Saturday, August 23, 2014

1st Email From Elder Hackleman

Note from mom: I can't believe it, Elder Hackleman was able to email today. Depending on when their missionary preparation day lands, some of the time they don't get to email for almost two weeks. I guess Elder S Hackleman's "P-Day" is on Saturday because he was able to fire off a short email to me today! Yeah!

On Sat, Aug 23, 2014 at 7:01 AM, Amy wrote:

Elder S Hackleman,

I have to put an initial in the salutation so I know who I am writing to, ha ha. It's so amazing to think there are two Elder Hackleman's out there. So how is your first week going? Have you been able to get any sleep? What is your companion like, and your roommates? I can't wait for pictures.

I just realized yesterday that I forgot one very important picture I wanted to get of you before you left. It is you pointing at your mission on the large map at the trail center. I have heard a rumor that the MTC has a large map as well. Can you get a picture and send it to me so I can put it on your poster I want to hang in our living room?

Also, we were trying to figure out when you will be leaving the MTC for Mexico? Do you know if your visa is in? Will you still be in the MTC during General Conference? If so, you should see if you can get into the missionary choir that usually sings at conference. That would be so awesome!

Have you run into anybody you know at the MTC?

How is your Spanish coming along?

What is your MTC mailbox number?

We are so proud of you.

Life here is sure quiet without you.

Love you!

Mom wrote:

1:13 PM

Mama!!!! It is soooooo amazing here:) on Thursday (my first full day) we met our branch president and we all had interviews with him. My first day out and he made me District Leader! It is a bunch more responsibility but I'm super excited! 

Everyone in my District is super cool. Mi CompaƱero es muy simpatico! We get along really well. I am learning so much Spanish already! Oh and not to make the other Elder Hackleman jealous, but I sleep in an entire apartment. My district is not on the main campus so we get the good dorms to sleep in. 

Yeah there is a giant map on the main campus so when I go to the Temple again next Saturday, I will be sure to get one! (The temple here is so huge!) We leave September 29th. I haven´t heard for sure yet but it doesn't sound like they are having any problems with the Visa. 

I will not be here for General Conference but I am joining the MTC choir. 

I ran into Hermana Gull on the first day when my host was showing me to my room! I have run into her maybe a couple times since, but we have been too busy to talk.

Hermana Gull

Elder Hackleman's friend from Sidney, Ne. 

She is training for service in Argentina

I can´t remember what my mailbox number is, (I probably should know since it is my responsibility to get the mail for everyone in my district as District Leader.)

You should sign up for! Look it up if you aren´t sure what it is:) I love you guys but this is all the time I have to Email!!! I didn't think I would be able to my first week so you all are lucky! 

Keep things loud and rowdy for me mama:) 

Love Elder Hackleman the 2nd

The Law's! Night Before I Left

Last meal before I left.  Texas Roadhouse with the Laws

Tim at the Pig Roast

Since I will be on my mission when I turn 19, they celebrated my birthday early. 

Goodbye Hadley's These were taken on Aug 19th

The Hadley's Have Done So Much For Me!

Thanks a million Kelsey for all the wonderful PHOTOS, 

zucchini bread, and going away party!

Thanks Mike for all the fun!

I can't stand the thought of this cute little sweetie pie 

growing up while I'm away.

The Walker's Said Goodbye a Few Days Before Departure

I'm Going to Miss These Kids!

They loaded me down with great gifts!

Jace gave me the coolest eraser in the shape of a football!

High Five!

I am all set for my Mission now!

Arm Wrestling and Thumb Wars

Double double this, double double that, secret hand shakes.

Things I Saw Right Before I Left On My Mission That Amuse Me

I was driving down the road and a truck passed me with a sticker on the back.  I laughed so hard I had to take a picture.  It said, "Future Apocalypse Response Team."  It cracked me up because we have been watching "Doomsday Preppers"  which is a show on tv about people who do crazy preparations for the end of the world.  It was funny to see one here in Omaha.

I saw this motor home in a parking lot at Walmart.  I don't know why it cracked me up so much, but I had to take a picture of it.  The people were sitting inside when I took the picture.  Maybe they live there, ha.  Hope they don't mind.

This is what was on the hood of the vehicle.
Yoda saying, "May the Force Be With You."

I thought this was funny because it is the largest port-a-potty I have ever seen.
I had Nathan pose in the picture so you could get a sense of the size.

My Going Away Party

Talk about a wonderful sendoff! 

Pig Roast for a Going Away Party, Yummy!

Mike Roasted the Pig All Day.

It was a very hot day.  What a trooper!  Thanks Mike!

The Laws provided a jump house the size of the entire backyard.
Talk about fun!

Now that is what I'm talking about!

Sight Seeing In Omaha, Nebraska with Brother's One Week Before Mission

The river and the bridge in the background reminds me of the Riverfront in Savannah, Georgia where I was born.

Riverfront, Savannah, Georgia

Wax paper speeds up the slide

Grant wonders if he will be taller than me by the time 

I get home from my mission.

There Sure Are a Lot of Great Places to Visit In Omaha

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's Official, Elder Hackleman is On A Mission

Elder Hackleman's Last Goodbye's At the Omaha Airport

He was happy and excited, the rest of us were sad and emotional. 

We will miss him!

Elder Hackleman entered the MTC in Provo, Utah on August 20, 2014.  As soon as we have the mailbox at the MTC I will update this blog with the information.  He flew to Salt Lake City and got picked up at the airport by his Uncle Jeff.  They stopped off to say goodbye to Uncle Joe on their way to Provo.  Uncle Jeff treated him to In and Out Burger before he dropped him off.

Elder Hackleman flashing his Ute sign outside 

Couger Stadium just before he went to the MTC

Uncle Jeff called Elder Hackleman's mom and dad and kept the phone on speaker so they could say goodbye one last time before he officially entered the mission field.  Now they will only hear from him 5 times in the next 2 years.  Once when he flies out to Mexico in a couple of months, and then only on Christmas and Mother's Day.  He can write letters and email's once a week.

Now the work begins, learning a language in 2 short months.  He will be busy and won't have a minute to spare.  The family back home has to get used to a huge hole left behind.

It's a good thing good friends are close by to comfort and uplift.

Favorite Treats Always Help Ease the Pain of Homesick Parents
We also got a yummy home cooked meal brought in and some delicious cookies.
Tears were wiped away long enough to eat some goodies:)
We have the BEST FRIENDS!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Final Talk Before Mission

Elder S Hackleman

The Challenge to Become (Light Of Christ)

John Bytheway is one of my favorite devotional speakers. He told a story about a time he was driving in the car with his wife and kid. The fog was thick and they could only see as far as the headlights would reach. As they drove, his child said “Daddy look! The light is pushing away the darkness!”

This is a profound statement made by a very young child. I would like to dive deeper into that statement in order to further explain the Challenge we experience to become children of light.

Light is a curious thing. The definition of Light according to Merriam Webster is “The form of energy that makes it possible to see things.”

I like how it says energy. Energy is constantly transferring from one form to another. It is NOT passive. I like to think of it like a flashlight… When you are somewhere dark, with no light, a flashlight will provide the energy needed to brighten up your area. As far as I know, there is no such thing as a “flash-dark”. I have never seen an object where you can flip a switch and produce a beam of darkness. The reason for this is that light will ALWAYS “push away the darkness.”

Now back to our definition involving energy, I would like to relate light to our lives as we strive to act in accordance to our Heavenly Father. “Darkness” can be compared to succumbing to peer pressure at a party and just taking a drink of beer. It is much easier in our world today to just do what everybody else is doing. It takes much more energy to resist temptation and “push away” that darkness. That is the reason why I love that definition of light so much. Light will always conquer darkness. Whether you are a part of that light or not.

As a football player I would never purposefully choose a losing team. If you were given an option to be on the winning side, or the losing side, nobody would side with the loser. This is the same in an eternal aspect. We know the “winning team” so to speak. The light of Christ will spread throughout the world, so why not be a part of it?

I would like to read a few scriptures that talk about the light of Christ, and then compare what they all have in common.

The first is 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8

-John 8:12

-Mosiah 16:9

All of these scriptures have one main thing in common. They all speak about our “winning team.”

In preparation to my mission I am about to serve, I have been doing my best to become a better Member Missionary. When I was 15, I was at one of my best friend’s house. We were all in his basement playing games when we decided we wanted to watch a movie. I started talking to one of my friends when a movie was put in. I wasn't paying attention and didn't know what movie it was. I worked at a movie store at the time so I was very familiar with new movies that came out, and what they were rated. It didn't take me long to realize they had put in a rated R movie. The moment it started, I felt sick to my stomach. So I told my friend I was going to leave and go home. He followed me upstairs and we talked on his front porch for a while before I left. He said he was sorry for the movie choice. That he told the others I wouldn't watch a rated R movie but they didn't think I would notice. He then asked me, “how DID you know so quickly?”

I responded with a question of my own. “The moment it started, how did you feel?”

“I don’t know, dark I guess. It is a dark movie.”

“exactly. The reason I don’t watch movies like that is because it deprives me of the light, or good feelings I have throughout my day. Why would you watch something that purposefully deprives you of good feelings?”

This simple explanation really hit home to my friend Nick. He never was baptized into our church or anything but simply sticking up for what I believed opened a doorway for us to talk about other things we believed in. He always wanted to talk about religion with me but was to scared to bring it up, but because I showed I wasn’t scared to put forth energy, and stand up for what I knew to be wrong, he was then able to comfortably discuss many other things with me.

I love talking about religion with my friends. So much of the world today has put a taboo on that kind of conversation. Some of the jobs I have worked at have frowned on religious talk in the workforce because they feared it would conflict with others beliefs and cause an awkward situation. This never made sense to me. If you base the things you should be allowed to talk about using that logic, then that should omit any conversations about politics or sports. I have found that opening your mouth about things you have a testimony in, is the best way to open the mouths of others.

A while ago, I was teaching a discussion to a non member with the elders in my ward. He knew a little about our church already so before we got into the lesson he was already asking questions about Joseph Smith and how he was able to have a spiritual experience when he was being tempted by the devil moments before. I told him about light. How light is so much more than a simple description of luminosity. I also described how darkness is much more than the absence of light. “I kneel ed down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

“But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, … I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other- this is my beloved son. Hear him.

I used John Bytheway’s description of the light pushing away the darkness to explain how Joseph was able to overcome the temptation and power of Satan. What Joseph witnessed was a battle between two forces. The light of Christ, pushed away the darkness of Satan.

The light of the gospel was given to God’s children through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Elder Craig C. Christensen said in his talk printed in the August issue of the Ensign said “The phrase children of light describes a people in whom the light of the gospel shines brightly. It describes a people who seek the light and are drawn to that which is virtuous, clean, and pure. There is an expectation that children of light are alert and watchful—not sleeping, in a spiritual sense, when they should be awake “

I love how he says “drawn to that which is virtuous.” The children of light want to be clean. They don’t seek for darkness and justify the situation by saying “I can repent of this later.” Seeking out the light of Jesus Christ does not mean we have to be perfect. His Atonement makes it possible for all of us to be clean and he has provided us with the spirit so we can be alert and watchful for the darkness in our lives.

Bare testimony…..