South Africa Cape Town Mission Web site click below

Sunday, December 26, 2010

First phone call home...

After a half hour of trying to get an open line, got to talk to Dusty for 45 minutes and get caught up an all the news.  Great to hear his voice, maybe Skype on Mothers day....

Hi Family

It was sweet to talk to you on the phone! I'm sure glad it worked, for a minute I thought it wasn't. Man, it took me like over an hour to go to sleep after I called, even though I was exhausted. I guess I was just SOO happy that I got to talk to my parents and sister!! I'd rather not skype next time, just a phone call is good for me.

I think I forgot to tell you what we did on Christmas day! We baked cookies and then went around to members and SANG them Christmas songs! Can you imagine me singing?! It was kinda fun actually!

I tried to attach some sweet pictures, but it is going way slow for some reason..sorry! but the one is of elder Larrabee and I tracting in the afternoon when NO BODY is home! haha we just thought we'd have some fun. The other picture is of me waiting to call home!

SHARP!!!!! (pronounced SHOP)
Love

Elder Haws
Nobody home.... again...

Waiting to call home...

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm staying in East London!!!! for Christmas.

Hey Family!!

I'm good, glad Kelly made it home safe and sound! Sounds like that was a late night! dumb planes! We have some investigators that are more promising than others, but none that are really super solid at the moment.

I'm staying in East London!!!! With Elder Larrabee! there werent many changes in the mission.  I dont know what other Chrsitmas tree you're talking about haha.  I havent gotten any mail, but Im sure i'll get it soon.   hope you like the pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Soo about this phone call.....ummm how about I'll call you, then you call me back on that number?! OKAY?! good. I will call at around 9pm South African time!!! sooo whatever that is back home!! I can talk for about 45 minutes! Have lots of questions and stuff to talk about! I CANT WAIT!
Soo this week was pretty great! We worked hard and found some cool investigators! but on thursday was our ward christmas party...it was pretty much the highlight of the week! We got there are like 2pm and didnt leave till like 7pm. It was lots of fun. All the auxiliaries made their own "porkies." basically it was like a stew put into a dutch oven type of thing! we put veggies, potatoes, bananas, meat, peppers, etc. It was lekka! (nice) they of course had a cute Christmas program, but nothing like the PQ2 ward! haha.

On Saturday we did like 4 hours of service, that was fun. we went out to that crazy lady's farm and helped them out there. she was naughty and put on josh groban's Noel CD....it was awesome! made it seem a little like Christmas...minus the burning african heat and being 10,000 miles away from home haha

There was a pretty sweet lighting storm the other night, and I mean a South African lighting storm!

Yeah, it wasnt a very eventful week. just getting ready for christmas!! Our district of 4 elders are planning on getting together on Chrsitmas Eve and make cookies and stuff. then, on Chrsitmas day we'll go out and visit members and sing for them! HA. We also have 2 DA's that day, so we'll be fed!

Sorry for the short letter, looking forward to talking to you guys!!!!

Love
Elder Haws

I'm on the left, on the row just below the top!! Elder Watson is in the gray suit in the middle, those other old people are the senior couples.  That is a pic of 3 zones! and there are a total of 8 zones in the mission!!

Yolanda's baptism!!

A few Christmas decorations in town...

A nice part of town....

Yhoo

Looks like home in San Diego,....  Nice


video

Monday, December 13, 2010

WOW, what a fantastic week in East London!!

Hi family!!

We were talking to this one less active who is a native of South Africa...and he said that we in the States have everything backwards! haha for example, we call the back part of a car the "trunk" but everyone knows the "trunk" of an elephant is in the front! Here they call the trunk the "boot". Sometime I'll list all of the different words they use here!

We use the elders quorum presidents house cuz he had 4 computers for email, now we just go to internet cafes/portals. It costs around 20 rand for an hour on the computer. I'm not gonna go through everything in my package till Christmas day! We dont hear many Christmas songs down here, only the ones that we sing in church.  I would like that picture of the SD temple thats like a post card?! I cant explain it. Daddy, its the one at the distribution center at the temple! You know?!

Wow, what a fantastic week here in East London!!

We had Zone Conference, with the one and only Elder Watson of the seventy! Look in the middle of the conference edition of the Lihona, where they show all of the general authorities and find him! He and his wife are awesome! We sat in the 2nd row, so basically we were right at the feet of a general authority! He did like a little demonstration during his talk and called ME and a few other missionaries up in front! I was scared haha, he said my name like 5 times, so basically I'm best buds with a general authority! haha. Elder Moorcroft is our zone leader, and likes to mess with me, so guess who he assigned to give the closing prayer at Zone Conference...ME!!!! There were like 60 missionaries there, President and sister Probst, and of course Elder and Sister Watson! I was super nervous, and I was like shaking during the prayer...but I survived! hahah.

Since other missionaries came from other areas, we had a sleep over at our boarding! One night we had 4 other elders with us, and the next night we only had 2. it was fun!

The next day after zone conference we had our christmas activity!! We watched Gifted Hands! I remember watching it before! It was good, but kinda awkward during the 2 KISSING parts of the movie! hahah. We had a talent show, that was fun! and a gift exchange. We all stood in a big circle and sister Probst read this story and everytime during the story she said "left" we passed it to the left. and the same for the right. I got the WORST gift out of everyone! haha some kid wrapped a piece of gross cake on a plate! haha everyone laughed.

We had exchanges this week, it was fun! I was with a short little guy from England!

The highlight of the week had to be yesterday! It was for sure a "dark day" literally!! haha the chapel didnt have any electricity!!! They were working on the power lines, so there was no power. but we had 9 investigators at church!! It was great! even though it was kinda dark, it wasnt that bad. but after church was Yolanda's baptism!! Oh my goodness, it was soo great! her and I got dressed into the white jumpsuits and took some pictures (I'll send them soon). There were SO many people from the ward that stayed and supported her. We had 2 talks about baptism, then it was time to do it! It was sooooo cute, all the small kids in the ward put their faces up against the glass in the font. The water was a little bit chilly, but I wasnt the one getting dunked! haha. Everything went perfectly! It was a great moment, I cant even describe it. After she got changed, Yolanda bore such a sweet and powerful testimony! You could tell she was totally nervous, but she did a good job! After that we went out and got back to work, didn't even have time for lunch! haha It was a great day.

This week is transfer week!! I sure hope I stay!! One cuz I love the area and my comp, and 2 cuz the ward Christmas party is soon!

Well, I love you. I pray for my family every morning and night!! Havent missed a day yet!
I CANNOT WAIT till I get my phone call on Christmas day!!

Love,
Elder Haws

Monday, December 6, 2010

I have that cute little Christmas tree up in our boarding!!

Heyyyy Family!!
Thanks for the email, as usual!  The Bishop emailed me!  I GOT YOUR PACKAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mom, I wasn't planning on opening it until Christmas, but its a good thing that I did cuz now I have that cute little Christmas tree up in our boarding!! Thanks!! I'll be honest, I did kinda peek at some of the things in there ;) haha I got Grandma Strang's package as well! It was sweet.

Only one house in all of East London has Christmas lights on it, and that's Bishop house!!! and he lives right above us, so that's nice.  There's only 1 zone in Namibia...so like 14-16 elders or something like that.  President Probst goes home in July, so we'll get a new president. They serve for 3 years.  I got a picture of the snow last week, and I LOVE that pic of my plaque!! awesome! looks gooood! question, umm what picture is that from? I cant tell, is it the one I sent to SLC with my papers?

Alright, I only have 13 minutes left on this computer.  I spent too much time emailing my favorite sister!! oops. This week was just another week. I'm starting to get used to the missionary routine and I know my way around East London really well!! The missionary work is kinda slowing down a little bit. We are trying to get our teaching pool up, but lots of people are going to the rural areas for the holidays and other investigators seem like they're never home or just aren't interested. It's all good. Elder Larrabee and I still work hard all day every day. Tomorrow is Zone Conference. It happens every 3 months. We have 3 zones meeting together...so that's a lot of missionaries!! We'll have 2 elders sleeping over tonight and tomorrow night! Elder Watson, the same guy who came to the stake conference a few weeks ago, the same Elder Watson who served as the secretary for the prophet for 38 years, is coming to zone conference! this morning I read a conference talk that he gave in May 2009. The next day is our Christmas activity!! I'm not sure what exactly we'll do, but I'm sure it'll be fun!

Sister Peggy is doing AMAZING after her surgery. Shes such a stud!!  Yolanda, the person who is getting baptized next Sunday, has to meet with President Probst to make sure she'll be able to get baptized. The info is confidential, but there's a problem with question 4...so most likely about having an abortion or committing a crime. President just has to make sure everything is cooool. but she'll almost certainly pass! :) and since she doesn't really know anyone in the ward, it'll probably be ME who will baptize her!! If she wants, that would be a COOL experience. We'll see!

Well, gotta go. hope all is well!! Don't worry, your son is safe and having a BLAST! talk to you soon.

Cheers!

Love,
Elder Haws

Monday, November 29, 2010

Just lovin' my mission!!

Moloweni Family!!!

Thanks for the shortest email EVER!!! haha jk. man, I WISH I coulda been there in Logan for Thanksgiving!! I for sure was thinking about you guys!!   I FINALLY attached some pictures

On my left the COOLEST MOST AWESOME bishop ever!!
Well, another good week here in East London, doin' missionary work!! we had interviews with the one and only PRESIDENT PROBST!! that man is absolutely unbelievable. I’m not sure how one man can be so smart and knowledgeable of the gospel and teach with so much power. Wow. Our interview was great. he answered all my questions and I could tell he really cared about me, and like he does with every missionary at the end of an interview or a meeting, he says in his low powerful voice, "well, we love you and we pray for you, keep doin' what you're doing." haha every time he says that!

Thanksgiving Feast!!
This week I went on exchanges with the infamous Elder Moorcroft!! He is awesome, and we had an absolute BLAST together! He taught me lots and lots of things.
On Thursday it was Thanksgiving!! We all went over to the senior couples house and had a small "feast". Defiantly wasn’t close to a real Thanksgiving feast!! I was kinda missin' home a lot that day, but i was alright!! Elder Larrabee and i had a feast that night, pasta with meat and some cool drink and pudding!!
Sister Peggy, the like 90 year old STUD, who has had missionaries over for 56 years, has cancer :( she coulda gone in for surgery last Friday, but postponed it for this Wednesday, so that she could feed us on Monday and play Phase 10 with us. She is an amazing lady. She is in amazing shape, and knows she'll be just fine after the surgery. We went over and helped put up her mini Christmas tree and hung out with her. She made us South African pancakes. It’s like watered down pancake mix..So the pancakes are thin, then you put brown sugar on them, then butter on the inside and roll them into what looks like a burrito, then add some more brown sugar..sooooo unhealthy, but soooo GOOD!! Haha

On Friday, we had district meeting and then afterwards we're supposed to get post, but i guess they sent our post to the wrong place...Namibia!!! Shame! We got some of their mail. so no post this week :( well, i guess that means that this Friday is gonna be great! haha. After district meeting, we all went out to eat and then Elder Larrabee and i went tracting and no one was home. then we walked all the way across town to our appointment and they weren’t there. then we decided to check some people, and they weren’t home, and to add on top of that, it decided to rain, and I mean African rain! Haha, but we survived!!

Big group of all our fellow shippers!!!
We visited some less actives this week. this one lady hadn’t been to church for a long time cuz she got offended and wasn’t married and had some other concerns, but after talking with her for awhile, she put her head in her pillow and said "I miss my church." we planned to visit her again this week with the relief society president, and we're doing some service for her. We also had 2 other less actives come to church yesterday! AND a investigator that I really hoped would come, came to church! Yes!

Volanda, the lady getting baptized on the 12th of December, got interviewed by bishop and afterwards he had a BIG smile and gave us thumbs up! I love teaching her, but yohhhh,t he kid is CRAZY! haha sooo distracting during the lessons.

The weather here is pretty warm. Especially in the morning, but then sometimes it rains in the evening! One night there was a lighting storm that was pretty cool.
Just lovin' my mission!!  Miss you all!

ek is lief vir jou (afrikans) 
ndiya ku thanda (Xhosa)

Elder Haws

My monkey friends

My 1st comp, Elder Aires
  


Elder Larrabee and I
   

Our boarding was getting painted, so everything was a messsss. HECKTIC!!!
  
Elder Moorcroft in my bed!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Serving a mission is FUN!!

HEY!!

Man, I really look forward to 2 moments during the week, Fridays when we get mail, and Mondays when I can email my FAMILY!!  Yeahh, Xhosa has the clicking. I’ve been practicing and learning a few of the simple greetings...there are other areas in the mission where they speak Xhosa more, so I’ll learn it more when I go there.

If the Taylors sent a package a month ago, and I haven’t got it yet, do you think I’ve gotten yours yet?! haha nope, haven’t got it. and yeah I told you I got a haircut.and my shoes are fantastic!! Working great! and I think the phone call is 30-40 minutes. sorry I forgot my sim card today :( no pictures. good question about Adam, I dont know who baptized him.

This week was pretty good. Our numbers weren’t very good, like teaching lessons with a member present and finding new investigators, but overall it was good. Most of our fellow shippers are writing exams, so they couldn’t come with us. We have been doing a TON of walking. Dang. We have been focusing on checking/visiting less active members. You gotta be careful with them, cuz normally there's a reason why they stopped coming to church, so you gotta be careful with them find out why. We played dodge ball last P-Day, that was fun. It was cool to have Sonwabile come out fellowshipping with us, cuz he recently was baptized. I really like teaching recent converts, cuz they're so excited about the gospel, and I LOVE teaching about the temple, eternal marriage, the priesthood, etc. it’s fun!!

We have a baptism coming up on the 12th of December. I really like my companion. I guess you could say Elder Aires and I didn’t have that much in common. Elder Larrabee and I talk about all kinds of things, mostly sports and music. The other night we stayed up kinda late just singing some of our favorite songs from back home. When we walk around the area, we tell each other stories about high school and girls and stuff! haha we for sure have a good time, but also we discuss how we can be better missionaries and how to help our investigators. One thing that I’ve realized on mission is that we do a lot of PLANNING, but it’s good.

Alright, so on Friday night, we planned to just meet the other elders, who we share the car with, at our DA. But we get a phone call and they locked the keys of the car in the boot!!! They work like 20 minutes away from us, and it was night time. So they had to call the zone leaders and they came to get them, and came to get us after we ate dinner. So to make a long story short, ALL 7 of us missionaries plus a fellow shipper had to CRAM into a car only made for 5. Elder Moorcroft is such a goof ball, I can’t explain it, but anyways, he pulled me aside while everyone was getting in the car to distract me...so that I HAD TO SIT ON HIS LAP!!!!!!! Oh my gosh...longest car ride EVER!!!! hahaha everyone was making jokes and stuff..ha, FUN times!

We were at a KFC drive through, and he was totally messing with the people working there!! Haha  The other night the zone leaders drove us home and Elder Moorcroft drove past these 3 people standing on the side of the road, then sped off...then turned the car around, leaned his seat wayyyy back, put sunglasses on, then drove BACK by the same people, going slow, then sped off!!!!! hahahah oh my goodness, we were all DIEING laughing!! hahah oh man, you had to be there!! See, missionary work can be hard and stressful and we have many disappointments, but its times like those that keep us going! Serving a mission is FUN!!

Well, I am really enjoying my time here in South Africa. My testimony has grown a lot and my knowledge of the gospel has grown, and will continue to grow! I look forward every morning to just dive into the scriptures for a whole entire hour, then study with my companion for another hour. The church is true, and the book is blue. I have an interview with President Probst tomorrow!!! I’m excited, but nervous at the same time! haha

I love you and miss you guys!! Hope you have a super week. Thanks for all your love and support. TALK to you kinda soon.

Lots of LOVE,
Elder Haws

Monday, November 15, 2010

This is a baptizing mission!

Hi.

Hope you all had a good week! Thanks for sending me a package!! I can’t wait to get it! I’ll let you know. Send me a picture of the JAZZ uniforms! I live in Baysville, near Greggs street...like 13 Tiddy Cres Court or something like that. We work in Southernwood, near Skyview. The church stays in Belgravia...take Oxford Street to St Luke’s, and it’s at the end of that road, you maybe you can see it on Google. My MSF has covered all my costs so far...but eventually I'll buy some cool things from AFRICA. Sorry, I’m not sending a package home :( next year for sure. I'll just send you my love! And I guess the best present you'll get on Christmas is hearing my beautiful voice! and thanks for paying for the call ;) hahaha I don’t have any clue how its gonna work.  Sometime in the future, could you send a 2G memory card for me? The one for the camera right now is only 1G... we're gonna take some cool pictures this week, so NEXT week I'll send a lot!

Well, ready for the transfer news.....I’m staying in East London!! Elder Aires is outta here...went to Cape Town! the way the transfers go is one of the AP's (assistant to president) calls the companionship in the morning and delivers the news! My new companion is Elder Larrabee, from Kaysville UT. He's been out almost 8 months and just came from Sada, where they mostly speak Xhosa. He can speak it pretty well. So far, we get along great!! We talk sports and about all kinds of things. So now that Elder Aires is gone, I’m the only one who knows the ward/area/investigators in the area..So it makes me feel smart / important! haha I’m pretty much in charge! I’m the BOSS. haha…. But I do feel more responsibility, but that’s alright. When we go to appointments, I do most of the talking, cuz obviously I know the investigator and stuff...its kinda fun! cuz normally Elder Aires did that, but now it’s me! I’m in charge of the phone now too.

Oh my goodness, last week before transfers, I took my driving test with the ZL's! WOW! I was super nervous. I was driving with 3 other elders. (the ZL's and my comp) the ZL's are SO funny and like to mess with new missionaries. So they like recorded me on camera when I started and like my face got all red and they were giving me such a hard time about EVERY little thing! hahahahah I was waiting at a stop light, and they put the car in neutral when I wasn’t looking, and I was just sitting there revving the engine until I realized what they did. While I was driving, one of the AP's called them and Elder Moorcroft was telling him how mad of a driver I was and stuff. They said that would be the last day I would ever drive on mission! hahaha. oh my gosh, I wish I could explain all the funny stuff they said, man, you shoulda been there!!! My cheeks hurt from smiling too much!! hahah. It was an automatic, but still, driving with the steering wheel on the right side of the car and then driving on the left side of the road, in freakin South Africa where there are crazy taxi drivers, people running in the street, etc; let’s just say it was kinda FUN!! It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought!

I have to admit, I think I’m starting to get in missionary mode. Elder Aires said the other night while I was sleeping, I got on my knees and started praying and invited him to join me! hahaha some missionaries have taught entire lessons in their sleep! ha!

Last week in the Cape Town mission, we had 34 baptisms and 21 confirmations! whoot whoot! haha. This is a baptizing mission!

Good luck and work hard Daddy!! Mommy, how is work going?! cleanin' those teeth! Don’t worry, I brush super good morning and night, and occasionally floss!

Well, I’m outta time! Love you LOTS!! Miss you!!!    Have a fantastic weeek!

Love,
Elder Haws

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanks for your love and support.

SUP family!!

We don’t have daylight savings here. I still haven’t gotten my hair cut yet...but I will today!! It needs it, bad! It’s out of control haha. I just use a bar of normal hand/body soap to wash my face, it works alright. no complaints. Too bad Westview is struggling. I don’t need shorts; I got some from a dude in the MTC. Hope you guys had a good week! I was thinking about how the missionary moment went........ I’m sure it was good!

I think I've lost some weight, but our scale isn’t exactly accurate. Most mornings I normally stretch and work out a little bit, but when you walk all day every day, you get tired, so I normally don’t work out a ton, push-ups and sit-ups, etc. That’s cool about the priesthood line of authority. Sure I’d love a copy of it. I'll send some pictures next week, probably. This week wasn’t very exciting at all, but it still was a good week in here. We taught a good amount of lessons and did some tracting and found some new investigators. No cool stories to share or anything, sorry.

This Sunday Sonwabile got baptized!! He was so ready, also Khayakazi and Zinzie got confirmed, and us missionaries got to participate in that, so that was awesome.

This is the end of my 1st transfer!! so on Thursday I’ll either say here with Elder Aires and things will stay the same, OR I’ll get transferred somewhere else and get trained by another elder for a transfer. You are in training for your first 2 transfers. Another possibility is for Elder Aires to move to a different area and I’d get a new comp. That would be kinda stressful on me, cuz I don't know the area and our investigators and stuff, but I’m up for the challenge! All the other elders have said that President Probst is always unpredictable...so you never know what will happen. but we'll find out soon and I’ll of course let you know what happens.

My click day is tomorrow...2 months on mission!!! it’s weird to think that missionaries who learn another language would still be in the MTC for another month...and I’ve already been out for an entire transfer.

I see so much poverty in this area, and I wish I could help them out somehow. People digging in trash cans, going and teaching people in super small houses where I don’t know how they can live in something like that, going to DA's where the mom and kids (no father) sit and watch you eat and probably know that they have saved up money and sacrificed a lot to feed us. but I like this quote, "You can’t do everything for everyone everywhere, but you can do something for someone somewhere."

Missionary work can be hard at times and days can seem like they last forever and that you work so hard all day and have no success, but you just can’t get discouraged. That can be hard sometimes, but so far I’ve kept my spirits up and trying to make the work FUN!! :)

Miss you!! Have a fantastic week! Thanks for your love and support.

LOVE,
Elder Haws

Monday, November 1, 2010

Molo from East London! (Molo means hello)

I totally forgot it was Halloween! I was trying not to think about how much fun everyone was having at the Howl! Things are going well. You guys looked good for the trunk or treat! and when I meant pictures, I meant send me pictures please, I cant print them out. the other books in the set are true to the faith (I have that) and our heritage, and another one I think. its the missionary library...so those are the only books we're allowed to read.
Grandma said she was sending me a letter every Friday...but I haven't gotten any. I don't mind, I just hope shes not sending them all to the MTC still.  and make sure that you tell aunt Julie I'm getting her letters, and that I LOVE them, I just haven't had time to write her (or anyone) back...but I will!!

Ohh my goodness, tell the Laurels THANK YOU!!! I LOVED that awesome package they sent! totally made my day! and tell sister Hatch about my blog cuz she was asking me some questions...

You wont believe this...I haven't cut my hair in 5 weeks!!!!! it is sooo long, but not really.

Lets see, what happened this week.....well, I went on exchanges with Elder Fozard, he's from England. he's super cool. we had some other elders over till like midnight and then me and him stayed up till 3AM!! don't tell president! we talked about all kinds of stuff! it was fun. I thought we weren't gonna have a productive day, but it was the total opposite! it was pretty much the best day on mission! he was fun to work with and we taught 6 lessons, that's a full day. this one guy we talked to for like almost 2 hours. you could totally tell that he was prepared by the Lord for us. he survived 2 car crashes and knew that God spared his life for a reason. he said he was looking for a church, and that 19 years ago he met with missionaries and was about to get baptized, but he didn't. he didn't remember anything they taught, so we taught the restoration and the Book of Mormon and gave him a baptismal date and stuff, it was great. we also ran into a lady that Elder Fozard taught a few months ago and she wants to get baptized, but just needs to know that its true. then we went and visited the 2 girls that were getting baptized and taught them. and our DA that night was delicious.

The next day it was back with Elder Aires and we just went and hit the pavement, knocking doors and teaching people the Doctrine of Christ. we found some great investigators and have appointments with them this week, hopefully they keep their commitments!

The rest of the week went well. but this weekend was General Conference!! wow, soo powerful!! I loved each and every talk so much, and cant wait to get the Liahona and study each talk in detail! I thought it was cool when during the priesthood session Elder Nelson asked all the missionaries to stand up! ha. and I actually saw a person I knew who was singing in the MTC choir during the session.

This weekend we also had 2 baptisms! Zinzie and Khayakazi! those girls are awesome. the spirit defiantly was there and it was for sure a special day for them. it was sad, cuz Zinzie didn't have any family there, and Khayakazi only had her mom and sister. seeing those girls faces after they came up out of the water was priceless. then they got changed and bore their testimonies. wow. it was great. that's what missionary work is all about. all the hard work, planning, walking in the rain to see them for our appointments was worth it. and it gets better, Sonwabile gets baptized this week! he really wanted me to baptize him, but we are instructed to have one of the members of the ward baptize them, cuz us missionaries leave after a few weeks, but the person from the ward most likely will stay in the ward with them and watch them learn and progress.

I saw something sad this week. we were walking down the street and I looked over to the other side of the street and there was a fight. these kids had to be like 10 years old. this big Afrikaner was punching this smaller African, and some friends were standing around them. the big white boy won, and just walked away while the other guy just sat there on the ground and started crying and wiping the blood from his face. it was sad. but that's just how it is here. you gotta be tough.

One of our fellow-shippers that comes out with us recently got a job at the cinema. he gets paid 14 Rand an hour...that's just a little bit under 2 bucks an hour back in the states. sure, things are a little bit cheaper here, but still, that's not very much.

Well, next week is transfers! I dont know if I'll stay here, or be transfered. all the elders say you never know what President Probst is gonna do!  My click day is on the 9th...so that will be 2 months on mission! but I've been out in the field for a month! im not gonna lie, it sometimes can seem a lot longer than that! but then other times it seems to have gone by fast.

I love you!!! thanks for all your love, prayers and support!!

Elder Haws

Monday, October 25, 2010

Well, life is good! the church is true.

Hello!

Thanks for the email. I love reading them! sorry if I don’t comment on everything that you say. I really enjoy reading it and please keep me updated on stuff that goes on..I appreciate it!

Mommy, I wish I could have some of those choc chip cookies..they're the best! but I don’t get many goodies here in East London. they call desert "pudding" here and yeah the food has been pretty good. you'd be impressed, I eat a lot of rice now! its not that bad. and I’m not sure what happens for thanksgiving...oh my comp just said" there’s no such thing as thanksgiving." haha. he said some of the American missionaries meet together and have a little party or something. and the mission home is hours and hours away.  I saw Elder Rigby yesterday, but just shook his hand.

No, missionaries here normally don’t perform baptisms, or priesthood blessings. we have someone from the ward baptize them..cuz we'll leave the area, but the person that baptizes them will stay in the ward and be like a support system, ya know! and home teachers and the elders quorum do the blessings.

I have been thinking about stuff for my Christmas package......I would love those 3 missionary books! they come in a pack or something. one of them is written by Elder Ballard or something, and another one is Jesus the Christ by James E Talmage? those would be great to have and study. and I don’t have many pictures of like San Diego or Logan...my boarding looks boring! and i would like a pic of the SPECTRUM! please.  Tell Aunt Julie that I really appreciate her letters, and that I’m not sure how long it takes for a package to get here. just that mail takes like 3 weeks, and i don’t care what you say in the report on fast Sunday, don’t make it too long, but make it good!

It was a pretty good week in the mission field. I went on exchanges twice! so Elder Aires went to the other area and Elder Ruzai came to my area! oh my goodness, Elder Ruzai cracks me up! it was kinda bad, we were trying to have a prayer before planning, but for some reason i had the giggles really bad, and it took like 5 minutes before we could pray cuz I just couldn’t stop laughing! I don’t know what it is about him, he just makes me laugh! the dude is constantly forgetting things! like his belt for church, missionary planner, his name tag, etc. he's awesome! we had a GREAT time together! then the next day I went on exchanges with the Zone Leader! I thought I would go to his area, but they showed up at our boarding and told us I would stay in our area and Elder Aires would go to their area! so I was the senior comp for 2 days in a row..that’s stressful for a greenie missionary! Elder Dillon was super cool, and i learned a lot from him. but I was in charge of comp study and like what we did during the day and calling people and stuff. so we had all these appointments planned, but ALL the appointments fell through. sad. lets just say that i was glad when the day was over! haha

We were in this lesson last week with a family of 10 people..all girls! like the grandma was there, with her 2 daughters and her kids. intimidating. and they didn’t speak or understand English very well. they live in this tiny little room, in a very rough part of town, and it was burning hot in there. but we started the lesson and my comp started talking about the gospel, and after a while I could tell the people were starting to lose interest. the spirit told me to talk about the restoration and BOM and to bear my testimony, and that’s what I did! it was amazing and powerful. they all were interested and asked a few questions. I bore my testimony and told them what I know to be true and gave them a BOM and they said they would read and pray about it. it was a cool experience.

Yesterday we drove to Mdansane (25 min) for a special conference. wow. Mdansane is the 2nd largest township in South Africa. Look it up on Google or something. it is absolutely unbelievable. you just see miles and miles of small little shacks and dirt roads, where people live. it is unreal. so sad.

Elder Watson was there! Elder Watson served for 38 years as the secretary to the first presidency! for 7 PROPHETS! incredible! it was a big conference, 750 people, and missionaries from 4 zones, so lots of elders. but he greeted each one of us. I got to shake his hand! just think how many hands he has shook in his life. I still remember what he said to me. "where are you from Elder Haws?" I told him and then he said "oh that’s a nice place" it was so cool! the conference was great. President Probst was there and gave a nice talk, and of course Elder Watson, the general authority, gave an amazing talk. but I’m not gonna lie, I kinda wish I was in Cape Town, cuz the one and only ELDER HOLLAND was there!! lucky people who got to hear him, but Elder Watson was great.

We've kinda done a lot of tracting recently, we gotta find more people to teach! but we're pretty booked for this week. those 2 girls are getting baptized this weekend! and this weekend we FINALLY get to watch conference! yes! I am soooo excited.  It has been kinda rainy and windy here, and we walk a lot.

We saw some drunk guys wizzin' on the side of the road, for the world to see! haha and got offered drugs by 2 dudes standing on the corner of the street, that was cool.
well, life is good! the church is true.

Love your missionary son,

Elder Haws

Monday, October 18, 2010

I have a testimony that the work I'm doing here is true!

Elder Chiromo and Me

Hey! Thanks for the email. normally on P day after we email we go shopping and then just hang out in the afternoon and play soccer or write letters. That's good to hear you guys are pulling the weeds and keeping the car clean. Dad, keep my baby nice for me! haha. Yes, I got my license and credit card. Dang, that picture on my license sucks!! Like a mug shot. I waited 4 hours for that?! All our mail goes to Cape Town and then they send it to the senior couple in the area, and then the senior couple gives it to us every Friday. I haven't gotten any letters from people in our ward yet. It takes like 3 weeks to get mail? I don't know. We stay in Baysville, close to Southernwood. Look up that. We stay right under the bishop, he's really cool. You can see the ocean from the road where we live. its only like 2 miles or so away from the water.

Our laundry machine isn't very nice. So last week I decided to wash my clothes by hand. and we just hang up our clothes to dry.

Soo last week seemed to go by super fast. On Tuesday an RM from the ward came out with us to our appointments. He served in Kenya. we taught a lot of lessons with him. then the next day it was raining. (I got a sweet rain coat from an elder in the MTC who brought too much stuff, so he just gave it to me) soo in the morning it wasn't that bad, but then we decided to walk to this one investigator that we really needed to see. Cuz it wasn't raining that bad. It took like 30 minutes to walk there, and during that time the heavens decided to open and we got DRENCHED. My poor companion, he didn't have a rain coat. He has holes in his shoes. We kinda got lost too. I had one of those missionary moments while I was walking. I thought to myself "I'm cold, wet, hungry, tired, my comp is annoying me, I'm thousands of miles away from all my family and friends...but this is what it's all about! Serving a mission!" After we taught the lesson, we had to walk back in the dark while it still was raining and even though I had a jacket, I still got soaked.

The next day we had Zone Conference. It happens once a transfer. President Probst travels to each of the 8 zones in the mission and gives us instruction. President goes from Namibia to Cape Town, to Port Elizabeth, and here. That's a lot of travel! President Probst is amazing! Everyone says he's gonna be a General Authority soon! He knows EVERYTHING! I cant even describe it. He's the man. We got trained for most of the day then went to some appointments that night. The rest of the week went pretty well.  On Saturday Zinzi (15 years old) and Khayakazi (19 years old) passed their baptismal interviews!!


We got exchanges coming up this week! tomorrow with the other elders in our district, then the next day with the Zone leaders. I'm excited. alright, so Elder Aires is starting to be a little annoying sometimes! haha. We still get along fine, but like some of the things he does bother me. haha. nahh, he's a hard worker and we are good friends and are always joking around and have fun together.

Last night we ate dinner with a Afrikaans family! crazy language. Those Afrikaners talk fast and it sounds like dutch or something. They don't really pronounce the A in hAws. It sounds like HOOZ. haha. They said Haas in Afrikaans means rabbit.

Check it out, guess what I did this morning....went to the Mercedes Benz factory! WOW! What an experience. I wish we could of taken cameras. That place is unbelievable. Soo many robots and other coool things! It was where they make the C-Class, and they ship them to places all over the world. I never knew how much detail and technology goes into making a car. They make about 275 cars a day, and put about 6,000 onto a big boat and ship them off. You have to see this factory to believe it. The assembly line and all the tests they did were awesome. Super cool.

Tracting is hard and scary for me. If we get in to a house, we first BRT (build relationship of trust) for the first few minutes then we open with a prayer and start teaching the Doctrine of Christ. We first introduce the Book of Mormon and read from the Intro and stuff. We flip to 2 Nephi 31, which talks about the Doctrine of Christ. We read verses 4&5, then 7 answers the question why Christ was baptized, then we read verse 10&11 and then invite them to be baptized, right then and there! In the first lesson! Its incredible how many people say yes. Most times the people that say yes don't keep commitments and say they're busy when we come for our appointments...but President Probst said a few months ago in our zone when we weren't using the Doctrine of Christ we had 8 baptismal dates, now we have 24! So it works.

Well, I have a testimony that the work I'm doing here is true. I wouldn't be out here if I didn't believe it. I get to bear my testimony many times every day. I love it! There are so many people here who need the gospel in their life. I feel soo blessed and lucky to have had the gospel in my life and be raised in a loving family where I have SOO many things to be grateful for.

I miss you guys!!

LOVE, Elder Haws

Here are some pictures from the MTC. I haven't taken any yet here in East London...but I will!! (click on picture for larger view)
Elder Chiromo and me!


Me and the Elders..


Enjoyed going to the temple


View of Cape Town! Nice.. like San Diego


World Cup Stadium

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Settling down in East London & getting to work!

Family!!

How is everything?! bummer about the pads and bolts. oh well. thanks for the nice email. those pictures from Hawaii look amazing! I like that picture of mom jumping in the air! ha. I can see the ocean from East London, its nice. I haven't got the package yet. we get mail every Friday, so hopefully I'll get it this Friday! I'll let you know when I get it. and yeah, Mondays are our P days so this is when I'll be emailing. and yes, I workout a little bit in the morning. Its the first thing we do once we wake up, so I normally just stretch for the first 15 minutes and then do push-ups and situps and use the stretchy bands they gave us. I normally sweat a little bit. and this morning I went on a little run. its not the same as the workouts I did at home, but it's better than nothing! and I haven't used the camera at all since I've been here. It seems to be working fine.

That's a funny story about you taking the wrong bag, then later seeing all those missionaries! ha and that's right, Tom Tom leaves on his mission!

Mom, dad, do you guys communicate with each other?? Dad asks if the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are good, and mom asks is there is peanut butter down here?! what the? ha. but yes, I eat peanut butter on toast for breakfast with some cereal, then like a peanut butter sandwich for lunch if we even eat lunch, then normally we get good food at our DA, but then before I go to bed I have a peanut butter sandwich. thats alot of peanut butter.


Our boarding doesn't have any bugs. I guess one night we left the door open and a few bugs came in, but we keep the windows and doors shut at night so we never have a bug problem. are monkeys considered bugs? ha, cuz a few mornings we see them outside and we throw them bananas and they eat them up. I guess one time an elder saw a monkey sitting on the counter in the boarding!


So far the food we've been eating is similar to American food. I'm positive there are other more rural areas where I'll get some native food, but so far it's just been chicken and rice and other basic food.

One thing that I'm still getting used to is the conversion to rand. I spent 175 rand on food last week. we get 325 rand a week so I haven't used any of my personal money, heck I still need to exchange it for rand!
man, what a first week in the mission field! dang. for P day last week we played soccer with the whole zone, that was fun. then Tuesday we had a really good day. we made it to all of our appointments and found some good people to teach. but Wednesday was rough and seemed really long. It seemed like we just walked all day and didn't get much done. My comp said there was gonna be lots of long days like that. but to make that day even worse, we got to our DA at 8pm and they totally forgot that they were feeding us, but they love talking, so we didn't get home till like 9:45, so then we ate peanut butter sandwiches. ha. We normally eat lunch at about 12:30 then don't eat until 8. It makes the afternoon seem really long.

We literally leave our boarding at 10:15am and don't get back till like 9:30pm. sometimes we get back a little bit earlier and we are asleep by 9:30 cuz we are both so tired.  We have 3 investigators with baptismal dates coming up! I'm excited! its fun to teach them and watch them learn and grow. We recently were tracting and found some solid investigators that i can tell the Lord has been preparing to recieve our message.

Here are some of the names of the people we are teaching....Zinzi, Sonwabile, Nompucuko, Sibongwile, Khayakazi, Syvuyele. You try pronouncing those! ha. I haven't picked up on much of the language yet. I'm still trying to be able to make the "click" sound with my mouth! Its hard. its for sure a unique language.
We got a busy busy week coming up this week. Lots of appointments! and we plan to do some tracting and street contact, yikes! Its scary.

Sorry, I'll try and send some pics next week, I promise!

The initials for our mission are SACTM -  
South Africa Cape Town Mission...or Serve Always Christ The Master. I like that.

well, hope you guys have a great week!

LOVE YOU!!
Elder Haws

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My first area is EAST LONDON!!

Family!!

Wow, lots has happened since the last time that I emailed! we went to the temple on tuesday for the last time for a long time. we got to do sealings! One of the sister missionaries got sealed to her deceased parents, it was super spiritual. then we had like a big goodbye meeting and everyone bore their testimonies and said their goodbyes. We left the MTC the next morning, the 29th. We got up at like 4:30 and flew to Cape Town. it was sad cuz I had to say goodbye to my comp, who knows if I'll ever see him again.


Anyways, like 21 of us all went to Cape Town. man, what a beautiful place! It reminds me al ot of San Diego. palm trees, sunny weather, right near the ocean etc. but there are more mountains around there. the first place we went was the mission office. They told us lots of info and like gave us out MSF (my sacred fund) credit card and stuff. Then we all drove to the mission home. Dang, it is way nice! As soon as we got there we unloaded our stuff then went to this place that reminded me a little bit of the gliders port/that mountain in Hawaii. It over looked the Indian Ocean and all of Cape Town! sooo pretty! You could see the famous Table Mountain! I could see on of the arenas where they played a world cup game! I took some great pictures. Cape Town is thousands of times better than Jo-burg! Jo-burg is the ghetto and not nice. it really is true that every where in South Africa is like a different country. there's more white people in Cape Town, and everything is just nicer and more clean.

We went back to the mission home and they told us more stuff about the mission, and we ate and President Probst interviewed all of us. he said he sent that picture to you guys. he is a stud. everyone says he's gonna be a general authority some day! so that night we all piled into his small office and he has this big board with all the companionship on it! we all were super super excited!! i found my picture and my companion! then we all went to bed and then had a nice breakfast and pretty much loaded up in the cars and said our goodbyes!
soooo, I am in EAST LONDON!! My first area! there are 4 zones in the mission, Cape Town, Namibia, Port Elizabeth, and East London. So 9 of us flew to East London, it was like and hour and 15 minute flight. We landed in this tiny airport right next to the beach. There was a group of missionaries there to greet us, but my comp wasn't there, he was out working!

So I drove with the ZL's (zone leaders) and they brought me to by boarding (where I live) and I met my companion!! Elder Aires!! he's from Mozambique!! He was born near Russia, and looks Mexican! haha. His first language is Portuguese, so his english isnt perfect. He's been out 16 months and is super nice. He has been in this area for 6 weeks. We stay at one of the nicer places in the zone, right under the Bishop.

So I unpacked my stuff and the first thing we did was planned for over 2 hours! then, we had an appointment! ah! It went better than I thought. then after that we went to a DA (dinner appointment). We went back and I was tired and slept like a baby. One day we drove like 30 minutes to this members house. She is crazy! She lives on a farm and has sooo many animals! like 10 dogs, 21 cats, tons of chickens, an owl, swans, goats, donkeys, emus, parrots, etc. You have to see it to believe it. and she fed us...it wasn't very good! haha and like her cat was eyeballing my food the whole time, and there were tons of fly's buzzing around us, but I was hungry.


The next day we taught like 5 lessons and tracked a lot and talked to soo many people. its crazy! So much has happened its hard to remember everything. but its weird, most people are really receptive to us, like they invite us right in to talk to them, or we set up a return appointment.my comp does most of the talking, but I'm getting better.

Church was pretty good on Sunday. We started our fast the afternoon before, so we didnt eat dinner saturday night or breakfast on sunday. but I bore my testimony, and in their ward, they all flock up to the pulipt, unlike the PQ2! Sacrament meeting went like 15 minutes over, but it was super good. After church we had 2 long appointments then a DA. This was is super nice cuz we have a DA every night!

East London is nice. I'm in the 3rd ward. there is another set of elders in our ward, cuz the ward covers a large area. They get to use the car, but they give us rides most of the time, but we do alot of walking. Its mostly black people that we're teaching, but they are very humble. There's lots of trash in the streets and the houses are small and run down.

Well, we gotta go shopping, cuz we hardly have any food in our boarding! I have a feeling I'm gonna be eating lots of peanut better sandwiches!

I'll send some pics next week!  Missionary work is hard.

Love,
Elder Haws

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Arrival in Cape Town and the Mission Home
























We are writing to let you know that your missionary has arrived here in Cape Town. Sister Probst and I have had a wonderful time meeting and getting to know him. He is a wonderful young man and we are so grateful to have him here and feel the strength he brings. We wanted you to know he is here safely. We enjoy having him spend his first night here in our home as he prepares to begin his missionary service. Attached is a picture we took on his arrival.

Thank you for sharing him with us for a time. We will care for him as we would hope our own precious sons would be cared for. Please feel free to let us know of questions or concerns. We pray for your well being in his absence.

Here is the mailing address if you wish to write him... Both Letters or packages should be sent to this address and then we will forward them to the area in which he is serving. Just a note on packages. There is no charge to receive letters or items in the manila mailing packages but there is a R25 fee (about $3 US) the post charges to release boxes from the post for which the elder is responsible. Each elder is also responsible for the additional postage depending on weight of the package to have it mailed to his area.

P.O. Box 181
Observatory 7935
Republic of South Africa

Sincerely,
President Randall and Sister Deanna Probst
South Africa Cape Town Mission

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Last Week at the MTC, Game time baby

Mommy! Daddy! Kelly!

Glad to hear that things are going good back in San Diego! and oh yeah, today is the big day, Aggies and Aztecs!! dang, I wish I could watch it! go Aggies!

My interim debit card is expired, and there's no place to exchange my US dollars, so I'm straight up broke! welcome to life as a missionary.  That's cool you got a letter from Kelly...umm where's mine sista?!

That's good you got my license and stuff, send it to Cape Town, cuz I'm outta here on Wednesday morning! I got a letter from grandma and sister Bessy, and it took 3 weeks, so I hope I get it sooner than that. and I'll send you a pic of my comp and I sometime.

So last Saturday we went out with the missionaries. Wow! What a culture shock. It still seems weird to drive on the left side of the road, and have the steering wheel on the right side of the car. All the cars are super small, and the drivers drive crazy. We tracted for 2 hours. It was cool. the whole entire time I didn't see a white person. There was lots of poverty. Around every house here are big brick fences, and almost every house has like a guard dog. The people are way nice and humble and are pretty open to hear about the gospel. they use a ton of slang and stuff, so it'll take a while to get used to that.

We went to the temple on Tuesday. It was awesome. We get to go one more time, and we get to do sealings! I'm excited. the temple is near downtown Jo-burg, so I saw the Telkom tower...I remember seeing it on TV during the world cup.

We watched a devotional given by Elder Holland at the MTC in Provo, it was absolutely amazing. He got up there without any text, and just talked for over an hour. It was powerful

I played basketball the other day, it was soo fun! I still got it!  Sorry there's nothing that exciting that happened this week.  I fly to Cape Town on the 29th. Game time baby!

Love,
Elder Haws

Friday, September 17, 2010

Already Week 2 in the MTC Jo-burg

Hi

I don't need an update on everything that is going on. I'm trying to focus on missionary stuff, but thanks for all the info. Sorry, I can't answer all of your questions. How about you just send 1 email a week and I'll respond to that.

Daddy, you can go ahead and take the MTC address off my Facebook and just keep the Cape Town address on there, thanks!  Tell Kelly I was thinking about her on her birthday!!

To answer a few of the thousands of questions you asked, um the camera barley works. I really wish I have one that works. The battery only lasts like 30 seconds, but then if I turn it off and on again, it works for another 30 seconds. The food here is pretty goood. I get all that I need. Every night is PB&J night. The weather has been prefect, just like San Diego. I haven't got anything at the store. I still need to exchange my money for rand. and yeah a clock would be nice.

Well, life at the MTC is going pretty good. We wake up, study, go to class, eat, go to class, eat, study, go to class some more, etc. We got to go to the temple on Tuesday. it was unbelievable. 12 Africans got to go through for the first time. I was right next to my comp and helped him. It was awesome. the doors in the celestial room were so big that they have 4 hinges. The temple was super small, like tiny. It was like 30 minutes away, so we got to drive through the city of Jo-burg a little bit. It was for sure an eye opener.

Yesterday we taught 3, 30 minute lessons. The first one was rough, but the 2 other ones that we did at night went pretty good! Its still hard to teach stuff, cuz i'm kinda quiet, but my comp always helps me out, and I just make him answer all the tough questions. ha. Its 7 in the morning right now, and in 3 hours i'm gonna go on splits with the missionaries in the area! like, the real deal. I'm kinda scared, but I'm sure it'll be a good learning experience.

I'm just trying to soak everything up here, like a sponge. Its kinda funny, when the Africans say "Elder Haws" it sounds like "Elder Oz" (like wizard of oz) We listened to a talk by Elder Bednar and he said

"We should become a missionary, not just go on a mission" and another quote I liked was

"Don't count the days, make the days count"   but this is the best one of all, Sarah told it to me,

"Missionaries on on a mission and leave their families for 2 years so that other families can be together for eternity"

I miss you guys!!

Lots of love!!
Elder Haws

Saturday, September 11, 2010

First days at the MTC

Yeah, this is my email address. So life in the MTC is pretty good so far. My comp from Zimbabwe got here the other day. Elder Chiromo. He's awesome! He has such a strong testimony and is super nice. All of these African saints know their stuff very well. Yesterday was our first official day in the MTC, like going to the classes and stuff. We jumped right into things and already practiced teaching, its not easy! But we'll be practicing alot.

The food here is pretty good so far. And each night Im super tired so I've been sleeping like a baby. And I'm pretty much adjusted to the time zone. Im excited to go to the Jo-Burg temple on tuesday. We get to go 3 times. And most of the africans havent ever been to the temple. so this will be their first time ever. I am sooo excited for them. Well, the elder before me hogged the computer, so I gotta go. But mommy, we FORGOT to pack my shorts!! What the heck! and I by far have the least amount of stuff. Everyone else has like lots of shirts and tons more other stuff. We packed too light. Oh well, I'll be alright!

Well I miss you all. Keep me in your prayers. In one of our classes our teacher said that my time in the MTC will be one of the most spiritual times of my entire life. 10 hours a day for 21 straight days of learning the gospel. Doesn't get any better than that! Miss you!

Love you!
Elder Haws

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The flight to the MTC.... Jo-Berg

Hey family!

Well I made it here safe. Rik from NuFlow was actually on my plane to Atlanta, so it was nice to talk to him, and it kinda took my mind off of everything that was going on. There were alot of things going through my mind on the plane. And this dude in front of me was gettin' rocked in Chess the entire flight!

Once I got to Atlanta, I walked a long way until I finally reached E17. I actually saw one of the Elders in the bathroom, and we met up with the other guys. There was a total of 19 of us on the flight, and we all sat togther, but there was enough room on the plane to spread out and stuff. The plane ride actually wasn't that bad! They served us 3 meals. I didn't sleep that much, but I dozed off for about 2 hours or so. We left Atlanta at 7pm and arrived in Jo-Berg at about 5pm the next day (today). Then we drove like 45 minutes to the MTC. My comp will arrive tomorrow, and he's from Zimbabwe. So far so good! I miss you guys!!

Love,

Elder Haws

Farewell Elder Haws...

We have our own missionary!

Dusty and mom!!

Last good-byes...

New chapter in Dusty's life,,,

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Got the mission call in April, and the day is now finally here.

On the 9am Delta flight to Atlanta..then on to Johannesburg, South Africa, Report to MTC Sept 9

No more Facebook for 2 years! South Africa, here I come! I'll miss all of my friends SOO much!! Thanks for all of the support. My dad will keep my current address on my Facebook...
(http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/profile.php?id=100000108855156) write me letters!! :)

"My life is like my shoes, to be worn out in the service of the Lord"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Over in Cape Town South Africa....

Staring Sept 7, 2010  Elder Haws is on his way....

farewell talk...

Thanks Katrina, Caitlin, Kelsey and Heather for singing. Those are 4 special girls to me. All the early mornings in seminary, sitting in Sunday school, the countless church activities, and of course, the lame church dances. Thank you for singing, and for being such great friends and good examples for me.

Thank you Caroline and Derek and Sister Sharif for their remarks, and thank you all for being here today, and my Grandma coming all the way down from Logan.

Alright, for those of you who don’t know, I have been called to serve a mission in the Cape Town South Africa Mission! It covers the entire western part of South Africa and the entire country of Namibia. I sent in my papers and got my call on April 21st, so I’ve had my call for a while now and the anticipation and excitement is killing me! My report date is September 9th, but I’m traveling straight to the MTC in Johannesburg South Africa, so my plane leaves September 7th. I’m not looking forward to that 16 hour plane ride. So normally missionaries have their farewells closer than when they leave, but next week is High Council Sunday and there’s Stake Conference, and we’re driving my sister up to Utah State, so today is my farewell.

I remember when like Ryan Parker, Isaac Lew, Stephen Peterson, the Toolson brothers were up here and I thought I my mission was still a ways away, but here it is and I am so pumped to go. It just seems like yesterday that I was sitting over there, a small deacon feeling all nervous to not screw up on the sacrament and like drop the tray or trip over myself. Now I get to teach people about the sacrament. That’s so cool. And who knows, someday I might be sitting down there and be all nervous when Dusty Jr has to give a talk, or give his farewell.

So Brother Burstedt asked me to talk a little bit about how reading and valuing the scriptures enlarges our souls with faith in Christ. I’ll be referencing a talk given by Spencer W. Kimball in 1985 and a talk in this past General Conference by Elder Christofferson.

I decided to break down the topic into 2 parts. First. Reading and Valuing the scriptures. I feel like there’s a difference between reading the scriptures, and actually reading the scriptures. I discovered that for me personally, if I read my scriptures like right before I go to bed, it’s more like just plain reading. I don’t get as much out of it as I want, that’s because it’s at the end of the day and I’m tired and laying in bed and just want to go to sleep. I found it much more effective like in college to study and read the scriptures either first thing after I showered in the morning or in the afternoon sometime. I made it a habit to read my scriptures every day. And I think that started back in my freshman year of high school. In seminary they challenge you to read your scriptures every day, they even give you this cool little chart to track your progress. I set that next to my bed and pretty much never missed a day. That habit of reading everyday has stuck with me ever since.

I asked myself the question do I really “value” the scriptures? President Kimball said “Sometimes it seems we take the scriptures too much for granted because we do not fully appreciate how rare a thing it is to possess them, and how blessed we are because we do have them. We seem to have settled so comfortably into our experiences in this world and become so accustomed to hearing the gospel taught among us that it is hard for us to imagine it could ever have been otherwise.” Isn’t that so true? He goes on to say “During the war in Vietnam, some of our men were taken prisoner and kept in nearly total isolation. Permitted no access to the scriptures, they later told how they hungered for the words of truth, more than for food, more than for freedom itself. What they would have given for a mere fragment of the Bible or Book of Mormon that lay so idly on our shelves!” I thought that was interesting, out of all the things that they wanted while in jail, the thing they wanted the most were the scriptures.

So reading and valuing the scriptures enlarges our souls with faith in Christ. The scriptures teach of Jesus Christ and we know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. So reading them helps us gain faith in Him and should make us want to be more like Him. In D&C 88:15 “And the spirit and body are the soul of a man.” Then we know that the first principle and ordinance of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And one of my favorite scriptures is Alma 32:21, Scripture Mastery, it says “And now as I said concerning faith – faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” I know we can fill our souls with faith in Christ by reading the scriptures.

Elder Christofferson said “The scriptures enlarge our memory by helping us not forget what we and earlier generations have learned.” And later goes on to say “The scriptures enlarge our memory by helping us always to remember the Lord and our relationship to Him and the Father. They remind us of what we knew in our premortal life. And they expand our memory in another sense by teaching us about people, and events that we did not experience personally. None of us was present to see the Red Sea part and cross with Moses between walls of water to the other side. We were not there to hear the Sermon on the Mount, to see Lazarus raised from the dead, to see the suffering Savior in Gethsemane and on the cross, and we did not, with Mary, hear the two angels testify at the empty tomb that Jesus was risen from the dead. You and I did not go forward one by one with the multitude in the land Bountiful at the resurrected Savior’s invitation to feel the prints of the nails and bathe His feet with our tears. We did not kneel beside Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove and gaze there upon the Father and the Son. Yet we know all these things and much, much more because we have the scriptural record to enlarge our memory, to teach us what we did not know. And as these things penetrate our minds and hearts, our faith in God and His Beloved Son takes root.”

I know that if we read the scriptures diligently and ponder them, our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will blossom.

I think President Kimball said it best “I feel strongly that we must all of us return to the scriptures and let them work mightily within us, impelling us to an unwavering determination to serve the Lord.”

I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon and other scriptures that we have and know that they are true and were written for our day. I have personally read the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants 6 times and put Moroni’s promise to the test. I got my answer. I anxiously look forward to the day when I get to watch my son or daughter read from the Book of Mormon. And whenever I travel, I always bring by Book of Mormon with me.

For work they flew me out to Colorado for a week. It was kinda cool because I thought I was all important, like going on a business trip. But we got there and we were working on this sewer in this small town in the middle of nowhere. I was working with 3 other guys that I had never worked with or even met before. They were for sure hard workers, and knew exactly what they were talking about and what needed to get done, but like most plumbers, they are some rough nosed men and speak what’s on their mind. These guys would tell dirty jokes, cuss all day, and drink beer at dinner, but they all knew I was LDS and thought it was pretty cool that I was going to South Africa for 2 years and asked a few questions. But I can remember one day we were there and something went wrong and all they used pretty much every bad word invented. It really bothered me. We had been working for 15 hours straight and didn’t even stop for lunch and I ran out of water and my feet were really hurting and I just wanted to lie down. We drove back to the hotel room and I just crashed on my bed and cranked the A/C in the room. I was absolutely exhausted but I had this weird feeling inside, like I wasn’t happy. Like something was missing. I hadn’t read the scriptures that day so even though I was way tried, that’s what I did. I busted out my Book of Mormon and listened to some General Conference talks.

I felt the spirit so strong in that cold lonely hotel room and put back on the armor of God. I was reminded of what Elder Ballard said “the Commandments of God have taken a beating.”

Up at Utah State our stake had stake conference in the Spectrum, where the AGGIES play. It holds 10,271 people, and it was pretty packed. The night before we had a basketball game in there, and we of course killed the other team by like 20. Just like we did the Cougars! Our fans are brutal. Some of our chants and things we say aren’t church appropriate. But it’s such a fun time. I’m defiantly gonna miss those games.

So the next morning I was way tired from the night before, but I still got there early and was standing there in my short sleeve shirt on in the freezing Logan weather. But we were all piled in the Spectrum, and as when the General Authorities come in, everyone stands up. Wow. I could literally feel the spirit when they walked in. It was incredible. Those guys are men of God. I remember it was Elder Rasband, and Elder Ballard and President Eyring! That’s a loaded program. It was absolutely amazing. Now I’m a dude, and didn’t take notes, so I don’t remember everything they said, but I remember how I felt.

If you think about it, most all of us have sat in thousands and thousands of church meetings, family home evenings, Sunday school lessons, fulfilling your callings, listening to conference, on your knees in prayer, and countless hours in the scriptures. You don’t remember everything. I’m sure most of us don’t remember much of what was said or the doctrine that was taught in those meetings. But the one thing that we all can remember is how we felt.

Later in the year Elder Hales came and gave a wonderful devotional. Same thing happened when he came into the Spectrum. The Spirit was there. And then the Logan Institute Choir sang “Come Come Ye Saints” It was unbelievable. There is such a great power in music.

But Elder Hales told this story. There’s 3 people that go into heaven. They get interviewed by an individual to see what door of heaven they are allowed to go into. The first person walks up and he is asked, “Do you know the Savior?” The man gives his answer and the interviewer says okay and points to a door. The second person comes forward and is asked the same question and has the same result. As soon as the 3rd person walks in to be interviewed, he falls on his hands and knees and crawls to the Savior and kisses his feet. Do we know the Savior brothers and sisters?

I read somewhere that while Christ was on the cross, one of the robbers that was being crucified alongside him looked over at him. “Jesus” he says painfully, “remember me, when thou comest into thy kingdom!” I love that.

All the many experiences up at college and throughout my life have really strengthened my testimony.

I’m so grateful for the temple. I think most of us would agree that the San Diego temple is the prettiest temple ever. Since I prefer not to listen to the radio on the drive over to the temple, and I can’t stand the still silence in a car, so I made a great church CD, so I BUMP MOTAB to and from the temple. I had this spot up in Logan, on Old Main hill, that overlooks the entire Valley and you can see the temple. I liked going on Sunday nights and just get away from school, girls, and all the other pressures I felt and just look at the temple and those pretty mountains. And we think we’re close to the San Diego temple, well the Logan temple is like 3 minutes away from campus! It was great to just get a group of people together real quick after class or on the weekends and just go to the temple, then get some Aggie ice-cream after. The perfect date!

I’ve been super bummed that the temple has been closed these past 2 weeks. I think I need to have a little chat with President Olsen and tell him to not close the temple for 2 whole weeks ever again! But all joking aside, I love the temple. At the Logan Temple cornerstone dedication, President George Q. Cannon, made this statement “Every foundation stone that is laid for a Temple, and every Temple completed according to the order the Lord has revealed for his holy Priesthood, lessens the power of Satan on the earth, and increases the power of God and Godliness, moves the heavens in mighty power in our behalf, invokes and calls down upon us the blessings of the Eternal Gods, and those who reside in their presence.”

I was privileged to get to do baptisms in the Salt Lake temple with a good friend before I came home. And I don’t know what they’re pumpin’ in that water in the baptismal font, but it was super warm.

President Hinckley told a story of an old lady, a widow, in Idaho Falls, that did temple work for 20,000 people in her lifetime. That’s as many people that assemble for conference. She completed her 20,000 one on a Friday, and returned on a Saturday to do 5 more. The following week, she passed away. Just think of the wonderful and glorious reception she must have received on the other side.

I know that temple work is important and that there are countless numbers of people waiting for their work to be done. I read this quote by President Kimball “Some of us have had occasion to wait for someone or something for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, or even a year. Can you imagine how our ancestors must feel, some of whom have perhaps been waiting for decades and even centuries for the temple work to be done for them?” I know that they are patiently waiting.

I’m so grateful for the sacred ordinances that performed in the temple and comfort and peace I feel when I go. When I got endowed, I was shocked to see SO many members from this ward there to support me on that special day. I could literally feel the love that you had for me. That endowment session was packed. This ward is so great.

I wanna thank all of my Sunday school teachers and Young Men leaders. Wow. I appreciate all the sacrifice and effort they put into their callings. All the super fun campouts and high adventure activities will be things that I never forget. And mutual every week and coming to church every Sunday and listening to amazing lessons really strengthened my testimony.

I still have this quote/handout that Brother Landreth handed out in a Teachers Quorum lesson like 6 years ago. It says “Give me a young man who has kept himself morally clean and has faithfully attended his Church meetings. Give me a young man who has magnified his priesthood and has earned the Duty to God Award and is an Eagle Scout. Give me a young man who is a seminary graduate and has a burning testimony of the Book of Mormon. Give me such a young man, and I will give you a young man who can perform miracles for the Lord in the mission field and throughout his life”

I’m so thankful for our good bishop. He’s the man. I’m also very grateful Bishop Hall and for his service in our ward. Bishop’s are the best.

I remember something Danny Hall said in his homecoming talk a couple years ago. He said “The Lord does perfect work using imperfect tools” I love that, and even wrote it in the back of my scriptures. But I decided to take it a step further and strive to be a sharp tool in the Lord’s tool box.

I know that the power of Satan is real, and he works the hardest right before you leave on your mission. He tries to fill your mind with as much doubt and fear as he can. I’ve felt that a little bit. Trust me brothers and sisters, I don’t know as much about the gospel as most of you in here. But that’s okay. Just as Elder Anderson says “you know enough”

I know that missions are hard. But I know that it doesn’t matter what you accomplish, it’s how hard you try.

Here’s a statement: All the greatest things in human life are one syllable things – love, joy, hope, home, child, wife, trust, faith, God. And I’m gonna add MISSION on there, even though its 2 syllables.

I want my family to know how much I love them! One thing that I’ve noticed when there’s a natural disaster or like during Hurricane Katrina, people longed for their family, and not necessarily food or shelters. What matters the most? Going up to college really showed me how much I really do Love my family, and just sittin’ around watching T.V. together, or all going on vacation.

I want my dad to know how much I love him, even though I can be a grouch sometimes. I’m sure this has been fun for him to go through this whole mission process with me. I don’t know how far along I would be in the gospel without him. I still remember when he baptized me on my 8th birthday right over there. One thing I will ever be grateful to my daddy is that he taught me how to tie a tie! I’m thankful that he got me into playing sports and him being my coach. One thing I’ve noticed is that some of our mannerisms are the same and the way I do things are just like he does it. And I work at Nu Flow, so it’s a lot of hard labor and work and I’m grateful that he taught me so many different things and the meaning of hard work. My sister and I were his personal gardeners and house cleaners. But one night I was out in our nice pool, and I looked around at the my nice area that I live in, and the clothes that I wear, and the vacations we have gone on, and the nice house that we live in, and I think of how many countless hours he has spent at work and all the sacrifices that he has made so that we can enjoy the things that we have. I love you daddy.

And my mom. Wow. 2 years without my mommy. I still remember the first time that I got sick up at Utah State, I went in the shower and just started crying because I wanted my mommy! But one time she sent me 20 bucks in the mail, that was pretty sweet. When I was playing football my senior year, halfway through the season one of our backup center, one of the nicest kids on the team, his mom died. He was simply dropped off by her at school that morning, then she went home to take a nap and then never woke up. Our team was a close nit group of guys. The coaches called a meeting that afternoon to talk about things. There were counselors there and everything. I can still remember sitting in the back in my wheelchair. After the emotional team meeting, school was over and guess who was there to pick me up. My mom. I have never been so happy to see my mom. It taught me a lesson, that life is a fragile thing. Don’t let one day go by and not tell someone you love how much you love them. I’m grateful for my mom and that she comes to church every Sunday, lives the teachings of the gospel and she sure does make sure that we are on-time. I’m a pretty big boy, and eat a lot, like every 2 hours I say “Mom, I’m hungry!” thankful for all the cooking she has done, most all of my laundry, and taking good care of her baby. There’s defiantly a special bond between a mother and her kids, and I have felt that throughout my 19 years.

And my sister. Oh boy. Where do I begin with you. I’m not gonna lie, living in the same house as you and sharing a bathroom with you sure has been an adventure! You always made me late for school almost every day, and then we disagreed on the radio station. But I have loved every second of it. Next to my bed I have always had pictures of Cache Valley and Utah State and stuff, and after I broke my foot, she moved all that stuff to the down stairs bedroom where I would be spending a lot of time for the next few weeks. And I can’t really remember, but after my surgery I was all drugged up and stuff, and she came in the room, or just picked up the phone and she said DUSTYY! She doesn’t know this, but it totally made my day. And I appreciate all the times she wheeled me around school and talking to me and helping me out with all of my girl problems. I’m really looking forward to her going to Utah State and know she’s gonna love every second of it. You’re my best friend Kelly, I love you so much, and I’m gonna miss you a lot.

Brothers and sisters, the Church is true. You know it. I know it without a doubt.

One of my all time favorite quotes is by Elder Worthlin “The simple secret is this, put your trust in the Lord, and do your best, and leave the rest to Him”

I’m grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord and all that he has blessed me with in my life. I’m so grateful for the Atonement, and am still trying to put my arms around and understand its meaning. I know of the power of prayer. I’m grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith, and know that he restored the Gospel back on the earth in these latter days. I’m grateful for the living prophet on the earth today, Thomas S. Monson, I even have his signature on my mission call.

I feel like this is a great time to be a missionary. I’m honored to really be the first one in my family to serve a mission. I got some teenage cousins that are hopefully thinking about serving missions, so I’m blazing the trail for them.

President Eyring wrote the Fellowship of the Unashamed, and I’m gonna read it:

I am a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The Decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I won't look back. Let up, slow down. Or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by Faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience. I am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach all know, and work till he stops me. And when He returns for His Own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My Banner will be clear.

I feel honored to wear Christ’s name on my chest for 2 years. I am grateful for the missionaries here in our ward, and love hanging out with them and driving them places.

I think I got called to the best mission in the world, even though I’ll be 9,894 miles away from home.

I can still remember the day I got my mission call like yesterday. I was in class and my roommate texted me and said it came. He was a big jokester, but I love him. He got called to serve in Helsinki Finland, I’m so excited for him. But I didn’t believe him, but sure enough, it came. I was so excited to open it. But I decided to wait till 9 o’clock that night to open it. I don’t know what I was thinking. I made it seem like a normal day, even though I knew what was in that letter was going to change my life forever. I even went to Wal Mart to get some protein powder, and even went to Institute that night and gave a devotional and my teacher thought I was crazy that I hadn’t opened it yet. But that night I had all my friends crammed in my dorm room and my family on Skype. Everyone gave their predictions and my mom said anywhere BUT Africa. So I opened it and South Africa and serving a mission there has been on my mind ever since. I honestly don’t think it has set in yet. That night, while I was on my knees in prayer, my heart overflowing and bursting with joy and gratitude, I asked the Lord if South Africa was the place I was supposed to go and the place where He had work for me to do. I received my confirmation that night.

I have this good friend and she told me this and it really hit me deep. Those people in South Africa are just waiting for me! I know that they were some of my best friends in the pre existence and they knew they would come into families without the gospel. There I promised them you would serve a mission to find them and bring the gospel to them. I’m keeping that promise to them. They are waiting for ME!

Just like Sister Hatch told me, “Look out South Africa, here comes Elder Haws!”

As a close friend once told me, “This isn’t goodbye, it’s just see ya later”

Brothers and sisters, this church is true. 2 years is a long time, and I will miss all of you so much, but the Lord has a work for me to do. It’s gonna be the best 2 years.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.