Sunday, March 16, 2014

Facebook Pioneer

Well you may have noticed I'm on Facebook!
Cool right?! The Tokyo and Tokyo South Missions are the only two
missions outside of the US to use Facebook as a form of proselyting.
To make it sound even cooler I'm one of a handful of people who have
the opportunity to use it. Right now only the mission leadership is
testing it. We're expecting that everyone will be able to use it in
about a month. It's pretty interesting so far. Slightly distracting,
but we've already seen some great miracles come of it and we're
excited to see what happens from here on out.

Since we're able to use Facebook I've found that after looking at your
profiles I want to talk to you a lot more. Unfortunately communication
with you all isn't allowed over Facebook. If you want to get in touch
with me however please send me an Email: I
don't always have a lot of email time, but if you send me a personal
email I'll do my best to write you back!! You can also write me a
letter at:

                    Elder Garrett Howard

4-25-12 Nishi Ochiai                 東京都    新宿区
Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo-To              西落合 4ー24ー12
161-0031                                   161-0031

Missionaries love mail!!

Other than the addition of Facebook things here are pretty normal.
Right now Elder Kudo and I are working hard to keep the momentum that
Elder Chen and I built last transfer. We have however been incredibly
busy with meetings and exchanges and unfortunately haven't been able
to meet with our friends as much as we would like. I guess sometimes
the work load is just different. As busy as we are however we have
managed to see a miracle every day! It's amazing how The Lord
consecrates your time when you are in his service. He really does
bless the Nations if the people simply have faith in him. We've been
blessed with the "heavenly gift" of Eternal Life and we GET to share
it with others.

Ether 12:
7 For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers,
after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them
until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that
some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.

8 But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world,
and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby
others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope
for those things which they have not seen.

9 Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if
ye will but have faith.

Alma 26:
37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people,
whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his
bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my
great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever.

God has prepared a way that all of his children may be partakers of
the "Heavenly Gift". This way is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm
grateful that I have the gospel in my life. I never knew the value of
it until I became a missionary. I challenge you all to consider how
different your life would be if/when you didn't know or understand the
Gospel of Jesus Christ. And after you think about that for a bit. Pray
and thank your Father in Heaven for giving you a path to follow. I
know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and I know that God
lives. It's written not only in the Bible but in the Book of Mormon.
All we have to do is have a little Faith in him and we too can come to
know him.

Enjoy the warmer weather and have a great week.
If you get a chance write me an email or shoot me a letter, I'd love
to hear from you!
I love and miss you all!

Sunday, March 9, 2014


Yesterday I had the awesome opportunity of going back to Matsudo to perform the Baptism for a family I'm good friends with. This is Yukino. She's 11 and she is first member of the church in her
family. In December her and her family came to church with the Sugimoto family. The Mother Michiko was an investigator and really wanted her kid's to be a part of the church. I still remember when
Elder Young and I looked at each other and said that The Lord had sent us a prepared family. The Elders and Sisters worked with them and Yukino said on her own that she wanted to be baptized. The Baptism was
great. One of my other friends Naoya was also baptized the same time. It was a great day for Matsudo Ward and a great day for both Naoya and Yukino. It felt really good to be a part of their Miracles. Every
baptism really is a Miracle.

That was the biggest thing for me this week. My new companion Elder Kudo is the Man he studied English at BYU Hawaii for a semester we take turns simultaneously translating what the other is saying. To
switch it up I speak Japanese and he speaks English. It's really funny. We've been working really closely with the zone this last week to spread our "propaganda" if you will..

On Satursay we did a small meeting with the DIstrict Leaders and Sister Training Leaders and told them our zone vision. Our Zone Vision is the same as it was last transfer; "one by one" (3Nephi 11:15-17) or
in other words "one baptism per area per month) This transfer however we have great plan help us achieve that goal. The first thing is companionship baptismal goals. Rather than set a big baptismal goal as
a zone we wanted to help each companionship remember and work towards the goals that they've already set. And by focusing in the people that we have that are close to be baptism we can achieve those numbers and hopefully see even two or three baptisms per area. President Dorff (our stake president) challenged us to write down daily how we see the Hand of The Lord in our work. As Elder Kudo and I discussed this we
came to the conclusion that we feel the true Joy of missionary work when we realize that we were the hand of The Lord. That we were just a point in the flow that comes from God to the Investigator. We enter
that flow by following the Circle of Revelation. As we are the "conduit" from The Lord to the person we are helping we feel Joy and we like Ammon, can't contain ourselves so we have to share that Joy
with others. This is where partnership comes in. As we share our Joy with members they will naturally gain the desire to feel that Joy themselves and eventually they will also enter that flow and become another "conduit" to the investigator and then they feel the Joy and will want to share that with others as well. In summary Joy, People and Partnership are our focuses for the transfer. We feel really good
about this vision. As we planned everything seemed to fit into place perfectly. I have a lot of faith that this transfer we're going to see big miracles in every area.

Well that's all for this week! Share parts of this with the Blog and stuff if you'd like. It's actually really hard to send emails to everyone now because I can't make a group with my ipad.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Transfer Calls and Other Good Stuff

Transfer calls came in today and it was an interesting one. My prophecy was correct. I'm the only Elder who is staying in Sakado. Elder Chen is obviously leaving, Elder Leaver is going to Narita and
Elder Miller is going to Sado Island. My knew companion is Elder Kudo. He's Japanese and he's really cool. I'm going to train him how to be a zone leader. I'll also be inheriting 2 area's worth of work so that should be interesting. I've handled big responsibilities before but this is my first time being a Senior Companion as a Zone Leader so it's a little nerve wracking, but I'm excited nonetheless. Elder Healy
got transferred to Sanjo up in Niigata. There's a good chance I won't see him until after the mission ha ha.
More exciting news; I also may be participating in a Baptismal service for one of the investigators in Matsudo this next week. The Matsudo Sister's 11 year old investigator, Yukino-chan, has a crush on me
asked If I would come and it sounds like I'll be doing the Baptism. I'm a good friend of her parents so I said I'd come down and they're all excited. I feel privileged to be a part of someone else's conversion experience

Anyways. This week was a really cool week. We had interviews with President Budge and he taught me a lot about something called the Circle of Revelation. It's really simple. You pray for someone and ask
The Lord what you need to do for them. You study for them and you talk about them with your companion, and then you plan for them and then you act on the plans you made. Lastly you report back to The Lord and
The Lord gives you more revelation and you repeat the cycle. He told me that if I followed this pattern every day that I would not only be able to help my investigators and know what they need, but that when I
start my own family this will be the pattern by which I will lead and guide and strengthen my family.

We have an investigator who's name is Toshimasa. He's a really great guy who's been meeting the missionaries for 6 months now and has gone back and forth between progressing and not progressing. His dream is to own a coffee farm and open a cafe. He's read the entire Book of
Mormon and he's always asking great questions. We really love working with him. Lately he's had a problem coming to church. He's come in the past but for whatever reason he said that he just doesn't feel ready.
Yesterday was Elder Chen's last day at church so he invited Toshimasa again but he said that he wouldn't come. About 10 minutes into the meeting he showed up. I'm 100% sure that God is working on him. He
said "I woke up and had to decide if I should go to church or if I should go to my friend's cafe. Church just seemed like the right decision." If that doesn't prove that God is working on him I don't
know what else will. Elder Chen and I were really excited. I'd rather have Toshimasa come than 12 new investigators.

Last night we had a lesson scheduled with him at a members house and we hadn't finished preparing so after church Elder Chen and I decided to take some time to prepare for him. We found the talk "Finding Joy
in the Journey" by President Monson from October 2008 conference. We really wanted to share it with him because he knows that if he wants to join the church he has to give up his coffee farm dream, which he
is at this point seriously thinking about doing. We wanted to share it but we thought the best thing to do would be to pray about it. We knelt down and asked The Lord if this was the right message. We both
felt that if we watched the talk at that particular members house (Mori Kyoudai) it would really help Toshimasa because Mori Kyoudai would have a lot of good comments about it. It was decided. Somewhere
along the line the question came about whether or not we should invite him to be baptized again and set another baptismal date with him. We decided we should pray again. We prayed and both felt strongly that it
was time to give him the invitation to act. Elder Chen asked if he could be the one to offer the invitation. I thought it was a good idea. We felt the best date was April 6th.

When we were actually teaching the lesson everyone was pretty tired after fasting and although the talk was great I was worried that we wouldn't be able to make the invitation or set the baptismal date. As the conversation went on Elder Chen began to make the invitation and we were able to set the date we wanted. The spirit was so strong. When we were returning home Elder Chen shared with me that he felt so
strongly during the lesson that the Holy Ghost was prompting him to invite Toshimasa to be baptized. He like me has doubted whether or not the time was right but that he knew he'd felt the prompting and had to
act on it. Everything went incredibly smoothly. My faith was strengthened so much and my understanding of the Circle or Revelation has really grown. I want to continue to apply that principle daily.
The best way to do missionary work is the way The Lord asks you to do missionary work.

I love being a missionary it's an incredible experience. I'm excited to see what the next 6 weeks have to bring. As of today I have 18 weeks left. I'm where Colin was when I was his companion. That's so
hard to believe. Well. That's all of I've got for this week. Give the family my Love!

 Brazillian Food with Elder Hall (American Fork) at Capim Dourado Grill. Sylvio the owner is a great friend of ours. (Wow I'm chubby.)

The second picture is us with Sister Takishita and Sister Owens.  Sister Takishita's mom wrote us letters so we were celebrating. I wasn't looking.