Monday, April 28, 2014

58th Letter 4-28-14

Happy Birthday to Amy and Dad!! :) Feliz Aniversario!!!

Good Morning family and friends. This week was very... interesting... Probably more interesting than any other week on the mission. Never know what will happen next on the mission. I will start off by explaining the beginning of the week and then explain the strange/interesting/different part.

So Monday, P-day went well here! Saw some pretty views of the river Uruguaiana and did all the things we needed to get done. During the night we had to buy our tickets for Zone meeting in São Borja. After that we had a meeting with Irmão João about the work here and the investigators we have. He is a great Mission leader and has some great ideas!

Tuesday, woke-up early to catch the bus to São Borja. Elder Assis wouldn't wake up and so he made us late leaving the house. We ended up running to the bus station, which is a good 3 miles from the house. Good early morning workout. I think the neighbors in Itaqui were a little confused of why we were running in our suits and ties at 7 in the morning. Ha-ha! But the Zone Meeting went very well! I gave training on how we can better work with the members. I studied a lot the past week for this training and received some good inspiration or revelation of what was needed to be taught in our Zone. Tadd Challis taught me that a good training isn't one where one person is teaching the rest of the people, but one where everyone is thinking, feeling, and talking; sharing our ideas with one another. I used this and it went very well! We talked of what things the members need to understand and how we can help them have confidence in the work and in us, and how they are able to act in this work by sharing their testimonies, love, service, etc. I was very happy of how that training went and I hope the Elders and Sisters of the zone feel the same way. We returned home later that night and this is where things got interesting. I asked Elder Assis if he wanted to plan for tomorrow with me, he said he didn't want to and doesn't know about the whole mission thing. I talked with him for a good hour about the mission and of all the potential he has if he continues the mission. I shared my testimony and tried hard to help him understand the importance of him staying on a mission, but he wouldn't receive my help. I told him to ponder and pray about this, but he said he doesn't want to pray anymore.

The days following got worse and worse. He opened up and told me of some personal problems he has mentally and spiritually. He has many doubts of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon, and of Jesus Christ. This week I spent many hours trying to help him. I invited him to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true, but he wouldn't do it! I bore my testimony of this Book, but he wouldn't listen to me. He told me the Book is nothing to him. Many things like this happened this week, even situations more serious than this happened. He has so many doubts and has so much pride that he wouldn't listen to me....from Wednesday-Sunday I tried helping him. I prayed for him and asked the other Elders to pray for him as well. I talked with the zone leaders and they tried to help as well. He wouldn't leave the house to work and he wouldn't receive our help. Many things he said made me sick to my stomach. How could someone reject these truths like this? I tried to respect him, but it is very hard now...I have never seen someone so confused! I explained to him that this is all from Satan and that Satan is confusing him, but he brushed it off like I didn’t know what I was saying.

Many problems happened this week that are personal to him and I don’t know if I should say them. He talked with President Parrela Sunday and things are the same. Assis will be leaving soon.

This week has given me a lot of time to search for holes that I have in my testimony. I, of course, found little holes that I know I can patch up with the help of the Savior, but truly this whole experience has strengthened my testimony and my patience. I truly know that this church is true, Joseph Smith was a Prophet and that Jesus is the Christ! I will never and can never deny these truths!

I hope your week went better than mine. I hope that you all thank Heavenly Father for the testimonies that you have of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you guys!

Mom, I was able to see the Piano Guys video you sent me! Very cool! Awesome about Amy!! Amy you are awesome! You are making the rest of the siblings look bad! Ha-ha. Mom, that book you and Dad are reading sounds very cool! I want to read that when I get home. “Jesus The Christ” is teaching me so much about the Savior! Holy Cow! Sounds like you are learning many things Mom. I hope I can be like you and always be learning new things! You are such a great example to me! Trust me mom, I feel of your prayers and love constantly! 

Dad, Awesome to hear about Aaron Behmer. He is a cool kid. I forgot he was in Uruguay. Super cool about Grandpa Hauck and his work in Oman and about Greg retiring from the Marines! Awesome Pictures! I love you Dad.

Sorry this letter was a sad letter. This next week will be a happy one!
I love you all!
Elder Hauck

Monday, April 21, 2014

57th Letter 4-21-14

Pictures: 1-It was Elder Sargents Birthday so I bought him a cake and surprised him good!  2-Us in our apartment.

Boa Tarde e Feliz Pascoa (Happy Easter!),

This week went pretty well! Got here in my new area got all things situated and got to work. Elder Assis, my comp. is a quiet missionary and doesn't talk much.. He has been a member for 1 year and 4 months now and only has 4 months on the mission. He has a testimony that is growing and is learning many things about the gospel everyday. I really am blessed with the advantage of being a member for all my life and having a pretty good foundation of gospel truths. I am very grateful that I get to help him develop a testimony and teach him how to be a missionary. He has some confidence issues and doesn't like to work... I will be learning a lot of patience and humility this transfer. It´s exactly what i need though. Please pray for him and I. 

Itaqui is an awesome area. We have a big area to cover and share the area with one other companionship, Elder Sargent from Ohio and Elder Rodrigues Santos from São Paulo. They are both very good missionaries! Here in our branch we have a family baptism coming up that will be very exciting. The President of the branch is only 26 and returned from a mission 4 years ago, but he is very solid and loves missionary work. We have many families that want to help with the work and the members are all pretty active. Not as much less-active work here, more of the finding investigators and baptisms because the branch is already very strong. It will be a good change from the past few months in São Borja.

I haven't been able to do to much as the district leader, but have been organizing the area book and other things here that needed to be organized a little better. We also made a new division line in our area making it so we both have part of the city, where all the people are, so we can be more effective in finding and covering more important areas of Itaqui in less time. The missionaries and members are helping well and we are having a lot of fun together.

During the week we found many people in the streets and we shared the amazing lesson of the Restoration with them. I have found an effective way to find a non-member with desire to truly investigate our beliefs or not, which uses less time and is more powerful. Right when we meet a family or person in the street we teach them the Restoration in about 20 minutes or less if we need to. We invite them to read the pamphlet and pray to find out if it´s true or not and if they need to continue meeting with us or not. So far it is working well and we have found 5 people that have desire.

The situation I am in with my companion is forcing me to learn Portuguese faster. It is a blessing, but sometimes it is hard because I feel like I don’t have a comp. He doesn’t want to teach. I am trying to cheer him up and teach him how to teach with more enthusiasm, but he is a very closed person. He did share a great spiritual message with some members and non-members after a Chorraso (BBQ) with like 20 people, which was awesome, but when it´s just him, an investigator and I, it is a little more difficult for him.

Sunday all 4 of us missionaries got to talk during sacrament meeting. I talked about Missionary work and the Plan of Salvation, of how they are very similar and without Jesus Christ and his Atonement we have no Plan and no Missionary Work. It was an awesome experience to plan this talk and give it to these amazing members and non- members. We had 6 non-members in sacrament, 3 of which have a date set to be baptized. The branch is much bigger here as well reaching almost 100 persons every Sunday.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to help the area of Itaqui, my companion, and the other missionaries here. I am so excited for the growth I can make through this service here with these great Elders. I pray that I can help them grow and as well at the branch here. Missions are SO COOL!

I love all of you so very much and hope all of you had a great Easter! Jesus Christ has risen and he is the Savior of the World!

Mom, Itaqui is very cool Mom! You would like it here; it is very beautiful and very calm. Almost a whole other world here compared to São Borja. Ha-ha The responsibilities I have as District leader is to help the district here improve, record numbers, report to the Zone leaders our progress in the work, interview baptismal candidates and serve the Elders in the District best I can. We also have District meetings every week that I will prepare and direct. About Amanda´s pregnancy, I have already been telling people here in Brazil for the past 2 weeks. I’m surprised it didn't spread and get to someone in Saint George. Ha-ha. I am so excited for Amanda! Looks like Easter went awesome for all of you! Easter time is always awesome in our family! I love all the pictures, Mom! :) Thank you! I love you Mom!!

Dad, it is another river town. We went down to the river this morning, but I forgot my camera. Next p-day I will take some awesome pictures. It is so much more beautiful here. There are alligators here, but I haven´t seen any yet…only snakes. I am a little more comfortable with the Portuguese now and a lot of stress is gone because of it. Portuguese is super cool! Dad, you are right about the growth and changes we as followers of Christ make in our lives when we are living the gospel and keeping the commandments. I am excited for the growth I have ahead of me. I love you Dad!

All of you have a great week with much joy, love, service and peace!

Eu Vos amo!

Elder Hauck

Monday, April 14, 2014

56th Letter 4-14-14

 Pics: 1-Peach cobbler with the boys. 2-Bruno and Bruna (A super cool family.)

My Beautiful Family!

Great week here in Brazil! The weather was hot at the beginning of the week, but by the end it was raining, which cooled down the temperature a ton! Elder Gois and I worked hard and found a lot of blessing from our labors! We have transfers this week and I will be transferred to Itaqui and will serve as the District Leader there. I am very excited for the new leadership position and the opportunity I have to serve in another area here in Brazil. I have heard many great things about the area that I will be serving in, and that the members are great member missionaries! Please keep me, my district, and Itaqui in your prayers this week! : )

Monday was a great P-day! I had a lot of fire in me from General Conference the days before and a lot of joy because of the news I heard about!! The day went perfect! We had a lot of success during the night, contacting 3 referrals, teaching a new investigator, whom has a son on a mission and wants to join the church, and we taught a less-active family about the First Vision. The First Vision has so much power behind it! I don’t know how anyone can deny it! The less-active family felt the spirit strong and they returned to church yesterday (Sunday)!

Tuesday, Elder Gois and I continued with the fire that we got from General Conference and kept working hard. This fire lasted all week and I hope I keep it for 6 months until the next G.C.! : ) Had an awesome District meeting where we shared our testimonies about General Conference. The spirit was very strong there. Definitely when the Sister missionaries share their testimonies. They have strong spirits! We taught some awesome people today and we were very bold! Taught a new investigator named Santa, who has a lot of burn marks on her hands and face, which makes her look a little different, but she is very humble and I love this about her. She received us very well and felt the spirit strong in our lesson! Taught a part member family about the Plan of Salvation and invited the parents of two sons, who are members, to be baptized. They want to, but need to change some things first.

Wednesday, another awesome day where we taught a lot of people! Erraclides, a member taught with us and it went very well!  Towards the end of the day we had two solid lessons with Jusalini and the other with Roberta. Jusalini is very ready to be baptized and only needs to stop drinking! She has a strong understanding of The Restoration and she is reading the BOM!:) Roberta is also ready to be baptized! We taught her more about praying and receiving an answer and she has a lot of excitement to receive an answer and be baptized! Today is when the weather began to cool off a bit! I like it a lot more here when it isn't blazing Hot!! Ha-ha

Thursday, today was pretty tough. We seriously walked everywhere and tried many homes, but no one would receive us! It was like everyone heard we weren't humans and that we had some kind of disease with us. Ha-ha. We did teach Norma, but she dropped us... She doesn't want to change her life to follow Christ right now. Had a member with us named Lucus, a return missionary, and he got to see the troubles of finding and teaching willing people the gospel.

Friday, today is when I received word I would be District Leader and be transferred. We taught many people today! Eraldo, Arce, Eliza, Santa, and Roberta all today! All these lessons went very well and they all progressed a little more! We invited Roberta to be baptized and she has a date of April 19 to be baptized. She is very excited!!

Saturday, another awesome day with many lessons! We saw many less-active families and I think we helped them a lot. Taught Jusalini and Cristiane with Daniel, a 19 year-old who is waiting for his mission call! Later in the night we had an awesome lesson with a new family we received a referral for. They are all super nice and understand well. The First Vision was super powerful! We invited them to be baptized, but the two daughters have a huge doubt! They don’t believe in Jesus Christ. They want to believe in him, but have read a lot of anti-Christ literature...The mother is Christian and will read and pray to know if the Church of Jesus Christ is true, but we had a different invite for the two daughters. Because they do believe in God they do pray so we talked about how God answers our prayers and invited them to pray to know if Jesus is the Christ the Savior of the World. They accepted the invitation. The spirit was very powerful during the lesson and I know they felt the truth! The message of the Restoration really can help people believe in Christ!

Sunday, had 3 awesome investigators in church and I think they all loved it! The members were all warm and welcoming and we had a testimony meeting that was very powerful! One sister, named Ana, who has been very sick the past month to the point where she almost died, she bore a strong testimony of the priesthood and that it wasn't the medicine that cured her, but was the Priesthood blessings. Elder Gois and I got to be a part of one of her blessings and when she said this to the congregation it really touched me and the spirit confirmed to me that it was the power of the Priesthood that healed her! Very awesome spirit I felt there. I hope the investigators felt it too! This night we visited many members to say goodbye to them! I love the members here and will miss them.

This week was a great blessing for me. I really feel like I am leaving this area a lot better than I found it! I will continue to do this with all areas I will serve in! The Lord’s work truly is hastening! I will be moving to Itaqui tomorrow (Tuesday) and will be sending the next email from there! I love my Savior and the work that he lets me be part of!

Mom, the work here in São Borja is improving! Slowly, but it is improving! The work here has taught me a lot of patience. Ha-ha. Easter here is very religious, which is very cool. The catholic members are all very excited and celebrate with Chorrascos (BBQ´s). They are already preparing for the big celebration of Easter day. I don’t know what I will be doing Easter Day. I think just church and then the usual. Might be different here though. Mom, to be honest I don’t remember us doing the Passover very well. Ha-ha. That is awesome about Jeff and Cam helping in Mexico! I hope to hear all about it! I am sure it was a humbling experience! I love you Mom! P.S. I made Peach Cobbler, Mom! :)

Dad, one thing that has helped me better understand the people here in Brazil was when Jeffrey R. Holland said how people want an easy God. This is very true and I have seen it a lot here in Brazil. This helped me better understand how I can help other people understand that God isn't easy and neither is Salvation! I have talked with the Zone leaders about parents picking up their missionary and they have said it is allowed, but I don’t know all the details yet. I will continue to find more information of when and how we will do this. Because it would be super cool to show you and Mom Brazil. Sounds like things are going well back at home! I will continue to pray for you guys!:) Love you Dad!

I love you Family!
Elder Hauck

Monday, April 7, 2014

55th Letter 4-7-14

 Picture: Our district after General Conference

Yo Yo Minha Familia!

What a beautiful and spiritual week it was! I hope you all were able to watch the sessions of General Conference! How amazing and true is our prophet Thomas S. Monson and the wonderful Apostles and leaders that we have in our church. They truly preach the word of God and guide us to where we can receive a remission of our sins so that we can receive Eternal Life! My testimony has grown this week greatly from the cause of those 2 days of General Conference!  The days leading up to G.C. were awesome as well! It continues to be pretty hot here and many of the São Borjanites are wanting the cooler weather. We invited everyone to G.C.!! We had some great success this week and found miracles through our increase of Faith and Works. This is the work of the Lord! 

Monday, had a normal p-day where we emailed, hand washed our clothes and slept. Haha... Not too much else to do here, plus we are always super tired here so sleep is what we call fun! We taught a less-active man who has had some problem with depression. It is amazing the joy the gospel can bring someone. During our lesson joy begun to grow in him and I could tell his negative desires and depression was lifted while he was searching the scriptures and learning with us. 

Tuesday, Taught a new investigator who was very blinded by her family traditions of Catholicism. She felt the spirit very strong and understood well our message, but when we invited her to be baptized she couldn't say yes. Many people are more focused on popularity or family traditions than looking and finding the truth. Almost as if they have a blindfold on that won’t let them change or want to find the truth. Very difficult. Taught Anderson and his brother tonight and it went very well. He understands well our purpose and that Christ lives! He feels the life of Christ in us and in our message. It is awesome to see his faith grow every time we meet with him. Had an awesome family night with a few non-members. Watched “The Restoration” film and bore our testimonies of the Restoration.

Wednesday, Taught many people today with Irmão Erriclides, a good member missionary here. We got 4 lessons in with him in about 3 hours! Very powerful are the lessons with a member! I feel as if Christ is helping us even more, by sending a stronger spirit, when we have members with us. A strong purpose of member missionary work! Had a great lesson with Roberta and her Mom. Roberta is 14 years old and loves the gospel. Her mom is less-active, but is open to her learning the Gospel. Roberta watched 3 sessions of General Conference with us at the church!

Thursday, Today we received all the stuff for our new house! We don’t need to hand wash all our clothes now and we have a stove and oven! President and Sister Parrela brought everything and helped us bring it all in the house! They are so awesome and have such sweet spirits! Had a powerful lesson tonight with Maicon, the priest quorum president. He is a great teacher and taught a powerful lesson with us! We invited them to pray and receive and answer if Joseph Smith is a prophet and that we would return tomorrow to follow-up.

Friday, Today we taught Arce again! He is a little more open to us and accepted the invitation to visit G.C. with us! Had an awesome lesson with Norma, and a member named Julia that taught with us. We talked a lot about prophets with everyone this week, but we asked her to go into her room after we leave and read Moroni´s promise and pray to know if the BOM is true! I know she received and answer! The night we rushed to re-invite everyone to G.C,! Many people confirmed they would and that made us sleep well this night! : )

Saturday, General Conference is HERE! It´s like Christmas! Wow did I love all the inspiration and revelation I felt and received through the words of these great men and women! What a great blessing we have to hear these words! I won’t write everything I loved about it but I will name a few of the talks I really liked! Of course the first talk by Jeffery R. Holland***, Neil L. Anderson*, Henry B. Eyring*, Russell M. Nelson**, Robert D. Hales**. And from the Priesthood session: Dallin H. Oaks, was super powerful!  And Dieter F. Uchtdorf *** I loved all the talks, but the stars can show how much I liked special ones. Also, I was able to watch all the sessions in English, so this was a great blessing. It just isn´t the same in Portuguese.

Sunday, Again we were treated with more spirit and revelation from the Lord! Some talks I likes a lot were: Dieter F. Uchtdorf ***, David A. Bednar***, Thomas S. Monson **, Boyd K. Packer*, L. Tom Perry*, Lawrence E. Corbridge*** (I don’t know if you guys remember but he spoke to us in my mission tour in Colorado! He has such a strong spirit!) And lastly D. Todd Christofferson*** Loved his testimony of the Resurrection and Savior! My three most favorite talks were Holland, Corbridge and Christofferson!

What an awesome Conference we were able to watch! We truly are so blessed! I cannot wait to study these words and apply them in my life to be a better missionary, man, and follower of Christ!

Mom, about the Missionties thing, I think it is pretty weak. I just barely received your letter. If it cost money, you don’t need to continue. I love your emails every week! Plus we only visit the mailbox, where we receive all our mail once a week before district meeting. Great to hear you loved Conference! A response to your letter from Missionties: Super cool about FHE with Amy and the family every week! Glad to hear Amanda’s B-day went great! Mom, the white shirt doesn't make you look fat, you look beautiful as always! I love the photo of Emme and the Ice cream! Ha-ha!! I am so glad you got many answers to your questions through Conference! I had 5 questions and every single one was answered! It is fine for you to send the Link of the Piano guys new video. I am excited to see it! So glad to hear Aunt Kim is doing well! Tell her I love her. And of course Mom, I love you!!! : )

Amy, you are my Sterling Scholar! : )

Dad, We watched all sessions in the chapel. I don´t think it was a worldwide thing but they asked all of the members here in Brazil to watch all conference sessions in the chapels. You are right! I feel all charged up!! Ha-ha, It’s crazy to think I will be watching G.C. with you next year!! The work in the Branch is improving and I see them organizing thing more... I love the photo of everyone during Conference! : ) Does Emme really know my name!!!?? I miss her so much! I love you Dad! 

Everyone thank you for your prayers! Remember to stay grateful in all situations! 

I love you all!
Elder Hauck