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