Another Week

May 23, 2016
We committed one of our investigators to go to church, but I guess we should have been more specific because they went to Catholic mass instead of sacrament meeting. 
 
We finally had a breakthrough with Sister Brandstetter. We were able to figure out what her needs are, what her concerns are, because normally she just talks about all of the things that are going on in her life. We had dinner with her fellowshipper and asked them to invite her over for dinner, so we had dinner at a member’s home with Sister Brandstetter there. We taught the message of the restoration. It is a little hard sometimes to teach Sister Brandstetter because she LOVES to talk. And it’s a little hard to take control of the situation. But through her talking this time, I decided to truly listen and see if through that and the spirit we could figure out her needs. Well she said “I’ve been baptized 4 times, more than anyone should be baptized in an entire lifetime. I don’t understand why I have to be baptized again.” So then we testified of the Restoration and the need for it. We committed her to pray to know the truth of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I definitely learned though that listening is a lot more important than taking control of the situation and just talking at an investigator, that we teach people, not lessons. And although the lessons are what are going to help people, we need to know what they need first.
 
We have an investigator, Rufina (Hermana Campos). She’s an adorable little 86 yr old Hispanic lady. We call her abuelita. Well she lights candles and prays to the “Santísima Virgen” Or the “Holy Virgin” (Mary). We were teaching the 10 commandments and we taught her about not worshiping idols and how part of that, Heavenly Father asked us not to light candles or pray to the Virgin. She wasn’t super receptive. It was so hard to see how much she was struggling with it. She wants to do the will of God, but worshiping Mary was all she ever knew and she said it was impossible to not do it. For her, lighting candles was how she could have the companionship of God in her home and to not do that meant leaving her in Spiritual darkness (it’s an interesting and completely false doctrine, that I’m learning a ton about) Well I was praying to know how to help her and I was just completely overwhelmed with love for her, the love of the Lord. I have been working on seeing people more as God’s children, and that was one moment where He allowed me to see her through His eyes.
 
One of my favorite quotes from this past General Conference talks about this love that God has for us. Elder Holland said “My brothers and sisters, the first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength—that’s the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life.”

I am so grateful for that amazing love that our Heavenly Father has for us. It doesn’t matter what we do, how many times we mess up, He still loves us, perfectly and unconditionally.
At zone conference this week, we found out the New Mission President for the Boise Mission is President Bartlett from Omaha, Nebraska. We have transfers next week. It’s not as up in the air right now. It’s kind of calmed down a little bit. I’m sure it’ll be different, but the main focus of our zone conference was about how our call is the same, to be representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. And for that, it doesn’t really matter what we call the mission, we still preach the gospel. 🙂
 
I love you! Have a great week! 
Hermana Haws
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Miracles Abound

May 17, 2016

This week was AMAZING!! We had so many success stories with our investigators.

One of the most awesome ones, Hermana Rios, sent us a text last week that  said “Hola hnas! Que tal si hoy en nuestro estudio me ensenan que es lo que tengo que hacer y dejar de hacer para mas correctamente alabar a Dios y preprararme para el bautismo!!!” Or basically “Hello sisters! How about in our study today you teach me about what I need to do and stop doing to more fully worship God and prepare for baptism!!” we were SOOOO excited we got up and did a happy dance in the middle of studies. And then we had a lesson about fasting and keeping the sabbath day holy, and then she came to sacrament on Sunday!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!

Also, hermana Campos es mi abuelita. She’s this little old lady that we teach and she’s adorable. She got a priesthood blessing this week because she was sick and then accepted a baptism commitment and she committed to never ever drink coffee again because she “doesn’t want Satan to have power over her.” She’s so awesome.

Also, Brother Hedges. He’s a prospective elder working towards being worthy to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. We were setting an appointment with him yesterday over the phone and he was just like “you sisters are angels. You have the Spirit so strong and I learn so much from you. I don’t know what it is, but every time I meet with you it makes my heart all warm inside.”

We got to skype home for mothers day! It was so amazing to be able to see my family and talk to them.

We found out that the Idaho Twin Falls Mission will be closing and we will be consolidating with the Idaho Boise Mission. I’m super excited about the mission changes. I think it’ll be an interesting, fun transition. It is really exciting and a little nerve-wracking to find out what’s gonna happen with transfers, even if it’s not for a few weeks. The mission is losing 12 spanish missionaries and only gaining 1 in the next two transfers, so President is consolidating and closing areas all over the place. Like my area in Gooding was closed and the work given to the elders there. And Declo might be an area that’s in danger of being closed, but that’s all speculation so who knows what’ll happen. But who knows, in a couple transfers I could be in Boise or Twin or who knows where. I have a feeling one of us (my companion or I) will be transferred this next transfer, but I’ve been wrong before so I guess we’ll see 😉

I love this gospel. I love my mission, and most of all I love the Lord. I hope that life finds you all well. Remember that God loves you. He loved you enough to send His Son.

I love you all!! Have a great week!!

Hermana Haws

Stake Conference

May 2, 2016

Frmo my mom’s email: “Someone posted a picture of you and your companion on Facebook and this is what they said:  The post was from Brett Anthon and he said, “A big thanks to the Declo Idaho Stake Spanish interpretation team!  Our two sister missionaries, Sister Haws and Sister Maldonado, are world class interpreters!”  Then Heather Anthon replied, “These sisters are wonderful.  I was able to go to a discussion with them and I was impressed with both of them.  Great job parents!”  So, I posted, “Aww!  I love to see pictures of my missionary, Hermana Haws!  Thank you for sharing!”  Then, Brett Anthon replied, “I have been interpreting Spanish for about 20 years, and in all honesty, your daughter’s ability to interpret is amazing.  Thanks for sending her out to Idaho.  She is an asset to our Stake.”  That’s really neat that he would be so complimentary about you!  So, according to him, your Spanish is really good!”

Declo is amazing! We had stake conference this weekend (hence the translating). It was sooo good!! I loved it! Tons of amazing inspiration. Also,something funny. from moving wards in Provo and then going back to Gallup and then transfers, I hadn’t been to a Stake Conference for like 2 years (since I moved to Provo) thanks to all of the ward hopping I’ve been doing. Translating was actually pretty fun. A little bit stressful, but not bad. We had like 4 people there translating, so we traded off enough that you don’t get tired as quickly. I can just say that Heavenly Father helped me a ton. Definitely a gift from Him, has nothing to do with me. That was sweet of Brother Anthon to say, though. The most surprising thing is how quickly I have been able to pick it up and how quickly I can switch between the two languages. definitely no losing English for me. 😉 Although after we got done I was thinking in Spanish, so I kept trying to talk to everyone in Spanish hahah it was pretty funny, but I don’t think anyone else noticed it.
Also, I finished reading the Book of Mormon all the way through in Spanish this week. That’s got to be why I can translate now. 🙂 That promise about reading the Book of Mormon in your mission language is so true. Super cool.
it was kind of fun to have stake conference  in the same stake I served in before. I got to see some members that I knew pretty well in Malta. So fun 🙂

Baptism!!!

April 25, 2016
This week was really great!! We found another family that wants to get baptized next month! So that was super awesome!! The oldest, the one who really wants to get baptized, is also a 12 year old young woman–seems like I teach a lot of those 😉
 Ady’s baptism went really well!! It was probably the easiest baptism I’ll ever be a part of. we literally just had to show up, because her family and friends, both from the ward and out of town, were able to come and support and set everything up, so that was awesome to see 🙂
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here’s a picture of us with Adyson and her mom:)
The weather has been crazy and rainy (hence the hair that looks like I just woke up). I guess it’s good for the fields and stuff though, so I guess I can deal with some messy hair.
I bought a really cute midi skirt (it’s like mid-calf length, maybe a little shorter) But it’s super cute!
I did talk to my mission president and he said I can send you guys a Book of Mormon, so I’ll do that this week. 🙂
I’m so glad you were able to go to the temple and find peace there 🙂 I love the temple so much. I’m so glad y’all have raised us with that love and that example of regular temple attendance. Such an amazing blessing.
Sounds like you have a great weekend ahead of you! That’s awesome!!! Super jealous  (well not really jealous, but happy for you! That should be really cool!) You’ll have to tell me all of the amazing spiritual things you learn. Tell the Haws’ I said hi! And share me love with them 🙂
Well I really am doing great! I am grateful for this opportunity to serve. We spoke in sacrament meeting (again…4th time in less than a year 😉
Ok I just got this email and I’m sooooo happy that I have to share it!! The Salinas family (A family I was teaching in Gooding) got baptized! And Manny, the 16yr old older brother baptized them!!!! And Tim (the one who got baptized in Gooding) went to the temple to do baptisms!! Even though I wasn’t there, it still makes me super happy!!!
I’ll end on that super happy note 😀 I love being a missionary!! It is soooooo great!! I LOVE this gospel and seeing people let it change there lives. I am so amazed every day by the love the Lord has for us.
LALA!!
Hermana Haws

The Book of Mormon is the Word of God

April 18, 2016
Our mission has been focusing more on the Book of Mormon this month and we’ve had some cool experiences with that. Our mission made these really cool Books of Mormon that have “Questions of the Soul” tabbed, so questions like “What is the Purpose of Life?” “Where do I go when I die?” and then it has the answer marked in the scriptures. I LOVE the tabbed Book of Mormons. We have seen super awesome success with using them this week. The first really cool experience is with our new investigators. We met our neighbors, the Ruiz family. The elders had been teaching them English this past winter. Well they hadn’t been really receptive to the gospel, but they were in a severe car accident a couple of months ago. The father told us that before, he didn’t believe in God, but because of that accident and the things that happened, he now does. He now has that belief. It’s amazing to see that the Lord has prepared them in such an interesting way-through trials. We taught them about prayer, the true nature of God, and our relationship with him. We then left them a tabbed Book of Mormon. We decided to do it a little different, so we read through the questions until one of them stuck out. Well we stopped at “Did Christ Visit the Americas?” because they were all really surprised by that. Brother Ruiz took the book and started reading right there. He was so interested that it took 5 minutes to have him put it down so that we could say the closing prayer. It was so awesome to see his excitement.
We also shared it with a potential investigator who had met with missionaries before and even read on his own all the way to 2 Nephi, but couldn’t get interested. He didn’t think it really applied to him or that the Church, or the gospel, was really what he was looking for. We handed him the tabbed Book of Mormon, and he did the same thing-immediately started looking through and reading it. He said “You need to go higher up. They need to print these for everyone. I would seriously actually read this.” He doesn’t actually live in Declo though, so we gave him a mormon.org card and told him to refer himself wherever he was. And he sounded like he might actually do it!

life goes on

April 11, 2016
I am doing really good. This week was a lot better. Conference really was the Spiritual uplift I needed. I was a little bit sick this week (I just have a cold. Nothing I can’t handle) Things with my companion are going better. Hey thanks for all the letters! I really appreciate it! You guys are amazing! I have basically the best family ever 🙂
My foot is doing fine. It hasn’t really been bothering me too bad. I’ve been a lot more diligent about stretching it and doing as much of the physical therapy stuff that I can remember. The day or two after I really exercise it, it kind of hurts but just soreness really. So I kind of switch off between just stretching it and actually working it out.

General Conference: it’s like Christmas for missionaries

April 4, 2016-April 11, 2016

 

Conference was AMAZING!!!

We watched about half of it in Spanish. (both of the morning sessions) That was kind of an interesting experience. But we had 2 investigators come and watch it! It was awesome.
I LOVED the focus on the temple. Even though we don’t go to the temple that often as missionaries, it’s nice to remember the importance of it and help point others toward the temple. We have a lot of less actives in this area, and I think helping them make the goal of going to the temple, not just for the first time, but continuously, will really help them.
I also loved Elder Holland’s talk: We get credit for trying to be good. I thought it was awesome!
We were talking this week with some members about how the talks in General Conference are given to 15 mil+ people, but every single one of them can feel that the message was for them specifically. That’s definitely how I felt.
To have investigators at conference was such a special experience. One brother, Brother Morales, told us all of his doubts and concerns about the church when we visited him the night before, but then didn’t bring up any of them after conference. He only talked about the talks he liked and then connected them to the bible (That’s one of his doubts. He thinks the bible is the only revelation). The Spirit really worked on him. And his wife is a member, so she went with him and answered all of his questions. Super cool he already has that support. Hopefully he’ll get baptized at some point. He had been meeting with the missionaries for like 5 years when they were in Mexico. But now that they’re here, he’s away from his family and he has a lot of interest especially in the idea of eternal families. It’s amazing how the Lord prepares people. It’ll be a process for sure, but he has so much potential! Just like they said in conference (can’t remember the exact quote): When people have questions, it means they’re interested and are sincerely seeking.

I hit my year mark in the mission this week! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first became a missionary!  The time has gone by so fast, and yet a lot has happened this past year. It’s crazy to think that after next conference, I will be coming home. 6 months! This past year has gone by so fast! Sometimes I feel like I just got here, while other times I feel like I’ve been here forever. It feels like I’ve never known anything different. It’s a crazy complex.

Also, it snowed this week!