Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

We got the phone call today. Most of us were here and we got Michael's family on the webcam so that they could hear too. It was at 4:00 p.m. our time and we were anxiously waiting all day! Of course, it was the day after Christmas for him. He said that he went to members' homes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and was able to have a decent holiday meal both days.

He didn't sound "Aussie" like we thought he would -- not an accent to speak of. He is really dedicated to his mission and says in 5 weeks or so he would be transferred out of the office. He's given the opportunity to choose where he wants to go next, but says he really doesn't care and would let the President choose for him. As it stands now, he's so busy with office duties and then proselyting that he hardly has any time to mail letters or send pictures. But he PROMISES that there's a package coming to us with a thumb drive full of pictures.

He said he played cricket this morning. You know -- typical Christmas Day activity. (ha!) And then they had laundry to do. And all the flats there have washers and dryers. His brother and brother-in-law laughed at the "ease" of that.

He doesn't like us bringing up the fact that his mission is almost half over. That is so depressing to him! He is LOVIN' it and ended the call with: "The Church is true."

Thank you to all the blog readers and especially those of you who comment. We'll be having a give-a-way for commenters. (j/k) :-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Short and sweet

When our office was getting remodeled.

Dear Family,
Thank you mom and dad for the card and money. Lifesaver.

Things are going great. We had interviews with President this week. I love that the most. President Richards is so loving and although there are so many missionaries, he cares about every single one. He really has been focusing on us making ourselves better so that we can be guided by the spirit to help others and the success is amazing. We have had more baptisms this year than any other year before.

This week we also found out about all of the transfers. I will be training a missionary to take my spot. And one of our AP's, Elder Olsen, is going home. He is the man. He has been in the office the whole time I have so it will be sad to see him go.
I really have no idea when I'll call. President wants us to use members' phones 'cause it costs us too much and an American family in our ward gets free calls to America. I'll probably get permission to email to let you know when I'll call.

We only have 2-3 weeks to finish our Book of Mormon reading. It's amazing to look back on the pages I have read and see all the red that I have colored. There are some pages that are almost completely red. Thanks for everything. I'll talk to ya soon.
Love you all.
-Elder Adam Hales

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The meaning of "GQ-ing"

Dear family,
Things are going great here. Today we took the Executive Secretary, Elder Brown, with us on our P-Day. He is an 80 yr old pure Aussie so he knew a lot of cool things for us to see. Anyway he loves talking to us and telling stories so we knew he had an awesome time out with us too.

GQing is street contacting. We look for the Golden Question when talking to people. I guess missionaries in Australia have been doing it for ages.

Elder Winder is such a powerful missionary! We have such an awesome family.

Well, things have seemed to be tough again. A recent convert that we have been working with and teaching has fallen. Elder Mooney and I got to Coordination meeting on Thursday night and our Ward Mission Leader asked us to go give him a blessing because he was going into the hospital the next day. We have been working with him at least once a week since I have been in this area. His health isn't very good. When we got to his apartment he was half asleep. He let us in and we found him drunk and he had been smoking. He knows it's true 100 percent but he fell. He had a glass of alcohol on the table but he was so embarrassed and lied saying that it was juice. We didn't confront him about it because it wasn't the time. It was interesting because in the blessing I felt inspired to tell him to rely and trust on his Priesthood leaders. He may not be able to remember that but I have faith. I know that he will make it. He is such a good guy. He is in his 60's but has the health of an 80 year old and acts like a teenager. We will never give up on him because I know the Lord never would.

The AP's have a baptism tonight for a lady from Papau New Guinea. She is filled with the spirit. Elder Olsen will be baptizing her which is exciting because he goes home in a week. Poor guy. But us four missionaries are doing a musical item. (* "item." ha ha)

By the way, do you remember Alana and Dalin Leneham? She was baptized in Waterford after I left. I found out they are married and now expecting a baby!

I have been so blessed here. I know that this is the most important work and I LOVE it. No where else I would rather be. Thank you for the example you are mom and dad.
Love you all.
God Speed the Right
-Elder Hales

Picture at last

Marshall's baptism. My companion, Elder Hurst, is next to me. Elder Hoskins and Elder Mooney on the right.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Missionary moments and GO COUGARS!

Dear Mum and Dad:
My companion is a very big Ute fan. Ugh. (*we had told him about the game.) There is this young man in our ward who went to BYU for EFY and loved it so now his dream is to go to BYU and of course he gets texts from friends there. Anyway, all through church he comes up to me and says "BYU is up!"

I LOVED your letter this week. The missionary moment and Dad's getting to speak to the missionaries are such good news!!! :) Elder Nielsen of the Seventy said that he was about to give a talk one time at a Stake Conference and Elder Ballard asked to see his notes. Then he took his notes, put them in his briefcase and told him to speak on something he has NEVER talked on before. There are so many important aspects of missionary work to speak on but every missionary will be strengthened and edified by your testimony and that is always the best part.
Your missionary moment got me soooo excited! That is exactly what we ask members to look for. This man from South Central will feel the spirit in your home. Watch a few Christmas DVD's and pray for which one you feel you should give him. One of my favourites is Joy to the World. It teaches about Christmas and the Restoration. The missionaries probably have some extra. I probably have about a thousand in the office. We are having a campaign going on right now. Are there commercials going on in the USA? Our mission usually has about 40 baptisms because of referrals from the commercials.

I can't believe how fast time flies, especially in the office. I have been here for 3 transfers! Which is the longest I have been in an area! The ward here is great, my companion is a stud, and things are just awesome here. Things are getting pretty hectic now that it's almost transfer time again. What I do in the office is probably like Dad explaining what he does at work. My average day consists of picking up mail, booking flights and buses, small tasks, coordinating incoming and outgoing missionaries, ordering missionary supplies and answering the phone. Then we go out and work!!

The Assistants have the majority of the dinner appointments so we usually only have two a week. We both have a few families we work with.

Thank you so much for the packages! I got both in one day and my companion liked his stocking. They are hanging up in the office right now. :-) EVERYONE likes the EFY cd you sent! Thank you so much. I am excited to open the gifts.

Last Zone conference, President Richards talked about washing dishes and how he grew to love it. Not because he loves washing dishes but because he loves his wife and that he washes the dishes for her. He told us that we can grow to love things we don't like. I have grown to love tracting and GQing because I love God. We follow what He commands us because we love him.

This work is true, this work is real, this work is the Lord's.
If we pray for missionary opportunities they DO drop out of the sky. Our goal is to help others come unto Christ.
Love you mom and dad
-Elder Hales

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mangoes vs. turkey


This week has been great. We have been continually blessed so much. But as always, we have had the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There was one huge big low this week. The man I talked about last week . . . two days ago we got all the reading material including the Book of Mormon in the mail from him. There was no note or return address but we know it was him. That really just crushed us. He told us he had felt the Holy Ghost and asked us what he needs to do to get ready for his baptism but now he won't pick up his home phone. We have the feeling he got into some anti stuff. That just hits a missionary where it hurts. But I know the Lord will look out for him and he'll accept the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We did have an amazing lesson with another one of our investigators. Her name is Leslie and her husband is a member, so the situation is gold. The office elders had been teaching her even before I was here so Elder Mooney and I are really ready for her to get moving. We had a lesson with her on Wed. night and watched "On the Way Home" which is very old-fashioned but exactly what she needs. After the video we testified of the gospel and eternal families and her husband bore such a powerful testimony. He talked about one of his mission stories and then told his wife he wants to stand in the font, dressed in white to baptize her. She expressed that she doesn't feel that she has got an answer and that she really wants to know for sure that it's true before she does anything. She loves church and reads the Book of Mormon so her answer will come.

Thanksgiving was fun. We had correlation meeting so before we jetted off to that, we had some mango's.

It's been a short week but things have gone well. Elder Hoskins went with his companion up to Emerald. Emerald is pure outback and very hot so they said they are sweating 24/7.

The work continues to progress. Things are going amazing here in Australia. The Church is lead by Christ.
I love you all.
-Elder Hales

Sunday, November 22, 2009

B-ball with the Prez


We have American families in our ward that might invite us over for Thanksgiving but so far we don't have a dinner appointment. We might just go get some Fish and Chips- Australian Style.

We played basketball this morning with President Richards and it was almost the most aggressive game we've had yet! It gets that way with some missionaries. But when we play rugby its only touch instead of tackle. No one ever gets hurt. (*um -- what about a few weeks ago??)

There are so many miracles by the Lord's hand this week that I don't know where to start.
First, Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Gonzales of the Quorum of the Seventy, and Elder Callister of the Seventy and who also wrote the book "The Infinite Atonement,"(which I really want to read someday) spoke to us on Saturday. They didn't originally plan to speak to all the missionaries but Elder Cook personally knows President Richards from San Francisco and they fit in about 2 hours to speak to us. We got a Mission picture with him and we all shook their hands and then we were able to hear from all three of them including Sister Cook. She was awesome. She is VERY musical and had the mission sing "Hark all ye Nations" and she all taught us parts very quickly.
Elder Gonzalez talked about being bold. Elder Callister talked about being a Consecrated Missionary. A missionary who sacrifices his all and puts it all on the Sacrifice alter. He talked about how there are only a dozen or so missionaries in every mission who reach the "Consecrated Missionary" status. He talked about how we can't just change our behavior on our mission, but that we have to change our nature. Isn't that what happens in repentance? That's how we become better. When we repent, if we only change our behavior we will most likely commit the sin again. We have to change our nature. That was one insight I got from it. It is my prayer that I will become a consecrated missionary very soon.

Then Elder Cook was amazing. He talked about how our missions bless ALL the missionaries' family and friends. He talked about how a sister of a missionary gave up her scholarship at BYU and moved to Salt Lake to work for a law office to keep her brother on a mission [hint hint Carly :)] and how much it meant to her. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven.

I saved the best for last -- another soul came unto Christ. We got a phone call in the office from a man who wanted to meet with the missionaries. He is actually in our area so we set up a time to meet with him. His name is Bob and he is amazing. He really wants to turn his life around. He is a clean cut guy and probably in his 40's. We had a lesson with him after our meeting with Elder Cook and we taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ- mostly on Baptism. He accepted the commitment to be baptized on December 13th and came to church yesterday and enjoyed it very much. He is truly in the Lord's hands. This is why: He has been having trouble understanding the Book of Mormon. Yesterday at church- all 3 hours were on the Book of Mormon and how it's another testament of Christ and how we can get more out of it. He also remembers our Ward Mission Leader from about 15 years back. Fifteen years back our Ward Mission Leader was a non-member and a different guy. I could tell he saw the huge difference in him and that is what Bob wants too. Our Ward Mission Leader just told him "This here -- it changed my life completely." Our ward mission leader is amazing. He is a consecrated ward mission leader. He puts it all on the sacrifice altar.

This work is true and it is guided by the Lord. To all those who read this-- never let Satan make you think you could never have a missionary experience.

I love you mom and Dad. Thanks for everything.
God Speed the Right,
Elder Hales

Saturday, November 14, 2009


G'day! Today we went to the most Eastern part of Australia. It's called Byron Bay. That was fun.
Things are going well. I have really grown to love serving in the office. I never gave the office elders enough credit because I am always swamped. My companion, Elder Mooney, was driving this morning and started to really get extreme drowsiness. That was put in good words. We switched drivers. :) I'll be okay mom.

Not a lot went on this week. Transfers were so hectic that we forgot about one of our lessons with a recent convert. His name is Ian and he is probably in his 60's. He has more life stories than I could imagine. He is completely converted to the gospel and he is going to do baptisms in the temple today. We were excited to hear that. But what I love the most about Ian is his love for the Book of Mormon. Lately we have heard a lot about how important the Book of Mormon is. I read Elder Holland's talk again from Conference. A lot of people have said how they didn't learn anything but were blown away from his testimony. But I learned so much. The spirit is what teaches and the way he gave his talk, the Spirit had so much to feed off of and allow us to hear what we needed to hear. Oh man, he is a good teacher!! Sometimes we need to be more bold. I still fear I might offend. There is a balance I look for.

Orientation for the new missionaries is always fun. The Elders from the Provo MTC are always so funny. There is an Elder from Idaho Falls that came in. He knows a few of my friends from BYU I. His name is Elder Schwideiman.

I love that you are reading in the end of Alma! There really is so much to learn from the war chapters! Sometimes at dinner appointments we share a message where everyone is given the opportunity to share their favourite prophet from the Book of Mormon and why. I have a few but I love Captain Moroni because he prepared spiritually before physically for war. I love that 'cause that's what I do everyday. We have our study in the morning- and then we go out there and "Get them!"

Thank you for your prayers and everything you do for me. I love you all and pray for you.
God Speed the Right
Elder Hales

PS- To those who read my blog- sorry if I have not found time to write. It really has been hard to find time in the office.

Friday, November 6, 2009

"We're going to the mountains!"

Dear Family:
We had such a treat this week! Elder Nielson of the 1st quorum of the Seventy (and in the Area presidency), came and did a mission tour. Basically what happened is we had 2 Zone conferences this transfer and we won't have any next time. But being lucky enough to go to both zone conferences in the Brisbane area- I had an epic experience.
On Monday I get a call in the office and I hear, "Hello Elder Hales, this is Elder Nielson of the Quorum of the Seventy." That was cool. He ended up having a meeting with the office staff later which was awesome. But on the phone he proceeded to ask if anyone was picking him up from the airport. Got me nervous for a second but remembered President Richards was picking him up. He then asked me how to dial phone numbers in Australia. :)

Zone conference was phenomenal. Honestly- President Richards was extremely good. Sister Nielson gave an incredible talk on Companionship Unity. But it applies to everyone because we all need unity for the work to progress quicker. In our quorums, presidencies and even our families. She talked about how as companions "we are on the same team." That we should never criticize our companion and not try to change them. Then she talked about the song "Homeward Bound" by the Motab. (Got that CD from another missionary). How they use a pennywhistle and how it adds such a spirit to the song. She said how we all have our own pennywhistles -- that we all do good things. To be honest- that talk really helped me.

Elder Nielson talked about a lot of things. Seemed very scattered but I guess there was a lot of different things he wanted to cover with our mission. He talked about the revelatory process that is outlined in 1 Nephi 11-14. That was way good. And at the end of the meeting he opened it up for questions. It was funny. He said " If you're going to ask me where the sword of Laban is, I'll say I don't know. And if you're going to try to stump the Seventy... you win!"

The rest of the week has been good. We have been preparing for transfers so I've been stressing about getting things done. It's pretty weird knowing transfers before it happens. It's kind of like finding out there is no Santa.
It's the Lords work. I'm glad we are on his team.
I love you all.
God Speed
-Elder Adam Hales

P.S. What is really weird is calling the MTC in Provo. We have to call to see how many greenies there are so we know how many trainers we need. Hearing Americans talk is really different.

One thing Elder Nielson of the Seventy taught us is in the hymn, "Ye Elders of Israel" is that we bid farewell to Babylon, or the world, and Go to the Mountains. Or as referred to in the scriptures, the temple. He told us that is what we do as missionaries. We are on the same team!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

When ye are in the service of your fellow beings . . .

Dear Mum and Dad,
G'Day from Australia! Things have been going well! In response to your letter:
Teeth are good, glasses are perfect.
No, we don't do daylight savings.
Transfers are in a week and a half. There could be 4 of us staying here because we are getting a new program for all the work we do in the office so President might keep Elder Hoskins and his future companion who will be opening a new area up north, in the office for a few weeks to help Elder Mooney and I out.

Things are pretty hectic. Seems like things are always falling apart - but look at the work. It progresses and it does so fast! I love it.
One lesson I learned today was service. I'll be honest, today we had an awesome P-Day planned out and last night we get a call from our Elder's Quorum President. He asks us to help out with a new move in today right during the time we would be hiking a mountain off of Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast. I'll admit- I was devastated! Of course we helped out and it became such a blessing. We got there and the Elders Quorum President was there with 3 other men and they really needed the help of 5 missionaries. The truck was huge and full and a lot of loose items but we got done in a good 2 hours. Helping others is way better than anything for personal reasons. I always felt good doing it back home but dismissed the feeling. I always seem to need to learn these lessons again but I know I'll make it. When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. And how, in any way, could it be bad to serve your God? It always equals happiness.

This week was great. We had our interviews with President and I always love that. And before I forget to mention, President and Sister Richards had just the office elders over for dinner this last week. That was awesome and allowed us to get to know them more. President Richards was in a Stake Presidency for the past 20 years. Sounds like Dad. :)

In our ward, the ward mission leader is epic. He is known all across the mission. Pure Aussie and bold. Anyway with his help we are having cottage-meetings now. This Sunday is the first. The Assistants have been working hard on this for quite awhile. A few of the strongest families in the ward are bringing non-members to this cottage meeting (get to know you so they feel comfortable coming to church. And when they do come to church they know several families already) on Sunday and we are expecting around 50 people, probably half non-members. We're excited to see how it goes.

Well, I love you all and continue praying for you. Thank you again for your prayers.
Love you mum and dad,
God Speed
Elder Hales

That is a very good scripture. In the MTC they told us that our purpose was to get these people to the Celestial kingdom. I love the temple. We get to go this next Friday.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What Mothers do not want to hear

Dear Mom and Dad,
That is so exciting for Jordan!!! Tell him I say congrats.
I am fairly healthy! I haven't been sick for a long time. Funny you brought that up. Don't worry Mom, it was only a minor concussion. I promise. It was probably 2 weeks ago. Since the AP's live right across the hall and they have zone leaders come on trade-offs, there are enough of us to go play a game of rugby. But this one day we decided to try out gridiron. I wore my glasses so I couldn't see out of my peripheral vision very well. Well, another missionary's shoulder went right into my nose and teeth and I'll stop there. But no damage. I was so blessed. Everything looks the exact same and my brain is working great! :-) But one of the AP's had to go to the doctor because he had to get his toe checked out. He had surgery on it because the nail was ingrown. So I went with him and he checked my head out. He also gave me a shot while I was there for the swine flu. I know I probably would never get the swine flu but he said he was giving it free for missionaries so I knew you would want me to get it mom. The doctor is a member. (* I thought he already HAD the swine flu!)
Work in the office has been going okay. I'm really behind on work because I still have to re-learn how to do things but it's going well. I really love being able to work with President and Sister Richards. We have one other investigator that we are working with. Her name is Leslie Hanson. Her husband is an awesome member. She was struggling with reading the Book of Mormon but SHE READ 2 CHAPTERS! We could see a difference in her after that. She went to Saturday morning session of General Conference and liked it so we continue to pray for her and hope she reads!
But another thing I forgot to tell you about last week was... MARSHALL'S BAPTISM! It was so great! We had it after church on the first Sunday of this month. It was so good. His fellowship baptized him, Brother Curtis, and then we confirmed him the same day. He spoke after his confirmation and bore his powerful testimony. One of those amazing moments. His friend who introduced him into the gospel who is now also his girlfriend spoke as well and that was very powerful. She talked about how she never thought she would have an amazing missionary experience as that. Which is the way we all think sometimes. We never think anyone we know would ever accept the gospel- never giving them the chance to make the most important decision of their life.
I love the quote: "The day you give them a Book of Mormon is the most important day of their life!!!"
Missionary work is the best ever. I love being a missionary.
I love you all and pray for you. Thank you for your prayers.
Elder Hales

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Dear Mum and Dad,
Wow, these past weeks have been draining but so amazing as well. Elder Holland's talk was phenomenal. His talks always are. I read one in a New Era about gaining confidence. It comes from Christ! Because confidence comes through worthiness, worthiness comes through Christ. But Elder Holland was the perfect amount of bold and touching. President Richards already got General Conference sent to the office so I watched it again. It inspired me so much. I want to be able to bear a testimony like that about the Book of Mormon. I really think this project Pres. Richards has us doing (highlighting in red the references to Christ) will really help me on that path.

Thank you so much for the Halloween card!! I don't think they celebrate it here. But really- Australians celebrate it everyday. :) Apparently there is a lot of witchcraft in Australia. I haven't seen too much though.

Well, there is so much amazing news to tell. First off- our mission is going through some changes. The last 2 transfers we have had around 20 missionaries come in and in 3 weeks we have 15 more coming! We are the largest mission in Australia and have the most baptisms but we need to be better. Zone conference was amazing because President Richards provided the way for us to raise the bar. We have a new mission motto: BE WORTHY OF AND EXPECT MIRACLES!! It's perfect. President Richards told us he had been working on it for several months. Then he categorized it into 3 subtitles: 1. Purity 2. Unity 3. Faith. We need more faith! I learned a lot from those conferences.
Then the blessing of General Conference. It was amazing. Priesthood was great.

Some more exciting news is the fact that Elder Nelson is coming in November to do a mission tour!!! He will be holding trainings with the missionaries and even going up north to the missionaries up there!

Even more insanely awesome news is the fact that Elder Cook of the Quorum of the 12 is coming to speak to the missionaries at the end of November. Our mission is very blessed. I know we have some great spiritual giants here.

Well I hope things are well. The work is moving forward. It's crazy how sometimes missionaries can get down about being rejected but when we take a step back and look at the growth of the church, it's phenomenal. It's because it's true.
Love you mom and dad.
Love you family.
-Elder Hales

* memo from Mom: note the new address for him.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We got jipped! (and so did he)

Dear Family,
I'm sorry. I wrote a long letter about this amazing week but the computer I am on logged me out and I wasn't able to send it. I hate when that happens.
Well, this week is General Conference, so we have P-day today.
We had an amazing zone conference this week. I'll talk about it next week.
I love you and I love the Lord.
-Elder Hales

*note from Mom: I was surprised to hear that he would get to listen to (or see) General Conference so soon. Last time it took over two weeks to get it. So it's getting faster. And I feel bad that we didn't even have an email ready for him. Having his P-day moved up by one day left me unprepared. An empty in-box . . . . how sad is that??!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Life is good

Dear Family,

WOW!! We just had transfers and things have been crazy! I love it though! First of all- I am all alone on my job now. It was really tough at first but I'm more relaxed now. Elder Hurst, my last companion was transferred up north to Hervey Bay and he is opening that area. How cool is that! He really wanted to go up north so he was excited about that. Elder Hoskins is still my companion for 6 more weeks because he is training a new financial secretary to take his place. You would never guess who. ELDER MOONEY! He and Elder Tietjen were my favorites in the MTC. He was the last I expected to be the new office Elder. I thought I was pretty nerdy but he has no nerd in him at all. :) Two of our AP's left to train and Elder Bergquist is the new AP. He is the man. He was trained in Chermside for 6 months, left for 3 months, came back as an office elder for 6 months, left to Isle of Capri (surfers paradise) for 3 months and now he is back as AP. So he will have served in Chermside ward for about a year and a half. Insane! He went to BYU Idaho. He is a great missionary.

We had a total of 16 missionaries come in this transfer so we have a lot of areas opening up. Its been great. Our mission is getting so big!! It is so great. We have so many good missionaries. In the Year 2000 this mission had 71 baptisms. Now we are on track to get 400 this year. That is through obedience. But our new missionaries are great. I had to orientate them and then we took them to the temple. Some missionaries were having a hard time street contacting so Elder Mooney and I split up and took them out. That was great to see them lose their fear. If you have fear... it’s hard for faith to get in there.

I'm not sure if I ever told you... But Alana's baptism was great. Elder Prina told me about it. And GUESS WHAT?! ALANA GOT MARRIED TO DALLIN. Sad that Dallin won't go on a mission but that was great to hear. And if you remember me talking about Fiona- SHE GOT BAPTIZED TOO! It was funny- Elder Prina and I were about to chop her from our teaching pool and that lesson, after the opening prayer, she just says “So what do I have to do to be baptized?" So Elder Prina told me that she just got baptized and is getting married to Junior this week! I loved that area- Waterford.

I LOVE STUDY! Lately I have had a HUGE THIRST after gaining more knowledge! It was so hard for me in high school when I would let the things of the world crowd over me. I have just been feasting on Conference talks and Preach my Gospel... and the best... the Book of Mormon. President Richards is having us read the Book of Mormon by the end of the year coloring in red all references to Christ. WOW! This has opened my eyes so much. I would always hear that it’s another Testament of Christ but it really helps me see that it is a Testament of Christ. I love this Gospel. I love this church. I love that we get to hear the words of the prophets in 2 weeks!!! (little behind you guys! :)

Love you-Elder Adam Hales

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Advice for member missionaries

Aw -- such a good-busy-stressful week! But things have been going great!
Marshall has been progressing well. He went to church down in New South Wales and his baptism will be coming up. It's such an honor to teach him! A blessing from our Father in Heaven. Marshall has been prepared for a long time. I don't know if I told you, but he quit smoking and drinking 3 months ago and LOVES reading the Book of Mormon. His comprehension is great too!

Our other investigator would be baptized by now but she isn't reading the Book of Mormon. I haven't really had an opportunity to dig into that situation because we are so stinkin' busy. Office work is great. It's a lot harder than proselyting- that's for sure. Only because the whole time I am thinking: "Aw, I wish I was tracting right now."

Transfers are this week already. This transfer flew by too fast. My companion, Elder Hurst, has been training me on how to be mission secretary and I'm not sure I got it all down. I'll probably be calling him a lot in his new area in a few days. Transfers are all figured out already. Its really exciting. There are 3 AP's right now and 2 are leaving to train greenies.

We went to the temple with President Richards on Friday. It was great. He is so knowledgeable. He would answer all of our questions.

You asked if I have any suggestions on getting missionary work rolling! BOY, DO I!!!! I LOVE THIS STUFF! Well, all the leaders must lead by example! That's the hard part. I bear my testimony that if you pray earnestly for missionary opportunities, that they WILL COME! We know that God answers our prayers. We must also pray that we will recognize these opportunities when they come.

This week my testimony of Sacrament meeting grew so much. I often thought of it as "church"- which it is church... but Sacrament meeting is so much more. It's not called "Members give talks meeting". It's the Sacrament. There is so much to learn about the Sacrament it gets me so EXCITED! When we take the sacrament- we make a covenant! A promise with God. And he holds us to that promise. Are we always remembering Him?
I love this gospel. I love being a missionary.
I love you mom and dad!
-Elder Adam Hales

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'm a missionary! How cool is that!?!

Well to start off, things are still just as hectic. I really miss getting out and sweating. The office has been fun and we had our interview with President this week. He tells me he loves me everytime and I love him too. He is such an inspired man.
But wow- that's cool that Cheryl Yee's relative is one of our greenies. Last week we had the honor to take them to the temple after we gave them orientation and also take them street contacting. Sister Karren was awesome at talking to everyone. She is going to be a good missionary. She is now with her trainers --Sister Gamino and Sister Leauauna. ( I know every missionary in the mission and where they are serving now.)
Haven't got any letters yet but I did get the BYU shirt!! Thank you so much!!!
Our investigator Marshall is still solid as a rock! We had a lesson this week at our fellowship's home and it went awesome so Satan did his best afterwards. Our fellowship is the Curtis family. They are Yankies and went to BYU. Brother Curtis works at Boeing here. He is awesome. He just asks Marshall.. "So how is your Book of Mormon reading going?" and then finds out his understanding... which is really good! Anyway we leave the lesson and talk to Marshall outside for a minute and say bye and turn around and a car is driving down the street. With a guy hanging out of it with a raised hand and he just throws an egg at us so fast!!! It hit Elder Hoskins in the arm and left a welt. (don't worry mom) I got angry for a split second and then we had a great laugh and talked about how we love being disciples of Jesus Christ. It wasn't easy for him so it won't be easy for us. I know that Jesus Christ appeared in the Americas. I know that he loves all of us and that we can be saved through him. An insight I had this week was the fact that everytime we sin, we "lose the big picture" and are so focused on the here and now. If everytime someone threw an egg at me I remembered my badge... I wouldn't have gotten angry for those two minutes. So that's my testimony -- that we can always have the Spirit with us and remember the big picture.
I love you all. Thank you Mont and Alayna for the card. It meant a lot and the card was pretty funny too!
God Speed the right.
Elder Adam Hales

Carly!!!! How is the job? Working and all.
Love you Cheri and Spencer- Hope things are going well. I'm sure they are and pretty hot in Northern California. We have a missionary coming from San Jose soon.
Brother: You're a lawyer! I'm a missionary! How cool is this!?! Big lawyer with his new SUV and cool kids. You're the Man brother. I love you- you have always been a great example to me. That helped me a lot growing up.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nieces and Nephews

I couldn't resist posting a picture of Elder Hales' nieces and nephews. L to R:
Emma, Jessica, Tyler, Chandler. (Are they too cute, or what?!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

From the Mission Secretary

I have been reading a lot of conference talks- especially ones from President Monson. He is SO a prophet of God! Anyway, it has really created a desire in my heart to be better. To sacrifice more. No matter how hard I work I can always be a little more like our Savior.
It was great to see that picture of all of you. All of you are tan. Dad looks buff, Michael- I like your tie. Chandler is a little stud muffin.

It is not permitted to check our emails at the office. Apparently they did in the past and President rebuked them. In a nice way 'cause President Richards is so great. We have had to do our emails at an internet cafe these last two weeks that charges 2 dollars for 20 min.

Before I forget, as soon as BYU won Oklahoma I knew about it. :) I'm not apostate! There are 3 families in our ward that are American and are total BYU fans, so last Sunday I walk into our dinner appointment and a brother in our ward offered me the information.
I just got back from the Australia Zoo. This zoo is Steve Erwin's zoo.

This past week has been great. Our office is being re-done so its been hectic but just so great to be in this ward. This is the ward that President Richards goes to if he doesn't have to go somewhere else, so 2 weeks ago he was there for my talk. I was so nervous but the Lord helped me so much. I really love speaking in church now. Really!

Well, we only get to work half the day, but the Lord blesses us as if we had worked the full day. Last week we had 6 new investigators and we committed all of them to baptism on the first lesson and they said yes. They will be coming to church tomorrow!!! We have perfect fellowship lined up too!!! The Lord completely placed them in our path.
Our progressing investigator, Marshall, is still doing fantastic. His baptism is the 4th of October and he is solid. His friend is coming up that week so that's why its so far away. We found him when he walked into church one Sunday and said he wants to go to church. We said "Okay". :-) He is basically friends with everyone in the ward. I love this guy so much. We had one lesson with him this week. We watched Finding Faith in Christ and then committed him to keep the Sabbath Day holy. He looks so much like a member already!!! White shirt, tie, even a vest some weeks.
I love you family. Time is flying and it makes me sad. I don't want to go home. Ever. :-) I love serving the Lord. Being a tool in his hands is the best feeling ever. It's as if I get a glimpse of eternal life.
I love this work so much. It's the best ever.
The church is true. Jesus is the Christ.
Love you all!
-Elder Adam Hales

Friday, September 4, 2009

Short and sweet

Dear Family! This week has gone by so fast! We have so much to do it's not even funny. But we make it funny!! Yesterday for lunch we got fish and chips and watched "On the Lord's Errand" in President Richards' office. That was cool. I'll be in the office for around 5-6 months. Hard, but whatever the Lord asks of me.This week was great. We have had several lessons with really keen investigators. One's name is Marshall. He is ready for baptism but just wants to wait until October when a friend is coming up from New South Wales to see his baptism. We taught the Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom and Tithing and committed him to all and he said yes. He is ready -- I just want the baptism sooner.
Love you all !!! No time on computer. Sorry. Love you - Elder Hales

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Office

How ya goin mate!
Wow- these past weeks have been so crammed. Missionaries getting sent home, missionaries coming back out after health reasons, two zone conferences... Basically I'm in charge of everything from mail to booking flights to making orders and sending info to Salt Lake. It's been really hard to not hate being in the office. Really hard. Trying my hardest to be faithful.
Australia is awesome. Its starting to warm up so we use our AirCon at night. I have not had any native companions yet. Just Elder Nielsen, Tietjen, Prina and now Hoskins and Hurst.
I have been working out. Our flat is right next to the Assistants so we are always together and we play rugby in the mornings and every Saturday morning we play basketball with a lot of missionaries and President Richards. That was fun to see President Richards trying to step us. (juke)
We do have one baptismal date right now. His name is Marshall and he is such a good guy. Comes to church every Sunday. His baptism is in October!!! Um no! I am going to do my best at getting it sooner.
We are also working with a great part member family... the Hansens. The wife is not a member but comes to church every week and seems to like it!!
I'm giving a talk in church tomorrow. I'll be speaking on John 11:25-26 which is one of my most favorite stories of Christ's life.
We have THE MAN ward missionary leader. So bold and to the point. We make phone calls in our coordination meetings to "get it done RIGHT NOW."
I do love this ward and love learning from the Assistants.
Things have been great. Sorry if this email is so scattered. My brain is so full of things I have to do that I'm wiggin out. :)
Love you all.
Read the Book of Mormon.
-Elder Adam Hales

In response to the email:

Yea, I'm feeling fine. President Richards said I probably did have the swine flu but I had some really good, expensive medicine. I'm feeling better now.

Carly: You are an old-graduated College student... Working now! Congrats! :)
Cheri: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! One year older and wiser too... Happy birthday.. to you!
Brother: You're an old family working man! You're the man. I really like your new car.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A mystery (or two) revealed

Dear family!!!
Wow - I don't even know where to start - so much has happened. I loved my area in Waterford. But I got a phone call saying I was being transferred. I was really cut up about that because I will miss Alana's baptism. I was able to be there for Tim's baptism though!!! His baptism was amazing. The spirit was so strong and it was so great to witness the miracle of his conversion. It had been 3 weeks from the time we met him that he was baptized!
After I found out I was being transferred I mostly visited those of this ward that I will miss the most. I almost cried when I said goodbye to our Ward Mission Leader! I love Brother Evans. I was never able to say bye and get a picture with Alana. I really enjoyed teaching her and am so sad I missed her baptism but Elder Prina is going to send me a picture. I'm pretty sad I haven't been able to stay in an area for longer than 3 months.
Well the moment you have all been waiting for ~ the place I was transferred to. The morning of transfers President Richards gets up and bears his testimony of transfers and how we go where the Lord wants us and that there are people only we can get through to. I felt the spirit very strong and I knew where I was going to be transferred is the area for me. Then President calls my name as an Office Elder. :) My area is Chermside. I will be working in the office half the day and proselyting half the day in Chermside. Not going to lie... it's going to be hard to get used to but it's an honor as well because President only puts Elders he trusts here. My P-Day will be Saturdays now. So my companions are Elder Hoskins and Elder Hurst. I'm in a tri-companionship cause Elder Hurst is training me on the duties. But really I'm kind of in a 6 way companionship because we are always with the Assistants. I really like the Assistants.
I was not expecting this calling at all but I know that I'm here for a reason and I will go where the Lord wants me to go.
1 Nephi 3: 7 means more to me now.

I have been very sick these past few days. President thinks I have swine flu. (I talk to him on a daily basis now :)
Transfers were on my birthday so later when I had to take care of the departing missionaries, President Richards, his wife and their daughter sang Happy Birthday to me. That was cool and because I'm in the office now I got my package from you on my birthday! Thank you so much for that! The assistants liked the candy too! Haha.
Well now we are not restricted to any area and we don't have a limit on kilometers so I think were going to a zoo today.
I know I'm here for a reason. I've had that witness. I know that Jesus Christ leads this church. And that's why I love this church so much. It's true.
God Speed the Right.
-Elder Hales

PS. Can you mention on the blog that now that I'm in the office I will be SO busy and won't always have time to send letters to my fans? :-)

Carly! Congrats on getting the job. I knew it would come.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A quick note

Dear Family-
Things sound amazing up there and things are going awesome down here in Australia!! We have been sooo blessed. Things are a little hectic and this week is going to be incredibly busy. I'm starting to doubt we will have time to tract this week! Our days are already booked!
Alana is doing amazing! She is so awesome. She has now had her baptism interview and everything is going amazing.
Tim is the man. His baptism is Sunday at 3:00 since its Stake Conference.
We have one more lesson with Alana and two more with Tim. The spirit is so strong whenever we teach them. We do have the best fellowshippers in the ward. The Evans' and the Bray's are so cool. Just awesome families.
Well, we didn't have much time to write today. We have a lesson with Fiona in a few minutes.
Our ward leaders are so awesome and such a big help. Transfers are coming up this next week and I'm nervous cause I really don't want to leave... but there are 24 new missionaries coming so a lot of areas will have changes.
There are so many blessings from this gospel. I know it's true. I know that. Love you all.
God speed the right.

-Elder Adam Hales

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The First Law of Heaven

G'Day Mate!
Mitchell Giles is already leaving!? Far out -- that came quick! Good on him. He is going to be a powerhouse.

Well, things have been going so amazingly well with us. I can really feel your prayers! Our whole district is improving! A lot of missionaries in our district have been having a problem with faith and I'm not sure that all of them are 100% obedient. But at zone conference, Sister Richards talked about faith and obedience. Obedience is action and Action IS FAITH! We will have 3 baptisms in our district. Our District leader, Elder Nelson, and his companion have one baptism scheduled for August 15th. Alana is still doing amazing for August 14th and there is one more miracle that Elder Prina and I stumbled into.
His name is Tim. This is the best ever. I don't know how it could be more golden! Tim is from the U.K. He is 21 and such a genuine guy! He is basically good at everything too! He can throw a rugby ball farther than anyone I've seen. That's beside the point. :) On Wednesday night we get a call from a recently married couple that live RIGHT ACROSS the path to get out of our complex. They are the Bray's. They are awesome! Brother Bray served his mission in Hong Kong and is such an amazing guy. So he calls us up Wednesday night and says, " Hey Elders! I have a guy at my place right now that wants to hear the discussions! Can you come over tonight?" So we decided that it would be great to go teach him. :-) We had a dinner appointment already with a family, the Faleafulugogo's. They had a non-member that we were able to teach and get a return appointment with and after that we went and met Tim. They had already watched the Restoration DVD and Brother Bray had answered most of his questions so we really just taught "Pray to know" and sealed it with our testimonies. Tim went to our sports day on Saturday and came to church yesterday. He said that Fast and Testimony meeting and the sacrament was powerful. It's a long story but Tim is living with the Bray's so he has "continual fellowship" and Tim said he would like to be baptized. We had Brother Carter (1st councilor to the Bishop) pull him out of class and interview him and they had a good long interview. Brother Carter walked up to Brother Bray afterwards and Tim was right there as Brother Carter said, "I want him baptized by Tuesday!" Haha -- I LOVE BROTHER CARTER! Tim knew it was a joke but we want to shoot for Tim's baptism on August 14 in the afternoon. Alana's is in the morning.

I LOVE THIS WORK!!!! I'm so lucky to be a missionary for Jesus Christ. I know He lives!!!

Elder Prina and I were lucky enough to teach seminary this morning! Waking up super early again. I love it. We were assigned to teach from Romans 8. It's such a great chapter about our Savior and the Atonement. We did the analogy of doughnuts. We put a doughnut in front of everyone and told them that they couldn't eat it yet. We asked who would like to eat it... NO ONE PUT UP THEIR HAND! UGH dang ... but Elder Prina was playing the part of the Savior. A Doughnut cost 10 push ups. So I turned to Elder Prina and said...Alright no one wants a doughnut. That will be 10 push-ups per person. Elder Prina stopped after every 10 push ups and asked who it was for. Made it more dramatic! :) By the end the kids got the point. The spirit was strong as we talked about the Atonement. If you get a chance- read Romans 8 and look for how Hope is a Christlike attribute! It's great.

Well thank you for your prayers. I love you all and pray for the best for you.
God speed
-Elder Hales

Monday, July 27, 2009

The best job in the world

HOW GREAT IS MY CALLING! Sometimes when I'm studying I just think about how awesome it is to be a missionary. I love it.
This past week has been so great I can't put it into words. We had zone conference and that was so amazing! Our zone conference theme was Teaching Skills and we have this new thing where we focus on 4 types of questions and they work so well. The first is a Search question. So say, after we read a scripture, we ask a question that causes them to search. The second is Analysis. This question causes them to have deeper thought on it. The 3rd is Application. A question that causes them to apply it. And the 4th is a question that "leads to testimony" so ask them if they have had any experiences with this. I'm really excited to start applying these questions. I know that they will be WAY more effective.
We also had interviews yesterday with President. I always love that. President has such knowledge about the scriptures. Elder Prina asked for advice on getting investigators and less actives to church and he whips out John 7:17.

Our top investigator is still doing great!!! The best part is I can tell she is going through the repentance stage so she seems a little sorrowful. That's one thing our zone leaders addressed. Our first purpose is to help people gain a faith in Jesus Christ.. then Repent.. and THEN Baptism!! Our next lesson we are going to address that sorrow feeling she has and apply the 4 questions heaps of times! I'M SO EXCITED!

Lately more then ever I have gained such a love of the scriptures. They are so amazing and especially as I teach about them and from them I have grown to love them to the point I just love to hold them!! I know that they are true.

O man! Dale Ford is going to be an amazing bishop!! He is the man. I have so much respect for him! He taught the pre-MTC class one time on obedience and it was so good I can still remember it!

It has been FREEZING at nights! O man its cold! But during the day it is starting to warm back up and I sweat a little.

Elder Hales

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another plug for the Book of Mormon

Dearest Family!

That is sweet that Kyle is doing surf camp. He is going to be the stud of the century.

Well, once again the blessings have been flowing. Things have been great! I think about half the missionaries in this mission are sick. I am still sick. I have had a cold for the 3rd time in 2 months. Ugh- but I've called Sister Richards and she didn't say I'm gunna die so things are lookin up!
Things have been great with our investigators. Alana is still doing awesome! She went to church yesterday usual. We had 2 lessons with her this week. I love teaching her! We teach in the Ward Mission Leaders home, who are the most perfect family ever... and Dalin is there with her helping us and the spirit is so strong. I LOVE the experiences when I walk out of a lesson and could hardly tell you what I said cause I wasn't speaking! This week we taught the Plan of Salvation. Before we left I just asked her if she was excited or nervous about her baptism and she said "EXCITED!" And then Dalin was like "and a little nervous too!!" That was funny. Hard to email the way he said it. :) We called them last night and she said that she would love to get baptized on her birthday! Which is August 14th. We are a little nervous and sad to move it from the 2nd just cause it makes it feel "unstable." But things are still awesome. Her Book of Mormon reading is AWESOME! She is at Alma 15 or so.

Lance, the paralyzed man, is such a good guy. I love this bloke! We got him the Book of Mormon on CD so hopefully he starts progressing. We were not able to have a lesson with him this week. But we need to get him those CD's soon because it is through the Book of Mormon that our investigators will be converted.
Elder Baxter- one of the Area Authorities- spoke to us the same time Elder Holland did. He showed us that of the recent converts that don't continue their scripture study- are the ones that go less-active and I see that so much. Every less-active appointment we ask them if they read the Book of Mormon and every single one says no.

Elder Prina and I had an awesome appointment with a couple that live in our complex. It was soo good. It started out weird... they expressed a desire to come back to church so we asked why... and they said something like "Because we have really been reading into how to become wealthy and everything points back to church." I was kind of laughing in my head.. but then we talked about the Book of Mormon and the husband said that it just clicked to him that he has been reading heaps of books on how to better himself when the Book of Mormon has been sitting there the whole time.

I know that the Book of Mormon is 100% true. I know that it is the book that we can grow closer to God than any other book and that by it we can improve ourselves more than through any other book. Elder Holland said that it has such great power even if it just sits in a house. That is why Elder Prina and I have one sitting in Lance's house.
I love you all and keep you in my prayers!

God Speed
-Elder Hales

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Things are so great!

Hey everyone!
Wow- I love my area right now. It is definitely one of the best in the Australia Brisbane mission!
Our Bishop got out of the hospital yesterday. It was a miracle to see him again! He shook our hands but they were in a hurry. We wrote him letters updating him on our work so he thanked us for that and drove off. They are moving and won't live in our complex anymore.
Our 1st councilor in the Bishopric I LOVE too. His name is Bob Carter and he is a temple worker. We saw him this morning at the temple. He is kind of like me. Just very blunt and to the point. I love him!
The 2nd Councilor is Tongan and just the man. We ate at his house this week and we gained some kilos from that meal.
And our Ward clerk is practically our best friend. He is in the YSA and just a funny true Aussie!
Our Ward Mission Leader is amazing!This week we had our lesson with Alana at his house. That was this Monday night. We set the baptism date for August 2nd and Elder Prina and I are SOOO EXCITED! As was Brother Evans, our Ward Mission Leader.
Alana is Aussie and 19 years old. We are hoping her boyfriend will baptize her! He will be serving a mission sometime soon. But it is such an honor to be able to teach her!
I have really gained a love for this area and the people here.
Yesterday one of our Assistants to the President, Elder Olsen, came on trade-offs with Elder Prina and I. It was more of a 3-way for the day. It was so great to have him come because he served in this area about a year ago and had heaps of success here! There are 3 AP's right now so often one of them will go traveling to areas and do training. I know I gained so much from having him come. It was great to have training! He was pretty happy to see his area and some of the members he baptized.
We taught Fiona yesterday too. We watched the Testaments with them and both Fiona and her less active boyfriend, Junior, felt the spirit. Their eyes were sweating but she calls the times she feels the spirit the "wanna have a cry moments." New Zealand people talk like that. Haha I love it.
We gained a couple of new investigators this week and the work seems to be picking up heaps!!! Its amazing! I don't realize how much I'm being blessed!
Thank you all for your prayers! Pray for Alana and August 2 please! We are so excited and that's what missionary work does to people!
The Church Is True!
Love you all
-Elder Hales

Friday, July 10, 2009

Elder Hales and Elder Prina

June 3, 2009 at the Brisbane Temple

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July in Australia

HOW GREAT IS MY CALLING? Aw, I love being a missionary! It has been such a great week. Transfers are today but neither I nor Elder Prina got transferred so we aren't allowed to go to the meeting.
To be honest- this last transfer was hard. We had a total of 35 lessons this transfer. Wow! (bad) But this area is so full of blessings. First, on Sunday we heard from the Sister missionaries in the zone that the investigator we handed over to them went to church on Sunday and "Loved It!" Haha - the sister missionaries even had a picture to prove it. Sister Missionaries are awesome.. you can always trust them that they will take care of your investigators.
The second coolest blessing EVER!!! is: there is a 19 year old bloke, Dalin, in our ward who has been dating this girl for awhile. She has been coming to church for about 2 years and even teaches the primary with Dalin! They are both really strong and anyway the first Sunday in this area 6 weeks ago I talked to Dalin about Alana (the girl). He said he would talk to her. So we haven't found out why she hasn't been baptized yet but we got a call one week ago saying that Alana has agreed to meet with us!!! MIRACLE! It was amazing! So we had a lesson with her yesterday where we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and committed her to baptism!!! SHE SAID YES!!! She was nervous and didn't want to set a date yet but Dalin said "Let's set a date for one month." Please pray for her.

-Elder Winder is sooo funny. I love that guy.
-Haha - Leo is awesome and Brother Westover just looks Aussie! (*we sent him a picture of both of them at the fireworks picnic.)
-You made my room all femaley! Far out. Haha. Looks really good though.

Love you all. Thanks for your prayers!
God Speed the right.
Elder Hales

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Candy Man

G'Day Mate!
Well, sorry for sending that email last week 15 times. My computer froze and I thought you didn't get it! So I just kept clicking send.
The house is fancy nancy!! It looks nice!
You already got the pictures I sent! That was the fastest mail has got to the USA!! Wow!

Well, this week was amazing! We have been blessed so so so much! Thank you for your prayers! This week just went so well! I'M SO HAPPY!
So Fiona and her boyfriend Junior didn't come play basketball last week but we had a lesson with them Tuesday. AMAZING!! We taught the 10 commandments and played the game Memory with the 10 commandment pictures under pass along cards. We did a quiz afterwards and Fiona remembered ALL 10 OF THEM! Junior said that he is going to church every week! He is so cool. But he is a bouncer at Clubs and all. Gotta get him a new job! So we are going to set a baptism date with Fiona this week!

Another miracle this week is Lance Gunner. We tracted into Lance last week and got a return appointment for this week. He is now an investigator. Lance is paralyzed and cannot talk. He can stand up- with Elder Prina's and my help. He can move his arms but not his fingers very well. When we tracted into him, when we asked him a question, all he did was grunt so he went in and came back with a piece of paper that was laminated with the alphabet on it. So as you can imagine it takes a long time for him to talk to us. But well worth it! He holds a grudge for the man that did that to him and I would too, but he needs the Atonement in his life so bad. Before we taught the Restoration he told us, "I will never stop yous from coming. But if you come on too strong with God I'll kick you guys out ." So we decided to commit him to baptism that lesson! :) He shook his head no. So we taught him about the Priesthood and told him that one of us could perform the baptism and he warmed up to it. But he is an awesome guy. He actually is way stronger than me. We arm wrestled and he beat me bad. Then he goes on to show us his arm wrestling medals. He has about 5. Then every time we shake his hand he challenges us to squeeze his hand as hard as we can. He always destroys us.
Well this transfer went way too fast. Only one week left. I hope neither of us get transferred. WE have work to do here. And the ward leaders are just too awesome!

I love you all and thank you for your support and prayers. There is no greater work.
God speed the right.
- Elder Hales

O yeah!!! - got the package!!! Thank you so much!!! It was SOOOO good to have American candy. Yum! Love you.
(* Reeses peanut butter cups and Butterfingers was all it took for all those exclamation points.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Last week I wrote this awesome letter and it was soo long... then I had less than one minute left and sent it and the computer shut down... so I was hoping it sent, but I guess not. Dang.

Well, last week I talked about Zone Conference and interviews. That was great. I loved being able to go to a huge zone conf. again. Even though Cairns was awesome because there were only 5 other people in the room with President Richards- it was awesome to go to one where there are 70 missionaries because the spirit is so strong and we learn so much from each other!
In interviews the first thing President Richards said was, "Do you miss Cairns??" He can read minds. But I really am grateful to be down here with this great opportunity in Waterford.
Also- One of our AP's right now is Elder Lindall and he is from Dana Point. He actually grew up with Dalin McKeon and went to the skate park with him. Elder Lindall runs track for UCLA but tell the Allred's to tell Dalin that Elder Lindall is in this mission. When I was chilling with the AP's and office elders for 2 days I made that connection.

On a miracle note ... I love this .. hope you do too. Our Bishop - Bishop Cassity is the best bishop I've ever met. Such a spiritual man he should be a general authority. Anyway 2 weeks ago he went into the hospital because he was having a hard time breathing. He had an infection in his kidneys that spread to his liver and then he had 2 heart attacks. The doctors gave him 10 hours to live at best. He survived those 10 hours and then kept going. They were certain he was going to die. The ward was fasting and everyone was praying for him and because of everyone's faith, he is still alive and will be released from the hospital in 7 days. His wife, Sister Cassity, got up to speak yesterday and shared this story. While she was talking I felt the spirit so strong I knew that Jesus Christ healed him. It really was a miracle JUST LIKE the miracles he performed when he was on the Earth. And I witnessed it. That was an honor!
Honestly- This week was hard again. We only had about 5 lessons. I feel bad for Elder Prina. I want to get him tons of practice teaching like I had in Cairns.

Let me tell you about this stud muffin, Brother Evans. He is the best Ward Mission leader I've ever met. And we are lucky to have him in our ward. He wants to help out with EVERYthing! He is almost done with Medical Uni (what Aussie's call university) and has a wife and baby girl. Just a perfect happy dude. He is really helpful. Through his help- Elder Prina and I have got a family to come to church 2 times now and are looking to be active. Well- it wasn't us- it was the Lord. But Brother Evans is a super big help.

Well things are great with me. Everything is going perfect because of all of your prayers. Thank you all.
Love you and don't forget to read the scriptures!
God Speed the Right
-Elder Hales

HAPPY FATHERS DAY BY THE WAY POPS. ALMOST FORGOT. It's in a different month here, so happy father's day. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Great quote

My brother and sister-in-law have this quote on a piece of decorated wood in their home. I love it. (Their son Mason is also on a mission.)

mis sion ary, (noun)
Someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others may be with their families for Eternity.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Life is beautiful

Vegemite is disgusting. But yes, I had some once upon a greenie.

Elder Justin Hodgkinson is sitting one computer to the left of me right now. He is our Zone Leader and he is the man.

Okay, so many things have been rushing through my head now and I forgot to tell you so much! I'll start with Cairns --
Up in Cairns we were teaching a family. The mother was Idoby. I think I mentioned her in an email before. Anyway, we had taught her a few days before I got transferred and she asked, "When can I be baptized?" so we said, "Would you like to set a date?" and she said " I was thinking Sunday" which was 2 days away. I love being a missionary. So she should be baptized in a few days.
Well, after I flew down we were driving with the AP's and they said "Did you know Elder Holland is coming on Wednesday?" So we were just casual as we said, "WHAT!!"
It was the day after transfers and we drove up to the chapel right next to the temple and I got to listen to Elder Jeffery Holland for the second time on my mission! It was amazing. Before he spoke he allowed all the missionaries to walk up row by row and shake his hand. That was amazing. I bear witness that Jeffery Holland is an Apostle of Jesus Christ. I shook his hand and he asked, "Elder- where you from?" so I said "Los Angeles." Then later in his talk he said " You know I interviewed you as I shook your hand. You know we do that, right?" That was cool. He then told President Richards he has a good mission. He did say there were a few that struggle but that we are a good mission. That was a bummer. If every missionary were obedient and converted we would be ON FIRE! But he went on to give an amazing talk. He didn't stay at the pulpit but walked around as he spoke and it was amazing! You could tell he completely went by the spirit! He started out by saying "Well, I'll start with this and see where the Spirit leads me."
He went on to express the power of the Book of Mormon and how we need to use it more.

Well things here have been good! Waterford is an amazing area. We have had a lot of success and its been good tracting. He have a few more investigators now. We worked yesterday because it is Queens birthday and everyone would be home and prime proselyting time. We went tracting for around 3 hours and it was great. Our first door we knocked the guy wouldn't stop cussing until we left. Our last door...the last one that we were about to call it a night - but went one more- we found who we were tracting for. Two ladies who have had trials all their lives. There are miracles every day.
Our 2 investigators now are both going to move out of the area.
Fiona came to an amazing fireside we had on Sunday. We had a little stand with pamphlets and Books of Mormon on a table. It was excellent. I think we have 2 or 3 appointments from it. Anyway, Fiona is moving out of her home because of the bad influences there. So she will be baptized, just not in our area.
Our other investigator has an amazing story. She is in her 40's, divorced and working 3 jobs to support her kids. We tracted into her and she said no but we left her a pamphlet with our number on it and told her to call us if she needs help moving. AND SHE DID! She said "I can't believe I'm doing this but you said to call if I need help." So we go help move and get a return appointment for the next day. We go back the next day and teach her the Plan of Salvation with Trials. She felt the spirit and will still allow us to teach her. But she moved so were going to pass her on to the sister missionaries in that area.
Anyway we are being so blessed. Thank you everyone for your prayers. I've got the best job in the world.

Love you all.
God speed the Right.
Elder Hales

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fall is in the air

G'Day Mate!
Well this library is a mess and it looks like I only have 10 min. to write so I'll fill ya in with as much as I can!
Waterford bumps up on the area I was trained in so it's kinda weird to be back. Waterford is AMAZING! The ward here is so great. They make missionary work #1 or 2 priority and everyone fulfills their callings. I LOVE IT! Even the ward missionaries!
We made a member visit with the Bishop and the spirit was so strong in his home alone! Wow --his conversion story was amazing too!

It is SO COLD HERE!!! Wow -- I thought Cairns was getting cold... Brisbane at night and in the mornings - you need a sweater. It's kinda nice though, not being soaked in sweat at the end of the day.

My companion is Elder Prina. He is from Provo, Utah. He is a funny kid.
That missionary that is new in your ward is an amazing missionary. Give him referrals. :) I'm excited for him!

Well, we only have one investigator here. Kinda different than Cairns where we had 14 investigators at one point ... but our one here is Fiona. Fiona is Kiwi. (From New Zealand) She is in her 20's and has one kid. We met Fiona yesterday and she has amazing fellowship. We actually had the lesson in the fellowship's home. So we spent some time to get to know them and then we just jumped right into things and taught the Word of Wisdom! :) Didnt get a complete Yes to the commitment but she accepted a return appointment to talk about the Stop Smoking Program. We are pretty excited about her. The elders in the area before kept the area book pretty organized so that was nice and they wrote some notes about her that they think she will be baptized. I do too! She said that she got an answer that the Book of Mormon is true so we're pretty well off. Only one investigator but she's good!

Also, Our flat is in an apartment complex and about half of our ward lives in it! Not even joking! Our bishop lives right across the hall! And a ton of others. Fiona's fellowship lives in our complex so we had the lesson about 5 doors down yesterday. Its pretty cool.

It was Temple day today!!!! I got to go after about 4 months of not being able to go! It was great to do that this morning!

God Speed!
Love you all
Elder Hales

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

From an expert

Orietta emailed and explained about the Didgeridoo:

By the way, it is pronounced Didge-er-ree-doo. Digde as in ridge. It is hard to play - you need to make your lips vibrate (like a Brrrrrr sound) as you pout them out and you need to keep doing that as you blow out slightly through your mouth. You need to breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Hard to explain via email. Easier to show you. I can't play one because I can't do the lip bit properly and I think I remember hearing that females are not supposed to play them but I am not sure why.

And now we know the rest of the story . . .

Monday, May 25, 2009


Yes, I was transferred! On Friday I got a call from the AP's and they told me I was being transferred. Not going to lie- I'm pretty cut up. I'm really sad!! I have so much to tell it's cramming my brain. I'll start with where I am now. Right now I'm in the same library I wrote emails from as when I was being trained. My new area is Waterford. I am follow- up training Elder Prina. But I'm not sure if I have anything to do! He is awesome. He has been out 6 weeks. Nerdy guy so it should be great! Waterford bumps up to Crestmead- my first area, so it's kinda weird to be back here. Really weird. I'm senior companion and that is weird too. Full-time driver and once again- whitewashed into an area. Pressure is on.

Our District Leader, Elder Tuhoro found out he was going south with me. On Sunday morning at 4:00 we went to the airport and got to Brisbane by 7. So we basically worked and cruised around Brisbane the next 2 days. I've never felt so pointless in my life. I don't like not having an area. All day yesterday Elder Tuhoro (my companion for 2 days) had to clean some flat and got lost around Brisbane. Ugh.

Today is P-day. We had transfer meeting this morning and that was my first Transfer meeting. It was like Christmas! Found out I'm in Logan again so those 10 pounds I lost in Cairns will probably come back! ha :(

My last day in Cairns I got a picture with Orietta and bore my testimony to her and I've only felt the spirit that strong a few times. It was wonderful. I will miss her.
I'll definitely miss Elder Tietjen. He is the Man. Really awesome companion and good friend.
The diggery do is really hard to play. I can do it but it takes 30 seconds to warm up. You play it by blowing out and let your lips bump together. Hard to explain. But I can't believe it got there so quick! Wow.
Okay no time left.

Love you all! Wish you well.
God Speed the Right.
-Elder Adam Hales

Don't forget to tell everyone to write to the Brisbane address again!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Adam's Didgeradoo came today. He just told me in his last letter that he was mailing it and it would take a month or two. Turns out it was less than a week. Anyway, I unwrapped it and it's a long wooden "thing." Here's what the dictionary says it is:

"Musical lip-reed wind instrument, made from a hollow eucalyptus branch 1.5 m/4 ft long and blown to produce rhythmic, booming notes of relatively constant pitch. It was first developed and played by Australian Aborigines."

It's about 4 feet in length and has pretty paintings on it. I can't get it to make music though. Can't figure out how it works. For now, it's a conversation piece. And I suspect it's the "must buy" souvineer for missionaries serving in Australia -- especially in the outback.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another week

Hey family!
It was good to talk to you last week. It was pretty funny though- all three other Elders in our flat talked for 3 hours. I don't get how they could do that. They were pretty trunky and home- sick after. :)
For myself it was good to hear your voices and remember the Greenie Pride I have. (enthusiastic about the work)
Things here have been awesome. Last week after our phone calls, Elder Tietjen and Elder Mooney were on the phone, Elder Tuhoro and I got to go do some service for an awesome family in the branch. He was a pro- rugby player and less active guy- and changed his life around, retired, married in the temple. This week was very good though. We only had 12 lessons this week, but we had 2 families come to church! We are blessed so much.
We did chop Darren. It was sad. But I'm not too cut about it.
We're more excited for these two families.
The lady I was telling you about last week -- Idoby --We ended up getting a commitment out of her to come to church! And she did. We taught her the Restoration with the DVD in Gospel Principles and she was just bawling! She bore her testimony of Joseph Smith that he is a prophet, and then told us we ARE coming over to teach her the discussions. We said Okay. :) Idoby and her 3 daughters (who love church and asked to come) came to church this week. We were not able to teach her before church yesterday but we did go by with our fellowship (to teach) but her partner was there so it was a bad time. There are some awesome fellowship families in this branch. Anyway we are going by tonight for FHE to teach her and hopefully commit her to baptism. Not going to lie: Idoby wants Adam Monroe (less active partner) to move out and so do I. Just the kids want their dad there.
The other family that came is Greggory and Diggery. They have 8 kids but only 2 came. But he was the one whose brother committed suicide. He is just the most humble guy ever. He did go to his church that he always goes to earlier that morning so we are going to work hard on him. We didn't even meet with him this week. He lives around 25 k's away so we don't get down there often.
Those are the 2 families we are SO EXCITED about! Please pray for them!

Transfers are next week. I'm nervous. I really don't want to leave. It's been 3 months up here. We get phone calls this Friday telling us if we are staying or going.
It is such a blessing to be a missionary. I love it. I know that this church is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.

Love you all so much. I'm praying for you!

Gotta go
God Speed!
-Elder Hales

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day phone call

We had a fun phone call today with Elder Hales. Carly was here with us and also "Grandpa" Leo. (family friend) We also had Cheri's family on the web cam so that they could listen in and talk with him.

He is LOVING his mission and says he wouldn't want to be anywhere else at this time in his life. "The time is flying by way too fast." He is so happy and grateful to be there.

He's disappointed in the progress that Darren is making. Or rather -- isn't. He said that if he hasn't read the material they've given him or done any praying, they will have to chop him this week. A challenge there in Australia with others that he is teaching is that marriage isn't a priority and frequently couples don't bother with it. The people are very laid back and will listen, but don't follow through with the required reading and praying. But on a happier note: they teach about 17 lessons a week to members and non-members. And he's excited about some new golden contacts.

The missionaries are very vigilant in their use of bug spray because they need to prevent Dengue. (pronounced: dang-ge) If they get it once, they have to leave Australia. (If they get it twice, it can be fatal. But that's rare.) He said that after the bus ride up there to Cairns, he had 27 mosquito bites on his arms alone.

He sent me a letter this week wishing me a happy Mother's day and took up the whole page to bear his testimony. He has really grown spiritually and has such a deeper appreciation for the Atonement and for the gospel. "I have been called of God and I know who I am. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I represent Him." And naturally, I cried.

We're so blessed and proud of his growth. It has been an incredible experience for all of us. We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers in his behalf.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Holiday week

OYE! How ya goin?

MITCHELL GOT HIS MISSION CALL!!!! NO WAY!! HE'S THE MAN! Tell him I say congrats and that he is going to LOVE the hood!

Elder Winder is so right. Time flies too quick.

As far as money- I have had to use a little more than I like lately. We have been cursed with flat tires. I got 2 in one week. Luckily Elder Tietjen is like Dad and knows how to do everything, so I have him do it. :) He is a lot quicker than I am. I love my companion.
In transfers in 2-3 weeks I'm getting nervous 'cause it's possible one of us could go- and I'm certain there is no missionary like Elder Tietjen when it comes to working. I love it.

These last 2 weeks have been hard. We have had to chop about 6 investigators cause they stopped progressing. Now Darren is on the chopping block. I love that guy. Since he has been meeting with us and reading, his life has been blessed so much!! He has kind of taken those blessing and ran with them. He doesn't meet with us as much. We have to be really bold with him this Wednesday.
Gregory is our one really progressing investigator right now. He is great. He is aboriginal and one of the most humble and shy guys I've met. He is not the stereotypical aboriginal. He is 100 percent cowboy!! We have taught him 3 times now and he came to church 2 days ago. We asked him how he liked it and all he said was "It's truth." They speak like that- so we are getting excited. The only problem is that he has a partner and a family with a nice house. Just not married. So that should be an adventure! Maybe try to get them baptized the same day as their wedding. He has read up to the 21st chapter of 1st Nephi but his comprehension is 0%. Pray for him.
Carissa has moved down to Brisbane for 4 weeks to see how she likes this job she just got. We watched the Restoration with her. She liked it. She said yes to baptism the first time we met with her. Hopefully she continues to read the Book of Mormon down south.
I spoke in church last week. It was good. They had me speak on the blessings of being a missionary and how this gospel changes lives. So basically my life. They said they really wanted me to be "fun" in my talk, so I started with an analogy about a surfing story I had. I went over by 10 min. and so they started kicking me. :) I only looked down at my notes 2 times. Mom, you would be proud. :)

Today is our P-day cause yesterday was a public holiday. Great time to work! In the morning we had a District party. (we would call it a Stake party) And that was in Atherton. Its very cooler up there. It was nice. For about 5 seconds I was almost cold! It was sports day. Elder Tietjen, of course, won the Cross Country race. It was nice cause it was in a huge field so I could see my companion the whole time. We also played a little Touch Football. (Rugby)
Talk to ya next week. We will use our mobile's with a calling card. I don't think that will cost you anything. Hope not. Call you on your Mothers Day.
Love you all.
God Speed the Right

Elder Hales