Tuesday, October 1, 2013


A new address, A new city, A new companion, A new Zone.. and the list could go on :) I got here to Cape Coral, on tuesday night after Transfer mtg. By the way rode up there with Abi and Veronica, recent converts and my best friends from the bradenton branch. We were running late, I walked in 17 minutes late and sat in the back row next to sister Hill. They had already sang and prayed and president was in the middle of talking. Not even a minute later president decides to call on me, out of the random, "Sister Hafen is going to come up and share her testimony." why yes president i am, i thought in my head. And so I did. I never know what those moments mean, if it's a form of punishment, a spiritual prompting he had or just president being president, but nonetheless, I'd never say no to an oportunity to share my testimony of what I know to be true, That my savior lives and loves me, that because i know this and it has brought me so much happiness I want to be out here to share this message with everyone. I was assigned very last to sister Judd, She'll be 20 this saturday. she came in to the mission the same time as me so it's fun to be at the same place in the mission, although she studdies spanish for years before the mission so she's quite advanced in that area, i'm grateful for the oportunity to learn from her. Cape Coral is different. I've heard things such as this is a slow area, there's not a lot of work..and so on. But I went about the first few days being super positive. I wasn't going to take someone elses opinion of this area as my own, "No it's not, we don't take that for an answer. we can do it. we were called here for a specific reason, and that is to hasten the work." are all things I thought and said. Three days in I broke down and just cried. Change is a funny thing, it's part of life, and it's something that will continually happen. Our ability to deal with change however is what we have control of. It's been tough. I thought that i had already accomplished the tough part of my mission, aparently certain things get thougher and certain things get easier in different ways continually. WHO KNEW ;) Church starts here at 11 instead of 1 and meetings start at 8:30 so we do studdies after church. I had a super powerful mighty prayer yesterday after church and a great personal study all focused on the book of mormon and PMG. I feel better and know that I can do this, I am not yet like Job. I am excited to see what the lord has in store for this area. Sister Judd and I are going to do a lot of hard work, I've seen miracles and seen areas change, I know what obedience and hard work can do and i'm will to do this all completely the lords way to hasten the work down here. So many people don't have what we do. As long as I remember that It's enough to keep me going. I told the lord that I would come here and be the tools for bringing he gosple to the area in which i'm called. and I WILL! I'm in a ward now and not a branch. I have a white bishop who served a spanish speaking mission. there are 2 sets of sisters and 2 sets of elders in this ward. and some incredible members I can already tell. I got a bishops blessing yesterday and I have no doubt that that didn't help me getting out of the slupm I was in. The preisthood is real, God has restored it to the Earth and through it we can make covenents to return to our Father. I love you, have a wonderfull week! -Sister Hafen oh ya, my addresss is, 807 SE 24th Ave. Cape Coral FL, 33990

I though it'd never happen

I sit here with mixed emotions on my last full day in Bradenton. I've been here since March, 6 1/2 months. I've come to love it, the members, this area our branch. As i gave my piqueno departing testimony yesterday I realized this is like my home. I loved everyone sitting in that chapel and although i'm happy to go exactly where the lord sends my i'm going to miss my family in bradenton. I want to set the stage, Bradenton is my first area, I've had 5 different companions here. With each different companion brings a different teaching styles, a different pace of work, different strengths and different weaknesses. We've been weeks or transfers it seems like, without investigators. I've had some of the most powerful spiritual experiences here and some pretty big let downs. The emotions you feel often all in the same day is indescribable. I've made best friends. I've felt a love for people that i never knew before those two minutes on their door step. I've grown, A TON! & here I've really come to know and love my savior, to recognize the way that the spirit speaks to me and act on it. I've seen miracles and my life has been changed in the sweet time that i've spent here. A lot of people have impacted my life, and they might not even realize how much. I know that this is just the beginning and I couldn't be more grateful to my Father in Heaven. I've litterally worked the soles off of the bottom of my shoes. I've tried my very best to work hard in this Area of the Florida Tampa mission. I'm so happy to be able to see the working picking up and progressing so quickly before i had to leave. When I first got here some of the other missionaries told me this is the land of milk and honey. It really is, Bradenton is blooming. My two companions will do amazing here without me. I feel like I can say that Future missionaries that get to server here are lucky/blessed. I can honestly say that I tried my best to leave this area stronger than i found it and i think that i have. We had an amazing lesson with antonio this week. Tuesday, it was a family night at the partidas. they are amazing. they fed their whole family, then the missoniaries, then antonio and his 4 kids. After wards we, the missionaries, were teaching the lesson. Antonio is our new investigator and this is his first lesson so we taught lesson one. the restoration of the Gospel. It was a powerful lesson. when asked what he thiniks about joseph smiths experience Antonio responded, I believe it. I believe that he saw God and Jesus, I've had a similar experience. He believes it. He's amazing. The lord is amazing and prepares people in such an individual way. Things are Changing out here, president Cusick is "cleaning up the mission" I like to say. Not that our mission isn't good but he is helping us see and reach our full potential. the mission as a whole. I know that this man is called of God to lead us and I love his council. We aren't permitted to eat dinner with active members unless there is an investigator, less active or part member family present. My first thought. "no more member dinners, DANG, i'm gonna be broke." My second thought and maybe not immediately following ;) "How amazing is this going to be. What a way for members to be doing missionary work, helping strength their brothers and sisters that have gotten a little lost and what better a place to teach our investigators than in a home already filled with the Holy Spirit of God." Oh i am on board and so excited! After this change I was offered a going away dinner. Before, if it was under an hour it was definitely not a problem. Things are a bit different now and so I rolled with the punches. I told hna Calvillo of the new situations and then we arranged for us to teach her very less active father. This man has been present at dinners before but often over looked when it comes time for the lesson. He's always sitting on this chair at the table right when you walk in the house. I've sat down beside him many times to help him grate cheese, slice onions. He's taught my many spanish words and phrases. he's become my buddy. Last night I grew to love grandpa sedillo more! we gave a lesson on the gift of the holy ghost and how blessed we are to have this gift, the guide, the comforter, this teacher, after baptism as long as we live worthily. The lesson got in to a discussions and this cute grandpa shed some tears. I love him, and i can't wait for the future letters from my sisters here telling me he is attending church again. It's president Monson's new focus for us from now till December, called "to the rescue" David came to a baptism in sarasota this saturday. AH, it was beautiful, of all the baptisms i've attened growing up i've never payed attention to that sweet spirit that is present as much as i've payed attention to it out here. It's so speacial to wittness someone make that promise to God to live as an example of our lord and Savior. David felt is and "tuvo ganas de llorar" It was so special for him. And although all of these wonderful people that we are currently teaching don't have set baptismal dates I know that in their time and the lords time they will make the decision. I'm so happy for the way the gospel has already blessed and changed their life and for the impact they've had on mine. I've been looking back and pondering on all that i've learned in here in bradenton. number one, SPANISH! compassion, how to be a missionary, really. love, how to be a companion. How to serve. I am so blessed. One Chiste from this week. Friday the 13th, even exists for the missionaries. we left Hna montanez's house and loaded all three bikes and ourselves up in the eleveator. W've done this before, many times but this time we Got trapped in the elevator. litterally. i've never experienced that before hahahhaha. We spent an hour in there, it was hot, stinky because we were biking and only hna Daines cried. Hna Montanez called 911 after 40 minutes of waiting for the elevator technician to get us out of there. She is so cute and cried the minute we stepped out of their because she felt so bad for calling us "mentiras" she thought we were just playing around when we told her. I don't know where i'm going yet. also a new thing president does. we all meet in Tampa tuesday and are told then who our companions will be and what area we will be serving in so I will let you all know next monday. les amo mucho, que tengan un buen dia! Hermana Hafen

I am too Blessed

God is truly our LOVING heavenly Father, he loves us and knows us so individually and this week I was more aware of the love he has for me. I felt my Fathers love as he reached his hand out to me and showered us with miracles upon miracles this week, and they haven't ceased.. This morning we had the car first as our car week is ending and bike week is beginning. We got out of the house to do the grocery shopping first this morning, We were at this cute little store Aldi, because it's cheap and we're missionaries, it's also decent quality. We were up at the register begging to pay, all of our food divided into three measly sections. No one would believe that was a weeks worth of groceries. A man came up and I didn't recognize him, we all had out our bank of america mission cards and the Man said, "my cards the only one that works today" still not catching on I joked with the man, "my cards better than yours" the woman began to ring up my groceries, then he told her to ring up all three of ours. I held back tears, the woman asked if he knew us, he said, "yes", and looked at us, "if they've got that black tag on, I know them" "they're missionaries from our church." he finished checking out and handed us a $20 dollar bill for lunch. I will never forget the way I felt this morning and the pure generosity of this man. This world is still a beautiful place and there are good people and miracles happening all around us. Even after spending a whole day in bed sick, (I must have gotten what hna Daines had last week, I wish she didn't share!) we still had 28 lessons. 8 Members Presant lessons. Our branch is really catching on to the joy that missionary work brings and has been so helpful to us, I love them. I love Bradenton, I love this branch and our investigators and I don't want to leave. 7 investigators came to church yesterday. that's a record. and the whole branch was so welcoming. After Months and months of hard work, we are seeing the blessings. They always come after the trial of your faith. I feel like heavenly father was asking me, Are you going to continue to work hard even if you don't see an immediate result. Are you going to continue to work hard and do my missionary work my way even when things are tough, even when things don't make sense.. And I told my Father every night, Yes I am. Some days it's been harder to say than others. some days I shed some tears, but with Faith and my testimony at the head of this, wonderful companions on my side, a great district, zone and branch, My amazing mission president and PRAYER more times a day than I can count.. I keep pushing forward. David from english class; we had a lesson with him tuesday right after class. the spirit was so strong after we shared Joseph Smith's first vision we identified that it was the spirit teaching him that these things are true. He began to express that the things he was feeling he couldn't explain but he knew it was the spirit. we invited him right then to be baptized and he said "yes" David is right where he needs to be and he knows it. After spending all thursday in bed i woke up friday morning and told my self i was going to take some medicine and not cough all day. I regained my strength and told that cold to leave. Then hna. Daines and I went to Sarasota for an exchange and Hna Binks stayed in Bradenton. It was such a great exchange and we had so much fun, minus hna Daines almost having a heart attack biking. She's not completely up to par, yet.. and we all came back ready to do the work. Hna. Binks planned so well the night before with out us That saturday was perfect. We recieved a refferal from the Elders. his name, Antonio, and he was interested, he may or may not have had family in mexico that are members or are taking the missionary discussions. That's all we knew. We went into oneco, There was obviously a hispanic party going on, across the street. they by the way throw the best parties, the street was lined up with cars and little ninos running around everywhere. we went up to Antonios door and despite the noise had a small lesson with him as we got to know him. Everything that antonion said he was looking for or wanted to change is exactly what the gospel has to offer. I just wanted to teach him all I knew in that moment, but we instead invited him to church. He came, this single father of 4 kids, who works 6 days a week and just stopped drinking 3 weeks ago came to church. I can't express that amount of joy i had sitting by this cute family in sacrament meeting knowing that their life is about to change and have so much joy and happiness. The branch was fantastic and all pitched in to get them to their classes and make them feel right at home. at the end of church antonio said he he felt peaceful. We're going tonight to teach antonio the restoration. I'm so excited. after church yesterday we went back to talk to David A man we met tracting in so colorful duplexes. He let us come right in, it was aparent that his girlfriend wasn't interested but David was. as we introduced the book of mormon and began talking to him we learned that david has a brother who's been a memeber for quite a while in guatemala, he told us a story of how he used to hang out with the Elders there, then one day they left and he never saw those two again, (transfers i'm asuming) those Elders may never know the impression they made on David, but they planted that seed, along with his brother and now years later we're teaching him. It's all in the lords timing. I'm happier than I've ever been. I think it's safe to say that this has been the best week..so far..The mission just keeps getting sweeter with time. I feel my heart growing for this love, I know that at the beginning of my mission my heart was in it as much as i could be and at that time I thought it was All in, but it's more and more in every day. I'm feeling emotions i've never felt and love i've never felt. I'm so content and happy, I don't know perfect spanish but I know more than i used to and each day something new makes sense and clicks. I would be so sad If i didn't choose to serve. Thank you everyone who helped me get out here. this is the best work I could ever be involved in. I love my mission. I love the lords Mission for me. I love my Life and the work of salvation. May your week be as wonderful as mine. I love you! Hermana Hafen

week twentyfive

So hermana Daines got sick on wednesday night and it lasted till saturday. The next day we had some appointments and Clase De Ingles. At first I thought we had to cancel our appointments and English class, my comp was sick, we have to stay together, guess we all have to stay in today. What a poor, uncreative mindset i had. I quickly realized that was not the only solution, nor the best solutions. I quickly texted and called all of our members trying to find someone available on such short notice to do splits with me. Luckily we're in a trio so we only needed one member and hna Binks would stay with hna Daines. Soon Aby sorto, a teenager that was baptized my first transfer here agreed. I was a little aprehensive, just because i've always had my companions with me, we study and plan together so they know the daily plans just as well as I do. Again another silly thing to get caught up on. It went Fantastic! Aby has such a strong testimony, I asked her how she was so cool and just believes and has so much faith when she hasn't been apart of the church for very long. (Not doubting it, just sincerely wondering what it was for her) She said cause i've never been so happy in my life. I wouldn't trade this for anything. I've never had this much happiness in any other church I've gone to. Even when i was surrounded by people i still felt alone, now i can actually be alone and i don't even feel alone. I just gotta keep enduring to the end! This is why i'm out here. Because I've experienced that same change for myself. It's the most important thing in my life. Aby needed the gospel. Some missionaries came, and she didn't just accept it the first time. She went through quite a few sets of elders. But they were persistent, and followed promptings, I have no doubt! And now she is happier than she's ever been, and in turn coming out with the missionaries and sharing her testimony. This is the work of Salvation. I continued doing Splits for the next few days Nora Carlos, also a woman with an amazing testimony and a love for missionary work, came with me when Aby couldn't. the Lesson i learned is that, Splits are Super fun!! If we do them when my companions aren't sick we'll do tripple the work. wow. I got to know these wonderful girls better and we'll be friends forever! I love my mission!! I love the lords mission for me. I under Appreciated my companion Hermana Daines, she's the cutest. We've been together for six months now, Her sister that also served a mission asked her a few weeks ago, how things are going after so much time together. she said "we're like sisters, sometimes we disagree but we get over it quickly and tell each other what's up." truely when you are here with the same goal in mind it's not difficult to get along. I told her I'm actually nervous for the day to come when we do get new companions. she's been a huge part of my mission. feel free to tell her hi :) marisa.daines@myldsmail.net or send her a letter to my same address :) Love you and have a great week! Hermana Hafen

First week wonders

I'm throughly convinced that Transfers are inspired even when you are not transfered. As the first week of this transfer came to an end I was amazed at how much we accomplished when comparing our week to the last few weeks we've had. With the same missionaries, the same area, but a fresh outlook. Something about a fresh planner, and a fresh start gave us an extra boost to be able to do the lords work. We had a little more faith in the Savior, in the work of salvation and in OURSELVES. and it showed. Even with our scare of no tracting. We've been doing a lot of tracting and finding by our own efforts. well friday we get a phone call from Elder Buck. No more tracting in the florida tampa mission. Okay, awesome, we got really creative, visiting every member, those of you in utah we have a lot fewer members in a much larger vacinity, we saw about all of the ones in our area in two days. we went about visiting old investigators, and trying to do some street contacting without knocking. Sunday elder buck texts us, He misunderstood the Zone leaders and we can tract, we have the next 4 months to ween off of tracting. After we already innocently told our branch council that we can't tract and the announced it to the whole congregation. Well the good thing is we didn't lie, the better thing is, now that the members think we can't tract they will be giving us refferals out of the woodwork. I'm PRAYING! Three investigators at chuch yesterday, YES, I love our investigators. Church is necessary in their conversion process and they learn things from others that i'm not so good at teaching in spanish, one of the investigators is David, a man from English class. HECK YES!! we love english class. and Elder Su'a from the high council served his mission in Niceragua so he speaks fluent spanish, he talk was fantastic and talked about his family, his mother dispising the gospel and making him promise he'd never be a memeber of the mormon church, then how all of thier hearts were changed. they are all strong memebers now. I couldn't have asked for a better sacrament meeting for our investigators to go to. Last week, MY companions and i had to give a surprise talk at the Baptisme of the Sarasota sisters. it was unexpected and we were nervous, we just jumped right in and started teaching the first lesson of the gospel and it was beautiful and the spirit filled that room. It was a blessing to have that experience. after that the calvillos dropped us off at our apartment and we planned to get on bikes to go out teaching. long story short it was pouring the night before. we only have a two bike rack and the english sisters came to rescue us. we had to leave one bike locked up at CVS. so we only had two bikes at our appartment. ONLY one option. I loaded hermana binks up on my bike, se llama "BIG red" well because he's big and red. he's my loaner bike from the elders until i get money from the insurance to replace my broken one. she sat on the seat while i stood on the peddals and we rode 2 miles down cortez, it felt like way more. The funniest thing in the world, and all worth it as long as i made one person laugh as the passed us going down the road. I'm certain we made more than one person day!! oh ps, all of the other missionaries waiting to go to argentina got their visas except hermana binks, my prayers are being answered! Here's to another amazing week! Lots of love, Hermana Hafen

week twentythree

Not to much exciting happened this week and i'm going to be quick. I appologize in advance. We had transfer calls and it's the first time i have not gotten a new companion. Just me Daines and the Binkser still here in bradenton. We have been so lucking to have 2 investigators at church every single week of this transfer. funny thing is we found out that Isable is infact not an investigator but a member-baptized in mexico 20 something years ago. crazy!! but we are now teaching a cousin of magali now who has heard the missionary discussions many times but never got baptized. maybe we'll be able to change that. She started out just sitting in and listening to the lessons. now she said she'll be there every time and asked for a childrens libro de mormon for her kids and came to church, we didn't even invite her! she is so coool! some times staying active in the church is the hardest part and so the fact that our investigators dont want to get baptized yet. Mas adalante they tell us. doesn't worry me because they are consistently coming to church on their own. Magali now prays and reads the book of mormon with her children everynight before bed. Her kids ask to pray before they eat so they now do that too. The gospel is touching the lives and hearts of this family and they are just running with it. I am so happy to be able to watch this change right before my eyes. The gospel changes people. it makes the happy. it makes families happy. it brings a joy that you can't get anyother way. It gives you hope. it gives your purpose and direction. It's is the Way. And through it we are all one. I love you and wish you the best week. love Hermana Hafen.

Last week of Transfer five

I love my mission but more this week. This week I've felt a change in myself. A noticeable one and I love it. I feel more and more content with being out here each day I wake up. I find myself focusing more on my mission, our investigators, Just mission things and less on home, family and other distractions. (Don't worry, I love you all the same) I'm allowing the lord to change my heart so I can more effectively serve him. I think it's a natural transition that comes at different times and different ways for each missionary as all of us are very different. I'm thankful for this change and I'm even more ready to work. HIGHLIGHT is, Teaching Magali and Isabel. I forgot to mention last week that they came to church. And they came to church yesterday too. They are amazing. Going over to teach them doesn't scare me and make me nervous. I know that is because they are truly interested in what we are teaching them and looking for answers and so they trust us, they listen to us. We have a relationship and so I'm not as nervous when i slip up or don't know the proper or perfect way to explain something. Yesterday they left after sunday school cause it was Magali's 6 year old sons birthday. They are so sweet. they said, we have to leave early but we're going to keep coming. and they mean it. They always keep their commitments. They have never cancled appointments. They are GOLDEN if I've ever seen it. We prayed durring weekly planning to set a date for them, Magali isn't married and so we'll have to have a "Bolda" but we felt so strongly about the 8th of September. and we'll be extending that invitation tonight at our appointment with them. Last monday when we went over Jocelyn Magalis 7 year old daughter was eating "sandia" I said "oh me encanta sandia" as we were leaving Isabel came out of the kitchen with a half of watermelon all bagged up for me. How could I resist. :) hermana Binks hates it and Hermana Daines is alergic so i got it all to myselft. yum. And on Saturday we met these cute little african american kids with so much sas! They called us over to them from their front yard as we were walking down the streets of oneco tracting. "What yall doing wearing dresses" "Why yall got two shirts on when it's hundred degrees out" says a shirtless leodus. We went and talked to these sassy things named Ja'liea, T'nia, Leodus, and Tequila, or tiny winy for short. "ya, we go to church, ery sunday and wendsday." just imagine them "do yall go to church, what about bible study?" we talked to their aunt and all though we wont be able to teach their family we were able to brighten their day with a little lesson on blessings for praying (the blessings were candy) and leodus at the end of the lesson says, "can i eat my blessings yet?" You betcha when we're in the hood of Oneco we'll be stopping by to say hi to our new little friends. Family and Friends. I have such a strong testimony of Member referals. The happiest thing a missionary can do is teach the restored gospel. that can't be achieved without people to teach. EVERYONE needs this in their lives, so give the missionaries your friends to teach, go with them to teach your friends, if you think you don't have friends or non member friends pray for a missionary opportunity. It will bless so many. I love you. The work is hastening, don't just sit in the stands, be a part of it! have a great week, Hermana Hafen