Monday, September 29, 2014

80th Letter 9-29-14

Pictures: (1) Two of the kids in this family were Baptized Saturday in Santa Marta. 
(2) Elder Rocha and I made Hot Dogs!

Dear Beautiful Family of Mine,
So I am here in Uruguaiana now and I am warming up to it here...It is a big difference from the huge ward in Santa Marta, but I will get used to it here and learn to love it here as well. Uruguaiana is like a mix between Itaqui and São Borja, which were the first 2 areas that I passed through. It is the second biggest city in the mission and I think the biggest zone. We have 28 missionaries and 8 of them are sisters. I don’t know all the missionaries yet, but I am getting to know them.

This week we had a lot of traveling to do and a big meeting. But before all of this I was able to say good-bye to all the members and investigators that I was close to in Santa Marta. I took a lot of pictures so I can remember all of them and I have a little book where they can write a little something to me and leave their e-mail for me. 

Wednesday is when we had our meeting in Santa Maria. All the Zone Leaders arrived there and so I got to see a few elders from my MTC group. From my MTC district, 5 of us are ZL´s, which is pretty awesome! And the rest are District Leaders. I am super proud of these elders and we have gained a friendship eternal from this awesome work!
So the meeting went super good! As a mission counsel we talked about new ideas in the mission and what ones we will add to the mission and what not. Some of the missionaries are having a problem with their ward mission leaders being lazy and not helping with the work. I was able to share with them the experience that Elder Cotrim and I had with Irmâo Joâo in itaqui. When he was sad with the work and wasn´t too excited to continue as the missionary leader. We planned a lesson for him and gave him a blessing to help him in the work. I think it gave some other missionaries some ideas to help out their leaders.

After the meeting we visited some of my new companion’s friends here in Santa Maria. He served here so he wanted to stop by and see them and we had the whole day free so we did this. We left the following afternoon to Uruguaiana, which is an 8-hour bus ride. 

Pretty much the week was over by the time we got here but Elder Silveira, my new companion, and I got to work and were able to find some success. We have 3 girls that are very close to getting baptized and we just need to work with the parents a little more. This is one thing that I think is kind of wrong here...The missionaries are only working with teenagers. Of course it is good work, but we should be bringing whole families and adults to the church. We will see how the work goes. 

I am sorry about the boring e-mail this week. Next week will be a lot better! :)

Mom, the city I am at now is super pretty! You should look at it on Google maps. I got the package from you and am loving the Chips Ahoy! :) I think sending the Christmas package to the mission office would be better too...I will try to think of the things I need. I don’t think I need too much. Sounds like your week went great and that is awesome about your trip to Mexico! I am excited for you two! :) I am glad to hear Chris Abraham´s talk went well! He will do awesome as a missionary! Emme is the cutest thing I have ever seen!! Thanks for the photos.

Dad, the transfer went well and the new work is great! Tell The Carlson´s and Sister Trader I say hi and that I love them! The weather here is very cool and rainy. In Santa Marta it was a lot hotter and my allergies were killing me there! Here my allergies aren´t bothering me and I think summer will be a lot calmer here! :)

I love all of you até o pó! :)

Elder Hauck

Monday, September 22, 2014

79th Letter 9-22-14

 Photos: Baptism of Sara and the Card family

My Sweet Family,

This week went awesome! We had so much work and found some success!! Sadly two of the baptism fell through, but we were blessed with a very spiritual one Saturday. The members here are awesome and they helped a lot with the work this past week! We ended up teaching more than 20 lessons with a member present. We did the same thing that we did 2 weeks ago. With me leaving with a member to teach people. It went very good!

So I don’t have too much time today because of transfers and surprisingly I will be transferred to Uruguaiana. This made me sad because of all the work that we have done here and I won’t be able to see all the progress and baptism continue but I know the work will continue on. I am honored that I was able to help out here in the strongest ward in the mission to be a little stronger. I will miss these great members here and the great success that we found...The Lord must have work for me in Uruguaiana. : )

Uruguaiana is a city more south than Itaqui and is in the corner of the bordered by Argentina and Uruguay. I have heard a lot of great things about the work there so I am excited. Also, I will be the zone leader there in Urugiaiana as well.

The Baptism Saturday went very well. I was asked by Sara if I could baptize her and I was pleased to do so. She was very emotional after the baptism and confirmation the following day. After her baptism she said “I am a new woman!!” Ha-ha. I will send a picture of the Baptism.

One of the Sisters in our zone is heading home this week and her parents are here visiting. I was able to practice my English with them. The Card family is super cool and I loved seeing them. It felt good to hear English again. Ha-ha! : ) They will bring my leather jacket, hammock and my Nikes to the USA because I don’t have too much space in my luggage.

Mom, I am glad you like the surprise voice mail from The Cards. Sister Card is in that photo of our district and is the one on the far right.  It is great to hear of how you are all doing! I have not received your package yet, but I will look today. Mom I love your new wheels! : ) Drive safe!

Dad, it’s awesome to hear of the new temple dedication in Ogden. How is the temple coming in Cedar city? Also great to hear how good Chris Abraham is doing! He will do great on the mission! The sports update is always awesome Dad! Thank you again!

I love you all!
Elder Hauck

Monday, September 15, 2014

78th Letter 9-15-14

Picture-The sunsets here are amazing!

Dear Family,

Another awesome week here in Brazil! The work is going awesome; like last week, and we are very close to having many baptisms. The ward here is doing awesome and I feel a little closer with them now, after having a little more time to talk with them. I was also able to give a talk in sacrament meeting about Missionary Work, which went well! Like every week we had some surprises. Found some new people to teach, had moments very spiritual, and of course those funny moments.

It is crazy how awesome the Mission has been to me. When I look back at my trials that I had they seem very small to me compared to the success that we have here. I am so grateful for the trials I have had and that I will continue to have. I know they will make me the man I need to be. The gospel is true brothers and sisters!

Alright, so this week we had some great stuff happen! We had 7 investigators at church and we have 3 baptisms this Saturday! We taught like crazy and if you didn´t know, this is what passes the time faster than you can believe.

The 3 people that have a baptism date are José, Sara and Filipé.

José is 90 years old and doesn´t look a day older! Ha-ha. He is elect and loves us and the church. He was mad with us on Tuesday because he thought we had church again and he was waiting in front of his house from 8:30 until 9:30AM all dressed and ready to go. We apologized for the misunderstanding and he forgave us. Ha-ha! The lessons with him are usually difficult because his 33 year-old wife is sitting in with us now. She likes our message a lot and visited the church Sunday, but when they are together they fight like a married couple! They almost act like little kids arguing about the smallest things... ha-ha! At times it is very annoying and very funny at the same time. José is very excited for his baptism this week and we will work with his wife and kids to baptize them the next week!

Sara is very special. She has meet with the missionaries for a long time and actually knows Elder Jones, who is Stephanie Abraham´s husband. If you could talk with The Abrahams or Steph it would be cool to let Elder Jones know that Sara will be baptized this week. This week we taught her a lot and she loves our visits. She is about 50, but acts a lot younger and has a very humble spirit.  She has had very many problems in her life but is still staying positive and faithful! She explained to us of an experience where a man almost killed her and she was left very hurt. She actually received the backside of an axe to the back of the head. Well after she recovered a bit she prayed to know if God really existed. She explained of the overwhelming feelings of love and peace that she felt. The spirit testified to me that this truly happened and I felt of the love that God has for her and I began to cry. It is amazing the love that Heavenly Father has for every one of his children.

Filipé is 11 and is super solid! He has visited the church quite a bit and likes everything about it. His family likes the church a lot. His parents need to get married and will be baptized after and his brother and sister are struggling on attending church on Sundays. But we will help them out and they will be baptized here in a few weeks.

This week we had an experience that taught me a great lesson. Alright, so here in South of Brazil the people usually like to talk a lot. When we ask them a simple question they will talk for 5 -10 minutes until they get to the response. Well, we were following-up with a couple we are teaching and we asked the husband if he prayed and received an answer about Joseph Smith. He started off his “answer” talking about his prayers in his other church and some story about how he stopped praying for a time but then returned to God and a bunch of other stuff. I was having a very hard time paying attention and I missed the end when he said he had received the answer that he knows the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Luckily Elder Pontes was paying attention and after that we were able to have a great lesson with them. There is a story very similar to this in Preach My Gospel.

I learned from this that we always need to pay attention. Yes, even when they are talking about things that don’t matter too much…we still need to listen! I felt a little guilty after for not listening closely like I should, but it actually strengthened my testimony to listen always!

The week ended great with an awesome Sunday and now I will have a great week! :) I will let you know how the week goes and the baptisms! :) Transfers are this next week, so I will find out if I will stay here or be moved. I think I will be here still.

Mom, I love the pictures of Emme! She is so cute! I am glad to hear that everyone is doing great. Let everyone know I love them!:) Dad, the sports update went awesome.

Thank you. I love you guys!
Elder Hauck

Monday, September 8, 2014

77th Letter 9-8-14

Pictures: 1-Mission Companions "Trio"   2-Maravilhosa Family

My Sweet Family,

How are all of you? I hope you are all super well!

This week we had some big changes! We had a surprise Tuesday from President Parrela and we ended up receiving a new elder, Elder Jordan Peterson (Wisconsin), who was serving in California for 11 months! Now I can´t feel too bad for my 9-month delay there in Colorado. But now we are in a trio and are training him, mostly in Portuguese. He is a stud and is learning very fast! It is good because I know how he is feeling so I can help him out. So another Trio! I didn´t think it would be possible as a zone leader, but I was proven wrong. Ha-ha! I think the Lord is telling me I need to be a better companion or something. Ha-ha.

But this wasn’t the only big change! The work this week took a giant jump!! We had a ton of success finding 11 new investigators, having 9 investigators at sacrament meeting and we marked a few baptism dates! We have a vision to baptize 5-7 people this month! It is true how everyone says after a trailing time always will come the blessing! This is what happened this week! Also, It was super cool that I got to do a bunch of splits with members to teach some people. Was a good challenge for my Portuguese being able to talk a lot more during the lessons, because usually the members will testify and teach only a little. But every lesson went very spiritual and a great blessing for me and the members that taught with me!

This week we were walking to an appointment and we saw a man named José who has 90 years sitting in the front of his house. We stopped to talk with him and he told us that the elders talked with him once before. We taught him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit was very strong! He is super funny and says funny stuff about the surrounding churched in the area and asked us a lot of question of how ours is. His wife, who is 33, gave her church R$1.000, which is about $500 and José was very mad about this. He is very healthy still and can walk slow but well. He wanted to learn more and go to church. We passed by his house and taught him more and at the end of the week we had a chorrasco! He came with us and loved it! He was even able to eat quite a bit of meat with his dentures! : ) Ha-ha, We invited him to be baptized on the 20th and he accepted and he went to church Sunday! He looks pretty promising and loves all the members. He really likes me for some reason and calls me an angel. Ha-ha-ha!

This week we had an amazing opportunity to help a drunk man, who was passed-out in the middle of the street. So, we were walking to an appointment and we were a little late so we were rushing. We passed by a man in the median, middle of the road, with blood on his forehead, ragged dirty clothes, and his shoes were off. You should know that this isn´t something too strange here in Brazil. But as we rushed by I received a prompting that we needed to help him. I called the 2 other elders and we went back. We woke the man up and asked him if we could help him. Being hung-over it was difficult to understand him, but we were able to put his shoes on and walk him away from the middle of the road to the side of the road. He was thanking us very much and kissed our hands as we were helping him walk to a bench so he could sit down. He said he was very hungry so we went and bought him some food and water. We sat with him on the side of the road as many people passed by, and we talked about Jesus Christ with him. We marked another visit with him, but when we went there he wasn´t there. This experience was very amazing. I never felt so good giving service as I did that moment. We all felt the spirit and the love of Heavenly Father very strong. I don’t know if we will ever see him again or if he even remembers us, but I know I felt the Savior’s love for him...What a humbling experience it was.

The week really went great! I am feeling a lot more content with the work and we are finding success! I hope all of you are blessed with opportunities to serve others this week and to feel this love the Savior gives to every one of us!

Mom, we are all doing very well here. We 3 are getting along well! I am glad Amy dropped her Calculus class. She had like 6 classes! It would have been tough work! Amanda and Shaye’s house is looking awesome! Wow!!! I love the pictures as well! : )

Dad, the zone is doing awesome. I am finally being able to meet all missionaries and become good friends with them. The sisters in the pictures, two are Americans. The one on the middle returned home this past week. Cool to hear about the Piano Guys! Everyone loves them here! When I tell them about Shaye and Amanda they can hardly believe it! That is super sad about Breck´s car burning up!! Will he receive another? Looks like the football season is going awesome!  Looks like I will arrive home just in time to miss it all! : (

I love you all very much! : )
Elder Hauck

Friday, September 5, 2014

76th Letter 9-1-14

 Picture: After District Meeting

Another very busy week here in Santa Marta. I will have to say sorry for this e-mail, because it won’t be too long and the computer I am using doesn’t let me use a question mark, or exclamation marks...ha-ha. Like I said, the week went busy and as I reflect back it is kind of hard to remember all the things that happened. Good thing I am keeping my journal up to date so I can remember all these awesome things that have happened.

The Zone work is doing well. All the missionaries are doing supper well, and Elder Pontes and I are working hard to help the missionaries do better here as well as making our area a model for the rest the zone and mission.

Something really cool that happened this week was one of the lessons that we had. It was late at night and we were very tired. It was funny because I was thinking about what I would eat when I get home and how excited I was to return home and sleep. Ha-ha, but I caught myself thinking about this and stopped myself. We still had time to work. So we continued and found a family that aren´t all members at home. We were sitting there getting to know them and we called everyone to join us to hear our message. There were almost 7 in all. Also, they were very excited with the fact they had an American in their home. Ha-ha, they asked me a lot of questions, one question from Marcelo who is about 18 asked, “And the girls there, are they pretty?” When he said this we all had a good laugh. Ha-ha!

So we started to teach them the restoration of the gospel and the lesson went super well. They all understood very well and paid attention. When we got to the first vision the spirit hit very strong. The outside world seemed to be silent and they all were wide-eyed waiting to know what happened next. We finished the lesson very well and invited those that have not been baptized to be baptized. Marcelo, the guy who made the good question, was very touched by the lesson and I asked him how he felt and he said he felt different. We explained to him that he was feeling the spirit. We will continue to work with this family as well with Marcelo, who is reading the BOM and seems to be elect now.

We had a lot of good lessons this week, but the other I want to talk about was with Ivone and Sara, two middle aged ladies that understand well. We talked a lot about the priesthood with them and they understand well of the importance of authority and the importance they have to be baptized with this authority. This lesson went so well that it strengthened my testimony of the priesthood. It is so important that we priesthood holders act worthily in all that we do. This power and authority we have is special and not many people have it or even understand it. They both ended up coming to church today and loved the meetings.

Time is flying by... it scares me. Ha-ha! I know my efforts here are going to a great and beautiful cause and I am grateful for every minute I have to serve as a missionary in the true church of Jesus Christ.

Mom, I am excited to receive the package. Sounds like you and dad like the house all for yourselves. Amy is taking a lot of classes. I hope it won’t be stressful for her. I remember I had 5 classes at the U and it was rough. I love hearing of your joy and loving spirit mom. I love you

Dad, things are improving in all aspect here in Santa Marta. I feel more comfortable giving advice when it is needed and Elder Pontes has more respect for me now. Our area isn´t too big, like 15 minutes to walk from one side to the other, so we walk the whole time. When we have to go to the city we always use the public transportation. Our area is at the entrance of Santa Maria, so it isn´t too big, but is busy with a lot more people. Dad, “O que um bando de maricas?”  You are calling the Utes a group of gays? Ha-ha! Thank you for the sports update man. Ha-ha! Love you!

I love you all!