Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 26: Visit From Elder Cook!

Hey Everyone!!

This week was probably the busiest in my mission so far! There was a huge marriage this week in the mission home with 8 couples getting married so that they could get baptized, and my comp is still kind of the guy in charge of the marriages so we spent a lot of time this week running around Lima and getting everything prepared for this huge wedding! And I had to do a lot of translating for my comp and the senior missionaries, haha. 

But best of all...Elder Quentin L. Cook came to our mission this week! Man, it was super cool to listen to a living apostle and being able to meet him. It was the turn around of my week too. Due to the fact that we are opening an area, and running around all over for office work and the marriages, it's been a little stressful and a less spiritual past week or two. I wasn't feeling the same spirituality as before and I really wanted to change that and feel as I had before, and when Elder Cook came it totally changed. When he got up to the pulpit, the Spirit flooded the room. He talked about many different subjects and did Q&A's, but above all, the best part was at the end when he testified of our Savior Jesus Christ and his reality, and the reality and importance of this work. He promised us blessings also. I don't think I have ever felt the Spirit stronger, or feel as much truth as I did in that moment. It was incredible and when it ended and we all started to leave we were all just silent and looking at each other like we had just had the biggest spiritual feast. Later that night I also had the opportunity to finish the Book of Mormon (first time in Spanish) and that was quite awesome as well. There is not even a lick of a doubt that that book isn't 100% truth. I just wish everyone could know that. And they can!! It's just that they won't read it! Its frustrating sometimes, haha.

And well since then, this week has been great and I feel great again and happy! We set 2 baptismal dates this week, one for Feb .11th and one for Feb. 25th! I love being a missionary! I love this church! And I love you guys.

Till next week, 
-Elder Hale

Enjoying my p-day with some diet Pepsi, Spitz and conference talks.
Part 2, lol.
My comp is always super outgoing and weird when we contact people, 
its awesome! This is him when he just sat down on someone's porch picked 
up the toys on the ground and started making conversation, hahaha.
Looking over Independencia 
How neat is that!?!?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 25:  Tri-Companionship

Hey Everybody!! 

This week was absolutely crazy. So we had transfers on Tuesday morning! I had to say goodbye to Luis, Eliana and Sergio, and it was honestly super sad! On Monday I got the call that I'm going to Independencia in the area Magnolias1, with Elder Manuyama! We got called to open the area (Magnolias ward is split up into 2 areas so there was another companionship in Magnolias 2). And well, it started to get complicated, haha. Because Elder Voorhees (the missionary from Magnolias 2) was going to train, but we got a call that his missionary was gonna arrive late so we had to be a tri-companionship until he came! And so we had to move all our stuff that we just unpacked in our house, down to his house (because they had 3 beds). Then after a couple days, we found out that his comp was never gonna come! So we were going to stay a tri-companionship but then an Elder got sick and was going home, so his companion came to our ward to be the companion of Elder Voorhees. So we had to move all of our stuff back to our original house, AND divide all the investigators and references that we found over the week. It was crazy, but actually fun to have a tri-companionship for a few days, haha. 

Well, I hope that that all made sense. And as far as my actual companion, Elder Manuyama, he's good! He has worked in the mission offices for the last 7 months, so we have been going to the offices for a couple hours everyday to train the new senior missionary that's taking over his job. So I spent a lot of time translating for them so that he can teach him, haha. Also, because he has been working in the offices for the last 7 months he isn't used to doing missionary work, so he is a little scared and lazy to do it again but I've been motivating him and he is doing a lot better! haha. I don't know why I keep getting put with hard comps but keeps helping me learn charity and patience!! But honestly, even though sometimes its a little frustrating, the mission is AWESOME and I am happy camper! 

This Saturday we had a baptism, the Reyes family! They are great and we had a really good experience at their baptism. It is really exciting being a missionary and getting to watch people take this huge step in their lives and see the expressions of all of them when they make this covenant. 

Well, I love you all and want to testify that the mission is great and it's the best and most important choice you can make at this point in life. I love doing the Lord's work and I don't have any doubt that this church is true! 

Take care folks 

-Elder Hale

Tri-companionship with Elder Manuyama and Elder Voorhees!
Killer view over Lima
My comps lookin over the valley (this area has aweeesome views, 
because its basically all hills and stairs, there are not really streets.)
An investigators super ugly dog, poor guy!
Luis and the district right before I left!
This place is called "Los Sauces" and it just reminded me of
 "getting lost in the sauce" so I had to take a picture, haha!
Cool Lima sunset
Reyes fam's baptism!! 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 24: "Yellow Fields" and Rain in Lima

Hey Everyone!! 

We had a rollercoaster week! It started off pretty tough and slow and it ended up really good. This week we have been trying harder than ever to talk to everyone we see. And in the first few days of this week it was pretty rough. (Yellow fields, not white, ready to harvest.) We got rejected a ton in street contacting—I accidentally contacted 4 Pastors/preachers this week, haha. And when people did want to talk with us, there were lots that just wanted to learn about us, or ask us questions about Jospeh Smith, but not really having interest in changing their lives or keeping commitments. It was really frustrating and at times hard to keep cheerful and keep diligent, but we pulled through and tried to keep hopes up. It paid off by the end of the week just as it says in Ether 12 that you receive no witness until after the trail of your faith. During the week when nothing was coming along I kept that scripture in mind and helped Elder Galindo. He wanted to give up and take a break at a members house or something I helped remind him that tough moments like these are a test and so we kept chuggin along and the fruits started coming Saturday and Sunday! On Saturday almost everyone we contacted was happy to talk with us and we set up a TON of appointments! And on Sunday we had 6 investigators come to church! Which was awesome! Also, I was pretty nervous because I had to give a talk and I'm not a fan of speaking in front of big groups, especially in my second language! And I didn't have much time to prepare! I was hoping that it was gonna be long enough (10 mins) but it actually ended up being 15! I guess I got on my soap box about the BoM a little bit, haha.

Also...IT RAINED IN LIMA! On Friday night it rained alllllll night! Which is crazy cuz it NEVER rains here. And everyone was freaking out because everyone has part open roofs (including us) so everybody's house got flooded haha. We woke up Saturday to a lake in our hallway. It was awesome to experience rain—I hadn't seen it for 6 months!

Also, transfers are tomorrow and I'm pretty sure I'm leaving, which is exciting! I've been in this area for 4.5 months and Elder Galindo is getting lazier day by day as he get closer to going home—so a new comp will be nice! Sometimes it feels like I have to pull him around everywhere like those dogs that don't wanna move but their owner just yanks their leash. 

Well, I love you guys and THANKS STOKES FAM for the package! 
See u next week.....

-Elder Hale

Our soaking wet apartment after the rain.
Me with my sweet ring pop.
Mirror shot of compy and me eating some fries and drinkin some Inca Cola.
Our service project painting a house this week!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 23

Hey Everyone!

This week was great! I'll just go through it day by day, haha.

Monday—we had a district party for p-day! We ordered pizza and watched "Facing the Giants", it was a great time. I love that movie but it made me miss football. Then, after our party, we went home and I listened to great conference talks ("My Words Never Cease" by Holland and "Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?" by Monson). Then we left to proselyte and we had a lesson with Kevin. Kevin is great, he has had a super hard life, and he lives in a abandoned house right now and his parents abused him. He is 20 years old. This awesome member named Pedro has like taken him under his wing and helped him get a job and is helping him look for a place to live, and he is receiving the lessons super well! He is reading the Book of Mormon a lot and his life is making a complete turn around. We are hoping to baptize him on the 28th.

Tuesday—we had a district meeting and had a long day of finding new people and sadly, dropping old investigators that aren't progressing. 

Wednesday—we had a multi-zone conference. President and the assistants spoke and after we did practice lessons. But we practiced with real investigators! haha! President payed random people on the street 20 soles a piece to come and be taught. There were 10 people and by the end of the practices, and 3 of them left with baptismal was SUPER super cool. People that came in with no interest, and after 2 hours of a bunch of missionaries teaching, left wanting to change their lives and be baptized. This church is so true.

Thursday—we had weekly planning which is always super boring but oh well. In the afternoon we had a super busy day and we had a lesson with this doctor that is super rich and knows a ton of doctrine. It was a very very interesting lesson and he tried to argue about things he read on the internet for a while and went through like 3 liters of Inca Cola. We finally ended by saying basically that you can do as much research as you want to but you won't be able to gain a testimony from research. If you really want to know if it's true, just ask and pray. I'm anxious for our next lesson with him.

Friday—was rough because I woke up feeling awful and to add to that, one house we went to that day had like 4 dogs and 10 cats so my allergies went through the roof. Besides that it was a normal day.

Saturday—we had a Blitz again (where everyone in the zone comes to one area for a couple hours to contact people and knock doors) but in someone else's area. Later on Saturday we tried super hard to get as many people as possible to commit to come to church on Saturday and lots said they would!! We were super happy and excited. But then Sunday morning came and we went be all their houses to get them but none of them came through with their word!! It was super disappointing! We did have 1 come but we were expecting like 10! But something happy was that Luis bore his testimony in sacrament mtg and it was great. Luis is the best! He is gonna be a bishop or something some day! 

Well that is about it for this week. Hope you folks have a good week, love you all!

-Elder Hale

Me and my zone!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 22: Technology is Hard!

Hey Everyone!! 

The other week after our Christmas party my backpack got stolen (which had my sunflower seeds :( and SD card adaptor thingy) so I couldn't send pictures last week. I bought new one but it was a fake and so I finally bought a new one this morning and can send pics again! I am still terrible with electronics. My comp always has to help me send pics and stuff, hahah. 

But anyway, we had a good busy week! We've had a lot more lessons this week and have more people to teach—usually like 3-5 a day! On Friday we had a work visit but this time I went to the other area with Elder Rhea. He is getting trained right now so he doesn't know much Spanish and I was a little nervous because I am relatively new too! But we had a great day actually and broke all of our daily goals and found 10 new investigators! We were pretty happy and bought ourselves 2 pizzas and listened to some nice conference talks that night. 

On Saturday we had the Baptism for Luis!! Luis is the best and his baptism was awesome. I am so excited for him and happy that I get to teach him and watch him grow closer to our Savior and see him change. He even started crying when he bore his testimony after the baptism! One of our investigators surprisingly came to his baptism too and she cried also! It was a very spiritual ceremony. She is excited for baptism and I think she will be ready for the end of January. Her name is Edith she is really cool.

One thing that could be going better would be my companionship...compy is starting to get really lazy because this is his last 2 months and he is really sad and discouraged because our area is pretty tough. I'm starting to have to drag him along now and his bad attitude isn't super fun to be around. But just like my last companion, ya gotta look at it as an opportunity to learn and adapt and to try to see people the way that Christ would see them, which is tough sometimes. It is also easy sometimes, being a junior companion, to let blame fall on the senior companion or lacking to take initiative or responsibility because it's "not your job" to do so. That has been something that I've been working on lately and still have lots of room for improvement.

Well, I love you guys and the Church is true! Read the Book of Mormon and pray often. See ya!

-Elder Hale

Fireworks right out of my window!
My weird comp just loves to pet every cat and dog he sees in the streets, haha!
Me grubbin on some delicious steak type thing that tasted like turkey jerky!
Our district after hauling bags of sand up a mountain!
(comp forgot to put on his nametag)
View from Elder Rheas area.
Us eating pizza on on the work visit (like always) 
and Elder Rhea is holding some plastic spoons that we 
found earlier that day we found with a weird brand name, lol! 
Luis´s Baptism on Saturday!!!! 
A returned missionary in our ward bought us a pizza for New Years!!