Monday, August 31, 2015

Cultivating the Spirit

This week's email is just a picture, Elder Salgado doing exercises. There's the classic pull the sheets over your face which gets your arms a good workout. If you want to work the core, you just do some turning over to the other side of the bed. Not to mention the strenuous eye nods, for getting some muscular focals. No just kidding, this is after a week of hard work. Thanks for all the email guys, running short on time to write a letter this week, but I'll make sure to write one for next week. Love you all!

Elder Haddad

Monday, August 24, 2015

"If you can't change it, just love it"

Short update this week. Elder Salgado shared a little saying that has really helped me turn my attitude around here. "If you can't change it, just love it." I know there is blessings found in patience, but sometimes it feels likes it's stretching us too far to be able to hold out. For me, I have found a lot of comfort in these words. 

This week we hit some nasty weather. It was raining sideways like blankets and it felt like needles in my eyes...if you can't change it just love it. We are spending a lot of time trying to find some new people to teach, which means 8 hours in the streets...if you can't change it, just love it. Honestly I have learned not to worry about the little things you can't control, I may not be able to control the weather, or the people's agency, but I can control my attitude to the situation. You end up learning quite a bit on the mission.

That's all for this week everyone, love you. Attached is a little photo of our district, people might wonder why I attach the photos of all the missionaries (how boring is that), it's because I actually don't take any real photos so that's all I got. 

Elder Haddad

Monday, August 17, 2015

Elder Haddad and the Mexican Cartel

Had an interesting experience this week, we were knocking doors, and knocked this house that didn't looked like it was occupied. It didn't look like anyone had lived there for some time, but as we approached the door, we saw some people inside. There was about 4 or so people moving around inside, and we knocked. The door was answered by this man with very tan skin and a turtleneck, we told him that we were offering home blessings and would like to teach him a little about prayer. He looked back to see if it was okay with the other members who were in the house, and they gladly let us in. There happened to be about 6 men in the house, all unpacking their suitcases; immediately we knew they were foreigners, based on their Hawaiian shirts and sunglasses.  They had just arrived from the airport, about 30 minutes before we had showed up, but to an almost empty house - excluding the dining room table which was filled with whiskey, scotch, and all types of alcohol. Foreigners are just so receptive, haha, we got to know them a little before we offered the prayer. Turns out, they are 6 brothers from Mexico, and they do a lot of traveling, they knew all different parts of the United States and a majority of the countries here in South America. Seemed a little fishy, especially one of the brothers who had a long leather jacket, shark tooth necklaces, and a deep deep v-neck shirt. They explained they were visiting for a few days to get to know the area, and that they were heading up to Torres del Paine - really famous national park here in southern Chile - for a couple days. The trip isn't cheap, it costs about $60 a person just to enter the park. Honestly I didn't know if they were just going to pull cocaine and firearms out of their bags or what, it was bizarre. I think what sealed the deal was when they told us they worked for an"Internet business"  Knowing they looked suspicious and everything, we decided to just offer the prayer and get out of there before anything happened. We also met a club owner this week, interesting people. 

-attached is a photo of our zone, pretty sweet. I'm not sure how, but this is the only photo that I got, but at this rate, I might as well start a collection. 

Love to you all,
Elder Haddad

Monday, August 10, 2015

Nobody Left Behind

First off I want to thank all those that have sent me e-mails. I truly wish I could respond to all of them, even thought I can't, I do read every single one. Thank you all for your support and love. We had a week of finding new people here, we met some very interesting people. A Colombian, a scientist, we even had a lesson with a cocaine addict. Interesting week, interesting people. 

The highlight was the baptism of Jorge's wife, Isabel. Though I didn't get a good picture, it was surely a special day. She even shared her testimony of how she came to know that all this is true. It has been such a pleasure getting to know this family and seeing them grow in the gospel. This week's email is short, but it's because I physically cannot accurately describe how amazing it is to be a missionary. Though it's hard, the work of salvation is rewarding. I am a witness that changes are possible in everyone, I've seen it in myself. Thank you for everyone that helped me get to where I am, this church is everything to me, and these last two years have been the greatest years in all of my life. 

I love you all, 
Elder Haddad

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Best Two Years

They say the best two years is the mission. However, today is a different accomplishment for me. Two years ago today, I was baptized. Never could I imagine how that day would change my life, but I can firmly say that it did.

I honestly would just like to share 3 scriptures from the bible that I have really found comfort in and that really explain this experience better than I could. 
Isaiah 48:10, 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10, and 2 Timothy 1: 11-12

10 Behold, I have refined thee...I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities..., in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

11 Where unto I am appointed a preacher...

 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

I have given everything for my faith, because I know this is true. I have never felt greater happiness or joy, I love you all. 

The rest of this email is what happened this past week: 

Jorge´s baptism

Sunset: We had exchanges this week - requested by me so I could get out to the house for a night. The other sectors here are beautiful, this one is called Fitz Roy. It is just rolling hills of suburbs and has some breath taking views of the sunsets here. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wooden Nun: Well I thought I was going to die this week, when we knocked on a door and a man shuffled us into his house. I had explained that the church had been restored and that we wanted to share our message with him. By some miracle, he let us in, opening his door and pushing us down a hallway. I then got glare of that thing, and I thought I was going to die. I thought that we had just walked into some sort of religious torture chamber, because the hallway we walked down was filled of pictures of Christ's suffering. Turns out no, he is an artist, and carves religious art out of wood. Super interesting experience, his name is Jose, and he's from Spain. haha. 

Wooden girl: Another one of Jose's creations, this one is less creepy. 
Elder Salgado: my companion ate a scorpion lollipop too... 
Our district leader got transferred earlier than expected, this is Elder Espinoza.