Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A busy week (as usual)

Dear Mom and Dad,
Learning to Love Learning. There was an awesome talk on that by Elder Bednar in an Ensign not too long ago. I learned a lot from that. That is one thing I know I have sky-rocketed in- is wanting to learn. (*I told him about a RS function we had with that theme, based on Elder Bednar's talk.)
This week has been awesome. It always is. We had interviews with President Richards yesterday and Temple Day today. It's just two days of heaven. That was my last interview with President Richards which is sad. I am really trying to keep that attitude that I was also called to serve under President Langland just as much as President Richards.

I had trade-offs all day (after the interview) with an awesome missionary named Elder Schwendiman. He is from Idaho Falls and knows a few of the same people I do from BYUI. He is a fantastic missionary and completely "Worthy of and expecting Miracles." We go on trade-offs after interviews because he serves in Lismore which is a ways away and since he came up for interviews- that is one of the only times I can trade-off with them. We found one new investigator named Peter. He has so many copies of the Bible and even took a picture of every page because his eyesight is bad. He can zoom in on his computer and read it better. We have another appointment with him this week so we are excited and I'll tell you more later. Prepared for sure though.

The Work is progressing and going very well. I have to run but I love you all and hope things are going well.
God Speed the Right,
-Elder Hales

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Working with the members

Dear Mom and Dad:

This week was awesome. The world's best miracle happened this week with an area in our district. I was on trade-offs with Elder Richins (I was companions with him for a few weeks when his comp. went home) on Tuesday. He had 2 lessons scheduled but both fell through. He called a potential that he had street contacted a few days before. He set up a lesson with her a few hours later and we met her at a University near by. She is from Brazil and is in Australia studying. We taught the Restoration, committed her to read and pray and she said yes. We committed her to baptism if she knew it to be true and she said yes. We committed her to come to church on Sunday and even better news - she said yes. We set up another lesson that week with a member that would give her a ride to church. Elder Richins told me that that went so great. That she had prayed to know and she got an answer that it is true. She is SO PREPARED and the only thing that is kind of sad is that she is moving to Hawaii this Thursday. We are going to give the missionaries over there the information and she will be baptized very quickly over there. This is the Lords work.

You probably remember me talking about Cody. He is so prepared as well. He is Bobby's grandson that just moved over from New Zealand. He is so awesome. He knows the Book of Mormon is true. He has such a good relationship with Heavenly Father - especially with all that he has been through for only being 14.

Our transfer theme is Working with the Members so I wanted to kindly ask for some advice again. More than just gaining members trust, we have been training on how to have more effective Member Present Lessons. We plan to accomplish this with 5 steps.
1- Preparing the Member DAYS before the lesson (Include the member in the lesson plan)
2- A clear goal (Let the member know the commitment you will leave)
3- Tell the member about the background of the investigator.
4- Teach the member before. (Perhaps give them a short example of what you will teach)
5- Evaluate with the member after the lesson.

I forgot to mention, the recent converts that we went out in the bush with last P-day were the first ones I conducted a baptism interview for. That was a great experience especially since they were so prepared. We drove to a place called the Natural Arch. Nothing compared to what Utah has but they have some glow worms there that were interesting to see.

Being a missionary is so awesome. I love you all.
God Speed the Right
-Elder Hales

(*I usually don't include his private messages to the family, but thought these would be good this time)

Michael & family:
I know how you feel. My very first transfer in the mission I ran out of the car to give some sister missionaries some daily planners and I didn't see the hitch at the back of the car as I was running around. Completely slammed my knee into the solid metal. I couldn't walk for a few hours and I wanted to throw up.
Things sound sweet with your new house and computer.

FERRDINCUM!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm happy for you! Tell him I say, "What's going on bro! Literally- brother."
Read D&C 9: 7-9. You have made the right choice- now just continue to pray fervently.

I taught the Plan of Salvation in Gospel Principles class last Sunday. There recently have been a few deaths in the ward, one being a baby. I testified of my little niece and my eyes started to sweat. I always mention what Spencer said to me by the grave -- that that is the reason I am going on a mission. I can't ever forget that. Many tears were flying and then I mentioned how it's safe to say I am the favorite uncle and how I know that I will be able to play with Macie. One non-member who had never been to church before came to me saying she liked the lesson.
Haha- Yes, Magnum ice cream is pretty good. There are several missionaries addicted. I'll eat one for you. :) So expensive though.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day phone call

Adam -- I mean Elder Hales -- called us yesterday. We had the phone on speaker, Cheri's family on the webcam, Carly was in town with us, and Michael's family on a cell phone so that all 11 of us could hear. He is doing great and LOVES being in Tweeds Head - his favorite place so far. He lives a half block from the beach, but he's not allowed to even touch the sand. But he can't help noticing the gnarly waves. (ha ha)

He is LOVIN' the success they are having. It's so nice to know that he is totally immersed in the work.

We asked about his release date and he said January 5th. Which means he gets home on January 4th. Gotta love those international date lines. He said no one is allowed to extend their mission in Australia because of the visa limits.

He loves how his ward is totally into member missionary work. It makes all the difference.

And he says to say thank you to everyone for the letters and the prayers. "I can feel the prayers."

I'm always fine during the phone calls and then cry when it's time to say goodbye. And the Christmas Day phone call will be exciting knowing that we'll see him very soon.

He said a member was taking him and his comp to the Outback for P-day yesterday. And another member owns a huge souvineer shop and let them go pick out what they wanted. Nice!

As his mom, I appreciate the support and love you give to him. (and us) Wow -- this is the last missionary Mother's Day call I'll ever get. (yay!)
Love to you all -

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Short and sweet (again)

Dear Family:

BYUI President is an amazing speaker. I can't remember anything he spoke on when I was there... but I remember thinking it was so good. (*The pres. of BYU-Idaho spoke in Sacrament Mtg. in Cheri's ward last week in Fremont, CA and I wrote to tell him about it. It was awesome.)

P-day is always changing. Sometimes it's because of holidays so we can work on those holidays and sometimes because of Temple Day. Count on it being Monday anyway. (*It's like we never hear from him on a consistent day, so I asked.)

This week was really good. That was an understatement. THIS WEEK WAS SO FULL OF MIRACLES, IT WAS AMAZING!!! We had 4 investigators at church on Sunday. One of them is Kyran -- he is 11 years old. He doesn't like to come to church because he is so sick of Primary so yesterday I grabbed him, got one of his friends out of Primary and shoved them into Young Men's and he loved it.

Don't have time to say more. PLEASE FORGIVE ME.
Love you all
-Elder Hales