Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Santa really is real!

In Chile, Christmas is really celebrated the 24th at midnight. That is when all the kids open up the presents, and honestly I like the tradition better. Less waiting. But anyway, we had our Christmas dinner with one of the members and counted down to midnight playing UNO. Santa is supposed to come by at midnight and drop all the gifts under the tree, when the kids all run to the windows to look for his sleigh, the gifts magically appear under the tree. No need to put out milk or cookies or anything, the viejito pascuero comes on his own will. 

Honestly I had some low expectations for Christmas, I thought it would just be a normal day. We headed to the office to work and well the majority of the day passed by until our Ward Mission Leader came by to bring us a gift. I was thinking yea some chocolate or something small, but the only thing he showed up with was a dang flash drive. I already have a flash drive, so I wasn't really getting too pumped up for anything special. He then opens up this video on the flash drive and we start watching some apostle talk about how they assign missionaries to missions around the world. Then all of a sudden there is a video of Elder Diaz´s family saying hi to him, and then Elder Medina, and then my own family pops up on that screen and I couldn't believe it! I had just gotten to this sector a week ago, the ward mission leader didn't even know my first name. I have to say this was one of the greatest surprises I have had, a Christmas miracle. To have a stranger contact my family and for them to record a Christmas greeting, truly was a great surprise. It seems so simple and so small, but truly that was the greatest gift I could have received, being able to see my family. 

Pictures to come! 
Elder Haddad

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

1,500 Miles Away

Well this week has probably been one of the most interesting weeks in a while. It has gone by so incredibly fast as well. It took about 8 hours to get up to Osorno from Punta Arenas with the 2 hour flight and the buses and everything. I arrived in Osorno at about 10:00pm, and I was shuttled down to the office where the Elders had been waiting for me.  

Honestly, I did´t know who my companions were until the following day. Turns out I have two companions, yes I´m in a trio, and they are both Latinos. Elder Medina from Argentina and Elder Diaz from Mexico. So much fun. Between all the laughs and language barriers, we are having a great time here. Unfortunately, Elder Medina fractured his leg, so it´s pretty difficult for him to work. 

This week was filled with activities! Along with the help of the stake choir, we sung and did some contacts for Christmas. I´m not actually sure how, but Christmas is in like a week. 

Saying goodbye in Punta Arenas 

View from the plane

View from our office
River that runs through Osorno
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Elder Haddad

Elder Haddad

Monday, December 14, 2015

Elder Haddad: World´s greatest gift giver

This week we had a white elephant activity with the ward. We tried our best to explain the concept but people didn´t really understand the funny gifts. Some of the gifts included paper earrings, a funnel, a rolling pin, a salt shaker, and some other interesting items. We tried to explain that it was something fun, but kind of lame gifts. Having received makeup for the last couple years, I tried to give good examples of gifts the members could bring so that there would be some fun gifts...they didn´t really seem to get it. 

Attached is the gift that I made, very useful, the portable shower! Ohh that gift got snatched quick, haha the logo says "even if you wake up late, you can shower on the bus" 

In other news, I'm heading on up to Osorno for my new sector. I will be trained as the new Secretary of the Mission. My flight leaves Wednesday. 

Talk to you guys next week! 

Elder Haddad

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Answer

As a missionary, I have begun to collect a lot of spiritual experiences. I can say that I know that the message we teach is true, because of the way I have seen it change my own life. This week we got to see the change in one of our investigators. On Friday, we had a lesson with Sofia one of the few young adults we are teaching. Our ward mission leader was helping us with the lesson as well. We had talked a lot about preparing Sofia and her brother Thomas for baptism. We felt that they didn't have their own testimony that was pushing them forward, they were progressing without real intent. So we focused our lesson on how they could get the spirit; praying, reading the scriptures, and coming to church. At the end of the lesson we asked Sofia to pray, and she offered a nice prayer thanking the Lord for her health, for the peace she had felt, and for what she had learned. 

After her prayer we were sitting there on our knees and our ward mission leader glanced at me. We had talked about that Sofia needed to do a specific prayer. Though it was awkward, and a bit uncomfortable, I asked Sofia if she could pray one more time, and ask specifically if what we had taught was true and if the Book for Mormon was true. She agreed and offered a simple, and short prayer. She stuttered about halfway between. At the end of her second prayer, I was about to get up from my knees when my companion asked her how she had felt. She burst out into tears, exclaiming she had felt something so powerful, something so shockingly undeniable that had revealed to her the truth. Testimonies are born from the impressions we receive. 

I had received my answer the same way she had. A simple prayer asking God to tell me the truth. I know that God cannot lie, I cannot deny what I have felt, and I know that it was revealed to me by God and not by any other means. 

Have a great week guys, 
Love, Elder Haddad

This week I also got punished and sent to Austral, which is one of our neighboring sectors, for the day with Elder Alder. If you remember my photos from Torres del Paine, he was the one with the Aggies shirt. He is still struggling to come to terms that BYU is a greater school than Utah State. 

The other is Elder Weyand playing on the beach with a tire he found.