Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Week 98 (8-10-15)

Baptism of Areanda

So, we're at another week.

Time is flying by and Its a sprint to the finish.  Its strange thinking about how much experience I have now and how much my perspective of the mission and the world has changed. It is crazy going into lessons and being so confident.  I remember like it was yesterday when I would walk in and just be nervous because I wasn’t sure what to do or how to teach. I have learned how to rely on the spirit and have become very accustomed to seeking the influence in lessons.

We worked real hard with the members and converts, the work with investigators has drooped down a bit. We are determined to keep the sector rolling by finding this week.

We had the baptism of Areanda this Saturday. She is a 9 year old girl with Aspergers that we have been teaching on and off with the other elders of Copihues. It was a great baptism and a very special one indeed. It was good for the rest of the family especially her parents who aren't members to see a short simple, and spiritual service.

Two other elders from the neighboring sector came and moved into our house and are now living with us. It’s cool having 4 elders in the house again. The other two elders are really cool.

I have almost no time left today. The computers have given me nothing but trouble today. I hope you are all doing great. I love you and miss you all. I hope you have a great week.

Elder Ethan Haws

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Week 97 (8-3-15)

We were blessed to have the baptism of Bernarda, Denís, and Carla

Well, we are sure coming to a grand finale.

So, my new comp is hilarious. Elder Villar and I definitely hit it off really well. We are having a blast out here. Finally I have a comp where we are at least on the same page personality and humor-wise. I am really enjoying my time. I am grateful to my Father in Heaven for blessing me with such a great way to spend my last stretch of the mission. We may be living out here all alone with no one else to talk to, but we have been great regardless of the quiet house.

There are so many opportunities that are in our way. We are stoked because things are just starting to work out here and we are excited seeing how everyone is working in our ward.

I am also stoked about how our zone is doing. We may not have the highest numbers, but at last I feel that warm ''zone gets along'' atmosphere. We have some great people and I think that if everyone puts their all into it this cambio, we could have some legendary times.

We fed off the blessings of hard work this week.

The last two elders of the sector (Roberts and Brewster) worked SUPER hard to get this awesome family to the waters of baptism. And their work paid off. We were blessed to have the baptism of Bernarda, Denís, and Carla this Saturday. We were accompanied by many members of the ward and Elder Roberts, Now done with his mission and touring with his parents (who came to pick him up) attended as well. It was great. I baptized Carla and Bernarda and Roberts baptized Denís. It was a great Saturday afternoon.

We are working hard with getting other people to the font. We have another two great possibilities and we have another baptism lined up for this weekend for another girl in the ward. It’s really coming along nicely.

We are really cleaning up the house as well. The mission has been going through a big cleaning phase lately. So in our spare time we have been doing some hardcore repairing to the house. We had to cut and reshape our front door because it had expanded from the intense humidity and couldn't even close, we had to patch with Sheetrock a wall that didn't have Sheetrock on it, we had to throw away a lot of useless stuff and reshape how everything works. I am thoroughly content with how the house is looking. It is crazy how much of a difference a clean house can make.

I can testify to the power of prayer and faith. I can’t find the right way to explain exactly how it all works in the end. But I have had so many experiences lately where I have been able to really get to know the Godhead and know how to be and instrument in their hands. I know they live and that we are God's children. Miracles are real and they happen daily. I am grateful for the opportunity of every day to further the Lords work and be his representative. It is a glorious time and it is changing me forever.

Thank you all for your love and support and I am grateful for all the prayers and the care from all of you. I love you all and miss you. I will see you next week!

Elder Ethan Haws

Zone activity to play in the snow

Elders Haws and Villar

Week 96 (7-27-15)

Elders Roberts and Haws

This week was another crazy run through the sector without having an assigned companion. However, I did have a bit more luck than the last week. I found some people and had some really incredible lessons. I really feel like my teaching skills are just getting nicely polished off as I get older here in the mission. It was also great having to leave with members to get stuff done. It has been a blessing to get to know some of the Hermanos and get more confidence with them.

On Saturday I was going around knocking a couple doors with a recently returned missionary in the ward and I stopped by a family we had contacted in the street a week and a half ago. We had already visited them once before. I had been trying to visit them the whole week but they weren’t there every time I passed by. So on Saturday we passed by and She actually was there. We got in and started teaching and she opened right up to all of the difficulties she is going through right now in her life. Phew... She has some serious problems going on but they were perfectly solvable through baptism.  After, she had expressed her feelings I looked at her and said, ''Hermana, You know what? There is an answer to all that is going wrong in your life. Christ has a plan for you, He loves you and the answer is through following his teachings, specifically by being baptized.''

She accepted to be baptized and the lesson was fantastic. The only thing is she didn't show up to church. We will have to focus on that commitment much more this week.

Everything else was about trying to find and trying to get work done.

Elder Roberts had his last week here and left on Sunday night to Conce. That means that I’ve been chilling with my bro, Elder Brewster since last night.  It’s weird being in the sector with just 2 people.  We also have cambios this week.

Elder Villar (from Santiago) is coming to be my comp! He is coming from Concepcion. Saddest thing is that they're closing down Copihues B so it means that I am just going to be alone with Villar. Brewster is leaving me, and that stinks. As we say here in Chile, He fell really well with me.

 I am excited for this last cambio it is going to be the hardest worked and hopefully successful. I am so ready to give my all out here. It is going to be a really fun next 6 weeks. There will be a lot of stuff to do but I am so willing to give my all.

Thank you for all that you guys are doing and all the support that you always give. I love all of you so much and I hope that this week is fantastic. 
See you next week!

Elder Ethan Haws

 Inside a Chilean bus

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 95 (7-20-15)

Elders Miller and Haws

The grill master

This week was pretty weird. It’s weird not having an assigned companion.

The whole week I have been working to get men from the ward to go out and do divisions with me so we could visit some people. I'm not going to lie, it’s been pretty complicated to get them going. Many couldn't do it or go out for long at all. So it was just a week long battle trying to get visits done. I did however get the help from our ward mission leader, Danilo, during the whole weekend. He is a pretty cool guy, he’s 23 and getting ready to leave on his mission pretty soon. He had everything free for the weekend so he went out all day Saturday and Sunday to work with me. We got a lot of good stuff done this weekend. 

It sure has been hard having to balance the zone alone though. It has confirmed how much I need a companion in all of this. They really do come in handy. 

We have been doing great in the sector. We are teaching a lot of converts and less actives and helping them in their progress in reactivation and retention. I tried really hard to find more people to teach investigator-wise, but I just didn't have that much time between balancing the members and the trio. The other elders however, are doing great. They have a family that is progressing nicely and will be baptized soon. 

The weather is taking a turn for the deep end of winter. Today was one of the only times in my mission where I have seen the little puddles outside being frozen. It is c-c-c-cold. We saw rain most of the week and now the cold has followed all of the storm fronts. 

So with the trio, It’s a bit of a challenge! I'm not gonna lie. Besides the challenges work wise, I am having a blast being with these two guys. They are hilarious. It’s been really fun chilling with them. Elder Brewster and Roberts are classy guys. 

It was a disappointment not bringing anyone to church, but I have faith that I will find someone and get him to church. It will be a great week, I know it. I have a lot planned out already and it looks like it’s going to be great. 

Thank you for everything, everyone! I love you guys and hope you have a great week! 

Elder Haws

Week 94 (7-13-15)

Elders Haws, Skelton, McAlister, and Miller
What a fast week. It flew by.

We battled some fierce rains this week. It rained for about 90 percent of the weekend. From Thursday to Sunday it rained for the majority of the time and by the night the streets were all rivers. I am grateful for waterproof clothing. But even though I had myself pretty bundled up, I got wet. There was no stopping it. It’s hard when you're trudging through water up to your knees.

We got some work done this week! We were finally able to start finding a bunch of people. We invited all of them to be baptized. Most didn't accept but there were a couple that did, and we finally got one to even go to church.

We were just knocking apartment building doors in this one sector and the first door we knock was answered and we got in. He’s about an 80 year old guy named Juan and lives in his house with his wife who is currently sick. We had a pretty brief lesson and asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he told us, ''Well why not?!'' He’s a cool guy. We actually got him to go to church and he really enjoyed it. I think he will be going somewhere.

I am really short on time today, but briefly we had a good work week. We focused real hard on finding and we found.

On Thursday we had a really short mini cambio with the assistants, and by the time I got there all I had left to do was go to Bulnes (another city in Chillan) and do a support interview for one of their investigators. Elder Sperry (the assistant) and I went over and got it done and we headed back to the sector. That afternoon, we also had a cool activity where we had a Christmas in July in the chapel and a ton of people showed up. It was pretty awesome.

I am planning on getting some good stuff done this week, I am looking forward to meeting many more people and bringing many more to Christ.  My comp is heading home this week. He’s leaving before the transfer is officially over and that means I will be paired with the other two missionaries in the sector to finish out the transfer. Just another change to add to the week.

Thank you for all the love. I love you guys and thank you for all the support you give me. I am thankful for all that you do. I hope you have a great week.

Elder Ethan Haws

Chillan Viejo Zone

Recently called Leaders

Zone Conference

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Week 93 (July 6, 2015)

Wow! Lots of stuff going on lately!

So the biggest highlights of the week was basically the American cup, working hard and our awesome zone activity today.

We worked really hard this week in almost every aspect of the work. We went all out on trying to find people to teach. Luckily we were able to find some people. We found lots of potential investigators and talked with about everyone we saw. We just struggled finding people who would progress. There were quite a few people who we visited but because of their circumstances they just didn't accept to be baptized and wouldn't commit to church. Those were the biggest complications of the week. It was really stressful searching for what I can do to help the zone when I just know the answers as to why we aren't doing well in this or that. It gives me another perspective of the Lords work.

It was cool being here for the whole Chile winning it all kind of thing.


American Cup celebration

Everyone was going nuts out here. There were groups of like twenty people that went out in trucks and cars and went around all the streets with flags and hats and horns just screaming their heads off. ALL NIGHT. It was awesome. It was a roaring noise of horns all night.

We also had an amazing zone activity today. We went to a crazy waterfall called the Salto Del Itata. It was at its fullest point (because we're in winter and the rivers are all high) and covered a huge area. Several missionaries had gone there before and said today that it was as full as they had ever seen it.

So to make things fun we started by going to the top of it. We got dropped off by a van we rented right by the top of the waterfall and we launched 2  tiny boats the missionaries had made and watched them plummet to their watery grave. Then we had a 30 minute hike down to see if we could get closer to the falls. And oh how we did. I headed down there with Elder Brewster ahead of the rest of the zone and we got there pretty quick. We got all the way to the falls and got inside! It was THE MOST thorough showering I think I’ve ever had. I am still really wet even though I was wearing all waterproof clothing. It was awesome. Now I can claim that I have been inside a giant waterfall in Chile. Just wait for the pictures and videos.... It’s awesome.

I'm really growing on my dependence on the Lord. In these moments where I feel like there is no way I can accomplish what I have to or when I can’t see what really is wrong and needs to be fixed, I am learning how to depend on the Savior. It is a really interesting way to learn about the atonement. It makes me grateful that it is universal, all encompassing, and infinite.  And it helps me understand that God does live and that His Son's compassion and love never fails. It makes me understand the purpose of the gospel. It helps me keep trying. I love being here because it brings me down low enough so I can be pulled higher.

I love all of you guys and I hope that you are having great times and experiences. Thank you for all of your love and support. I love you guys! Until next week!

Elder Ethan Haws


American Cup meal

Elders Brewster and Miller

Week 92 (June 29, 2015)

"Elder Scholes and I.
He has been one of my greatest teachers in the mission. He has taught me SO MUCH. He has been giving the mission trainings for the last year and a half and now he is heading home. I am thankful to have been able to know him." 
 Typical street in Chillan Viejo

This week was a hard work week. Elder Miller and I went to town on the sector. So many amazing and beautiful experiences are always happening. I am surprised how amazing Chillán is. Seriously, I think that this is one of the best times, if not the best, of my mission.

I am loving the people here. Everything is so calm and people are 1000000000x nicer here. The sector is huge and I have no idea how I am going to be able to learn all of the sector in just 2 more weeks. I will also most likely have to pair up with the other two elders here when Elder Miller takes off and that means I will have to be a solo zone leader... just on my own.. So there are some daunting tasks on the horizon yet to come.

I think that work was pretty normal this week. Elder Miller and I spent hours trying to find people to teach but NO ONE popped up. We have been trying everything to find but not much has happened. We are really trying to introduce more solutions to how we are going to find this week. The zone however is doing much better. We had a pretty low week last week and this week we saw it all turn around in general. We feel good with that.
The highlights of the week were definitely these:

The baptism.

Max got baptized on Friday and he feels stoked. We feel stoked about it. I have literally never seen someone so prepared!!! He contacted us and wanted to get baptized. It is great seeing him change from the life he had before. It is amazing to see the gospel work. We have a great new convert in the ward.

Stake conference.

Why you might ask?

The session was actually quite plain and the same thing that usually goes down in conferences. I have been to three stake conferences this year already!

The only thing that really stuck out is the fact that I'm in the same stake as one of my last sectors, Coyquen. I got to love those people so much there. I was excited all week to go and see quite a few of them.

As I entered the chapel Sunday morning I started to see everyone. I looked though the sacrament room door and to right next to me I saw someone turn and start flipping out and I looked to see that was Constanza Vergara!  It was like that epic reunion scene but without the hugging and only a big handshake. Then the rest of the family came in and I embraced them. I love the Vergaras. They are awesome and it was great seeing them. I saw many other people and they all still remembered me. I was quite surprised. I didn't realize that I had made that much of a mark on people. It was the stuff of dreams. I realized how much I love the people I have taught. It is a friendship without price and description. They are my brothers and sisters. I consider them family.

Wow. I'm tired. I'm travelling more than I ever have in my life. I'm working harder than ever. I'm more content with the sector I am in than ever before. I have an amazing companion. There are great people in my house. This a great zone. I'm freezing cold in the mornings and nights and when we're working outside. I'm learning tons about myself, and about leadership. I am doing great. These are definitely times I will never forget. I am loving the experiences of every day. I am growing in every aspect of my testimony.

I love you all, and hope you have an incredible week. For those of you in the states.... I am jealous of your summer weather. I hope you are doing well. Thank you for all of the support and love. Until next week!

Elder Haws

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Week 91 (June 22, 2015)

Wow... So many changes, challenges, and responsibilities. 

all I can say is that the life here in Chillán is incredible.  It’s by far the best place I have been assigned to in my entire mission. The people are sooooo much friendlier here. It’s cleaner, friendlier, and just better. It’s the same kind of greatness that Coyquen was. I love Chillán. 

Chillán Viejo is like an urban city mixed with countryside. This sector is huge!!!!!! I seriously think that I have never had to walk so far in my entire mission. 

I’m with Elder Miller. He is a great friend and a great missionary. It has been awesome working with him.

Due to being in the worst cyber in the century I am going to have to keep this brief. I have got a million things to tell you all, but at this point it is impossible. The computer has been frozen for the last 25 minutes or so. 

I love the ward here.  We've got some hard working members. I really feel like I have died and gone to missionary paradise. There are no conflicts here and the converts are well taken care of. The bishop is stellar and is helping us A LOT. 

The house is pretty... well, it is liveable. The front door doesn't shut all the way because it expanded because of the humid summer so all the freezing winter wind blows right through the cracks and makes the house freezing. Thank goodness we've got a good pair of space heaters..... everything inside is pretty nice, the only thing we really lack is just our washing machine. It broke and we had to sell it. Today we'll be looking for a new one.

Im living with Miller, Brewster, and Roberts. Miller and Roberts are finishing their missions this transfer and Brewster has the same time as my son so he’s new. This is a great group. I find all these guys HILARIOUS in their own little ways. I will be sure to tell you more about them. 

It seems like I’m in some sort of death factory. Miller, Roberts and Hermana Antillón are all dying this cambio in the sector. Ill be dead this next transfer. I’m practically serving in a graveyard. 

The week was good work wise and we have an investigator named Max that is going to be baptized this weekend. They found him a week before I left and he is GOLD. He was a reference and had gone to church quite a bit before. SO, It is time for a baptism. He is super ready. 

I feel so exhausted and Im working so hard that it almost seems like I’m just in a dream or something. These weeks will definitely go by quick. 

That's it for the week. Thanks for everything. I love you guys tons!!!
See you next week!

Elder Ethan Haws

Week 90 (June 15, 2015)

Well guys, I’ve got big news. 
These last three cambios I have had some sort of news. Today I have more. 
Looks like the last 12 weeks of my mission are going to be one big grand finale.
I am called to be a zone leader in Chillán Viejo with one of my good friends here in the mission, Elder Miller.  It will be so awesome. Elder Miller was my zone leader in Concepcion and we became good friends. I think he is one of the only elders I have really been able to relate to in my entire mission. It will be a way chill transfer. I am STOKED. 

As for my son (Elder Duarte) he stays in the sector, but here's the crazy part...  Elder Copling was called to be a zone leader as well and we are both leaving the sector. Soooooooo because the mission is getting far less missionaries than those who are coming many sectors are closing. They are going to close one of the sectors in Centinela. Here's the cool part, Elder Duarte and Smoot stay. Smoot is going to finish the training of my son! I have never seen anything like that. I feel good and confident with them both staying in the sector. Because there are now only 2 elders in the sector they have a lot of work to do. We had the sector split because it was so big and now they have to go and brave it by themselves. It will be interesting to how they handle it. 

So this week was really really really normal. I can’t think of anything too spectacular that happened.  We did however get permission to watch the Chile games of the American soccer cup so we had a blast on Thursday chilling at the Fonseca's house. We had a ton of completos and cheered loud. It is pretty cool and I'm looking forward to the game tonight!

We made progress with the converts who had some issues with the leadership here. We finally resolved some huge conflicts and things will now go really nicely. 

I don’t have much time to write today, the computers have been slow. I just want to let you guys know that I love you and miss you. I look forward to the experiences that will surely come this week!

Elder Ethan Haws 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week 89 (June 8, 2015)

Laura and Escarlet Lopez were baptized!!

Well this week was insane. It was full of crazy crazy things.

To start off, Elder Copling and I are now working together on an intense workout program in the mornings and a diet. It’s been good for me. We are definitely trying to get in shape again!

My companion had a training for new missionaries this week, which meant that he had to spend a day and a half in Concepcion. On Wednesday while he was gone, I got to work with the other elders that work on the other side of the sector, Elder Smoot and Copling. We had a good day and saw some awesome things. At the start we divided because another member accompanied Elder Smoot so Elder Copling and I went to town in my sector. We went to a far little neighborhood way out on a hill and the first door we knocked on let us in and we had a great short lesson. We invited her to church and to be baptized and she accepted. Her name is Bernarda. She ended up in tears because she said that she needed help in that very moment and we just showed up.

We went down the street talking to more people and we felt like we should knock on another door. Turns out the man let us in as well. The dad, Juan, was playing card games with his step son named Alexis. We taught them and invited them to baptism and church. They weren’t so willing to accept the commitments but still they agreed to listen to us some more. We went on to the other sector after that and closed out the day very well.

This week was really busy with the preparation for the baptisms. On Thursday we had a mini cambio with my zone leader Elder Withers. We had our 18 year old friend Luis Duran accompany us throughout the day. Elder Withers was able to get the baptismal interviews all done, while Luis and I went and contacted a reference that Laura gave us and we ended up teaching that whole family. They were awesome. They day finished out great and we were stoked to see everything work out. (Turns out we went to the family on Sunday to visit them again, and the dad came out and said he appreciated the visit but he wants nothing to do with the Mormons and that he is evangelical and all the rest of the stuff people always say..... so we lost that family but oh well... It’s how it goes...)

We planned the baptism with the ward mission leader the day after and even though all of the planning was a bit rushed we felt like it was going to turn out alright.

During the week we worked with many people and tried to help them get over not wanting to come to church due to their frustration with the leadership here. Many people simply want to just give up. We are pushing people on to just keep going. Just to keep trying.

We got to Saturday and all was well. The youth had an activity with selling completos and they sold over 240 completos... Oh man you should have seen the mountain of those heavenly hot dogs... It was painful only because we were fasting and I couldn’t eat the ones I had previously ordered weeks before... bummer.

After the activity we had the baptism. It was beautiful. It was the second time I had gotten into the font in my mission. Laura and Escarlet were baptized. I baptized Laura and my comp baptized Escarlet. They were my 7th and 8th baptisms. I love this family and so excited to see the kids baptized.

We had some issues in the week with some stuff in the branch but we know that all will get better. I have faith that I can really have an impact on this place and I can get the wheels spinning! I have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who is mighty to transform. I know that things will get better.  We ended up finding 6 new investigators and having 2 baptisms.... What a week. It was one I will never forget!!!!

Thank you all for your love and concern. I look forward to seeing you all. I look forward to moving onward and trying my best in these last few transfers of my mission.

The gospel is true. Nothing else brings such peace, and comfort. Nothing is so worth it.

Have a great week! I love you all!

Elder Haws

Elders Haws and Duarte, Mojado!  (soaking wet)

Elders Copling and Haws


Elders Haws and Copling