Tuesday, December 24, 2013

More Christmas Pics!

Jackson emailed home one day before the BIG day (aka we get to skype on Christmas day with him)
Here are some pictures of his Christmas party with the ward, Christmas shopping and presents and his companion goofing around.  By the way...basketball jerseys are only $5.00 in the Philippines!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pics from the Philippines!

One Month Out!!

Here is Jackson's response to his dads letter...Pretty cool!
Hello father!!

How are you doing? How is St George? Any new info on the Dodgers?! Our area is really impoverished, lots of squatter areas! But its okay! I have come to really appreciate what i have back home, there are also a lot of stray dogs and stray cats too, like big ones little ones haha but people dont eat dog here really, it is illegal where i am so the dogs just chill and do nothing haha. Oh really?! I miss the secret pal thing!! I wish i could have done that, being gone during christmas is really sad and makes me home sick cause that is the time of the year that you are always with your family! But i know that i am needed here for some reason and just need to "forget my self and go to work" Even know it may be hard some times i just need to endure and do this for these people! Dad i love the people here, especially the children, they are so cute and love coming up and talking to me! It just so sad cause they have absolutely nothing and i just wish i could do something for all of them! But the other day we were at a members house who lived in these sqautter areas and kids kept coming in and kept calling me "pogi"(handsome) and then they would pet my arms and play with my hair haha! But the kids are always perfecting my tagalog! I had a cool experience this week, we were at a LA family and her son had been sick for a while and they dont really have money for medicine or a doctor so we were just talking and we asked if we could give him a blessing, the mother said yes and we proceeded to give him a blessing, i was the one who actually did the blessing and after i did it i was in wonderment because of what i did and what i hold, the holy Melchizedek priesthood that Jesus Christ himself had and gave to the first 12 apostles, its such an amazing gift that we have dad, and i couldn't imagine life with out having it, it is such an amazing blessing and i am so glad i had the opportunity to use it!! Thats cool! and really nice of them to be thinking of me so make sure to tell them all hello!! I love seeing the emails i get from you they are always filled with such inspiration!! I love you so much dad thanks for being so awesome!! love and miss ya!

Love Jack

Maligayang Pasko (MERRY CHRISTMAS)

Here is Jacksons letter to his Mom....

 I know it has gone by so fast already its crazy i have been gone for a month already!! I am really good! Me and Elder Guard are christmas shopping at the biggest mall in our mission!!! ITs so freaking nice and so huge!! We are so stoked!!! I know its only like 10 days away crazy!! Our week has been okay, our numbers were lower than last week cause we hardly ever have people working with us so its hard cause we teach a lot of girls! But we had a good week!! Well our apartment is just so american! It literally is a nice apartment for america! And its only me and Guard there so its just like our own little slice of america!! Well we can buy it but we dont cause its better to use the other methods! haha Yes he should be getting them soon!! So tell her not to worry!! THey did?! thats awesome cause i will be spending that today!! Whats my exact balance of money?? I havnt seen any nativities but i can keep looking, i will look today while we are shopping? How is everything down home? How is it with out me there for christmas? Its kinda hard being away from family during this time.. Did you watch the Christmas conference? It was amazing! I strongly advise you to watch it!! Let me know how you are haha! LOve and miss you guys!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

THIS IS JACKSONS EMAIL TO HIS DAD.... (No pics this week because he left his card reader at home)

Hello father!! I love reading your emails they bringm me such joy!! and i loved seeing the pictures from SLC, they were so awesome and i am so proud of syd for doing that!! No i am only elder guards 2nd US comp, and the other one was named something totally different but i will watch out for him while i am here!! This week has been a good one, we taught more lessons this week than any othe week so that was awesome!! We and elder gaurd are loving it so much! We have a way nice appartment that is just the two of us there so it is always super clean and super american haha!! Its alright, its just totally different from Cebuano, so its a little tough but i am hanging in there and doing and trying the best that i can!! And elder Guard always tells me to not get discouraged and it will come to me eventually, he is just so good at the language i hope i can be as good as he is one day!! So the area i am in is Acacia 2 and it covers areas such as, Catmon,Tinajeros,Petrero,and Acacia. Its pretty dirty and there are a lot of jeepneys and trycs going around so there is a lot of pollution, but we and elder Guard still enjoy it here! It hasnt rained in a while, but its good, it currently isnt rainy season right now so it doesnt rain to often but there are usually always clouds in the sky and i think its going to rain but its just teasing me haha! Yes he is an awesome comp, he is teaching me so so much here and we are becoming way good friends its so awesome and i am so blessed to have his as my comp!! NO!! never again will i eat that, but i finally had so adobo, which i would say is my favortie thing to eat here its delecious!! Any ways your emails make me so happy and make me miss home, i miss you dad i cannt wait to here from you agian!! Love you 


This is Jacksons email response to his mom....

Thats crazy!! Elder Guard showed me some pictures of the snow in st george!! thats crazy there was that much snow!!! Yeah and i am sort of getting used to the crazy heat here so thats good i wasnt there for the cold cause i hate the cold haha!! I just would like a bigger house if i have any imput on things haha with a pool!! I am so glad that he signed i was worried that he wasnt going to go through with it! But any ways one of the members here sharred a story with me about some one who was LA for 20yrs but every sunday the family asked if they wanted to go to church with them but the person just kept saying no... But then the person started to notice a change in the family as they went to church so one sunday they asked him and he said yes, they are all an active family now and are sealed for eternity and also he is now a Melkezedec preisthood holder, so we just need to keep inviting tyler every sunday and he will eventually come back!! Q1: We are teaching 8 investigators and 6 of them are brand new that we found this week, we have one I with a bap date which is a cool story in itself, So this investigator we have is a real sketchy guy and i am pretty sure he does crazy drugs anyways he is just a little sketchy guy, so Saturday we had 6 lessons planned and we went to everyone and nobody was home, and after each one i kept getting the feeling we should go to Joel(the sketchy guy) so we went to our last appt and they werent there so i was like elder Guard i think we should go teach Joel, and he said i sure hope you are being guieded by the spirit cause he his way freaky, so we went and taught him and it went good and we gave him a bap date!! He is planning on being baptized January 5, so i hope he follows through with it! Every sunday we have church at 9 but usually starts at 9:30(everyone here is on Filippeno time haha) but after church we have a meeting with the ward council to discuss how we are doing and what we need help with! I am sending them tomorrow!! Yes, i am starting to get used to rice so thats good!!  but i love and miss you all so much have an awesome week fam!!!

Elder Howell

Mahal Kita!!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

This is our second week response from Jackson.  It was right after Thanksgiving and it was great to hear from him!

Well hello family it is always so good hearing all of your emails and hear what is going on down in st geezy!! Every thing is still good here its nice and hot and its raining a little more than usual! But the food is still weird and its hard to get used to because its so different than the food we eat in the states, like they have spaghetti here and you think oh that sounds so gooood! but... its weird they put coconut milk and like sweet stuff in it so its normal spaghetti but its really sweet and odd haha but hopefully i will begin to like it! I have a lot of pictures to share this week and a video of me eating balut!! If you dont know what it is look it up, its so gross, but you have to do it to become a true filipino! So tanner prob wouldnt like the food here, i hopefully will begin to enjoy it or i am screwed!! But i am begining to teach more and more in the lessons, i can now bear my testimony and pray in tagalog so i can now pray in 3 different languages hahaha!! I also can just go up to people and ask questions like "do you know any mormons, what their religion is and stuff like that!! but elder Guard is helping me a lot and we are having a lot of fun! Yesterday we were teaching an investigator and she could speak good english so i had a big role in the lesson it was so awesome being able to express my true feelings to them!! Ohhh and on Friday we and Elder Guard we out and we went and ate at this sketchy burger place and got wayyy sick we thought we were going to die on saturday, we didnt even go out and work cause we were feeling so sick and nasty! I went poop 16 times, yes i counted how many times i did it it was a rough day, but we took some meds and were are all good now!! We refer to that day as the day of death! I am so jealous about black friday and thanksgiving i missed it so much!! I wanted to be home having thanksgiving!! hahah! But everything is still good here let me know how you all are doing!!

Love Elder Howell

How is your apartment: Well we have aircon but we never use it cause its really expensive, we all have to wash our clothes by hand which sucks so bad!! We have a fridge\freezer and there are 6 of us that live there and there is only room for four so it sucks! but we are trying to get a new and improved house!!
How is your companion? He is awesome and he is teaching me so much!! And we get a long so good!!, and its fun having someone who has the same city as me so we talk about home and are always being obidient missionarys!
Do u get along with KJ?Oh yes of course! We are awesome!!
Are you teaching anyone yet?Yeah we teach multiple people a day!!
How is the language coming along?  (Don't get discouraged...u are so smart!)Its okay its hard learning a language i have no idea how to speak but i wont give up!!
Did you get elder Oakes his shoes and socks?Nope, i have no way of giving them to someone unless there is a zone meeting which isnt until the 11th
What is one thing you learned this week? UMMM i learned what a bakla is hahaha its a guy who is gay and dresses like a girl!!!
How was it doing your laundry by hand?IT sucks so bad and takes forever!!


Here is an email from Jackson a week and a half after he arrived in the Philippines.  He was reassigned to the Quezon City North Mission after the devastating typhoon that hit Tacloban.

Hello Father!! I am here safe and sound so no need to worry haha!! But my companion is..... Elder KJ Guard from good ol Pine View high!! IT was so crazy and awesome when we found out that we were going to be companions! That flight was long and very very boring haha but i suffered through it and i arrived here safe and sound!! The mission president is so awesome!! He is pretty strict but he needs to be cause this mission used to have really really bad obidience problems so he has really stepped up and cleaned up the missionarys here! A lot of kids have been sent home in the last 6 months cause they were all being idiots!! I am in the Acacia area in the Caloocan stake, its a pretty dirty nasty poor area where sister missionarys arent even allowed because it is dangerous!! But dont tell mom that or she might have a heart attack! haha I havnt been in the main city yet and I dont even know if the main city is in our mission or if its in the Quezon City mission! I am not of fan of the food yet, but i heard that you just get used to it after a while same with the heat and humidity of it here! I am good!! My first day here was a pretty big culture shock!! By seeing the way that people lived and also seeing everything here so it was hard to get used to seeing that kind of stuff everyday! But i am good now and excited to serve!! I love all of your emails dad they are so uplifting and inspiring  as i read them! i cant wait to read more on monday!! Love you dad!!

Love Elder Howell

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jackson on Pink Tie Wednesdays and Short Tie Fridays...and Special Visit from FAMILY

Jacksons letter to Mom (Notice how short it is:)

I am so glad you guys had fun during his birthday dinner! You can make it through your class i promise, the Lord gives us these hard trials to only make us stronger people, and i know that you can do it!! Okay cool just let me know! Its crazy to think i am over half way done here! and i only have like 18 days left here!! crazyyyy!! Thats sad, make sure you make him feel loved, i think that's the best way, also i wouldn't enforce to much on him dating right away cause he prob got hurt pretty bad. Yeah me too she is so awesome and she makes me so happy. And all her letters are so uplifting. But keep writing i love everything i get from you guys!! love you mom!

Elder Howell

Jacksons letter to Dad (Notice a little longer...haha)

 Jealous! That sounds so much better than the food we are getting here haha!! How many games up are they?? And is kershaw still dominating? what is his era? thats awesome i am glad to hear he is healthy again!! Yeah it was really cool to see them, i got asked to host, and i knew he was coming in today so i kept waiting for their car and next thing you know there they were!! It was cool to see people from the real world haha! but it was way cool and good to see family!! Thats so awesome you will have to let me know how he does, why does he have to go up north and take it? Yes, it is starting to get quite cold here, but i kind of like it cause its going to be so hot where i am going so its going to be a nice little thing before i go, it also has been raining a lot here! Its coming good!! My last email was my testimony in cebuano! And we are encouraged to only speak cebuano now, its tough but its a nice challenge. Oh and thanks so much for those goodies and the sweatshirts cause its starting to get cold so thanks so much!!! I miss you so much dad, i miss all of our dodger talks and all of the good times we had together, you never realize how good you have it until its "gone" but i know i need to be out here and i know you and me will be eternally blessed for me going on a mission. And i am so excited to serve the people of the philippines. Thanks so much dad i love your emails and letters they are so uplifting and encouraging, love you so much!

Love elder Howell

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dad, you are a wonderful writer and bring me to tears every time i read your letters!! I bet camping was awesome! Did you hike to the top of the mountain like you planed? I bet the weather was great!! The weather up here gets a little chllly in the mornings but by mid day it is warm again! I cant believe you took bella into the outdoors!! haha was she like freaking out the whole time you were there?? I have a cool story to share with you, i have been worried abou you guys and Courtney and i have been praying a lot to keep you guys so and was still worried until i was prompted to go into D&C section 100, and the verses i read were abut Joseph Smith and he was away from his family for an extended period of time, and like me he started to miss them so he prayed, and heavenly father said... You dont need to worry you are doing the lords work and your family is in my hands i will keep them safe. How awesome is that the Lord wanted me to see that for a reason and teared up to the fact that i didnt need to worry about it any more because i am doing the lords work and he will keep you guys and courtney safe!! I was so happy after reading this!! But i hope all is good in St. George i am still loving the MTC and all the stuff here! I hope school is doing good, And keep rooting for the dodgers for me!! Love and miss you dad.

Love Elder Howell

To Jackson:

1.  Did you get the jeans and what did you need them for?
2.  Have you received the donuts, cinnamon rolls, swedish fish, cookies and box of goodies?
3.  How is the language coming? (really...don't sugar coat)
4.  Tell me a little about each companion...(where from, how old? where they are going?)
5.  What is the day like for you in the MTC?  (start to finish)
6.  What is your PDay like?
7.  What do you need?  What can I send you?

Answered by Jackson: 

1. YES
2. Yes and thank you so much i have shared them with my district!
3. I think it is going good! I enjoy learning this language so much and its such a beautiful thing to learn and preach in the native tongue of these people!
5. We wake up at 6:15 shower, then at 7-8 we have personal study and i usually read scriptures and study preach my gospel, Then at 8:15 we have breakfast(defiantly my least fav meal) than at 8:45 we have class and this goes until 11:45, which is usually language learning and some gospel learning in there too, and also we have 2 investigators and we teach them like 3 times a week. Then we either have language study from 11:45 until 1:10 or companionship study, so we get to compose a lesson for our upcoming investigator. Then at 1:10 we have lunch and that goes until 1:55 and then after lunch we have more study time. Then at 2:45 we have class again until 5:45, then at 5:45 we have a daily planning session which we use to plan out our next day. Then at 6:10 we have dinner until 7:00 and i either will have TALL(a computer software language program) or i have gym and that goes until 8:05 and if i do TALL after dinner, then i go to gym until 9 but if i have gym after dinner instead of TALL i have study time after gym for an hour. That is basically my day oh and i go to bed at 10:30
6.Pday starts off with study and then breakfast. After breakfast i come and read emails and respond to them. Then at 10:40 we have laundry to do!! Then we have the temple at 3:00 so in between the scheduled things we have free time to do whatever(get hair cut, nap do more emails, etc) then at 6 we have class/ teaching an investigator until 8!! then more study until 9:30.
4. First there is elder Manley, he is so funny and makes our whole district laugh!! i love that kid haha he is from California! He does an asian women impersonation and for some reason its my grandma so our whole distirct is like "elder manley when is grandma howell coming today?" hahaha its so funny to hear him talk like and old Asian lady!! He is going to Tacloban, Then there is elder Oakes who is so awesome and is so in tuned with the spirit its amazing to study and do things with him cause he knows so much about doctrine and scripture!! He is from Washington and is going to Tacloban as well.
7. I am good now, our whole district has been sick so i just bought some cold medicine here and i am getting better but i am good!! thanks tho!!

Awesome i am so glad you guys are treating here like a member of the family it makes me so happy!! So is growing so much spiritually too its so amazing and she always sends such nice and uplifting letters!! Sorry about the pics i havnt taken very many but i will start!!

Love Elder Howell

Friday, September 6, 2013

Letters to Dad and Tanner

Here is a Letter to Jonathan and Tanner...

DADDD thanks so much!! i miss you and your dodgers updates that you always gave me! there is this elder who is in my zone who is a big Giants fan haha so we always give each other crap haha, but how is Kershank?? is kemp back yet?!?! i saw that you said they were 10.5 games up!! Thats so good! they are going to win the world series this year and i wont even be there to witness it!! But i know what i am doing is the right thing!! And i get more excited each day about going to the Phillipines but keep me posted about the Dodgers i wanna know everything! But i love that picture you sent! it reminds we of our wonderful times playing wiffle ball and me and ty kicking you and tans butts haha!! Well i love hearing from you guys and miss you all!! Hear from you soon love you!!
Love Elder Howell

Hey buddy!! how are you man? i miss my little brother to "bug" haha I am doing so good!! i love the MTC so much, there are so many opportunities to learn and grow both physically and mentally! You are going to do awesome when fall baseball starts, always remember that you are the best on that field so go out and play like you are!!! The language is coming along okay... Its a hard language to learn, but one of the elders in my district is really good with the language so he helps all of us with it so that is good!! Thanks tann tann love and miss you too, it means a lot hearing from you! Keep them coming!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Our First Email Home! (September 5, 2013)

Hello family!! IT is so good to hear from you guys! and i am so thankful for all of the things you have sent me! they were so nice and thoughtful! But anyways, i love the MTC it is so awesome and i am learning so much while i am here! My cebuano is coming along a lot better than before and i am learning so many new things about the gospel! My companions are awesome and they are so cool! Eler Oakes is from Olympia, Washington and ELder Manley is from Southern California! I have already grown to love both of these elders that i have been serving with! We are already like best friends! The days here are kind of long but the weeks go by so fast! its crazy to think that i have already been here for over a week!! And i love it! My testimony has grown 10 times the amount from when i had first entered! We have had multiple mission confreences while i have been here and a story from one of those the night before the conf. i asked my heavenly father if this is what i am suppose to be doing, and i didn't get my answer right away but i did get it the next day! The conf. was awesome the speakers were the old mission pres. of the MTC in the Philippines and they were saying how awesome it was there and how amazing the people were and right then and there i knew this is where i needed to be. I also have an awesome district, the other two elders in my district are Elder Fox and Elder Smith and they both have MGs who are waiting for them too! But they are so awesome and they are good examples to me! The other night our district had a testimony meeting in our room and it was so amazing and the spirit was so so strong while we were doing this! IT was simply amazing! I had the opportunity to give elder Oakes a blessing because he has been sick and he asked me and my other companion to do it and i was able to seal the anointing and the spirit just flowed out my mouth as i was giving him this blessing! It was such a cool thing too do here and i am so glad i could finally do it! I had no idea what to say before but as i said the blessing the spirit directed me on what so say and what the elder needed specifically.Oh and my branch presidents name is Pres Capik, he is a firm guy with strict rules so he will be one of those tough mission presidents to love, but he is still a nice guy and i and i believe he cares for each of us! But anyways sorry I haven't been able to write or respond my P-day isnt until today! So always remember that i can write you all on thursdays! But thanks so much for all the letters and packages they make me feel so loved! I love you guys so much and think of you all the time! i love this work that i get to participate in and i am so excited to spread the gospel to the people of the Philippines. Hope all is well down south! Love and miss you all!(: 

Ps, tell tanner that the food here was really good the first few days and now its slowly getting gross haha but it is still good and they have a lot of selections! But not as good as mamma's home cookin!!

WIth much love, Elder Howell