Sunday, February 22, 2009

February 22, 2009

Dear Family!

The mango's here are SO good! I love mango! Especially when they put it in Oti. I love fruit here. More than the candy!
It still rains plenty but we just walk through it. We don't use an umbrella or raincoat. So my raincoat will probably sit in the closet. I might try to send it home someday.
Yesterday after Sacrament Meeting we went to the stake center and they set up new boundaries for the wards. Our ward, Marsden- or in Australian language "MAsden," has on average 340 people there. And there are only 2 white families. All Polynesian.
Which reminds me- did you know 50% of member referals get baptized? I love missionary work.
Tracting is hard... but I have faith that it works. May take a couple of months to find that one person or one family... but then will be worth it. It will be worth it in the baptismal font.
That's sweet that Elder Dalton came! And that Dad got to go on rounds with him! I can't believe it was already time for stake conference again! It seems like just last month Dad became the stake pres.
Speaking of revelation. It is such an honor that my father is a Stake President; to receive revelation for a stake. Growing up I always thought dad's prayers were long, :) but I wish I would have realized how powerful they are! Love you dad.
So this week has been really hard. Last Monday, for P-day we went golfing. Elder Dark is going home March 9th. He cries everytime he thinks about it. But he is not trunky at all.
Ugh, there is a woman with a baby crying next to me! They need the Gospel.
Danika- So last I told you we had to pass her on to the Waterford Area. Well- now we teach her again! She didn't really like the change- the other elders didn't feel right about it so they called President Richards and President said that we could keep teaching her. She is 100 percent ready to be baptized. Her ex-boyfriend came back but she kicked him off the doorstep again! And her parents said they didnt want to go to her baptism... now her mom says she will go! And she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying a lot more! I love the small miracles!
Another cool story- about 4 weeks ago we were walking back from an appointment and people always offer us rides. We get honked at and waved at so much. But this one guy with his girlfriend in his car offered us a ride. Then one week ago he offered us a ride again! And then he says "there is no way this is coincidence," and it ends up he is inactive- and his girlfriend isn't a member. So we set up a time we can go over. So this last Wed. we go over and eat dinner and Elder Dark and I give Rana (his girlfriend) the first lesson. She is golden. She committed herself to read the pamphlet and Book of Mormon before we could! And said she would come to church! Yesterday she was sick- and it sounded legit so I believe that.
Anyway - this is the Lord's work. It is in His hands. Its true!
I love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Adam Hales

Sunday, February 15, 2009

February 15, 2009

Chandler is a little STUD! He is awesome!
Also, I never got around to sending pictures. Sorry- I'll do it ASAP.
Wow- so this week was very, very hard. Very Hard. Where do I start? I know that I will always remember Valentines day on my mission. I don't know if they celebrate V-Day here, but that was a day that changed me.
I'll start from the beginning.
Elder Tietjen, my companion in the MTC, is serving in the Karowatha area. When he got there, the missionaries were teaching a family of 4. Mom and 3 kids. They got baptized in the morning- and Elder Tietjen got to baptize the mom and one of the little girls. It was so awesome to get to see him do that! President Richards came (he had to interview the mom before the baptism) and it was "the highest of highs!" After the baptism, Elder Nielsen and I tried to get out of there quick so we could go work. We worked really hard from 1-5 pm and my feet were killing me! (my Ecco's aren't as comfortable as my Born Concepts) We went to dinner and that was so good. Very traditional Polynesian family, the Pulu's. Their son is in the Bloods- but I swear he is a worthy priest! :)
After dinner we set up a time to meet Danika. She broke up with Stanley (who was living with her in her parents' house since his family moved to New South Wales) and Stanley wouldn't really leave. Finally he left 2 nights before Valentines Day and ripped up her Book of Mormon - blaming us for the break-up. We wanted to get her a new Book of Mormon and let her meet the new missionaries that would be teaching her (even though we taught her everything). We told Elder Power and Elder Reader to meet us there. I thought that Danika knew that the other missionaries were going to be there.. but she didn't. She didn't want to be passed on because she trusts Elder Nielsen and I.
Before we left, I took the Book of Mormon and marked some things and wrote my testimony in it.
When we got there and introduced Elder Power and Elder Reader- it was so awkward I thought we were going to lose her. It killed me. She looked like we were attacking her. (Elder Nielsen didn't go and one of the Zone leaders came with me) So 3 elders she didn't know and me...trying to lighten the mood.
Now I'll talk about Anthony.
Anthony seems to be forgetting how the spirit touched him. I think he knows it's true, but we never seem to get him to church. We keep contact almost daily but something is missing and we don't know what it is.
February 14- after night planning - I broke down.
I felt like something was missing... and like nothing was working out.
"the lowest of lows"
Elder Dark, who goes home in 2 weeks, is such a good missionary. Elder Johnson is bound to be an AP. And I know for a fact there is a reason Elder Nielsen and I were put together.
An hour later we get a call from Elder Power.
He said "We talked to Danika for about an hour and a half and went through the baptism questions with her. She wants her parents to be at her baptism."
And I start bawling again. The Lord reminded me that He is there and answers prayers. This is His work and he has called me to the work.
"Chosen by God to serve him below- to every land and people we'll go."
This is Jesus Christ's true Gospel. We have the fulness of the Gospel- but sometimes we don't always live it. I love being a missionary- to bring others unto Christ and see how it changes their lives. We have this wonderful gift of the Atonement. They say only 10% of the people in our church know how to use it. Only .2% of the people in this world are members of our church. 10% of .2% of the world. We have work to do.
Before bed, Elder Johnson said "It's the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows" so I added "sometimes at the same time."

I love you all so much. You too Chandler- and I'm looking forward to playing with you in your terrible 2's! :)

God Speed,
Elder Hales

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I know this is a blog devoted to Elder Hales, but we just can't resist putting in a picture of his new nephew, Chandler. We will occasionally include other pictures of family, but hopefully we will soon have pictures of Elder Hales himself from Australia. Read his reaction below regarding little Chandler. (The interesting thing is: Chandler looks like Adam did.)

Note: Elder Hales isn’t permitted to read this (or any) blog. If you wish to write him, you will have to do it the old-fashioned way. See the address on the sidebar.

Monday, February 9, 2009

February 9, 2009

NO WAY!! Chandler is here! Send pictures... before next Monday.

Dear Family!
This week has been amazing! I have a lot to write. The Lord is blessing my companion and I so much, as well as our investigators.
First off I wanted to tell you yesterday it was 40 degrees C when we were tracting. I guess that is around 107 degree F. Well, you know how I love the heat (NOT)... that was great! No, it really wasn't bad. It's different when I'm working for the Lord.
I forgot to tell you. The first door I knocked in Australia ... well I didn't get to knock it! The mate yelled " NO THANKS NOT INTERESTED!"
And then it rained all day ... and soaked us that night. I'll be sending some sweet pictures today. Not going to make the mistake of sending the chip anymore. I'm really bummed about that.
So the first week it rained a lot! But it was cloudless yesterday ... and hot. But we are so lucky and we have an A/C in our flat. So lucky.
So as I said before, we live with the zone leaders so I get a lot of inside info on the mission.
This last weekend was stake conf. and Saturday and Sunday it was all about families! Didn't relate to us but there were some good things said. It reminded me of when I was at fathers and sons with dad and we were sleeping in the tent over near Raytheon and I asked dad "How do you get a bad thought out of your head?" and Dad said "replace it with a good one." Genius! I use it to this day. Thanks pops.
Last Thursday we had zone conf. Which was so good! and I got to see a lot of my bro's from the MTC. It was all about teaching for an understanding. Asking questions as focus. It was so good. And then after that I got all my mail. Thanks for the letter mom and dad.
President Richards is so cool! You can tell he works on another playing field! By revelation. He ended with talking about being 100 percent obedient. Excellent!
Then yesterday we had Stewardships so thats why I didn't write yesterday. They moved p-day to today. Stewardships were great. It was great training from the zone leaders while we got pulled for interviews with President Richards. He is so awesome! It's like talking to a friend instead of some scary guy in charge.

Last time I talked about Anthony and Stanley & Danika. Well, it looks like we lost Stanley. But Danika is more strong than ever! It is so great!! This last week we met with her probably 4 times! She is solid! The only problem is she isn't in our area so we are handing her off to other missionaries this week.
It's sad, her parents don't support her and told her they won't go to her baptism. But she knows it's true. This week she looked up a TON of anti- stuff and wrote 4 pages of questions. That was so cool because we covered all of them. We took care of business!
We had to move Anthony's baptism date. He wasn't able to go to church this last Sunday because he had the kids. We have an appointment with him tomorrow and it is trade-offs so I'm taking another one of the greenies with me and I'll be the senior comp! Intense! I know I can do it.
But he has been reading! When we asked him to read Alma 32.. the next day he said he loved Alma 32:26. So I'm really going to hit hard on praying. Unless the Holy Ghost has something else planned.
I love you mom and dad!

God Speed the Right!
Love - Elder Hales

Email late this week

We haven't heard from Elder Hales yet this week. No worries. Sometimes he takes his preparation day later in the week. We will post his weekly email as soon as we get it. By the way, Elder Hales has a new nephew (as of today) he doesn't know about yet. Michael and Laura had a baby boy (future missionary). Chandler Michael Hales. 6 pounds, 12 oz., 19 3/4 inches. Stud, no doubt.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Getting comfortable in Aussie Land

Hello from Aussie land! These last 4 days have been amazing! I'll get to that in a second.
Oh, that kills me to know that my pictures from the MTC are erased!!! How do you think it happened? Not to mention my sweet MTC pictures! Luckily I have some pictures from the MTC on another card I have here. But only 2 or 3 pics. But one of them is the one standing in front of the huge map with my companion!
Sounds like everything at home is going well. I'm still getting used to this cool country! All my bug bites have gone away, but I'm not in an area where there are many bugs. Okay I take that back.. not as many bugs as other areas. :)
This ward here is amazing! So big, but so are our areas! I think I said there were 95 percent Polynesian families here... but its more like 99 percent. But I swear I'm losing weight! I hope. (* I told Adam we'd buy him new clothes if he grew UP, not OUT.)
There are only around 55 areas in this mission.. and I'm convinced that I started out with one of the best! It's still hard to understand people, but I'm getting better! Tracting is going great! But I think I love street contacting more!
Anthony: This guy is so cool! He is just a fun loving Australian. He is still planned for the 21st and the mission president said he wants the missionaries to baptize, so Elder Nielsen said I'll be baptizing him!!
Stanley and Danika: This week we made great progress! We had an appointment with them Friday and we were planning on hitting them hard with the Restoration but the Spirit prompted us not to. We ended up resolving conflicts for an hour and a half! She had conflicts with Tithing so we covered that quick and she loved how none of it goes to bishops or prophets. She said she prayed and after she prayed she thought "what if I stop talking to the missionaries?" and she said she had a really sad feeling! So they are doing great! Stanley is very hard to read. The whole time we talk to him he will act like he isn't paying attention and looking off in the distance but we will ask him a question and he will get it right... then he says he really wants to continue talking to us!
I love it! The lord is blessing us so much here in Crestmead! Elder Nielsen has been sick the last 2 and a half days so we have had to slow down with our work... but we should be ready to go hard tomorrow. We are not allowed to knock doors past 6 pm here so we go street contacting if we have time. Since all 4 of us go to dinner appointments, the older missionaries usually have me give the message... but I love it and I love to see them get excited about the gospel and missionary work! In Preach My Gospel it says " Missionaries succeed best when members are the source of investigators" and that is the responsiblility of members.
By the way-- ALWAYS try to have the missionaries share a message.... and then give them referrals, especially if they are hard workers. But they should only be there to get referrals.
Missionary life is amazing! I love not having to worry about anything else. This church is true, and it always has been all the way back from the beginning. I love telling people that!
I love you all.
Love you mom and dad.

God Speed the Right
- Elder Hales

(*P.S. Note from Mom: Is anybody reading this blog?? Please comment!)