Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 51: Pioneer Day

Hey everyone!

Happy Pioneer Day! I'm soooo grateful for our pioneer ancestors that sacrificed EVERYTHING so that we can live in peacefully in "happy valley" and worship God in His TRUE church today! 

We are going along happily down here in our reino de Bayovar. Lots of crazy stuff! so much happens that I can't remember/put it into words. The mission is NEVER boring and I'm sure that's why it goes by so fast! 

We have some great people progressing! 

Jocelyn: is fighting through the mannnnyyyyy trails in her life (separating from her husband, a sick baby, looking for a job) and finding peace and happiness in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She understands something that I wish aaallll my investigators would understand: That the Gospel isn´t something we do/follow when we "have time" or "when I don't have problems/obstacles." Following the Gospel is something that we do SO THAT we CAN make it trough problems and obstacles. It's our daily fuel that makes it possible to face and conquer daily challenges, problems, temptations and hardships! She has a baptism date for August 5th.

Andre: a great 18 year old that is looking for the truth and looking for the remission of his sins! ANDD he is looking in the right place...he has a baptism date for the 12th.

There are others that are also progressing and getting ready for baptism but I'm out of time!

I love you guys and have a great week!

—Elder Hale

Everyone putting up their flags for Peru's Independence Day.

A zombie that was creepin on me during my personal study from next door.

Cute little Jeremy! Such a chubbers!

An extra pic

Week 50: HAPPY


I hope everyone over there had a great 4th and is having a good summer. Sorry for not writing last week. It's been super busy. But life is good! I'm training now! My kid (new missionary) is from Iquitos, Peru (the middle of the jungle). He is a convert as of 1 year ago!!! And therefore doesn't know much about the gospel, haha. The other day in a lesson he said that the 1st vision was in 1982. Later that day I brought it up and he honestly thought it was in 1982. He thought Pres. Monson was the 2nd prophet of the restoration...BUTTTT it's all good because he's learning and growing!! He is a REALLY good guy. I'm happy that I got blessed to be his trainer. He is humble, happy, innocent and ready to work!! I feel blessed. :) 

We have been working super hard and have been seeing great results. Last Saturday Victor was baptized. He received the Aaronic Priesthood and baptized our other investigator, Leandro, this Saturday!!! Woohoo! As a zone we broke the record for baptisms that our zone has ever had! It's been a time of miracles here in our zone and in our area! But not all is flowers and roses because the Adversary has also been working SUPER HARD against us and against the cause of Zion. On Sunday we only had ONE investigator come to was a humbling experience...caused for reflection and pondering. 

I am grateful for the good times and the hard times in the mission. Both serve for experience and growth! I love Jesus Christ and I love His Gospel. I'm soooo happy that he has entrusted me to work in his vineyard. :) This is Jesus Christ`s church and this is His work! He leads it and he is pulling with us. I have a strong and passionate testimony of Him and His church. 

Life is happy :)

-Elder Hale

Leandro's Baptism!
My kids first "Pizza Raul"

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week 49: Training New Comp

No group letter this week, so this is an excerpt from mom letter

We were so busy on Tuesday that I forgot it was the 4th of July! I FORGOT ABOUT MY FAV HOLIDAY?!?!?!? Haha, we had transfers and I had to go to the offices to pick up my new comp and it was crazy. But I am training!!! I have a kid as we say here in the mish. He's a convert and he got baptized a year ago! He's from the jungle! Iquitos, Peru. Suuuuppperrrrr great guy, really humble and nice! But super klutzy and not street smart. He already broke my camera kind of, haha. But I don't have much time this week.

-Elder Hale

Monday, July 3, 2017

Week 48: No Time

Hey everyone! 

I don't have any time right now but it was a crazy and a good week here in Bayovar. We just finished moving as of an hour ago haha, we started at 6 AM. I love my area and I love being a missionary. We have transfers tomorrow and they don't tell us until tonight. I hope to stay but we'll see what happens. 

Read the Book of Mormon!

-Elder Hale

Just finished moving this morning
Pizza on Saturday
Cleaning out everything and getting ready to move
My district

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 47:  ÉXITO! (Success!)

Hey Everyone!!

I hope y'all had a super great week! Sorry for not writing last week, there is this new form that I have to fill out and I didn't have time.

But this week was awesome over here in nuestro reino de BAYOVAR! I love this area. This week we have started to see so many blessings and miracles; I feel as though God is blessing us tons for our faith and hard work! We have gone many days without eating dinner and walking on blistered feet this week, but hey without sacrifice, there is no victory. 

Our ward is changing a lot. Members that used to not like the missionaries are warming up to us and really taking part in missionary work. Moral is boosting and there's a spirit of unity and love growing here! Yesterday, there wasn't enough seats in the chapel so that everyone could sit in sac meeting! The Gospel Principles class was so full that we barely fit everyone in the room!

On Friday Juan and Andrea got married! It was super stressful to get their papers ready and to get the money by the deadline, but it all paid off! Andrea and Fabricio were baptized on Saturday! (Crazy story: Juan didn't get baptized because 2 weeks ago he told us that he got baptized as an 8 year old!!! He went inactive right after and didn't even remember what the church was when we contacted them in the street just a month ago!) But now the Huaman Family are all members and I love them so much! I am sooo happy that the Lord sent me here to Peru and I could find and help the Huaman fam to change and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ! 

One thing that I am learning lately is that if we want success (whether in missionary work or life in general) we need to cultivate and exercise FAITH! We need to TRUST in the Lord's promises and we need to keep a positive attitude. We need HOPE! 

In Preach My Gospel it says: "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur. When you have hope, you work through trials and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for your good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement. The scriptures often describe hope in Jesus Christ as the assurance that you will inherit eternal life in the celestial kingdom."
This has helped me be more positive and be more patient through hard times.

I love you folks, have a great week!

-Elder Hale

The hills of BAYOVAR!!
Baptisms on Saturday!
The Huaman Family

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 45: Sickness, No Water, Busy and Miracles

Hey everyone!

The title of the email is 4 words I would use to describe the week. And I'll explain how:

So first of all, sickness. On Friday I got a little tickle in my throat and thought it was no bug deal till I woke up Saturday morning with the stuffiest nose and I was sneezing all over the place. Eyes were super runny and soooo tired.Haha, I think it was the worst cold I've ever had! On Sunday I had to give a 15 min talk in church too!!! I looked like a zombie giving a talk, haha. AND to make it even more stressful, a member of the Seventy came and made a surprise visit to our ward. But it all went good and I woke up this morning feeling a lot better. :)

No Water: Since Tuesday we haven't had water in our house and I've felt like I've been on an episode of survivor. We had to go to the ZL´s house twice this week to shave and shower. And we cant use our toilet. Its been rough...BUT this morning WATER CAME BACK and I finally took a hot shower for the first time in a week! #blessed

BUSY: This week has been crazy with baptismal interviews, work visits and getting documents and stuff ready for this couple that we are marrying! This week has honestly felt like 2 or 3 days. Time went by WAY too fast. 

Miracles: The couple that we are marrying, Juan and Andrea are SOOO AWESOME. I love them so much. I have a deep care for them and preoccupation for their spiritual well being. They are a young couple with 3 kids and are super dedicated to changing their lives and coming to Christ. They were willing to get married ad baptized as soon as they could. Juan doesn't have a job right now so they were getting discouraged thinking that there was no way to get enough money together to pay for their marriage. BUT we had a great lesson about faith and sacrifice and they were willing to arrange a pollada (an activity, selling chicken to neighbors and friends to raise money) the next day. We scrambled to get everything prepared and they made EXACTLY enough money that day to pay for their marriage. COINCIDENCE? I THINK NOT! It was a huge MIRCALE. :)

We also had the miracle of watching two of our investigators, Isaac and Cosme, make their first covenant with their Heavenly Father on Saturday. We had a really tender and spiritual baptismal service for them. 

Also, I just wanted to add a kind of weird but super spiritual experience I had yesterday at church: We were singing the closing hymn in sac meeting (I know that my Redeemer lives) and I noticed a super old lady in the ward sitting by herself and she was singing her heart out. She had a terrible voice, but it was so evident to see her devotion and her love for the Lord just by her character and appearance, I was filled with the Spirit in this moment and felt so much love and gratitude.

Welp....have a great week! READ THE BOOK OF MORMON EVERYDAY

—Elder Hale

Pic with the zone playing soccer last p-day.
With Isaac
With Cosme

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 44: I LOVE being a missionary!

Hey Everyone! Today we are all going to eat mex food as a zone so I don't have too much time right now....BUT I am so so happy to be a missionary and really I enjoy it so much. Doing the Lords work brings such fulfillment and satisfaction and joy!

Well here is a little update on our area:

Isaac: He's an awesome teenager that is gonna get baptized on Saturday! He loves his BoM and reads it everyday. Nothin better than seeing someone treasure the Blue Book. :)

Cosmet: He was going to be baptized last Saturday but had to leave on an urgent work trip. He gets back on Wednesday and we are hoping that all will go well for his baptism on Saturday!!!

Juan and Andrea: They are my FAV people. They are a fam that we contacted on my first day here. They invited us right into their house and they were super interested and came to church on Sunday. Last week we invited them to be baptized and to get married and they said YES to BOTH! We are getting their wedding set up for the 23rd of this month and baptized the next day! I am so happy and excited for them and hope everything goes well. Keep them in your prayers pls!

Well, other good news is that I FINALLY got my hands on some diet Coke this week! First time in 10 months, haha. It was DELICIOUS and definitely a tender mercy. :)

—Elder Hale

While eating at a members house for lunch this week, they plopped a 
whole fish on my plate, haha! This bugger had some sharp chompers too.
Me and Elder Nash feasting on some 
Pizza Raul in a work visit on Friday!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 43: New Area......AND MEXICAN FOOD!

Hey Everyone!!!

I don't have much time right now but I got transferred on Tuesday! I am now in Bayover, San Juan de Lurigancho. My new comp is Elder Medina, and he is a champ. He is super new, he's finishing up his training now. He is from Guatemala. ANDDDD...he is obedient! I have had some pretty tough luck with comps till now but from the looks of it, I lucked out this transfer. :) We are having some good success here in Bayover. We have 3 baptisms for the upcoming weeks! Cosmet, should be baptized this Saturday!! We are praying that all goes well! I love the mission and love my new area. I would talk about some miracles that we had this week but I gotta go. explain the tittle, there is MEXICAN FOOD IN MY AREA. I have missed good food. And, it is DELICIOUS. Definitely an unexpected blessing, haha. 

Well, till next week! 

-Elder Hale

My little chubby pal, Jeremy.

New compy! 

My first time eating Mex food in 10 months. I almost shed tears of joy!

Last Monday, we took two of our fav converts Brayan and Eliu out to lunch.
I'm gonna miss these guys! They are going to be future Bishops
and Stake Presidents some day.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 42: Tender Mercies

Hey Everyone! 

We had a good week! Another week down here in Lima with an abundance of chicken, rice, potatoes, running away from dogs, avoiding crazy drunk people in the streets and much much more! Very tired and very happy! :)

This week was good because we have been starting to pick up on the progress that was lost the past week or two. It was frustrating because last week we had 5 baptismal dates but right now we only have 1. There is SOOO much potential here in this area and it seems like Satan knows it and he's been working overtime against us! But light is stronger than darkness and we have been fighting through and been seeing some little miracles this week. 

One mini miracle we had was a great turn out to our activity on Tuesday! We have been trying hard to get this ward excited about missionary work and we've been doing lots of activities with verrryyy little outcome. But this week we planned a reallly extensive and fun game night and had relays and games and it all had cool ties with scriptures and gospel topics and we were really excited about it. ANDD it worked out great!! Like 60 members and investigators came and had a great time!

Another mini miracle this week was when all of our appts fell through on Wednesday and we got rejection after rejection. We really needed new people to teach and so I said a little silent prayer for God's help, and we were immediately answered!! The next two contacts we did both accepted our invitation to read the Book of Mormon and BOTH let us go to their houses to teach them right then and there! It was so cool to see such a specific and perfect answer to my prayer. 

Another mini miracle was last night with the Tello family. (Family of 6 but only Juan Carlos is baptized). We showed them a great video about agency and it really touched the dad's (Leoncio) heart and at the end he said he knew that he needed to read the Book of Mormon and that he knew he needed to be baptized. We all had a really tender, spiritual moment and Juan Carlos claimed that he will baptize every member in his family. It was an awesome lesson and I hope they get baptized this next month!

Well, thats not even all the miracles we saw this week but I'm out of time, haha. I am so grateful for the grace and mercy of God. He loves us so much and just wants us to be happy. I have been able to feel this truth personally in my life lately. Each day is a new opportunity to show Him how much we love Him by trying to do better and keep His commandments.  The way we use His gift of agency is really how we show Him how much we love Him. I have realized that the more that I understand this, the easier it is to keep His commandments. Reminds me of Elder Christofferson's talk called "Abide in my Love." I encourage y'all do give it a good listen. :) 

Have a great week!

-Elder Hale

My fav fam! The Tello family.
Me tryna bring Jdawgs here to Lima.
Since when do chickens hang out in trees? Lol, had to take a pic.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 41: 1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

Hey Everyone!!! 

We had ourselves an interesting week! Like just about every other week in the mission, lots of ups and lots of downs! But sadly, this week there were a few killer disappointments. But first we'll talk about the highlights of the week:

-Monday we hiked to the top of the mountain with the whole zone! (Half only made it half way though). It was supper fun and kind of harder than we thought! But the views were AWESOME—we could see the whole mission and even more! 

-Thursday we had a Mother's Day activity with the ward! Every quorum/organization had to do a number or event. We (us 4 missionaries and the mission leader) did a skit about missionaries in the 80's and the "Dear John" letter came for one of the poor Elders and we acted it out and stuff. Haha, it was hilarious and a big hit. We had like 8 investigators come too!

-Friday we had a work visit and Elder Marcum and I stayed in my area, he is a cool guy from Idaho and is a pilot! Super cool! 

-And of course yesterday I gotta Skype the fam which was awesome. :)))

Well...this week we set another baptismal date for the 20th with our killer investigator, Saul, but...he couldn't come to church yesterday!! In fact...NO ONE DID! No investigators came yesterday, not even our 4 baptismal dates!! They all were out of town, at the cemetery, or doing stuff with their family. It was a little heartbreaking. We have been working really hard and begging to see the fruits of our labors...but then it all got frustrated/interrupted. Sooo...we will have to postpone more dates until the 27th. :( But!!! There is no reason to cry over milk that is already spilled amiright? Just gonna keep moving forward and looking at everything that comes as a blessing instead of a curse, and a way to gain experience and perspective!! Just like Peter says in 1 Peter 4:12-14:
12) "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13) But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14) If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified."

Well, there are always trails, but the work goes on!!!!! I love the mission and I love this church! Have a good week everyone. :)

-Elder Hale

Mountain selfie with the Varn Dog. (Elder Varney)
I'm on top of the world!
Anotha one.
Elder Cossio brought his Bolivian flag, lol!
Breaking boulders for service this week.
Blue ribbon quality watch tan line.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 40: Hi!

Hey Everyone!!

We had a good week! We had some super exciting ups, and a couple frustrating disappointing downs. We are short on time too so ill make it quick...

Jaime and Marisol are progressing great and reading in the Book of Mormon, but they didn't come to church yesterday!!! It was such a bummer because they were so set on coming but his boss called him in to work right when he was getting ready for church so they didn't come. We talked about the sabbath day, and he said he wouldn't work even if they called him in, but when his faith was put to the test, he gave in. So we will have to postpone their baptism till the 27th. :(

BUT!!! This week we were able to set a date for May 20th with our investigator Ricardina!! She used to always make excuses to not let us in, and to not come to church, but over the past few weeks she has changed sooo much! She has been reading, praying and coming to church! She said she asked God if the BoM was true and she woke up the next day feeling super happy and knowing that this is the true church! She was super excited to accept the baptismal date and things are going good with her.

Well, I love being a missionary and seeing the great change that God makes in our lives IF we let Him. He has the power to transform us and to make us become more like Him. He has the power to make us happy! He has the power to give us hope and peace in our hard times and He has the power to forgive us and remove guilt and sadness from us. He has the power to transform our weaknesses into strengths. I am grateful to be a missionary and to see His power everyday—both in my life and in the lives of them that I teach!

Have a good week everyone, this church is true!!

-Elder Hale

 A birthday pie that a sister in our ward made me!! It was blueberry.
The compy and I.
You know what it is.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Week 39: A Great Birthday :)

Hey Everyone!!

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes!! It was a great b-day. We ordered pizza Saturday night and my ward mission leader bought me a cake!! And the member in whose house we live says that she's making a blueberry pie for me today so I'm SUPER stoked for that. 

We really have had a great week! It's been a busy, week and I'm tired, haha. It's also cold and cloudy now and I don't like it. It rained on Saturday night which caused lots of problems for our investigators to get to church the next morning (people freak out when it rains here because it basically never happens). 

We were able to set a baptismal date with a SUPER awesome couple we are teaching! Their names are Jaime and Marisol, they used to be super active members of an Evangelic church but they realized that it wasn't true so they haven't been going to any church for a few years and when I contacted them a few weeks ago, they were super excited and interested to learn more! They accepted the baptismal invitation and are even already talking about getting sealed in the temple! Haha, they call us their Spiritual Parents!! Haha, which is a little weird but they are super awesome. Definitely a little miracle that Heavenly Father has provided for us! 

D&C 33:2-3 says "...I say unto you that ye are called to lift up your voices as with the sound of a trump, to declare my gospel unto a crooked and perverse generation. For behold the field is white and ready to harvest; and it is the eleventh hour, and the last time that I shall call laborers into my vineyard." 

I have definitely been able to see the reality of this scripture. There are tons of things down here (and all over the world) that are accepted and encouraged by society but are very contrary to God's commandments. Most people will reject us and not believe but God is preparing His children to accept the Gospel in the middle of all this adversity and iniquity. Jaime and Marisol are a great example of this scripture to me and I'm super grateful that I'm called to be one of Gods "laborers in the eleventh hour." I LOVE being a missionary and I know this is Jesus Christ's Church!! Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Hale

One of my best pals, Diego!! Such a cute little rascal.
Thanks PJ for sending me the most delicious item for 7-11, I miss these things.
Enjoying my B-day pizza!! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 38: Baby It's Cold Outside

Hey Everyone! 

Life continues to treat me well here as a missionary in Peru! The weather is getting colder which is a bummer. :( The perfect climate is changing and its starting be gray and overcast everyday. I miss the sun. But there's still sunshine in my soul today!!! Haha! We had a pretty successful week and although we weren't able to set any baptismal dates, we have some great potentials for May! We found a lot of new people this week too so we'll see how that goes.

I don't have much time today—but here are some quick highlights of the week: 
  • We found a GREAT new investigator named Carlos! He's a friend of Eliu (who just got baptized 2 weeks ago), and Eliu was the reference from Billy (who got baptized in December), and Billy was a reference from Brayan (who also got baptized in December). So basically what we got going on is a big chain of friends that are sharing the gospel with each other and it is super awesome!! They all hang out together and support each other in church activities and it just puts a smile on my face! I am SO happy to be able to teach them and help grow this web of gospel ties. 
  • We did a work visit with the zone leaders, and I got to go with Elder Varney (my pal from the MTC)!!! It was awesome and a good time to work with my pal again. 
  • We held an activity night in the church on Thursday and we had about 30 people come! (Which is a huge success compared to the last one we had where only 2 people came). Haha, we are trying hard to help members get excited about missionary work. 
  • I FOUND ROOTBEER!! I haven't partaken of the heavenly beverage for about 9 months but I found it last p-day in a store with American products! It was a little tender mercy. :) 

Well, time continues to go by super fast and I love being a missionary! Lost of lessons to learn and improvements to make! And most importantly, taking care of the Lord's vineyard and doing His work! I definitely feel privileged!!! 
Also...some great points of study and learning this week have been from: 
1 Corinthians 13; Alma 42; Ether 12; and "Beware of Pride" by Pres. Benson! 
These are some of the BEST teaching of prophets that I have ever read or listened to. They have really helped me develop Christlike attributes and help me to find true happiness! I hope you folks give them a read! 

Have a killer week!
-Elder Hale

A cone ALWAYS makes for a happy missionary! :)
Just another killer shot of my area (in the foreground) and the rest of Lima in the background.
The work visit with Elder Varney and drinking rootbeer!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 37: We Flooded the Church!

Hey Everyone!! 

Things are going good here! We had transfers this week but my comp and I both stayed here in Magnolias! I was a little bummed at first that I have to stay with Elder Onofre, but he is actually stepped it up a notch and is working harder and acting more normal. :) It's for sure a tender mercy. We did have somethin crazy happen this week though...Elder Turley (the blonde haired Elder thats often in my pics) went home this week! He got super super sick and his body started acting crazy so they made him go home. It was a bummer cuz he was a good pal and a great missionary! 

But some good news is that we had a baptism for Juan Carlos on Saturday! He is awesome. He knew the church was true since our first lesson with him. When we asked him if he prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true he said, "why do I have to ask if I already know its true? I've felt it since the first time Ive read it." His parents are still timid about being baptized. They believe the church is true but don't think they are "ready" for baptism. Juan Carlos is a great example for his family and I hope that they follow his example in the following weeks! 

While we were filling up the font, we went to buy refreshments for the baptism and we had to stand in line forever so it took longer than we thought and when we got to the chapel the font was overflowing!! We felt SOOOO stupid but we cleaned it up as fast as we could with brooms and mops. We got it almost all cleaned up by the time that people came. :) Hahaha. 
We found a few great new investigators this week and hopefully next Monday we'll have some new baptismal dates to report! We also had 11 investigators this week at church!!! It was a little miracle for sure! The youth in the ward are getting super excited about taking their friends to church! 

Also I bought some SWEET shoes as an early birthday present to myself this week! They only cost 75 soles (20 dollars)! I'll send you folks a nice pic of em. 

Well...I hope you all have a good week! This church is true and God loves us SOO MUCH! That's why he made the perfect Plan of Salvation for us! I know that we can return to live in his presence again as eternal families. I sure love my fam and am grateful for the opportunity to be with loved ones for eternity. Thanks for all your support and all your emails and letters. :)

-Elder Hale

Just another killer sunset by "Elder Hale Photography"
The best 75 soles I've ever spent!! I feel like a missionary version of Tim McGraw 
with these bad boys on. The guys in my district are jealous of 'em!
Elder Turley right before he left to catch his flight! :/
Looks like some guy took an English class for a couple 
months and thought he was qualified to make this poster! 
If you play eye spy you'll be able to catch some funny errors.
When we accidentally kind of flooded the church.
The Tello family and Juan Carlos ready for his baptism. :)
Anotha one.