Friday, May 29, 2015

Week 87 (May 26, 2015)

Nothing says "happy birthday" like a cake in the face

Brrrr... It’s getting really cold in Chile.

The mornings always start with my eyes opening and then an instant shiver and shock of the cold. Then I get the little space heater that we have in the house running.

This week we battled tough rains, cold temps, people not wanting a thing to do with us, and getting over a cold.

So this week wasn't really anything new. We passed by the regular people and just taught them more things.

We are facing some problems in the branch and there are lots of little fights. So on Sunday a little fight broke out in Elders quorum and we spent the class time just resolving it, and then setting goals to be better.

It rained A TON on Wednesday. We got SOAKED. Towards the end of the day my cold poor little companion who was waterproof clothing-less had been soaking wet for hours. He suddenly commented ''Elder, oh no, MY SHOES HAVE RABIES.'' I looked down and low and behold the sides of his shoes and the cracks were all foaming. We busted up laughing and continued on. Even in a hard day where we couldn't find shelter, we laughed a lot.

I had a good interview with president this week on Thursday and we went over some good uplifting topics. It was quick but inspiring.

Sunday I had a good birthday. I had a ton of food. The Parra Lopez family gave us a HUGE lunch and later gave me some birthday cake. We were able to pass by Elba's house with Anna and have some ''Picarones''... Oh.... MY. GOODNESS. Those are my new favorite Chilean dish. (the pictures of those are the soup looking thing with the scone looking things). We then went over to the zone leader’s house to have a face to face call in night. Elder Copling, Bennion, Watts, and I all went over and we had a blast. It was a great way to end the week, my birthday and the night.

''Picarones''... Oh.... MY. GOODNESS

So all is well in the mission. I am happy. I am content in the Lords service. We want to find more people to teach so we are focusing on that in the moment. All is well. I hope you are all doing well! I look forward to hearing from you guys next week. I love all of you and can’t thank you enough for the birthday wishes!! Have a great week!

Elder Ethan Haws

Elders Haws and Smoot sharing a birthday celebration

20 years old!

Happy Birthday! Margarita Parra Lopez and Elder Haws

Sunrise in Talcahuano

Elders Haws and Duarte drying off after getting soaked in the rain

Week 86 (May 19, 2015)

The week went well. It went along pretty uneventful. I’ll just talk about the most important stuff.

So the Parra Lopez family is going through some tough times. Margarita (the mom) looks pretty stressed. She has good reason, they are pretty unstable economically. Mario didn’t show much interest in us this week. He just stayed in his room the whole time during all the lessons... We just don’t know how to reach out to that guy! Margarita and Laura will both have a baptismal date at the end of the week. We are getting all the things worked out with them to know when Margarita and Mario can get married.

We are really seeing progress with a great Hermana named Elba. She was baptized this last year and is doing very well in the gospel. She went and found one of her neighbor’s that’s a less active and they have become good friends. It is good that they now both have someone to hold onto in the gospel. The less active’s name is Anna.  We have very inspiring lessons and share a lot with them. They are among some of the favorite people that I have known in the mission.

Finding new investigators was a big challenge this week. We are trying a ton of ideas and we are still struggling. That will still be a huge focus in the week.

We had some fun activities this week. On Friday we got together as a zone and had an inspiring breakfast. Elder Copling and I cooked up a ton of crepes and pancakes and served ‘em all up to the zone. We then showed an inspiring video and got everyone pumped up to work hard! It was fun shouting at them and getting them excited.

On Saturday we had a dessert night in the chapel. Elder Copling and I were bored one day during the week and decided to mess around and cook something up. So I grabbed some goldfish crackers that I had bought the week before at Wal-Mart, made up a chocolate batter to roll them in, and we deep fried them. We thought they would be nasty, but they turned out AWESOME….. We had all the confidence walking into our activity with a massive tray of chocolate fried goldfish! The members already think us gringos are weird to start off with and that we like weird food and all, and they flipped even more when we tried to explain what it was! But to our satisfaction they all approved! It was awesome. Even though we didn’t win, we still were a hit. Everyone pounded them down!!!

I hope you all had a good week!! I hope this one is even better! I love you all and miss you!!

Elder Haws

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 85 (May 11, 2015)

Wow. 85 weeks have gone by. The last 85 weeks have been quite the time of my life. I’m sure we have all gone through many joyful, trying, and strengthening experiences. I sure have. I have learned so many things about myself and the gospel.

I have gone through a lot of pondering about my experiences and how hard some have been and how great they have been for me. I have had to really look for the tender mercies of the Lord in my life and I’ve seen many that have taken months to uncover. They were almost microscopic in the moment but now they are so valuable to me that they could not be traded for anything. I am grateful for the strengthening and transforming power of the Atonement. All this thought has basically come from being called to be a trainer. It has been a week of reflection back on the last 85 weeks of my life. They have been glorious.

My comp is Elder Duarte. He is from Ibague, Colombia. He is a really good kid. He is chill, has a talkative and friendly personality. I think we will have a good time together! We have been going through the basics of everything. It has brought back how lost and confused I was when I came to the mission. I have drawn back from my journal entries from my first days of the mission and I am amazed at how similar it was and how I’ve overcome so many things.

The main highlight for the week was having an incredible FHE with the Parra Lopez family. We taught about the Book of Mormon and had the branch president with his wife accompany us. Mario and Margarita, the parents, finished in tears and they felt the spirit. All the complications that were holding Margarita from getting married will be cleared in the next month so looks like we will be baptizing her and her daughter in the next month!!! I am so stoked for that. I have had many long prayers and fasts for them. Looks like things are turning around!

I hope all is well! I love all of you so very much and I hope you have a great week! Until the next!!

Elder Haws

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week 84 (May 4, 2015)

Wow... I’m going to be completely honest. This week was insane!!!

We didn’t have a very eventful first part of the week, but it all turned around when we had something called the mini mission.

So on Thursday we had our half p-day arrangement and went to the Huascar in the morning. It was a really cool zone activity and it was fun being on a boat and everything.

Thursday afternoon we started to stress because we had a lot of appointments and the members we were going to take with us bailed. So we had to replace them. Elder Hepworth went mad and started calling EVERYONE. He called 21 people before he found someone who could help us out. It turned out to work nicely. We got the vision at the end and we felt really content.

That same afternoon we went and looked for our new little mini missionary. The youth here have an annual activity called the mini mission where they go out and do splits with us for a weekend. They come to live with us in our sectors. Since there wasn’t quite enough to have one for each of us we just made a trio. We picked up our joven, and his name is Hermano Bravo. (Hermano in the place of elder). We had a great weekend together. We worked our guts out and got a lot of work done. We passed all expectations and got the vision 4 times in a row. Neither I nor Elder Heppy had ever done that before and we felt so awesome after getting something so huge for the sector.

It rained like crazy all day on Saturday. We walked all over the place and we got soaked. Hermano Bravo didn’t bring any rain stuff and we could only find a waterproof jacket in the house. He went without rain pants. HE GOT SOAKED. It was only slightly uncomfortable.

We are making some good progress with our focus group but they just lack baptismal dates. Everyone is being really lazy. We are pushing as hard as we can, they just don’t want to commit.

We are working on finding more people who can really progress. We are tired of finding people who aren’t married because they never want to do anything about it. It’s just insanely complicated.  We have contacted a lot of good people and I feel optimistic about it all.

So the biggest news of all is probably that of cambios.

Elder Hepworth is leaving and I am staying. It’s a shame because Elder Hepworth and I got along really well and he already has become one of my best friends. We had many great times and conversations in these last few weeks.

And that is not all

I have been assigned to be a trainer! I will be looking for my hijo tomorrow! I am so nervous but excited for this opportunity! It just reminds me of when I got in the mission.

Thank you so much everyone for all that you do. I love you and I feel your prayers. May all of you have a great week!

Elder Ethan Haws

Week 83

 Elder Haws playing "Come Thou Fount" in a guitar shop
April 27, 2015

This week was good. It was jam packed with the regular stuff.  Monday we had Physical therapy which means we just got contacts done and I updated my journal.  P-day was on Tuesday and our activity failed so we had a quite regular day.  Wednesday we had Physical therapy which means we just got contacts done and I wrote even more in my journal.  The rest of the week was good.

Thursday I had a nice mini cambio with Elder Withers from Idaho. He is my zone leader and he came up to my sector to help me out a bit and we worked hard. Out of a miracle we got the vision and we were able to find a new family that I believe that will progress. They are actually our next door neighbors! We were just wandering desperately around in the night just trying to kill the last 15 minutes of the day on finding and I just felt like knocking on the neighbor’s door. And then all of a sudden a lady comes up from behind with keys in her hand and greets us. She was just getting back home from work as a dental assistant. We told her we were sharing the ‘because he lives’ video and she hesitantly let us in. We had a great short lesson and they accepted to be baptized. They didn’t want to put a date yet but we went back later in the week and talked to them about lots of doubts and questions they had. They have very good and healthy doubts that will actually help us teach them better. I think if we can continue teaching them regularly, they will progress really nicely. The family name is Barrientos Chamorro.

I’m teaching plenty of lessons and classes. I’ve never been so overwhelmed with so much to teach. I find that it is helping me a ton with expressing things and its teaching me how to teach.

On Saturday we had our cleaning day and stake conference. That means we had ABSOLUTLEY 0 time to work on Saturday we had to get out of stake conference early just to get contacts done. Also on Saturday I got sick with all the other missionaries in Centinela. Just a nasty common cold.

Sunday we had a good conference. The building was full. There were great messages and my district brought a lot of people to church. We are progressing very very well here. I am content with all that we are accomplishing. We are seeing good things. We almost got another point but we lost our member to go with us… So close……

I am learning tons about the gospel lately. Elder Hepworth and I are learning mutually from each other. It is a great companionship. He is really helping me out with family history. I am now addicted to family history…. Watch out family when I get home I’m going to be getting all of you hooked!

Thank you for all that you guys do! I love you all so much! I hope you guys have a great week!! I miss you and love you tons!! Until the next week!

Elder Ethan Haws

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 82

April 20, 2015

Wow we are getting really far into my time in the mission! Every week is just soaring by now.

So this week we had a lot of extra stuff to do. We lost lots of precious time to work because we had to deal with mini cambios, physical therapy, special conferences, and investigator interviews…. We were running all over the place this week!

So Elder Hepworth is doing well with his physical therapy. His leg is just getting slightly better, not completely, but yes he is making progress. The traveling we have to do to get to Concepcion takes a ton of time. It’s an hour there and an hour back. So on Physical therapy days we don’t have much time to be working and visiting which kind of stinks.

On Saturday we had an awesome special conference where Dallin H. Oaks came and talked to all the missions here in Chile through a conference. His talk was amazing. He taught us many incredible things. It was awesome having a somewhat personal talk from an apostle. He talked about being FULL time missionaries, the spirit, prayer, commitments, and opened our eyes on the atonement talking about Alma 7:11-12. I was so inspired. I received the answers that I needed. We also had a very inspiring zone conference this week and it was very spiritual. It was also very direct.

Right after the conference we travelled back from Chill├ín and went back to our sector to have lunch and work. Right before we were about to leave, it started to rain. It was the first rainstorm of the season. And it didn’t let up one bit. It poured for the rest of the night. Let’s just say that by the end both my companion and I were drenched. It was a fun but a bit uncomfortable day! Hooray for the winter season!!

Our week was good work wise. We are moving slowly with the same investigators as always and nothing too interesting happened with any of them.  But we did contact a new family and we will be visiting them this week. We are excited to invite them to baptism.

So not to much happened in the week besides extra events. We are having a great time and our companionship is doing great. I am having a blast with tons of things to do. I am truly content!

Thank your for all your support and love! I love all of you so much! You are the greatest! Until next week!

Elder Ethan Haws