Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Week 78

Saying goodbye 

Elder Haws with the Castillo Family

 Cleaning day
Week 78!

Wow! It was a good closer for the transfer and good end to my time here in Concé. Yep, today there were big changes and the future is looking bright.

This week was challenging and somewhat uneventful because our sector is going through a refining process right now. It’s like the ground is covered in mounds of dead leaves that aren’t doing anything good and we are just raking out the all the debris and waste. Its time for a cleaning of the sector. So this week the sector will be focused on finding!

We passed by many people and nearly all were gone. It seemed like we couldn’t progress with anyone. We tried to coordinate but things fell through, so hence we had a week of cleaning out people from our focus group and we are starting over again.

We had funny experiences though. On Thursday, I believe, we were walking down the street and we get to a certain negotio and a drunk man came out loudly and abruptly to greet us. I decided that I would have a little fun. He first asked me nearly shouting, ‘’Hey! Are you a gringo?!’’ I said, ‘’Yeah obviously....’’ and then he went on to telling me every single false detail about World War 2 and about Germany. It was the weirdest thing watching him scream ‘’AND THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS DIED.’’ So in the midst of this serious little conversation, I decided to ask him a serous question. I interrupted in mid sentence and asked with the best poker face I could muster, ‘’hey! Do you like elephants?’’ He paused and said calmly, ‘’Yes, yes I do... Yeah they are beautiful creatures…’’ And then he went on to babbling about the war and Germany and stuff. Not 10 seconds later I interrupt, ‘’Hey! Do you like giraffes?!’’ He paused and thought for a bit and looking confused he said, ‘’ No, no giraffes are weird…… I don’t like 'em’’ He then looked at me and then declared ‘’Well, all this happened but the thing I like the most is the Pacific!’’ and I said ‘’Oh yeah! There are penguins there too, right?!’’ He looked at me for a second and then went on. I gave up and we just thanked him and said ‘’we’ll see you later.’’ We couldn’t stop laughing. In such a weird moment trying to be serious we had the strangest conversation ever.

This week we had another cleaning day and we got the house super clean. We even spent time finishing up the painting of the house. It looks really nice now. I’m sad I’m going to have to leave the place.

So yeah Cambios….

I am going to Talcahuano Norte.....


The most flaite - ghetto sector in the mission.  (So I’ve heard)

I am now District Leader

It is the same sector Elder Froerer went to right after I was with him. He rescued that branch.

I will be with elder Hepworth; He is a really cool guy, one of the coolest missionaries in the mission. He is sick. He is young with only 4 cambios in the mission and is fearless. He is the son of an assistant. Its real close to conce! I am going there with missionaries that I have known for a long time. We will see how this all goes! Ive never set foot in Talcahuano and I'm clueless to what its like, but Centinela is a sector
that is one GIANT hill. So looks like every day is going to be a leg work out. its right out on  the sea, like a peninsula. Its going to be an interesting sector for sure.

I am stoked for the new opportunities that are up ahead. I am going to work my guts out like never before. It will be a good time!

Thank you all so much for all your love and for your support. I love you all and miss you all. I love you guys! I hope your week is awesome. I’m sure mine will be loaded with experiences.

Elder Ethan Haws

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 77

Planet Sandwich on P-day

Well this week was pretty calm. We are just trying to make little steps. We are seeing progress but it is really hard to describe how we see it!

We did a lot of work this week with members and we are creeping along trying to find more people through them. It is really hard to find people lately. We want to find people who are going to progress but the search keeps getting foggier. I think Heavenly Father is seeing how badly we want it.

It’s hard to write for this week. We did a lot of general work, actualizing lists, knocking doors and talking with people on the street. It was really plain. Everything is kind of becoming a routine here. Elder Flores and I have made a goal that we will break those routines and have a good week a different way.

We weren’t able to find anyone or get a point in the week. We are lacking a bit of correlation with the members but we are working on that at the moment.

This week despite the lack of the appearance of the fruits of our labors we felt good. I felt the spirit strongly in my studies and I learned a lot about myself and the gospel. Every day I come to reflect on the atonement and what it means to me in my life. Something that I have come to know and feel is the overwhelming embrace of the love of our savior and our Heavenly Father. There are some moments when I walk down the street and I can just feel their love. It takes me by surprise in the most random moments but I know they are real. I know their love and I feel their sustaining arms.  I am grateful for the gospel in my life.

Church was good and we had a high attendance of 96. We are seeing good progress there. Yolanda came again. She is more active than she has been for the last 8 years or so. We are grateful to see such progress in someone who wouldn’t even budge at one point some time ago.

The search will continue this week for more of the humble souls who are yearning for the gospel. I am learning more than ever how to depend on my Heavenly Father for success. I intend to imply that a lot in this week.

Until next week everyone! Thank you for all of your love! I love you all so much! I miss you guys! Make this week incredible!!!

Elder Ethan Haws

El Centro Dream Team
Elders Castellon, Castro, Haws, and Flores

Week 76

Wow! This week went fast. It’s kind of a blur in my head at this point. I’ll try and get as much out about the week as possible

Getting a point:

So as you probably know, our focus as a mission is all about getting points, contacts, and working with members. We haven’t been able to get many points as of late due to lack of coordination with the members and lack of investigators. On Friday Elder Flores and I said: ENOUGH.
We put our shoulders to the wheel and we went to work. We got our visit with a member and we were on our last category, lesson to less active or convert. We were with the Hermana Rosita and our plans fell. We were worried and desperate at that point. We asked Rosa if she knew anyone and then she just started taking us to tons of houses where she knew there were less active members. Eventually we got in a house. Guillermo a guy who had been sharing with the missionaries and was nearly baptized and his wife Loreta, an inactive member, let us in. They only had like 5 minutes so we went in got to know them a bit, shared a quick message, and set up another visit. It was awesome seeing a blessing in a moment of need.

Mini cambios:

Elder Colque wanted to do another mini cambio this week, so we did. I went to Pedro de Valdivia to work this time. I was with Elder Vasquez. A Colombian-gringo from Utah and we had a good day. We spent the entire day trying to get the point and eventually we got it. We taught good lessons and had a good time getting to know each other a little better.

Popcorn popping and apostasy:

From the title of this you’re probably wondering how on earth these two things are related.
Well… Elder Castro and I stumbled along some good beats during the week. And we made a little rock version of Popcorn popping and are kind of writing a song about apostasy. Just little things we do when we are relaxing a bit in the night.

Good times:

Despite not having the huge amount of baptisms and the large amount of success that usually appear in the mission, I am having a good time here. Quite frankly, I’ve never been happier in my entire life. There is nothing more glorious than being in the Lord’s service 24/7. There is nothing greater than to feel Him at your side and having angels to bear you up. With us four missionaries in the house we are constantly enjoying our time. We laugh constantly. We are all growing spiritually. It is a good time here.  I’m going to miss this awesome group of ours. I expect that I will be headed out of here in 2 weeks since cambios are coming up.

This week we were visiting the Castillo’s and Hermano Roberto showed me a cool video that the church did about duty to god and scouting. It had some really cool quotes in it. I really like one of them.

‘’Duty to god means a lot more than saying a prayer every time you need a favor. A lot more. Duty to god is simply the voluntary gesture you must make and remake a million times in your lifetime as a statement of your recognition that there’s someone above this universe that watches over this universe. By and to each one of us is a favorite [child].’’ – Jimmy Stewart

I think that as members of the church we each have a duty to god. We all have to do our part. This is the true church of Jesus Christ. Our loving Heaving Father and Savior are beckoning us to joyfully serve in their footsteps. The service they call us to is the most rewarding experience that we can have in this life. We must all do our best and remember the immense love they have for us and the sustaining hand they offer us.

Thanks for everything guys. I love you all so much. Thank you all for the support you always give me. I hope this week goes great for you all!

Elder Ethan Haws

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Week 75

Another week down! My time is really going quick here in Concé.

Here’s how the week went.

Mini cambios and finding some more people:

I had a mini cambio with Elder Colque from Bolivia on Tuesday and it went pretty well. We found a lot of futures and were able to get to know a lot of less actives. Elder Colque is on his last cambio and is headed home in 3 weeks. We had a good day together and talked about many missionary experiences.

Weather and apparent lightning:

During the night of the mini cambio there was an apparent thunderstorm. AND I SLEPT THROUGH IT!  I have been waiting all of my mission to see a lightning bolt to no avail. The one night that there is a storm I’m so dead tired that I miss it. So sad.

The weather has been nice this week. You can definitely feel the chilly (haha… Chile…) winds in the late afternoon, they are starting to come stronger and colder. Fall is in the air.  During the day it feels like the perfect temperature.

The 4 missionaries of Concé:

Oh man. We 4 missionaries are having a real good time. I haven’t been in a house that has gotten along so well. We are all good friends. Elder Letelier, Castro, Flores and I constantly laugh. We are a hilarious group if I do say so myself.

Rocking a talent show, folk style:

So the Laguna Redonda ward who is sharing the chapel with us because theirs is under construction hosted a talent show on Friday. Like 2 weeks ago we decided we were going to take a swing at it. Elder Castro and I are pretty musical so we printed off the sheet music for the spirit of god and we made a little arrangement for the talent show. It turned out awesome. Being up on stage was crazy. I haven’t played for people like that for AGES. I was so nervous. But it turned out good.

Stake Conference:

We had stake conference this weekend. It turned out well. Elder Nuñez an area seventy from Santiago came down and presided at the meeting. There were some great talks, loud children, and the microphone was really quiet but it all went well. The talks were mostly based on temples and families.

 Plaza de Tribunales de Justicia

Prayers answered:

As we were leaving from the Saturday session we were walking home in the dark downtown streets. We came up to one of the biggest plazas here; the ‘’plaza de tribunales de justicia.’’  We were walking down the far end and all of a sudden I hear, ‘’Elder!’’ I turn and there is one of Hermana Yolanda’s daughters. Hermana Yolanda is one of the less actives that we have been working with.  She is older so her daughter is like 40 something years old. She came up and greeted us and we started talking. For some reason we got on the subject about her mom. She said that she had passed by recently and had had an interesting conversation with her mom. For a while now Yolanda hasn’t had a fully functioning cable and antenna to her TV so she often feels lonely and doesn’t have much help most of the time because there are some complicated family situations and hard things like that.  She began to explain, ‘’I was talking with my mother and she said that she needed help in this last week to replace the TV cable and antenna and she didn’t have the means necessary to do that. Suddenly (the other daughter) showed up and helped my mom get it all fixed. Afterward Yolanda said that it wasn’t the blessing that her sister had helped set up the TV, but the simple, reverent, and humble prayers of Elder Haws praying for the blessings of temporal and spiritual things had helped her.’’

As she told me this story she began to tear up and I did as well.  She expressed her gratitude and began to disclose many terrible things that had happened in her life and reasons to why she had left the church and joined another.  She also told us about many other very difficult things that she had gone through.  I was touched. She said that she would always be grateful for the missionaries and expressed her still good but buried feelings towards the church. I expressed my love to her and her family and testified of the God’s love for her.  I guess we really never know of the simple and small things in our lives that make great things happen. I had no idea that my prayers to end lessons with Yolanda and her family had made such a big impact on this family. Unintentionally I had softened the hearts of a family. God works through mysterious and simple ways to bless people.  We just have to do what we need to and be in tune with the spirit so that we can help bless others.

Soon her Husband and child came by. As her son came she embraced him and said ‘’look son, Its Elder Haws!’’ and began to remind him of the times that they had been with Yolanda visiting while we passed by.  We ended the conversation and said our goodbyes and I, with teary eyes, walked reverently home.

Lessons of faith:

This week I studied a lot about doubt and faith. From stories of our Savior Jesus Christ to conference talks, I learned a lot about how we need to act without fear or doubt and remain calm keeping our faith and doing all that is necessary.

Elder Uchtdorf mentioned this in a talk a few conferences ago.

‘’Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.8 We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.’’

I also like these two experiences from the life of Jesus Christ.

We learn a lot about faith in the church. And it plays a huge part in our lives. I hope that we can all stand strong doubting our doubts and staying strong on the straight and narrow path so that we can reach our divine goals. Our savior Jesus Christ is always inviting us to act with a little more faith. I hope that we can all do so.

Thank you all for your great messages. I love the inspiration that I get week to week. I love you all so much. Make the most of this week!  Until the next.

 Elder Ethan Haws

Week 74

Week 74!

Here we are, at yet another Monday! Its great hearing from all of you. I hope that your week went well. 

Finally finding:

Alright to start off, we feel a bit better about the week because we were finally able to find people during the week! Woohoo!

So first off we were able to find Miguel again. I don’t know if I wrote about him some time ago, but he was home again. He is a construction worker, a father of two daughters and has been pretty busy and we haven’t been able to visit him for a long time now. We found him a couple months ago and we finally were able to contact him this week. He was glad to see us and we shared a short message about the atonement. He felt good and invited himself to church. Yes. Invited himself. But turns out we couldn’t find him later in the week and he didn’t go to church. We are going to be passing by a lot this week to find him.

On Sunday we were just wandering and searching for futures and other people and we just decided all of a sudden that we were going to stop by a house we had contacted a lot but they had never actually let us in. Turns out that they were all home and they let us right in. We entered in and began to visit. They have been sharing with missionaries for a very long time. Half of them are already members but haven’t been to church for a very long time. The missionaries haven’t passed by for more than a year. Their family name is the Monsalve Alarcon family. We are looking forward to teaching them and getting to know them. Hopefully we can baptize the mom and the oldest daughter. They are a family of 5. Juan (the dad), Maria (the mom), and three daughters.

 A Special Conference:

On Thursday we had a special conference! We were privileged to have Elder Di Giovanni come and address us. He is an area seventy from Argentina. His talk was great. It really inspired me. He talked about obedience, the atonement, success, unity, blessings and a few other topics.
We had KFC for lunch and it was really good. We all had a great time and it really inspired us all.

The day after the conference, It doesn’t end there….

So we’ve been painting the house right? Well to paint the rooms we had to move some of the stuff out of there and cram it all into the main room. So it isn’t the cleanest we’ve ever had the house. It’s not dirty it’s just a bit unorganized at the moment.

So Friday morning we all got up and almost unusually quiet and calmly we got all ready and got to our studies. We were in our personal study session and all of a sudden ant 9:45 we hear a knock on the door. Elder Flores and I looked at each other just a bit shocked because no one ever shows up during studies let alone goes to our apartment not even letting us know beforehand. So we got up and went to the door. Elder Flores slowly opens the door and to our great and terrible surprise president was standing in the doorway, we open it up a bit more and there is ELDER DI GIOVANNI AS WELL!!!! Oh man we were freaking out. Here is president with A SEVENTY here in our disorganized house. The ONLY DAY where it isn’t all clean and ready!! Oh man…. So we let them in and they looked around and looked all surprised and they asked ‘’so elders, what happened here?’’ We explained that we had been painting and we had everything super disorganized. They asked us if we had been advised that they were coming. We just stood there and said no… They chuckled and told us that we should have known that they were coming. They just told us ‘’well at least you are all ready, dressed as missionaries, and studying!’’ President asked me to tell the other missionaries that they were there. I walked into their room and I told them with a calm panic ‘’Elders… President and Elder Di Giovanni are here in the apartment to visit us.’’ Their eyes opened wide all in disbelief and rushed to tidy things up a bit in their room and then came out. President and Elder Di Giovanni then went into their room and visited the other elders. We went into our room and organized a bit and then waited for them to come in. They eventually came in and asked us how things are going, revised our plans, our area book, and various other things. Thank goodness that we were all prepared. They finished up, and thanked us that we were all ready and studying without being advised that they were coming and then left.

We were shocked. A seventy had just come in our house at the most in opportune moment and spent time with us. A mission classic. It’s something that every missionary dreads will happen but usually never does. We just got lucky to have the experience.

A ward vacation:

The ward had a big ‘’Paseo de Barrio’’ which means like a ward vacation. With permission we went for 3 hours or so and had lunch. We went to a little campsite on the far end of a city called Hualki farther south of Concepcion. It was great spending some time with the members outside of the sector. It was really nice to get out for the first time in a long time and see something different that the sector.

Alright. Those were some highlights for the week! I hope this next week will be even better! Thank you for all of your support and your love! I love all of you! Talk to you next week!

Elder Ethan Haws

Week 73

Woa. Did the week…. Actually end already?  Man its scary how time flies.

But seriously it’s going by too fast!

The week to be honest was kind of plain. I’ll just give you some highlights that made the week good and that made it interesting.

So this week kind of the same old week that it’s been for a while. We have been trying to find people but still, the people don’t really want to listen. People lie about their addresses and who they are, just try and pick a fight, or just give us RIDICULOUS excuses. We are just focusing on finding through the members this week. We see it as our only way of finding at the moment and we have been working up to this point for a while now so we are just waiting for the results.


So, I’d say this was the biggest miracle of the week! So one of the less active families we are teaching is the Silvestre family. We haven’t really been able to have very constant visits with them until now and we are just barely seeing progress in them. We visited them on Saturday and it went really good. They didn’t want to come to church for some reasons but they ended up going! It was awesome seeing that surprise! Man I love it when that happens!


Yep… That’s right. I am forgetting my English. And it feels very strange. I mean, I try to talk with other gringo elders and all my words come out really awkward and mumbled. I just feel strange trying to talk now… Weird. I used to dream about being able to talk to people in English and be able to converse flawlessly. Now the tables are all turned. So strange. So it looks like I’ve got some homework now!

Elder Castro:

Is the new elder that’s joined us in the house. He is from Guadalajara Mexico and is way chill. He just is positive, smiles, and laughs all the time. He is also really good at the guitar. He is into punk and rock. It was good talking about some bands (especially Muse) for the first time in a while. We get along great in the house.

So the weeks go by fast and we just keep going. Despite the work being so slow. I still feel the spirit often and I feel my Heavenly Father and Savior strengthening me through obstacles. It is awesome being in such a position of complete service. I love them and all they do for me. I love their constant calling to me to be righteous and be the best servant I can be. 

Thank you for all that you guys do! I love you tons and all the support you constantly offer! I love you more than you imagine. I look forward to seeing all of you one day and telling you about these times. I love you and miss you! Have a great week!

Elder Ethan Haws