Monday, February 6, 2017

The best two years

Time has come to an end here in Chile. For this last and final email, I wanted to share a small story that happened a week ago. Elder Merchen and I were looking through some old teaching records when we found this person named Juana. According to what the previous missionaries had taught, she was really interested and really wanted to learn more about the church. The only comment that the former missionaries left is that Juana´s husband wasn't interested in the missionaries coming by any more. We wanted to find Juana and talk to her, but the only problem was there was no house number recorded. We decided to put her on our plans and pray so that we would be able to find her. On her street there are about 80 houses that all look exactly the same. We walked by to just look them over to see if we felt anything. When we got to the end of the street, we stopped.

A little old lady got out of a taxi and looked right at us. I don't know how I knew, but I felt it in all of my heart that it was Juana. So I went right up to her and asked her if her name was Juana...and guess was. She so eagerly asked us to come by the next day, so we set an appointment, shook hands, and promised that we would go by the following day. 

The next day, we headed over to Juana´s house. We found the gate and door open. We saw Juana sitting by the window. As we approached, her husband saw us, got up from the stairs he was sitting on and leaned out the door. He yelled, "I don´t want you guys to ever come back to my house". We only caught a slim glance at Juana who had her head down in ashamement. He then slammed the door. I was kind of embarrassed by the scene he had created, because a lot of people saw. We lowered our heads and slowly walked off. 

A couple days later we were on that same street. I remember passing Juana´s house and remembering that bitter experience. As we got to the end of the street, some man came up to us and asked what happened a couple of days ago at that house. He had seen Juana´s husband slam the door. We told him that we weren't really sure what exactly had happened either. He looked at us, sincerely, and said, why don't you both come by my house and share something with me. 

That's when I realized that Heavenly Father never leaves us down. He always picks us up, he always pushes us along. I don't think the gospel is about walking through darkness, I think Christ is extending out his hand and saying walk with me, we will do it together. I am grateful for every single experience I have had in the mission. I have seen my testimony build, grow, and fortify. I would take a million rejections if just one person would have the opportunity to hear our message. Three years ago, that one person, was me. 
Elder Haddad

Monday, January 30, 2017

Going out with a bang!

This week definitely flew by! We had a visit from an Apostle, Elder Stevenson and the baptism service of Bengina. This was one of the greatest weeks I have had in the mission. Time is getting short, but we are going to keep focused on finding new people and teaching the investigators we have. Have a great week everybody, see you all next week! 

Baptism of Benigna

The Good River Bridge

lake Lago Ranco 

Elder Ballard feeding a horse 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Never knock pink houses

We had a fun experience yesterday while leaving with a member. I think during my whole mission I have never met anyone normal who lives in a pink house. I have nothing against pink, nor the people that live in houses that are pink, but my observation is that they are usually pretty strange. Yesterday we knocked a door and a man comes out smiling with his mom. He asks if we had come to preach the word. He was in luck, we were knocking his door for that very purpose. The man then went guns blazing with bible bashing.

As missionaries we don't fight other religions. We state our testimonies firmly with the conviction that we know in our hearts it is true. The man decided to leave us with a prayer. He put his hands on my chest and begged the Lord to save my soul. My companion and the member who came out with us bit their tongues as the man raised his voice in prayer. 

I know why I left on a mission. I know that the church has been restored. I know it, I know that God knows it, and I know that it is true. 

We went to New Port beach (Puerto Nuevo) to do a BBQ with Elder Ballard and Elder Cabrera. 
We caught a crab
This really purple smoothie I made using a berry that is called Maqui, its a native berry that is only found in this part of south america. It turns everything bright purple. 

Monday, January 9, 2017


Alright, this sector may just be the coolest yet.

I wanted to update everyone about the people we are teaching. This week we spent a bunch of time tracting, trying to find new people. Contact after contact, door after door, we weren't finding anybody. We had all kinds of teaching appointments planned, but one by one they all fell. We were feeling pretty defeated, we had left with so many members, but we weren't really seeing any fruits from our works. Like it says in the scriptures, only after the trial of our faith does the Lord bless us. So we planned some really spiritual lessons to share with the members, and it worked. We got two members who invited their friends to church, and they came! 

I am really reminded of how I got to know the church. It wasn't because the missionaries had knocked my door, it was a member who invited me. Members are the best source of finding new people because their simple example of living the gospel calls so much attention. Have a great week everybody, here are some photos of Elder Merhcen and I! 

Elder Haddad

A normal size lunch with the mamita...

In front of the church

Elder Merchen and I in Puerto Nuevo (there is also a Newport Beach here in La Union)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Photo updates for the new year

A recent convert family from Regional

Me, Elder Boggs, and Elder Jackman

Fireworks from our house

Picture from our zone conference with President! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Making Christmas Special

Making Christmas special was our goal this year. Elder Jackman and I planned a really good surprise for the zone. We have an investigator that owns a thrift store, she was willing to donate some ties to us. The sister missionaries in our ward helped get some skirts. Together we were able to put gifts together for every one of the missionaries in the zone, all 18 of us. We wrapped them all up, invited everyone over to the church to play soccer, and hid them. I don't know how, but we were able to find a Santa. So Santa came to give all of the gifts out to the zone. I think this was one of my favorite Christmas experiences. We only focused on giving, and didn't expect anything in return. 

And in other news, I'm getting transferred out of Regional. I'm going to La Union in the sector of Caupolican to finish the training of a new missionary. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Jesus Visted the Lonely and so Can You

Today I wanted to share some spiritual experiences. 

The first one came from last week. We were trying to think of some productive way to use the morning hours. Not too many people answer their door at 11 AM, and there aren´t very many people outside to contact. We just kind of went out, trying to do what was right, and hoped we would be rewarded. We stopped by the church to drop something off, and when we got to the corner a man crossed the street to contact us. Missionaries usually attract the weirdos. After talking a bit, this guy didn't actually seem so strange. His name was Eduardo, he was about 50 years old and worked as a fisherman. He told us some stories of how he developed faith by spending a lot of his time on the sea. Describing how the sea is very unforgiving and in storms it is relentless. I asked him if he attended any church, and this is when he got me. He said, "I am not attending any church, because I'm currently looking for one to be able to baptize."  Whattt....I was kind of shocked. I had always heard stories of missionaries finding people who were praying for an answer. I never thought I would be part of one of those stores. We asked Eduardo if he was willing to take a step of faith, and we brought him right into the church and showed him the baptismal font. We told him, that if he wanted the same baptism as the savior he needed a baptism by someone who has the authority and by immersion. We invited him to prepare to be baptized and to come to church. 

The second story came from one of the challenges of Light the World. 
One of our investigators invited us to come to a retirement home and decorate the home for the people living there. We got together with some of the psychology students from the University and helped make Christmas a better experience for the old folks in the facility. We helped them draw snowmen, stars, trees, presents, etc, and decorated the center. I was reminded that service is so much more important than buying something physical. 

I want to close with a scripture from Matthew;

For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”

Matthew 25:35–36

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

Elder Haddad