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,