Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year

Dear family:

We have had so much rain in my area that there are a lot of floods. On P-day we had our Elders Quorum pres. pick us up in a 4 wheel drive and he did some off-roading with us in the car. Since we're not supposed to do that I was very nervous and annoyed. He only did some for about 2 min. -- mostly in the floods.

I didn't think I was going to be able to email home before I see you because all places with computers are closed but we found a place and have permission so I thought I would send a note.

About the In-n-Out-- if it's closed then don't worry about it.

I apologize for sounding down on the phone call. I was so excited to talk to you all and am excited to see you next week. I just can't believe this has come so quickly. I love this work so much and its going to be really hard to leave. I can't share my testimony anymore without crying. Even when I really try and push to be more of a man, it comes. I wonder why I cry so much. I think it's because I love change. I love my repentance. I love how much mercy I have been given.

I have seen many mighty miracles this last week. I can't wait to tell you all of them. Yesterday Elder Auld and I didn't get to nightly planning because we were talking. There was an awesome miracle just last night. I think the Lord wanted us to have that talk last night and I had a witness that he is the companion he wants for me at this time. Elder Auld will make it. And I had a confirmation again that every single area and companion I have had was specially placed for me to get the most out of this mission.
This is the best two years of my life.

Love you mom and dad and all family.
See you very soon. Next week.

ELDER ADAM HALES

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Last phone call home

Elder Hales called yesterday. I answered the phone the way Adam used to: "Center of the universe." He chuckled and said, "This is Elder Hales." (So formal!) He called on our Christmas Day, his Boxing Day. It was right before his church. His companion is from New Zealand, so he had called his family the day before. That made the timing convenient for all of us.

We got Carly & Michael and Michael & Laura and kids on the computer using Skype. We were at Cheri's house, so we put her phone on speaker and everyone could hear.

He sounded very serious and I'm guessing, melancholy. He only has 10 days left and it's weighing heavy on him. He's not trunky at all. David and I attended a special Christmas Missionary fireside last year where the mission president told his army that "...the homesickness you felt when you got here will be NOTHING compared to the 'homesickness' that you'll feel for the mission when you go home." I suspect he's already feeling that. It'll be interesting to see how he adjusts. (We did tell him that he should get his brother up at 5:30 for scripture study. Payback.)

We talked for around 30 minutes. Nothing profound, but just fun to have all of our children interacting. And as usual, I got a little teary as we said good-bye. After we hung up, the rest of us continued to talk. All the guys said that the feeling they got returning home as the plane descended was just the weirdest feeling. Closing a chapter. You could tell that all four of them were reliving the moments.

He gets home January 5th at 9:45 a.m. It'll be just David and I there to greet him. The rest of the family will trickle in over the next two days. He will speak in church on the 9th at 9:00 a.m. All are invited to come and hear him.

Oh -- he did have one request. He will have three other missionaries with him and they are all DYING for an In-n-Out hamburger. (They are continuing on to Utah.) So I guess we have our assignment. Be waiting at the gate with our poster AND hamburgers. (most especially hamburgers)

Well, he made it sound like we might get one more email. We'll see. Hope you all had a Fair Dink'em holiday!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The end is near

At the Brisbane Temple. Me and Elders Curtis, Auld, & Tuta'i
Today at the temple.





Dear Mom and Dad:

There is only one more P-Day that I will be able to write an email home. (Who's counting?) Next p-day we have the Mission Christmas party. We are going to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" which I am not too excited about. I haven't seen a movie in AGES!

I'm not too sure when to call. Boxing day is Sunday and church starts at 9 am. So I would have to call at 7:50 or 8 and get 30 min. on the phone. That would be 1 pm in the afternoon on Christmas for you. I hope that's okay.

So the Galapons move this Sunday which is sad. I feel confident things will go well up in McKay so they can be baptized. We had a family home evening with our fellowship that the Galapons came to and it went awesome. The Ravens are the fellowship and I think a part of the reason I have served in this area is because of the example of Brother Raven and Bishop Rea. They are an excellent example of Unity and Diligence in seeking inspiration from the Holy Ghost. One lesson we had with the Galapons last week, we spent 20 min. in a car praying about and seeking confirmation on what we planned to teach. It was a great experience.

This week has been amazing. It has been full of spiritual experiences and miracles. I love miracles. Last week we had Zone Conference and it was my last one. All missionaries going home with me bore their testimony. The fact that I am coming to an end didn't really hit me until I got up on that pulpit and looked at my fellow soldiers. Like Michael said, it seems to have gone so fast but when I went into the MTC it seems like ages ago. I look back at all of us missionaries there and see how much we have grown and changed.

Today was my last time going to the Brisbane Temple. I had a wonderful experience that I'll tell you about when I get home. I was crying like a baby and the lady who has obviously had experience brought over a box of tissues. She was nice.

Some of the missionaries in our District are WAY good singers. I will record us, but we sang carols and hymns on the packed train ride back. I mostly walked around talking to people. Whenever I see a large amount of people I get excited.

Brother: Try and get Chan to say Elder Hales. That would be cool. :)

Everyone stay safe and counsel with the Lord in all thy doings.
Love you mom and dad
-Elder Adam Hales

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

Dear Mom and Dad:

Thank you for the Christmas package! The candy is pretty much gone. After two years I still have no self-control when it comes to candy! :-) I gave some away to some people I am working with. They wanted American candy.

This week was rough but we still saw miracles. We found a new investigator named Rhian that we are teaching today. Elder Auld really doesn't want to work on P-Day so this will be our last lesson on a Monday with her but we set her baptism on Dec. 19 so hopefully we will have a "White Christmas."

We had an amazing lesson with the Galapons! We got there and no one had read from the Book of Mormon. We fished around and found some concerns that others have been telling them that the Book of Mormon is made up and the kids were confused. Our fellowship started to confuse them with Alma 32 and it got nowhere so we said a prayer and I tried to do as Alma did when he gave up being chief judge to go among his people and bear down in pure testimony. As I was sharing my testimony I was crying and the Galapons started crying and the spirit was so strong! During my testimony I felt prompted to share an experience when I was in High School and a Classmate said "Christ never came to America" and I responded that he did and the account was found in the Book of Mormon. He laughed in my face. Later, Elder Auld said he was going to share an experience he had that was just like that. The Galapons did not come to church this week because of an activity they had to go to with their employer and they have the same thing next Sunday so they will not be able to be baptized here, but I'll make sure it goes through in McKay!(where they are moving to)

Elder Auld is a champion. He went home for a few months and came back out. We get along awesome and he is teaching me some of the Maori Haka's. He has been back from home for a few months but I'm his first real working companion since getting back so he is keeping me from being complete trunky sauce! :)

The work is great! The miracles are real!
Love you all
-Elder Hales

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oops


No worries, mate. We found this abandoned car and couldn't let the photo op go by.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Still praying for miracles

Dear Mom and Dad:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!! I believe everyone who has prayed for the Galapons has helped in their progression in the Gospel. This week was full of miracles. We ran out of kilometers for the car so we were walking and busing most of the week and it was getting me kinda down because I wasn't having much success in commitments to church. Then Sunday comes and we had 4 less actives there!

In our lesson with the Galapons this week, one of the first things Jenalyn says is, "Danny (husband) wants to be baptized!" We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and tried to set a date for their baptism but this is where the next trial is. They will be in Brisbane on Dec 12 and they move to Mckay (north Queensland) on December 19th. If they go to church on the 5th of December then all but the father will have been to church 2 times and we can't baptize the family without the father. So what we are praying for and fasting for is that a miracle will come again and we will be able to baptize them before they go to Mckay- or that work opportunities will allow them to stay. Please continue to pray for miracles.

The Galapon's came to Church yesterday and it was amazing. I can't tell you how many miracles I have seen with this family. A member in the ward that is half Filipino had her mother visiting who knows Tagalog so she was able to stay by the mothers side the whole Sunday.

On Sunday night we were invited to a Uniting Church activity. A former investigator that is such a good guy invited us to a "CD launch" of church music and some of the music was really good! Elder Auld and I walked over to the church and Elder Auld got a weird feeling about going in so we stopped and prayed to see if it was a bad idea. While we were out there a member of our church comes walking out and talking to us and his wife was performing a few songs.... so before you know it she got Elder Auld and I to sing with her in front of heaps of people from other faiths. I have never sung into a microphone before and I could tell that no one could hear me so I started to sing louder. At the end Elder Auld said I was singing pretty loud! :) (* As his mom, TRUST ME -- that right there was a miracle.) But this member lady was way awesome. She invited us up and introduced us as missionaries and told everyone not to slam their doors in our face. :) And these members got us a dinner appointment with a non-member! :)
But as I heard these people sing about Jesus Christ I was thinking about what good people they are. How nice and loving and how much they want to follow Christ and then I thought about how unless they accept the truth, they cannot attain the full glory of Heaven. I really just want to give my all in every way. Having 5 weeks left can be pretty distracting. I am aware and its not really bothering me but the fact that these souls who might endure endless torment began to make me tremble at the thought. I felt like- maybe for just a moment- that I knew what the sons of Mosiah felt like when they said that the very thought of a human soul enduring endless torment caused them to quake and tremble. I'm not saying I'm anywhere NEAR the sons of Mosiah, but looking at a few kind, loving people who are so close but so far did help me give another push to work harder for these people I love.

I was studying about pride a lot this week and dad, you're right. I like how President Uchtdorf in his priesthood talk, talked about pride in "your team." Then at church on Sunday one of our Bishopric talked about how pride was the downfall of NATIONS. (I think the Lord is trying to tell me something). I think if we asked ourselves introspective questions about pride consistently, there might be a little less contention.
I love being a missionary. The work is true.
Love you mom and dad.
-Elder Hales

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Only 6 more weeks!

Dear Mom and Dad,

A new transfer and my last 6 weeks!!! I can't believe that's all I have left and plan to make it the most miracle-filled 6 weeks of my life.

Today I saw Elder Tito off. He flies out tomorrow for Samoa and it's not a sad thing. Am I allowed to say that?? He was hard. My new companion is a champion. His name is Elder Auld from Hamilton, New Zealand. He was just serving in Tweed Heads so we already have something in common. (Today I found out that Tweed Heads had 3 baptisms of people I had worked with, which was such good news). Elder Auld has been out for somewhere around six months and seems like he is going to be a lot of fun. I'm excited because I was really hoping to get a good companion my last transfer.
This past week was hard but the Lord still blessed us with miracles. The Galapon family is doing well. We were nervous about how the father would take his family learning and being baptized so our fellowship and Elders Quorum President invited the Galapons over for dinner and a lesson. We taught the father and I can't tell you how strong the spirit was!!! It was awesome. Our EQP and ourselves made a covenant together that we would pray for the Galapons every morning and night and it paid off. After watching a video about the Restoration and teaching we asked Danny (the father) if he felt it was true by the feeling of the Holy Ghost. He said yes. I asked every other member of the family of 6 and they said yes. It has been going very well and hope to have their baptism soon. The father then said that even if he doesn't choose to be baptized, that he will still allow his children to be baptized if they want to. I committed them to be baptized and they said yes. I love this work. I love being a missionary. I love declaring repentance. I love what I have become.

I am nervous about coming home, I'll admit. I know I need to go in faith just as I have been doing for the last 2 years. I love my mission. I love it so much. It means the world to me. I wouldn't trade it for the world. What I have learned in these two short years will carry me throughout all my life and the life to come. I like Dad's quote that how hard a mission is, is the best kept secret in the church. It's kept so well because hard things mean more to people and they express gratitude for things that mean a lot to them. I love how I am expressing gratitude and that has brought me so many tears.

I love you. Thank you for your prayers.
I love you mom and dad.
-Elder Hales

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Croc Meat





Dear Mom and Dad:

I just cut my hair short this week. I like it. It makes me look... sophisticated. (*I had told him that we'd do family pictures when he got home and it would be nice if his hair wasn't one centimeter long. Yeah, right.)

This week has been good. On our car we get about 2200 kilometers a month and we're already at 1200 so I have grey hair, but things have been great. We have been having a lot of success. This new training that the Apostles are giving to us, the 8 principles, are fantastic and I wish I had known these a long time ago.

Today is Elder Tito's last P-day and with that, the last chance he has to email home. He is pretty bummed we didn't get the Galapon family baptized before he left. Speaking of them... they are doing great. All the kids are ready and willing to be baptized so the focus is really on the parents. This week the 14 year old girl named Danika was confused because we wanted her to keep reading and she said: "But I already got an answer that it's true!!!" I am way excited for the Galapons.

Don't worry mom, but since we live in the country, there are a lot more snakes. Yesterday I was walking out of my flat and kicked a stick twice but it was too soft to be a stick so I looked down and saw a snake slithering away. Luckily it was just a tree snake. But I just stopped and thought for a minute. The thought came into my mind that the Lord is protecting me. I have been praying for angels to help me and it's interesting how I can really feel them sometimes. It's a tender mercy from the Lord.

Next time I write I'll have a new companion....
Love,
Elder Hales

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Be Grateful


Temple Trip

Dear Mum and Dad,
I haven't received any mail in a long time. There aren't any Office Elders anymore so it was a Senior missionary couple that sent you the papers of my release. And they aren't able to get mail to us as often. They need to put fun, cool, awesome, good-looking missionaries back in there.

It was fantastic to go to the temple today. President Richards once told us that if we pray for an hour of gratitude it's an amazing experience. I tried last night but yesterday was such a big day that I only got 30 min. and had to crash out. I wanted to do it before going to the temple though.

Traveling to and from the temple was my favorite. Its been a long time since there have been a mass crowd of people to talk to-- now that I'm in the country. I talked to people for maybe an hour straight and only got one potential investigator. She seemed sincere though.

I have been very blessed this week. In fact, we saw many miracles this week. Our family that we have been teaching, the Galapon's, are doing so great!!! We had a miracle lesson with them this week which ended up lasting about 2 hours!! Kinda long but we took our Elders Quorum President who lives close and he is EXCELLENT fellowship. We watched the Restoration DVD and the kids were begging for us to teach the Plan of Salvation so we did. The spirit was strong but we could tell something was wrong. Our fellowship, Brother Raven, did an excellent job and got their concern out quickly. Their father who works in a city in northern Queensland, is opposed to them going to church and being baptized. BUT, they know its true!!!!!! So we have been fasting and praying for them and we know they will be baptized. Please pray for them!

I LOVE this ward so much. I love working with them. Our Bishop is my favorite Bishop I have served for on my mission. Yesterday we were walking by our Relief Society President's house and she came out and asked if its okay if they go by to say hello to the Galapon family. How awesome is that! Especially since the Galapon's live a 40 min. drive away!
Things with me have been awesome. I think I have said before that I am finally realizing how to be a missionary. Just today I realized how much of a difference I have had in recognizing when others feel the spirit. We are working with a total of 8 people and we have 8 baptism dates. Not all are completely solid. The Brethren asked us to set a baptism date the first lesson. Thank you for your prayers. They are working!

Love you all and love you mom and dad,
-Elder Hales

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Awesome!

Dear Mom and Dad:

I am so proud of my nieces and nephews. All of them are awesome and the ones that can talk are already awesome missionaries! If only grown-ups would do more of that! Cheri and Spencer are awesome for having a party on Saturday night. That would be an awesome missionary opportunity!

Yeah, I am feeling better. I'm not sure what I had. Couldn't even guess.

This week we had interviews with our Mission President. I loved it! I got a new temple recommend and I loved the interview. Not that my interviews in the past were useless. And I'll never forget how cool it was to be interviewed by my dad, but this interview was different. I now have a knowledge of the gospel away from anything worldly. It seemed like I knew more about what I was responding about. It felt good. We don't get to go to the temple in this area since it's too far away, but since it's Elder Tito's last transfer and because we really want to go we got permission for next Wednesday. So we will be emailing next Wed.

This week has been fantastic. I love this ward so much. This is probably my most favorite area. I say that about every area but I really like the leadership in this ward. All of them are fantastic, especially our Bishop. The stake patriarch is our bishop's father, and he said that our Bishop was always the one who would stay in and read his scriptures instead of going out to play. :) If only I had been like that!

We have been finding heaps of new investigators and will have some referrals coming soon. Meanwhile, I love you all!

God speed the right!!!!
-Elder Adam Hales


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Enjoy to the end

This is on a trade-off day with Elder Vigmugna. He plays pro rugby for the Melbourne Storm.


Dear family,

Australia doesn't celebrate Halloween but a few people who are really into paganism (witchcraft?) celebrate it and are really excited! Last night we were tracting in a very witchcraft town called Lowood and ran into a few people that are very interesting!

I know what Chan-man feels like. I have been sick for about a week and a half and its driving me nuts. Our new mission president's wife allows us to work when we're sick if we want to, so its been good/miserable. Its been a hard week all around! Nevertheless, as I look back on this week I have seen so many miracles. On Saturday night I prayed for 3 things and on Sunday all three of those were answered! It was amazing!

This week we taught the Galapon family again! It went fantastic. Some of them didn't read the Book of Mormon so we read 1 Nephi chapters 1 and 2 to get them started. We also gave the mother a Book of Mormon in Tagalog and she was so happy upon receiving it! We set their baptism date for November 14th!!! I am excited to see their progress in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Please pray for them.

We had Elder Vincent of the Seventy speak at our stake conference. An American from Toowoomba spoke as well. But Elder Vincent did fantastic. He was very interesting to listen to. He told us a story about how when he was receiving training from the First Presidency and the Twelve, that Elder Eyring walked into the room with a boot on his leg and when he sat down he leaned onto his walking stick. He asked someone else what happened and why he didn't put his leg up so blood wouldn't rush to it. That "someone else" told him that he had broken his ankle and also had heart surgery and was leaning on his cane and feet to release the pain and pressure on his chest. Elder Vincent said that he didn't mention his injury at all during his talk... but came and fulfilled his Priesthood duty without complaints or praises. I learned so much from him.

Well, I hope all is well at home. Love you all.
Love you mom and dad.
Elder Hales

Quote of the week: " Enjoy to the End"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sausages and Cyclones

Dear Mom and Dad:

I am so sick of Australian sausages that its ridiculous!!! I never want to see those again... :) Every ward party and every Aussie Barbie have those sausages. They put those onto a slice of bread (like a hot dog) and put BBQ sauce on it. It's not too bad but I've had it so much!

The weather has been pretty intense. The past week our front and backyard was flooded and our neighbors yard was a few feet under water. I'll send a picture.

This week has been fantastic! We had some excellent success. Actually some miraculous success! First off, since all of our investigators were not progressing we chopped all of them. It's surprising that many former investigators talk a lot about taking their life. It's all for attention. But this week we taught a FAMILY!! They are from the Philippines and a family of 6 all above baptism age. They accepted the commitments and we have a lesson planned this week with some excellent fellowship so pray for the Galapon family! That was one miracle.

This Sunday we had an inactive lady come to church. Her name is Pauline. We have been working with her since I've been in this area. She is in her 60's and was baptized about 5 years ago. She has an awesome testimony and every time we teach her the spirit is so strong. My first visit with her I was very very bold and since then she has been reading the Book of Mormon and is probably around chapter 12-15 in 1 Nephi!!!! She was one that would just make excuses for everything. She is feeling the spirit and progressing so well and all I had to do was teach true doctrine boldly. She enjoyed being back to church so much and Sunday night she called me and thanked me for being so persistant and bold. She said that she enjoyed coming back and that she is excited to do it again next week. She thanked me for getting all of it going. She feels like family.

Elder Tito does usually email his family but he didn't get an email this week so he is waiting for me. Nice guy. He is 26 years old and the most funny Samoan in the world!! He eats sooo much. Buying food is like a kid walking through a candy shop and he LOVES KFC. I'll have to send you some videos I have of him. He is so funny.

Well, I love you mom and Dad. Hope all is going well. Today we are going up to Toowoomba because of trade-offs tomorrow. It will be good to play some sports finally.
-Elder Hales

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Itinerary!!!!!

We got the itinerary today. He leaves Brisbane on January 5th at 10:15 a.m.
After a stop in Sydney, he then departs for Los Angeles at 3:10 p.m.
After a 13 1/2 hour flight, he arrives at LAX at 9:45 a.m. the same day. (5th)
Woo hoo!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Put up your dukes


"These flowers remind me of Mom."

("I make pansies look good!")

Dear Mom and Dad,

The weather has been so great here. It has rained so much in the last few days that our yard is flooded. Since LA is lucky to get 10 days of rainfall a year, this is exciting. I guess.


Well, this week has been so hectic I don't know where to start. I know I always say that but this week was very different. Today is transfers but I didn't have to go. Last Wednesday after Elder Walston and I had lunch we were about to go to 3 lessons we had planned when we got a phone call from the Assistants telling us that Elder Walston was being Emergency Transferred out. He packed his bags while I rescheduled the lessons. Elder Walston was very bummed and so was I. We really got along well. Things were really, really well in our Unity and companionship so we were both pretty cut. A companionship had gotten in a fight and nearly punched the lights out of each other so I'm with one of them now. :) We drove into the city of Ipswich where we met the Assistants and traded companions. My companion now is Elder Tito from Samoa. Hopefully I don't get my lights punched out but I can already tell I won't. I am getting along with him perfectly fine. I don't get why companions choose not to get along. Elder Tito has 6 weeks left before he goes home. His cousin, Elder Tito as well, is in this mission and got emergency transferred this transfer as well because he almost punched his companion. :/


I'll fly in on Jan. 5 but you will be getting my itinerary very soon. I have noticed I've been getting more mail the closer I get to my return. :)


This week has been so interesting. I have been tempted and humbled more than I think I have ever been before. It has been really tough but I can't help but love every minute...after it has passed! :) I have mentioned before that I am finally realizing how to be an effective missionary. Members tell me that I am very bold with love. Not overbearing or pushy.


We chopped all of our investigators! :) None were progressing . Many are called but few are chosen! haha So Elder Tito and I are in complete finding mode! Last night we had dinner with Bishop Rea and I told him that since our ward fast for missionary work we have chopped all our investigators! He laughed but I feel good about it. More room to find the elect.


Two years ago in General Conferences' Priesthood session the MTC Choir sang "Hark! All ye Nations" and every time I listen to it I cry. I was wondering when they would have the Missionary Choir sing it again. I didn't think it would be so soon but listen to that song if you can and know that I am singing that song in my heart at the top of my lungs. (*guess what song we'll sing in church that first Sunday when he comes home.?)

Love you mom and dad,

Elder Hales

Monday, October 4, 2010

Read the Book of Mormon!

Dear Mom and Dad:

Please don't tell me about BYU anymore... unless they win. I am letting it frustrate me. :)


Another week has blown by. Its going way too fast that I can't even believe it. I am loving every minute of it. Yesterday the ward had a fast for Missionary Work and now Elder Walston and I have prepared packets to help the Ward with Missionary Work and Family Mission Plans. We are going to start giving those to the members. I love this ward. We had a few people we are working with come to church! It was great!


Our Last training was "Teach People, Not Lessons" and there were four main parts:

1) Ask inspired questions for understanding

2) LISTEN

3) Discern Needs

4) Teach Doctrine


This has been awesome! When you really express love, you can be as bold as you want. I have applied this with very prideful people who don't want to change. When we understand where they are coming from, saying " I really do care about you and love you and that's why I'm here", then we can tell them what the doctrine is. It's a lot better then saying "your're wrong- this is the right." Elder Walston and I have been working with a less-active lady who knows the church is true, but she just doesn't change. We have applied this and yesterday we got her to church!!!! Just not IN church! :( She got to the parking lot and got cold feet and drove away. :) She is so close I know I'll get her soon! The spirit already told me.

I promise- missionary miracles are waiting to happen. . especially to those who are in leadership because they are the examples. As you pray, plan and prepare for them... they will come.


Recently when we commit someone to read one chapter from the Book of Mormon a day they complain. I then say "We want you to read 10 chapters a day" and they go into shock. I then testify that they can read a few stinkin' pages and it won't kill them. Honestly- it only takes 10 min. max! And they still don't do it!!!! Its like asking them to look at a stick with a snake on it but people won't do it!!! They just don't do it. When you look at the stem of the problem you find Satan lurking there doing his best so that people don't read it.


I know reading the Book of Mormon changes people and brings miracles into their lives. "The study of true doctrine changes behavior faster than the study of behavior changes behavior." It changes me pretty quick.


Love you mom and dad

-Elder Hales

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Puppy

Family Mission Plan

Dear Mom and Dad:

This week has been awesome. I seriously love my companion and this ward. Elder Walston and I have never even had a disagreement. To say we are ready for miracles is an understatement... we are starving for miracles. This week I had trade-offs with Elder Richards...the one you mentioned is related to the RM I taught how to surf. (*Bob and Joyce Ball's grandson.) During that trade-off we made a visit to our bishop and discussed how we can get missionary work exploding in the ward. It went so great; the spirit whispered ideas into our heads. I asked him what else we could improve and he told us straight away, to ask referrals whenever we are in a members home. So I asked him straightway and he told us to go visit a less- active lady. When we got there we found that she just had surgery for cancer so we were able to give her a blessing. Then yesterday, Sunday, Bishop Rea asked us to to speak in Relief Society on making a "Family Mission Plan" so that was scary. But it went well and I hope the women will be able to push their husbands into making a Family Mission Plan. It's basically a set of goals that the family can do to help missionary work.

Mom and Dad, will you make a "Family Mission Plan" if you have not done so already? I will follow up with you next week. (this also applies to anyone who reads this)
This week was pretty hard. We had no investigators at church. That's always the worst because I always want members to see that we are having success and get them excited. I was wondering last night if temptation and hard times will ever stop... just for a little bit. I then realized it won't. That the Lord wants me to prove to myself that I will stand for him at all times, in all things and in all places. I then started to pout but quickly realized that was murmuring and called myself to repentance. That is one thing that other missionaries have asked me -- what I have learned. It is this: I love hard times that make me want to cry. I love them so much.

I love you mom and dad!
-Elder Ammon Hales
(dwell among these people forever)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Unity = Miracles

Dear Mom and Dad,
Wow- I have a lot to say. A young man in my ward got his mission call to San Diego. He is an Australian cowboy from the country so that will be a shock for him, but he is so excited. Every time he sees me he says "CALIFORNIA!!!" He is going to be a champion.

I have mentioned in the last few emails that I am finally figuring out how to be a missionary and something amazing happened this week. It started in PEC meeting on Thursday. We have the best ward leaders in the world so I was wondering why the font wasn't filled every week! So I started off our report in PEC thanking the ward for everything they are helping us with and then asked for help as Elder Walston and I have set a goal for one baptism a month. I asked for their prayers and suddenly a light went on. We have a ward fast for missionary work in October. Elder Walston and I set a baptism date for October 17 with our next door neighbor! Ward families are now praying for our investigators by name. On Sunday, we were invited into the Relief Society (and priesthood) to tell them our goal for 1 baptism every month and our mission goal to have members at every lesson. I started off by telling them we want unity with the ward so bad since unity is key to seeing miracles. We then passed Availability Rosters for fellowship and told them that if we call on them it is because we prayerfully selected who would be perfect fellowship. I am so careful to not make one mistake...of course I will but like Michael said to me in a letter, that this could be my last area and my last chance to do everything perfect.

Our next door neighbor that we have a baptism date for is a 17 yr old girl named Megan. Elder Walston said that she doesn't seem way keen into it and because she was a teenager I was very stand offish about the situation. Quite frankly I went with an attitude of "we are going to chop this investigator if she hasn't read or prayed." I went without faith and I was humbled. For the lesson we reviewed the Restoration and read the Intro to the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong and we would see a repentance process. We could see her faith growing and a desire for Baptism and the Holy Ghost was definitely present. Only concern is her very protective mother who won't let her get a ride with some members to church because they are strangers. We will be able to take care of that.

I do have some sad and bad news. I mentioned to you mom that I was going to bring your Mothers Day present when I got home. What your present was- was the copy of the Book of Mormon that I had read that I got my real testimony from. It was marked like crazy and it meant a lot to me. I took it to the fireside of Elder Callister with our investigators but somehow, somewhere it got lost. My best bet is that it fell out of the car. It was in a cardboard, protective case so hopefully someone found it and will read it. But I am sorry mom. The Book of Mormon means the world to me. I know it is true scripture. It should not be taken lightly. I remember back to the first time I got a small testimony of the Book of Mormon. I was in the early years of high school. I remember one night just holding the Book of Mormon and thinking about how good it felt to hold it. I felt the spirit just holding it! It grew from there to now... where I MUST read some everyday. (* I'll have to let him know that the "gift" isn't tangible. What he gained is the gift.)

Well, its about that time. I would love to ask for your prayers for the Somerset Ward and Danielle and Derril. Bishop and ourselves are going to go speak to Derril who is the father of Danielle. She is 12 and wants to get baptized but we want to make sure her non-member father will provide a way for her to get to church if a member can't get her a ride. Our Bishop is awesome.. but I gotta go so I love you all and thanks for your prayers.
Love you mom and dad.
-Elder Hales

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In Our Humble Way

Dear Mom and Dad,
It's wonderful to stay in an area extra long. I knew the Tweed Heads ward like the back of my hand and it was great. The only problem is that missionaries get "too comfortable" in an area and that is why I think it is good to transfer them more often. I talked to Elder Willie in Tweed Heads. He said that there are three baptisms coming up. About time.

This week has blown by. We have been so busy that we only got to tract about 2 hours total this week. We try to have two hours a day. I really love this area. Last week I mentioned how the Lord just took away my pride and wow- it hurt, but now I am full of joy. The work is progressing. I seem to be specializing in reactivating. This ward is following Elder Perry's commandment to do the 15 names program and I am fully confident that any ward that will do it, will see miracles.

This week we had a mission tour with Elder Tad R. Callister. He is the Area President. He wrote the book The Infinite Atonement and I found out that it took him 18 years to write. Isn't that awesome? Science will change over 18 years, people will change over 18 years, but the Gospel is the same yesterday, today and forever. But he came and taught us A LOT. This was the second time I've heard him on my mission. He echoed a few things including how to become a consecrated missionary. This would apply to everyone, but he said to become a consecrated missionary we must lay everything on the alter. Our time, our desires and our will. We must change our nature... not just behavior. We learn how to change our nature in Mosiah chapter 3.

He also taught us the Plan of Salvation. I learned so much when he taught it to us. He turned to Acts 17 where it says we are offspring of our Father in Heaven and NOT a creation. Offspring has the opportunity to become like him. Creation doesn't. He taught us that God has a fullness of joy and that is what our purpose is, to have joy, become like him, and that is why its called the Plan of Happiness.

We also took one of our investigators to a fireside that Elder Callister had for all non-members and less-actives last night. His talk was on Joseph Smith and very good.
Last week on p-day we were walking through downtown Laidley looking for a place to get a football or basketball. (By the way, you can't in this small city) So we walked into a hardware store and asked a worker if they had any sports balls and she gave me a huge weird look as she said "are you from around here?" :) Somehow we walked out with a free soccerball.

Thanks for everything and for your prayers. I am seeing so many miracles... including ones in me. That is why my mission means the world to me. I love being a missionary. We are not the ordinary, fearlessly extra-ordinary.
Love you brothers and sisters.
Love you mom and dad.
-Elder Hales

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Old area photo. New area - out in the sticks

Elder Willie and I at Cabarita Beach lookout about 3 or 4 weeks ago. (Before the transfer) Amazing surf.



Dear Mom and Dad,

Challenge the missionaries to challenge the members to do more member missionary work.

Well, I feel kind of like last week where I don't know where to start. I'll start by saying that this transfer is COMPLETELY from the Lord. I am in complete country where I feel so ineffective because there aren't people everywhere to talk to. It's a different type of missionary work here. I have grown so much from being here already. I have been chastised, humbled, and any other word you want to describe how I have felt this last week. Leaving Tweed Heads wasn't too hard especially since I trust the missionary that was sent there, but it was a tough week here in the Somerset Ward. The four main (tiny) cities we work in are Laidley, Gatton, Rosewood and Lowood. Our Chapel is in Plainlands and everyone is just scattered so its stressful with our kilometer limit to get the work that we want to get done, but of course, the Lord will provide for a way when he commands.

This area is awesome. The ward is great and I love our Bishop. His name is Bishop Rea. There are about 70 members of the Rea family in the ward. They all live on the same street too! But this ward is doing the 15 names program which is awesome. Miracles will come! I heard its the 25 names program in America, right?

Elder Walston is from Brigham City, Utah. He goes home in two transfers so I'm working him HARD . He has been awesome and we have seen some awesome miracles this week. I remember in the MTC they told us to teach in a way that people can't deny the truth and we had a lesson with a couple named Michelle and Kurt this week where the spirit was so strong and she recognized it. We set their Baptism Date for Sept. 25. The Spirit has been so strong in our lessons. I finally feel like I am just learning how to be a missionary and a teacher. Only concern is I need to know the ward better. I have only been here a week but I need to know them fast to help these baptisms go through. When I got into the area, several investigators hadn't been committed to baptism. (?!!!) So we should have some more baptisms coming up.

This week has been amazing. The spirit I feel during study and lessons has really helped me. I have been looking at the blessing that I received during my setting apart and wow- a lot of them have come to pass! Like I said before, I feel like I am just learning how to be a missionary. I am just learning how to work with members effectively, teach, study, and proclaim. It is such a great feeling.

Love you all,
Elder Hales

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Transfer

Dear Mom and Dad,

I don't know where to start!!!
So that family we have been teaching... the miracle that occurred as I was emailing home... dropped us like 3rd period French. Stab to the heart! Said they were going back to the Catholic church.

This morning was transfers. I had no idea what to expect. I have been transferred to the Somerset Ward. It is in the sticks and the complete opposite of my last area. Tweed Heads is what everyone would call "posh" or nice and fancy. It is safe to say that my new area is the "Ocotepeque" of the Australia Brisbane Mission. (*Ocotepeque was an area/city in Honduras that his older brother served in. Distant and challenging.) I have 3 more transfers and I am looking forward to working so hard here I get bloody. My companion is Elder Walston. He is from Brigham City. This area is very large. For District Meeting we have to drive 45 min. to a chapel in Toowoomba. I have not been to our flat yet but it's in the city of Laidley. Completely country. There won't be any surfers here! I am excited and can't wait to tell you more about it next week!
As for Tweed Heads, I didn't really say goodbye to many members there. To a select few. Alan King was one of them. From the first month I was in Tweed Heads he was way less active. The last Sunday I was in Tweed Heads, he taught the Gospel Principles class! It was great. He is strong.

Last night I left with a bang where we taught a member referral. It went awesome! It's one of our Ward Missionaries' ex-boyfriend who is from Brazil. His name is Tiago and he is a complete surfer, so we had another surfer (who also shapes surfboards) have all of us over for dinner and taught him afterwards. It went really well. Hard because of the language barrier, but he felt the Spirit.

My mind is running at a thousand miles an hour so I'll wrap it up and write more next week.
Love you all
Love you mom and dad,
-Elder Hales

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Birthday presents

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you for the birthday money! I bought some expensive Mango Sorbet. When mango season is out, it's like torture. Then I got two meat pies at this really good bakery. (*who is this child??) I think I'll buy a cheap watch and give Elder Willie mine. He is so funny because he sees something that I completely wouldn't want and he treasures it. We found some shoes in our closet with a huge rip in the back but he wears them when another missionary gave him new 100 dollar Ecco shoes. He is so humble. For my birthday he did some of his culture dances. I'll send some videos.

It's our Zone Leader's last P-day so we're going to go play touch rugby in the rain. His name is Elder Fullmer. I have learned so much from him, especially about leadership. I have seen the biggest change in him to where he is one of the best leaders.

That lesson that we had with the family last week was tough. Anything that could've gone wrong did. The Restoration DVD stopped working right before the First Vision. But the Spirit was so strong and the family could feel it. So I asked, "As the Lord answers your prayers and you continue to feel this message is true, will you be baptized by one holding the proper authority?" He said yes. I told him we want to hold a baptism on the 28th of August and he said he would prepare for that date. It was only a week and a half from the lesson. Now some complications with some things have pushed the baptism back to after transfers, but as long as they're baptized its okay.

The Work is Awesome. Miracles are coming... FAST!!! We have a baptism in our District this week. They set that baptism last week too. :) I have her baptism interview this week but I met her at church already and I could see the light of Christ at full force.

I am proud of Kelly. He sounds like he is doing really well. I sent him a letter a while ago of pure encouragement! :) I was going to send him a picture of Jonah getting spit out of the whale and told to go back... but I thought that might be overbearing. :)

Better go, Love you all.
-Elder Hales

-And to anyone on my blog: I have lost a lot of addresses so that's why I haven't written to you. :)


Carly, please don't get the hick accent. The California accent is hard for Australians to pick up on. Everyone asks me if I am from Canada! Huh?
You're married!!! I'm the only single one in our family now... weird... not for long I guess! :) Joking of course.
What is Michael studying? Tell him I say Brother!!!
Get referrals for the missionaries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love you
-Elder Hales

ps- Michael is going to LOVE sleeping in the tent with us!!!!!!!!!!!! (*a Christmas Eve tradition that the kids did when they were younger, but obviously Adam hasn't outgrown.)


Brother:

Chandler looks like you and I when we were kids. He is going to be one good looking dude.
Tell Jessica happy birthday. Man it's hard for me to keep up with birthdays. I’ll bring gifts when I come home. We have a guy in our ward that has a factory of all the souvenir stuff and he lets missionaries go shopping through the huge thing and everything's for free! Some missionaries abuse it though which ticks me off so I feel bad going there.
You teach young men? I remember a lesson where my teacher read his mission journal to us. That really got me excited about my mission and writing in journals... you should take yours.

Love you Hales fam.

-Elder Hales

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Adam's 21st birthday

Dear Mom and Dad,

I'm twenty one eh! Today we woke up heaps early to go to the temple and I didn't remember it was my birthday until I found a card that Elder Willie left me on my desk while I was in the shower. He is such a good companion. We want to see more miracles so we are fasting and praying right now.

It was great to get to the temple today and we have several lessons this afternoon that I hope go really well. On the train ride to the temple some real social workers who really know physiology and train people how to be leaders sat next to us. It was very fun to share the gospel with them. It's hard to make a salesman buy what you're selling. (you know what I mean) On the train ride back to the Gold Coast our whole zone talked to every single person on the train. It was awesome! There were so many people that at some points we would just stand in front of a crowd and talk to everyone at the same time. It sounds weird but it was very effective.

It hit me today in the temple that I don't have much time left. It makes me sad to think of leaving. One missionary who is in my District who I was companions with earlier, still has some struggles he had a year ago. It makes me sad to think of how much time he is wasting and what he is doing to himself...and his companion. I have been thinking a lot about what I have learned thus far on my mission. I've learned that I must have unity with my companion. Christ said, "If ye are not one, ye are not mine." I've learned that obedience is everything. Central to: blessings, happiness, success, etc., I have learned the Gospel. I have learned that the Book of Mormon is true scripture and that everything it teaches is truth. I have learned to not be afraid to talk to people! Its not hard to do Missionary Work, even for members. I have learned to love learning and studying. I have learned that if there is anything I can't understand about the gospel, I can still feel its truth from the Holy Ghost. That happened to me this morning at the temple. I have learned that the Lord is so merciful to us. Again, I have learned that obedience and doing what we're supposed to be doing is everything. I have learned that I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have always known that but not to the same scale as now. I have learned that I have been so lucky to have parents who pushed and sometimes forced me into the right path. :)
I love you mom and dad.

At this point we have a baptism planned for September 26 with a young girl in a part- member family. Her name is Ralee. We were sad to make it so far away but at that date her brother will be able to baptize her. I ask for your prayers! Pray For Miracles! Wow- as I wrote "pray for miracles" I got a phone call from a non-member family who want to meet tomorrow at 4:00!!!!!!! "Has the day of Miracles ceased? I say unto you nay."

-Elder Adam Hales

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Carly's Wedding


Dear Family:


Tanner is a little champion. Do you think he will be a linebacker, lineman, or rugby player? The picture of the wedding is awesome. The colors look pretty good!! Emma looks like Cheri, Cheri looks like Mom, and mom you look really good! Happy Birthday Tyler and before I forget, Happy Birthday Cheri!!! :) I know it's a long time away. Carly- who am I going to protect with my muscles now? Congrats and your dress is really nice.

Another week has flown by. There are a lot of changes in the mission, as I'm sure you heard about because it is world wide. This week I have had to re-schedule some lessons because all day Wednesday and Thursday we have a leadership meeting...?... All day for two days? President Langeland has told us as well that he doesn't like to shift missionaries because numbers go down so I am hoping to stay in Tweed for a little longer. The work has progressed so much. At church on Sunday I am running around trying to talk to everyone and set up lessons with the non-members that are there.

I had a great experience yesterday. We have had an investigator named Steven for some time now. I love the guy so much and want so bad for him to get an answer that the Book of Mormon is true but he has been doing more research on whether the America's had horses and wheat than just reading the Book of Mormon and seeking an answer from the Holy Ghost. I knew it was time to let him go but I have wanted him to be baptized so bad! He is the investigator who has read thousands of book on religion. We had our last lesson last night. Our Zone Leaders gave me a sheet of paper that proves Joseph Smith to be a prophet to give to Steven and Elder Willie told him that we would bring it to him sometime. I then told him what the paper is and told him... "I'm not going to give it to you." We started laughing. But then I started to get emotional as I testified to him that I want so much for him to get an answer from Heavenly Father that it's true. I told him that I know the Book of Mormon is true and that he doesn't need proof of any kind. That all he needs to do is read it, and pray sincerely to know and God WILL answer his prayer. I told him that that feeling that was there was the Spirit. I have the strongest impression that someday he will be baptized.

Yesterday I got acupuncture for the first time in my life. We had dinner with a chiropractor in the ward. Elder Willie's back has really been acting up, so he fixed up his back, and the chiropractor's son is studying Acupuncture right now so when he saw how scared I am of needles he was excited to stick one in each hand and one in each foot. It's hard to explain but I had bloodshot eyes before, and after the needles, my eyes were white. Still, the spirit is so much better! :)

I love you all. Thank you all for everything. Thank you for the prayers. Miracles have and are coming!!!!!!
-Elder Hales

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bold is beautiful

DEAR MOM AND DAD,

Spencer is the man! He is going to be a G.A. (Adam's brother-in-law that was sustained as the 2nd coun. in the bishopric today).

Well, this week we have been very bold... and we have had the most in Gospel Principles that I have ever seen! Members are bringing friends to church, less actives are coming, members are getting excited, so right now my "joy is full." The work is really paying off. My only regret is... we have one of those crazy guys that comes into our Gospel Principles class and I regret not asking (or telling) him to go the class he is supposed to go to. :) But he has a huge heart.

This week I finished reading the Book of Mormon. I was in Ether when I had my first interview with President Langeland and he told me that in every copy of the Book of Mormon he has, he has Ether 12 page turned down because he got to hold the same copy of the Book of Mormon that Elder Holland talked about in his talk 2 conferences ago. As I was finishing the Book of Mormon I got to Moroni 10 and it really sunk in when I read verse 3 about how merciful the Lord has been. We really are soooo blessed. Then after I read verse 4 and 5 I once again received an answer to my prayer. It's so simple -- I ask people to do it everyday and it makes people happy. As large Tongans would say: "Read the book. It will make you happy." :)

Love you all.
Love you mom and dad
-Elder Hales

Tell everyone on the blog that I am having a hard time writing letters. Stamps cost $2.20 now. :-)


Brother:
Thanks for the emails. They always make me laugh. Next week I'll write more. Gotta go.

CARLLYY!!!
You're getting married for goodness sakes!!!!!!! Ferdincum.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shanti's baptism


Awesome

Dear Mom and Dad,

Things have been awesome. This week we had to chop a few investigators who aren't progressing. I love being in this ward for a long time because I have gotten to know heaps of members well. Yesterday a kid from Huntington Beach was at church. He was on a surf trip visiting Australia and Bali. We tried to teach his non-member friends but no luck... but it was weird to hear a California accent.

After Sacrament Meeting we gave our investigator, Ben, a blessing because he hit his face and his cheek was swelled up to the size of a golf ball. He said it had been that way for 4 days! He went to the hospital and we will see him on Wednesday when we will set a baptism date with him. Please pray for him!

We have been busy teaching and finding and things are going awesome.
Love you all.
-Elder Hales

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dear Mom and Dad,

Sounds like things are going well! Tell Cheri I say get well soon!!!!


Things here have been awesome. Today is transfers and guess what..... I'M STAYING! Elder Willie and I are staying. I have been telling President about the improvements we have been having with the work so I am so glad. My district is changing quite a bit but change is always good.

My Bishop here in Tweeds is probably my favourite Bishop I've served for yet. He has a very different way of doing things but he is so spiritual and completely the man for the job. I was listening to a talk by Elder Eyring and he said the words: "the Lord would know who he has serving in EVERY position in his church." I know that is the case with our Bishop. On Sunday at the end of sacrament meeting he got up and asked everyone to fast and said we would have a fast break on Monday night at 6. He said: "I don't know the rules with using the chapel on Monday night but we will overlook that." Bishop Rapana is my hero.

Our most progressing investigator is Ben, who we talked about last
week. He is doing so great and Elder Willie and I just have a connection with him so please pray for him. We will be setting a baptism date with him tomorrow.

Things are going so awesome. The work is great. The more families' homes I go in, the more I realize how I'm going to raise my family. When the home revolves around Christ, the kids choose the right. I have learned a lot about priorities lately.
Love you all.
-Elder Hales

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rugby

Mom and Dad,

Today for P-day we are going to go play touch football (rugby version).... :)... all injuries happen in American football. In all the history of touch rugby no missionary has gotten hurt. More injuries in Basketball than touch Rugby.

Ever since I left the office I don't go to the temple with President anymore but with our Zone. And this transfer we had to skip out on interviews with President Langeland.

If you sent me money already for my birthday it's okay but if you haven't sent it yet then don't worry about it. In the Gold Coast I can't transfer it over to Australian money because all the banks require my Passport and it is too much of a hassle to get it from the Office. If you must do something then put it in my bank account.

I have not yet taken a picture and video yet. I will do that this week and send it through email next week. I think I'll be able to send a video through email.

This week has been superb! Last week I told you we were going to teach a lesson to my dream investigator. His name is Ben and the lesson was awesome. We have really been changing our teaching skills lately and I'll get into that later but everything went great. He felt the Spirit and he says that he knows he is in the right place when he comes to church. He is getting married to a YSA girl named Wendy. Her mother is the Relief Society President. Their wedding is in February of next year. He will be baptized. I just hope it's soon because transfers are next week and I have been here for 6 months. Ben came to church and he is enjoying it. When I first met him he was not interested. It was about 5 months ago when Ben viewed Wendy's family as "churchies." But they had Ben over for dinner the same day they had us over and I taught the Plan of Salvation in 5 minutes with cool visuals and Wendy has had him reading the Book of Mormon and 5 months later he is going to church.

As I said a few paragraphs before, we didn't have interviews but instead we had another Zone Conference. President Langeland is AWESOME! He was talking about disobedient missionaries and he said he would grip their upper lip and just rip if off. :) (He didn't say that in zone conf.) But President gave us an amazing training. This transfer we have been focusing on teaching a spirit dialogue at the beginning of the lesson. Just sharing some scriptures on the Holy Ghost and teaching them the feelings it will give them. And President Langeland in Zone Conf. taught about committing to baptism on the first lesson, which we already do, but also setting a baptism date at every 1st lesson. So we have 3 baptism dates right now and hopefully one more with Ben this week. This may sound confusing but just know it's training we received that is from the Lord and it is going to skyrocket baptisms.

Our mission had 222 Baptisms the first 6 months of this year. Our goal was 240 baptisms so we did really good. All we would have needed was 1 or 2 more weeks and we would've accomplished our goal...but our goal is 240 again for the last 6 months of this year so with the training we recieved from President Langeland which came from General Authorities, we will accomplish that goal. Mission of Miracles.

Well, I love being a Missionary. The Book of Mormon is true.
Love you guys.

-Elder Hales

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Family letters

DEAR MOM AND DAD,

Pass along cards? Hales and Wirthlin's roll better than that... give her a Book of Mormon!!!! (hospital lady) (*a nurse that has noticed "something different" about our daughter and her family)

Haha - Elder Mitchell is such a crack-up. He has sent me letters over the last year and he is a champion. (*his best childhood friend; coming home from his mission next month!)

Birthday requests? Um- no toothbrushes or toothpaste... got heaps of that but if you want to send floss... its expensive here. :)

WOW!!! This week is awesome!!!! Shanti's baptism was probably one of the best I've ever been to. Josh, her husband now, has such a huge family so it was very crowded. The fellowship we used -- the Hall's -- have been awesome. We couldn't get warm water for the font so we had a Titanic replay, but Sister Hall was asked to bear her testimony and she thanked the missionaries for bringing the spirit in her home from the visits. That meant a lot to me.

We had the Temple this morning. Wow, I had a good experience today and now we're off to teach my dream investigator!!! A complete surfer, Aussie bloke. I have had a dream of baptizing one since I got in the area. Pray for us
Gotta go. Sorry this is short.
The Work is hard... but its SOO GOOD!
-Elder Hales

Brotherhood: (*that means his brother Michael)

I tell some of the dead-set surfers in our ward that you got married and were taken away from the waves and surf. They make fun of me and say that's going to happen to me too. Of course I say "no way" but when you tell me about your awesome family, it just makes me think...who is the one missing out? Home isn't where the waves are... it's where the Lord is.
Well, thanks for that email. Sounds like things are going awesome. Good luck with work.
Love ya
-Elder Hales

Wirthlins: (*expecting a baby boy next week!)
Ammon, Ezra, Helaman, or Ephriam. Awesome names. July 15th that's so soon!!!! That's awesome. Hope all is well and I keep you in my prayers.
Get Spencer on teaching that nurse the restored truth.
I would love that temperature. It is sooo cold here. I freeze every night.
-Elder Hales

Sunday, June 27, 2010

O that I were an angel . . . .

Dear family,
I seriously feel like Ammon of old and how he kept passing out because of joy in his brothers in the Gospel. I love how his brother rebukes him for sounding prideful but Ammon continues on saying how much he is nothing and he rejoices in the strength of the Lord. How much has our family been blessed by the Lord? I'm actually shaking right now... whether because its sooo cold or because I am so excited to write about the blessings we have, I don't know. Carly going through the temple is such exciting news. Everyone in the family is endowed!!!

Thanks for asking about BYU-Idaho. Speaking of which . . .I'm so sorry about the way I was before the mission. There are a couple of young men here that are making their parents get gray hair and I can feel a portion of what it's like when investigators don't keep commitments. Sorry for even the tiny things like quitting piano! (* that's "tiny"???) ha ha

This week has been fantastic. The work is so amazing. The more Member Present Lessons- the more success... the more blessings... the more joy. If I have any advice for families... it would be to have the missionaries teach in your home. The blessings are so great- especially with children seeing what is going on. My companion is such a champion. We just got about 8-10 Ward Missionaries called so I am so excited. This work is amazing... there is nothing better. My favourite hymn is "Hark! All Ye Nations!" Searching in darkness, nations have wept and we are so blessed to be the ones chosen by God to serve him below. The more I listen to it the more I realize I will never be released from the calling.

The Work is true. Sounds like things are excellent at home but there is no other errand I would rather be on.
Love you family!
-Elder Hales

Michael:
Haha - thank you for the Honduran drinks. When I opened one up I put it to my nose for a smell and it smelled good...and I could tell it was made in Central America. They taste awesome.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Elder Willie and I

It was "one of those weeks"

G'Day Mom and Dad,

This week was such a hard week. Its been tough and I have felt down at times but then I can't feel down for 5 minutes because I remember the Lord and how much closer I am getting to him through the Atonement. President Richards told us that when people say if we sin, we hurt Jesus Christ just that much more- it is false doctrine!! I loved when President said, "People who say that don't understand the meaning of INFINITE".

It was sad this week because we lost another baptism date. That is 4 now that I have lost in the Tweed Heads area. I have been praying for humbling experiences. Just didn't think they would come this way. :) Shanti is still doing GREAT!! But ____ is not keeping commitments and even drank some coffee... he's 14!!! We have not chopped him yet. We're hoping we won't have to. Faith preceeds the miracle. Faith is action so keep him in your prayers. Action is obedience, so we are doing our best.

Elder Willie is such a good companion. We have had 2 trade-offs this week and Zone Conference so sometimes I feel the work goes over a speed bump with trade-offs but they are excellent learning opportunities. One of our zone leaders was trained in this area so he came here on one of those trade-offs with me. One of the members he used to teach with is less active now. That was one of those "the higher you are, the farther you fall" cases. But the member was so excited to see him and came to church yesterday.

One of the reasons I was transferred into Tweed Heads , (besides me picking it), was because of Alan King. He has been less active for 5 years and with our visits and the spirit touching him he has been coming back to church. Two Sundays ago he bore his testimony. It was awesome!!! This week in two lessons we had with him- the Spirit whipped him into shape. I have grown to be really good friends with Alan and during one of the lessons he told me that I am his mate. In American that means " you're like a brother to me." There are so many blessings that come from bringing people to Christ.

I have noticed that my mission has been preparing me to make it to the Celestial Kingdom more than anything. I become converted. I had a testimony before my mission but I wasn't converted. The worst was that I thought I didn't have a testimony because I never had a "one big moment" that converts usually have. My testimony came little by little my whole life and I was too focused on getting a testimony when I already had one. During that time, the adversary would tell lies like: "you don't have a testimony.. you can do this... " One memory I have was when I was 14 or 15 during high school. I wasn't going through good times and I remember kneeling down in Carly's room and praying that Heavenly Father would let me feel his love for me. And I did. I felt such comfort. Does God answer every child's prayer? Yes. Does he answer EVERYONE'S prayer? I know he does.

Dad, have the missionaries take you teaching. I would die to have a stake president in my ward!

Love you Mom and Dad

-ELDER HALES