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Monday, September 26, 2011

Its nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice!

Hello Family,

Family visit Kirk in Wisconsin.
That is sad news. I hope things are going well. Everyone looks wayyy good in the pictures! I will no doubt keep him in my prayers and my fast. You better tell him hi for me and that I'm thinking a lot about him and the entire Haws family and that they will be in my many many many missionary prayers. "The only way to take the sting out of death, is to take love out of life."

That must have been exciting and cool to be in Packer country! ... and I guess its a good thing that they won! haha

As for my week, it was pretty good. nothing too out of the ordinary to report on. the weather is heating up a little bit, so that is nice. and also on the 30th of this month will mark 1 entire year in East London. niceeee.

I went on exchanges with Elder Oyiembo. We had a blast, as usual. He's such a stud! It was nice to drive around all day, while Elder Wolfgramm suffers! haha jk.

I discovered that Elder Wolfgramm gets very nervous and scared during first lessons with people. I'm sure I was the same way too, back when I was still new on mission. We role play in our companion studies and I feel like that is really helping him out a lot. We stop frequently and talk about what he can say or how he can improve. Not to boast, but I know how to teach the restoration and the doctrine of Christ...but probable should be able to cuz I've been out over a year and am a district leader trainer senior companion.

Mommy, one thing that Elder Wolfgramm does is that he grinds his teeth at night! Not good, right?!

2 of the days when we were in the area, we were only able to teach 1 lesson, each of the days. not good! haha but we still worked hard, even if we didn't get to do much actual teaching

A highlight of the week was when we got our washing machine!! There was much rejoicing!! haha it is SOOOOO nice to have "clean" clothes. There is such a huge difference! its such a luxury. I guess the old saying is don't know what you got till its gone.

A neat part of the week happened on Saturday. The other elders had 2 people ready to be baptized (the 2 I interviewed) and every thing was planned out. The ward mission leader takes care of like the program and everything. but, Friday night we got an text from him saying that he wouldn't be able to make it, so it was up to us to run the baptism. and me, being the district leader, had to conduct the baptism! haha. I wasn't nervous, it actually was kinda fun! It was a cool experience.

Yesterday was Elder Wolfgramm's 20th birthday! Last Monday when we were buying food, I secretly bought pancake mix and a chocolate bar for him, so yesterday morning he got up, and while he was in the shower, I made his bed and put a happy birthday paper on his bed along with the chocolate, and then I made him some delicious pancakes straight from the celestial kingdom! haha It reminded me of when you, mommy, always made pancakes for Kelly and daddy, and NEVER for me, you're first born child and only son! haha jk. He was very very happy and surprised and grateful for what I did for him. I'm just glad he had some food to eat cuz he cant really control himself too well when it comes to food and normally eats all of it in the beginning of the week so when the weekend rolls around, he's out! haha I share with him, but heck, I kinda sometimes have the same problem too!

Some members of the ward left today to go to the temple! I am SO jealous! lucky little punks.

The scriptures for the week are Isaiah 52:7 and Mosiah 4:27
I read this somewhere "Its nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice" :)

Elder Nilson shared something with me from a book he read. He said that there are 5 ways to love: gifts, service, words of affirmation, quality time, and physical touch. There are many different languages of love. To show people more often that you love them! You can never be too loving!

Hope you travel safe and that things with Kirk go well. He'll be okay, he's tough as nails!


-Elder Haws

A helping hand

After doing some service...
South African sunset
The wonderful loving Sister Mtana and us

Monday, September 19, 2011

I've discovered a hidden talent..

and it came to pass that Elder Haws said to his family...

How'z it?! Man, what a powerful week here in South Africa. Thats cool President Wood sent you an letter. Yeah most elders get to train and be district leaders, but I am one of only a few that are currently doing it right now. More than half of my transfer are serving as just senior companions or even some are still junior companions. Not many have trained are only a handful are district leaders right now. I'll just serve where and be whatever the Lord and President Wood want me to be/do.

Mommy I dont know what paper work projects you're talking about...but the small amount of administrative work that I do is normally done during the evening. and yes, dont worry my mommy, I'm nice and warm all of the time. Check you out, maybe working at a grocery store?! which one?! haha

Our boarding is in the background
Zone Conference was absolutely amazing! We live soo close to the chapel that it was being held at, so we just walked, and as we were walking, President Wood and Renlund and their wives in their car pulled up along side us and asked where the chapel was (it was right in front of us) Elder Wolfgramm jokingly pointed the opposite direction! haha it was funny. Then I got to say HI to all of the other missionaries and then it was time for the pre-meeting with President Renlund and Wood with all the district leaders, zone leaders, and AP's. Walking into that room was like walking into the Holy of Holies! haha We all sat down and one by one introduced ourself and said where we were from. Elder Renlund said some words then asked that we one by one share one thing that was going well in our district or zone. Then after we had all done that, we all were asked to mention one thing that our district or zone could improve on! I was kinda scared, but it was exciting. after that meeting, we took that picture that I sent you and went into the chapel for the conference. It was amazing, Elder Renlund has an incredible memory, especially with our names. he said mine like 5 times! haha

President Renlund and his wife
The conference itself was freakin awesome! Soo many great insights and revelation and just spirit packed stuff! I took lots of notes and learned a ton. Elder Renlund talked about his experience of speaking in general conference! Watch his talk! Oct 2009 Sun PM session! He said that the first presidency sent him a letter like 2 months before conference saying "we would be pleased if you spoke at conference" haha and like all the talks during conference, they are not assigned a topic. Elder Renlund explained how he just sat down and he knew exactly what he should put into this talk. he said how sometimes he would wake up in the middle of the night and know exactly what part of his talk he needed to change. Then, he had to submit his talk to the first presidency to have it approved. then, here's something he swore us to secrecy, but that they wear makeup!! yeah, its true. He said he went into a room and one of the other apostles were there and this lady put makeup on him! Like on his bald head so the light wouldnt reflect too much. He said he was nervous. and when the person speaking before him said a certain line in his talk, that was Elder Renland's que to so get in the on-deck circle! He said there are 4 places where his talk is shown. He could only see like the first 4 rows of people and the rest is just black darkness haha. He said how he hopes that he wont be asked to speak again haha
Anyways, that was probley the highlight of the week. but another bright spot was when I had to do 2 baptismal interviews!! True, one was only 9 years old, and the other one was only 11 years old, but still, an interview is an interview! It was a neat experience. It was cool to get to know them and see if they were ready to get baptized, and they sure were! One of them was wayy nervous, but I tried my best to make him feel comfortable, and he lightened up. they are both excited to bet baptized, and I'm happy for them!

This week, one of our recent converts, who is 12 years old was assigned to give a talk on repentance. This poor guy struggles big time with English and to be honest, doesnt even know what repentance is! haha. so we went over to his house and I wrote the entire talk for him! then, yesterday, he got up there and nailed it! he did a fantastic job! I was soo happy. The bishop was smiling the whole time. I even put our names into his talk! haha

While I was taking reports this week, Elder Nilsson said he was having a hard time and asked for some advice from me. I was kinda caught off guard. I quickly offered up a silent prayer asking for some inspiration and the Lord helped me, as He always does, and I was able to help Elder Nilsson! Just another one of the tender mercies of the Lord. I see 'em each and every day without fail.

This morning, before we came to email, we went to the new senior couple's boarding in East London. the last time I went to their NICE boarding it was for a thanksgiving dinner! yeah, I've been in East London too long! haha but they fed us an AMAZING brunch with the other elders from the zone! It truly was a taste from home...wanna know why?! The senior couple, Elder and Sister Fowers, and from Bonita!! They're from San Diego! They are freakin epic!! They are the best ever. They have been to the black mountain building before a few times and I mentioned like a few names from the ward and he said Brad Hatch sounded familiar from scouts! They like me a lot and even passed by and dropped off some chocolate chip cookies and said they would look into getting us a washing machine that worked! haha ahh I love them!

The weather here is slowly starting to heat up! Its getting hot. heres a fun fact for you, I've discovered a hidden talent..Im good at memorizing things! weird, I know, but I've come to realize that I'm sometimes good at it.

The weekly scriptures are Psalms 119:2 and D&C 64 :32-34

Hope you guys have a great week!  I think about you guys and pray for you each and every day, without fail! I miss you, but this time apart is just showing me how much I truly do love my great family!

Elder Dusty Haws

Walkin along the road

Yes, that is a cows head

Big transfer

Monday, September 12, 2011

Friday was my 1 year click day! You only get one of those on a mission!

Malolelei famili, (tongan)

How are ya?! Thanks for the email. To answer these questions, umm no haven't made those brownies this week yet, but we will. Yeahh tyre is spelled like that here. Yes, I still remember where I was and what I was doing on that September day 10 years ago. In church one of the speakers mentioned it just briefly, but other than that, it wasn't really a topic of discussion. Sorry about the power outage, shame. Of course we missionaries have the Ensign and Liahona! I read out of them every morning when I eat my bowl of cereal. I've very familiar with the talks and stuff.

GO AGGIES, and Blotz!

You're not going to believe this...we got a DVD PLAYER in our boarding! Good thing the rental store is near our boarding, we're all caught up on the newest movies that have come out! man! There are some good ones that I've missed! hahaha just kidding! I'm not kidding about having a portable DVD player now. The zone leaders gave us the list of rules and stuff about them. Its for training purposes only, and we cant take it from the boarding and stuff. We got the District 1 & 2 and we've watched a lot of it so far! Man, those people are from San Diego, and I love/hate when they show pictures of downtown SD or of the temple! ahhh! home! haha. It actually is really good to watch and learn from those missionaries. I've perfected my teaching skills and technique from watching them and look forward to learning even more.

This week I decided to make Elder Wolfgramm senior companion for a day! He was up for the challenge, and I think that he did a good job. I just kinda sat back and he did not most, but some of the talking. he needs to really buckle down and learn/improve cuz sometimes he gets stuck in lesson and isn't sure what to say, and still never uses the scriptures when he teaches. Shame he's never read the Book of Mormon cover to cover before. but he better do something cuz he wont be a greenie forever and just look over at me and have me save him haha but I did give him some advice about how he could get more/the most out of his studies and he took my advice to heart and ever since then his studies have been more meaningful and spiritual. As for my studies, I'm still chuggin' through the Book of Mormon again and today I finished reading Our Heritage...loved it! Such great faith and sacrifice from those early saints. it truly is inspiring. Now, I've decided I'm going to start reading the Old Testament, probably not the entire thing, but at least Genesis and some of Exodus, and then just go from there.

This week we did 3 days of hardcore service! Man, it took a tole on me. I was tried a lot during the week. I think the service had something to do with it, but also the responsibility and duty of being a district leader trainer senior companion can take its tole on a person. the fact that our appointments were dropping like flies, left and right probably didn't help out either. I look over when that happens to Elder Wolfgramm to get some counsel or suggestions about what we should do, and he just never has any good ideas (no offense) haha. and another thing I've noticed/realized...I'm always fetching hungry! like right now! I just plow through food during the week, and then by the end of the week, I'm outta food! haha dang. too much walking.

My second district meeting on Friday went pretty well! It started 25 minutes late, which wasn't good. those other elders left to pick us up at 10:20 when district meeting was supposed to start at 10:30 and it takes about 20 minutes to get to Mdantsane! I lovingly rebuked them and next week they're gonna be on-time! or else haha jk. I kinda had to cut some things out of district meeting because of time, but overall I think it went really well. I prepared well and thought it turned out nicely. Now I'm already thinking about what to teach in the next district meeting.

Sunday was stake conference! It was held in town, but we just watched it in the NU13 chapel with all of the wards in Mdantsane. Basically I knew 2/3 of the people that were there! Everyone in the 2nd ward obviously, but also everyone in the 1st ward where I served with Elder McDonald and Elder Barlow. It was SOO nice to see my friends and recent converts from the 1st ward! I saw mamma Pam, and Chris, who I baptized! They were happy to see me, and I was overjoyed to see them! I saw lots of other people too. I kinda felt like a rock-star / celebrity cuz everyone was coming up to me to say hi and stuff! I felt special.

One thing that I am really really looking forward to is ZONE CONFERENCE this week! President Wood and his wife will obviously be there, but so will President Dale G. Renlund and his wife, the President of the South East Africa Area! He's a general authority! He gave an awesome talk in October 2009 about the mighty change of the heart. dude, he's coming! and before the conference, he meets with the leadership in the mission in that area...and since im a district leader, I get to be in that pre-meeting with them! All the district leaders, zone leaders, assistants to the presidents, mission president and then President Renlund! I'm excited. Gonna get some revelation on that day!

1 YEAR on mission...all of my planners
Yes, Friday was my 1 year click day! You only get one of those on a mission! It's crazy to think that I've been in South Africa (more specifically East London) for an entire year now! I cant even fathom it. I did have a nice click day though. That night we went over to Bishop's house and had a delicious DA! Man, there was too much food! haha. I ate too much, but it kinda felt good cuz most nights we go to bed and we're still a little bit hungry haha. We loved hanging out with bishop and his wife and small kids.

I saw something crazy yesterday. We were walking by some shacks, when I looked over and beheld this kid, squatting down doing the #2 business haha for the world to see! TIA

I've taken some time to kinda reflect over and think about my year of service here in Africa. I peeked at some of the goals that I have set for myself at the beginning of my mission and saw how I was doing on them. I've learned/experienced more than I ever imagined so far, and am super anxious and excited to see what this next year has in store for me. I am proud to be able to say that I have no regrets so far and that I have done the very best that I could in each of my areas and left them better than they were when I got there. I hope I have changed some peoples life, not only here, but in the eternities. I've been blessed to have been able to harvest and baptize some amazing people and hopefully have left a legacy of love in each of my areas!

Scriptures are, as follows:

Alma 13:24
For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.


D&C 80:4
Therefore, declare the things which ye have heard, and verily believe, and know to be true.

A talk, lesson, or an email doesn't need to be endless to be edifying! :)
Ofa lahi atu (I love you a lot in Tongan)

Elder Haws

Us with NU7 in the background

Us eating dinner watching "The District"

Hanging out by the beach

The new District!


Monday, September 5, 2011

My new title is District Leader Trainer Senior Companion Elder Haws

HEY family!

Logan Temple
Nice pictures! I'm sooo homesick right now! haha jk jk. Glad to hear you made it back safe and sound and that Kelly is now all squared away and sorted out. yeahh I think like 4 elders got sent up to Namibia. and shame about the Aggies! hopefully they'll be good this year!  Your awesome sister sent me their schedule in the mail! and I'm sure it would be nice to come and pick me up, but I've just always had it in my mind, since I was a little kid, to see you in the San Diego airport! Sorry. Thats cool about the sharks... and I know it's grandma's 80th birthday on the 29th, but I highly doubt that a letter will get home from here in East London...but I have a plan to get a letter to my grandma, so it'll make it to her, but it's just going to be late :(

Mommy, that brownie mix you expired 16 June 2011..but we're still gonna make it! haha and in a future package, some low cut socks would be nice and some more daily vitamins would be nice, and a nice new CD or 2! and you can send 'em like aunt Julie in just like a $10 package, not a $45 one.

As for me, this week was hard! transfer week! on Monday night at like 9:30 President Wood phoned us and told me obviously we would be staying together as companions and that I was now the DISTRICT LEADER!! AH! it's true. I am the new district leader for the MD 2nd ward. Oh man, I for sure feel the mantel on my shoulder and a lot more responsibility now. I'm in charge basically. Elder Staheli went to Queenstown and Elder Nilsson replaced him, serving with Elder Oyiembo. that makes up the district! lots of love and humility in the district, its gonna be sweet

New Mission Logo

A district leader has lots of jobs. My new title is District Leader Trainer Senior Companion Elder Haws! haha. one of the toughest part about being a district leader is preparing and holding district meeting on Fridays! It's 1 1/2 hours of training. I was a bit nervous last Friday, but I put a lot of thought, time, and preparation into it and I think it turned out really well! I have to do that every week. but other than that, being a DL is fun. at the end of district meeting, I have to take their reports. so they come in, 1 on 1 and I ask them how their week was. what was the best part, worst part. how their companion and area is doing. anything that President Wood needs to know or anything that I can do for them as their district leader. I take their reports, and then after that the zone leaders take my report, and then I let them know how the district is doing. fun right?! also, in my letter to President Wood that I type, I let him know how things are going. and I like send the stats to the district leaders and I have other responsibilities, but those are pretty much the main ones.

We were driving a rental car, and were on our way to the dealership to get our normal car back, when the tyre got flat! oh no! So we fixed it and then when we got to the dealership they said we needed to fix the tyre, but come to find out there was a hole in the tyre, so we had to buy a dumb new one! R570. but anyway, we finally got our car back, so that is nice. The steering wheel is a bit loose and the brakes can be weird sometimes. I just want I normal car that works! haha. but like I was the one in charge and phoned the mission vehicle coordinator and stuff and like talked to the people about getting our car back and a new tyre and everything. kinda stressful, but it was okay.

The newcomer to the district, Elder Nilsson, is from Oklahoma, and is in my transfer! man, he is powerful! This is his first time being a senior companion, and has just been a junior comp so far on mission. and to think that I went into a co-companionship when I was just 6 months on mission. haha. He is pretty much the exact opposite than Elder Staheli. He is very obedient, humble, strong testimony and desire to be a missionary all day everyday. He is pretty hard on himself, and is extremely organized and through. He is feeling a bit overwhelmed cuz of the new area and just everything, but he'll be alright, I got his back.

A highlight of the week was when we gave Khayakazi and Khanyasani the pictures from their baptism, along with a nice chocolate bar! You shoulda seen 'em! Sooo happy! They said we were the best ever and stuff haha. then, to watch Khanyasani pass the sacrament yesterday, yeah it was awesome. Those 2 are amazing.

One night we got back to the boarding and there was no power! We lit a candle, planned, then we were fasting, so basically just brushed our teeth and went to bed. nothin' else to do! haha.

Man, drunk people are annoying as heck! haha just thought you should know that. they always say they love us and like follow us around. Also, we took the barbell from the other elders boarding, so now we have a little something to work out with...nice! We made some spaghetti and meat sauce the other day, and come to find out we bought the hot & spicy both of our mouths were on fire! haha

Its true, on Friday I click 1 YEAR on mission! Its unbelievable! I'm not sure what we're gonna do, but I think that bishop invited us over for dinner, so that'll be nice. At least I'll have some food in my belly haha. I guess it's all downhill from here, right?! man, time flies by!

Throughout my mission I've seen the hand of the Lord in my life and in this great work soo many times, but also more recently. his tender mercies are everywhere. I promise you, I see too many coincidences over here in beautiful South Africa every day. what a great blessing it is to be serving here at this time in my life. There is no other place I'd rather be, that's for sure.

The 2 scriptures for the week are

3 Nephi 27:21 
Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must  do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;

and D&C 6:20
Behold, thou art Oliver, and I have spoken unto thee because of thy desires; therefore treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love.

Well, the time is far spent. thanks for all of your constant love support! You guys are awesome!

Elder Haws
My proselyting shoes after 1 year of work (9 months of walking)
The view from our shower!

Just a sign from one of the newspapers
A few elders from my transfer! We all saw each-other on transfer day!