Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fifth and Final Week in the MTC


This is my last week in the MTC so next time I email I will be doing it from Denmark! Kinda scary that I have no idea where, but I'm ready to get out of here! I have learned so much here and I'm feeling good about Danish, until of course I get there!

This week went well. On Sunday we heard from this Stake President who played BYU football in the 80s and played in the NFL a little bit I think. I think his name was Nai or Sai or something. He's from New Jersey. He gave a talk on how to be natural and comfortable about talking about the church with others. It was good to hear because I hate talking about religion with people so maybe now I have the motivation to hit up everyone in Salt Lake, Dallas, London and of course Denmark. (That's my flight route.)

On Monday I got to host the Senior Missionaries who were incoming. So that was fun. Our leader guy who was a volunteer was like 50 or so, came up to me after we were finished and said, "Hey, can you stay behind for a minute, I've got a special task for you today." So I was like "Uhh, okay." Then he goes, "I don't know why, but I've been strongly prompted that I need to talk with you about something. I have a son, who is 18, that feels like he has no testimony and doesn't believe there's a God out there. He says he prays, but gets no answers. He's hopeless. I've tried talking to him about serving a mission, and he told me, 'Why would I serve for something I have no faith in.' He says he wants to believe in God and have faith in him, but he can't, no matter what he does. He's a good kid and strives his best in everything he does. Last night, my wife had a dream that he was called to serve in the Charlotte, NC mission. When you told me you're from Charlotte, I was hit with a brick that you are the answer to my wife, my son and my own prayers to help him. I know for a fact you can help him. And after praying for months, you're the only answer and I know you're the right answer." So he gave me his email to email him a message. So I did that.

So that was super cool. I hope I at least helped! That'd be a bit disappointing if I ended up not helping. But hey, if he knows that's the answer, I know God will guide me to say what I need to say!!

So that leads me to where I am today. I'm super excited to call on Monday! I got 3 chances too! :) So I'm looking forward to talking to you all several thousand miles across the Atlantic in Scandinavia! I love you all!


Ældste Taylor Howes 

Pictures at the MTC

This week, we had a lot of surprise pictures from some family members and friends who bumped into Elder Howes. A huge shout out to Christian Fullmer and our Aunt Dana and her daughter Brenna. We love seeing pictures of Taylor, so if you bump into him this last week at the MTC, be sure to snap a picture with him!

Pictures at the MTC

This week, we had a lot of surprise pictures from some family members and friends who bumped into Elder Howes. A huge shout out to Christian Fullmer and our Aunt Dana and her daughter Brenna. We love seeing pictures of Taylor, so if you bump into him this last week at the MTC, be sure to snap a picture with him!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fourth Week in the MTC


Jeg håber at enhver mennesker tilbage på hjem er godt! Denne ude var godt! In reality, I have no idea how good or bad the grammar or spelling was considering they only teach us how to speak pretty much!

This week was well. The new Dutch and Icelandic Elders arrived and they're pretty cool! They all adjusted pretty well so no one was really feeling homesick! The Icelanders aren't too thrilled about being here for 9 weeks but hey that's the fun for them!

This is my second to last PDay in the MTC and I'm loving the countdown! I get my flight plans on Friday so I'm thrilled about seeing the planes I get to ride and the cities I get to see! I'll let you all know next week what the plan is!

It's kind of funny how Sunday goes from being the worst, least enjoyable day of the week top the best, most enjoyable day of the week as a missionary. We do nothing but church and go to the temple so it's super relaxing! Wednesday is also good, but we still have class! ):

We still have the same 3 "investigators" and so far we've got two "committed" to baptism but in reality that means almost nothing haha. But it's progress made! And practice. One of our teachers/investigators is the Debbie Downer and doesn't do anything but sleep and lay back in the lesson so we hate teaching him....And it's not even like our lessons are boring haha we ask him a question like every minute. But anyways that's what I put up with everyday!

Sunday we heard a talk about obedience. I didn't exactly learn a ton because it was stuff that's drilled into us everyday and what we already follow. But I guess it'd be helpful for the disobedient Elders! Tuesday we heard from a Seventy on Head Knowledge, Heart knowledge and Soul Knowledge. It was just the steps of how an investigator should progress. They should go from Facts, to feeling the facts and practicing or acting upon the facts. Once again, something I already knew and that we do about everyday but I guess it was a refresher!

Anyways, only 1 and a half weeks left! I'm excited to get out of here! I can't wait to be in Denmark doing what I've been practicing. Sitting in the same chair for 10 hours gets old. But whatever!

I'll talk to you all next week! Jeg elsker jer!


Ældste Taylor Howes

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Third Week in the MTC


I'm on a computer that doesn't have Danish capabilities on it but that's okay because we're in America and we speak English!

This week has flown by! Wednesday we went to the temple and it was just awesome to get out of the MTC and walk around everywhere. Of course the ceremony was good too, but it's just nice to sit back and relax and enjoy nature.

Right after email time on Wednesday, one of the Elders here was struggling bad and we thought he would go home. I was super heart broken cause he looked super bad. He's going to Norway but his companion gave him a blessing and I got to stand in on that. He spoke with the Branch President too and now he's doing so much better. It's pretty cool.

On Sunday we had church and all of that. Sunday night the BYU men's choir came to sing and that was absolutely fantastic. I was so pumped to hear them because in General Conference they sound amazing. And they definitely were! It's hilarious to see the faces they make when they sing. Anyways, they sang for about an hour and a few choir members said some devotional stuff about their experience as missionaries. it was pretty cool.

On Monday the 2 Dutch missionaries left, although the Dutch Elder, Elder Bringhurst, had to get diverted by way of the New York Utica mission (I called that mission whenever he asked us to guess). So that's pretty cool! The Dutch sister, Zuster Duncan went off to Holland though so she's there right now. They were some awesome people. Today we get 9 new Elders - 7 Dutch and 2 Icelandic. I'm pretty stoked for them to get here because then we'll have all 5 languages of our little branch. I think there will be somewhere around 25 of us at that point. 

This week our Branch President was released and we got the former MTC Executive Secretary as our Branch President now. He's a cool guy. Anyways so I'm still the Zone Leader and I think i will be until I leave.

Yesterday, Elder Zwick and his wife (from the 70) gave a talk and it was pretty good. They talked on the Atonement and what it encompasses and I learned a lot. It was sort of cool that he had like his 30 year old son with mental disabilities get up and bare his testimony of missionaries and the church. It's weird how much they know and how much they love people. It's cool too. Anyways he sorta taught the atonement helps us with our sins; sicknesses and afflictions; and perfecting ourselves. All that it requires is to have faith and not have an upset heart or have a discouraged heart. It helps me because I like to be Mr. Negativity and stuff like that so it gave me a bright outlook. 

Anyways It's been snowing the past couple days here and it's been frigid! But I like it because I like a bit of change and snow makes everyone happier. I get to go to the temple today so I'm stoked for that. It felt like I was writing a letter like two days ago because the time flies. I'm sure it'll be the same way next week!  

Jeg elsker dig og jeg vil tale med jer naeste ude!

AEldste Taylor Howes

Here's some pics.. yes there's a pure selfie.


Second Week in the MTC


Hvordan går det på hjem?

The MTC is going well! This week went by so fast and general conference was so cool! It was really funny to see all of the missionaries asleep during some of the talks. I knocked out during a couple of them. It's so hard to stay awake after sitting there for hours on end and waking up at 6:30 every morning. I really like Jeffrey R Holland's talk. There were a ton of talks on family and technology and was just interesting that that is what they thought was the most important thing in today's world. So we were in our devotional room or gym all day saturday and sunday.

This week was also super incredible.... On Sunday we had a devotional...and they said it'd be special... and it was! They had Vocal Point come and perform for us--the A Capella group that s LDS that won America's Got Talent or something... It was really cool! A super good thing that I think we missionaries needed because going without music sucked.

The food this week wasn't so bad but something tore my stomach up on Monday. I was not doing well at all!  I try to just eat salad and fruit now! 

They new Elders and Sisters going to Norway and Sweden are awesome too! Next Wednesday we get 7 Dutchies and 2 Icelanders so our zone is about to have like 25 in it! I'm going to miss the Dutch Elder and Sister. They're really cool people. 

The language is coming along super well. I'm pretty much conversational in Danish now. It's a super fun language. Some of the words sound funny and you just laugh a lot when you hear people speak. 

So what else is going on here.....hmmm...well my district has gotten a lot better. The zone is really awesome. These Scandinavians really know how to be cool! 

I'm pretty excited to get out of here. But I've got 5 investigators I've been teaching here.. They're all my teachers and 2 are Danish volunteers that are LDS. It's kinda cool just to speak Danish and it's cool they're not real because we screw up alot. 

Anyways. It's going a lot better here than last week! I'm looking forward to the next PDay.. They're so fun!

Jeg elsker jer,

Ældste Taylor Howes

First Week in the MTC


On Thursday after I got here I got to write you all. I was made District Leader on Thursday and on Sunday they made me Zone I get to carry around a phone for our zone after the Ned-Bel missionary leaves. On Monday the Swedes and the Norgs left and I was kind of sad. But today we should be getting some more Swedes and Norgs so I can't wait for them to get here.  I like my companion a lot. There is a Netherland-Belgium missionary in our zone is super cool. He's a zone leader too but he leaves in two weeks. I like him a lot so I just talk to him all of the time.

Yesterday I had a devotional and I got to hear from Elder Teh from the Seventy. It was kinda a cool talk and it sort of talked about making weak things strong. Anyway the spirit here is like no other. I took a couple pictures the first day here and forgot to bring my camera here. I went on a temple walk and we took a big huge picture with the old zone. I loved the Swedes and Norgs so much. They were awesome and soooo cool. I kinda wish they were still here but I know they'll do great in their respective missions. I think they had like 6 sisters and 12 elders who left. So now our zone is down to 7 until the rest get here today. 

I now know how to pray entirely and bare my testimony in Danish. I know about as much danish as I do spanish. Its the tungemalsgaven! (The gift of tongues). My favorite word is definitely praestedommetmyndighed, which means priesthood authority. Its so hard to say. But we've taught 4 lessons to a fake investigator named Torbin and He committed to baptism on the 3rd lesson which is good. And yes, it was entirely in Danish. I'm sure our accents in Danish are horrible but our teacher said we won't be fluent for about 4 months...and even then we wont sound too good. So i'm kinda interested to see how we progress. I hate having to wait a week for P day but I mean oh well.... I wish I got to email everyday. I haven't really gotten homesick but Im just ready to get out of the MTC. I've realized the MTC is all about learning and growing so I guess I won't be satisfactory until I leave here May 4.. Only a month to go!

I don't get to learn any ICelandic, fortunately, and I'll tell you why.....the Icelandics are here for 9 weeks...and that SUCKS. I'm glad I'm only here for 6 but I'm still ready to bounce. I can't wait to come home after I'm done here though!! I miss everyone back home and having the ability just to talk to people.

Jeg elsker jer, (don't try to pronounce it... and if you do, it's Yai elsker yer)

AElste Taylor Howes (IDK how to connect all these AEs and stuff.)