Sunday, April 27, 2014

Week 30

Hello! I hope that you all had a good week this week. Things in Retiro are just going as they have been. This last week was the last week of the transfer, and we were ready to face the end of it. It’s just left a bad taste in our mouths. It’s been a really slow going rough time for us here in Retiro.

During the last 6 weeks I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching because things just haven’t been going as fast as I have wanted them to. It’s been a really trying time. I know I need to be a leader here and kickstart this branch up, but it seems like everything is stuck and nothing wants to move. It’s frustrating at times when I want things to get better and they don’t. I’ve learned a lot about the atonement and how it affects us. It’s so important knowing that it doesn’t matter how many times we fall, it only matters how many times we get back up. It is my motto here in Retiro. It doesn’t matter if no one accepts our message or comes to church this week, next week will we rise up and try again.

We had a sweet p-day where we headed to Parral for the morning and played paintball. I was so sore afterwards. I got nailed so many times. I got at least 5 welts, and bad ones! We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping and getting ready for the week. It was fun. We had a so so afternoon where we really only contacted some future investigators, no one let us in.

Elder Hancock, our district leader came up to Retiro to spend the day working with me. We had a good lunch at home and discussed the situation here in Retiro. Soon, we were ready to go out and work. We ran all around Retiro and visited our investigators. First we had a visit with Pilar. We had a good discussion but sadly she doesn’t want to complete with commitments or go to church. We had to drop her.

Next we had an awesome visit with Carmen and Carina. We talked about the things that they have been learning, the Book of Mormon and about going to church. We finally got them to commit to go to church but as we were leaving they remembered that they were actually leaving for vacation this weekend. It was frustrating. We have hope they can go next week. We also visited Armandina and Daniela. We had a really cool spiritual lesson where we committed them to baptism. We knelt down in prayer and they asked Heavenly Father if this is the true church. The spirit was strong. They were leaving for vacation on the weekend too, but we hope they will go the next week.

We worked and tried to find more and more people to visit. We had a really good time. Elder Hancock is a really cool guy.

We did a lot of contacts and tried to find as many people as possible. It was a slow day and not much happened.

We had a slow day. We went around trying to visit our future investigators but they turned out to be busy. It’s hard. We call them and we try to set appointments, and they accept but when we come around they don’t want anything to do with us. So for the majority of the day we ran around and did that.
In the evening, we got together with President Uribe and Abarzúa and visited people. With President Uribe and his family we went to Copihue and visited a MA family and had a great lesson. There are a few MA's out there and we are going to start going out there regularly to visit them.
Elder Price went with Hermano Abarzúa and visited the Saldaña family. We met up again after and visited the whole Abarzúa family.

We had a regular day of work and eventually we headed to the chapel to practice for our choir number in our district conference. We got assigned to sing last Sunday and we picked 4 songs and practiced them. No one in Retiro can really sing so we had to drop the songs down 2 keys and go from there. It turned out really deep. It was a good practice.

We had to clean up our front yard because there are two dogs that are extremely determined to break through our fence and spread garbage all over in front of our house. Our neighbors have been getting mad cause there is always garbage in front of our house. We had to go and clean it up. We named the dogs Gimp and Lucy.

We had a good lunch with our branch mission leader, Luis Ivan. We had a really good plate of pasta.
We helped the familia Saldaña translate some English documents. We went out and contacted some people and soon enough it was time to go to conference. Our choir performed and we had a really good session. President Arrington gave a great talk along with other people from the district and some other senior missionaries.

We had a good morning session of conference. The chapel in Parral was PACKED. It was gigantic. We had the entire familia Saldaña, familia Sepulveda, Nicole, Veronía, and hermano Jorgé's wife come. It was great seeing so many people. We had a lunch with Alejandro and Evelyn (the investigators who just need to get married). We went around and visited the familia Bravo, and Miriam and Estafania. We finished out with a tough week. But we felt satisfied with what happened.

I hope everyone had a great Easter. It was Semana Santa this week, and here in Chile it’s a HUGE deal. Everyone celebrates the whole week. It is crazy learning about all these other religious and cultural practices. Everyone was gone this week and left for vacation. It was hard to find people who weren’t busy.

This week has been ok. It’s step by step here. Its great seeing all these little steps coming piece by piece. It seemed like everyone had left or was just more hard hearted this week for Semana Santa. It was a challenge for us, I’ll admit.

But we were able to have some serious progress with MA's we brought 8 to this conference. 2 whole families and a couple other people. It is amazing. I have gained a testimony that angels are working with us at this time. People really are prepared by unseen forces to move closer to the gospel. I am so grateful for our Savior and our Heavenly Father who are so willing to guide us to these miracles through our diligence. I am so blessed to be here. I am so excited to give this new cambio my best. I know that I will see many miracles here if I give it my all.

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for your support. I miss you and hope you are all doing well at home. I hope this week is fantastic! Love you and miss you. Until next week!!

Elder Ethan Haws

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Week 29

View of Volcano from Retiro

Wow! climbing up on almost 30 weeks in the mission!
This was a week of hard work. Elder Price and I worked really diligently and we had a ton of experiences. More than I can possibly describe. 

Things are slowly coming along here in Retiro. We are climbing slowly, but surely. We are starting to see some long awaited miracles and a little fruit from our work. Slowly... but surely they are coming! People who have been very closed to the missionaries, especially some of the less actives and the recent converts, are now starting to let us in again.  

Basically we had an average P day. Other than that, we had a cool visit with an active member. Her name is Miriam. She’s always got a big smile on her face and is about the nicest Chilean I’ve ever met. Her daughter, Estefania is the complete opposite. She has been really cold to the missionaries after she had a bad experience in the church. She is categorized as a less active and she hasn’t let the missionaries in- in a long time. We passed by that night and she invited us in. It was really cool. We had a good conversation and talked about conference a bit. We shared a message, and headed home. 

We had an amazing district class. We went over how our contacts are going and we did some amazing practices. Elder Hancock and I had some really awesome role play moments where the spirit was really strong. I was really animated for the week. The only house that we got into was with hermana Pilar, our investigator. We sat down and discussed things a bit and we got her to open up a bit. She has a TON of doubts. Mostly because her family is all catholic. It’s a very interesting situation, but we believe that if she completes with the commitments, she will gain an answer that what we share is true.  We were able to get a lot of contacts and eventually finished out the day. 

It was a pretty regular day. We did have a cool lesson with the famila Retamal Bravo. The daughter's boyfriend isn’t a member so when we were there he asked us a bunch of questions about the plan of salvation. We had a really cool discussion and explained a lot of things. We were able to find a lot of future investigators and continue contacting. 

We contacted like mad men and were again able to find some good people out on the streets. We were able to find some former investigators that were close to getting baptized. Their names are Armandina and Daniela. The husband is Evangelical so he was a bit resistant to them getting baptized. So that’s our main obstacle with them. 

We ventured out to a little area 10 minutes away from Retiro called Copihue. It’s a tiny little suburb and the country folk live out there. There are a few members there so we went to look for them. We had to ride our bikes for a good 20 minutes and we finally arrived there. It was a nice little bike ride, the sun was shining and the clouds were in the distance. Turns out we couldn’t find any of them because there aren’t any directions or addresses. We did find some old investigators who let us in and we shared a brief message with them. We were talking and it became dark outside and surely enough, the rain started pouring. I had only packed my gortex jacket with me without the pants. We finished the lesson and bagged up our stuff in our backpack and went out for the treacherous, cold, and wet ride back to Retiro. We got SOAKED. It was so cold. We eventually got back, I changed my clothes and we went back and contacted the rest of the night. 


We pretty much went around contacting like crazy cause we were short on contacts. Most of our plans fell and we were rejected by almost everyone so it was a tough day. 

We went to church just praying for a miracle. We invited many people to church but they just wouldn’t accept or make a commitment. No matter how hard we pushed, we couldn’t get them to come with us. As the minutes went by it seemed like we would have very low attendance. But suddenly 7 of the less actives that we had been teaching showed up! The WHOLE Saldaña family came!! That is so much more significant than you guys understand. They haven’t been to church for forever. Elder Price hasn’t seen them in church ever. We were so excited. It made our day. We contacted for the rest of the day, and had a great branch council. We discussed many of the troubles we're having here in the branch. The people go inactive at the drop of a hat here in Retiro. It’s not even a joke. So many people don’t come to church because they just haven’t been greeted properly by the members and sometimes they don’t get seen by the members in the street and make that their excuse. It is quite ridiculous. Over the past few weeks I have been overwhelmed with the problems of the people here. It has been quite the challenge. 

I feel like I came here and it’s like someone walked up to me in the street and just handed me octuplets and somehow now they are mine. It’s kind of an unexpected and overwhelming task that the Lord has given me. It’s like this branch is a bunch of needy babies. Elder Price and I are definitely learning how to become better missionaries here. I feel more pressed every day to become more of a leader here. This branch needs someone to step up and guide everyone here. I just struggle with the vision and the direction of where to go and how to do it. I hope and trust in the Lord that he can guide me through these times. I feel so privileged to be a missionary at this time. 

I am so blessed to be here among the Chilean people. It is truly a blessing to be a representative of our Savior Jesus Christ. I love him and I know that through faith in Him, we can do all things. Not by faith in our own part but by faith in him great works are done. It is the direction we all have to take in this life. He invites us to simply, follow him. Let us always have him as our guide.

I love you all more than words may describe. I miss you all so much. I hope this week goes great for you all. Until next week! 

Elder Ethan Haws

Paintballing with the Zone

Elder Haws

Week 28

Wow, the week flew by this time. Week by week, we grow here in Retiro. We had a really polar opposite week. It went by really slow and rough the first few days and suddenly changed to great days after Friday. 

We have been adjusting to the fall weather here.  All the leaves are falling and the skies are getting cloudier. It sure is getting colder. The humid cold is something interesting too. No matter what you do, at times you just have to deal with being cold. 

The week was very interesting. 

It was a hard day. Our citas fell and we were forced to stay out contacting to get our goals for a long time. It was really cold so a lot of people weren't out and about. I tried real hard to spark us into working with serious excitement. We contacted late into the cold Chilean night. 

We had a good District class to open the week and had a really cool experience practicing with Elder Rhodes one of the Zone Leaders. We practiced contacting in the street, and I shared a small message about the restoration and applied it to his needs. By the end we were in tears by the spirit. It was really cool. 
We had an ok day of work. Again, lot of our appointments fell and we were left to contact a lot. We found a lot of new's, but were unfortunate to not be able to visit with Pilar, Carmen and Carina, or any other investigators we had. 

We had an interesting day we got sucked into helping a former investigator named Guillermo by helping him send in some work applications that were in English. After that we had a meeting with our ward mission leader, Luis Ivan. We made plans for future activities here in Retiro in the coming weeks. For the rest of the day we went around trying to get our appointments to work, but most people had left. So we contacted and found some really cool futures. 

We witnessed a miracle as we found a woman who has had her oldest daughter, spouse, and good neighbor friend die in the last couple years. In fact her neighbor died this week. She is stricken with the tragedy of death. She is really prepared to hear the gospel. We were able to have a brief visit and we shared a overview of the Restoration. We will be coming back to visit her the next week. We went around trying to visit our other investigators but most were busy. We were getting really frustrated. No one is remembering our appointments even when we verify the night before. It was just getting us really down. We mostly did contacts as well. We also were able to visit the recent convert, Eliana, for the first time in a while. We had a really good visit. We were able to hit it off good, and talk openly. It was cool.

Friday scared us. We got the news on Tuesday that we were going to have a mini cambio with THE ASSISTANTS on Friday. We were stressed the whole week, and wondering, why us? We prepared all week to have a good day Friday. In the morning we went to Parral, and had a training on the new rules of contacts and planning for successful days. We ended and we headed back to Retiro with Elder Evans. He is now a traveling assistant and is going around visiting the mission with my old zone leader Elder Ramirez. I’ve gotten to know Elder Evans pretty well because Elder Layton is good friends with him and when we stopped by the office I always talked with Elder Evans. He is one cool guy. We headed back and had a really good lunch with the Uribe's. Ran out to work a while after and we worked our guts out. We learned a great way to have very direct contacts and to work more efficiently. We had two major things happen. 

1. We found a guy named Eugenio. Hes 70 years old and lives alone. He’s like an old Chilean cowboy and he was really slow to understand us. We taught the restoration in the simplest manner possible, and we committed him to baptism and conference. He accepted. 

2. We had a great visit with Carmen and Carina. They let us in and we were able to explain the restoration very clearly. We committed them to baptism and they accepted. The spirit was strong. 

We ended the night by cooking up a few burgers and planning for the next day. It was a ton of fun.

We mostly just spent the day in Parral watching the satellite broadcast in English. They don’t broadcast to Retiro so we would have to rely on slow internet there to watch it. We chose to just spend the day here and sleep over. We set up a tv in the high council room on the second floor and had a great time just E Froerer, Rhodes, Price, and I. 

We had our ward members get mad at us and drama was going on so we had to come back to Retiro and set up conference there. After some tweaking we got the conference to work for the Sunday afternoon session. We missed most of Sunday morning. We cooked lunch in our own house and planned for the week. We also helped a recent convert named David with his English homework. 

I loved hearing the messages from conference. It was a truly amazing conference. I thought it was very interesting how the prophet and apostles frequently warned of and spoke of:
-hard times and challenges
-the restoration
-and the importance of keeping and defending the faith no matter what

In these crazy times of the world, we will surely have our testimonies tried. The prophets have directly said that every single one of us will have to stand up for our testimonies and our faith. The times will come. I hope and pray that we may be able to stand strong enough to beat the bullies, outlast the persecutions, and defend the faith at all times. We must have courage to do so. We have to be doing the little things like scripture study, prayer, and attending church every day/week. I know that if we do so we will have our foundation structured on Christ and we will never fall. We may be buffeted, but we can always get back up through the atonement. I love the gospel so much. - 'It isn’t weight, Its wings' - I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord with my whole heart. I love every one of you so much. I hope your week goes fantastic. I pray for you all and miss you all so much. I love you. Until next week

Elder Ethan Haws

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Week 27

Elders Haws and Price with Felipe Uribe and Fransisco Uribe (Sons of the Branch President)

This week could have been a book by itself. I had so much happen. All the little details are countless. It has been very interesting trying to change the perspective of missionary work here in this small town, battling the weather, and taking on my fears and designing plans to conquer them.

Really, our main goal for this week for Elder Price and I was to have more 'animo' (energy and excitement) for the work of salvation here in Retiro. We had a really difficult week last week, and we were determined to change ourselves completely if necessary. We sure had a lot on our plates this week. It was hectic at times to look back and think at all we had to juggle. It sure put us to the test.

We had everything from crazy mini cambios, to extreme weather, to miracles. It was crazy.

One massive completo!!!

We had an average day. We didn’t have the chance to do as much as we wanted but we still worked hard. It was a good P day but we didn’t do much because we were down to little money for the month. Stuff out here in the campo is really expensive. We met with one recent convert, German, and shared a short lesson with him. We had mostly a day of contacts until we felt impressed to walk down a certain street. We remembered that there was a young couple that got baptized 2 years ago that lived down this street. They usually work from 10 in the morning to 10 at night. That makes it impossible for us missionaries to find them. But we went to check anyway. Sure enough, by a miracle Darinka, the wife was there. We got in and had a great lesson. It was powerful.

Berlines are delicious Chilean pastries

We had a great time finding a bunch of people on Tuesday. We worked in a section called la Courvi. We found a lady named Pilar, a 90 year old lady that still is going strong named Guillerma, and did a ton more contacts. We ended with visiting the second counselor Jorge.

We had interviews with the president that morning. It went so good. We received the rule change about contacts. Now only talking with people in the street and sharing a message in the street will count as a contact. Going to houses will no longer count for us. It is a huge change and will surely be a lot more effort on our part. Elder Ballard has promised the missionaries that if we personally contact 10 people every day, the numbers of baptisms will go up. We committed to it, and are determined to complete this promise.

To start the day, we went to our main investigators house, the Valdes Parra family. But sadly they told us that they didn’t want us to come back. Again, we were stuck in the same position that we have been in thousands of times in this transfer. It sucks having good people reject you. It gets tiring. Nevertheless, we continued on. We went on to visit the Saldaña family and a new investigator we found in Santa Amelia. His name is Pablo. He always acts nervous, but he is a really cool guy. He really wants to learn about what we have to share. Our Elders quorum didn’t show up to go out and visit people so we had to boost the spirits of our Elders quorum president because he had tried as hard as he could to get them there.

Very cool day. The Zone leaders wanted to have a mini cambio with us. So in the morning I packed my bags to work once again with my good friend and father in the mission, Elder Froerer. It was such a sweet day. It was such a cool feeling to work with a now, good friend, and be able to do so much more than I was able to. We pushed it hard. We had lots of miracles and found lots of people. Elder Froerer is very supportive and was a huge help to me by giving me advice on what to do in this hard time of mine. I had a lot of fun on Thursday. We ended with playing a game of fútbol with some members. I did really good. I scored the last goal to close the game!! #GiftOfSatisfaction

We changed back and with fresh ideas on how to boost the sector and went to work. Frankly, we didn’t have much happen other than getting futures and contacting. It was a so so day.

Ohhhhhhh the rains came down and the floods came up! And us missionaries got wet...
Oh boy was this a rainstorm. We had people telling us all week that a storm was coming. I didn’t give it much thought but OH MY GOODNESS.

This storm was legendary I swear. Whales could have been raining down WHO KNOWS, It was loud and it lasted all day. My waterproof stuff after a while got wet. We walked around all day in my first day of 'winter weather'. It’s tough because Chileans literally go into hibernation mode in the rain. They just sit in their nice little houses and won’t talk to us. It was a crazy day. We were forced to go into the church and reschedule some of our plans because it was just crazy out there. We knelt down and I offered a prayer because I didn’t know what to do anymore. No one would talk to us or answer us. We prayed fervently for a miracle. We suited up and went out again. Sure enough, down a street, we were walking and a man invited us into his house. We gratefully took this chance and sat down a bit. The wife and daughter came down and asked to share a message. Because the hermano was a bit drunk we had to keep really focused on the message. We mostly taught to the wife Carmen, because she was really listening. We invited her to baptism and she accepted. It was a miracle. We were so grateful to our heavenly father for watching out for us and sending us a miracle so quickly. He hears all of our prayers.

We were disappointed cause Carmen and her family didn’t show up to church. None of the investigators showed up to church. But we did have 3 less actives and 1 convert. It was bittersweet. We had a good meeting but it was freezing. We went out and tried to visit as much as possible. But to reach our goal we had to get 30 contacts. We worked so hard and were contacting through the night. We reached our goal thank goodness. We were satisfied with our efforts. We are climbing and learning how to walk here in Retiro. It’s been really hard, but were starting to restart the sector. It’s a really cool time to be here. We just gotta keep it going.

I’m so grateful for all that I’m learning here in Retiro. The Lord is sure giving me a fair share of experiences. I am grasping what I need to be doing. It is so cool to see how the lord is preparing me. I’m so grateful for the things I’m learning and the chance to be here in Chile. I’m so grateful for the love of our Heavenly Father and Savior. They truly help us in every step. I know if we truly march on through all our trials, we can progress in our journey to becoming like our Savior.

Helaman 3: 33-35
 33 And in the fifty and first year of the reign of the judges there was peace also, save it were the pride which began to enter into the church—not into the church of God, but into the hearts of the people who professed to belong to the church of God—
34 And they were lifted up in pride, even to the persecution of many of their brethren. Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction.
 35 Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.

May we march on through our trials and continually work to the purifying of our hearts. I am so grateful for all of you. I love you so much more than you know. I am so grateful for all of your prayers. Until next week. I love you, and miss you

Elder Ethan Haws

The great pyramid of paper

The giant apple of Retiro

Friday, April 4, 2014

Week 26

Tomorrow I complete 6 months of my mission. 25% of my mission will have passed away, and it blows me away. It really feels like I've been away for an eternity. It feels like I've lived another completely different life already.  Everything about the mission has been like a dream for me. I've never had harder times, I've never had so great experiences.

This week was really sort of brutal for Elder Price and I.

Basically our numbers were pitiful, and we didn't progress in the latter part of the week. Our district leader Elder Hancock was really disappointed and it was a hard, hard night for us last night. It’s just a mix of a lot of things. It’s hard to be animated out here after a while, cause we walk around the entire sector and contact every single house there is monthly. It’s hard to get new ideas. There is a ton of pressure from the branch presidency and our leaders to do contrasting things. We aren't finding anyone who listens to us. There is not a lot of honesty in Chile. People flat out lie to you just to tell you what they think you want to hear. We have had to drop almost everyone because they don’t really want anything to do with us. That destroyed our numbers. It destroyed us.

And on top of that Retiro is a little city of drama. Rumors spread like wildfire. There are deep grudges rooted in seemingly everyone. It is its own soap opera of a city, no joke. It’s hard to bring back so many inactive members because the seeds of grudges have been sewn so deep in their lives. It’s hard to teach forgiveness here. Everyone is so easily offended. False rumors about the church and missionaries spread here like crazy. It’s just a strange position that I got put into here. It’s really like I've been put here to be a leader and just to test me to see what I’m really willing to make to happen. I woke up and realized all this, this morning. I’m figuring out maybe why I was sent here on an emergency. I’m here for a reason guys. It’s hard, but I think I’m figuring it out.

We had some good visits. We found a less active family. The dad was a bit drunk but he invited us in. They started telling us about their experiences with the missionaries. They have been inactive for a long time.  They asked us to help them get back to church. They seemed honest but we told them they would have to prove their part. They are the Bascuñan Molina family.  We also visited with the Sepulvera family that night. We walked into a pretty heated family fight. Just like the good one everyone knows. We shared a scripture on the savior and his life. We bore powerful testimony and brought the spirit back into their home. It was really good.

We had visits with the Valdés Parra family, the Campos, One last one with Nancy and Galvarino, and Jorge one of the counselors in the presidency.  The Valdés Parra family are the ones Elder Hancock and Elder Price found on the mini cambio. They are cool people. We are teaching the Mom and the two daughters. We talked to them using “how to begin teaching” in PMG. We are just trying to find a need for them. We invited them to read the Restoration pamphlet and pray.  The Campos are a really cool MA (Menos Activo/Less active) family. They are the main MA's we're working on. We're working hard to bring them to church.  We had a sad visit with Nancy and Galvarino. Nancy let us in and said that because she has been raised in the evangelical church and she has seen miracles there, she wants to follow the counsel of the preacher and not share with anyone outside of the religion. We explained some things, but they are really really evangelical. So we left them.  We finished out the night by visiting hermano Jorge. We had a small little once there and shared a great message about the Savior and his service.

Slow day for us. Elder Price felt sick so we didn't get out to work as much as we wanted. We mostly did contacts for the rest of the day. We finished out the night with getting together with our small little elders quorum of 3 hermanos. We ran around and visited a bunch of people.

We visited our MA family the Bascuñans. The only one there was the dad. He wasn’t drunk but it seemed like he just wasn’t interested in listening anyway.  We did a lot of contacts and tried desperately to visit with all our investigators. They all just told us, ''We're busy. Come back next week.''

We finished by visiting a MA, Joseph. He’s been less active for a long time because he was offended in church. His parents had just split up so he was going through some hard times. We shared a message and some stories. We brought a smile to his face. Then we went home.

We set off on the next three days of our week to give everything to getting people to church. We again visited the Valdés Parra and invited them to baptism, church, reading, and praying. They didn’t accept a date for baptism but seemed willing to go to church.  We visited the Saldaña family shortly after. They are a MA family too. They gave us a little once which was pan, ecco, and some spicy spicy ahí with tomatoes. They laughed as the spiciness of those little peppers got to me. It was fun. We invited them to church and they accepted.  We also visited hermana Arny with her less active daughter. We had a great visit, and brought the spirit in with scripture.  We just finished with running around contacting like mad men.

We visited a recent convert that owns a little 'negocio' or a small food/snack shack. We committed her to church and she accepted. We ran around and around and around trying to invite people to church and find new people to teach. It was a hectic day. Not too much panned out. We tried to verify all our commitments with the investigators and all the people we had taught but they didn’t answer our calls. It seemed as though our week was for nothing.

We had little to no one show up to church. Little to no one came. Only one of the Saldañas and a good joven named David who is also a MA came. Those were our only successes. It was hard. Elder Price gave a good talk, along with a few other members. It was a really good church meeting. I had fun teaching the youth class. I think I have gotten into their group and won their respect cause they think I’m hilarious and always try and talk with me now. Haha! We planned to change the next week entirely. We went out and tried to visit a lot of members and investigators but no one was home and no one answered. We called in our numbers and Elder Hancock and we as well were sorely disappointed. It was a hard night. I was on my knees for a long time.  We are going to start our missions over and turn a new page. I’m excited to look forward. It’s a time of trials for me and the opportunity to become so much stronger.

Alma 57: 19-21 says
 19 But behold, my little band of two thousand and sixty fought most desperately; yea, they were firm before the Lamanites, and did administer death unto all those who opposed them.
 20 And as the remainder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted.
21 Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.

I believe this is the key to my mission. I believe it is the key to blessings. I know that as I try and obey with EXACTNESS that the blessings of heaven will flow and I will become such a better person and a missionary. I testify that the savior is waiting to bless us to become mighty members of the church and to become his true disciples. It is my testimony that through our weaknesses and our downfalls we become truly strong. I testify of the atonement in our lives. Christ's sacrifice is real and it is ready to heal us. I pray that we may place a focus on that in our lives. I am grateful for the chance to be here in Chile to serve with all my might, mind, and strength.

I am so grateful for all of you. I ponder and think about you. I think the world of you. I love you so much. I reflect on your love when I pass through trials. I reflect on the Saviors sacrifice to build me up. I miss you all. I love you so much. Until next week. I love you.

Elder Ethan Haws.