Monday, December 22, 2014

More December 15th letters

Nathan and Grant, give up trying to ask mom and dad for a dog. It isn't going to happen, but you can always ask for a pet duck! This little guy is pretty fun!

This is the front of our house.
We came home one night and the person we are renting from decided to put a giant for sale sign on the front.
I don’t know why but apparently he doesn't want us there anymore so we might have to look for a new house.

I found this guy keeping the grass short outside of the church.

On Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 8:39 AM, wrote:

Dear Elder S. Hackleman,

The first question that I have to ask is did you get your package? We had a great week. Nothing too exciting. We had the Ward Christmas party on Saturday and our Oriental Trading Christmas Sale Friday night. We get tons of free junk... or free Chinese made stuff. Needless to say, yesterday we were worn out! Especially your mom who was up late Saturday doing homework. We also had Nathan's choir concert at school yesterday. That was really fun. Your little brother is turning out to be quite the musician... following in big brother's footsteps!

How is the work in Veracruz mission?? Lots of great things happening, I'm sure!! What things have you been doing on your P-days? The ward finally got your plaque. I have to admit, I could be pretty boastful! I'm not gonna lie, two stripling warriors... just saying! Did your companion get transferred?

Anyway, I hope you are healthy and staying focused. Are your eyes okay? It's just going to be the four of us for Christmas. Gma and Gpa are going to Uncle Jeff's. So we can Skype with you anytime you are available. We'll email you the info. Your brothers are soooooo excited to see you! Send us some pictures too!!

¡Ámele hijo!


Hey dad! No I haven’t gotten my package because I haven’t gone to Tuxtapec yet. We are going this Wednesday so I should be able to get it then (if it is here) yeah my eyes are great! Oh and I found out that the church won’t reimburse it because it is an issue I had before my mission. Jaren’s was on his mission so they paid for it. So I can probably order some from here if you want to just put money in my account or you can send them. I feel bad having you guys send me so much stuff because I don’t know how much it costs every time to do it but I’m excited to skype too! Love you all! Yeah my comp is going to be zone leader in a zone about 2 hours away. My new comp (who I will get tomorrow) is a gringo! That is really rare that the president puts 2 gringos together when one of them just barely finished his 12 week training. I’m not worried because I know the area really well and obviously the president trusts me so that is pretty cool. Anyways love you all! Take care of the fam!

Elder Hackleman

Letters December 15, 2014

Nathan's choir sang some of the songs from the Requiem performed with the Omaha Symphony for the winter program.

On Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 8:39 AM, Amy wrote:

Dear Elder S Hackleman,

How are you doing? Did you get your package? We had our ward party on Saturday. The theme was the Parable express. We had a musical number performed by the young men and young women. Nathan and Grant both participated. It was to the Hot Chocolate song from Polar Express. It was very cute. They even had props and actions. Then after church yesterday, Nathan had his December concert at the school. They did little pieces of the songs they had performed at the Omaha Symphony. It was so good. As I looked at Nathan up there on the stands I could see happiness in his face that I have not seen with any other activity he has ever been in. I think he has found his passion. He sure loves to sing.

He tried out for a solo part but didn't make it. I was impressed with the young men who did make it. All I can say is he doesn't have to feel one bit bad about losing out to them.

I think I told you before, but it is official now, the Laws are moving the first of January :(((((

You know your buddy Seth from work? He had another fight Saturday night. This is the last one until he can move up to the next level of semi-pro. I guess he was pretty worried about this one, the guy was taller and had a longer reach. Turns out, he didn't need to worry because he won by a landslide. I'll tell you what, I don't have the stomach for that business. I can't even imagine what his wife must think and he has a little baby now. He has such a cute face, the thought of him messing it up by ultimate fighting makes me cringe.

This is my last week of school and then I get a two week break. I can't wait for that. I am ready to relax a little. A few of us ladies are going to dinner before our last class on Thursday to celebrate. It should be fun.

I still keep thinking of the lesson I learned from Henry B Erring about writing in his journal every single day of his life specifically making a note of how he saw the work of Christ in his life that day. I sure hope you took my challenge and have been doing this. Especially when you are on your mission, I think it will be a blessing in your lives if you acknowledge and then recognize the work of the Lord.

I guess Grandma and Grandpa are going to Uncle Jeff's this year so you will only get to skype the immediate family.

Last Sunday Daniel was made bishop. He sure is the man for the job. He will do awesome.

I talked to bishop Burton on Saturday and he said Collin isn't coming home for Christmas. He is waiting until his sister gets off her mission. She might extend a month so they still don't know when that will be. Either January or February.

Once again, Brother Derrik asked about you. He spoke in our sacrament meeting on Sunday. He sure is awesome!

So there was a dish you told me a while back was your favorite Mexican food. The only problem is I can't figure out what it is. It might be spelled wrong. Will you take pictures of your food whenever you can so we can get a better idea of what you eat:)

I sure love you!


Hey mommma! Como esta? Bien? Me encanta todo las comidas aqui, pero es muy dificil a obtener una foto porque yo no quiero ofender los miembros cuando comiendo. ellos pueden estar dificil algunos veces.

Any ways I'm proud of Nathan for trying! and I'm proud of you for working so clanking hard in school. hey good for Danny though! Yeah Tim has been emailing me and telling me the details of his new job and everything. I am going to miss him and Becky but I don't blame him one bit. He will be much happier with this new job. oh and don't worry about seth. He is so good, he wont get messed up;) keep me updated about him though! I'm routing him on!

Ok so here is the new news. my Dad leaves me tomorrow. Elder Martinez was an awesome comp. My favorite one by far here in Mexico. haha. He got called to be zone leader in Las Tuxtles Sur which is about 2 hours away from here so not to far actually. I know his new companion too because he was in our zone. My new companion is a gringo from Utah! Elder Martinez told me that when he talked to president Cordova on Saturday about being a zone leader.  Pres told him he was very impressed with how well I speak the language, so even though I just barely finished my 12 week training with this transfer, he assigned a gringo to be my comp. 

Elder Martinez told me this is very rare especially because my new comp doesn't even have a year in the mission yet. He told me that Pres Cordova really trusts me and wants me to basically show my new comp around.  Elder Martinez is district leader right now so I know all the things he has to do, but my new comp has never been district leader before and has never been companions with a district leader so he doesn't really know. so even though he will be the DL, I will basically be training him with that, as well as with the area, and our investigators. It should be fun!

Anyways that is about everything that is new with me! How is the family doing? I can't wait to see them and skype you guys!! I have been writing in my journal every day! Oh and what is the food called? I can explain it to you.

Love you all!

Elder Hackleman

Letter's the week of December 8th.

Watching the Christmas Devotional

Girls Weekend in Kansas City

On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 8:38 AM, Amy wrote:

Dear Elder S. Hackleman,

How are you doing today? How are your eyes? Have you received your box I sent 3 weeks ago? Your dad and I are worried about whether the contacts would get to you in time. We thought about it all week and figured out the best solution. You should go to an eye doctor in Mexico and get them ordered there. Jaren got glasses while he was on a mission and it is covered under the missionary insurance plan so it wouldn't cost us any money and you would be able to get them right away. You can just tell them you have blown through your contacts because of your eye infection.

Let me know your thoughts.

What is the plan for Christmas? Where are you going to skype from and at what time?

So this past week has been a busy and crazy one. Daniel got made bishop yesterday, so that is pretty neat.

Your dad's surgery was a success. Grandma stayed until Friday. We dropped her off at the airport and then I went to Kansas City with Becky, Kelsey, Danae, and Jill Tirrell. Kelsey is moving to Oklahoma on the 1st of January so we had one last girl’s night out. We stayed in a hotel and shopped around. We sure had a good time.

Yesterday I gave the lesson in Relief Society. It was about sustaining your leaders.

Nathan tried out for a solo in the concert choir and the show choir this past week. He hasn't found out about either of them yet. He is being pretty brave since this is his first year singing and he doesn't have any voice training. He has a wonderful tone, and he understands timing very well, he just hasn't been formally trained on breathing, articulation, and voice control. Very few underclassmen even tried out for solos and the ones that did, have already been in choir for a while. I'm proud of him for putting himself out there. He has a great attitude about it too. He said, if I want to sing a solo when I'm older, I need to try out now and start down the path.

Grant is so funny. He wrote out a big long Christmas wish list. The items he -wants are hilarious. Sometimes that kid just cracks me up. He has things like, nurf gun, I-phone (dream on), beats headphones (again dream on, they are like $100 bucks each), tons of real candy, gum 3 layers, hex bug set, chicken roll ups, a couple of dollars here and there, spring blade shoes, new ipod case, a moon ball, the movie Pacific Rim, I-tunes gift card, new battery charger for air soft gun, giant sized chocolate bar, new lazer light, sled, snow ball maker, a computer, foot rub by dad, cheese-its, nike stuff, under armor stuff, need for speed hot pursuit, duct tape, gummy worms, variety of candy from Tim Law's fields (I think he is talking about the bulk candy they sell), socks, electric orbe, a body suite (black) with a wig, Titan hoody from Hyvee, facetime with Jaren and Seth, cutter gloves, football, lava lamp, a link taken out of the watch I have, a new tie, a pocket knife, a mini basketball hoop for my door, more magnets (not for the fridge), Rev, (it's a protein sandwich), gator-aide, RC car, a maze in a ball, par cord, clips for par cord (he likes to make bracelets), my own lighter for it, a frizby, ballons, air soft bb's, my own rip stick, nike slides, logos, a personal computer, and he lists Beats headphones over and over in his list. At the end he says, beats are the most wanted. (He doesn't know it, but when Tim Law hooked us up with some Beats headphones. What would we do without the Laws!?!

Your dad is back to work today. He is not 100% yet, but he felt he could get some things accomplished so he went. He went to church yesterday too. He's a tough cookie.

Tim Law got offered a new job and if they can work it out they will be moving to Arkansas. It is still top secret, but it's making me crazy. It would be an awesome opportunity for them, but I will sure miss the family. I can't imagine life without Becky! Especially losing Kelsey and Becky all at once. Uggh!

So, what's happening in your neck of the woods?

I sure love you.

How are your eyes?

Love Mom

Hey mom! So yeah I will talk to my comp about the contacts and figure out what the best course of action will be. Oh yeah! So each transfer is 6 weeks right? Well this transfer just happened to finish on the 24th but President Cordova doesn’t want people leaving their areas that close to Christmas so he made it a week sooner which means most likely my companion Elder Martinez will be leaving a week sooner than I thought. He will not be here for when we skype. Most likely I will have a new companion but I know the area so I will be the senior companion already isn’t that crazy?? I will train my new comp in the area and with our investigators.

One story really quick.

We were walking here to this internet cafe to write our emails. We are wearing normal clothes because we just got done playing soccer at the church. We passed a husband his wife and little daughter as we were walking and I said Buenas Tardes as we passed like we always do, (it is just a greeting that translates to good afternoon.) We continued on like normal when I heard them call out from behind us. They yelled a word in Spanish that basically is a much more professional way of saying Hey Gringo! haha. Anyways they asked where I was from. They said they wanted to talk to us because when they first saw me they were just like o cool an American, but then when they heard me speak and all I said was Buenas Tardes, they doubted themselves and thought maybe I was just a white Mexican so they wanted to ask haha. They were very impressed with my accent but I was just happy because this gave us an opportunity to share the gospel with a young family! We have a date to go visit them so we will have to see what happens! They are all very religious though so I am very excited.

Grant your Christmas lists never cease to amaze me buddy haha. Just remember that whatever you get, you are blessed to have a family with so many privileges. I don’t know if the missionaries there are sharing the video he is the gift, but we are here. Afterwards I always ask each family what gift they want most this Christmas. Every single person here in Carlos A Carrillo, Tuxtepec Mexico, has asked for either health, peace or happiness in their families and in the ward. It doesn’t matter what age all the way from 4 to 89, none of them asked for material possessions.

Nathan I am going to send you your own email.

Anyways, I think I might cry if the Laws move. I will get sent home for dying on my mission most likely and what the clank am I going to do without Kelsey, Mike, the kids, and her zucchini bread???

Anyways keep good care of the pops and I love you all! I can’t wait to skype!!

Love Elder Hackleman

My eyes are 100 percent perfect. No issues

On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 5:37 PM, Amy and Tim wrote:

How are your eyes doing right this second?

Did you get your package yet?

No. most likely it will come at the beginning of January.

Dear Elder S Hackleman,

How was your week? My surgery went well. I had a struggle with some of the effects of the anesthesia but got over them quickly. I am well enough to get back to work today. Grandma came out to help. She bought us a new recliner for Christmas. We have all been doing well. We had a wonderful testimony meeting in Sacrament today.

How are your eyes? I am so worried about those beautiful blue eyes. We want to order some more contacts for you. Can you look on your plastic containers and tell me the numbers? I attached a photo with the info that I need. I need it for both the left and right eyes. The other option is to put enough money in your account that you could order them there. Let me know what you would like us to do!!!

I attached a picture of our tree. I took it while we were watching the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional.

I hope that you are doing well and that you are healthy and that you and your companion are sharing in the joy of Gospel. Especially this time of the year. Let us know what the plans are for Skyping. We're going to see if we can coordinate with Jaren to get both of you at the same time. If not, that's okay too.

¡Ámele hijo!


That is awesome dad! and honestly my eyes are 100 percent! oh and I always get compliments because blue eyes don’t exist in Mexico so I have had a lot of girls flirt with me... it’s kind of weird. In my past life I would have loved it but not right now! Anyways I will talk with my comp and figure out what will be better about the contacts. I have enough that I am not too worried about it right now so I will tell you next week. oh and this transfer ends on the 24 but the mission pres told us that we are going to do it a week earlier because he doesn’t want people trying to get settled in a house on Christmas Eve so normally a transfer is 6 weeks but this one will only be 5 which means MOST LIKELY my comp will be leaving a week earlier than we thought. I only get 45 minutes so work it out with Jaren and tell me next week and we can try and coordinate. I still pray for you, daddy. Be careful. I love you tons! Thanks for everything.

Love Elder Hackleman

Letter From Uncle Daniel

My Uncle Daniel, Bishop Beck

Elder Hackleman,

How are you this week? I have to say, the work you are doing is amazing! I am so excited each week to read the happenings of Vera Cruz. It brings back great memories of when I was in Texas. Except for the fact that I was not nearly as prepared as you are, or as bold, but just as handsome. haha. 

Anyway, I have attached an article in response to your question to Amy. I'm sure she will have a better answer, but it was fun studying that while looking into it. By the way, the car with the speaker idea is genius. I did something similar in San Angelo Texas. Our ward mission leader in that area owned the Mexican radio station, and a tortilla factory, so for service, we started teaching English at the church each week, and he would announce it several times a day on the radio. He also put up fliers in the tortilla factory. Guess what station every Mexican listened to? And guess where they all went if they didn't want to make their own tortillas? That's right, we had a captive audience. After the first week of advertising, the first night of teaching was overwhelming. We had between 30-40 people on our first night, show up to the Relief Society Room, just begging us to teach English. 

We taught it just the same way we learned Spanish in the MTC. The next week, we involved our whole district as there were too many people to handle for just the two of us. We started that about 3 weeks before I was transferred to Fort Worth, and shortly after came home. We had about 10 sincere investigators in that 3 weeks, and many more to follow after I left. On a side note, there is a Beck family that moved into our current ward about two months ago. He is a few years older, but served in the same mission as I did. He was also Spanish speaking, and was the one that converted the ward mission leader mentioned above. How cool is that? Anyway, when I heard about the car/speaker driving around town, I thought it might be something to have them announce English lessons? Not sure how many people there care to learn, but I would imagine there are several. It is a pretty non-threatening way to get them into our building. Then, the spirit will take over from there as you already know. Just a thought. Just keep letting the spirit guide you with all of the strange ways of finding. 

I love the random name idea. Who would of ever thought a less active member would be found doing that? It just proves that the manner of finding isn't as critical as the desire to find. 

"If you have the desire to serve God, 

You are called to the work." 

"Knock and it shall be opened unto you." 

I know how true that statement is. And also know the blessings that come from being a doer of the word. I have one more thing to share. When you get a chance, sooner than later, read and study the word Ministry in the Bible Dictionary. There is a lot of doctrine taught in it. It starts out like this: 

"The work of the ministry is to do the work of the Lord on the earth- to represent the Lord among the people, preach the gospel, and administer the ordinances thereof. The chosen servants (you) and appointed officers in the Church of Jesus Christ are put on earth by Him to conduct the work necessary for the salvation of mankind. A minister called of God, as was Aaron, and endowed with the holy priesthood, represents the Lord when he is performing his official duties and is the Lord's agent." 

Elder Hackleman, I know that you are worthy of this work. I also know that you are the Lords agent, and when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, it is the same as if He were doing it. It is hard sometimes to understand that, but it is true. I have no doubt that he is guiding your work, and that you will bless the lives of so many people. Even more than you will know in this life. You are blessing the lives of my family by being such a great example and a guide for all of us to follow. May the Lord continue to bless you as you serve. I love you and think about you often. I have to say, I am a bit jealous and wish we could go knock some doors together. Or rather, clap outside of the fence and say some random name. haha. Love you buddy, have a great week.


D&C 45:24–30. What Are the “Times of the Gentiles” and When Are They Fulfilled?
President Joseph Fielding Smith explained that “the times of the Gentiles commenced shortly after the death of our Redeemer. The Jews soon rejected the Gospel and it was then taken to the Gentiles. The times of the Gentiles have continued from that time until now. The Lord said: ‘But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.’ In that day the Gospel was given first to the Jews and then taken to the Gentiles. In this dispensation it was taken first to the Gentiles and afterwards it will go to the Jews.” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:196.)

The times of the Gentiles began with Peter’s vision and the baptism of Cornelius (see Acts 10). Paul and the other Apostles then began the greatmissionary work to the Gentiles, since the Jewish nation, for the most part, had rejected Jesus. As President Smith indicated, the times that the major gospel effort would be with gentile nations continued with the Restoration. The times of the Gentiles will be over, or fulfilled, when the major efforts of gospel teaching begin to focus on the house of Israel: the Lamanites, the Jews, and the ten tribes.

In the Olivet Discourse, the Savior gave four signs to indicate when the times of the Gentiles were over. Three are given in section 45, and one is given in Luke’s account of the great discourse.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Parable of a Children's Book

When I was young a read this book.  It is about a thirteen-year-old boy named Brian who is on his way to visit his father when the single engine plane in which he is flying crashes because the pilot had a heart attack. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother has given him as a present.  I never guessed that reading this book as a young child might help me save another person's life.

Thank you for the update on dad. I have been worried about him. I can only imagine the panic grandma had when he was having his heart issue. That reminds me, we had another farewell at church this Sunday. He was my best friend in the ward going to Santiago Chile for his mission. He accompanied us to lessons all the time and he was super chill. 

When we were there I was having some issues with my eyes again. I don’t think I have told you about this before because I didn't want you to worry or anything but I got an infection in my eye. It was pretty painful. It was in my left eye mostly but a little in my right. I can’t open them in the sunlight so when we are out walking around I am totally blind. I just listen to the footsteps of my comp and follow him that way haha. I don’t think he really knew how bad it was but they were very, very red so he knew something was up.

Anyways this happens for a few days and then it goes away so I haven’t done anything about it. Well this time it was particularly bad so my comp and I went into another room of the church during his farewell and called the mission doctor. I didn't want to do it before because I never want to miss out on a day of my mission and I was worried she would make me stay home and rest or something. 

Well, while we were in the room, this guy, I think he is like 21 or 22, came in with another Returned missionary and collapsed on a chair clutching his shoulder. He couldn't speak because he was in so much pain so I asked the other guy named Carlos what happened. Carlos didn't know. All Carlos could tell me was his friend said he couldn't feel half of his face. 

I watched him for a minute and I started to think of dad for some reason. Then I remembered the book, “Hatchet.” In the book I remembered how the pilot died of a heart attack and right before he died he was clutching his shoulder because of the pain. I looked at Carlos and said, “El tiene un problema con su corazon. el necesita un bendicion ahorita” which translates to he is having heart problems and needs a blessing right now. My comp and I gave him a blessing. I put quite a bit of consecrated oil on his head on accident because I couldn't see very well. 

After a couple of minutes the pain went away and he was able to tell us what was going on. He served a mission for 5 months, but got sent home because of his health. He has a very week heart and this stuff happens quite often but never this severe. He asked me how I knew he had heart problems. I just looked at him and said, “The Holy Ghost works in mysterious ways.”

So that was pretty crazy but I am glad we were in that room when we were! But on the bright side, I didn’t have to miss a single day of prosolyting! I stopped at a pharmacy and bought the eye drops the doc told me to get and I haven’t had any more problems with it! So all is well!

How is life in Nebraska besides dads operation? How is your toe? and pathway program? Getting straight A’s? What are Nathan and Grant up to? Oh and by the way I like your new coat! Looks awesome but in case you were wondering, no don’t worry about sending me one. I don’t think I am going to need it right now. Thanks though! It is pretty warm today but it is supposed to cool off tomorrow to like 70 or so. I’m pretty excited for that.

I love you all! Keep the cottonwood ward going for me and tell Becky and Tim hello! Give the kids a hug from elder Hackleman!

Te amo much

Elder S. Hackleman

PS... I feel like I am forgetting to tell you something but I can’t remember what it is. I will write it down when I remember so I can tell you next week.

Oh and my doctrinal question for the week also. I was studying scriptures about John the Baptist one day and I am a little confused with the timeline of things. I remember hearing somewhere that before Joseph Smith, he was one of the most important prophets because he prepared the way for Christ and because he baptized Christ obviously. But was he considered a prophet? Because I thought Christ was the prophet at the time? If he wasn’t, why wasn’t he an apostle?

On Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 8:48 AM, Amy wrote:

Hello. We made it back from our trip to Colorado. We had a great time. I know your dad sent some pictures. The day of the CSU vs Air force football game the weather was fabulous. It has turned cold again. We are freezing now, but at least we aren't trying to go to an outdoor football game in this weather. I am cooking pop in the oven cinnamon rolls right now, to help warm up the house.

Karen came back with us so she can be here for Tim's surgery this afternoon. I'm sure all will go well. We decided it was time for your dad to get his hernia fixed once and for all. I think he will probably have to have it done every ten years or so.

We sure have been talking a lot about you and Jaren with grandma. She talks about all the missionaries that come and visit her and grandpa all the time.

I would love another picture of you.

I sure love you!



From Aunt Christie

That's awesome that Seth remembered the heart attack symptoms from a book he read years ago. I've read that book. I've also had a heart attack that the only signs were pain in my left arm and nausea.  I'm so proud of him. I hope Tim is doing better.
Love you, 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This Isn't Missionary Work, This is Missionary Fun!

 This is my best little buddy. His name is Ian. 
His family is so awesome!
He likes to wear my name-tag.

This isn't missionary work, this is missionary fun!

Another picture of our baptism

For some reason the dogs here love us. I think it is similar to the gorillas at the zoo that would have an entire room of people, but for some reason they would follow me. These dogs will follow us for miles! We feel like Noah and the ark every day.

They have bread shops everywhere that sell amazing bread. It’s usually sweet bread so almost like a donut but better. This one is called cat face haha. It doesn’t look anything like that but Mexicans are very creative with their naming lol.

My District

So far on my mission I have done pretty well. When we got home one night this little guy came running out of our room. After I recovered from my heart attack, I made my comp help me search our entire apartment for more. Luckily he was the only one but still!

I Hate Spitting Death In The Face!!!

I know a lot of you might say, oh, it's just a harmless spider,
but in my world it is the scariest thing in the universe!

On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 7:40 AM, Amy wrote:

Dear Elder S Hackleman,

How are you doing today? We had a great weekend. We got a new stake presidency on Sunday. We had 2 members of the 70 here to make the changes. One of them was Joel's old stake president from Twin Falls. Brother Derrick was called as the new stake president. Bishop Webber from the Papillion ward is a counselor and I can't remember the other guy. I'm sure your dad will say. I told President Derrick there was going to be a missionary in Mexico doing cartwheels when he heard the news.

Nathan and I sang in the stake choir, then we rushed out the door because Nathan was also singing with his school choir along with 6 other high schools from the area and the Omaha Symphony. They performed Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem. It was so unbelievably good. The Maestro even talked about Mrs. Renche and started to cry because he is so touched by her.

Nathan started show choir practice the first of November. I am looking forward to his first performance for show choir. He is loving it. He and Grant are also excited to start practicing for church basketball. Tim Law is going to be their coach again this year. The games start in January but they will start practice any time now.

I sent you a little Christmas box in the mail on Friday. I sure hope it makes it to you. I packaged it with pictures of Virgin Mary and Crosses all over it and put tags saying it is full of toothbrushes and toothpaste for the Mission. Hopefully it will make it in one piece. There is also a little something for your companion in there too. In the box there are also about 10 sets of arch supports. I tried a bunch of different brands. When you figure out what kind is your favorite, take a picture of it and send it to me so I will know what kind to get you next time around. There are about 10 pairs there so it should last you for a while.

We are getting excited to go to Fort Collins for Thanksgiving. I think I told you before we are going to a CSU volleyball game as well as a CSU football game at the Air-force academy. We have snow now and the past couple of weeks have been record breaking cold so I'm not so sure the football game is going to be fun in such weather, but we will bundle up the best we can.

Your dad had a good interview on Friday with Midlands. He doesn't know for sure that he got that job, but the interview went well.

How is the missionary work going?

I love to hear your stories!

Guess who got home from their mission on Friday? Ryan Shields.

Mitchell is in Argentina I think. Anyway both of the Shields brothers are Spanish speaking as well. So fun.



Ryan is already finished? freak! First off, mom thanks for all the scriptural references and information! For some reason I couldn’t remember all of that! Thank you:) I know I can trust my mommy for that stuff! so I told dad this but I will tell you too, I wrote in my journal a couple nights ago that I changed my mind about thinking Bishop Burton was going to be stake pres. I wrote that I thought it was going to be brother Derreck. I LOVE THAT MAN!

Anyways, sorry for the pansy emails recently. I will try to do better. Did you get all of my pictures? I think I sent them to a few different of your email accounts. I also realized I forgot to send a few and I didn’t bring my camera so I guess next week haha sorry. 

Chuy Corona

I wanted you to know that my favorite Mexican soccer team is called Cruz Azul (blue cross in English). I pretty much only like them because my companion does so he teaches me about them. I know all about their portero (or goalie). His name is Chewy Corona and he is a stud. I had him teach me because cruz Azul is really big around here and I wanted a good conversation starter:) if you guys want to follow them and update me on how they are doing feel free! haha. 

Thank you so much for the package. I can’t wait to get it! And those arch supports are going to save my life so thank you. We walk so much. Whenever I get tired I just think of the pioneers and how this is just training for football haha. 

Whenever I get tired of walking, I just think of the Pioneers
And training for football

It cooled off quite a bit today! The sea breeze came in so it was really windy. I like it but everybody is wearing coats and stuff haha freaking crazy. But yeah it cooled off to about 80 degrees so it is really nice:) I’m finally not sweating! As much;) ok so I have two cool stories for you that I can think of right now. If I think of more I will definitely write them. One I hope will make you laugh and the other almost made me cry so see what you think.

1) So my area of proseliting is called Carlos A. Carrillo. It is in the Tuxtepec Zone and close to a larger town called Cosamaloapan. My area is kind of like Papillion in the sense of everybody lives hear but they all work in Cosamaloapan. That is where I sent my pictures from today. We go there to do our shopping and stuff because we don’t really have stores here. Also we go their because a sister in the ward owns a small gym their and lets missionaries lift weights for free so my comp and I go almost every Monday. 

Ward member owns a gym and lets missionaries work out there for free on our Preparation Day.  I got asked to join a weight lifting team.  I told the guy I was a missionary so I couldn't join his team, but I invited him to church:)

The first part of my story is that one time I was lifting and this guy came up and asked if I would join his lifting team because he has never seen somebody lift as much as me, (in my mind I was thinking, this isn’t even that much I’m still taking it easy from shoulder surgery), but instead I told him I couldn’t because I was a missionary and instead invited him to church on Sunday. haha he didn’t come but the best part, is that they play music at this gym. It is usually Mexican songs but Mexicans also listen to a ton of American music. One song came on and at first I just thought it was another one in Spanish so I just kind of zoned out because it is hard to understand music in Spanish but then I realized it was the If I Were A Rich Man song from fiddler on the roof! 

Mexican Rap Version of "If I Were A Rich Man"
Caused me to laugh my head off.

But in like a Mexican rap form! hahahahahahah I started laughing so hard and my comp just looked at me like What the clank? haha it made my day.

Parable of the Tie

I have witnessed true Christ Like Service
I will never be the same

2) At Church this past Sunday one of the investigators who is hopefully going to be baptized in a week or so was there. He doesn't have very much money and wore some tattered jeans and a t-shirt. Apparently he has a white shirt but no tie so he didn't want to wear it. He isn’t our investigator but the other elders in our district. They are in the same ward. After sacrament meeting, I watched as one of the guys in our bishopric came down off of the stands and started taking off his tie. I just assumed he was anxious to get home because it was fast Sunday but no he walked straight to this investigator handed him has tie, gave him a hug, and walked off. 

Before I came out on my mission people told me I am going to find people who are literally going to be willing to take the clothes off of their backs for others. I always thought of this as some sort of parable not to be taken literally but spiritually, in the sense of people are extremely willing to serve or they will help in any way possible. When I saw this, and realized this is a literal act of kindness people do and I saw it first hand, I was speechless. It made me want to go home, grab all my ties and take them to all of my investigators. 

Will you share this with Nathan and Grant? I have a lesson I want them to learn sooner than I did. Never take for granted the blessings and things we have. Somewhere in the world there is always somebody a little bit worse off than the next person. At the same time, those people are also those who tend to be more willing to serve and utilize their Christ like attributes.

So far so good here in Mexico. With the exception of spitting death in the face with that spider in our house, I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world. I love you all!

Oh one more thing. I’d love to hear from some of my aunts and uncles! Oh and tell Bro Derreck to send his favorite elder a clanking email also por favor.

Te amo mucho!!
ELder Hackleman

On Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 8:28 AM, Tim wrote:

Dear Elder,

How was last week?? We had a wonderful Stake conference. We had Elder Nielson of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy and Elder Payne, an Area Authority Seventy. Our new Stake President is Pres. Derrick. I think you know him?? :) Anyway, Stake Priesthood Leadership was awesome!! One of the best I have ever been to! One of the overall themes for the whole conference was "Hastening the Work".

Here's a couple of things that I think would be revelatory for you and your companion (and your Zone for that matter!) - Draw a comparison between "Hastening the Work" and the "Woman taken in Adultery"

Here's another one! This one is about wayward family members compared to lost quorum or ward members...

Study Luke 15:4-5 and 8-9, the "Lost Sheep" and the "Lost Piece of Silver" really think about verse 5. Then read the parable of the Prodigal Son in verses 11-end of Chapter 15.

What's the contrast between the first two parables and the prodigal son parable?

Anyway, I am so proud of you! Every time missionary work was spoken about, all my thoughts turned to my sons. Are you doing well? I have complete faith, and I am serious about "complete", that you are in the hands of the Lord. You have the ability to accomplish his work no matter what. Just remember when there's a challenge, He'll provide the right opportunity at the right time!

So, here's some more worldly news!

Utah beat Stanford in double overtime! We seriously need a QB. Utah is now ranked 20th. I think we could have seriously played in the PAC12 Championship if we had a decent QB. Papio South lost to Creighton Prep in the State semi-finals. But then get this!!! The coach for Creighton Prep resigned for personal reasons over the weekend and won't be on the sidelines for the State Championship!!! Who does that???? The online class that I'm teaching starts on the 24th! And I had a second interview with Midland University on Friday that went really well. I think I may have that one too! It was with the Vice President of Academic Affairs. When he found out that I was from Utah, he told me about an interview he had at Utah Valley University in Orem. He said that he interviewed with Matt Holland and Asked, "Do you know Matt? I guess his family is pretty big in Utah. His dad is Jeff Holland." I almost fell out of my seat. He didn't realize that he was talking about an Apostle of the Lord.

Anyway, Tell me all about your week and what's happening!!!!!

¡Ámele hijo!


P.S. I love my wife!

Hey dad! I wrote those versus down so I can study them in the morning! Thank you! So the crazy thing, is I was thinking about it this week and I thought Brother Derrick is going to be the president. I wrote it down in my journal just to see what would happen. Snyways good for Utah! too bad no qb though.... freaking prep and what the heck? what’s up with the coach? I feel like there has to be more to it so keep me updated. That is crazy about your interview!!!!

ok so I don’t have any crazy stories that I can think of right now but I do have some recipes for you to try if you want!

I don’t remember which ones I have already told you about but here are some of my favorites.

1) This one is really easy. They make a bunch of different versions of this, but the idea is all the same. Oh and a meal without tortillas is breaking the word of wisdom here. We ALWAYS have tortillas. Take a tortilla and lightly fry it in some oil. Not a ton but just a little. Then lay it flat on the plate and spread some black beans (better if they are re-fried because then it isn't as messy if it is almost like a paste) on the bottom. Top it with some shredded chicken (seasoned however you like) a strip of jalapeno, a thin slice of carrot, avocado, and mozzarella cheese on top. Then eat it like a pizza. This is one of my favorite varieties but you can play around with it to see what you like.

2) ok my other favorite food I have no idea how to make so you might have to look it up. It is called a Bolivani. It is almost like a croissant stuffed with like cheese and ham or chicken or whatever. They are amazing and will change your life but I hear they are kind of hard to make.

Daddy I love you! All is well here. Keep me updated with things!

Te amo, Elder Hackleman

Unconventional Ways to Find People to Teach In Mexico


Top 10 things I learned this week:

1) So my comp and I have a favorite way of contacting people on the street. We love walking up to people and asking them if they know where Enrique lives (we usually just make up a name on the spot). 

Naturally because the name is made up they say, no sorry, but then we have their attention and we can reel them in with, oh, ok, we were looking for them because we are missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and we have a message to share about.... and then we get a new investigator! This method works very well because we aren't lying, we truly do want to help Enrique, whoever that might be, but it also breaks the ice with the person on the street. We have a packed schedule with investigators but it is a good way for us to just get their address and return to deliver the message another day. 

Anyways we did this to a group of probably 8 or 9 people yesterday who were just sitting outside of their house laughing and having a good time. They were very nice and to our surprise, the person we asked for actually lived on the next street over. Remember we just made up a name but this time the person actually existed. They told us where she lived and after we gave them our two bits, all 8 of them asked us to come back and talk with them another day! It was awesome! But the best part is now we have a referral! hahaha so we visited this mystery lady and when we called out, she opened the door and immediately invited us in and had us sit down on the couch. She was on older lady we were a little surprised because we hadn't even told her who we were or anything. Anyways long story short, turns out she was baptized years ago, and lives with a big family full of non members and less actives in the same house. Because of this one visit we have 2 new investigators with baptismal dates and like 5 or 6 more potentials! It was crazy! I learned two lessons from this one, the first, is the Lord works in mysterious ways. The second, be prepared for anything when you are asking for random people.

2) So this one is nice and short. We had another baptism this week and his confirmation was in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Well 5 seconds before they called him up to the stands to be confirmed my comp told me I was going to be the one to do the confirmation. The good news is I didn't actually die from the heart attack as I walked up to the stands. He told me what to say because I haven’t memorized that part in Spanish and then I just gave a blessing guided by the spirit. I learned two things from this as well. The first is the gift of tongues is real. The second is I found out we don’t really have a good hospital close by if I had died from that heart attack. Oh well.

I performed my first confirmation
And I didn't die of a heart attack!

3) I had something interesting to eat this week. It is called cabesa de perro or head of dog. hahaha the only problem is they didn't tell me it wasn't actually dog head until after I had eaten it all. Lesson learned, meat tastes much better when you don’t think it came from the family pet 20 minutes before you arrived.

Eating a meal titled head of the dog is not awesome.
What is awesome, is when you find out it is just the name of the dish
And not really the family pet.

4) Another quickie, remember the guy who sold me the cologne in our ward, Hermano mike? Well apparently he got married 26 days after he got home from his mission. Lesson learned, I am really competitive and now everybody thinks I really am going to try and beat his record and get married 25 days after mine.

People say I'm competitive

I say, who me?

5) The activity was kind of a bust and a blessing all at the same time. None of our investigators went but it was a great ward activity. We only got one new investigator from it but the good thing is everybody knows where our church is now because of the speaker that drove around town! haha. I will send you a video of the announcement even though you probably won’t understand anything. Lesson learned, even when you think something didn't work, it probably didn't but at least you had fun doing it! 

In the car there is a speaker.  I came up with the idea.  I talked a member into
advertising a fireside at the church over the loud speaker.
I thought we wouldn't be able to fit everyone in the building.
Turns out only one person who wasn't a member of our church came.

Ok I am running out of time so I will send the next 5 next week. Sorry mommy! Love you! Oh really quick, I went to Veracruz this week for my visa thing. That was fun! And ask dad about my interview with the mission pres! You’re the best!
Love Elder S. Hackleman

On Sun, Nov 9, 2014 at 10:55 PM, Amy wrote:

Elder S. Hackleman,

How are you? We are doing good.

The weather is supposed to really cool down this week. I guess I am not quite ready for winter yet, but it's coming weather I like it or not. There is a phrase from the movie, "Frozen" that goes, "The cold never bothered me anyway." I made a poster with those words, then at the end, I said, "Just kidding, I hate the cold" ha ha.

So we had _______ over for dinner today. I wanted to write to you about something that might apply to those you associate with when it comes to missionary work. This is something that has bothered me over the years about a lot of people and I hope you can learn from it, as far as what not to do. Maybe even help other missionaries you are around to help them learn as well.

A lot of the time people will be joking around and having fun with the boys, and it gets a little bit out of hand. They can be rather rude and eventually take it too far. The theme tonight seemed to be, make fun of Grant night and make him feel dumb for not saying the right things, or in the right way. I finally put my foot down and stepped in. I think it is never appropriate to say comments about someone that are derogatory, even if you think you are doing it in fun. It was not fun for me to hear it and it certainly was not fun for Grant. He tried to laugh along and go along like it didn't bother him, but believe me, it did.

I think it is going to be a while before we have __________ over again. They are fun nice people, who just say enough rude things to rub a lot of people the wrong way.

I know you are never one to say rude things, but sometimes I think other missionaries need to be called out on it, or at least have the discussion brought up to them. It’s just a thought.

I sure love you! I would love to hear the top ten things you learned this week on your mission. That was so fun last week!

Love mom

Hey mommy! Yeah I always hated that when people do that. Remember that one missionary we had in Sidney who hated me? Yeah luckily Mexicans are very respectful. I haven’t seen a single one who even sort of does that down here which is good. Tell Grantie he is my man! How is your toe doing? Oh and I do have some stories for you today! But first I have some doctrinal questions:) Your my girl when it comes to doctrine!:) Ok so maybe I just don’t know the answers to these because I was reading in my Spanish Book of Mormon, so maybe I just didn’t understand it quite right. They both come from first Nephi. So in 1 Nephi 13:42, it talks about Christ coming. It says something about the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Naturally I took that to mean Christ would come to the Americas first during the second coming because he came to them last during his earthly ministry but I thought he was going to descend on the dome of the rock? or no? I can’t remember what the dome of the rock is. I know the significance of Adam ohndi ahmen but I was just a little confused. Also (actually this isn’t really a question, more of a thought), I know there is a lot of patterns and numbers and stuff in the church but when I read 1 Nephi 11:35, I wondered if there is some sort of connection with the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles? Maybe one apostle from each tribe? I don’t know, what do you think? Anyways I will tell you some stories now.

(Stories moved to the top of the page)

On Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 9:35 AM, Tim wrote:

Dear Elder,

How was your week? Just as crazy as ever? One thing that I have been curious about, but have always forgotten to ask you is, how is your shoulder? Have you had any problems with it since you've been out? I put $20.00 in your account. I can't remember what the minimum amount was that you could get out of the ATMs down there. I hope you can get that. If not, and it needs to be higher, let me know.

How is your companion doing? What adventures are you having?

You're not going to believe this! So Papio South lost 3 games this season. Bellevue West, Millard North and Creighton Prep. First game of playoffs we beat Bellevue West. Last Friday, we played Millard North. They are undefeated at 10-0. Because we beat Bell West we got to have Millard North at home! We beat them 38-35 with a 27 yd. field goal with 2 seconds on the clock!!! It was amazing!!!! So now the Titans are in the Semi Finals!!! And guess who we play??? Creighton Prep!!! Not sure where, but I don't feel good about this one. They are a passing team and our secondary is still not great. But we'll see!!!

We are all doing well up here! I have an appointment with a surgeon this week. I don't know if you remember when I had my belly-button hernia repaired back in Sidney? Well, it has opened up again and it's much larger. So, I may have to get that fixed. Also, I will be teaching a "Fundamentals of Print Design" class for Bellevue University. It's an online course that starts November 24th! Because it's online that means I can set my own hours and do the work at night a couple times a week. I'm excited and a wee bit nervous too! Also, Midland University called and said that they have a class for me as well. That one probably won't start until after the first of the year. I'm really excited about that one because it's one that I will actually have to go into a classroom and teach.

We're all excited for Stake Conference next week. We're getting a new Stake President. I think I told you that. Your mom and Nathan are singing in the choir. They are having fun doing that. Speaking of music!!! Are you playing the piano??? I always loved to hear you play the piano.

Anyway, I love you so much tiger! Please be safe and always heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost.

¡Ámele hijo!


Hey dad! That is crazy! Be careful with that hernia dang it! That is soooo awesome about papio south! I realllllllly want them to beat prep. ANd $20 is perfect! I have had to use a lot of personal money lately because I haven’t gotten my transport reimbursements yet. Those should come through this Wednesday. When they do I hopefully won’t have to keep using my account. Sorry about that, but thank you for the extra help! It has saved me a couple of times. 

Aren’t you going to be worn out with 3 jobs???? and about piano, yeah I play whenever we are at the church. I might start playing for sacrament meeting. haha. Oh and I wrote a song! It is pretty cool! My comp loves it. I’ll try and record it this week so you can see. It is just the first part, but still pretty cool. I usually have 2 or 3 opportunities to play every week because we go to the church for every baptismal interview and church obviously. My wrist hurts because I played for 2 hours straight yesterday while my comp was in a meeting. 

Oh that reminds me! I had my first interview with President Cordova on Thursday! It went really well! He said he was amazed at how good my Spanish was and that I spoke better than anybody else who came out at the same time as me. He said I sounded like I have been out here for 6 months and not 6 weeks haha. He is super nice! He said a ton of really nice things about me to my comp too. He told me about it afterwards. It was pretty cool!

Love you dad! Thanks for always being the perfect example to us crazy boys.

Elder S. Hackleman

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Why is there so much conflict over the Dome of the Rock?

The Dome of the Rock is a Moslem Mosque
The "Wailing Wall" is a location Jews go to say daily prayers
This location is considered to be hallowed ground for Christians as well. Tradition says:
1. It is the location of Mount Moriah, which is where Abraham was about to offer up his son Isaac to the Lord.
2. David offered sacrifice to the Lord for his sins on a threshing floor which is located on the same ground.
3. This is also the location where David’s son Solomon had a great temple built.
4. Ezekiel saw in a vision, during the Latter-Days, a temple would be built on the sacred ground.
Dear Mom,

As I have been studying the scriptures I have a few doctrinal questions for you.

1 Nephi 13:42 says something about the first shall be last and the last shall be first. So naturally I took that to mean Christ would come to the Americas first during the second coming because he came to them last during his earthly ministry. But I thought he was going to descend on the dome of the rock? Or no? I can’t remember what the dome of the rock is.

Dear Elder,

I am glad to see you are studying deep doctrine and it is causing you to have questions. You are getting a few things mixed up a bit. I will try to help clear things up for you. The answers cannot be given without quite a bit of documentation, so I will do my best.

1 Nephi 13:42 is talking about how the gospel would be spread to the Jews and the Gentiles. Initially the gospel was given to the Jews first and after Christ’s crucifixion, the apostles started preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. Now in the latter days, the Gentiles are being given the gospel first and the Jews will be getting it second.

You are confusing the prophecy concerning Christ’s visit to Jerusalem after the great battle that will take place there. Christ will save the city from destruction. The Jews will see the nail prints in the Savior’s hands and realize it is Jesus of Nazareth. The prophecy states that at this point the Jews will be converted as a whole, but by this time many Gentiles will have already joined the church so the last shall be first.

1 Nephi 13:42 “And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the Gentiles and also unto the Jews, and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.”

Doctrine and Covenant Section 90: 8 “That thereby they may be perfected in their ministry for the salvation of Zion, and of the nations of Israel, and of the Gentiles, as many as will believe;
9 That through your administration they may receive the word, and through their administration the word may go forth unto the ends of the earth, unto the Gentiles first, and then, behold, and lo, they shall turn unto the Jews.”

So Elder Hackleman, now I will address your second question. Christ will not descend on the Dome of the Rock, he will go to the Mount of Olives.  At this point many great prophecies will be fulfilled including an earthquake causing the hillside to be divided in two providing a place for the Jews to escape from captivity brought on by the great seize of the city during the great battle.

A history lesson might help you understand the Dome of the Rock a little better. The Dome of the Rock is a Moslem Mosque. It is important to Muslim’s. It is also easy to see how important the location is to the Jews as witnessed by the many who visit the Wailing Wall each day. Tradition says the Wailing Wall is the last remaining piece of Solomon’s great temple. The Jews go there often to pray and they put written prayers into crevices in the rock wall.

The third group, who also believe this ground, is holy and sacred are the Christians. Tradition says:

1. It is the location of Mount Moriah, which is where Abraham was about to offer up his son Isaac to the Lord.

2. David offered sacrifice to the Lord for his sins on a threshing floor which is located on the same ground.

3. This is also the location where David’s son Solomon had a great temple built.

4. Ezekiel saw in a vision for the latter days-a temple would be built on the sacred ground.

The following two quotes were taken from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Institute Manuel.

Ezekiel 37:26–28. A Latter-day Temple in Jerusalem

Ezekiel prophesied in 37:26–28 about a holy sanctuary or temple that would be part of the great reunification of Israel. Soon after this vision, Ezekiel received a detailed vision of what the new temple in Jerusalem would be like (see Ezekiel 40–48). President Joseph Fielding Smith said:“Ezekiel predicted the building of a temple in Jerusalem which will be used for ordinance work after the gathering of Israel from their long dispersion and when they are cleansed from their transgressions”(Doctrines of Salvation, 2:244).

Ezekiel 47:1–12. Waters Issue from the Temple

The Prophet Joseph Smith proclaimed: “Judah must return, Jerusalem must be rebuilt, and the temple, and water come out from under the temple, and the waters of the Dead Sea be healed. It will take some time to rebuild the walls of the city and the temple, and all this must be done before the Son of Man will make His appearance.” (Teachings,p. 286.)

The waters issuing forth from under the temple and the healing of the Dead Sea may occur when the Lord Himself sets foot upon the Mount of Olives, causing this mountain to divide in two and create a large valley (see Zechariah 14:4; D&C 133:20–24; Enrichment I).

We believe the prophecy written in the Old Testament by Ezekiel will transpire. How that will come about is a mystery at this time. No true Christian would ever cause any harm to a sacred building owned by another religion. So how the prophecy of Ezekial will unfold and when it will happen is yet to be fulfilled.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Elder Hackleman's Stories for the week


My comp and I took a selfie with our nametags. don’t judge:) 

So this dog is crazy. Whenever we walk by this certain house he will follow us for miles. He is nice. I named him Mole. The best part is, he is starting to respond to this name.

That is awesome! Sorry though, I’m not going to be able to send very much today. We sort of spent too much time playing soccer so now we don’t have that much time to write.

Sorry! I still love you though! lol anyways you had a busy week! Tell Becky and the kids hi for me!! And you need to take care of that dang toe mama! Oh and by the way, why does that not surprise me at all with Nathan and being cold and hungry? Oh well, at least I was never that way!;) Oh and I am still betting it is going to be Bishop Burton for stake presidency. Keep working hard at school!
Anyways I only have a couple stories today and I don’t have much time to make them funny ha-ha sorry.

Story # 1

Ok so we found this family. They are super fun and amazing and very willing to listen to our message. The problem is we can’t get them to come to church. We walk to their house every Sunday before church to try and accompany them because they always tell us they will. Here in Mexico, everybody has a fence around their house.

It is impolite to walk through the fence and knock on the door, (unless they are really good friends and members or something, but as missionaries we never do), so you just stand at the fence and yell BUENAS TARDES or something (good afternoon) and they will come out and let you in. For the past couple of Sundays when we went to their house we always heard someone yell BUENAS back, but nobody ever came to the door. We were pretty upset and whenever we would ask them about it they would say they weren’t even home. So we were very confused. Until during one lesson somebody randomly yelled BUENAS in the middle of the restoration video. Turns out they have a parrot who loves to yell Buenos, but it sounded so human we thought it was them! ha-ha my comp and I laughed about that for hours lol.

Story # 2

So my other story actually happened when I first got here but I don’t think I ever told you about it. So Elder Webb, (he was in my district in the MTC, He is the wrestler who knew Tason). Anyway he and I were walking down the sidewalk outside of the mission home. We were both so excited we were greeting and waving at everyone who walked or drove by.

Well he waved at a taxi. Taxis here will drive over a grandma and her pet puppy in order to get to a person even if they already passed them. So this taxi slams on his brakes and starts driving through the traffic in reverse to try and get to us. I was like wow elder! And he was too scared to talk to the taxi driver and explain we didn't actually need his services so I got to have some fun with that with the very limited Spanish I knew at the time. Anyways I thought that was kind of funny ha-ha.
That is all for now. Hopefully I will have a few more minutes to send some pictures. LOVE YOU MOM!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Top 10 Lessons Learned This Week

On the wall next to the church, somebody painted a picture of this temple. I thought it was pretty cool. The guy in this picture is a guy in our ward we would always have come with us to teach investigators. This was right before he left on his mission to Mexico City West.

It rains quite a bit here.

This day was particularly bad. In Mexico, the streets have really steep and tall curbs. The roads were totally flooded up above the curbs. My comp duct taped grocery bags around his feet to try and keep them dry. I didn’t. My feet didn’t get wet at all and his were soaked. Thanks for talking me in to buying the water proof shoes mom! They have already saved my life.

This is the door to our house

Our house is awesome.  As you can see we like to work out.

This is where we study.

Our Bedroom

I have the best companion in the world.
I am following mission rules and wearing my hair longer.
It's painful for me, because I love my head shaved,
but I will follow all the mission rules.

Dear Elder,

How are things in Mexico? What is new in your neck of the woods. I am looking forward to more pictures.

Friday I went to the temple and once again the temple president asked about you. He told me to tell you hello and that he is proud of you.

I also talked to the Stake Young Men's president at church yesterday. I can't remember his name. He also said to tell you hello.

The Spracklin's also asked about you. They are missing you.

We are gearing up for a Halloween party Nathan is having at our house on Friday. I think he is going to have a Twilight Marathon with all his pose. I am going to go trick or treating with Becky Law. So far the weather is still very mild. We left our windows open all night and it felt nice. The leaves are all changing color. I love this time of year. It is so beautiful.

Yesterday was the primary program. It was so fun to see all the children in the ward participating. Cute little Eli Hadley cracked me up. He got up to the microphone and Sister Kenny told him it was his turn to say his part, he said, "I don't want to," and then leaned into the microphone and said his part in a sweet innocent voice. I just about laughed my head off. You have got to love children.

I love watching each child and they say their parts, I love also watching the parents of the children, who are also saying their parts under their breath, anticipating and worrying all will go well.

It was inspiring and spiritual. What a great day.

I am going to your doctor's office to have my toe x-rayed on Wed. At least I will finally have an answer as to why the darn thing won't heal. It has gotten better, but I still can't walk normal yet.

Not a huge deal, but it's not getting better on it's own so we will see what the doctor says. I'm going to the same office but a different doctor. I will be seeing the foot doctor:)

I sure love you. Keep the faith!

Love Mom

Dang mom I’m glad you are finally getting that thing checked out! Anyways I feel bad because I never have much to say in these emails because I forget everything I wanted to tell you, so I started keeping a little notebook in my pocket and every time something interesting happens I can tell you about it ha ha. So prepare for a long Clanking email. lol

Story 1. My companion and I were walking to the church for a lesson with an investigator. Every building here has a fence around it and the church has a really big one. So as we were walking up to the fence, we noticed that this donkey that is usually tied up by a house next door wasn't there. When we walked through the gate, we realized why. It was because somebody had left the gate open and it was in the church. HAHAHAHAHA. Obispo was walking right behind us (sorry, obispo is Bishop) and he started chasing the donkey around the grass trying to get it to leave but he didn't want to. I was laughing so hard. Anyways the lesson learned from this story, is that the grass is always greener on the side of the church.

The Grass IS Greener on Our Side of The Church

Story 2. This one is short, and for dad. Dad you are lucky you don’t live in Mexico. There is Coca-Cola EVERYWHERE, and it is dirt cheap. It is cheaper than water. You can buy coke for like 4 pesos which is about 25 cents in America haha. We have a mission rule that we aren't allowed to drink coke though. I think because it’s so cheap that is all the elders would buy and some of them started to get pretty unhealthy. That is the rumor anyways. Lesson learned, I miss coke.

Nothing Healthy About This

Story 3. So I can’t remember if I told you the story about Hermano Mike. (I’m going to assume I did, if not, sorry). HE is the guy who sells cologne. I forgot to tell you the best part, after my comp and I bought our cologne from him, we were standing there talking to him for a little bit and this guy came up kind of checking out the different scents. The one I bought was a new one he just got in and was trying to sell a bunch of them. So (in Spanish obviously), I started talking about how awesome this cologne was (really loud so he would hear). Then I looked at him and I was like, hey Hermano! You gotta try this stuff. It will cambiar su vida (change your life haha). Hermano Mike told me that after I left, he bought 3 bottles. HAHAHA Lesson learned, if you scratch my back by selling me cheap cologne, I will scratch yours buy tripling your money. haha

Cologne In Mexico is Cheap

Story 4. SO I think the biggest shock for me when I got to Mexico was how crazy the drivers are. I felt safer riding with Nathan the first time he ever got behind the wheel than with most of these taxi drivers. Anyways one night we were walking home, alongside one of the main roads (oh and by the way, there are a ton of motorcyclists), when a guy on a motorcycle came flying past us. Then he hit a pot hole about 20 yards ahead of us. His bike flipped and he flew OVER another motorcyclist in the oncoming traffic and landed on the other side of the road, sliding about 50 yards before he stopped. I knew he was dead. There was no way somebody could survive that. My comp and I were pretty speechless and then tried to cross the road to help him when we saw him pop right up, walk over to his bike, pick it up and ride off. Lesson learned from this story, I have no idea. Honestly I am still speechless.

The way people drive in Mexico - Makes me speechless

Story 5. Another short one, but this time for you mommy. I had a cough last week and one of our investigators gave me some essential oil mixed with water. I muttered witch medicine under my breath right before I drank it. Also my comp had a really bad head ache one day so we ran back to the house and I got my past tense you gave me. I told him to put it on, count to ten, and it would be gone. He didn’t believe me but when it worked, he started screaming hahaha. Lesson learned, Freaking witch medicine.

Headache be gone!

Story 6. Ok this one is pretty awesome. I was thinking about that Ward Blitz Jaren did at the beginning of his mission and I wanted to do something to get some new investigators so I talked to my comp and here is what is going to happen this week. So here in Mexico, there are a ton of people who will drive around with huge speakers on the tops of their cars blaring music or advertisements for whatever they are selling, usually fruits or bread or something. Anyways one of our recent converts has one and actually his job is to make these advertisements for people. He has a whole recording studio and everything. His voice reminds me of a Mexican version of Ralph Castner’s at the Sidney football games haha. So we are going to have a movie night at the church this Thursday and watch 17 miracles (my suggestion), and then after do a tour of the building with all of the potentially new investigators and explain what each room is for. This is a great missionary tactic because then people aren't afraid to come to church when we invite them because they know where to go and what to do. Anyways this guy in our ward is going to drive around blaring an advertisement about this over his loud speaker and hopefully bring tons of people to our activity! I will give you an update about how it went next week. Lesson learned, don’t be afraid to utilize technology in missionary work!!!!

We are showing 17 Miracles at the Church This Week

Story 7. I had turtle soup the other day. Lesson learned, Turtle does NOT taste like chicken.

Story 8. So there is this plant here that looks kind of like a fern, but if you touch the leaf, it will kind of curl up. It’s pretty entertaining. Anyways my comp and I have made it an unspoken game that whenever we see one, it is a competition to see who can get there first to make it curl up. I always win but I may or may not use my size to my advantage. Also I made him a grilled cheese “sammich” (thank you Duck Dynasty), the other day. He had never had one and he said it is his new favorite food! Lesson learned, find ways to have fun with your comp! Just because it is a mission doesn't mean you can’t enjoy yourself while you work!

Story 9. I can’t think of a story for number 9 because I only have nine stories, but I can’t end on an odd number so my last story has to be story number 10. Lesson learned, OCD is a jerk.

Story 10. Ok this one is pretty crazy. Again, I can’t remember if I already told you the first part of this story so I will just tell it again. So my comp and I were walking down a road we rarely use. We looked over and saw an old lady who had fallen, lying on the sidewalk with blood coming out of her head. I carried her to a chair by her house and her daughter came out to take over. She was super nice but catholic and not interested in hearing our message, so that was 2 weeks ago. Last week I was on exchanges with a different missionary in our district, Elder Gonzalez. We were walking around contacting people when I felt like we needed to go check on xxxx (the old lady) to see how she was doing. Well long story short, we got talking with her, her daughter, and her friend who was there at the time, and by the end I committed all three of them to baptism and they all accepted!!!! Best day on my mission by far. Lesson learned, ALWAYS follow the Holy Ghost.

Anyways mama, I hope you didn’t get board reading all of my stories. Joseph Smith is my hero. Love you mommy!

Tell the family hello!!!

Love Elder Hackleman