Monday, August 30, 2010

Record Breaking Week! (August 30, 2010)

Well I love serving a mission and I really love being with the Spanish culture. We have the opportunity here in Huntsville to be forming a Spanish branch here that we are trying to get to sustain its self as far as Priesthood is concerned. We have 7 brethren with the Melchizedek Priesthood and so are just waiting for the paperwork now. We had a record breaking attendance at our little meeting on Sunday. When I got here we had about 45 to 50 coming every week to church however, Yesterday we had a total of about 65 people there. We could barely fit in the room and we barely had enough chairs to seat everyone. I couldn't believe and that still wasn't everyone that comes. We had some people not there that come usually and so it is really neat to be able to see the group growing rapidly as we continue to find and baptize. What I think is really neat though is that as we continue to find and teach we find more members that want to come. We had a recent convert of about a 3 weeks move into town 2 weeks ago and she has been coming with her kids. She has 4 kids and she is living with her brother and his wife. Well it turns out that his wife is a less active member we didn't know about and her brother came to church with her yesterday. So we have some more teaching to do!!
Consuelo is just really awesome and she is going to be a great addition to the future branch.
We only knew about her because the Sisters that taught her in Nashville TN called us to tell us about her. So when they called I asked them if they knew Elder Nicoll and one of them came out to the field with him. It was pretty exciting to hear that he is doing good and that he is still playing his Violin and things like that. It would be really neat to get a ward or stake missionary news letter going where the highlights of everyone's previous weeks and then send to everyone via e-mail. Just a fun thought.
Delia,Daniel,and Diana all came to church this Sunday. Daniel still wants to get baptized but we are waiting until he knows that the Book of Mormon is true because he still hasn't read that much in it. He is a great boy though and I think that he will be a good influence on his parents and for his younger sister. I really feel like she would be baptized because she knows the Book of Mormon is true and that the church is true but she is having a hard time with the whole forgiveness thing. So it is a challenge that we have to work on and get through. Her husband kidnapped her when they were in Mexico and it has caused a few corks to come up but we will work through them. She is fine with him now and they have 2 kids together but she doesn't want to marry him so... Its rough but God knows what to do we just have to be ready to listen.
We helped one of the families in the future branch build his home on Saturday. It was lots of fun. However, 1 over a year with your legs not seeing the sun + 1 six hours in the sun in shorts = 2 sun burnt legs. haha. It doesn't matter though because it was some good service.
I am getting really good on the bikes! I can know bunny hop over and entire speed bump in the road so i don't have to slow down for them!
Oh! so there is this really fun thing going on around the apartment! Its called see how many pranks we can pull on Elder Haws! It is tons of fun. One night they suranawrapped my bed and then another night my pillow then they tied my bed off and they just do a bunch of really dorky but funny things. Our apartment is really cool.
Mom what did Aunt Phillis say about the Korans?
I love you all and I am doing really well. Hope you are all doing well to.
I love you!
Elder Haws.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Week! (August 23, 2010)

Well It has been another really good and fun one. I love every minute of what I do! It has been another really good week as far as the work is concerned! Our Baptism was a success and she was very happy and you could see the difference in her after wards. Then on Sunday after church we went to see her and talk to her about her whole experience. She told us that getting the holy ghost was the best thing ever and that she could feel a huge difference in her life. She said she was more patient with her grand kids and that she felt a lot more happy. It was a good baptismal service. We didn't have quite the number of investigators there as we had hoped but it was still really nice. Her non-member daughter said the closing prayer and it was lovely. I hope that we will be able to complete her family in the gospel.
The other family we have been working with is doing pretty good. They didn't come to church on sunday for the first time in about 4 weeks but Daniel the 17 year old boy did come to our Stake Preisthood meeting and really enjoyed it. He is pretty solid. He wants to be baptized and come to the youth nights and all the activities and he is really friendly and knows several of the youth in the ward, so things are going good with him. I'm a little worried about the rest of his family though because they didn't want to come to church on sunday for the first time.
The future branch is coming along good. We had about 55 people there this Sunday. It is really neat to see all the people that come from all around to hear the gospel in their own language. I just love the fact that we have the means to do that. I love the fact that we are able to send the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in so many different languages and to so many different types of people. We had a Recent Convert from Nashville move into town who speaks only spanish and she was able to come and bring her children which was good. She left her husband because of the church and is staying with her brother. It never ceases to amaze me what people do to be apart of the church. I love it.
The language is coming along. It is constantly getting better but at the same time I am constantly having headaches from thinking so much. I don't think my mind has every worked this hard for so long before. Not even in college was it used this bad. I love it though. I was able to have a few really good conversations with some of our investigators and that of course always makes me feel good when I can carry on a more than one or two sentence conversation. So it is coming along slowly of course. It isn't something that you learn over night unless the lord really wants you to and you have the faith to. If you have any suggestions that would help me I am open to suggestions!
I want to extend a challenge out to everyone. I am reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish right now and I am on chapter 11 as of today. SO my challenge is to race to see who can beat me in reading the book of mormon. I will be reading in Spanish of course which is much slower for me than in English but all of you can read in English. SO it is on and I doubt any of you can beat me! haha
That is bout it though. I love all of you and I am looking foreward to all your encouragement in the letters I get every week.
Love Elder Haws

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hola Como Esta (August 16, 2010)

Well it has been a really good week for us. We are going to be having a baptism this weekend on Saturday!!!! WWWWOOOOOOHHHHOOOOOOO
I am super excited. She is an awesome lady that has been investigating for awhile she has just been waiting for her son and his girlfriend to be baptized with her. Sad to say they aren't getting baptized but she is. She has had her interview and everything is set to jet. I hope that her baptism will just be a huge example to her son and to his girlfriend. We have been trying to get them married but for some reason they just wont do it. He is just not serious about it yet. I did tell him thought that we would play one on one in soccer and if I won he had to get married. He didn't like that idea 1) because he knew that he would have had to get married and 2) because he said that there wasn't a prize for him if he won. We are going to get him though. We just have to be patient.
We did something last week that is pretty cool that I forgot to tell everyone about. Elder Mancera and I caught a huge spider and Elder Richardson and I made a cage for it! It is super sweet. We have had the spider for a full week now in they cage and we have fed him moths, crickets and grasshoppers. It is really interesting the way spiders do things that you don't see cause usually when you see them you smash them and that is all you see. This though has been really interesting. I have found out that spiders make a new web every night. That they are really fast at moving on their webs. Also that they can live for awhile with out eating. I also didn't know that spiders ate things other than months and flies. It tries to eat anything that goes into its web.
We also had a really good lesson with our other baptismal dates. They brought up a concern about the virgin Mary and what we thought about it. We were able to explain why it is wrong and they seemed to be okay with it. They said they love it when we come by and that they know that everything we have taught them so far is true and that it is helping them in their lives to become better people. Daniel who is 17 had a really good time at church as well. He knew some of the youth that were his age from school and he fit right in. He is 17 and it would be really neat to see him go on a mission in the future you know?
My spanish is coming along. I gave a talk this past Sunday in sacrament meeting. I was really nervous but I think it went okay. I have also been able to communicate more. I feel comfortable reading scriptures and talking about what they mean and things like that. I am just really excited because I can be apart of the lessons now that I know a little more about what and how to say things. Elder Mancera is doing a great job and correcting me when I am wrong and building me up when I am right. Elder Richardson and Elder Peterson do a good it at helping me out as well. They are speaking a lot more spanish with me a lot more of the time and when I don't know what a word is they don't tell me they find a way to explain it so that I will know what it is. I can definatley feel the Lord helping me out with all the things that have been happening. I'm so grateful for his love for me in helping me out in my times of struggle.
Thank you mom for the package that you sent with my MEP shirt and a shirt from egypt. Also I think that those language pills are really going to help me in learning. I have already put them to good use to keep me awake during studies. haha Also thanks for the cleats. I can't wait to play a game in them.
Thats is about it for this week though! My spanish has been improving alot which is a super good thing so w guess we will just have to keep praying and keep studing (for me that is) and over time line upon line I will be able to speak fluentley.
I love you all
Love Elder Haws

Monday, August 9, 2010

Spanish Rocks!!! (August 9,2010)

Well I love it in the spanish life. I have gotten some really good meals and I have gotten to play soccer already and I love it!!!
My companion is the BOMB! He is way fun and he is really good at teaching me. Its funny though because he can't really explain why the things are the way that they are or why they do or don't work because he doesn't know it would be like us teaching some one english. It would be difficult to tell them why it works. So what ends up happening is I will ask the other missionaries that we live with why it works and they will tell me and then I can ask Elder Mancera how and why things work in english because he was taught english and that was how he learned to speak it. Its pretty interesting. Elder Mancera is really sweet though! He is really good and making me feel good and encouraging me to keep trying. Everytime I do or say something that is correct he gets a huge smile on his face and gives me a high 5 and tells me your doing good man! keep it up. I can already tell a difference in my knowledge of what is being said and things such as that.
I gave my first spiritual thought on Sunday at one of the members houses that we stopped by. She said that she was able to understand what I was saying and that it made sense. She was an older lady and so she could have just been being nice but who knows. Something really neat about her is that I helpped give her a blessing one time when I was on a team up in Huntsville and I couldn't understand anything she was saying but now I can!! Its super crazy.
We have a lot of really good things happening also! We are teaching 2 families. One of which was found with Elder Howard on one of our exchanges up here when we were in Cullman. Mario and Delia and they have 3 kids, Daniel, Diana, and David. Thier ages are 17,15,2. Delia already feels like she knows the Book of Mormon is true! She has come to church twice and loves it. We are going to see her tonight at english class. Her husband, Mario, said that he loves the church and that he normally can't wait to get out of an hour long church service but that at our church the 3 hours felt like nothing and that he felt lots of peace while he was there. They are really sweet. Diana the daughter wants to start coming to mutal aswell. We are way excited.
We also set a baptismal date with a lady named Lourdes. It is for the 21 of August. She is a great lady. I'm way happy for her.
I live 2 other missionaries that are spanish aswell and we have a lot of fun together. My new address is 1500 Sparkman dr. Apt. 16 E. Hunsville, AL 35816
I am really enjoying everything about my area and my companion and my mission. Things are going really good and I love it. Hope all is going well for everyone. I love you all and I mean all of you. Hope you are safe and doing well. Love Ya
Elder Haws.

Monday August 2, 2010

We got a phone call for transfers because transfers are on thursday and President Holzafel talked to me and this is what he said to me.
"I have one question for you and I want you to answer me honestly"
I said, "okay"
He said, "How do you feel about speaking spanish?"
I said,"I would be fine with it."
He said, "Okay well we really need you to do this for the mission so we are going to pair you up with the best spanish speaking missionary we have and he is going to teach you the language Thanks for all you do Elder Haws"

New way of getting people to chuch (July 26, 2010)

So I would like to start this out with telling everyone the new way of helping thier investigators come to church on Sunday. This is based of a 100% true story.

There we were driving in our car to Marisol's house. We were talking one with another of what we were going to teach her. We both came to the conclusion that if she hadn't read from the Book of Mormon or if she wouldn't commit to come to church then we weren't going to go back unless she contacted us. Every missionary has these discussions. So we get to her house. She is Hispanic and is married with 4 kids ages 3,6,11ish and 16. We get there and her cousin is there aswell who we have met a couple of times before. So we go over there and she tells us that she doesnt want to meet with us today because she has had a bad day at work and when she got home her husband didn't want to help her and things like that. So we were just talking with here trying to make her happy and I started being my normal self and broke some thing that she used to hang her plants on her porch and she started laughing saying it was okay and she wanted it down any way and then her sone the 3 year old was playing with a beach ball and kept throwing it off the porch so I would kick it back on and I accidentally hit her with it. So she was accusing me in a fun way of making her day worse when really it was making it better. Then I told her of an experience in which I was mad at Tyson one day and we were fighting and i was being really childish and he throw me into my room with a copy of the Book of Mormon and told me to read it and not come out until I was happy and as much as I didn't want it to work it did. So we told her to ready the scriptures and she would feel better. She has never read the scriptures before and she actually said she would take it to work and read it which was awesome. Then there was a bee flying around us going crazy and Marisol and her daughter Kiki the 16 year old were freaking out and making it more and more mad. All I wanted to do was kill this thing before it stung someone mainly me. So i saw land on her cousins head and with out thinking I slammed the bee with a copy of the Book of Mormon HARD!!! Well that just made all the stress go away. We left with in seconds after that with a committment that they would be at church and they were and they said they would be back next week. So the moral of the story is that in order to get people to church hit them with the word of God so they can learn it through osmosis!!!
The next really exciting thing is that we have neighbors!!!! Crazy isn' t it!!! I am just kidding that isn't the cool news. What is cool about it is that they invited us over to a dinner with some of their friends. Who when we got there we found out that they were all Catholic except for one guy who was Lutheran which is basically Catholic. Before we went over there though we talked and realized how it was going to be really tough to turn this dinner into a teaching opportunity with all of their friends there who we thought were just a bunch of work buddies. Well we ended up being there for 3 hours talking almost constantly about the truths of the gospel and how WE differ from them and our doctrines and what the Book of Mormon really is and things like that it was just really neat at how much they all knew and that they were all looking for truth and they all said we need to do this again sometime because of the things that they were learning they recongnized that we have truth just like they do. We also shared with them that the Baptist have truth and that the Islams have truth and that the athieast have truth it is just not alot. When they realize that everyone has truth then it is a lot easier to show why it is important to have all the truth. It was just really cool.
We have been blessed to have a lot of things happen this week that we are looking forward to checking out and to turn into baptisms. We were able to have 8 investigators at church this week. We have been having some success with the hispanic population here. We were able to see one family of 8 members that are hispanic come to church and they said they were going to be coming back. We are pretty excited about that. Gregg and his son Zackary also came which was really neat.
Gregg used to be a Baptist preacher from the time he was 16 to a few years ago. He is in his late 40s so he was preaching for a while and then stopped after getting fed up with how much religion has changed and how nobody does it for the Lord and just alot of the problems that good people will see when the are wanting to do what is right. We have had some really good lessons with him and he has been excited for our next lessons and the things that we are teaching him, mainly because he already believes them he has just never found anyone else that believes them aswell. They seemed to enjoy church and said that they would be back next week aswell.
We also have been seeing another Hispanic Family and they have been keeping their commitments and oppointments. Its weird though because not everyone in the house speaks spanish and it is usually just the wemon that do. We are hoping to get some spanish missionaries up here to start teaching them all.
That was basically our week. Oh!!! Elder Howard and I sang in sacrament meeting yesterday with two of the girls from the ward. I have it recorded so I will try to send off a copy of it so ya'll can hear it. We sang Let Zion in her Beauty Rise acapella. IT was lots of fun.
I love you all and hope you are staying safe and doing whats right. Love Ya'll
Elder Haws.