Monday, April 27, 2009

Lessons Learned

Sorry this email is so late. We have to start working soon but we did a hike that ended up to be way harder and way longer than we thought. Still debating whether or not it was worth it. It's called the Pyramid and took way too long. We heard it was 3 ks up. But it's pretty steep and hard. Ugh. Sorry- it was probably not good that we did it.

This last week has been hard. It's been great though. It has been easy to get caught up in numbers. But then I am humbled when I think of our investigators. We had to chop 3 investigators for not progressing. But we have 12 investigators right now. We want to set a few baptism dates coming up this week. This will be big! I'm so excited. There are so many I want to tell you about and so little time!
Darren: We are preparing for the interview in 5 weeks. Didn't meet with him this last 4 days. Hasn't been answering our calls. But he may have gone down to Victoria to see his dad who is on his death bed. He said that when his dad dies that it's really gunna hit him and he will want to change even more. We hope.
Carissa: FINALLY got to teach her this week. We finished the Plan of Salvation with her and will be teaching her the Restoration tomorrow! We hope to set a baptism date soon. She is keen.
Jodie: We taught her the first half of the Plan of Salvation and hope to finish it this week. We bumped into her at the store today. She is actually married! And has a family so really pray for her.
Gregory: This guy is so amazing. His brother is the one that committed suicide. He is so quiet and loving. We taught him the Restoration and will commit him to baptism this week. He lives in Gordonvale so we can only get down there once a week. Its like 30 ks. We have 80 Ks a day.
Sorry this letter is kind of scattered. I'm in a huge rush and have a headache. Still a little dehydrated. Learned that lesson.

Thanks parents for the letter too! I got it in the mail. Love you.
God Speed the Right.
- Elder Hales

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Soaked Elders

(Hey guys -- update the pictures on your wall already.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Zone Conference and General Conference

Elder Winder is such a good missionary! I love that he gets rebuked for not doing anything wrong. I see that happen a lot here. Missionaries just feel bad that they aren't 100 percent obedient so they make fun. Misery loves company.
Wow- Elder Porter Ellet serves in LA?! I think I remember reading about him in a New Era one time. Sounds like a Stud.
Well this week was Great! We had Zone Conference and General Conference! It was so amazing.
On Saturday we had to skip the Saturday sessions of conference because President Richards had to do Zone conf. Sister Richards gave a lesson on Repentance and we got some amazing ideas for Darren. Then President Richards focused his training on finding people to teach. It was so good! He let us know what a Ward (or branch in my case) is supposed to do in missionary work. Of course it never happens. But he told us the story how if a ward puts missionary work number 1 or 2 priority that everything else in the ward improves. He told us what the Ward Missionary Leader should do. That just made me want to be the Ward Mission Leader for the rest of my life. I love missionary work. And I have a testimony of Home Teaching. It's sad how little Home Teaching people do. I need to repent for thinking about it in the wrong way before my mission. We had interviews and then worked for a couple of hours before Priesthood session. That session was SO GOOD! I took a lot of notes. General Conference is so different as a missionary.
Then Sunday morning- Elder Holland's talk was phenomenal! Absolutely amazing. I've never heard anything like it before. I didn't know a mortal could speak like that. On is a clip of his talk. President had us watch it for Z.C. Mine and Elder Teitjen's eyes were sweating through it. :-)
Darren came to the second session. I was so glad cause I really wanted him to listen to our Prophet. He is coming along alright. Elder Tietjen and I were going to try to get him interviewed by President when he came up this week but he wasn't ready. He has already changed his life so much!!! I love this guy. He has come to church 5 times now! I talked to President Richards about Darren and President said to continue with him because he is progressing. I want to see his salvation so bad. I guess that's selfish. :)
Another great story: My companion and I were biking back to the flat one night and we stopped to talk to a Thursday Island man on a bridge. He asked if we were men of God. We said yes. :) And he said, "come to my home." His best friend and neighbor had committed suicide. He asked a blessing on his apartment and the one where the death happened. We taught the Plan of Salvation and blessed the homes and set up a time to return. Too bad he is an alcoholic and we can never catch him sober. But we know that we met him to be led to his new friend Gregory. Gregory is an Aboriginal. His brother was the one that died. We got his address and will teach him this Wed. He lives about 30k's away so its going to be hard on our 80 k's a day. But he is worth it.
Anyone who reads this I encourage you to come to a sense of your duty as home and visiting teachers. If you don't like it- you don't get it. I made that mistake. Nothing -- nothing is more important than bringing others unto Christ. Be Brave and Bold! Encourage your friends to listen to the Easter message by Elder Holland on LDS.Org
Aww, I love General Conference.

To Blog Viewers: Sorry- President Richards told us this week that we can only email parents and we can only receive email from parents. So no more writing me unless you want to send it to my mom. I doubt you want to do that. :) (*Hey!!)

Love you all!
God Speed!
-Elder Hales

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amazing week!

Elders Mooney, Tohoro, Tietjen, Hales


You asked about Elder Travis Mitchell. He already wrote me so I wrote him back. He is a stud and an amazing missionary. When he wrote me, he was training a greenie.
Well this week was great as always! I'll start off with transfers! You will never believe where I am! Just kidding! I was lucky enough to stay with Elder Tietjen in Cairns! But our District Leader, Elder Nelson went down south! And guess who came up... Elder Mooney, the man from Utah, was shipped up here! So our District Leader is Elder Tohoro and all of us have been out 4 transfers or less. (6 months and less) Wow!
This month is President Richards' 61st birthday so our goal is 61 baptisms! We are going to do it! We already have 35 or so. But as long as we are 100 percent obedient and work hard we can do it.

We had another miracle this week!!! We tracted into a lady (Jody) last week and talked about how important families are. We got a return appointment and went back this week. She had questions about the Plan of Salvation pamphlet so we taught that lesson and when we got to the Atonement it was so spiritual. So we have 2 families of 4 now that we are really praying for.
The other family aren't technically investigators yet. The father's name is Aaron and when we tracted into him he was so cool and nice but he left for 6 weeks on Coast Guard cyclone duty. He got back this week so we went and talked to him and he is a stud. We are teaching them this next week.
Darren has been doing great. This last Monday we started the stop smoking program... and that night he had 2 smokes. :( haha dang. But he used to smoke 20 a day so he has been doing so much better and we're going to commit him to go cold turkey this week. We have a sport night on Friday night for all the YSA and youth and Darren (tho he is 32) went and played Footy (rugby) with them. Us missionaries couldn't go because it was on the beach. So we were praying the YSA would include Darren. We called Darren that night and he went and hung out with them after the activity. YES!!! But Darren served 7 years in prison for something he did when he was 17 yrs old. And one of our fellowship people for the lessons told the YSA about it... so Darren told us he thinks they know because they are being a little cold to him. NO!!!!!!! So we are going to work on the YSA about it. But there were 2 YSA activities this week and Darren went to both. And then church on Sunday. We just have to prepare him to be interviewed by President Richards when he comes in 1-2 weeks.
Our other investigator we are going to baptize, Carissa, got back into town from the funeral and we are teaching her this week. Elder Tietjen and I are so excited we jump everytime we think about it.
The Lord has blessed us so much. Thank you for your prayers. Pray for Darren this week!
Love you all
God speed,
Elder Hales

(*We're going to ask Adam to send a picture of himself in MISSIONARY attire.) :-)

Monday, April 6, 2009

April 6, 2009

Hey Family!

When I hear that Bro. Yee isn't baptized yet, it really gets stuck in my head. If he doesn't get baptized before I get home, then he is mine.
Transfers are every 6 weeks but chances are that I will stay for 3-6 months. I can't believe its already been one month!

"Keen" is a popular word here. Yeah, it means prime or perfect. We use it in referring to a golden investigator.

NICK IS THE MAN!!!! What a stud muffin! Dang he is so cool. (*Nick is his cousin and just got accepted to BYU on a full scholarship.)

This week has been great! It's been getting cooler. As in the 80's, so I'm loving it. But I can't believe we're on our last week of the transfer. Time is going way too fast. I keep having these nightmares that my mission is over and I can't remember anything that happened here in Australia. It really scares me so much. I hope these 2 years never end.
So we get phone calls this Friday finding out if we are transferred or staying. Elder Tietjen and I are almost guaranteed to stay, but with Elder Tohoro and Elder Nelson it's a toss up. Elder Tohoro has been out one more transfer than Elder Tietjen and I. And in Cairns for one more transfer too. Elder Nelson has been here for 6 months but he is the district leader so he could stay one more. I'm going to miss whoever goes. I cut Elder Nelson's hair this morning. :)

I found out this week that one of my good friends at Uni got his mission call. German is going to Long Beach Spanish speaking. Stud.
Our Investigators are doing great. We were looking at our weekly planning and noticed all of our investigators are down and out.
Darren came to church again yesterday- but something is up. We went through the baptism interview questions and he has a lot of issues so we are just going to skip the interview with the District leader and go straight to President Richards when he is here in 3 weeks for zone conf.
Elder Tietjen and I love him and we are going to go start the stop smoking program at one o'clock today.
But he said he would stop. We really want to see him baptized.

Carissa just had to leave for a whole week to Brisbane because her uncle (father figure) died. But we know that this is just preparing her even more. She had such a spiritual experience our Branch mission leader said that he has never seen an investigator that amazing.

Patricia isn't even an investigator yet! We haven't taught a real lesson with her. We tracted into her a couple of weeks ago and I just thought "is she a member?"
Her mom has been in the hospital this whole time and Patricia thought she was sick with Dangy fever but really has cancer. So she told us that and said that she really wants to meet with us.
We also had to chop a couple of people we were teaching. That's always sad.
But as you can see, the Lord has really been preparing this area and helping Elder Tietjen and I so much.

Yesterday we taught a less active lady and we watched "The Restoration" and it really hit me again how lucky I am to be a missionary for the Lord's church.
General Conf. will be the 18th and 19th here. I can't wait. It's weird you're already telling me about it. I think they send down the DVD's. Not sure though.

God Speed the Right
- Elder Hales