Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011

Dear Family,
Well it has once again been a really good week. I love hearing how everyone is doing and getting updates on the new stuff! Things are going really well here! Thank you everyone for the birthday gifts. They are very nice and appreciated.
We have had a really good week! We went out with Spencer on tuesday and we had a lesson with Lalo. It went really well. He understood alot of what we were saying about baptism and the authority. We asked him to prepare for baptism on the 16th of July and he said he would. He also said that he wants to quit smoking and drinking and gambling. It is so amazing to me how people know that that stuff is bad yet they all accept it at one point. The light of Christ that we all have is such a great gift! They didn't come to church this week though. They were tired or something. When we went by to see them they were excited to see us and they want us to come back and said that they would be there the next week.
Good news! San came to church! We had to give her a ride but she still came and really enjoyed it! She is such a good example to the rest of her family. I hope that she will continue to come and that she will continue to prepare for her day for baptism. richard did not come to church however. He changed his mid about an hour before it was going to start. I gave him a tie and everything. I think he is just scared that he doesn't know anyone so we are going to go over with a member on thursday! I think that will help us alot.
The sisters that were serving here got transfered out due to one of them getting released for medical purposes so my companion and I have to take over doing the english work aswell. It has been pretty crazy but we are getting it under control. The members are helping us out a lot.
Thanks for all your prayers and support. Tell Elder Baker I said Happy Birthday!
Love you all
Elder Haws
ShiQiao is doing really well also. His dad wasn't to happy with his wanting to get baptized and told him he has to go back to china but he is still really from the Book of Mormon and coming to church. He prayed the other day that his dad would let him get baptized. The kid had a lot of faith and I hope that one day he will be able to be baptized and enjoy the blessing of the gospel.
I hope that we will be able to baptized a few more hispanics so that they can form their own branch. The mission is so low on missionaries right now that president isn't sure what he is going to do with this are as far as if he wants spanish missionaries or now so we will see but I really hope spanish stays we have a lot going right now.

June 13, 2011

Dear Family,
Well I am very gratefull that all is well with everything that has been happening with the fire and all. I am gratefull that the evacuation is lifted and that hopefully it is getting put out. Thank you everyone for the hugs and the loves and the gifts that weren't sent to me in various ways! Aunt Dorie just wanted to let you know that I got your hug from Spencer. Thank you for that.
We had a really good Zone Conference this last friday where we were trained on Baptism and how it all works. We learned how to invite someone to be baptised and how to resolve their concernces then we learned how to do the actuall ordinance. Elder Chow and I and Elder Harrison (my MTC companion who is now an assistant) demonstrated how to baptised. It was actually kind of fun being baptized again aside from saying the prayer of course. Then we talked about how we can help keep the new members strong in the gosple. It was a really good Zone Conference.
Then we had an AMAZING sunday!! We have been working with this part member family for so long. The dad is a member and he lives with his wife, his son and his daughter-in-law with their two kids, his daughter and son-in-law with their son, who is 13, then he has two more sons. Huge family. Missionaries have been trying to teach them for over a year. Well Elder Chow and I finally realized that all his kids had no idea why we kept going over there. They all thought it was to see their dad. Which is true but not really. So we started teaching his son, Lalo and his wife, Mary. They have been doing really good. They love it when we come over. We have only been teaching them for a week and they came to church this week! I was so excited! They really enjoyed it as well. They also wanted us to come back and they want to keep coming to church! I love it. They gospel is just so great especially when people get it. We are still finding alot of people to teach. We haven't had a time so far this transfer where we haven't had a full day planned. We have been so busy that we haven't had time to tract which is awesome.
I am doing really well. I haven't been sick or gotten hurt or anything. I am getting a little on the chubby side. I will try to fix that though.
Thanks for all your support. I love you all
Love Elder Haws.

June 6, 2011

Dear Family!
This was a really good week! We had a ton of really good things happen! This was the first week on my mission that we had more member present lessons than regular lessons. A member present lesson is better because the investigator has someone normal that they know and will recognize and stuff like that so it is better than if just my companion and I are teaching them! We had 13 lessons with a member and 12 others! It was really neat. It has helped us and our investigatores alot.
I was able to see Aunt DeAnn and Uncle Artie on sunday! It was really neat to be able to see them and talk with them for a little bit. It was a very good baby blessing. It was really neat to be able to participate in that special moment for Spencer and Gretta. I am glad that they are here to be able to see and to talk to.
We are teaching a lot of people. San is doing really well. She didn't come to chruch but she has continued to read and to pray and wants to be baptized in July! We are also teaching shi qioa. He is asian and kind of believes in God. It has been fun teaching him because my companion is part asian aswell. Things have been going really well. Sorry this one is short I was talking with the family about the fire and school so I wasn't able to write much. We have a lot of good things going and I am really excited for what could come out of it. I love you all!
Love Elder Haws.

May 31, 2011

Dear Family
We had a good week this week, We had transfers and my old companion went home so I naturally got a new companion. His name is Elder Chow. He is half taiwaines. He doesn't speak chinese. He is really fun and a super good missionary. We have been working really hard and I am super excited to see what comes from it.
We finally found Maria and Martin! They were a couple that we were working with a lot that we lost when the tornado ruined their apartments. The other day though we saw some hispanics leaving a duplex that we had never knocked on before so when we went back Maria answered and I was so so happy! We had a pretty good lesson with them. It was so comforting knowing that they were ok.
We had a good memorial day weekend. Since memorial day is on a monday none of the hispanics worked so we were able to play soccer with them! normally we can't play because we can only play on mondays and they are always working, but this time it worked out. We set up a good game of soccer with some of our investigatores and ward members. We played a game of soccer to 5. 6 on 6 and then we ate some food afterwards. It was very positive and very fun. Everyone wants to do it more and it is a great way to get investigatores to meet members. I hope we can continue to do it. I loved playing soccer so much. It was super hot but way fun. Spencer came along with a few other american members. It was a really nice time.
We are teaching a girl named San. She is english work but is doing really well. We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and by the time we went back she had read 14 chapters in it. She is 21 and wants to go to the military and is wanting to fix her life a lot. She has already started before we even found her with a few things.
I love seeing people change for the better. I have learned one thing on my mission for sure and it is that the end of the story isn't written yet. That what is in the past is done but what is in the future is to be decided. We finish the book how we want to. I know that we can always be better and that is why we are here on this earth. We are here to improve. To better ourselves and those around us. I love seeing these people doing that. I love doing that myself.
I love the mission! I love my family. I love every single one of you. really it is true.
Love ELder Haws.

May 23, 2011

Hey ya'll.... I mean Dear Family,
Well It has been another really good week for us here in Tuscaloosa! Things are starting to look a lot better. They have been clearing all the roads now with all of the fallen trees and debree that has been set out for the trucks to come pick up, Who knows where they are going to put it all. I think that between all of us missionaries here in Tuscaloosa we put in over 50 hours of service for the week. It is really neat to be a part of it. People are so much more open to us now than they have been before or would have been before I should say. I love being able to help those that need it and lighten a little bit of thier load.
We had trasfer calls today and I am staying here because my companion is leaving. However everyone else in our district except for a sister missionary is getting transfered so I am going to have to get to know a lot of new people. It is going to be good for the are though. It has been difficult to do stuff with all the damage and because a lot of the investtigatores for both areas were living in the affected areas.
Maria and Silvino came to church on sunday! they only stayed for sacrament meeting but they really enjoyed it. When we asked them to come Maria wouldn't tell us yes because she didn't want to commit and then have Silvino say he wasn't going to come. So he said they would be there and so when they showed up it meant that it was because he wanted to come which means a lot. He hasn't ever wanted to go to a church so she is just wanting to do whatever he will do. They have been moving forward a lot. Thanks to the help of Spencer they have really good fellowship. They came to a little fiesta that was thrown for Elder Lindemann since he is going home and so they met a lot of the other members and it was a really good experience. We should be able to set a baptism date with them here shortly.
That is about it for the update. I don't have much time today either. I promise i'll have a better letter next week. I Love you all. Congrats Buddy and Sara on the baby. The Bakers told me that you had a boy! that is so exciting. 3 new nephews to meet when I get back!
Tyson and Kim I hope that everything goes well for you tommorrow and that you have a healthy son! such an exciting time to see more of our spirit brothers and sister coming to the earth.
I love you all.
Love Elder Haws.

May 16, 2011

Dear Family,
Things are going really good here in Tuscaloosa! We are still doing a lot of clean up but we are having a lot of really cool experiences from it. The other day Elder Lindemann and I were just walking down the street trying to find some service to do and we saw a lady out side picking up sticks and racking up leaves. She didn't look like she needed any help. All the tress were already cut up and stacked in her yard waiting to be picked up. Her house wasn't damaged. Everything looked ok, but we still went and asked if she needed help and sure enough she did. When they were cleaning up a HUGE tree that had falled down in her back yard they piled everything next to her yard by the road. They happened to put it all at the entrance way to her driveway so she couldn't park there. So we were able to help her move everything out of her driveway so she could park there. Spencer came down with his chainsaw and helped us because there were some really big logs there. It made me feel really good.
We have hooked up with a couple of organizations to do service such as directing traffic or sorting clothes, delivering food, Whatever they need us to do. It is really fun helping out. I am reall glad that I get to help out. There are a lot of people right now that are just trying to get their houses in order again and clean up their yards and stuff like that. Those are the people that we are looking for. We can't do anything big right now. We mainly just have to wait for the bul dozers to come and tear everything down and start building everything back up. We were able to help another older couple who had a fence that got blown down and needed it moved over to the road, so we got an axe, chopped it up, and moved it to the road for them. It sure has been a blessing that I know how to use and axe dad. You have no idea. I have notice that not that many people out here do. Almost none of the missionaries can. I really like swinging one and being able to do the same stuff as a chainsaw.
We ended up winning our soccer game! They ended up coming to church and I think they liked it! We are hoping that they will keep coming back and that they can join their dad and grandpa in the church. They are to really good boys. Lalo the grandson of the member is really tight. He wants to start coming to mutual activities and things like that. We get a long really well.
Maria and Silvino didn't come to church and we haven't been able to see them for about a week due to thier work schedules./ hopefully tommorrow we will be able to teach them.
That is about it though. I got my school schedule and it all looks good. It should be a smooth transition. Thanks for getting everything set up for me.
Love ya'll
Elder Haws.

May 9, 2011

Dear family,
It was great being able to talk to most of you last night! sorry the skype didn't work out as well. Atleast we were able to see each other for just a little bit right! You all are still looking great! I didn't ever get a good look at MaryAnn but thats ok! Sorry I wasn't able to call and talk to everyone. Hopefully mom and dad can tell you all the highlights of the conversation.
Everything is still good though. We are still cleaning up from the tornado and probably will be for the next while. It is now to the point where they just need the big equipment to come in and pile it up and haul it all off. So there isn't that much that we can do right now. If I am lucky I will be able to come back with a pretty nice tan though! haha.
My companion and I challenged one of our members son and grandson, who aren't members, to a soccer game today at 5. If we win they have to come to church if we lose we have to buy them icecream! so we are hoping that we win so that we don't have to buy them icecream. It should be a pretty good game. I'll let you know how it turned out next week.
Thats all I have this week. sorry it is so short.
Love ya'll
Elder haws

May 3, 2011

Dear Family,
Well another week has gone by but this one was just a little bit different from the last 80 or so that I have had. On Wednesday we had a torndao hit our town of tuscaloosa. We were okay and were able to find all of our members and investigatores as well which we were very gratefull for. This past week has mainly just been cleaning up and helping people get tarps on there roofs and get things ready before the rain which is falling right now.
I just want to share a few stories with yall real fast on how great this week has been for me.

After the Tornado Elder Lindemann and I were with the two bishops of our two wards looking for members who were in the path of the tornado. We were able to find and make contact with almost all of them which was good. While we were looking for them we we saw an apartment complex where a couple Martin and Maria lived. There apartment was completly distroyed. I was super worried for them because they didn't have Tv and they didnt' speak english. We tried to find them but had no luck. Then yesterday monday May 2, We went to a Catholic church to help translate becuase they have made that the place for all the hispanics to go. While we were there we found them! They were ok! Maria was there alone with her to sons and Martin was at work. She said that she heard it coming and the whole building started to shake so she threw herself on top of her sons next to a couch and the roof blew along with all the walls and everything else but they were ok. I was so relieved to see them and know they were ok.

Another story. We were driving around trying to help people get trees off of their houses so they could get them tarped before the rain. Well we were driving and driving and then all of a sudden we saw a house with a tree on it and no body was working on it. That was one thing that was tough for us was people were either waiting for the insurance to look at it or somebody was already doing it but not at this house. So we stopped and as soon as we stopped a couple came out and said we could help him. As we helped we started talking to the guy and he told us " you have no idea how much this means to me. I was just looking at this tree and I was overwhelmed at how I was going to get it off of my house by myself and still have time to tarp it but that is when ya'll showed up and I feel like 1000 lbs has been lifted of my shoulders."

That is just a few of the many stories I have of helping people. Many more will be on the way. I am thankful that we were all okay and that all of the missionaries were safe. I am gratefull for all your prayers and all you are doing to help. I'll talk to ya'll on sunday hopefully.
Love Elder Haws.

April 25, 2011

Dear family,
Well sorry to dissappiont but I don't have any crazy weather stories for this week nor do I have any cool bicycle wrecks to update you on, but that doesn't mean that nothing good or cool happened this week.
So we are working with a young couple that was found a little over a year ago by Elder Lindemann and one of his companions. Thier names are Marie and Silvino. Well Maria is catholic because it was the church that she was raised in and it is what she knows. She has told us that she goes catholic because it is her church but she doesn't necessarily believe all of the catholic beliefs. Silvino on the other hand didn't grow up with church and never showed interest so when Elder Lindemann realized that they weren't going anywhere he moved on to find more people to teach. Well a member that worked with them alot felt that we needed to go back and try to teach them again before I got here and they had started to see them but it was still awkward and nothing was happening. I to though felt like we needed to keep seeing them.
Well.... We started talking more with Silvino and we have been going over there with Spencer also. We have seen a huge change in Silvino in the past 2 weeks. This is a guy that has never read out of the scriptures and has only said one outloud prayer and just is not learned nor has disire to learn about the gospel. Well we somehow helped him realize that all he has to do is read the bible to get the knowledge to where he can be like his wife. When we told him that it clicked and he got it. When we went back the next time we gave him his own bible to read and his face just was so grateful. He told us "I have never had my own bible before. Thank you so much." that next week he read Luke 2-6 and loved it. We went back with Spencer and taught him that we only have scripture because of prophets and we taught him what prophets do. He got the need for a prophet. Then He and his wife and their two sons came to church! They came becuase Silvino wanted to! Meanwhille Maria is just so happy that her husband is taking interest in gospel things she is just so happy. I love seeing the happiness that comes from doing what is right!
They could only come for one hour but They said that they would be back the next week and they would stay for all three hours. The reason that they couldn't come to all three this time was because he plays soccer and had a game at 8 so he came right after the game still wearing his jersey!
We had a really good Easter. President Holzapfel gave us a packet to study from during the whole passover weekend and it was really fun to learn and to see a deeper side of the atonement and ressurection than before. Our President is so smart when it comes to that kind of stuff!
Well I hope all is well! I am doing great! I am super excited for the work that is going down here in Tuscaloosa. I love hearing from all of you!
Love Elder Haws.

April 18, 2011

Hey Family!
Well it was quite an exciting week this week as far as the weather, work and everything else goes. I'm sure you are all wondering if I am being serious with the title of this e-mail or not so I will explain it. The weather has been crazy this week. It all started on Monday when Elder Lindemann and I were at a teaching appointment and all of a sudden we started to hear the sirens go off to warn the people that there is a tornado warning. Well we hear these all the time and didnt' think anything of it. We finished our appointment and start to ride to our next one when a police drives up and tells us that we neet to get somewhere safe. So we start to ride home and we noticed that the clouds were super dark and a greenish color. Well we were at a stop light and the wind got super strong the sirens were blowing and it was starting to rain. Needles to say I thought I was going to experience my first tornado on a bike! We ended up making it home safe and all that happened was we got a lot of rain. The areas more north of us had more serious storms but we were find. Then on Friday we had another storm come through. The same one that went through Arkansas and killed I think 8 people. Well Elder Lindemann and I were just planning in our apartment and we have no way of knowing how the weather is. We got a call from the other missionaries and they told us that there was a tornado on the ground and it was headed straight for us! YIKES! So we went downs stairs and got by the bathroom and waited. Then the lights went out and it got really really windy. but nothing ever happend. Come to find out the Tornado pasted 2 tenths of a mile away from us and caused quite a bit of damage to some houses and cars due to falling trees. We were out of power for about 2 hours and others were out of power for 2 days! It was super crazy. So we got to do some service helping people clean up falled trees and things like that. It was really enjoyable.
We had a good experince with our New member that is just a power house of a member. This last saturday he came with us to teach one of his friends who is saying he is interested. So we taught a really good lesson and then we dropped our member off at his house and went home to plan for the next day and do our normal stuff. Well he wasn't at church the next day and we weren't sure why. Turns out after we dropped him off he ended up having one beer and one cigarette. He didn't feel worthy or good enought to come to church. Well we went over to see him and ended up talking about the atonement adn why we have it. We talked about Why Jesus Christ had to suffer for us. It was really good for him to hear but for me aswell. I am so thankful that we have the atonement to help us feel better when we do wrong things. I was glad that he was able to see that and know that he can do better.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is AMAZING!!!! don't ever forget it.

April 11, 2011

Dear Family!
Man I can't believe that another week has passed by. It is sure crazy how fast time is going by. We had a good week. It was started out rough for us. On preparation day we were playing us some intense Disc Golf and I hurt spranged my ankle pretty good so I had to take it easy Tuesday but we worked through it and all is well. Just a little bit of RICE ( rest, ice, compression, elevation) and I was set to go.
The Spencer and his family came to a birthday party of my companions that was put on by some of the members on tuesday and it was a lot of fun. We were able to share a good lesson there with on of thier friends who isn't a member. Hey mom before I forget. How do you make Frito pie? I have been wanting to eat it for a long time but can't remember how to make it. Anyway so at the party we set up a lesson with spencer to come out with us on friday and it went really well. They are a young couple that have kids in the same age area and everything. Spencer and them got a long really well. We are hoping to go back soon and then try to get them to go to their house for a lesson so that they can meet Gretta. They ( the investigatores) are doing really well to. They have kept their past few reading assignments and are really liking what they are reading. I really hope that they can continue to progress. I know it will bless them so much in their lives.
We found out that Elder Lindemann and I will be staying together for his last transfer here in Tuscaloosa! I am really excited. We get a long really well and we both have the some work ethics and everything. It is going to be a great transfer. I just hope that we will be able to do all that we can so that he can go home with a baptism. We have gotten a few referrals from the members that we have been able to teach and they are doing really well to. One of the referrals is from a small town called Demopolis which is in south alabama but on the western side and they are from Casa Grande! We go down every sunday with the branch president and teach them so hopefully they will accpt the invitation to be baptised soon aswell.
Things are going really well though. It was really good to hear from all of you this week. I really love getting all the little updates and all the helpfull advice aswell. I will get the stuff done with college as soon as I can so that it will be there before the 15th but I can't promise anything. My address here though if you need it again is 1433 Hargrove rd E apt 11 Tuscaloosa Al 35045
Hope you all have a great Week!
Love Elder Haws