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Monday, May 30, 2011

The food down here is amazing! I love it, so much!

Dear Family,

Here is the shortened video of Highway! Yes, that is pure raw meat on those tables. Sorry if it is hard to see. That place is crazyyy during busy times of the day. TIA. Did you like all those pictures I sent home?! I took a lot this week. (Pictures did not come through this week for some reason) Last p-day we went golfing....DANG! that was freakin fun. I asked the guy in the shop if he knew Torrey Pines...and he was jealous I was from there and asked "um why are you here?" haha.

Yeah mommy, I'm staying warm. I feel spoiled that I get to sit in a car all day, but people here don't have much heating in their houses, so sometimes lessons can be a tad bit chilly. Heck yeah I see mammas carrying things on their head ALL of the time! Its very common. I think their fake hair has something to do with it, and they put like a wrap on their head, so it balances it out.

Yeah, I've stayed at about the same weight. We watched all of those PMG DVD's in the MTC, but not really since then. I know they're from San Diego. that's good to hear you had a fireside..get that missionary work bumpin' in PQ! who knows, someday it's gonna be on fire like the work here in Mdantsane is!

It snows a tiny bit in Queenstown, and that might be the only place in the mission that that happens, but it probably snows other places in SA.

The food down here is amazing! I love it, so much. especially when the big Xhosa mammas cook a TON of food and the taste is indescribably! But some things that people feed us are...uhhh...African!  Elder Farley is convinced that he will never eat fish, cuz he always gets sick afterwards.  Last night on the drive home he said "Elder Haws, pull over" but he felt better after haha.

Yeah I keep a journal about every other day...and I don't write huge entries, but I do write down things I wanna remember.

Lets see, man, a lot has happened this past week. I had a blast with Elder Farley on exchanges. It was nice, cuz I went to his area, and he was totally in charge the entire day, so I could relax a bit.  Elder Barlow held down the fort in NU 1,3 & 4 while I was gone. At the end of the day, I really missed my area! and we walked that day, and it was kinda chilly and rainy, so I am grateful for the car. Thursday we had a booked day..taught 6 lessons, and Friday I drove over 130 K's cuz we went to the area, then at like 3 o'clock we had to drive the zone leaders back to town to fetch their car from the shop.

Like the pictures show, we did that sweet service project on Saturday. It went very well. It took us most of the day, but it needed to be fixed. The shack looked like it was going to fall over. Shakes, the guy who used to stay there, who is now on mission serving in Uganda, will be happy to know that we did that for his grandma. Shakes is a legend in Mdantsane. while he was still here, if he wasn't with the missionaries fellow-shipping, he was either visiting members, cleaning the chapel, or doing service. I kid you not. It was unbelievable. He is for sure one of the most Christ-like people that I have ever met before, and yessie he knows the gospel!

Yesterday was our 2 baptisms! wow, what a special day. I told Chris that missionaries come and go, but people in the ward most likely stick around, so it would be nice if one of the members baptized him, but he told me he was like super-glue..he was stuck on ME! I was honored that he wanted me to. then, mamma Pam, who is over 60 and not so limber as she used to be, also asked if I would baptize her. so I did! What a special experience! yoahh the water was chilly, but it was perfect. I dunked mamma Pam, then Sinothando (Chris) was next. it was awesome. They both were SO happy! and I was too. and even better, we had 2 investigators that are well on their way to be baptized there and they witnessed the baptism.

Sad news, I saw a dead guy laying in the street next to a car with a big dent in it. sad. most likely was drunk. Rest in peace.

But, on a happier note, on Thursday night, after a busy day in the mission field, our district decided to spend the night at Spur! now, Spur is a sweeeet restaurant in town! Just like any popular place in the states...and the naughty thing there are TV's! and it just so happened to be the night that the championship for soccer was on...Manchester United and Barcelona! hahah! oops. We watched the first half and enjoyed some dessert. We also got to watch some Rugby! WOW! What a freakin' awesome sport! sheesh! Those oaks are Massive! Big and super fast! I'm not sure about all of the rules of the game, but it was fun and exciting to watch, even though we weren't really supposed to. Trust me, there are a lot of missionaries out there who do a lot worse! haha

Well, this could be my last full week here in East London and Mdantsane! Who knows, but what I do know is that I have been in East London for a very long time. Everyone says EL is the place to be, and I can see why!  I'm excited to get transfer news...maybe I'll stay, maybe I'll go! Stay tuned.

So already this year I finished the Book of Mormon in 2 months, and have blazed through most the new testament and am currently in Romans. Check out Romans chapter 12. Short, but powerful. also, I discovered an amazing set of verses on the Atonement. D&C 45:3-5

The church is true!
Keep Well

Elder Dusty Haws

P.S. I just got a phone call from the mission vehicle coordinator and he said that today we're going to be getting a new car! yahoo!

Monday, May 23, 2011

That's a lot of oranges... TIA -- THIS IS AFRICA

Hey bestest family!

Thanks for the long email. Sounds like things are going well back home in beautiful San Diego. The sticker is fine. I do my laundry in my boarding with my washing machine, but have to hang up the clothes on a line, cuz dryers don't really exist over here. Thank goodness I have a washing machine at this boarding, cuz some don' that means washing by hand! hooray!  haha. No news on sharks down here, but there were people that thought it was judgement day or whatever, and it seemed like a pretty normal day to me. The milk quote is just a random thing that Elder Thole says sometimes, but yeah the milk goes bad within like 3 days here, and sometimes the day it says it expires is like 2 days after you buy it! haha. and I'm coming up on 9 months, not 10. I think I will be transferred, cuz I've been living in East London my entire mission so far, but you never know. If I stay, I wont be bothered and just work hard wherever the Lord calls me to serve. elder McD is actually still in Cape Town, cuz there's been troubles in getting him his visa for Namibia, so he's just in a 3-some in Cape Town. and I'll look out for that Logan elder!

So this investigator asked me how I can help her get a job back in the US!! hahahaha I was like ummmmm, I have no clue. haha

I went on exchanges with Elder Thole this week! We had some fun together. He is powerful. I love Elder Barlow, but sometimes its just nice to hang out and serve with someone else.

We had a nice visit with president and his wife. he talked to us about the importance of keeping our area book up to date. the area book is the teaching records of all the people we teach, and have taught. we fill it out each and every day. president showed us 3 Nephi 23 where the Lord asks Nephi about the records, and he kinda looks down and kicks the dirt, and says that he didn't keep any. We keep our area book very up to date and current, so no worries there. also, president talked about the temple, how we obviously don't get to go to the temple for 2 years cuz its outside of our mission, but he explained how the Lord thinks and knows how important the work we're doing here is, so he lets us labor here and then we can just go home and go to the temple a lot. I know I am, and I got a lot of catch up work to do...I miss the temple! president said sometimes, pull out your temple recommend and ask the spirit to bring to your remembrance the experience of going to the temple. cool, huh? I got to sit with sister Probst while Elder Barlow was with president, and I asked her what her favorite scripture was, and she had a hard time, but she likes Enos 1:27 and 1 Nephi 4:6 and I asked president and he struggled as well and said it changes from day to day, but loves D&C 15 and 16. Talking about how the most greatest work is to declare the gospel. and he loves 2 Nephi 31...a powerful chapter that we use a lot when we teach the doctrine!

My interview with president was amazing! I love that man. We talked about a lot of things, and he told me some cool things.

We had a powerful with a new investigator who is a referral from one of our recent converts. I'm telling you, referrals from members are the BEST type of investigators. (in other words, tell the missionaries of who you know that needs the gospel) so anyway, we taught him the doctrine of Christ, and he accepted to be baptized. he is really ready to make some changes in his life, and after the lesson, he was sad that we weren't going to visit him the next day! haha. we taught him about the Book of Mormon and restoration and he loved it. It's going to be super fun to keep teaching him and watch him learn and grow.

One morning, the Zone Leaders phoned us unexpectedly, and said to open the door for them, cuz they were going to join us for comp studies! that was fun.

we met that crazy less active..notice he's pulling up his zipper in the picture! haha I promise you, people over here just pee wherever they feel like! haha. sometimes our fellow-shippers even do it, and I'm like, come on! haha

Yesterday when Elder Barlow was confirming Heike, he forgot to say "of latter day saints" I hope that wasn't a bad thing! I just think he was a little bit nervous. Hey good news! Both Chris and mamma Pam passed their baptismal interviews yesterday! We reviewed with them a lot, and they were so ready! Chris is a powerful guy, and has totally been prepared for the gospel, and even asked if I could baptize him! so I'm looking forward to that on Sunday! but on Saturday when we visited mamma Pam, she was sick! this poor lady is amazing. she even called us and asked for money cuz she is struggling right now. She looks after 3 of her grand-kids and gets by with very little. We gave her some flour and rice, and she was very grateful. but Saturday she wasn't sure if she was going to make it to church, and if she didn't, she wouldn't be able to get baptized this Sunday. We prayed mighty that she would get better, and sure enough, this incredible and faithful woman, who is over 60 years old, made the 20 minute walk and came into church along with her 3 grand-kids. I was SO happy to see her.

We got a BIG service project coming up this Saturday. we're like making a shack...should be fun.

This morning, we went on a run and found like a jungle gym, so I was able to do 4 pull-ups and 6 can you say out of shape!? haha.

Sometimes when Elder Barlow and I see something crazy or weird, we just simply say, TIA THIS IS AFRICA!! haha.

I was wondering, could you guys sometime make a copy of that sweet family history tree thing with all the pictures of the old people on it and sent it to me...that would be cool! just a thought.

I'm not too sure what that Xhosa word is, but the word for sacrament is umthendeleko

Cool scripture = Alma 26:27

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with  patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."

Here's a cool way to remember the dispensations. check this out:

Adam - Adam
Eats - Enoch
Nuts - Noah
And - Abraham
Many - Moses
Christmas - Christ
Sweets - Smith

I sometimes feel like Nephi when he says, "I'm not mighty in writing" with these emails! Alright, time's up! We got a busy busy week upcoming! Cant wait!

Elder Haws

The kingdom of Mdantsane

Check out that mamma! that's a lot of oranges

Elder Thole and I on exchanges

Yoahh this guy! a crazy less active..with hardly any teeth...but he's sweeet

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trails today = Testimony tomorrow

What's good family?

That Ragnar sticker is not that cool on the truck, sorry! haha. That is a nice picture of Kelly. But WOW the palm tree looks SO different! that's sweet that he just climbed up and cut it. How much was it?! and what did y'all do with all the palm fawns?  Well, I'm glad to hear you guys made it home safe...even through nasty weather.
SMILEY, traditional food in township. Braaied sheep's head.
We get fed only on Sunday's after church..because yes people are very poor...but sacrifice a LOT just to feed us. Yoahh the food is goood! Xhosa mammas can cook! The other elders say they get fed some African things! Like chicken hearts and stuff. Over here they eat what is called "SMILEY" yeahhh, umm, basically its sheep head!! yummmm...haven't had that delicacy yet! Cant wait haha. It is literally half of a sheep's head, and it is smiling at you :) :) The cheeks and tongue are the tastiest parts of the head.

I never knew Ben Toolson was getting married! cool.  I better get Sadie's wedding invite!  I heard the post is better in other parts of the mission...East London/Mdantsane is not so good.

Not sure where that zip drive is..sorry. but the USB thing you sent is already filled up with my pictures...and I still have more. so I'm not sure how I'm gonna solve that problem. and I burned a CD with most all of the pictures that I've taken on mission. So they're backed up, but I would like in the next package or bigger like a 4GB memory card..that would be nice. but BAD NEWS...I took that sweeeet video of Highway....BUT it was too big to send home as an attachment..sorry!

Ya know, this has just been, once again, a wonderfully busy and hectic and tiring week here in Mdantsane. we work hard. we taught 3 days of 5 lessons a day. so that's basically show up to the area, drop the other elders in their area, so scoop up our fellow-shipper, start teaching a lesson and when that's done, hop into the car and drive to the next teaching appointment, finish that one, then scurry off to the next, etc. until its time to pick up the other elders and go home and Chow! haha.

We work a lot with recent converts. they all are doing very well. and they'd better be cuz we visit them like twice a week! haha. yesterday, Axolile and Lihle (recent converts) both gave Powerful talks in sacrament meeting! they both did a great job. and tonight at FHE, Nosibosiso (recent convert) is teaching the whole lesson. and she just turned 15. AND she was like begging to come out fellow-shipping with us, so we took her for 4 appointments, on 2 days last week. dang, she is powerful.

Yesterday we walked to church with mamma Pam. She is old, and is always late to church, so we made sure she was on time. she doesn't walk too fast, and she takes care of 3 of her grand-kids cuz their moms stay in cape town, so she basically is an amazing woman. so humble and loving. but she has a baptism date for the 29th of this month..and so does this other guy named Chris. He's just an investigator, but during FHE, he always talks and shares his thoughts...its great! they both are fun to teach and I'm excited to see them get baptized. But Heike did get baptized yesterday! she was scared of the water hahaha. she is Swati, but obviously knows Xhosa. Her name means "star" that's another thing I like about Xhosa names....they pretty much all have some sort of meaning! I love baptisms! but after church is always hectic! Elder Barlow kinda just stood there and followed me around as I went from person to person talking to them and asking them when we could come visit them this week, and also I had to line up all of the fellow-shippers to come out with us this week. but guess what, I got a boat load of appointments and a fellow-shipper for every day this week! yes!

Once upon a time, we drove past all of these kids that were playing in the road, and I like hooted (honked) a few times and smiled, and when I got out of the car, they all came sprinting up to me and like yelling and laughing and shouting "mlungu" haha and like gave me a thumbs up and always say sharp (shop) meaning its cool. these kids over here are always soo happy with the things they have and are just adorable.

Elder Barlow is still sweet. we get along great and have fun together. we teach a lot, and that's a good thing.

This week the one and only President Probst is coming to town! Time for some interviews! I'm excited to sit down and talk with the master himself! haha. it'll be great.

Umm, read Alma 17. we shared it for 2 lessons this past week. goll, Ammon is such a stud! What great faith. and yeah we meet some mean people, but that's nothing compared to those Lamanites! dang. 14 years for the Sons of and I thought 24 months is long.

Something I discovered is that you cant measure love. Its not a concrete thing, and there's no formulas to use.

Also, someone once said "trails today = testimony tomorrow" I like that.
Alright greatest family in the world, I'll talk to you guys next week...same time, same place!

Take care!

Love always, your missionary son,
Elder Dusty Haws

Just chilling in the car with Elder Barlow

"Welcome to MD!" and some random African kids

Shack attack

Mongezi Ntozakhe, the ward mission leader

The little guy got baptized by his bro

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mothers Day - Call Home... Yeah!!

Hey family!

Well, it was GREAT to talk to you guys last night. It really boosted my spirits, and once again showed me how much I really do LOVE you!! I'm glad everything went smoothly this time. I don't have much to say, but I will probably send you a SWEET video next week...I promise you that it'll make your jaw drop! It will show you true Africa! Hope you guys made it home safe and sound.

Next week's email will be longer than this, I promise!

I love you guys like I love a cup of milk.

Elder Haws

It was great to talk to Dusty on Mother's Day for about an hour.  We were in Logan picking up Kelly from USU, he was a bit jealous.  We got caught up on what he has been doing and it was good to hear his voice.  He seems to really be enjoying his time there so far, clicks 8 months today, he sent a few new pictures .....  

Cutest little girl ever!
These girls just play in the dirt all day...then make too much noise in church and during lessons

Monday, May 2, 2011

I am SO SO SO excited to talk to you guys in 6 days

Dear Family,

To answer your question, yes we will be getting a new president in July. I actually heard this morning from our landlord that Bin Ladin was dead..sweet! Havent played squash since, I'm a pro at clicking, havent gotten my speakers yet, the CD player does work, and I havent gotten any other packages yet.

Well, my companion is already done on the computer, so he's just waiting for me right now, so this will just have to be brief.  Do you like those pictures?! I hope you do. I love South Africa!

This week was sweet. I had to make 2 trips to the airport on transfer day..which was cool. It was really nice to see a bunch of other missionaries and talk to them and match names to faces. Elder McD left without really even saying goodbye at the airport :( oh well, he was kinda in a rush I guess. So far Elder Barlow is pretty cool. but to be honest, he is like the opposite of Elder McD. He just seems more relaxed and laid back for the work, whereas elder McD would work work work all day every day. His spirit for the work rubbed off on me, so now I'm putting Elder Barlow to work! haha its fun. He is not a very powerful teacher (with all do respect) and has even told me he sometimes doesnt know what to say. So basically I'm like the senior companion. I talk a lot! haha. But this past few days my throat has been a tad bit sore, so my voice was kinda gone, but I survived! I think it might have been from the change in the weather. It was kinda chilly here for a few days, but today is a normal beautiful day in East London.

My driving skillz and confidence have greatly imporved! I've driven like 600 K's this past week. we always just go from teaching appointment to teaching appointment! At the end of the day I am physically and mentally exhausted, cuz Elder Barlow doesnt know the area or people, so as of right now I have to do more of the work and take on more repsonsibility, but thats fine! I like it. its fun.

I am SO SO SO excited to talk to you guys in 6 days..and to wish my mommy a happy mothers day. I'm sorry I dont know any of the call details, but I have grandma's number and will call probley sometime in the morning. cuz heres the thing, theres 6 missionaries here that will probley have to use the same phone in the bishops office, so I wont know the exact time. I'll call you, then you can call me back on that number...just like last time! it's gonna work perfectly this time, and I dont mind saying hi to grandma and Aunt Julie or whatever, but I want to spend a majority of the time talking to the people that I LOVE the most...more than any people on the face of the earth! Mom, Dad, and Kelly! cool. well, TALK to y'all on Sunday!

Elder Haws

Dad, you never hooked your son up with that mormom message thing by Elder Holland :( next week!

Just Beautiful

gorgeous south the morning 

Mongezi is funny...but Lwazi got baptized! (like my tie?)

friends forever!

look at those eyes


this family was just baptized yesterday...that girl won R5000 for being SO cute!