Sunday, July 27, 2014

Week 43

Wow, another week!

What can I say, this week was one to remember. It was full of hard work and finding a lot of information. If there ever was a week to find out what your sector is all about, this was the week.

To be honest there isn't a lot to report. Not too much to say other than it’s hard. The mission is hard at times. But after the storm, good things come. We all have hope for something better.

Ether 12:4 says

4 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

I love that scripture, I believe that this advice is simply an equation of success for us in this life. First comes the hope and faith. It provides us an anchor for our soul that is a steadfast and sure security for our life. But we must continue in good works and being led to glorify our Father in Heaven. The scriptures are so simple, but so precise. I love them. I hope that each of us can continue reading them and applying their message in our lives.

This week we actually were able to visit with Maritza and her Neighbor Marion again. They hadn't let us in for about a week, but we kept trying. We had a powerful lesson. They even accepted to prepare to be baptized. We extended a strong commitment to them to go to church this Sunday. We called them and invited them and tried our best to help, but they didn't show up.

This Wednesday, we had an activity with the young men in the branch. We went out to the forestal, where there is a gigantic gymnasium that they have and played soccer for about 3 hours in the morning. We had all the jovenes (youth) from the branch and Danko (our investigator), and Sebastian (Maritza's son) came as well. It was a ton of fun. But because we played so hard we were drained the rest of the week. I actually got to score a handful of goals. I'm not just a useless gringo after all!!

Thursday night we had a simple branch family home evening. A few people showed up. We watched ''Finding Faith in Christ'' and played a few games. We had some good times. This week we are going to be having a dessert competition for our weekly activity. It is going to be some good fun to see all the sweets that come. Hopefully with all the families invited we will see more people at the church than we do on a regular Sunday.

We had a good Sunday this week, I got the guts to take the little keyboard at the church and bring it to our house to practice the hymns for the week. The music coordinator and I planned well and I successfully played the hymns for the sacrament meeting. Hopefully I can brush the dust off my rusted talents of playing the piano.

It’s been foggy this whole week, well it’s been foggy for the past 2 months. We rarely see clear skies anymore. The fog here is so wet. It’s like rain but without water falling. Things never dry out here anymore. It is interesting to see how different the weather is for all of us.

We continue to name the dogs here in Retiro. We found this weird looking dog with curly hair and named it 'Beethoven'. Elder Martinez, when he sees a dog, he'll shout out a random name and it just sticks.

This morning we went to Cauquenes. It’s just west of Parral. We spent the morning at a senior couple’s house, the Scholes, and had a mini Christmas in July. It was a really good time to unwind a bit and relieve some stress.

Thank you for all that you guys do! I love you all so much. I am so grateful for your support. Until next week!! Have a great week!! Live the gospel and have fun!

Elder Ethan Haws

Week 42

Another 6 weeks is up. This morning we woke up and we waited for the phone call from our district leader, Elder Jackson. I was so nervous to find out whether I would be staying in Retiro or moving on. The call eventually came. I'm going to have another 6 weeks in Retiro. I have been praying for the chance to stay just a little longer. Elder Martinez and I are actually seeing a lot of progress here. With so many things starting to happen it would be completely devastating to take one of us out of Retiro.

The week was a good one. There is always some haste during the last week of the cambio. It’s a good sense of a rush. We focused on a lot this week, it was a lot to handle but we had some good times.


- Juan Santiago, Fabiola, and Lorena

We passed by two times this week at their office, but werent able to get much done with them. They were really busy with work because Fabiola is going to have her baby soon. She is retiring from the office until November. That puts her responsibilities on Juan and Lorena. We'll just have to see what happens with them this week. Hopefully they will keep their commitments and progress a little more.

- Oscar, Geraldina, Danko,  Elyne and the Arios Moya family.

They are some former investigators that Elder Price and I visited a while back. I don’t know if you remember me mentioning them in past letters, but I decided to go back and visit them this week. We hit it off great. They were glad to see us back. The only thing is Oscar and Geraldina, the parents, have tons of doubts. They don't like church and are Evangelical in their own way. That makes things very complicated. But we have hope for Danko and Elyne. They are the two oldest kids. Danko is 17 and Elyne is 15. We get along great with Danko. We asked him if he would like to go to Church and he accepted. This week he actually showed up! He is the first one besides Alejandro and Evelyn to come to church! My first investigator to do that during my entire time here in Retiro! We are excited to see someone actually take a step of faith here in Retiro. Danko said he liked the church. He got along great with all the youth and said he will be coming back!!

We didn't see much progress with the less actives this week. It has been a hard two weeks working with them. We haven't seen the progression that we saw before. This week we will be focusing more on them.

We ran around quite a bit this week doing a lot of contacts. We got our goal of talking with 140 people and that was probably the second greatest point of the week.

There isn’t a lot to report this week. The only main points were Danko going to church and getting our contacts.

I was able to share my testimony various times this week with power. During a few lessons the whisperings of the spirit guided me to do so, and it left from my mouth more powerfully that I could have imagined. It is interesting how the spirit works. It is a great privilege to learn how to work with the direction of Heavenly Father. I love being his servant 24/7. I am finally finding the joy in this calling. It is so hard at times, but we only have to look to the tests and find the joy in everything. We only have to wade through the experiences of life, joyfully and patiently waiting for the hand of the Lord to be revealed in all things. I love the mission. I love the Lord. I am excited to start another 6 weeks here in Retiro.  I love all of you so much, and I miss you tons. You are such an inspiration for me. I hope you all have a great week. I love hearing from you guys. Until next week!!

Elder Ethan Haws

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Week 41

Wow! We're in the 40's now. How crazy is that? Weeks keep flying by. 

This week was some good fun. I enjoyed the good times that we had. I'm learning so much. I feel so much more full with the gospel growing inside me. It really is opening my eyes to the world and everything that I experience. The gospel is more than just a counsel, or a quick message, It is the way of life we need to live. 

The work with the Investigators this week. 

1     Maritza, her family, and her neighbor. 
First off, to start the week, on Monday we went to visit Maritza and her family. Turns out she brought her neighbor as well. We had an awesome lesson. After we shared some things, they invited us back the next day. We came back and the next day as well. Since they have been sharing with the missionaries for some time, it’s a different kind of approach we have taken. We have been teaching them the doctrine but applying it profoundly. It’s really cool seeing how this family takes it. They haven't accepted to be baptized yet, but we will keep on teaching and extending the invitation.  We invited them to the activity on Thursday and they actually showed up. This week we will keep on working with them. Even though they didn't come this Sunday, we have hope that they will continue listening to us.

2     Juan Santiago, Fabiola, and Lorena
These are the three people working in the side office of the Municipalidad. Juan and Fabiola are a couple and Fabiola is going to have her baby really soon. Lorena is an Evangelical woman and is really interested in what we do. Since they all are 29 years old, We have a really good time visiting them. They are really good people. It’s really just like seeing good old friends every time we pass by. We each gave them their own copy of the Book of Mormon. Fabiola and Lorena were stoked and are still very interested in the book. They are progressing slowly but surely. They didn't accept a baptismal date but they accepted to think about it over the next few days. We are so excited for them. 

Our work with the less actives.

This week we feel like we didn't see much progress within the members. 
The less actives that we visited had a hard time committing to go to church or really do anything. Neither were we able to visit many of them. Everyone seemed to be unreachable this week. No one answered the phone, or the door. It was a bit frustrating, but we stuck to the plans and worked on. Our biggest success was to see Estefania walk in the doors for church. WOW!! My first lesson I had with her, she vowed that she would never go to church again. SHE CAME TO CHURCH THIS WEEK. Her mother, Miriam has been a roller coaster this week. We had a miscommunication on Friday and she came into church and wouldn't shake my hand saying that she was angry with me. By the end of testimony meeting we sorted it out and she forgave us. 

This week for the activity we hosted a talent show! We all had a bit of fun. Elder Martinez and I took ''Radioactive'' by Imagine Dragons and changed the lyrics to tell some stories and jokes about things in Retiro; really just our experiences.  The members liked that. Even though my voice is out of practice and I lack a lot of practice in music in general, it worked out very well. Elder Martinez showed off some of his beat boxing skills, and I played a song I wrote this week called ''Strangers'' on the guitar. None of the members were prepared to give their talents. They resorted to just telling jokes. 

We had an awesome zone activity today! The zone leaders talked to some members in their branch to borrow one of their vans and head up to the Andes Mountains to visit a German village! IT’S WAY UP THERE IN THE MOUNTAINS. It’s a beautiful place. The little village is called the Villa Baviera. When we got there we took another truck up to one of the peaks of the mountains. It was like a Chilean mountain safari ride. The road up the mountain reminded me of the trail we take 4-wheelers up at the cabin. It was just not as rocky and not as steep. The view was great. We had some good fun. We got to play in the snow up there and enjoy being up on a tall mountain. Oh how I missed being up in the mountains. 

Zone activity to the top of the mountain

 Chilean Andes

 Elder Haws

It’s getting colder here in Chile. It’s such a different kind of winter. Everything is just so wet, and it’s cold. Things never dry out, EVER. I am so jealous of all you enjoying summer right now. 

We had small successes this week but we count them as great blessings. I know the Lord is there and he is helping us step by step. I am so grateful to be here and to be learning all these things right now. There is no greater blessing than being on the mission. It has completely changed my life and I will never be able to thank my Heavenly Father and my Savior enough for all they have done for me, and how they have changed me. The gospel saves us and purifies our hearts. I am so grateful to have the restored plan of happiness in my life and for the opportunity I have to share it. There is no greater happiness in this world. 

I love you all so much, and I am so grateful for all of your support. I am so excited hearing all that is happening in your life. I love you all so much. I love you, miss you, and pray for you. I hope you all have a fantastic week.  Until the next. 

Elder Ethan Haws

 The truck that the zone rode to the top of the mountain

 Zone activity (7-7-14)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Week 40

This "stinking dog" wouldn't stop following us around while doing service; so I conquered it
This week was an amazing!

It was MIRACULOUS!  It’s like I’ve been in this endless storm and suddenly the rain is slowing down and sunlight is peeking out from the clouds.

We had an incredible week of finding investigators and having sudden and needed blessings just happen. Not only did we find TONS of investigators, we helped out the less-actives and amazing things are happening with the members.


We had a good p day and prepared well for the week. We went to visit our ward mission leader and had a family home evening with the Uribe's. The FHE was amazing. We got in there and felt like we needed to share a video. I looked down the list of the messages we had and felt impressed to share one. We shared the Mormon message that just came out about the other prodigal son. We applied it to family relationships and forgiveness. By the end we were all in tears. The president thanked us for sharing what we shared and commented that he has been frustrated with the past missionaries because they hadn't been able to have these kind of spiritual moments between the family and the missionaries for a long time. THAT IS HUGE FOR US. His trust is essential so we were thrilled.

Tuesday was just a day of work, contacts and trying to invite more people to the activity on Thursday.


We started off by visiting E. and had a pretty brief lesson. We are probably going to have to drop her because she doesn't progress or keep any commitments. It’s an extremely hard situation.

Elder Martinez and others standing on the Sepulveda family's second floor construction
project. The missionaries have been helping with the addition.

We visited the Sepulveda family and had an awesome lesson with them. We are gaining lots of confidence with them and are happy to see them coming back to the church step by step.

We were looking for more investigators and headed over to visit a lady we had contacted a few days before. We knocked on the door and they let us in! Her name is Martha, we talked with her and her oldest daughter and surprisingly David, a less active youth, came in to visit as well. David is this family's cousin. Everything was perfect. We got to know them and applied the gospel to all their doubts. Apparently they have shared with missionaries for quite some time. We hit it off extremely well.

We also felt like visiting the lady who owns a completo shack by our house to see if she was interested in listening to us. We bought some completos and used the opportunity to have a lesson with her. It went well, but she wasn't too interested to continue listening to us. One day, we think she will be well prepared to accept the gospel.


We really focused on the activity and prepared well for it. It was a little FHE activity and we had lots of fun playing games and such. It was a good success. We had really low attendance because it was FREEZING outside, but we had a good time.

 Retiro branch activity

We had an incredible day!  We found 7 new investigators in one day. That is so rare here in Retiro. That is worthy of being called a miracle.

We found an evangelical family of 4 people, and had a lesson with the 3 workers that work in the Municipalidad (City Hall) here in Retiro.  (We found them while doing contacts last week and I randomly asked if they needed any help or if we could offer some kind of service. They were surprised and said they needed help setting up some desks in a little building. We accepted and they told us we could pass by and visit them in their office in the Municipalidad.) We had an awesome visit with them. They are so prepared for the gospel. We talked about their past experiences with the church and their thoughts on it. We showed them temples, explained a little bit about eternal marriage and the plan of salvation, and the book of Mormon. They are the best investigators I’ve found here in Retiro.


All our plans fell so we went around and started extending invitations for the upcoming activity on Thursday. We stopped by the BR family and had a very interesting lesson. S’s mom was there and she was high and drunk. (And she’s like 90 years old! What’s up with that!?) All she did the whole time was say, ''I DON'T KNOW, BUT I DON'T KNOW, I don't believe in anything, I only believe in the Lord.'' And random stuff like that. It was kind of funny.

We also visited Alejandro and Evelyn. They have made the decision that they want to get married before the year is over! HURRAH, they can get baptized this year!


We had the highest attendance at church during my whole time here! 34 people at church. It was amazing!!

We ended the week with finding 15 new investigators. That's 3 more above the standard of excellence for our mission. We are so content. It is amazing the blessings that we have received.

Amazing things are happening here, and I am so happy to be a part of it all. I hope the mark that I leave here in Retiro will last forever. I am grateful to be an ambassador of the Lord. It is a privilege without price (priceless privilege). I am so blessed to be a part of the work of salvation. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior. I am grateful for their love and their mercy. It is a pleasure to serve them with my whole heart.

Thank you for all you do. I love you guys so much. It is always so good to hear how you are doing every week. I love you all so much more than I can express. I miss you! Until next week!

Elder Ethan Haws

Randomly, my name is on a car

A chilly (Chile) crescent moon

Elder Haws, the part-time construction worker

The Sepulveda Family construction project