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!