Andy's Mission Scripture

Andy's Mission Scripture:

"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."

~Alma 29:9

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hot water and typing in English!

Opa! Tudo Jóia!

Hello! Hello! How is everybody! Im great and ready to write up a storm for this
week to make up for my lack of writing lately. So firstly, I want to address some questions and make some compliments before i forget. SO...right now for my living situation in Castelo Branco, João Pessoa,  Its just Elder O. Moura and I living in a cozy, humble little apartment on the first floor...thankfully. Our apartment building is quite big, consists of 5 or 6 floors and we our one building out an apartment complex of 6 buildings that are identical in shape but are different colors, if you were interested in the details. Our apartment consists of two little bedrooms, two bathrooms pretty much side by side, a kitchen and little dining/living room area. Its perfect for just the two of us. What more do we need anyways as missionaries other than a bed, study space, food and a bathroom. So its nice to have your own bathroom and we were showering individually...but now we are sharing a shower and using it seperatly of course, BECUASE  we just lately installed a hot shower faucet. The greatest invention here in Brasil. They use electric shower faucets to have hot water. Its actually relatively cold here in the mornings so a hot shower is so nice. Go four months without a hot shower and you will now how grateful I am for hot water. So for my talk last Sunday, not yesterday. I gave it on the Restuaration of the Gospel and talked about how the Gospel blesses families. I only ended up giving a third of my talk becuase apparenlty the 10 min that i was told that i had went by at lightning speed. So i felt it didnt go very well becuase i gave an incomplete talk, but the bishop thanked me, shook my hand and some members said thank you, but i could tell it was just out of courtesy, but one member specifically thanked me with tears in his eyes. So if one person was the touched and understood what i said, is good enough for me. So I have recieved every package you guys i have sent me by the way and the little extra $ for treats which is super appreciated but really you dont have to send some so frequently. I need to learn to ecnomize more. So like every two weeks or once a month would be ´pleny. I just sent a letter full of recent photos since i havent been able to upload any since my contraption to upload photos was lost with one of my bags, but my bag was found! A miracle! hopefully i will receive tom and next week i will upload some photos.
Hey so last tues. we had a zone conference and i saw some Elderes from my group in the Ctm i havent seen since i arrived in Brasil. Was really good to see them and swap stories and experiences of whats happened since we got here. The conference was really full of the spirit and our topic was on why we serve. We focused on a talk given by Dallin H. Oaks which talks about Service profoundly. You should read it if you havnt already. So about the couple we baptized! Thier names our Luciani and Genaina and thier batismal meeting was one of the best becuase of the reverence and testimonies of the members who attended. I was able to give the baptismal message and told them about my baptism and how I will never forget it becuase of the water. It went along peferctly becuase Genaina was suffering from a little cold and was very worried about the water and I promised if she put her faith in Christ she would not feel cold and she didnt...becuase i remember honestly, feeling cold on the outside..haha but I was super warm on the inside. So unfortunatly im getting worse at typing in english it seems so my tme is up. I want to leave one scripture. Alma 36/3 which called my attention. Hope everything is Tudo Bem! Love you guys! Elder M Howell

Monday, August 15, 2011

Opa! Tudo Jóia! How's everybody doing!?

Things here in João Pessoa are great! Im enjoying the weather here a lot more than the weather back in Mossoró, Im only sweating every now and then compared to always. Recently its been quite windy and rainy. Kind of scary at times because the wind can get pretty strong and some the streets here get flooded with a good ankle deep of water pretty easily, so at times Im thinking is there going to be a flood or a hurricane or something. I think im just being paranoid. Im starting to get to know this area little better everyday as this area is way more confusing than Mossoró with lots of streets and apartments everywhere. I still dont know how exactly to get to our Church here without Elder O. Moura´s help. Hey so I heard our ward got a new Bishop! Brother Salmon! Crazy! I pictured Bishop Johns being our Bishop when i returned for some reason. Brother Salmon is an awesome guy. He will be a great bishop. Hasnt he already been Bishop some time? Well I got a new Bishop too! Bishop Israel! He is quite the cool guy himself too and he speaks Portuguese...:/ but looks like he could be an American. Im liking this new ward here. Its really different but a like the difference in tranquility. I will be giving a 10 min talk in Sacrament next Sunday! Wish me Luck! Hey quick tidbit a think i forgot to mention is back in Mossoro you guys remember that family that was saving money to be married. Irma Leila who is practically a member but is not baptised, she will be married on Sept. 4! Im sad that i will be missing her grand moment and something she has been waiting for, for like 2 years, but Im way happy for her. Hey so Im sorry I forgot to mention my Comp again and i spent a lot of time writing the Pres. Sorry Im Awesome and I hope you guys are awesome too. Always Praying for you guys...We going to have 2 Baptisms this coming Sunday of A beautiful Couple that Of course i will tell you guys about next week. Love, Elder M. Howell

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hey everybody! Hello from João Pessoa!

Its nice to write to you guys so soon again since friday becuase I have lots to write about this area and my luck and tragedy on the trip here. So my P-day has not changed by the way, just as with transfers and all things get a little mixed up. So mondays are my P-days still, as you can see.
So I have arrived here, in the heart of the Mission, the zone of the Mission where the Presidente Hall himself lives! So the day before I left for Joao Pessoa was a little hectic. I learned that I was going to be transefered a day earlier than usual becuase my companion Elder Kitchen received a call from the assistants of the Presidente saying he was called to train a new Missionary! He was only called Senior for the one transfer I was with him! Was his first time being senior companion! So already being called as a trainer was a huge surprise to him. So him being called trainer meant that I was going to be transfered to a new area becuase he was going to train this greenie there in Mossoró. So that evening when we found out Elder Kitchen had to leave that Monday night to Joao Pessoa to recieve some training...So we had to travel to another city (that is part of the zone Mossoró somehow) called Açu which is more or less an hour drive from Mossoró. We had to meet with some other Missionaries down there for Elder Kitchen to travel with another Missionary (Elder Karston-Brasileiro) who was also called as a treinador and for me to stay with Elder Kartson´s comp. Elder Daçio. So we got a ride from a member of a ward to Açu and arrived there late monday night. Elder Kitchen and Karston walked themselves over to the bus station and had to take the midnight ride to Joao Pessoa! So I spent the night with Elder Daçio who is from Manaus by the way and he is way cool and chubby.
So we were not going to find out exactly where we were going to be transfered until that tuesday night. So we werent going to travel until Wed. So apparently i was supposed to bring all my bags to Açu for the transfer but Elder Kitchen told me otherwise. He was wrong. So Elder Daçio and I had to travel back to Mossoró for my bags! So I packed my things real quick that tuesday morning when we arrived back there and spent my last morning in Mossoró...We took a taxi back to Açu to pass the day there and for Elder Daçio to say goodbye to his friends. Sadly I really didnt get the chance to say goodbye to everybody with all the rush! I had the chance to eat lunch with Gilvan and his family Jefferson the Sec. of our ward who is 18 years old and will serve a mission soon. I got his address and email so i will know where he will end up serving! Right after lunch we had to go, so i had thoughts i wasnt going to be able to say goodbye to my best friend Jefferson Fransisco there who i baptized and will serve the next year. Somehow when we were walking on the main road to fetch a cab Jefferson passed by on his motorcyle! Was a miracle. Said our goodbyes...Im really going to miss that kid. When we arrived back in Açu that evening when passed by a lot of members house and some recent converts. That area and ward seems really nice. We spent that nigt really with a recent convert named Renato who is the bees knees. His conversion story is way cool. He said he had a dream three years before he met the missionaries about him sitting in a church feeling so much peace and three years later he that dream flashed back to him when he finally arrived in the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in that area. After that experience he was baptized a couple weeks later. Was a really awesome story and to be able to understand it all and converse with him was way cool.
Six months into the mission, 4 months in Brazil, the language in coming along, I can speak the language pretty fluently,but understanding is something else entirely. It really varies to me on the person with their accent. Also Im trying to better my accent as well as im not always understood as i still have an american accent, but hey i still have 1 year and six months to improve! hehe Now that i have a brazilian companion again i will be able to converse be corrected right and hear the way he talks to conform the way i talk. In my opinion things are way smoother with a brazilian companion honestly.
So when i arrived here i realized i had left a bag with tons of irreplaceable things in taxi we took in Açu!!! I almost died with shock and seriously almost cried becuase that bag had my photos and my journal full of 4 months of writing every single day of my experiences. Also it has my keys to my luggage! haha So my main mag full of my clothes was locked. Miracously the Bishop here knows a guy who is an expert at picking locks and we managed to open it. But he only managed to open the bag without opening the locks somehow, So i still need my keys to close it and reopen it. Luckily the next day i arrived here the zone leaders of this area recieved a call from Elder Karston back in Açu that they found my Bag!!! Milagre! Im super blessed! So i only suffered one day without clothes.
So this area is full of apartments and buses driving everyway, Way different. This area is a lot richer to be blunt. Im lucky to be in an area with a beautiful new church again and with a complete new set of sweet older members. In comparison this ward has no Young kids to Mossoró. Its a load calmer during the meetings. I dont miss the ruckus during sacrament but i do miss the excitement with the awesome kids back there. 
Well Im super excited to get to know some new people and to get know this new area!!! I have an awesome new comp who i have failed to talk about and i swear i will take pics of this area and fill you guys in more on him. Love you guys! Have a great week!
Love Elder M. Howell

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Baptism...transferred to a new area...bus crashes...lost luggage!

Opa!!!! Como Está as coisas aí?

Hey everybody! how are you? It feels like it has been a while...I have no idea where to begin. So much has happened in the last week from baptisms to transfers, saying goodbyes to traveling and losing a bag to being in a bus accident. So lets start back in Mossoró which I miss dearly already. So yeah i was transfered last tuesday night. Traveled pretty much the entire day wed. to Joao Pessoa! yup, Im in Joao Pessoa now in a area called Castelo Branco. Anyways I miss Mossoró very much already becuase of the awesome youth there and the kids who have really grown in the Gospel and have learned to love the simple things of it, like reading and praying, they have grasped a foundation in their lives which they can rely on for help in times of need. Let me tell you about one of my latest friends who was baptized named Malcom. He is such cool little righteous quiet dude. He lives in a neighborhood called St. Antonio which is the most dangerous part of Mossoró...I have a story that i could tell about one of the nights we were there but it would only make you worry. I will save that one for later, let me just say we were very blessed. and we never visited that neighborhood during the night again...Anyways Malcom lives amongst just truly bad influences all around him. Drug dealers...for example...Almost everytime we visited his house the police militia would drive by fly out their car doors and assault his neighbors house and do a search on the house and hold up and search his neighbors personally like a pat down. guns drawn and everything. Intense...When first met him, he was amoungst some of his other friends we were teaching in another neighborhood. he said he didnt know why but he just wanted to hear what we had to say.
He knew really nothing about our church or religion in general but he just said I felt something good about you guys. He went to church the next sunday he said he loved it. OUr lessons with him were really sweet and he would be waiting with chairs ready outside his house when we would come by. His growth in the Gospel was so awesome to see. This awesome quiet little cool kid amongst these drug dealers just reached out to us becuase he just wanted and knew there was something better in life. He was baptized by Jefferson the Sec. of our ward. Was sweet along with 4 others, Aline, Sidarle, Maria Jose and Izirani. Was a great day and i will miss him calling my name like ``Howl`` when we would pass him in the streets. I will really miss all my freinds back in Mossoró, the soccer boys especially. here in Joao pessoa it is really different. APartment complexs and parks and buses everywhere. A way different feel from a little humble town/neighborhood of Mossoro i was in. So anyways Im super lucky and was very unlucky as I mentioned before i lost a bag. As we were traveling I left it in a taxi we took. Lucky the next day the zone leaders here told me the other missionaries back in Mossoro had found my bag at there house. Everybody knows the ``Mormons`` well enough i guess. haha. We kinda stand out! So Im way blessed they found my bag becuase it was full of irreplaceable things like my journal of six mouths of the Mission. So about the Bus crash. was pretty surprising. No one was injured! Everything is fine. I cant really tell much detail right now and i will fill you guys in a much more on monday soon to come! Anyways i have a new companion too bythway haha. His name is Elder O, Moura. He is a Brasilian from Sao Paulo. He is twenty six years old! haha He is way cool and has a very interesting religious background. Anyways hope it was summer over there for a bit and you guys enjoyed it. I guess im really enjoying the rays over here for you guys. Praying for you always. Have a good weekend!!!
Love, Elder M. Howell