Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 30: GREAT Week

Hey everyone!

Yesterday we finished a great week and today we are starting another good one! :) Time is going by fast and I'm loving the mission! Transfers are tomorrow so we'll see what happens! I'm new in this area so I'm almost positive that I'll stay. This week was really fun and successful.

Monday we watched "Facing the Giants" as a zone for p-day! And we went to Dunkin Donuts so that was awesome. 

Tuesday we had district meeting. In the afternoon we went and taught the "golden family". The mom (Adalayda) is still hesitant and something just isn't clicking with her, the husband (Leoncio) is warming up, and well the kids (Juan Carlos age 24, Juliana 18, and Luz 15) are doing super good and reading the Book of Mormon and they understand the lessons so well that they re-teach them to their parents when we leave!! Haha, they are great. They came to a mission activity night that we had later that night where we watched a video about eternal families, played games and ate food. It was super fun. 

Wednesday was mostly normal, we went to the offices for half the day to do paperwork for couples that have to get married before being baptized.

Thursday was a little frustrating because 5 of our 6 appointments fell through. :/

Friday was good and we met a lot of new people and taught some good lessons.

Saturday, was Brandon's baptism. He is awesome! His family was baptized a month ago but he waited till Saturday because he didn't have a testimony, but now he is reading the Book of Mormon and he really knows the church is true! It has been super cool to watch his attitude change and his testimony develop over the last month. 

Sunday was great!!!! We had 5 investigators come to church including most of the golden fam! It is SO HARD to get investigators to come to church here so that was such a good blessing for us. Also, I had a great experience later that day in a lesson. When I started the lesson, it was pretty bad, haha. I was stumbling over my words and just going in circles. I wasn't teaching by the spirit and they could probably barely understand me. As I passed the time over to my comp to speak I said a little prayer in my heart that I could teach by the spirit and that this family would be able to feel it. And when I started to teach again, there was a HUGE difference. I spoke directly and effectively and I could feel the Spirit fill the room. As I shared the First Vision the Spirit was very strong and I asked if they could feel it and they said yes! They are excited to read the BoM and pray to receive and answer.

I KNOW that God answers prayers and I KNOW that this church is true, I have felt the Spirit testify this truth to me many times, and I have seen Him testify to others many times as well. If any of you aren't sure of the truthfulness of this church or the Book of Mormon, please read and kneel down and ask God if it is true, and I KNOW that he will answer!!

Well, I love you guys and I love this Gospel. Take care!

-Elder Hale

My companion, and this AWESOME member that always comes to 
lessons with us walking around a mountain to get to the next appt.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 29: I'm Sick of Rice

Hey everyone! We had an interesting a rollercoaster. We got a little taste of everything. Last week we switched our p-day to Wednesday so we could go to the temple! So we worked on Monday instead. 

Monday and Tuesday were good! A lot of finding and talking with new people! 

Wednesday we went to the temple and it was great! I've missed going to the temple I wish we could still go every week like we did in the MTC and before the mission. We went to Subway after too and it was soooo goood. I miss American food, haha. We bought like 12 of their super good cookies too. It reminded me of how sick I am of eating rice, hahaha, just not a rice guy. 

On Thursday we had zone conference! It was great, it was like another spiritual feast. President Godfrey is a real good guy and super smart. On Thursday after the conference we went to have a lesson with this Golden Family that I talked about last week. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and it went great! They accepted a baptismal invitation for 11th of March! They are soooo awesome, I really feel like the Lord has prepared them to receive the Gospel right now. We were feeling on top of the world that day. 

Friday and Saturday are when things didn't go the way we wanted. We thought they were gonna be super good days because we had 5-6 appointments each day but they almost ALL fell through—it was super frustrating and confusing.

On Sunday it was even worse when we were expecting investigators to come to church but nobody showed up!! Not even the Golden Family! We were super confused and bummed out. It's just such a challenge here to get people to come to church! Even if we remind them the night before and send members to their houses to go with them! So now we have to postpone the baptismal date of the golden fam. 

Well even though it was a rough week, I still LOVE being a missionary and sometimes it's good to have hard times and challenges so that we can learn from them and grow. I love this church and I love our Father and His son Jesus Christ, and I know that they love us! 

Till next week
 -Elder Hale

Temple selfie with my comp!
Elder Kimball and I enjoying a footlong 
sub with a bunch of Subway cookies! 
Just another weekly sunset picture.
And another sunset pic.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 28

Hey Everyone!!!

How are y'all doing?? 
Hope you guys are all having a great day. Life in Peru is going good and going by fast! This transfer is starting to come to a close but it still feels like it just started! Well, here is how my week went down here:

Monday—was p day and we went to get pizza and my compy and I ate a whole pizza each (they make dang good pizza down here!) Then we went grocery shopping, then we came back to the house and my comp took a nap while I ate sunflower seeds and listened to conf talks. Then, after we left out to an appointment, my comp got super sick from the pizza I guess so we had to come running down the mountain to find a bathroom haha, and that put him out of commission for the night.

Tuesday—we had district meeting and 3 people in our zone had birthdays this week so we ate a lot of cake! Also, we got trained on new ways to contact people, it's super fun and effective. You basically just walk up to someone and without presenting yourself, just ask them a question like "did you know that Christ came here to the Americas?" Its kind of weird to just go up randomly and ask questions but it works and it catches their attention. So we've been trying that out a lot lately!

Wednesday and Thursday were very normal and not too much out of the ordinary except that we contacted a person that turned out to be a preacher that started to argue with us which is always a funny experience.

Friday—we found a lotttt of new people, it was awesome! We spent most of the day up in the highest part of the mountain and contacted a bunch of people and visited members and less actives up there. The view from up there is suuppperrrrr awesome, we stopped for a few mins to take pics—I'll send em. 

Saturday—was Ximena's baptism!! Super great experience! I don't remember if I've talked a lot about Ximena or not, but I'll write about it anyways. So Ximena is a 17 year old that was basically Alma the younger. She has relatives that are members and she always used to make fun of them for being members of the church and saying that God doesn't exist. She did a lot of not so good stuff and already has a kid! And at first she didn't want anything to do with missionaries but little by little her heart was softened and through reading and earnest prayer she found out that God really does exist and that He loves her. She knows the Book of Mormon is true and she looovveesss reading it. She always tells us about what she read and what going on in the chapters she's in. It's pretty awesome. It has been SO AWESOME to be part of her conversion process and to see how much she has changed and how happy she is now! 

Sunday—Ximena was confirmed in sac. meeting and my comp and I got called to give talks. It was a reallly good day. Later that day, we had a mini miracle! We went to this house that we had contacted a few days ago and we got there, the wife let us in, we sat down, and when the husband saw us, he yelled "I'm Catholic!" at us and hid in a different room. After a few mins of my comp working his "people person magic" we got him to sit down with us, and well by the end of the lesson, he was begging to read the Book of Mormon and was talking his whole family into going to church next week!! They excepted a baptismal invitation but he haven't set a date yet. But it was SOOO cool to see how much the Spirit softened his heart during just a short 40 mins when we came and he yelled at us and didn't want to do anything to do with us, to when we left when he was smiling and hugging us and excited to read the BoM!!!!!! It made my week! 

I love being a missionary and seeing people change! I love seeing the Spirit touch peoples hearts! I love seeing how happy the are when they LET the Spirit in their heart. I also see a lot of people feel the Spirit, but deny it and reject us and what they felt, its sad! But everyone has their agency and I can't force them to do anything.

Well, I love you guys, and don't forget to read the blue book everyday! (BoM)
-Elder Hale

P-day, grubbin at Pizza Raul
Me pulling the classic Han Solo stance, with a banana as a gun. 
Haha, super random and I miss Star Wars!
When my comp and I took a mini photoshoot while 
we were up teaching on the top of the mountain. 

You can see aaaalllll of Lima and the ocean its pretty sweet!
My comp is a slow poke when it comes to these stairs.
Ximena's Baptism!! 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 27: Inescapable Heat

Hey everyone!!

Saying hi from a very hot and humid morning here in Lima! This week has been the hottest week ever! And you can't escape it because its super humid! The shade is equally as hot as the sun! Haha, and it doesn't cool down too much in the night time so we have to sleep with the fan on full blast! And there is no such thing as A/C down here in Peru, so all odds are against me when it comes to the heat, hahah. 

Well as far as this week thoughts are pretty disorganized right now so I can't explain more, nor very well! We met a tonnnn of new people this week! Its hard to keep track of them and remember all of their names and addresses (And my area is just a maze of staircases so it makes finding addresses pretty tough!) Speaking of confusion and names, we found a passage (dirt road/walkway thing) at the top of a hill where EVERYONE in the row of houses is named Maria, there are 6 or 7 of them! Some of them are old investigators, one is a less active! We have spent a lot of time up in that neighborhood this week teaching and finding people. 

This Sunday (like the last Sunday) we were expecting a great turn out in church, anywhere from 8 to 15 investigators told us they were for sure coming!! We called them on Saturday night to remind them, and sent members to their houses on Sunday morning to walk with them to church but ALL of them fell through! It was so hard and discouraging. I felt like we did all we could! But I realized that it was just a test of faith and perseverance and I just have to continue without getting discouraged! 

Some summer festival thing started on Saturday here in Peru and continues all of February! Basically what they do is on Saturday and Sunday everybody drinks a lot and throws water balloons at people! Its crazy, hahaha. Yesterday I got hit like 3 times while proselyting!!! It got my agenda wet :( but it's honestly kinda funny. Peruvians are hilarious! 

Ximena is getting baptized on Saturday! I am super excited for her and from where she has come! It should be great! I was gonna talk more about that but I'm short on time now, haha, so sorry that this email is weird and disorganized! But I love you all and I KNOW this church is the church of Jesus Christ! And I am SOOO happy that I have the opportunity to be a member of His church and to help other people become members of His church! 

Take it easy everyone :)

-Elder Hale

Me practicing my fishing skills (trying not to get too rusty).