolivia. Hahaha. And I speak a little of Quechua, which is some old Jaredite aged Indian language, which is fun to use with the new gringos because they think it's Spanish because they still don't speak Spanish! Hah.
My week was really good! We worked hard this week, but the zone numbers aren't great. We're going to have our zone meeting tomorrow and we're going to fix that. It'll get better! That worries us a little bit. We played indoor volleyball as a district today, and now we're here emailing. We've gotta get our haircut today, too! There are 7 companionships in our zone, 14 missionaries. It's the smallest zone, but with the most consistently highest numbers, which is awesome!
Our investigators are doing well, but we need to find quality new ones. We have one guy who is 17 named Josè Gabriel committed for baptism for the 25th, and he's right on track. A great kid.
Lately it's been so rainy, it's crazy. It's wet and cloudy, 7 minutes later it's hotter than sin. Crazy!
I love my new comp, he is so awesome! He is like a latino Leanord Hoffsteader (Leonard is a brilliant nerd in the tv show The Big Bang Theory), which is awesome! I love him to death, his name is Elder Larrea, from Lima, Peru.
This week was good. We were busy with zone stuff and transfers, but after that, we got to work hard, and we are really happy with what we've been able to do so far! The snow at home looks awesome, I am doing really good! I am happy and excited to have my new companion!
Our investigators are good. Nobody came to church yesterday, which stinks. Last week we had to be in the airport for three days straight in a trio waiting for companions to get here from outside of Cochabamba, but the flights kept getting canceled and stuff like that, which was a pain. So we didn't get to work hardly as much as we wanted to. But Friday, Saturday and Sunday we gave it heck, and today we're going to, too! We have 2 people with a date and we are going to put 2-3 more this week! Attendance is really our biggest challenge out here.
My week was really good! Elder Cortez and I finished strong, I'd say! My new companion is from Peru. Elder Larrea is his name. He finishes not this transfer, but the next. He's a great guy from what I know, really humble, and just willing to work. I love that, and he is obedient! I am stoked for this transfer! I won't be with him until Wednesday, and on Thursday we have a leadership council! We had 3 investigators go to church yesterday (Norma, Lyndalee, and José Gabriel). José has a baptism date for the 25th of March.
Today and tomorrow we don't have permission to leave the house, just for lunch and to write, so that's it for today. The reason is the Carnivales have started, and everyone, literally everyone is drunk. We only have permission today to write you guys and go to lunch, then back to the house, and tomorrow, only to lunch. So that stinks! As far as feeling safe, I've felt pretty uncomfortable today, and even yesterday. But I usually feel fine. When you're white in an anti-white culture, it gets a little spicy sometimes. Hahahaha
The baptisms were great! I baptized and confimed Kevin, and my comp baptized and confirmed John! They were both non believers on anything spiritual. Kevin saw the logical part of things, and the Book of Mormon was his conversion key. John read Alma 39 as a commitment we left, and that converted him (v. 10-15).
The other investigators are doing very well, we are just making sure they understand repentance as a preparatory thing!! I think the second week of March will be the best time to be baptized for the majority of them.
Transfers are on Sunday, and we will receive our comps on Tuesday! I am doing good! Just keep on chugging along.
And there are blockades tomorrow and maybe Wednesday, so we'll see what ges on with the meetings this week. But my comp finishes proseyting on Friday, so I will be in a companionship with another guy in the zone whose comp is dying (going home) as well, I will be with him until the following Tuesday! So, that'll be sweet!!
(I asked Brad what a blockade was and this is his answer) Where a bunch of angry cholitas, taxi drivers, trufi or bus drivers sit in the streets and shoot off like mean fireworks and the cops flip out, people get trampled or hung, crap like that. It's a pretty middle age country, lol.
(The lady in these pictures is Maria. It was her birthday today and she wanted all of her favorite missionaries to come over and celebrate as part of their p-day. She is a neat lady and is always sending pictures of Brad)
This week was great. We had a bunch of sweet lessons, and unfortunately only two of the people we wanted to get baptized came to church, so John and Kevin are going to be baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. The rest of the people are going to wait for another couple of weeks so they can strengthen their habit of coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon. I have been good, just trying to help my comp finish strong (getting a little more tricky day by day).
It is literally hotter than can be down here, man! You get out of a cold shower and you're still sweating, that stinks. It's kind of rainy, but still hotter than sin. I miss mountain air and snow, but Cocha is still awesome. And yes, I admire that about the Savior too, we all need to work on that one;) (Selflessness) Speaking of that, I love Matt 18:11, with the footnote until I think the first semicolon after repentance.
I hope you all have a great week! Love, Elder Howells
I have had a great day! And I'm sorry, I was totally planning on sending pictures, but in my hurry this morning I forgot my cable at home, I'm so sorry!! Today was good, it's been raining a lot these last couple of days. I am doing pretty good, the bowels are holding up too, thank goodness! In divisions with somebody in the zone I helped him put two baptismal dates for the 4th of March, which is awesome! I saw some of the game (Super Bowl) playing last night walking around my area and I was really struggling to not pull up a lawn chair and partake of the football feast taking place.
Our investigators are great, there are a solid 4 that should be baptized not this Saturday but the next Saturday! That will be great. We had a solid week! I am happy with how things went. Now just to find new people so that they are lined up for the future, so that there are always people being prepared without large gaps.
This ward is pretty good, I prefered my last one, but this one is still very good. Today, we went to the store, saw some of the families Elder Cortez used to visit, and now we're here emailing.
Today we are going to go and just proselyte, maybe a family home evening would be nice. We will play it by ear for today. Tomorrow we have a zone meeting, like normal, then we just carry on until next Sunday and Monday!
Yeah, I'm good! I love the mission, and it is flying by...
Maria Vargas sent some pictures during the week of Brad and Elder Cortez...
My week was great! We got to go and work, but on Saturday and Sunday a pretty good cold hit my comp hard and me only a little bit, so we had 1.5 sick days. But that's okay! Don't tell mom ;) My area is awesome, the sisters in our ward had a baptism, and I got to be part of the confirmation, which was wonderful. Our schedule will basically stay very similar, just with the change of the study schedule flexibility.
And I am, just a pretty good runny nose! My comp is great, he's a trunky missionary, but a great guy who still wants to work, which I love. And our investigators are doing well. They come to church and are progressing. We have 7 people with a date for the 18th of February. I feel that at least 4 will happen on time! :) One is a mother and a daughter and the other is a kid who has been coming to church for almost 2 years but never was baptized, and we have 2 sisters who both might, so maybe even 5 promising ones. We want to build good reading habits before they decide anything!
That is so true. The members are more important for retention than the missionaries are, by far. And the zone is doing well, we are working hard. No real challenges now, I just need to learn the area a little bit better so that I can go and bring the new elders and do divisions (splits). President wants all 4 missionaries (zl's and trainer and trainee) to be working in the zl's area so that the missionaries see how a model area looks like (those are president's words).
President came to my very first zone meeting, that was rude, lol. My comp is awesome, we have been getting along super well! He played professional soccer back in the day, he tried to teach me and he quickly realized that I am far to American for the sport. Still fun though ;) We have 9 investigators, good people, with a baptism date for the 18th of February. That's so awesome! I love my area, it`s awesome, a lot people who are ready. We played soccer this morning, I played all time D, lol. Thats where I'm best, haha. We had more interviews with President and he told me that I will most likely be here for 3 transfers and then I will finish with 3 transfers more in another area. Time is flying by, kinda scary.
I live like on the 5th floor, (that's the top) and it is awesome. A great view where you can actually see the stars sometime! I do have a pension, her name is Angelica, she is a sweetheart! She cooks simple but tasty, which I like!! Yeah she is a member, and yes, it's an apartment building, every floor is a house. And no, it's a little bit humbler (than his house in Cocha). Its kind of like Tupiza, just a lot better. And no, we don't live with Angelica. We have to take transport to get to her house! We go to her house just one time a day at about 1 oclock, and the transports are called trufis! Just google Bolivian trufis, and you should see what I use about 5-6 times a day. when we all come down here in a couple of years we'll use them and you'll see just how "fun" they are lol.
I hope you all have a great week. Love, Elder Howells
Well, I'm a Zone Leader in Alamos, with Elder Cortez from Ecuador, same name as my trainer, but my trainer is from Perú. So that's cool, I think! I'm pretty happy, but it'll be weird to actually have full proselyting days for the first time in 4.5 months.
Yesterday starts the last transfer for Elder Wren (Former Comp - 2nd one), Elder Tatum (Previous comp), and Elder Cortez (my new companion; yes, I am "killing" him) (sending him home). That's gonna be weird.
My new area is not far from Cobija (previous area), probably about a 15 minute drive to the area from the offices, maybe 20. Yeah I'm staying in Cocha!! But I am in like a cattle farming area, which is pretty sweet. It's pretty green.I know him (new comp); not great, but I know him. He seems like a really great guy! I will train my replacemenet, Elder Heaps from my group in the MTC until Thursday, and then I will go to my zone on Thursday afternoon!
We are just preparing for transfers, President told me in my interview that I'll have a transfer. That stinks, because my area is awesome and it's the best ward I've had so far, but I am excited as all get out to not be in the offices anymore! I don't know where I'd go, but I hope I stay in Cochabamba. I have no desire to leave Cocha again. It's better with a little bit of modernization, I think. Yeah, I will miss him (Elder Padilla, his companion). We'll get the transfers on Sunday, but Tuesday is when the normal missionaries go to the new areas with their new comps. However, I'll need to train my new comp so I will probably go on Thursday! Well, I have to go! I love you so much and I hope you have a great week! I'll talk to you on Monday and let you know what happened!
We did get to teach this weekend, it was sweet!! Are investigators are wonderful, but they deserve more than the relatively little time we can give them. Elder Padilla is the best, we are getting along great. We had a pretty intense paintball match today. I gave em heck.
And yes, the dog was a pitbull, who is just like a bigger headed Lola called Maquiavelo. Anyways, I'm sorry time is short today, I have to go, I'm so sorry! I will talk to you next week!