Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31, 2010

Dear Family!

Man this week has been awesome! We had the best Missionary event so far on my mission! It was so awesome! What we did is every month we have a missionary fireside here to help members bring their friends to something other that church which is a little bit easier. We also have it like a fireside so that members can just show up and get an opportunity to feel the spirit and fellowship with the investigators that do come. Our problem though is that we haven’t been having any members other that our ward missionaries show up so we don’t have any other support from the members. So for this month we decided to call it a ward fireside instead of what we were calling it, which was a missionary fireside. Then, we called the members on the Monday and reminded them about it and re invited them to it so that it was fresh on their minds because the program that we set up was going to be really good.

So here is the program that we had lined out. We were basing it off of Easter since it is Easter week. So we got three members from the ward to give short 5 to 7 minute talks. One was going to talk on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, one was going to talk about the crucifixion and the last was going to talk on the resurrection. Then we had 3 musical numbers to go between each of those talks that had an Easter theme and then we also showed a clip from Finding faith in Christ and a short clip of Geoffery R Hollands talk None were with him. Then we had refreshments for afterwards which were rootbeer floats and cookies. The musicals numbers were a song sung by bro Mortensen who is related to the Mortensens that used to be in our ward, a piano arrangement, and an arrangement with the Ukulala. It was so so so good. So we have this wonderful program planned out we have all the refreshments and the speakers and everything ready to go. And remember we called about 10 families and reminded and re invited them to come and most of them said they would be there. Then last night on the 30th of March we held it and Only one of the families that we called showed up. We had 2 other members there and everyone else had something to do in the program or was married to someone that had something to do in the program. It was so frustrating. The bishop was there though so hopefully he will see that the members aren’t helping us out as much as they should be and we can’t do much without the members. But it was such a good program. The spirit was way strong it was a good way to end out the transfer. The lesson that I learned though is that it doesn’t matter if you are helping the missionaries teach somebody or not. The missionaries are taking the place of our Savior and if he were putting on a fireside by golly EVERYBODY would be there. Well we as members need to support the missionaries and go to the things that they are putting on. It is way more important than staying home or not wanting to put your Sunday close back on or any other excuses that may arise. Missionary work is very important and should be supported by the members.

Speaking of transfers. We got our transfer call yesterday morning. Elder Andersen is leaving and I am staying here and going to DL and getting a fairly new missionary this will be his second or third transfer out to far. His name is Elder Bishop and he is from Utah.

That’s about it though. We are still having success with Jorge and Clara. We taught them the Plan of Salvation in the church on Monday and at the end they taught it back to us. We are hoping that they will want to get married and that they will be able to be married as well.

That’s about all though. Hope every one is doing good and enjoying the nice weather while its here. Love you all thanks for your E-mails.

Elder Haws

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Preston sent me these pictures today, so I thought that I would post them!!

Hi (March 24, 2010)

Well Hello!

My how good has this week been! We’ve seen it all from rain to snow to warm spring weather! We had some really really nice weather on Friday and Saturday then on Sunday it was raining most of the day. Then Monday it was snowing! I don’t know what is going on here in Alabama but they need to figure out their weather. Its crazy. Right now it is really good though.

We have been doing a lot of really good things here though. We are seeing the blessing of being obedient work on our side. When you are doing what is right it seems inevitable that you are going to be blessed for it. Like the good book says “ I the Lord am bound when you do what I say but when you do not what I say you have no promise” so when we do what the Lord says he is bound to what he says but when we don’t we have no promise. As for me when I don’t have the Lords promise I just think that When we need him he could look at us and say shoot you don’t have my promise how about you get yourself out of this one. Since you didn’t listen to me the first time or I also think of another analogy. If we do what he says he is going to show us what we need to do and all we will need to do is to follow him. However when we aren’t doing what he says he could just say do it by yourself and when your doing what is right I’ll let you know, which is so much harder in the long run.

We are getting ready to have a huge blits in our area! We are getting all of the youth in the ward and about 12 to 14 missionaries come in on the 31 of march and Blitz the area. What we are going to do is we have these things we call the member survey questionnaires. What it is, is a piece of paper with 4 questions on it such as if there was a prophet on the earth today would you want to know about it? If there was a message that could help your family become more unified and strengthen would you want to hear it? If there was another book of scripture that testified of Jesus Christ would you read it? And last could two representatives come by and give this message to you along with a copy of this book of scripture. Its way effective especially when you have to members do it! So we are going to get the youth in the ward to go out and do this with the missionaries so that they can get the experience of sharing the gospel and we can get a lot of reffrrals from it! I can’t wait.

We are getting ready to have our monthly fireside as well. This month we are going to have an Easter theme to it. We are having 4 musical numbers and two short video clips along with three speakers. We are hoping for a really good turn out and that the members will come and support us. We have been calling it a missionary fireside in the past and we haven’t had very member many show up so we are going to call it an Easter fireside this time and see if we can’t get a better turn out to it.

It is starting to get green though! It is so nice to see people starting to mow their lawns and getting ready for spring. When I say green I mean greener than it already was. It is green all year round here which is really neat.

Transfers are coming up. WE will find out on Tuesday what is going to happen so you;ll know in my next letter. I hope everyone is doing okay. I love hearing form all of you!

Love Elder Haws

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wahooo! (March 17th)

Well things are once again starting to pick up here in Decatur. (In case anyone is wondering how to say Decatur it’s like this, Dee kay tur) The weather is throwing everyone here for a loop. One weekend it will be really nice and you’ll think that we are getting into spring and then the very next day it will rain or it will be really cloudy and you’ll have to wear your coat then it will go back and forth back and forth. It’s so weird. They are saying though that this has been the most snow that they have gotten in long time.

We have a sister who is also a ward missionary and she is so good. I wish every member was like she is. Her name is Patricia Wynn, cool huh mom, and she is a convert to the gospel of about 30 or so years. She helps us out so much though. The cool part is it that she will help us out almost whenever we need her to. She will drop what she is doing a lot of the time to help us with our missionary work. She was taking us around one day to see her friends to see if we could teach them, and we had great success. The cool part though is that she hadn’t told her friends that she was going to be bringing us bye she just showed up with us there and said these are my friends and they have an important message for you and your family and as your friend I think it would be great if you took the time to listen to them. That was paraphrasing but it was close to that. Well by doing this we were able to find a family of 11!!! They are Hispanic, for some reason we are running into a lot of those. They have 9 kids from the ages of 2 to 19. It is way exciting. 2 of them came to an activity that we had at the church on the 16th. We are way excited for them and to be able to start teaching them. Hopefully something good will come from it. Who knows soon we will be able to start a Spanish Branch here in Decatur!

We have been giving out a lot of Mau referrals. Those are a way sweet way to get the members involved and it makes a whole lot better and more comfortable for the member. What it is is a cover sleeve for the Book of Mormon. On the front it has” a gift for the (family or the person(s) name) with an opportunity to read from, then you see the word another testament of Jesus Christ. Then on the inside it has inserts and the usual marked out scripture like moroni 10:3-5 and third nephi 11 and things like that. Then the member can either choose to have the missionaries take it to the person or the member can come with us to deliver it which is what we prefer. It’s a really good program that they are trying out here and it is doing wonders!

We are still working with Ryan but its going really slow. He shows up to our activities but its getting to be pretty tough getting him to church. Hopefully they will get better.

I’m doing well though. Elder Andersen got another President Tate fortune cookie for transfers so we don’t really know what is going to happen but it said get Elder Haws ready to take over the area in case the lord needs you somewhere else. So it could but it could not happen we’ll have to see in about 2 weeks!

Well that’s about all for this week that I can think of. We are going to go to Huntsville today to play some basketball with all the missionaries in the Zone just about. Its going to be fun!

I love ya’ll can’t wait to hear from ya.

Love Elder Haws!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Story of a Convert

Here is a story of a convert that I love so I thought I would share it with ya’ll.

Tony was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints July 26, 2008.

When Tony was 9 years old his mother married a man who was in the Navy. His step-father had returned home and was working for a delivery company. There was an altercation between Tony’s step-father and his step-father’s supervisor about some money being withheld from a delivery and a fight ensued. His step-father’s supervisor was white. His step-father came home after the fight, thinking the whole issue was over, but about 3:00 in the morning carloads of policeman showed up at his house, took him out in the woods and beat him. His step-father decided he didn’t want to live in the South, so he moved to New York. Tony’s mother decided to follow her husband and left Tony in the care of his grandmother. Tony’s grandmother had two qualities he remembers. She was a strict disciplinarian and she was very religious. She wouldn’t let him leave the house unless he was presentable, that meant having his shirt tucked in and his hair combed. She also insisted on him attending anything that had to do with religion, even if it was only choir practice. He remembers having the mumps and his grandmother still making him go to church. Tony said he was the only one on the whole bench that day. He said one day he was sitting in church listening to the preacher, C. N. Ellis. Pastor Ellis had a gift for preaching and Tony was impressed with the words he used. Pastor Ellis said, “Don’t break the cords of life.” Tony decided then and there that he wanted to be able to talk like that. After this experience, he couldn’t get enough of church and went every chance he had. At 15 his mom came back and Tony had to quit school for a while to watch his siblings while his mother worked. But by then the seed was already planted and he knew what he wanted and his goal was to have his own church. At 16 he became an ordained preacher. He was still under the supervision of the Deacon’s Board, but he was allowed to preach and perform marriages. He went to college, and at 24, became a Baptist pastor at the Free For all Baptist Church.

At around this same time frame Tony became active in the Civil Rights movement. Through this association he met a man by the name of T.Y. Rogers. Rogers suggested he come to Tuscaloosa, Alabama because there was a church down there looking for a pastor. He tells how he caught a bus because he didn’t have a car and met the Deacon’s Board at the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church. They talked with him and decided he would be just what the youth of the church needed and offered him the job as pastor of the Baptist church. He took the bus back to Atlanta, got a car from a friend and headed to Tuscaloosa to start a new life. He learned a lot about life and people. He couldn’t understand why he couldn’t get people in his parish to help him. Deacon William Hughes told him, “you have to earn their respect, right now you are just their preacher, and you have to preach until they love you.” Tony said it took him about five years to earn that respect. During this process of becoming a pastor, Tony developed a relationship with God and learned not to be impulsive.

Tony had been watching the BYU channel and had heard Gordon B. Hinckley give a talk about how people in pre-mortal and the after life are pulling for us here on earth. He said, all of a sudden his face was wet and he realized he was crying. He says, “My bones were on fire. I felt the spirit and knew what President Hinckley was talking about was true.” It was the first time he had ever felt that way. Tony had been deeply touched by what President Hinckley had said. He said it was not a quiet feeling and he wanted to share it with everyone. He felt like he couldn’t contain it. He then started to watch the BYU channel and had been watching it for about two weeks.

One day shortly after this experience, Tony went to the post office in Montgomery. He had gone in there to mail some of his musical CD’s. He is a singer and was sending them to recording studios. His picture was on the front of the CDs. He was standing in line and a lady kept looking from him to his CDS. She finally asked if the picture on the CD was of him and he told her it was. She said, “I am a Christian,” and a conversation began. As he was talking to her, he noticed a couple of young men as they walked into the post office. They were wearing white shirts and ties. These young men just stood by the door looking in Tony and this lady’s direction. The conversation between Tony and the lady ended and one of these young men walked up to Tony and introduced himself as Elder Branvold. (He is Stephen Nels Branvold and was serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Alabama Birmingham Mission.) Elder Branvold told Tony he had over heard his conversation with the lady and he had a message for him and he wanted to come to his house and teach him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Branvold made one visit to Tony’s house and then was transferred and Elder Christensen and Elder Gordon came to teach him.

When asked how he felt about the message he heard from the missionaries he said, “I recognized it as the truth as soon as I heard it.” He said “when I learned about eternal families all the pieces finally fit.”

It took Tony a month before he was baptized. Tony is convinced that the Gospel is going to catch on like fire in the Deep South. To put it in Tony’s words, “The gospel is so greatly needed here. There is a greater amplification when you put the Bible and the Book of Mormon together. The greatest strength of any ethnic group is the family system. You need the family to stay together.”

This editor has talked to many African American members about their conversion in the Church and one common thread that runs through the conversation when asked about how they are treated by their friends, they say their friends tell them the Church is a white folk’s church and they are betraying their people by joining a white church. I asked Tony about this and he agreed that he had the same reaction from his friends, then he said, “I tell them, I am not joining a white folk’s church. I AM JUST GOING HOME.”

Even after his baptism Tony continued to preach in Baptist churches around the area, but he began preaching Mormon doctrine. Openly he got in trouble for doing that, but he had many pastors call him as he talked about the Plan of Salvation and wanted to know more about it and how he could back it up with scriptures. He has always replied to them, giving them references from the Bible.

I asked Tony how his life had changed since his baptism and receiving the Priesthood. He said he has had many difficult challenges since joining the church. Satan is working hard on him, but he says, “I will continue to be focused and will keep my eyes on Christ.” He says in spite of all his personal problems he has peace in his life.

When asked if there was one single event that influenced him to join the church, he said: “When I started going to church, I finally had friends. Members would come up to me and asked me if they could help me. Many members helped me in so many ways. They all asked what they could to do to help make my transition easier.”

Tony is very active in his ward. He was just called to be Sunday School President. He has done baptisms for the dead and on March 6, 2009, Tony took out his endowments in the Birmingham Alabama Temple. He said of his experience in the Temple. “I felt like I was home.” Tony is in the process of writing a book entitled; “Fire in My Bones.” Tony’s goal in life right now is to be a good missionary, and someday he wants to go back to the churches he preached in and tell them about the Restored Gospel.


Well, we are already three weeks into the transfer thus far. Crazy! Time is just zooming by. We have been pretty busy though this week which is so good. We had a team up with the Zone Leaders on Thursday night and Friday morning afternoon then we had church on Sunday then we went on a team up to Athens on Monday then on Tuesday we had Zone Conference which brings us to today. Its been a good week though.

Our team up with the Zone Leaders, Elder Ryzska and Elder Brockett was way fun. It turns out that Elder Brockett is related to the Larue’s in Eagar. He is from Gilbert and so when we got to talking it was interesting to find out that and that he has been to Eagar and Springerville when he was smaller. He has also been to Sunrise lots of times and all that fun stuff. We were able to work with Monica more on that team up as well as every other day of the week so far. She is such a fun person to teach. She is just like a little child when you are talkin to them and tellin them the things that you know or when you are answering their questions. She just soaks it all up and keeps moving forward. Brandy is also progressing very well. She also listens to us and puts in her two sense and has been going on the church website and studying as well as reading a little bit out of the book of mormon and the book of mormon on trial. I hope and pray that they will receive their answers soon and will be able to see the changes that have already occurred in their lives as they have been meeting with us and talking to us. Its so funny because I never thought that I could be friends with someone that was so much older than me but it happened. They are so much fun. I can honestly call them my friends and not have it be weird in anyway. It’s so great!

Oh yea then on Friday and had the most dumbest thing happen to me. So there I was at church on Sunday before this last one and a member, sister Meyer, came up and asked me if she could feed us that week on Friday or Saturday. I said “sure hows Friday sound” she said “sounds great I’ll see you firday at 6;30” and splits. So then all the next week we try to call her to confirm and she never calls us back and then on Thursday we had an opportunity to teach one of our investigators at the church at 6 so we try to call her again to see if we can push it back to 7. Well she never answers and never calls us back. Here is where it gets interesting. We don’t have a key to the library at the church so whenever we teach a lesson there with a movie, which we were going to do tonight, we have to call the bishop so he can come and open the library for us. So we call the bishop and tell him we need it open at 6 so that we could get in watch the movie and get out in time to still make it to the dinner appointment. Well Bishop didn’t show up until 6:30 so we didn’t get out of there until about 7:15 making us 45 minutes late for dinner. When we get out of our lesson we have a missed call of course from sister Meyer saying your not here could you please have to courtesy to give me a call. In a rude tone. So I call her and she chews me out for not being there. Saying how she took off of work at 200$ an hour to make us t-bone steaks and how I not we but I needed to be more responsible and that I needed to grow up. She wouldn’t let me talk at all to explain the situation and to tell her that we tried calling her and that we ended up not having her correct number on the ward roster and then she hung up on me. Then she called the bishop and complained to him and he called us in on Sunday and told us that dinner appointments were more important than teaching appointments. It was way interesting. So we wrote her and apology letter, (kill them with kindness right mom!) and we still don’t have a key to the library. Oh well. But the moral of the story is if the missionaries don’t show up to dinner or are going to be way late. Don’t get angry because they are the servants of the lord and are most likely doing whats right.

Then we had our zone conference and President Tate told me to start driving so I think that Elder Andersen is going to be getting transferred. So I am now in the driving seat! Woohoo! Zone conference was really good though. We learned and were reminded on how to involve the members and why it is important. Its always good to get those gentle reminders to make sure we are still doing what is right.

Life is going good though. It is getting a lot warmer and is starting to green up again. I think that our cold weather is gone till next year thank goodness. Now I just have to get prepared for the heat.

I love ya’ll. Thanks for your prayers and your letters!

Love Elder Haws

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 3, 2010

Hello Everybody,

We had a good week so far. Things have been going up and down all week though. We have felt like we are riding a rollercoaster more than doing missionary work even though they go together.

On Sunday we had 6 investigators at church so it wasn’t our best but it’s still way good. We found out that Amy and Ashleigh went to another church. That was way disappointing for us because they have their free agency and we can’t make them choose the gospel, we can’t force them into it. We weren’t able to get a hold of them for about three weeks though because they stopped returning our calls and they stopped speaking with the members that were helping us teach them. It was way disappointing. I really think that Amy was ready for the gospel she just loves her daughter a lot to. So when it came down to her getting baptized without her daughter or going to church with her daughter she chose to go with her daughter. Which is but isn’t understandable. So we dropped them and decided to try to follow up with some of our other investigators. Well to make a long story short we ended up droppin almost all of our investigators because we found out a lot of stuff so our teaching pool almost stopped. It was a good thing though because we were able to focus more on the ones that are more serious.

Monica and Brandie are two of those. They are such good girls. We have been teaching random bits of information and having good gospel discussions with them and have let their minds start to think about things. Now we are going to try to teach them the actual lessons. They are both open minded and are fine if we are right and are fine if they are right they just want to know. I’m way excited for them.

We went contacting Sunday night and we went to a apartment complex and gave out pass along cards for a free bible. We ended up giving out a hundred and two cards. It was way fun. People are so good when it comes to the bible but if you were to be giving out a free book of Mormon you would have no takers. It’s funny to see.

We had a multi zone conference Friday. It was so good. Elder Andersen and I sang a song. We combined Amazing Grace and Come thou Fount into a medley. It was good. Then we had some speakers talk to us about the origin of the book of mormon and where it took place. Well these two guys seem to think that it didn’t take place in Central America but actually right here in the south. They had some really convincing stuff to back it all up. They didn’t use the book or mormon by itself, but they used things that the Prophet Joseph Smith said along with the modern prophet while he was prophet not a quorum of the 12 and also the scriptures. It was really neat! The cool part is that they think Lehi actually landed here in the pan handle of Florida and Expanded into Alabama! This means that I am serving where the Nephites and Nephi himself could have walked. Then They talked about how while on zions camp march Joseph wrote a letter to his wife saying they were walking over the plains of the nephites and picking up their bones as proof. Just a lot of really cool stuff. I got a dvd that I will send home for you guys to watch, or you can go to and read about it.

I was able to see Elder Kelley and Elder Myrvang at the conference to. It was a good conference. President Tate had the missionary that taught him the lessons come and talk about his mission and the things that helped him while he was out. It was really good. Then we had a member speak to us about how we could involve the members more in the work and how you have to be friends with them before they are going to let you teach their friends. It was really good.

That’s all for this week though. I love you all. Hope you all have a safe week.

Love Elder Haws

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Week!!! (Feb. 24)

Well it has been a good week. We set another record this week for how many investigators we had at sacrament meeting. We had a grand total of 12 people at church. It was so neat to see. The speakers gave really good talks to. What we have been doing that has been helping us out a lot is we will go tracting and if we find anybody that we feel is of any potential we do what we call back to back. Which is as soon as we find them with in the next day or two, we go to a members house that we feel would be a good fellowshipper for them and tell the members about them and tell them we had a great experience with them and you basically talk the investigator up a lot to the member and then invite the member to go introduce themselves. So now the investigator already has a friend. Then that makes it easier for us to give them a church tour or to teach them in a member’s house. So we have been having great success with that.

We have been finding a lot of Mexicans to! Its way fun. We do the back to back thing with them as well. We go and tell Francisco about them and then we take him to go meet them. He is such a good member. I feel bad that he has to go through what he has to. He is willing to come out with us anytime of the night after he gets off work. He has been coming to church everyweek with his family. He bought us each a tie and some socks and he gave me a way funny shirt. They feed us all the time. I’m really glad that I met him and his family. The other day we went to his house and he was talking to his family through a web cam so we got to say hi to his mom and dad and sisters and cousins and nieces and nephews. You know how the Mexicans are. Its always a party. It was way fun. They said that when we get off our missions we have to go visit them in Tiujuana. So get ready for a trip to mexico whoever wants to go. We have to reteach him everything. He has forgotten a lot of the little things. Like he gave us sweet tea the other day. So we told him we couldn’t drink it. So he went over and poured out the pitcher and said okay. He’s willing to do what is right which is a good thing. We have been able to do some fun things like watch the movies in spanish. that has been fun. It is such a good experience teaching them.

We are still having troubles with Amy and Ashleigh. They didn’t come to church Sunday because Amy had a migraine. You know all about those don’t you mom? How are you doing with those by the way? Are they getting any less recent or are they about the same? I hope that Amy and Ashleigh will come around soon though.

We were doing our business contacting on Tuesday and we went into this really cool store called the Red Elephants. It’s a Alabama football store that has all kinds of cool nick nacks and things. Well last Saturday they had a signing with two of the football plyers from the team come down and sign stuff. Well when we went in to do see how they were doing they gave us each a signed picture. I got one of the kicker who was all American and has scored the most points on the team then any other player ever. Elder Andersen got one of an outside linebacker. I don’t remember who he is though. It was pretty exciting.

There is a lot going on here and I love it. They gospel is sooooo true I can hardly believe it myself! I’m not to sure what else to say. If there is ever anything you guys want to here about just let me know and I’ll include. I’m never to sure what to write about and things like that so just let me know what you want to here about and I’ll let you know Okie dokie!

I love you all thanks for your letters! Elder Haws