Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Good Week Coming to a Close (July 19, 2010)

We have been tearing it up In Cullman Al. So I am not sure how many of you have heard about the ministers among us (MAU) program that we have down here but it is really sweet. I haven't used it very much in my mission until now but I wish I would have. Basically what it is really fast is a copy of the Book of Mormon that is covered with a personalized sleeve over it so that it is personal for the person that you are desiring to share the Book of Mormon with. It is so cool. So anyway we have really been putting this tool to use with some of our recent converts and it is great. We had one member who put in a total of 5 referrals for us to go and share the Book of Mormon with. One of them we were able to teach and give the copy to and the guy was Baptist. Well Baptists are the first to tell you that the Bible is the only thing we need and we don't need anything else. However when he saw the sleeve with his girl friends name on it and he let us explain what it really was he was totally excited that the Book of Mormon wasn't another form of the Bible but that it is a whole other account of Jesus Christ and his teachings. He was just really neat to see it actually work. This is really the first area that I have used this tool and it is great.
Another really cool story is that we were over at a members house eating a dinner and we had a spiritual thought with them and then I had this thought come to my mind on a different way to ask for referrals. Since Dad was the ward mission leader for so long and we had the missionaries in our house all the time I thought of when they would ask us if their was anyone that we knew that they could teach. and we would either say no or we would tell them people that lived by us or people that we really weren't so sure on of they would accept them or not. So this time I decided to ask them a different question. I asked them if there was anything we could do to HELP them in their own missionary work. Well this family consisted of a mom and a dad and a set of twin sisters that are 17 and seem to be pretty popular in their school and things like that. Well when I asked this questions the twins looked at each other and one said well we have this friend but we aren't sure how to start to talk to her about the church. It turns out that this friend has been to seminary a couple of times and doesn't have a church home and likes going to mutual activities and things like that. The only problem was that the twins didn't know how to start talking to her. So we told them about the MAU program and they were very excited. They ordered one for her right then and we are just waiting for it to get here so that they can deliver it. I convinced that if I would have asked if they knew anyone that we could teach they would have said no because they didn't have anyone we could teach yet they just had someone that was interested. It was really neat. Also their mom cooked some really good lasagna and some cream cheese brownies that were really good.
President Holzapfel came to our ward to speak on Sunday (yesterday) and we were way excited for that. We were at the church getting ready for his arrival and we got a phone call saying he was late with car trouble and that they would be there at 9:30 which was fine because church starts at 9 so the sacrament would be done at about 9:20 and then they had one of the twins that I just talked about share her testimony about Youth Conference that they just had and she took about 10 minutes and so it was no big deal however I quickly became his back up if he still wasn't there when it was his time. Well he ended up getting there 5 minutes before the closing song and so I had to quickly think of something to speak about for the next 20 minutes. So I did. It was super nerve wracking but it makes you so much stronger and I really didn't mind it after it was all over. We ate lunch with President and his wife after church along with the ward missionaries. It was lots of fun.
It is really green here and there is getting to be more and more humidity because it is starting to rain more and more. so that isn't so fun.
We went on a team-up with the Spanish missionaries that are serving up in Huntsville because they are in our Zone and I have been contemplating on asking President if I could get changed over to Spanish speaking for the last year of my mission. As we were on the team up I discovered that I have a great deal of love for the people and that I can actually understand a lot more than I thought I could. I just think that it would be something that I would like to do now which is really funny if your remember what I said about speaking Spanish before my mission. I just have a great desire to help that culture of people accept the gospel into their lives.
The work is just so much fun and I love it so so much. The Church Is TRUE!!! .......It is true. I promise you that it is true and that there is nothing in this life that is more important that living the gospel. Just live it for a couple of weeks put it to the test and see if you are happier in anyway. what ever you are doing right now in you life that is or could be with holding you from having the spirit more in your life even if it is yelling at stupid drivers under your breath. try your hardest not to do it anymore and see what happens. I PROMISE YOU that you WILL notice a DIFFERENCE.
I love you all so very much and l absolutely love gettin to hear from ya'll every week. keep up all that you are doing and I will look forward to hearing from you next Monday. Don't forget that my P-Day is now on Monday so I will be using the computer on Mondays not on Wednesday.
Love Elder Haws

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

News from the Southland! (July 12, 2010)

Dear Family
We have had a pretty good week this week. We were able to get one of our investigators to chruch that we have been trying to get to come for quite some time now. We have been able to contact some Ministers Among Us Packets and we have some potetial from a couple of them. We also were able to set up three new acounts with a recent convert and recent reactivated and a active memeber. So we are excited to be getting referrals from them for their friends!
We were able to see Elaine come to chruch yesterday. She is an older lady in her 60's and she is in a wheel chair due to a stroke that she had a few years ago. She has been really heisitant to come to church and leave the comfort of her home but she finally accepted our invitation and It was reall go news! She liked the service and had some questions about it afterwards that we were able to answer and she got along great with them members. We have a return appointment to go and see her on Thursday! She had already read the Book of Mormon and half of the Doctrine and Covenants. She said that she wants to read the whole the whole canon of scripture before she prays about it which is something we are trying to work with her on. She also has concerns about Joesoph Smith that we are resoving. She is a wonderful lady though and I look forward to working more with her.
We were able to set more Member accounts for the ministers among us program. We have already seen 3 referral get put in because of it and we have been told of a couple more that will be put in here soon. We are way excited to get the memebers doing their own missionary work and just being able to help them and make it easier for them. I was reading a talk today from President Hinckley about missionary work and he talks alot in there about the members and how we as missionaries can't do it by ourselves and I thought as I was reading it that we as missionaries can't do it by ourselves so we need to help the members to help us. All the way up until today I have thought "alright members we can't do it alone come gives us your friends to teach" but when in reality I should be thinking "Okay members we can't do it by ourselves we need your help so how can we help you? What can we do to make your life easier to share the gospel with those you know" I am way excited to get to work and use the new format from church head quarters.
That is about it for this week! Tell every one at MEP that I say Hello and that I love them all!!!!!
Elder Haws

My First Driving Experience in Birmingham!

So I was driving from one of our missionary meetings and their were 4 of us in our car. We were behind another missionary vehicle that was full with 4 missionaries also! Well we are driving and we are getting ready to get onto the free way and just so you know they don't have the grid system down here and so there are stop lights on the free way and all kinds of crazy things. So we come up to a stop light and there is a yeilding lane to enter the free way on and it isn't very long. Well the car of missionaries in front of me start to enter the free way pretty slow and the traffic was stopped at a stop light. Well the stop light just turned green and allowed them to start to go so we either had to get onto the free way or we would be stopped for a long time trying to enter the free way. the firs vehicle in the first lane closes to us is a Semi-truck and so he was taking a while to get going and the other missionaries are going just the right amount of speed so that they would make it in but I wouldn't so I sped up and merged early so that I wasn't waiting. Well then I had to merge again so that the other missionaries could merge and not get stuck. So I go over one lane at the same time a car from lane 3 comes into lane 2 the one I am merging into. SOOO I try to go back to lane 1. Well the other missionaries were already in lane 1 so here I am in the middle of lanes 1 and 2 and there are cars on either side of us. Mean while the other three missionaries in the car are doing this AHHHHHHHH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! not helping at all. So I floor it and get ahead of them so that i can have me own lane. keep in mind that the road is packed with vehicles. It is rush hour. So i speed up and start to merge back into lane 2 again. Well once again another car comes flying in not paying attention and almost hits us so I speed up againg and go into lane 1. Well now I am going about 60 in a matter of not very far and the traffic ahead of me is now at a dead stop and I didn't see that they were slowing down due to me dodging other vehicles so I have to hit the backes and some how managed to make a graceful stop while merging into another lane (lane 2) to keep from rear ending a utility vehicle. The whole time the other missionaries are screaming for their lives and after everything calmed down they were praising my driving and said I was the best driver ever and they would never doubt my ability to drive and I am over here thinking you guys have no Idea what was going on in my head the whole time ( all I was thinking was go faster go faster get more speed haha)

So we make it to the mission office to get some supplies and we are headed home now and we are getting onto the free way again the normal way. Where you just get to an on ramp that makes a big circle and as we start to enter I start saying "Why am I driving? I'm from a small town in arizona and have never driven in a city the size of birmingham...." As I am in the middle of saying this a car comes flying around us not in a lane and is going so fast that he is about to flip is car so he pulls the E brake and does a full U turn...... Around us!!!! and I just keep talking and stay in a casual voice and go around the guy and keep driving and once again the missionaries in the car are going ahhhhhh!!!!!! The funny thing is all I thought about in that one was another person going out of control on snow or ice. I didn't even think about it.

That is my driving experince in a big city though!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My New Area, Woot Woot!! (June 30, 2010)

Well it has been one of the busiest transfers that I think I have had in my entire mission!!! Hahaha I love it. So right before I left Bessemer we had a really good lesson with the Moore family over at our ward mission leader, Brother Morris’ home. It was really good we watched Elder Uchtordorfs talk from April 2009 general conference label we are doing a great work so that we cannot come down. We made some really good progress with them and brother Morris was able to explain the whole purpose for us, the missionaries, in stopping by constantly to see them. Even though we had already told her numberless times it finally clicked and before we left she said that I was going to have to call her because she was going to be getting baptized!!! I have since heard that they came to church and have committed to quick smoking!!! I’m so happy for them and the changes they can see and will see in their lives.

So I got here in Cullman at about 11 am on Thursday morning and we already had someone that was ready for baptism and needed a baptismal interview so we got that all straighten up because there were a few complications that arose and dissolved really fast. So we got Judy ready for Baptism and then we went and saw the Sear Family! They are an awesome family. He does fish aquariums for a living and his aquarium was amazing! I took a video of it to show you when I get home. We talked with them until it was time to go in and we were supposed to leave and go on a team up with Decatur missionaries Elder Putnam, who took my spot when I left and, Elder Lofthouse, who is a brand new missionary. Well we weren’t able to go so we left at 5:45 Friday morning so that we could be there when they woke up to work out with them and things like that. Then we had a really good team up with them! I went with Elder Lofthouse and we found some really awesome people that they are now teaching. I was able to see some of the members also which was really good. Then We stay the night in Decatur and get back to our area and start rounding up people to go to church and spend all day Saturday working with out a lunch break we were so busy. Then of course on Sunday we went to church and we had the baptism for Judy after church. It was really good. She is so excited for it. Then Monday was another busy day and finally on Tuesday I was able to unpack. That was how busy I was. It was awesome. I can’t believe that I have already been in Cullman for a whole week.

There is a recent convert here whose name is Jenna McDowell and she is so awesome! She was first contacted and taught in December and said she didn’t agree with the teachings that she just heard. Now she says that there wasn’t anything that she didn’t agree with she just didn’t want to change her life style. Then in April she was at a friends house and Elder Ryszka and Elder Howard went to follow up with her friend and came into contact with her again and were able to start teaching her and she was baptized a month later and is a whole new person. She is so happy now and is just awesome and we tell her that everyday. She made some big changes in her life and she loves it.

Elder Howard is such a good missionary it is ridiculous. I have so much that I need to learn from him before I can even think about being a good missionary. He teaches so well. He is so good at helping people see the importance of our message by having them answer questions in a way to where they will be saying the answer to their own question by the time we leave. I love it.

It is really weird also being here because Cullman is the Exact opposite of Tuskegee. It is all white. The P.J.’s are all white and they are nice and kept up with good furniture and things like that and I still haven’t seen a African American since I have been here. It is crazy. I am having with drawls which is kind of funny because I had the same thing when I went to Tuskegee just the other way around. It is so funny and weird how that all works out.

Things are going really good though. We are working hard and should be able to have some good things happen this transfer. One really cool story is that when I was in Decatur I did a baptismal interview for someone in Cullman and he is still coming to church and everything. His mom was a less active and hadn’t been to church for 19 years or so and then got re activated and now her son is baptized his name is Brandon and he is the one that I did the interview for. Well she has been smoking and not living the word of wisdom up until yesterday! She finally quit and she hasn’t had a cigarette since yesterday and it is awesome her name is sister Clark. If ya’ll want to say a prayer for her.

I love ya’ll! Be safe and I will hear and talk to you next week.

Love Elder Haws.

P.S. my address is 1317 Kim lane,

Cullman, Al 35055

Transfers (June 23, 2010)

Well hello everyone! Its me again! We had transfers this week and It was really surprising. All of us were positive that my companion was leaving because he has been here for 9 months and he has 9 weeks left before he goes home so we were all positive that he was going somewhere else to end his mission. Then we had transfer calls tuesday morning and President Tate asked me to go up to Cullman to serve with Elder Howard, who was my zone leader in Tuskegee and in Decatur who I have always wanted to serve with. So I am pretty excited for the new change even though it was a really big shock!
Elder Scheitingers new companion is Elder Robison who was my second companion. The one that I served with first in Tuskegee. I'm really excited for the work that they are going to be able to do together while they are here. We have been making alot of progress with one of our families that we have been working with known as the Moores. They have been keeping their committments and they have noticed the blessings that have come from doing it! We are having a lesson with them at our ward mission leaders house tonight and I am way excited about it.I really hope that they ended up getting baptized because they really want it. Sister Moore has said that she really wants to get married in the Temple. We gave her a blessing last night at the church so that she would be able to quit smoking. If she has enough faith then that is all we will need to do for her to get baptized.
We also had some really good news toward our other investigator JoAnn Wells. She came to church on sunday and she was talking in gospel principles class and she started crying and after wards said that she has really been considering baptism and the spirit has been working on her! IT IS AWESOME!!!!
Now that I am going to Cullman I am going to be able to go on teamups in Decatur and I am super excited. Its crazy how things go when you are on a mission. I never would have thought that I would be this close to Decatur again. I love the way that the lord works. I got a e-mail from Ashley Scruggs today. She was the main investigator that we were working with in Decatur. She told me that she got baptized and that her life is a lot better and she thanked me for teaching her. Those are the letters that let me know that what I am doing is good! She was really in need to get baptized and I guess her mom went to here baptism and to church which hasn't happened for several several years. I love the gospel! IT blesses so many peoples lives as long as they live the teachings in it otherwise there is now point in it.
Amy Walker is still doing great! We have been over to her house a couple of times now and have started to teach her the new memeber lessons! She brought her sone who is 3 and is autistic to church also. He actually did really good. I really think that she is going to get a calling in the primary so that she will be able to keep and eye on her son and she does really good with children. She made me a cake for my birthday and it was so good. It was literally just like a cake that you would order from Safeway or something like that! It was great! we all ate some after we had our bible study.
Thats about it though! I am really excited for the next 6 weeks and what they have to bring for me to learn. I am also going to be able to watch the Emma Smith Video today and I am excited for that. We get a new mission president on the 1st of July so that is going to be exciting. He is getting here in exactly a week from today!
I love all of you! thanks for your prayers and for your letters it makes a huge difference that is hard to expalin but it helps.
Love yall
Elder Haws.

June 16, 2010

Well I am writing a little bit late this week because we got up this morning and went to the temple and it was so good. It is amazing how much you miss the temple when you don't get to go as much. I hadn't been since the MTC almost ten full months ago. It was so good! The Birmingham Temple is reall pretty. That would be really fun to go through with you all at one point in time in this life. There was so much peace in there also I love it!!! Also I was able to see a member from Decatur, Sister Fredrickson, It was really cool to see her again.
The baptism went really good. Her boy freind came and we were able to meet him fro my first time so far. It was so cool when she came up out of the water she started to clap. That was the neatest thing ever. After wards some members took us out to an Italian resturaunt called Mufflaletas. It was really good.
We are going to be giving a church tour tonight to some people that we have recently found. I'm pretty excited for it. On sunday we had the opportunity to see Elder Richard G Scotts Brother which was really neat. So now I have seen Elder Scott and his brother.
Today after the temple we went to a members house and she fed us lunch and then we went fishing in a pond that she has in her back yard! If ya'll remember correctly I don't like fishing but today it wasn't that bad! I was having a terrible time at first but then I was the first one to catch a fish! it was small brim. Then we kept fishing and after about another 30 minutes or so I caught another and then i caught another one and another and before I knew it I had caught 6 fish!! they were all to small to keep but it was just fun to catch and then put back in. I'll send some pictures next weeek. So the moral of the story is that if you don't like doing something do it until you like it! that is how the gospel works. If you don't like doing something in the gospel then you should probably do it. That is why going to the temple is so important because it makes alot of difference in your week. I just feel that my spiritual batter is totally and completly charged and ready to go until i'm able to go again. So I would encourage all who read this to go to the temple and if you can't go get ready so that you can go! It is the best place on earth that you could ever be I promise you that in the name of Jesus Christ.
Well that is about the jist of our week. That is really crazy about the plane crash into the High school. Send me pictures if possible cuz i can't go and look at them online.
Yes mom i did get your package and those tangerines are really good. We gave the candy to a homeless man though i hope that is alright!! He looked hungry and that is all we had.
Love ya'll
Elder Haws