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, October 31, 2011

New companion, new family to teach, news from Mossoro!

Opa! Feliz Dia das Bruxas! tehê ou seja ``happy halloween!``
wow! it seems like just yesterday i was writing to you guys in the ``rodovíara`` ou seja the central bus stop...but now im writing to you guys in seriously a ``lanhouse`` it is somebody´s house which they turned half of it into basically a computer lab...its pretty strange but i like it.
Im in Tambaú right now which is stunningly gorgeous as it has a huge beachfront and a breath taking view from a boardwalk of the sea and upper parts of the city. Now with the change in District Leaders we have to come over here to use the internet. I dont mind the change! The bus route passes by the beach road that just has a smell of the ocean, its so refreshing! Elder Iglesia served his first area here in Tambau and i told him how could he have worked here becuase i would diedof being turtured by the serenity of the beaches. On the way here i saw the the sundial hotel that i saw on google maps back in the ctm and its just so much cooler to see the areas in person of course but it just blows my mind how fast time is going by...The Presidente doesnt live to far from here so our little group here of six missionarios might go invite him for some Açai! haha
Elder Wright my buddy from Mossoró was transfered to here in Joao Pessoa! It is so great to see him and hear how the ward in Bom Jardim is doing. Leila got married and baptized! Jefferson is the leader of the work in the ward and is preparing for a mission still, so great! Im still working on getting the package of ties to them as its a little complicated to get this package to the zone leaders when they have a zone leader meeting of the entire mission. Dont worry primary children it will get there safe and sound asap and will bring lots of joy!
With the change of companions it is always a bitter sweet moment. Its always sweet to get to know a new person and to see why they are out here on a mission and to hear their stories about their family. Elder Iglesia is the last of his family of six to serve a mission. His mom served in Rio de Janeiro and his Dad would have served but he was converted a little to late when he was 28. His other two older brothers served im not recalling where but are already married. He has one older Sister who is serving at Temple Square, Salt lake City!!! I want you guys to tell Grandma and Grandpa if they ever run into a Sister Iglesia, Im serving with her brother! Everybody here asks Elder Iglesia if his uncle is Julio Iglesia which apparently is some famous singer that ive never heard about. Its getting old to me hearing everybody ask that to him, i cant imagine how many times hes been asked that, well i think thats better than being called chinese most of the time...not that i have anything against the chinese of course not but its just getting a little old...
Wow! so the biggest greatest news i have to tell is about this family we met! I dont know what it is with me and the name Antonio...I was with Elder O. Moura one night when we were going to visit a man named Rafael who we are still teaching as he is a man with quite the history( more on him later) but one night when rafael was conversing with his neighbor he introduced us to him whose name is Senhor Antonio and we ended up inviting him to church and straight up with hestitation he accepted our invitation. We agreed on meeting him and his family the next morning to acompany them to church.  we met his ``wife``FatIma nds two beautiful daughters Amanda 11 years old and Alexandra 7 years old and they are just the cutest family. They really enjoyed their visit and were welcomed with open arms by the members. They went to church two times in one day to watch a baptism of kid in our ward. It was really special. We have been visiting them quite a lot lately. They are not married unfortunalty, but long story short we invited them to be married in our church and they accepted!!! One night we asked Senhor Antonio what he thought about asking his ``wife`` in marriage. He was like well tonights conversation before bed will be a little different then usual. the way he said was hilarious...WEll i never imagined that i would help a family get married, its something else and we are super excited for them. We pray that all turns out well, Plz pray for them!
Well quick little random requests before i gotta go...A member really loves to make pancakes here in my ward and asked me if i could get a hold of some good maple syrup...maybe you guys could send me some? also if you guys could find an origami book that was in my room the last time i checked would be very apreciated and what is Madison´s foot size? haha well I love you guys you know it, I wish you all a great week! Love Elder M. Howell

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Transfer Day...Andy Staying in Joao Pessoa!

Ola! Tudo bem?!
Puxa! Today I have exactly 9 months out in my mission...7 months here in Brasil, this brillantly colored and varied regions of culture who are just as diverse and interesting as its people...I have 9 months away from home...Definitely the longest period of my lifetime away from the people I love and the things that I used to love to do, the things that I grew acustomed to, the norms in my life. I look back, and I cant believe how fast time has gone by, its just like the Ctm but even weirder as everyday here out in the real world is different. I cant believe it has been this long since i have really just conversed in English. Well with all this time that i look back on i think of all the things i havnt shared becuase they are too personal to me or rather too personal to the person that shared these experiences to me that I dont feel comfortable sharing them here. But i do have a lot of other experiences that I can share that I have failed to go into detail. SO prepare yourself. 
 So let me start with something random, I was bit by a lizard! Also I fed little monkeys, but I will start with the lizard real quick. So pretty much here on our jaunts to pesquisadores I always see atleast 10 lizards chilling or should i say baking on the side of the brick walls that surround houses for security our sprawling about on the ground. Elder O. Moura and I one day got one pined or cornered becuase i was always saying that i wanted to catch one of these little nastly crawlers, but they are super fast! The guys vary in size from little thumbed sized to basically as big as your forearm. We got one in between there cornered and Elder O. Moura using his bag for some reseon shouted out ``Pegue ele!`` so whiped my hand down on his tail and grabed him with the other hand and all of the sudden this guy whipped his head around and bit me on the hand HARD! gosh dang! this guy left teeth marks! Elder O. Moura laughing and I yelling like a little girl ``Serio Cara!`Você sabia que eles mordem!`` ANyways so far on the mission i have been bit by a dog and a lizard.
As it is transfer our hair was standing on ends waiting for the dreaded tranfer call on where we would serve next. It was Elder O. Moura time to go as he had 6 months in Castelo Branco, a lot of time. He grew real close to the members there and also became real close to some of the people he baptised. It was really hard for him to go. It was also really hard on me because i grew really close to him not only just a fellow servant of God but as a friend, as a brother of our Heavenly Father. We promised each other that we would send each other our Wedding invitations just to let each other know whats up and if it were in the ball park to attend! Elder O. Moura was truly like a brother to me as he always wanted to know what was up with me and how i was feeling during the day. He truly wanted for us to be able to say whatever was on our minds...I felt like i could trust him with anything. Good preparation for my future everlasting companionship right? haha Elder O. Moura was transfered to Mossorò hehe to another area there but i told him that of course it will be a unforgetable expeirence there ha.
Well Melissa especially grew quite fond of him as he was the elder who baptised her. For a little going away party we went to a pizzaria with her and her Family, Bruno her little 1 year old, Ruan who was baptized last sunday! Her Mother Dona Sonha who is the sweetest wrinkliest old blonde that i have ever met and her gay brother Renato who is a cool guy who we are trying to get to know better but he works a lot and another great friend who Elder O. Moura baptized, Socorro, who´s name truly suits her, and she is a WHOLE another story on her own which i will try to explain sometime, lets just say that she needs, she is in great need of someting that will truly bring her peace of mind and love in her heart and the Gospel is really helping her out but she is still in need of some more advice, help from the words of God. It was a fabulous night as we did a rodizio com pizza! I ate 15 slices of pizza!!! We had a compition on who could eat the most and Elder O. Moura won!
Well My New Companion is named Elder Iglesia or elder Church in english ou Elder Igreja haha. He is a really cool guy also from Sao Paulo, I already met him while i was in Mossoro, Well more on him next week. I hope you guys have a splendid week! Love Elder M. HOwell Love you guys!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lots of pics and the latest letter!

Ola! Meus Queridos!

Well this past week, what can i tell you...I honestly was feeling a little down recently becuase we havnt been having too much sucess,  surprisingly we talked with a lot of people who didnt believe in God and really had no beliefs at all. To me its very obvious that God exists becuase when i look around at all the things on this earth, especially nature, I see all of God´s creations which testify that He lives. Everything around us is proof that He exists. Some of these people didnt even have a reason why they didnt believe and most said they just basically couldnt bring themselves to exercise a little faith. The Book of Mormon is a huge proof that God exists and that He answers the prayers of those or lets those people who dont believe know that He is if they will excercise at the least a ``particle of faith``. I was feeling down becuase i was starting to doubt that the promise that the Book of Mormon contains will be fulfilled to those we have been teaching becuase it hasnt been fulfilled for them....Well something interesting is that President Hall felt that the mission was losing spirituality becuase we were not using the Book of Mormon correctly. Presenting it like a product, like we were salesmen...This pást week we had interviews with the president and he told me to pray about the Book of Mormon again. I did so, one night reading the promise already feeling that i know that its true but when i read and asked again i just felt again a powerful feeling that its true and i gained more trust in its veracidade. I know its true without doubt...Another interesting thing is that this months Liahona is especially about the Book of Mormon! I know that my prayers were answered. This Liahona came out ``coincidentally`` when the Mission needed it too...We are the only church on the face of this planet that uses two sacred records that testify that Christ lives! It sadens me greatly when a person wont even put their faith to the test! We are greatly privledged! I love you all very much and hope you have a great week! Love Elder M. Howell

Birthday Party Pics!!

Some other pictures that we don't have details about!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ties for Brazil got there!!

Hey everybody! Hope you´re doing awesome!

This is going to be a short one today, a short one of thanks, big thanks!!!
I received the enourmous charitable very kind ´package of ties last week!!
I want to give a big hug to all the Primary Kids who helped! All the Elders during district
meeting flipped out when they heard i recieved over 40 ties! I know the reaction of the
kids in Mossoró will be that of sincere gratitude and more. Those ties will bring lots of
smiles...I will try to get the ties to them asap! I cant believe how fast time has flown by!!!
I hope Madison did great on her ACT and whatever the other thing was! haha It was super strange to have a birthday without you guys but I had a very sweet party with some friends and members. Will upload photos next week! I love you all very much! Elder M. Howell

Monday, October 3, 2011

Andy loved conference...

Ola Pessoal! Minha Querida Família e meus amados amigos!

How is everybody doing! Im doing fantastic! Super amped and inspired from General Conference! I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as i did. I certainly know you guys understood more than i did...haha It was quite the challenge to turn down watching conference in english  especially when they had a room open in our church broadcasting in english for basically just us american missionaries and its been so long since Ive heard some good old english spoken...but i promised myself last general conference when i had just arrived here in brasil that i would watch conference in portuguese the next time to test my language skills and patience...I understood a lot more than i thought i would. I really enjoyed Elder Richard G. Scotts talk mainly becuase he does his own translation...haha and he has the biggest spanish accent in his portugués. I brought some questions in my mind about some things like how i could be a better missionary and they were all answered in a special way to me. For example, Elder Perry answered my thoughts on how I used to be really shy to share my personaly beliefs but if i just concentrate on having Christ like love, I need not to have and fear of judgement or of what that person might say to me, those words wont change my testimony on what i know to be true, now i certainly as a missionary i cannot let shyness shut my mouth as i need to not only be a witness of Christ in example but in words as well...I challenge you all when a missionary moment arises dont let shyness get you down from standing up for whats right! I truly loved hearing more stories from our beloved profeta. The anouncement of more temples is exciting! I hope that you guys took something good away from conference...I actually was able to watch just two talks in English becuase my companion wanted to test his english and it was just a different experiece i cant describe to hear it in english. be grateful those of you who have the priviledge to hear conference in english. Oh so by the way i have been recieving everything you guys have been sending me, Thank you so much! I really enjoyed the smileys Dana! haha. Congrats Dylan Parry! Hope you guys havea splendid week! Love Elder M. Howell