Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Torres del Paine

This week we had a once in a lifetime opportunity to go to Torres del Paine. The views were amazing, photos for this email mainly! 

View from the stake center in Punta Arenas, it overlooks the entire city. 


Ice Berg Lake

Cave Exploring
 These are wanaco or something like that, it's basically a chilean llama

Monday, October 19, 2015

El Diablo

This is the story of Juan, El Diablo. 

Once upon a time, two missionaries were looking for a store to make photo copies. They innocently stumbled upon a corner store, nestled in a neighborhood of suburban houses. Upon entering the store, the owner and worker announced himself as Juan, el Diablo. The missionaries were caught off guard, and laughing it off, politely asked the man if he was able to make a photo copy. To which the old man responded "sschol, losh kibish, slrews." Then the missionaries were really confused, and sensing something was wrong they laughed lightly. The man then commanded his dog not to eat the missionaries, but was interrupted by new customers entering the store. Upon the entry of more people into the store, Diablo, introduced the missionaries as servants of the devil. After all of the jokes, he gave the missionaries free photocopies and gave them some free candy. That´s how it all started with Juan, El Diablo, and now we get free photo copies whenever we want. Attached is a photo of this legendary man. 

This week I also got the chance to talk in church. Elder Weyand and I both, actually. I chose a theme of home teaching, and focused on the conversion story of my mom. Quoting a scripture in Lucas (Luke)15:4, that search for the one lost sheep was just as important as the other 99. We also had investigators at church today, two kids of a less active lady that we had found the week before. She had not come to church in 20 years, and she said that she had felt greatly touched by my talk. It doesn´t matter how far away you have fallen from the path, there is always a way back. 

With Love, 
Elder Haddad

El Diablo

Monday, October 12, 2015

Exorcism Avoided

About two months ago, week of August 17th, I wrote in my email that we met a club owner. This week we found him again and I could not believe what had happened. About two months ago, we found a bunch of really interesting people all in one week. One of them was a partner of a night club, that immediately let us into his house. He said, that he imagined we had been knocking doors for quite some time and that we would like to come in. This doesn't happen a lot, and to be honest, when it does, it's usually someone kind of out there. Big surprise that the missionaries always find the crazies. Anyway, we start getting to know this man, who is about 25 years old, and indeed he was a little out there. Along with his crazy night life, he has passed enough nights without remembering anything, that he has 3 kids with 3 different women. Not the greatest introduction I know, but we sat there listening, though it was painful. 

We shared a message about the gospel of Jesus Christ, we talked about faith, repentance, baptism, the holy ghost, and keeping the commandments. Though you might not think these principals and ordinances have little relation to this man, we were able to change his life. He confessed that he knew he was doing something wrong, and that he was hurting and ruining peoples lives by what he did. However, though it was wrong, but tried to justify that he had good intentions. He wanted to make enough money so that he could provide a good life for s 3 kids and fix his life, and he said in 2 more years he will be able to make enough. As someone who accepted all religions to come into his house and share there message, this man had of course shared with Evangelists, Jehovah's witnesses, and the other denominations. However, he said that we were the people who actually listened to him and still shared a message of love, the others thought the only way of helping this man was an exorcism. We taught him how to pray, and we convinced him to ask in his prayer, if God wanted him to change now, or to wait. In the end of the lesson, he didn't end up doing the question but he felt it. I knew he did. 

This was all two months ago, and on Tuesday we knocked his door again and he let us right in. He told Elder Weyand and I that he had changed his life because of what we had taught him. He had delegated his work to some other kids, given up his office, and even bought a house for his kids. He told us that he had taken 20 steps toward the right direction instead of just one or two. He cut his weekly hours in the night club, in half. We shared another message with him and in his ending prayer, he thanked us for the way we had helped him. It doesn't matter who you are, or what you have been through, your past does not measure your future potential in God's eyes, nor in mine. 
Have a great week everybody. 

Elder Haddad

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference

Finally an introduction to the great Elder Blake Weyand. Elder Weyand thinks its cold down here, even though we have had the nicest weather I have ever seen! I've been trying to convince him that it snowed a week before he got here, but hard to believe when there is sun out all day. Elder Weyand is a smooth guy, he has a little bit more time than me in the mission, and is quite a character. He is a powerful missionary, humble to every extent, and has a great attitude. He also talks Spanish 100% of the time, which is really admirable. This is going to be a really fun transfer, and it's hard to believe that two weeks have already gone by.  Attached is a photo of this kid.

This week we had a special church meeting, and we even had our Colombian investigator come. I imagine it was pretty interesting for this man to watch a bunch of old white men give talks and then a tremendous chorus sing in English...yea there's no Spanish translation for the Mormon tabernacle choir. Watching the conference in a different language is different, the translating is a good time. Sometimes the person translating gets really emotional and they quickly switch to someone else, and it's also really interesting when they use something that doesn't translate in Spanish. Like "walk the walk, and talk the talk." That leaves everyone in the audience really confused. 

The rest of the day we spent playing volleyball in the church, between sessions. There was even a little room set up for the Gringos and the Latinos who think they speak English. It was a great weekend, until next week,

Elder Haddad

Elder Blake Weyand

Watching Conference in English