Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Yay! I'm Officially a Mother

Mis queridos familiares, amigos, and anyone else who happens to be reading this, 

7 months in the mission and still going strong in Ambato! I love this sector and I am not even a little bit sad to still be here. New adventures and new challenges come with training, otherwise I would probably feel more ready to move on. I am not quite sure what happened with the month of may. Wasn't it just abril? 

Last week I traveled to Quito on Tuesday to get to the nurses apartment. I had to travel with 2 elders, who just wanted to talk about space doctrine the whole way there. Let me tell ya, there's a reason the elders have to stay a full 2 years ;) It was super wierd to not have an actual companion with me. Wednesday was capacitacion, um, training?, the whole day and then we headed back to Ambato! We got home super late at night but without incident. And the next day we got to work! 

 Training has been super fun. My companion, Hermana Medrano, is from Lima, Peru. She is 19 and is stuying administracion of hotels and tourism. She loves traveling and camping and nature. (Awesome, me too!). She was born in the church. She doesn't talk much, but it is teaching me how to talk a LOT. If I ask the right questions it gets her talking, and I have learned that when she says something, it's important, so I'd better listen. I know this sector all too well and I've led the sector before so that's not a problem for me. It is definitely different to have a major lead in the lessons. Trying to give her the chance to teach as much as possible, even when she doesn't want to. Being with her reminds me of when I used to be shy! You probs don't believe me. But I feel like a very different person now than I was when I left. There is no room to be shy in the mission field! Especially training, I have lots to do to try to be a good example in everything I do and make sure she knows the importance of obedience and diligence. 

When you don't get to work in your sector for 3 of the busiest days of the week, it's hard to feel like you are using your time wisely. But this week will be better! Our investigators are progressing. Evelyn didn't come to church this week. We might have to move her baptismal date back a couple weeks to see if she will come to church consecutively. We had a few other investigators come to church and I am very excited for their progression as well! A family with 6 kids, the oldest in her 20s. We just have to find time in their busy schedule to keep teaching them, and also to get them to get married! Crazy how you can live with someone for 25 years and not be married. 

Barrio El Recreo is awesome. I love the members and the culture makes me laugh. Our ward mission leader has a very special ability to make me MAD. But thats part of the Lord teaching me patience as well. I just have to smile and nod at his comments sometimes, vent in English later when nobody can understand me, and life goes on! 

Cristobal keeps being the best convert ever. On Saturday it was his birthday! We took him cake and visited his house for the first time. We taught him a little lesson to prep him for receiving an assignment in church and talked about service. As we were talking about the importance of serving, he shared with us that he takes care of the pigs every day for service. they arent his pigs and he doesnt get paid for it. how he helps a little old lady down the hill when her husband comes home drunk. How he helps people harvest their crops even when he is really, really tired. Hearing his experiences brought these words into my mind: (disclaimer I don't know who this poem is by, I didn't write it) 

Supposing today were your last day on earth
the last mile of the journey youve trod
at the end of the day, how much are you worth? 
How much can you take home to God? 
Don't count as possessions your silver and gold
Tomorrow you leave those behind
And all that is yours to have and to hold
Is the service you've given mankind. 

Cristobal may be one of the most humble servants of God, but he will be richer than most in his heavenly home. I am privileged to know him and to count him as my friend! 

Well, I think that's about all that's going on here in Recreo. We have to go to Quito again today for visa stuff. But we will be back tomorrow evening to keep working hard! 

Love yall so much! Sigan adelante! How to say that in ingles i am actually not sure! Chao! 

Hna Hasleton


something i forgot to share with you about this week! 

I have been feeling a little big bogged down by all the imperfection in the world. From the poverty, to the sin, to the imperfect church members and the lack of conversion, to the trash everywhere and the skinny, mangy dogs. I was just struggling to see the good in the world and to keep a good perspective. But the Spirit taught me something very powerful: 

Christ paid for it all. All the poverty, hate, sin, wickedness, greed, pride, selfishness. Every error, everything difficult, everything dirty, every abuse and unkind word and lost temper. The infinite power of the Great Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ makes ALL of it okay! He gives each and every child of God the personal opportunity to be totally clean and perfect. He cleanses us from the stains of the world. In HIM we have hope for a better world. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. 

yay i am officially a mother

if you look closely you can see Chimborazo in the background, a rare moment when its not covered by clouds! 

tungurahua! you can almost see it

preaching the gospel to all creatures, always

felt like i had been transported to that awful movie spirited away that always scared me as a kid

Cristobal takes care of the pigs and the 13 baby pigs every day. 

this is where cristobal lives. sorry for the poor quality picture. literally this is his whole house. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My beautiful tranquilo Ambato


Guess what family? Cambios were this week! and you will get to hear the exciting news after you suffer through reading about my week first, muahaha. Some weeks I feel like I have absolutely nothing to tell you. Like last week. This week I have SO much to say! 

Well, first of all, my district leader, the hermana leaders, and my companion all ganged up on me and made me take the parasite test, even though the nurses told me I didn't have to. I knew I had a parasite without taking a dumb test. I named him Jorge. Turns out I actually have two parasites. The other one I named Paris. Paris, paris, paris-ite. (If you get that joke, brownie points for you. Shows how long we've been friends.) I'm on an antibiotic and pepto bismol for the stomach pain. But I feel totally fine and I'm working normal. I'm just hungry alllllllll the time. Parasites are nothing new in Ecuador haha. 

What else happened this week? Well, I wanna tell you about Evelyn. She is an investigator we have had for awhile now. She is 24 years old, doesn't have a boyfriend or any kids! Which is rare for here. She lives with her mom and her younger brother and is studying in the university. The way we found her was contacting in the street, because we find 95% of our investigators that way. She accepted our visits because she had 2 friends in high school who are members, who both served missions, and who got married in the temple. She talks about the inner peace that both of them had, and she wanted to know how she could have that, too. (Kids, never forget that your light shines and you are an example for EVERYONE, whether you realize it or not! Members or nonmembers or inactives, it doesn't matter. Choose the right because people are watching.) Tangent over. It's pretty hard to find her to teach her because she is so busy, but she is coming to church and she really wants to change. I have so, so much hope in her and her mom. So much hope. Pray for Evelyn to want to come to church, to not be scared to change, and to progress to baptism! 

We have an investigator named Carmita. It's another really sad example of someone who has potential to progress, but because of her circumstances of life, it just isn't likely. Carmita lives with her husband and her grandson, who she calls her son. She has faced abuse of all kinds since she was 6 years old, when she started working cleaning houses. She is from Guayaquil. She has 4 kids. Her oldest son was killed when he was 22. Her second son died a year later in a motorcycle accident. Her youngest son is in jail for life, and her daughter left her with her son and Carmita has no idea where she is. She won't come to church because she is so scared of what her husband will do when he finds out. In one lesson, we read Mosiah 14 and talked about how Christ suffered all of our pains and transgressions and everything else, and only through His stripes can we be healed. She makes me think about elder Holland's talk and how there are just some people who cannot sing "there is sunshine in my soul."

We are teaching a cute couple who got married a couple months ago. The husband is a recent convert, from October, and his wife has been a member for a few years now. They are going to get sealed in November! They are very young but they taught me a lot about faith this week. The husband has a 3 year old daughter from a relationship before he got baptized. He hasn't been paying his monthly dues to the mother because she told him that he doesn't have to, but just barely put out a demand for it and if Cristian doesn't pay it soon he will go to jail. Its a couple thousand dollars. Where in the world are they supposed to find 2,000 dollars?! His wife is nervous that he is going to be sent to jail, but he bore a powerful testimony. He said, "I am doing the will of the Lord. I am keeping the commandments, and even though we barely have money to eat, I am paying my tithing. I know the Lord will bless me when I keep the commandments and He will help me find a way to pay my debts." His faith is amazing. It touched my heart. It was also a powerful testimony to me of accountability. Repentance heals us completely. The Lord remembers our sins no more when we truly repent. But we cannot escape the consequences of our decisions. Just because this young convert has changed his life and totally repented doesn't mean he doesn't still have a daughter to take care of. 

Cristobal is doing so great. He is just the best convert anyone could ask for. He loves learning, calls us to know when our next cita is and is disappointed if it isn't that day, and he wants to get married so badly. He is so excited to go to the temple in June to do baptisms. 

This week I got reallllly bothered with the people staring and the catcalls and them trying to speak english and following me everywhere. I am usually just so good at ignoring it but I admit it got to me. I felt like Gus in Dual Spires and again, if you get the reference, I love you. Sorry for the random details. Trying to write a lot for you, mom and dad :) 

This week was the last week of the cambio and we hadn't done laundry in a month so I spent every morning and every night washing my clothes by hand because I didn't want to leave Ambato with all my clothes dirty.  Everyone was telling me I was gone. I knew it, too. I've been in the same zone my whole mission, and nobody spends more than 6 months in one sector. I didn't pack early but I definitely organized so I could pack quickly. I took pictures with everyone and I said my goodbyes, mas o menos. Well, as crazy loco as cambios are in this mission, guess what?! I am not going anywhere! Staying right here in my beautiful tranquilo Ambato and I am TRAINING! I am in trio with the hermanas lideres until tuesday, when I go to Quito to get my new companion. I am SO EXCITED and just a little bit nervous, but I am grateful for this opportunity to learn and humbled that the Lord trusts me enough to take care of a new missionary. Cambios are insane and I will never understand them. This one is only 3 weeks and the next one is 9 weeks, and I am fairly certain I will spend both of those here, but ha I can't predict anything, it seems. Blessed to be spending half my mission in Ambato! 

Well. That is my week! Tried to make it nice and long for you, dad. and mom, hope you enjoyed all those pictures! Hermana Hasleton is praying for each and every one of you. If you are reading this and you never email me, EMAIL ME! please and thank you <3 (cough cough Brett thanks)

Todo mi amor, 

Hermana Hasleton

Monday, May 1, 2017

God Looks on the Heart

Padres, hermanos, hermanas, amigos, and whoever else just happens to be reading yet another long email of Hermana Hasleton,

What a week! It was a looonnnnggggggggggggggggggg week. A good week. So much happened! Where do I start? 

Well, this week was my birthday. It was a half pday, so that was cool, we ate cake and it was fun! We then had to go back to the house and wait for the secretaries to get there, because they were going to go through it with the owners. Long story short, after a few hours, with irritated and contentious owners, we finally got to run to the chapel and teach Cristobal before his baptism interview. He passed! Best birthday present ever! (However I did open my package, and I LOVE what you sent me mom! Thanks so much! I had to have my dress altered, it was too short, but hey it was 3 bucks and you can't even tell!) 

Wednesday we spent almost the entire day moving. Packing, cleaning, signing contract, moving everything, and organizing. Hallelujah, its finally done and we don't have to worry about it anymore! We still dont have hot water, even in the new house, haha we just have bad luck, but i did get to take one hot shower this week so life is all good :) Our house is beautiful and we are lucky we found it! God answers prayers! 

This week it was a little hard, because I feel like we didn't work nearly as much as we should have. There were lots of circumstances beyond our control, but I am determined to improve in diligence! I want to work work work! 

Saturday was a fun day. We taught Paul Gibson, from New Zealand. He speaks Spanish fairly well but asked me to translate a few times. Never given a baptismal invitation in English, it was a really weird experience! It realllllly bothered Hna Jimenez when we spoke in English though, it was kind of hilarious. She's so cute haha. 

We taught Cristobal every single day this week to make sure he got all the lessons before his baptism. Teaching him is like teaching an 8 year old. We teach him in the church if we can so we can draw on the white board, or we draw in a notebook if it's in someones house. It was amazing to see how EXCITED he was! One day he was in first nefi, and the next day when he came he was in Mosiah! And the next day he told us he was fasting to feel prepared and so people would come to his baptism! He is seriously just so cute. He has never been married and has no kids. He doesn't have a job right now but he works helping his cousin take care of her pigs. He was so excited on Saturday morning to tell us that the pig gave birth, there are 13 babies and they all survived! Hahaha. He also takes care of cuyes. 

Cristobal came literally running into the church at 5:15. The baptism started at 6:30! He was so excited! Cristobal is the cousin of Rosario, a member, and Oscar, her nephew, is leaving on a mission to Colombia tomorrow! So it was really a cool experience that Oscar got to baptize him before he left. Us and the elders in our ward sang if the savior stood beside me as a special musical number. me at the keyboard, of course. Cristobal shared his testimony at the end, it was so cute, and he even remembered to say in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. We were very proud of him. Afterwards, everyone came up to shake his hand and congratulate him, and he cried and cried. I did, too. Cristobal is completely without guile. He is submissive, meek, grateful. God looks on the heart. He is a cherished, beloved son of God. When Christ says "suffer the little children to come unto me, for such is the kingdom of heaven" I am certain He is talking about Cristobal. I know that if God pulled back the veil and let me see the strength of the spirits of His most humble children, I would realize just how blessed I am to know them. I am honored to call them my friends.

I love this work! I only get one more year to be a missionary because next May I will be home! Crazy, right? Thanks for all the love and support from the states! 


Hermana Hasleton :)

this picture. there are no words! 

we took a few seconds to have some fun, don't worry daddy

our sweet Cristobal. Got to the chapel an hour before his baptism started. He is our dulce alma, or our sweet soul. 

hermana jimenez doing the informe uh report? for the mission leader of the ward before the baptism 

my setup at the keyboard! 

Cristobal, Oscar, and Rosario

apparently guinea pigs are food, not friends! 

pigs are friends though

love my companion! 

the alpaca was listening very attentively

preach the gospel to every creature... there is more where this came from, just you wait!  this llama was spitting and gargling and sat down riggghtttt as we were about to take the picture. thanks for cooperating, buddy. 

our new house! a little apartment on a third floor and it is so nice! Finally got all moved in and now we can just work! 

the hermano helped us get all our stuff into our apartment... and then took off. it was a disaster! Took us 2 hours to set up the beds cuz the screws are stripped in places. haha. good times.