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Monday, March 28, 2011

MDANTSANE baby! its sweet! you pronounce it "don-son-E"

Hey family!

I got both of the emails this time..heck I just spent the last 15 minutes reading haha. To answer some of your questions in the other email...theres no earthquakes here, haven't played squash since, I don't need any CD's, and there's not many massive spiders like that here that I've seen...but sometimes during lessons I see cockroaches and other bugs crawling around the peoples houses! Gross.

Did Aunt Sue get my letter??  Thanks for the updates on things!  yeahhhh, MDANTSANE baby! Its sweet! you pronounce it don-son-E the M is pretty much silent.

Haven't gotten any package yet..but thanks for sending one! Cant wait to get it. Elder McD got one and it cost 60 bucks to send it to him. to be honest, I haven't driven yet, but I know I should practice! Its gonna take some time to get used to it. Its normal to drive on the wrong side of the road now...its gonna be super weird to drive "normal" again when I get home.

I think its super cute when small kids call me mlungu! I dont think its offensive. The thing is, they NEVER see white people! the entire township is Xhosa!

This week was hectic and wayy busy! It went by fast. One day we taught 7 lessons! yeah, thats a lot. man, I thought my stats a few weeks ago in my old area were monster..ha! We are pullin BIG numbers here in MD! believe it. sooo, I've kinda tried to find something "cool" every day while in are the things I saw/witnessed..saw a kid passed out sleeping on his bed with his hands in his pants haha, saw a fast food place called "Hungry Lion' and they bumped House music inside, met a guy who wanted us to help him start a crusade, saw a dunk guy literally laying in the middle of the street! Like it was dangerous. I got a pic, I'll send some next week. In MD people just burn their trash on the side of the road, so it makes alot of smoke....and it stinks! haha its trash! We were in a store called Pick-N-Pay (similar to Vons) and this sandwich fell on the dirty floor, and we picked it up and gave it to the person that worked there, and she literally looked at it, put it back in the little plastic container it was in, and placed it back on the shelf! Yeah, only in Africa! haha.

This week I had some more Mgqushu, but also had this popular Xhosa food called Mphokogqo (Q is a click) it was, ummm, interesting. Its like pop (similar to rice) with rotten sour milk on-top..YUM!!

Umngqusho (Mngqusho) is a favorite traditional dish of the Xhosa people in South Africa made of samp and cowpeas. Samp (or stampmielies, stamp) is very similar to American hominy or posole: both are de-hulled dried corn (maize). In the case of samp, however, the corn kernels are crushed or broken into pieces which are easier to cook and eat. If you cannot find samp, buy dry hominy and use a rolling pin or a mortar and pestle to crush or break the kernels, being careful not to grind them into flour. Cowpeas are a variety of the American black-eyed pea (use whichever is obtainable). In South Africa, dried samp and beans are sold already mixed and ready to use. Samp is sometimes served with fried onions, or as a side dish with any main course that has its own gravy.

So check this out, the other night, like during the middle of the night, I woke up...wait wait wait, I forgot to tell you we put the beds together to make a bunk bed..okay, soo I woke up and like the top bunk was like falling down on me, and it was heavy! Like I was not all there cuz I was like half asleep so I wasn't too sure what was going on, but eventually Elder McD came down from the top bunk and like we put the bed back together and went back to sleep, but it was weird! haha. When my district leader took my report/interviewed me, he asked what the worst part of the week was....and it was SO GREAT that the only bummer the entire week was when I didn't get any post :( shame haha

Can you find the 7 visions of Lehi?  Here are some cool scriptures I came across this week.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-23, Hebrews 12:1, and D&C 42:61

HEY! tell me something that made you smile this past week! I wanna hear it :)

I was just looking in my planner at this upcomming week, and it's honestly pretty booked already! For sure wasn't like that in my last area! Our appointments here rarely fall through! Its great! We get to teach a lot! This week is Zone Conference with President Probst. AND we got some baptisms coming up soon!

Life is goood! Talk to y'all next week! Love ya!

Elder Haws

Monday, March 21, 2011

New area will be in MDANTSANE serving with ELDER MCDONALD

WOW, where do I begin!!!

Thanks for the email, as usual. the pictures were sweet. but actually I think I just got last weeks, and not this weeks? oh well.  Alright, I got lots to say, and not much time to do it.

SOOOO, as you know, this week was transfer week. normally, we are called by the AP's (assistant to the president) on tuesday morning between 7 am and 10 am and we are told our transfer news. So on Tuesday morning, as soon as I got out of the shower, like the second I turned off the water, Elder Frost banged on the door and said "hurry up, presidnet is on the phone" I was like ahhh. So I threw a towel on, still wet, and stood there and Elder Frost got his news then handed the phone over to me. now, President Probst's voice is one of a kind. I can still hear and remember what he said. "Good morning Elder Haws, how are ya?" "I'm good presidnet, just standing here in my towel" he laughed! hahah. Then he was like "Well, are you ready for some tranfer news?" "Yes president" "Good. well, we thank you for all the hard work you've done in East London, etc etc,"Then he was scaring me by saying "Are you ready for some more responsibility?" haha  then he said you're new area will be in MDANTSANE serving with ELDER MCDONALD!!!!!!!!!!!!

We met Elder McDonald and family in St George before Dusty left on his mission...

Soo then all day on Tuesday Elder Frost and I went around and visited lots of people and got some goodbye pictures with some people. It was kinda sad! I got to see most everyone that I wanted to, so that was nice. and we finished off the night with a nice DA with bishop! Elder Hastings and Olivier are staying the same, and the new elder in the area replacing me is Elder Kyvie or something like that. He's from Kenya and is one of the skinniest person I've ever seen! He also is very shy and new in the gospel. Elder Frost will be doing most of the talking, thats for sure! He's a cool kid. I'm not sure why president put him in a waking area, but they do gets lots of DA's. I wish them the best of luck!

So, that night we stayed up till like midnight signing journals and I started packing up and finished in the morning.

If you look on a map, Mdantsane is very close to East London. so I actually stay in East London, like 10 minutes away from where I used to stay! Its a nice place, no complaints about my new boarding!

Elder McDonald said he like screamed on the phone at president cuz he was so happy to serve with me! haha. weird huh! I've been in his living room, and now we're serving together! He's been in MD (mdantsane) all of his mission, but has been in this part of MD for over 3 months now, so he knows the area really well. This area is a driving area, so that's kinda nice. The car is a MANUAL!! I'll go into more detail next time about more stuff.

MD is a township!! Oh man, it is WAYY different than East London, town.

Alright, so I made this list of things I experienced/saw after only 5 days in MD........we had a drunk guy running after our car and shouting, another drunk guy came in during one of our lessons and just sat down and wouldnt leave, then started talking to himself, I saw a big mamma squat down and start peeing for the world to see, I saw an old guy just walking a goat on a leash down the street, I saw a kid with no pants on just chillin on the side of the road, I've seen many drunk people stumbling in the middle of the street and others just passed out on the side of the road..just wasted, I've had the famous Mgqushu (Q is a click) it tastes good, but very fatening haha, we met this one lady and she said a CRAZY prayer and was like shouting in Xhosa, I've taught a lesson in a shack, and taught a guy who pretty much didn't understand a word we were saying, I've been called MLUNGU (white boy) many many times, and see people just burning their trash in certain places. now remember, its been only 5 days here! there's even more things to say, but I'll stop there.

When I met a member of the bishopric, I didnt know what he looked like, but when we got to his house, a guy was just WASTED!! BUT it was actually him! he was just pretending! dude, he had me going. he was like stumbling around and stuff, but then just was normal and we all started laughing.

Church on Sunday was...umm..different!! thats for dang sure! This ward has more less actives than active members. in church yesterday, me. Elder McDonald, and one other elder were the only white people in the entire place! It was weird. During church, the mostly speak in Xhosa...which they aren't supposed to!

Listen to this...sooo this area is on FIRE!!! Seriously. The work here is bumpin! So this past week they had 8 baptisms, so this week they needed to be confirmed. during sacrament meeting, they called me and Elder McDonald up, plus one other companionship up, along with the bishop to confirm them. I quickly realized that I was going to be confirming someone!! AHHH!! I was scared! hahaha defiantly wasn't expecting to do that! but the bishop looked at me and said "You're turn" haha! lucky, the guy didn't have any clicks in his name! haha I was a neat experience for sure!

Well, I could type a lot more, but time is up! Serving in township is gonna be a fun experience! Talk to you guys next week!

Miss ya!
Elder Haws

Monday, March 14, 2011

This week I clicked 6 months!

.... our email did not get through to Dusty this week!

WOOOW!!! thats cool, my family doesnt love me :(   haha   what the heck, no email this week?!

Anyway, I've had a good week. it was most likely my last week here in East London, cuz this week is transfer week! we get our news on Tuesday morning, and get on a bus or plane on Wednesday! im not 100% positive that I'll be going, but not many missionaries stay in their greenie area for more than 6 months. so mentally I've kinda been preparing myself to go. I'm kinda sad though, cuz we got like 3 solid baptisms coming up in the month of april, and I probley wont be here! shame. we've worked hard to prepare them, and i wont be able to be there with them on their special day. but, thats just how missionary work is. Im really gonna miss Daz, and he said he'll miss me! haha. (I was just thinking, if I dont get transferred, this email is gonna be weird haha) bad news, Yolanda is pregnant! dumb. like she has been pregnant for a few months now, so thats why she hasnt been coming to church.

On Tuesday we had our zone training with President and Sister Probst! it was great. All the missionaries from the zone, like the ones from Port Alfred and Gramstown came. It was nice to see them. the food at zone conference was wayy good. in the morning we got like trained and practiced stuff by like doing role plays, then had lunch, but then in the afternoon, we watched a movie. "Facing The Giants" wow, what a great movie! I think you've seen it before, but you should watch it again. its about this high school coach who faces all these challenges, but in the end, everything is good and they win the final game and stuff. president applied it to our work here on mission. it was sweet. but it was about high school football, and it brought back some goood memories...back in the glory days of high school football! haha.

Bad news, we kinda made a surprise visit to Daz, and he answered the door with his shirt off, and was drunk! what the heck! haha. it was weird to see him like that, and we'll address the problem, and probley push his baptismal date back a week or so. He'll be alright. it was funny, I said the closing prayer, and he had a big delay when I said amen. haha. and then he gave me and Elder Frost kinda like a awkward long hug when we were leaving haha.

Yesterday was bitter sweet. probley the last sunday in the East London 3rd ward! sad. soo like saturday night and a few night previous to that, I couldnt really sleep cuz I was just pumped to bear my testimony. BUT, the 3rd ward is amazing, and as soon as the bishop sat down, there was a flocking of people to go up and bear their testimonies! like, half of the ward went up. my hopes were crushed. I mean, I wanted to go up, and I guess I shoulda, but it was their time. oh well. my favorite testimony was that of one of the less active girls in the ward. I met her back in october, and she just didnt seem happy with life and hadn't come to church in a longg time. but, with our hard work and her desire to fix her life, good things happened. She hasn't missed a Sunday of church for like almost 3 months now! She now dressed modestly and honestly is just SO much more happy, all of the time! that's the only way I can explain it. She is well on her way to going to the temple when the ward goes in October for their yearly temple trip.  Shes the only member in her family, and has to walk like 15 minutes to church. anyway, she got up and bore an amazing testimony. It was great!

After church, that crazy farm lady came up to me and was tearing up a little bit, cuz it was probley my last Sunday. it was kinda weird to see a tough and tough lady like her get emotional, but it was cool.

Yessie I was freakin starving yesterday! I love fast Sunday, but walking in the blazing heat in the afternoon, feeling tired and dehydrated was rough. but I survived, and mama fazeka fed us an AMAZING meal, so it was all good. I was soo full!

I'm starting to kinda understand cricket, just a little bit! it's interesting to watch. A big tournament is going on, but USA doesn't have a team!

This week I clicked 6 months! 1/4th of the way done! crazy aye?!  Well, maybe next week I'll be emailing you from a different part of South Africa, and have a new companion!

Miss you guys! talk to y'all next week


just a shortcut to one of our appointments

thats just right outside our boarding

check out that MASSIVE spider..ya, only in Africa

love that sign

we cleared out that entire garden...

Monday, March 7, 2011

You're not gonna believe what we found in the toilet...a FROG!!

Hello, thanks for the email.

Thats cool that Kelly gave my missionary moment in church!

This week was super! One of the busiest on mission so far! We had some booked days and some amazing appointments. Yessie I'm tired! One lesson that stood out to me was when we taught Daz. We watched the general conference by president Monson...the 3 R's of choice. We left him the temple Ensign and he loved it! that guy is a stud

Dad, you're gonna be jealous/proud....I played SQUASH this morning! it actually was a blast! It was a good workout.

This Sunday was stake conference! super good meeting. I had to stand at the door and greet everyone cuz the other 3 elders were in choir and were practicing, and the other elders in the stake didn't feel like greeting people, so I shook a lot of hands...but it was fun! our ward mission leader spoke about how a belief becomes a knowledge (I've seen that on mission) President and sister Probst were there! Have I mentioned how amazing president Probst is?! He gave an incredible talk. one thing he said really stood out to me...take care of the Lords business and he'll take care of yours. so true! then, Elder Hill of the area presidency addressed us. he gave a great talk, and mentioned about his trip to the sacred grove. he said that he found out the weather reports during the spring of 1820 and said there were only 2 sunny days that spring, March 27 & 28..and one of those days was a Sunday, so it was probably on that day that "it" happened. he also said that the owner of the grove isn't a member, but said that 6 trees that were around in 1820 are still there, and they're called the witness trees! it made me think about how we saw Alvin's tree when we were there.

Mommy, its a good thing that you don't watch me throughout the day and know some of the crazy things I do, sometimes. here in SA there's no such thing as J walking...sooo we cross crazy streets and cars zoom right past us, like we just stand in the middle of the Oxford..the busiest street. it's kinda scary, but fun at the same time!

The other night we came home and you're not gonna believe what we found in the toilet...a FROG!! Only in Africa!! haha We tired to flush him down, but that little guy hung on for dear life, so I scooped him up and set him free haha

I found like my 2 new favorite hymns. both from the most recent general conference. hymn #9 and #269!  I finished the Book of Mormon..only took me 2 months! I love that book! Now, on to the New Testament! I love my hour of personal study each and every morning.

Well, this is probably my last full week in East London. I'm gonna make the most of it and live it up and enjoy it!

Talk to you next week!

Love ya!
Elder Haws