Monday, April 26, 2010

All the missionaries that taught Jessica.

Ward Mission Leaders are AWESOME!

Dear Mom and Dad,

Transfers have come and gone and guess what... I'm still in Tweed Heads!!! And I am still with Elder Tauiliili!! I'll be companions with him for 4 and a half months. We call that an Eternal Companionship. I was not expecting that but I am excited to have another transfer to learn from Elder Tauiliili.

On top of that excitement, there were 2 baptisms this week! They were baptisms in the area next to ours called the Mudgerabba Ward. Their names were Theo and Jessica. It was great because I got to teach Theo 2x and Jessica once.
Theo is the man. He is 14 and from New Zealand. He fits in with the young men like peas in a pot! (would that term make sense? :) He ordered a Lamb of God DVD and when Elder Richins contacted him he said "I wanna be a Mormon." He was so prepared and ready for baptism. Jessica is 16 and a friend of a young woman in the ward. Completely prepared as well. Theo and Jessica were baptized on Thursday night. I never feel the spirit more strong then when I see investigators close their eyes as the baptism prayer is said.

We have a full teaching pool now. We have great turn outs at church and great turn outs at our Ward Mission Leaders home for Family Home Evenings. The ward members LOVE the Family Home Evenings so I have no doubt that they are going to start bringing non-members. When we got in this area the only thing we had was a Ward Mission Leader. Now this ward is doing so much and we are about to have a Ward Mission Plan, coordination meetings, and Ward Missionaries. I love this ward so much.

We found 3 new investigators this week. Two of which were Lamb of God DVD referrals. One is Bobby's (one of our investigators) grandson. His name is Cody and he is pure Champion! He just moved over from New Zealand where he was very into his Youth group at his church over there. We are going to get him to the youth activity tonight. We taught him the Restoration.. He has been reading the Book of Mormon and he told us this week that he knows its true!! I asked him if he is ready to act on that answer and come to church and learn more and he said a firm "Yes!" In our Lesson with him tomorrow we will talk about Baptism.

All of our investigators love our Ward Mission Leader so much. Brother Taulepa has been such a blessing. Through his help we got a less-active to come back to church. His name is Alan King. He is such a good guy. He came to church yesterday in a suit and he says he absolutely fell in love with this ward. Alan King lives fairly close to us so he invited us to work out with him in the mornings, so Elder Tauiliili is soooo excited to start pumping iron. We have a really good relationship with Alan King now. Best of Friends.

You asked what I love about missionary work the most. I love the power of prayer. I was reading an Ensign article this week about a General Authority who was in a wrestling match and he almost lost- but he looked in the crowd and saw his father cheering him on. That gave him the confidence to eventually win the match- to see his father was on his side. I know that Heavenly Father is doing that for us on the other side. He always answers our prayers. I often get overwhelmed here in this area because of what my responsibility is. Every night when so many things are going through my head, I pray and Heavenly Father connects my thoughts and it becomes so much easier. Alan King was telling us this week how many blessings he has received since coming back to church and WOW- he has received so many!!! Heavenly Father is on our side and we can see that when we look to him through prayer. I love being a missionary so much. Elder Tauiliili often reminds me that I only have 9 months left. I wish he would stop! :)

I love you mom and Dad. Thank you for everything. I love you too Michael, Laura, Jessica, Chan, Cheri, Spencer, Emma, Tyler and Carly!!
God Speed the Right,
Elder Hales

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

a diet staple

It's what's for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. And Thanksgiving. And . . .

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A cure for the common cold

Dear Mom and Dad,

Well, another week has blown by. I was sick this week. I had a cold for just 2-3 days. Our area medical advisers told us to take a HOT shower and then wrap up in a blanket for 10 hours. I did that one night and the cold went away pretty quick. I was talking to Sister Richards and she said, "A cold never goes away that fast- it must have worked!" So we were able to get back to work quickly.

Things are going so well here. We are being blessed. Tweed Heads could very possibly be my favorite area. We have transfers in a week so I'm crossing my fingers. :) The area is so big that it can be overwhelming at times but then if you just rely on the Lord, things turn out great. We had 3 investigators at church this week so things are very exciting now. We haven't set baptism dates for the dates we lost, but we have plans to. Pray!!

We got a new Ward Mission Leader. His name is Brother Taulepa. He was raised in Hawaii and is Tongan. We have Family Home Evening every Monday night at his awesome house. They are so great for our investigators to go to. The spirit is strong in their home, they share a message, play a game and then have snack foods. The best is everyone just talking afterwards. Relationships are made and investigators don't feel so overwhelmed at church. We have one potential baptism coming up because of FHE.

I am doing great here. Things are going well. I love you mom and dad.
God Speed the Right
-Elder Hales

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dear Mom and Dad,

Last week time ran out and I wasn't able to finish the letter so sorry about that but WOW!! General Conference was so amazing! I am like you mom, all the music just pierces the soul and tears flow out. My favourite was probably the Priesthood "Hold to the Rod." This week was so full of awesome-ness! We had General Conference and then yesterday we had interviews with President Richards and today we got to go to the temple!

My interview with President Richards was so awesome. I've said before how he just opens up to questions and he really taught me how to be the missionary I want to be. Both President and I walked out of the interview with our eyes sweating. I know that I was called to Australia Brisbane for a reason as much as I know the Church is true. President Richards feels like family! :) President just issued another challenge. His first challenge was to read the Book of Mormon marking in red all the references to Christ. Second was to mark the Doctrine and Principles. The next is to read through all the red you marked for references to Christ and write down those scriptures that refer to the Atonement. Then to go through those notes and to mark off what you can't learn about the atonement from the bible that is in the Book of Mormon.

We have several investigators who want to be baptized but just can't do what they need to. ______, who was going to be baptized this Saturday postponed because she cannot stop smoking. We are trying to help _____ live the Law of Chastity. And Brianna and Bethany are set to be baptized, but their mother is holding them back. I know that they will come through. We need your faith and prayers as well.

Elder Richins got a new companion! So we are not in a 3-way anymore. He was a great example to me and I learned a lot from him. His companion just came down from Cairns in an emergency transfer because he did not lock his heart. That drives me nuts. Crazy enough- our district leader just got transferred into the office! Elder Tokaduadua. He is from New Zealand and is in my intake. It looks like he will be the last office elder before the senior couple comes.

I love the Tweed Heads Ward. I love my companion. I am so blessed. Thank you for your prayers.

I love you mom and dad!

-Dad- do you meet with the Zone leaders of the missionaries serving in the stake?
I'll reply to all other family next week and send pictures.
Love you so much.
Being a missionary is Awesome!!!!!
-Elder Hales

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Miracle Month

Dear Family!

It was absolutely great to hear from all of you and to hear about how great General Conference was. You have no idea how excited I am to go!!! Every time I think about it a shock of warm excitement shoots through my body!

It sounds like things are going well. Brother, I'm never coming home. I have the Ammon attitude "perhaps until I die." :)

This was a very interesting week. The baptism that we were supposed to have at the end of last month didn't go through. Brianna and Bethany want to be baptized so bad but their parents are not a help at all. We have a lesson this week where we are going to be Elder Holland and just lay it on. They should be baptized soon. I can feel it in my bones.

Back to this week being interesting... Elder Richins' companion went home again. He was training for the second time in 2 transfers and both of his greenies went home. Poor guy, but the Lord is blessing him and he has two baptisms coming up so now Elder Tauiliili and I cover his area and we are in a tri-companionship. It's great because I can learn heaps from Elder Richins!

We had such a wonderful miracle this week. Probably one of the best Sacrament-Testimony meetings on my mission. I love this ward SOOO MUCH!! There were 350 people at church on Sunday and our chapel is far from a full size chapel. It was built for a Branch. Chairs were brought in quickly and people were seated back and up on the stage but the testimonies were great. At the end our Bishop gets up, Bishop Rapana, and BLOWS everyone away with his testimony. He was soo bold but not near overbearing. I really look up to our Bishop. He has a big family and has one son on a mission in England. He had us over for dinner once a week last month. He is great.

Another great miracle we had was a text message. :) We have been teaching a lady named Bobbi. She was prepared. She lives next to one of our investigators and after a lesson with her neighbor, Bobbi stopped us before we left to show us a bible that she received when her mother died. We set up a lesson and she has been coming to church every week since! We had committed her to baptism and had discussed it with her a lot and on Sunday night she sent us a text message saying, "When is the earliest I can be baptized?" We went by and set a date for the 17th which means every area in our district has a baptism on the 17th! Miracle month.

Our motto is "Be worthy of and expect miracles."
We our doing our best. The Church is the only true church!
Love you all.