Tuesday, November 24, 2015

11/23 Pictures

11/23 A Week in a Life

Hey guys,

Got no time, but I do want to let ya know I'm killin it out here. Elder Thurgood and I are working hard and seeing the Lord's blessings. Saturday was yet another temple day and it was miraculous. I got to baptize our convert David Ballard, so great! We went to a high school basketball game with a family to support their nonmember son, it was way fun. Made me want to work hard to get back into shape. We have been lifting hard on a small weight set at our bishop's office. Life's good! This Thanksgiving week is going to be awesome, I can't wait to pound the fried turkey. (Speaking of getting into shape....) I am grateful for so much that I am not even going to spend the time typing it. Do you realize we have been giving everything that we need to return to God? We can inherit our thrones with Christ. (Romans 8:16-17). He has literally offered us all He has. What more is there? Love ya'll

Elder T. Hakes

11/16 Pictures

To Kansas

Little Wagon on the Prairie

Baptism :)

Good ole Johhny


Three Amigos

I drew my companion a duck while I was sick, because he loves ducks.

The Manner of Happiness 11/16

What's up!

This week has been jam packed full of neat experiences and blessings!!!
 Tuesday was the Ballards wedding in Independence Kansas, we had such a fine time travelling with our bishop to get them wed the Kansas way! The judge who married them expedited the paperwork for the price of 2 twelve packs of diet coke! Literally! Only in Kansas.... It was a simple ceremony in the judges office, but they know the temple is there goal, and it almost stung to hear "till death do you part". We saw the historic site of "Little House on the Prairie" on the way back so that was random! 
Wednesday I went on exchanges with our zone leader Elder Skinner in Cleveland, we had a good time and saw some miracles. Set a baptismal date with two new investigators for December 5, hopefully the put forth the effort to make it there. 
Friday the Ballards were baptized and it was awesome. following the had the ward Thanksgiving social and you bet your sweet bottom I ate my weight in sweet potatoes and cheese cake. Regrets! 
Saturday was Johhny Atkison's baptism in Owasso!!! SO fun, so many people I got to see whom I love and miss and surprisingly remembered me haha. I got to hang out with my old companion  Elder Murdock who is serving in Jenks (Tulsa) now. We all went to lunch and played some ball afterward. 
Sunday was a trial and blessed miracle all rolled into one, I awoke with a wretched sore throat and spent the day in bed, but my companion was able to get a ride to church where we incredibly had 19 investigators there!! Our bishops efforts to minister to the people in this area are really paying off, so many people respond to his love and kindness and find the desire to improve their lives. He's an example to all of us. Sounds like we'll have even more people to teach soon!

I love being a servant of the Lord and draw my strength from those who have gone before me. The prophets and apostles of scripture are a foundation of my faith and power. A brilliant quote from Elder Holland that Sister Loveland shared with us today: 

“In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike-- and they will-- you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened, we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham’s seed.” Jeffrey R. Holland, “For Times of Trouble” Devotional Address, March 18, 1980.

Let Him change you, let Him raise you.

Elder T. Hakes

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

11/9 Pics

Back with my second mom, Jodi Acord, in Owasso

Mmmm hmm 

Mmmmm hmm 

Elder Thurgood trying to survive in our chilly apartment haha
When you're poor, you make your own chessboard 

If you didn't have any fear, what could you accomplish?


Another weekly report here. I remember sending my first email out in the mission field and thinking, "I have to do this every Monday??". Well, that was approximately 30 Mondays ago. That's a lot of Mondays haha!

This week has been another filled with miracles, anxieties, blessings, teachings, learnings, growings, and fun. Tuesday we had an exchange with Brother Cox who took us around to meet some less actives and then we had dinner at his house on one of the only hilltops around for hundreds of miles. He's in the bishopric and just a good down to earth guy. He's hilarious. His wife made us my favorite meal per my request: chicken n' waffles baby! Wednesday we had zone training meeting in Bartlesville and personal interviews with President Loveland. He's no President Shumway, but he's doing a great job for the mission. I felt such a power and connection with Shumway, perhaps I'll grow to feel that with Pres. Loveland as we serve together for the next 16 months. After zone training I went on exchanges to Owasso!! I saw some of the people I love and miss and was able to interview Johnny Atkison for his baptism which will be this Saturday! It was my first interview as district leader, it's kind of a neat experience. I relied heavily on the Spirit to help me determine his level of preparation for baptism. He is trying to do what he thinks God would have him do, and is willing to continue on the path of learning. Can't wait for his baptism this weekend!!! The rest of our week was full of great lessons and visits. Sunday Elder Thurgood and I sang "For the Beauty of the Earth" with the ward choir, and really enjoyed the regional stake conference broadcast. We had some new investigators at church that members had brought with them, and it sounds like we'll be able to teach all of them this week! Doesn't get better. This week is going to be a crazy busy one, the Ballards are getting married tomorrow, then baptized on Friday! We also have a ward Thanksgiving social Friday night, Johnny's baptism on Saturday in Owasso, and then the Ballards confirmations on Sunday. It's going to be great. The Ballards are travelling to Kansas to get married, he was just divorced and in OK you have to wait 6 months to be remarried, so we're going to border hop. Gonna be fun!

I believe I need to simplify the gospel in my life, and simplify my own discipleship. Complexity is burdensom and unnecessary! Christ is my Savior, and I am His servant. I'll do what he wants, and He'll help me do it! Doesn't get much simpler. I constantly feel renewed and peaceful when I turn to Him. He is my only source of lasting contentment. Love Him!

Elder T. Hakes

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Howdy ya'll

I'm turnin' country out here people. And I love it! This is my favorite area so far, for a bunch of reasons. This last week flew by so fast, it's ridiculous. We were so busy and had so many awesome lessons and met some really cool and funny and sincere people. I don't have a ton of time left but I want to tell you about some of the people we are teaching! To preface this, literally everyone in Cleveland smokes. Okay, not literally. But if I had to count all the people who don't smoke it wouldn't be very hard haha. Last night we did the "stop smoking workshop" with an awesome guy named Jeff and his son Peyton. Peyton is 22 and a member, but his dad Jeff never joined the church. Jeff's been coming to church and he's read the Book of Mormon twice and really is just enjoying all that the gospel has to offer him right now. So let's get this guy some healthy lungs and gett'im dunked! The workshop we teach was developed by an RM awhile ago and it follows 15 pretty basic steps, like brushing teeth and using mouthwash and taking tons of vitamin C and kicking the nasty habit! If followed 100%, the smoker will lose the urge to smoke in 7 days guaranteed. It's pretty cool. We taught it to Jeff and Peyton and they are geared and ready to quit this week! I'm pumped for Jeff to be baptized, its going to be awesome. Saturday we went to the temple with the relief society. We had 2 recent converts there doing baptisms for the first time, and we even had 3 investigators go just to check it out and see what it's all about! Sarah and David Ballard are investigators who's 15 year old son was baptized about a month ago, but they have had to wait because they aren't married yet. He is waiting on finallized divorce papers from his exwife before they can tie the knot. But as soon as that happens (which sounds like it should be this week) they are going to literally drive across the border to Arkansas and get married that day. (I guess there is a 6 month waiting period to get married in OK after you are divorced). They are awesome and their conversion and welcoming into the ward family has shaped their lives in a big way. We eagerly anticipate their baptisms as well. We found a new investigator named Sandra per a referral from our stud Bishop Southward. She is living with a less active member in her trailer and we went out and taught her. She already believed in a pre-mortal existence and loved everything we told her. So much, in fact, that she brought her 29 year old son Matt with her to church on Sunday! We invited him to gospel principles which we were teaching 2nd hour, but he said he would feel more comfortable with a 1 on 1 lesson. We were like "heck ya we can do that" and we met him and his mom in the park after church and taught them the Restoration while sitting on a merry-go-round because it was in the shade hahaha. It was one of my favorite lessons ever. Turns out he is super ready for the gospel and looking to invite God into his life and loved our lesson. He was excited! I love teaching people who are looking for the gospel. I honestly don't think there is anything better. I am out of time, but I wish I wasn't. Halloween was the day we were at the temple, then afterward we helped a guy move and went home at about 8 and basically slept because we were pooped. We were supposed to be in by 6 that night (mission rule) but we were engaged in a good cause, so don't tell anyone. ;) #rebels. This place has such a small town friendly feel, its way awesome. This Wednesday I am going on exchanges in my first area, Owasso! And I will be interviewing Johhny Atkison for his baptism on Saturday WOOOO!! I can't wait to see him and Marla (whom we baptized while I was there) again. Incredibly Blessed and Highly Favored. Till next week from the land of milk and honey and cigarettes.
Elder T. Hakes