Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 21: And a Happy New Year

Hey Everyone!

I hope you guys had a great snowy Christmas! We had a busy week, and a great Christmas down here! This week we had a Christmas party as a mission! All of us went to the offices and played soccer, basketball, had a dodgeball competition and then a steak dinner! It was super fun and great to see some of the other missionaries that I haven't seen in a while! We received 21 references from members this week so we've had a lot of work to do! We haven't been this busy in a while, and it's great! We have been trying a lot lately to work more through the members because that's honestly the best way to work! This Friday we had a ward activity where they sang songs, showed a couple Christmas clips from the church website and ate Paneton (some giant muffin thing that Peruvians eat for Christmas) and hot chocolate. We weren't expecting many people to come because our ward is pretty un-united and not many people usually come to the activities, but we had a great turn out and lots of members brought their non-member friends! We were running all over meeting people and writing down names and addresses. 

On Christmas eve we didn't have too many lessons because people said they were busy but a lot of people invited us to dinner so by the end of the day we were STUFFED after eating like 3 dinners. That night my comp told me to not even try to go to sleep because I'd just get woken up at 11:30 pm by all the fireworks. When it turned midnight, basically every single Peruvian was lighting off fireworks at the same time—it was crazyyyyy. We live on the hill so I can see all of Lima out of my window and it was one of the coolest things I've seen—I'll send pictures. On Christmas morning, we had church and we actually had a great turn out!! —despite the fact that everyone was up to 3 in the morning the previous night. Luis is doing great and will be baptized next week! He loooves the gospel and loves learning! I am excited for him! My comp is still super weird but we get along alright!! He is pretty disorganized and sometimes that leaks into the missionary work and effects others which bugs me a bit but we are doing good!

Oh, and something awkward/embarrassing and funny that happened this week is we were going to a new investigators house and she answered the door, we talked for a sec and we asked if she had a few minutes that we could teach her and she said that she already had somebody teaching her right now and we looked in the door and saw the Jehovah's Witness missionaries on the couch. Hahah, it was so awkward and confusing. Hahah but yeah, anyways... 

Love you guys and have a great New Year!

Pic of our Christmas activity the other week while we were having our dodgeball competition.

Our steak dinner! 

Our district went caroling in the streets after the activity 
(couldn't fit everyone in the picture!)

The fireworks on Christmas (the picture doesn't do it justice!)

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 20: Merry Christmas!

Hey Everyone!!

Well life is good here in the mission! The comp is doing good still! He's super, super strange and dorky, but he's awesome!

Last week there were some big changes in the mission for P-day! On P-days since I got here we always were together as a zone but now they changed the rule so that we aren't together as a zone anymore at all. Which is nice because we have lots of time to buy groceries and rest or do whatever we want! But its also a bummer cuz I don't get to spend time with people that speak English, haha. So last P-day, now that we had a bunch of time, we went to a huge supermarket and I found PEANUT BUTTER! I was sooo excited and also I found DIET PEPSI and normal foods that I haven't seen in months it was great, haha. After that, Elder Galindo and I cleaned our apartment hardcore! Elder Ramirez was a slob and left everything dirty so we cleaned everything and it's nice to live in cleanliness again. 

On Wednesday we had a work visit! Our district leader Elder Tirado came to my area and we put in woooorkkkk. Contacted a ton of people and found some new investigators! Then we ordered pizza and listened to conference talks when we got back home—it was great. We always order pizza for work visits and its a great time.

Thursday was the opposite, haha I got super sick with a cold and was sneezing and sniffling and was super tired aaalll day. and to make it better, all of our appts fell through and basically nobody let us in! It was pretty frustrating. 

On Saturday we had a "Blitz". It's where everyone from the zone comes for a couple hours and takes a specific part of your area and contacts and knocks doors to find new people!! It was awesome and now we have a ton of appts this week!

As far as investigators goes, Luis, who I mentioned last week, is an investigator that other missionaries were teaching that now found out he belongs to our ward. His baptismal date got moved back till the 31st because he didn't feel like he had truly repented yet. I was disappointed that it got postponed, but I was also very happy that he cares enough and understands the covenant of baptism well enough to be sincere and truly repent!! He is the best! The other day he told us that he wished church was longer because 3 hours wasn't enough and he wants to learn more! 

Our investigator Vanessa has a baptismal date for the 14 of January! Buuutttt...she didn't come to church yesterday! She seems so interested and reads the Book of Mormon and is praying and is doing everything, except coming to church! Each week something comes up and she cant go. It's kinda frustrating!

A new investigator that we have that is really cool is Eric. Eric is an 18-year old that is sooooo smart and knows the Bible tooonsss! He has such good faith. He teaches a class at his Baptist church, but he has accepted to listen to us and said that he would pray and experiment and "examine" the Book of Mormon. He would be the best convert ever so I hope things will go well with him! 

Have a merry Christmas back in Utah and talk to y'all later!
-Elder Hale

Me and Tirado in our work visit, eating pizza and listening to great talks.

Killer Sunset

A picture of me and my large noggined comp, Elder Galindo!

My cute Christmas tree next to my seeds and globe of all the pals and their missions.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 19

Hey Everyone!

This week has been a great week! We had transfers and I have a new compy! His names Elder Galindo, he's from Huancayo Peru. He's got 21 months in the mission so he's ending pretty soon. He's more obedient than my last comp which is really nice! And less weird, haha. Together we are trying to get our area back to where it should be and workin hard. He is a chatter box, haha he talks a ton! in lessons, in contacts, and when were at home. Haha, he's just like a funny, weird Latino guy. And his head is huuggge, hahah. One thing that is awesome is that he is a grubber and he looooves pop. We eat a ton and drink a ton of pop now. I'm gonna get fat...and broke, haha. 

As far as investigators...Vanessa isn't progressing super fast because we haven't been able to find her! Our appointments have fallen through and she didn't come to church yesterday. It's kinda discouraging but we haven't given up faith with her! I'll report good news next week I hope. We have a new investigator named Luis! Luis is kind of a miracle!  He was going to church in a different ward for the past few months because he had friends that invited him in that ward and was being taught by the Hermana Missionaries of that ward. Just this week he found out that he lives in our ward and we are gonna be teaching him from now on. He came to church yesterday and he is progressing really fast! He loves the church! He has a baptismal date for this Saturday and an interview with the Stake Pres. so we are crossing our fingers that all goes well!

Another cool thing happened this week...I was reading a talk called the 4th Missionary and I learned a lot and it changed my perspective. 1) It helped me to be more obedient. 2) It helped me actually WANT to be obedient instead of just being obedient because the Lord wants me to be obedient. Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." Saying that if some rule or commandment doesn't make sense to us so we just trust in our own knowledge and continue in our own ways instead of trusting in the Lord's, we will be deprived promised blessings and guidance. We need to put our TRUST in Him, and have faith that He knows more than we do and things will be better His way. (Like the scripture in Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways my ways.") It's like if a kid wanted to go to Disneyland and decides to ride his tricycle. And his dad is saying to the kid, "just hop on this jet, it is a lot easier and will only take like 2 hours". But the kid is afraid of air planes and he is accustomed to his tricycle, he feels safe with his trike. His way seems reasonable to him. The kid trying to go to Disneyland is like us trying to get to heaven and the tricycle is like our own knowledge and our own ways and, God and his ways are like the dad and the jet. I hope this silly analogy made sense, haha. But there are often commandments or mission rules where we think that our way is better and its hard to put our trust in the Lord and just give it up. But if we do and just do trust Him and just give up our will, we will be significantly blessed. Matthew 19:29 says that anyone who forsakes something for the Lord's name will receive 100 fold and shall have eternal life. When we understand the reward of trusting the Lord and doing his will, it becomes so much  easier. In the talk that I was reading, there's a paragraph that says, "For the missionary who understands the benefit of this bargain, there is nothing of equal or greater appeal than to do the Lord's will. Everything pales in comparison. There is no real sacrifice for him because he knows its the only intelligent thing to do."

This week that has helped me change my perspective on obedience and doing what the Lord wants and just giving up my will to His. I find myself still trying to "ride the tricycle" from time to time, but it's made a big difference in my attitude and actions.

I hope all of that made sense, hahaha. I love you guys and see ya later. 

-Elder Hale

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 18: Last Week of Training

Hey everyone!

This week has been good! It's so hot and humid down here too. And no buildings have A/C so that is a bummmerrr. There is just no way to escape the heat. Haha, but life is good! This week was the last week of training! I should be getting a new companion tomorrow and I'm pretty excited!!! We will get informed about transfers later tonight so we aren't positive yet, but its basically a sure thing. It's about time! Haha, but I've learned a lot of patience with this guy and learned how to just get over something or let things go cuz you just can't do anything about it. 

Our area is still really slow right now but there is hope! A new companion will hopefully help me out and bring in some fresh ideas and more obedience. And we have a couple people starting to progress, especially Vanessa Molina. In our last visit she told us how she feels "this peace that she hasn't felt before" and that she feels the same feeling when we come to teach her. She is starting to recognize the Spirit and really has strong faith! In our next visit we are going to try to set a baptismal date for her! 

Also, good news with our most recent converts, Eliana and her family. They are doing so good and looveee the church! They have never missed a Sunday and go to every activity! Eliana was just called yesterday to be the secretary of the Relief Society. It has been such a privilege being able to teach her and her family! The restored gospel has changed their life sooo much and I'm so happy that I have been able to see it and be able to teach them. 

Not much more to update you guys on this week! Love u folks!
-Elder Hale

(I think a virus just destroyed my SD card because there's a bunch of crap on it now and I can't send pictures!)