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Monday, April 25, 2011

On April 21, 2010 was when I got my mission call...

Hey family

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY MOMMYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was thinking about you a lot yesterday! You didn't even mention it in the email...hmmmm...testing me to see if I remembered, huh?! haha. to be honest, I cant remember how "young" you are. Isn't it like 35 or something like that. dang, you look good for your age! hahah.

Good news, I finally got the package! YES. It looked like it had been beaten up, but it made it! wow, what a POWERFUL package. The belt is perfect, I noticed dad is wearing MY winter jacket, sweeeet tie and MAP, the USB thingy is nice, good vitamins and candy...but yessie I have enough Q-Tips to last a lifetime! haha. but one thing...we're not allowed to listen to music with headphones..cuz it isolates us from our companion..

Yeah, I got sister Clarks email, I got grandmas address, my $14 tennis shoes are fine, the food here is still good...and yeah that like 30 seconds in grandmas car didn't do to much haha.

Last week was hectic. major car problems. the car is old, like you guys, (haha) and has like 98,000 K's on it. on tuesday night when we were going to our last appointment of the day, in a rough area of the township, right next to a tavern (bar) Elder McD said to me "elder, something bad just happened" and said the car key BROKE! dang it. We got everything eventually sorted out, but we just had to sit for a while and wait for the zone leaders to drive back into town (20 minutes one way) and get the replacement keys. Then drive back to give them to us. We didnt get home till a little after 10, and still had to write in the area book, plan for the next day, and eat. then, the next day, steam was like coming up from under the hood...and we discovered a pipe had a leak. later that day, we were told to come back into town and get it taken care of. long story short, that day we only taught 1 lesson and came back from the area at like 4 o'clock and just hung out the rest of the day, but we did missionary work and studied and stuff. the next morning the car was back into working condition, but it for sure needs to get serviced sooon.

Oh, I almost forgot...we got our TRANSFER NEWS this morning! very unusual, but good cuz now I know that I'll still be here, and that will make shopping today easier. So Elder McD is going to Namibia! Good for him. My new companion is Elder Barlow...from Detroit. he's in my transfer, meaning he came on mission the same time as I did, so I know that chap. He's cool. I'm excited! Sooo that means I'm gonna be doing a boat load of driving! yahoo. haha. Its getting more comfortable to drive a manual, so im not dreading it. I'll be a pro in no time. They really celebrate Good Frinday here. They had like an activity and stuff at church...aka free food for the missionaries! haha that was nice.

Had a good Easter yesterday. No easter bunny though haha. Church was pretty much normal, and so was the rest of the day. Just going around doing missionary work and teaching people the gospel. Lwazi got baptized yesterday! that went well. he was excited and happy to get baptized.

This morning we woke up a bit early, scooped up the other elders, and drove over to the beach for our morning run! It was kinda cloudy, but still gorgeous. Its neat to see the sun RISE up over the ocean, rather than SET like it does back home.

Man, I'm gonna really miss Elder McDonald. the guy is a work-horse, and knows how to have fun! always pulling pranks on people, always happy, always being a missionary. Good thing we like each-other, cuz we're been together alot. Before mission, in the same room at the MTC, the one night we stayed at the mission home we were in the same room, same plane to East London, saw each-other most every p-day, and we were side by side and within sight and sound for 6 weeks! Man, good times!

On April 21, 2010 was when I got my mission it has been one year since that day I opened my mission call. seems like yesterday.

I got lots of pictures I would like to send home, but today I couldnt get a cord/camera to plug into the computer so that I could send them home...hopefully next week! I know you like pictures, but sometimes they take a longgg time to upload.

Well, thats all from here in the mission field. another 6 weeks living in East London and working in Mdantsane. man, I know this town like the back of my hand...but I love it here!

Talk to you next week

Elder Haws

Monday, April 18, 2011

So I had to do 140 push-ups....

Hi Haws family and friends!

How's it? Short email, but thats okay. BAD package, or letter from my sista :( ... it'll get here eventually, just gotta be patient. I'm not worried.

Glad to hear the Ragnar dinner and race went well! This morning we ran what we call "The Big Kahuna!" haha we had to wake up early cuz the run took like 30 minutes. Yessie, it was a watch the sunrise over the Indian Ocean.  House music is sweet. All the taxi drivers BUMP it in their taxi's. and yeahh black people can DANCE!

I only get Dear Elder letters from grandma once and a while.  I have no clue who looks at my blog here in SA now haha.  Are you guys still marking off the days on the missionary calendar thingy?   

Soo I was at the Lubelwana house, and they mentioned about Elder Munion...remember, the RM from here who stays in Logan and Kelly and I went to his house that one night! Yeah, I guess they knew him. and also, Elder Frost said he saw Elder Munion's name on teaching records! haha cool.

Another cool thing...during conference this weekend..during the priesthood session..the choir director for the Logan institute Salmon..yeah, he was my institute teacher!! It was awesome to see him! He conducted "Guide Me to Thee" and I saw a guy named Spencer...he lived on my floor at USU and we went to the temple to do baptisms once or twice.

Email this to Aunt Julie : Hey Aunt Julie…in answer to your question in your last letter about what the young women do here for answer is that I don’t really know too well to be honest! Um, I don’t really get to hear what they do, but I do know that here in a township, the young women program is not very strong. Now that I think about it, maybe they don’t even meet during the week?? No one has a car here, and its hard for people here to find money for transport. It is very dangerous for people, especially girls, to walk around the streets of Mdantsane at night, so I'm not sure when they meet for mutual. I do know that boys meet and play soccer at the chapel, and the ward has a small like dance group.

Relaxing with Elder Thole during our lunch break on exchanges!
yeah, steering wheel on the wrong side! Hectic
I went on exchanges this week with Elder Thole, from Zambia. I have to admit, I was nervous to have to drive ALL day with a manual, but hey I survived. I was proud of myself. Heavenly Father answers prayers haha. I only stalled it like twice!!! and I drove like 90+ K's! I was wiped out after that day! my brain had to really concentrate and focus all day, cuz it was my area. we had fun together. Now my confidence in driving a manual is alot better.

We taught the FHE in NU 3 on Wendnsday night. We decided to do it on the Atonement! Alright, I'm gonna attempt to explain what happened. So we baked brownies, and in order for the people to be able to eat the brownie, I had to do 10 pushups. It went well, and everyone thought it was fun to make me suffer and do the pushups. but then after I did like 80, Elder McD offered the brownie to this shy girl, and she felt bad for me, and didn't wanna make me go through the pain, so she didnt accept the brownie. That was fine, but I still had to do 10 pushups! Can you see the point of the lesson? I hope you can. Well it ended up that 14 people were I had to do 140 push-ups! I was impressed with myself! Yeah, the last 20 were tough, but I was surprised with my strength! Not bad for a guy who hasn't really worked out too much for over 7 months! haha. Then, after the pushups, I had to attempt to teach about the atonement haha. I occasionally had to wipe drops of sweat from my face..but it was all good! The lesson actually turned out to be super spiritual! Everyone that was there said they really liked it. I was happy, but yessie I was sore for the next 3 days!

The NU 3 FHE after I did the pushups
 Witnessed a miracle this week. we needed to visit this guy named Lwazi, but the poor guy doesn't have a phone, and went to town for a while, so it was impossible to get a hold of him, and we really needed to. Anyway, we randomly decided to check up on this one investigator, and she wasn't home, but as we were walking to the car, we just "happened" so see Lwazi running right past perfect timing! It was great. We scheduled a time when we could visit him, and now hopefully he'll get baptized this Sunday!

Oh man, had a stressful moment this week! So President has gone around to each district and zone to teach us the fundamentals of Preach My how to begin teaching, how to ask good questions, teach by the spirit, teach people not lessons, etc. Sooo him and his wife decided to go around with EACH of the companionship's in the entire mission and teach with them! Soo on Friday, the mission president and his wife were our "fellow-shippers" haha! I was scared, and to make matters worse, the person we scheduled to teach bounced us that morning and so we had to change our entire plans to try and find someone to teach! They were coming at noon to teach, so we had to scramble, but after some prayers and phone calls, we found someone to teach! Lets just say I was relieved after the lesson was over! haha. It went really well, and he said we did a great job. It was funny...the person we were teaching picked on President Probst to give the closing prayer! hahaha.

General conference this past weekend was awesome! We got to watch all the sessions! There were some good talks aye?! I especially liked priesthood session, and Saturday and Sunday afternoon! I cant wait till we get the conference editions of the Liahona so that I can go back and look over/study the talks more in depth!

Alright, last time you guys failed on giving me a happy/fun moment from the past week!! Come on now haha. If there's nothing exciting that happened, then dang it do something fun! okay?! I'll be following up next week...just like I follow up with my investigators. I invite, you commit, I follow up. haha

Well, my time on the computer is up. Hope you enjoyed my email this week!

Till next week!

Love,  Elder Dusty Haws...missionary...Mdantsane, South Africa :)

After Mamma George's birthday Braai!

Sibulele's baptism!
Doin' some service for Zameka and Nosibosiso

Here's all the elders working in Mdantsane! We took this picture before zone conference

Monday, April 11, 2011

....... HaPpY 20th BiRtHdaY .......

Hey best family ever!

Your son is now freakin' 20 years does that make you feel?! I hope old, cuz I sure do feel old! 20, wow. well, I have to admit, I was super bummed when I didn't get my promised letter from Kelly, and I was sad when the zone leaders said I didnt get a package from you guys! darn, this week! Post is just slow all the time, it'll get here. Something to look forward to.yeah, defiantly didnt get any cake yesterday, but I'm glad you guys did, and that the Barkers did!

Aunt Julie sent me a nice card and package that had already been opened a little bit, but the card was sweet. it said "missionary birthday's aren't about getting gifts and cakes..but giving the gift of the gospel." love that! Sister Probst called me yesrterday morning and wished me a happy birthday, that was nice. but yesterday just seemed like a normal day. We taught about the restoration in 3 lessons, back to back!

The batism went well. Elder McD let me borrow his white tie and pants, so that was nice. Sibulele is I guess they decided to only fill up the font a little the water went up to my thighs! haha it wasn't that bad. I'll send pics next week.

People here do have phones, but everything is based on airtime. Like you have to buy it. and they call texts "SMS's" people never have airtime, so they send us a "please call" which is free, and we normally just call them back.  Thats funny grandma Strang read that letter I sent her. haha?

Holy cow, I really had to buckle down and start driving this week! Good heck, Its HARD! haha driving a manual, in SA, on the wrong side of the road, is no easy task. The toughest part is stopping on a hill. and the reason I HAD to start practicing is cuz tomorrow is its ME who will be driving ALL DAY and Elder McD will go work in NU 6 & 9 with Elder Farley. I'm scared! haha. Talk about baptism by fire! haha

Yeah I'm still staying busyyy. Elder McD doesnt know what a 5 minute break is! hahah I love it, we work work work. always gotta be doing something.  Me? Nervous for a baptism? No ways! I was excited as heck!

Keep up that running daddy! dang old man, I'm impressed!! You're such a stud. in Xhosa "es koko" means "you're the man" haha! I run every morning, but not as far as you. Keep me updated on your new calling. Conference this upcoming weekend is just like they do it in the states...Saturday and Sunday. You lazy bum, laying in bed, reading the letter from your missionary son! haha doesnt get any better than that! Do you still have the same phone?

Help me out here...I need grandma Haws's address. k, thanks! and you NEVER answered me if Aunt Sue got my letter??

Can you do me another favor...k, sweet, you're too kind! haha one of the Mormon messages by Elder Holland is about a guy and his car breaks down, then he fixes it, then it breaks down again, but the guy is determined, what what what. I cant remember the whole thing...but it would be sweet if I got that talk and like used it in a lesson or spiritual could you maybe find it and sent it to me..enkosi (thanks in Xhosa)

This past week was April 6th..the day Christ was born, and the day the church was organized all the way back in 1830. and on that day, there were 56 members...and now look at the church! amazing.

Soo I LOVE this it and you'll know why! its about Nigerian sisters, but it's still in Africa and people here would do the EXACT same thing...and do do it every Sunday when they walk to church.. "Seeing the promises afar off. Anne C. Pingree. November 2003 Sat, AM session"

I like this scripture..Alma 26:27 and the hymn 322.

This morning we had a "deep doctrine" companionship study. For some reason Elder McD loves deep doctrine. but we discovered that on the other worlds and planets, they each have an Adam..look it up! Moses 1:33-34. yeah, for sure wont be telling my investigators about that when i teach the plan of salvation haha.

DAD, HELLOOO?! umm Book of Mormon giving away/being a missionary update! I'm waiting.............................. haha :) come on mfethu!

Yeah yeah yeah mommy I brush my teeth and floss. "cry no more" as Elder Nkutha would say. He talks biblically haha you guys didn't even comment about the crest I sent home with all the elders on it.  I'll let you know of the details of the phone call as the time grows closer..dont worry mommy, no need to stress! you'll get to talk to your son!

How could I almost forget, I CLICKED 7 months on Saturday! wow! rollin' rollin' rollin'  Tonight we're gonna get ROMANS PIZZA to celebrate my birthday a little bit, that will be fun! that pizza is divine!

Have a great week!
Love your 20 year old son,

PS that cake looks GOOOD!! 
(We sent him a picture of us eating a piece of chocolate birthday cake and candle, celebrating)

Monday, April 4, 2011

LOOK WHAT WAS DONE IN 2 - 0 - 1 - 1

Mfethu! (Dude in Xhosa)

Short but sweet email…thanks!  No we didn’t watch conference…probably on the 17th or 24th. Didn’t get the package yet..this Friday hopefully! And yeah, the weather has chilled down a little bit..especially in the morning when we go running…but during the day the weather is nice!

I have very few winter clothes…and don’t have any plans in the near future to buy any! Haha. I'm just scared that im gonna be over weight when I have to fly when I eventually get transferred..ya know?

This week was fantastic. the highlight had to have been Zone Conference! here are some facts about our mission...123 elders currently serving, 20 wards and 6 branches, 94 baptisms as of March 17th...and the theme is "LOOK WHAT WAS DONE IN 2 - 0 - 1 - 1" haha

A picture from out baptism yesterday. Axoile is the guy with his arms folded in the middle. the OLD dude walks a longg way to church every sunday, and doesnt speak much english, he's from the zone leaders area. some random people just decided to get in the picture haha
I love zone conference. president said some powerful things. he explained how we were JR apostles. Think about it, the only other people who are addressed as elders are the apostles! he also explained how we literally are the people who decide who gets into His church, and how divine our calling is. When we are representing Him, we have to do it His way. soo that made me want to be even more obedient, even though I already am. president also said how the Lord doesnt make mistakes, and how he hand selected me to serve in this part of the world at this time. and he used a cool scripture found in Acts 17:26 about how God pretty much knows how everything will happen in our lives. He said the purpose of church, and more importantly zone conference/ general conference, heck any conference in the church is to receive revelation!

We watched a kinda "dorky" short cartoon movie clip called "You Are Special" about like this wooden guy who never thought he was good enough, but it didn't matter what anyone else thinks..its what heavenly father thinks, plus other good messages and stuff. it was good and meaningful.

One thing we had to do for conference was to prepare a 3 spontaneous talks! like president would just call on 3 of us to come up and talk about certain missionary teaching skills and stuff. so the night before, like late at night, elder McD and I were like cramming for the test! haha I just wrote down a few thougths and things, but it felt like school all over again! haha

So during lunch of zone conference, the 16 elders working in MD who were there for the conference sang to me and 2 other elders "Happy Birthday" it was nice. We have a little bit of a different version that we sing! haha. We have a baptism next Sunday..on my birthday..and she asked if I would baptize her! So that'll be sweet! its unreal to think that im gonna be 20! AH!

This week during one of our lessons this crazy/naughty kid was making such a noise! he was really distracting from the spirit, and this was an important lesson, so i had to "make a plan" and take matters into my own hands. I said "izapha" meaning "come here" I sat him down in the chair next to me and had him draw on my planner...and amazingly it shut him up! haha he kept saying stuff to me in Xhosa, but I coulnt understand much, so I could only really say the few same words that I know over and over again. haha I still participated in the lesson, but just glad i could calm that kid down haha.

We visited this sweet super old mamma, shes a member...but has no teeth! haha.  I went on exchanges with Elder Farley! We walked pretty much all day, so it brought back good memories from my last area. he's been out only 4 months, so in all the lessons we taught, I was like the senior companion and had to do most of the talking and stuff. it was kinda fun, but more of a responsibility. It was good practice for when I become a senior companion soon. and yessie during one lesson this girl was asking some deep questions..and Elder Farley just looked at me and I smiled and tried to answer them the best that I could! haha.

We fasted starting on Saturday afternoon, but Sunday after church we had 2 DA's! haha one at 3, and then one at 5! we were sufficiently "wounded" as our fellow-shippers say when they get fed a lot of food! haha. and yessie it was AMAZING Xhosa food! yum yum

Last night on "P-Day Eve" we laid out under the stars for a little bit as a district. It was kinda homo, but fun! there's lots of stars here in Africa. I even saw a shooting star!!

For our 2 FHE (family home evening) groups, we watched "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" I love that movie! At the very end, it shows the picture of the Nauvoo temple, and a part of the verse in D&C 128:22 comes says "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" that inspired me. its so true! im engaged in this great work!

I've recently thinking how great my family is. I sure have been blessed to be part of a loving family and to have such good friends and relatives supporting me through my entire life. what a blessing.

Mom, Dad, and Kelly, I love you because you are easy to love.

Miss you bunches!

That's my new district....shacks
Good day work of service

Cooking dinner at like 10pm after a long day. we put chicken, bacon, veggies, tomatoes with was gooood