Monday, March 25, 2013

Week 7 - Everyone knows how I freakin' talk.

Que Tal!?
Freak. Email time is probably one of the most intense parts of this mission hahah.
So this week had it's ups and downs but we tied our highest number for lessons in a week, so we're continually more confident in our work down here.
This last week started out with cutting chickens heads off haha it was sick (good thing). hahah I'm sending pics/vids home today so they should be up next week! hhaha so awesome.
We talked with a member who reminds me a lot of my bro-in-law and he printed us out a couple brackets for March we call a certain number and get updates on games before we go to bed haha. I picked Gonzaga to win it all....yup they're out. SUCK.
It's crazy how small things in a small town become such big problems hahah. Everyone knows everyone here. Someone forgot to put the chairs back up at the church, and it was a HUGE  problem hahah. Just some adjusting for us to make.
A couple of my goals for my mission are 1) read the whole bible 2) be converted over to a Spanish Missionary. WE've had SO many experiences where people use their language as an excuse. One time while on an exchange with Elder Donaldson, we started talking to this lady who was out working. She spoke fairly good English. Then after talking to her for a few minutes, we told her who we were and what we did. She then said "no speak English" so I was like...."So you can't understand anything that I'm saying??" she was like "Noo" hahaha. Pretty dumb.
I ran out of money like a week ago. Crap.
We were teaching someone about forgiveness whose sons were shot by someone and one was killed. He doesn't want to go to heaven if there's a chance of seeing those certain people there. Let me just type my journal entry from then:
"Today was another strengthening day. We just got back from a very good lesson from a less active non-member couple. Last time we talked we really focused on forgiving others. Bro. Lowell had 3 sons relentlessly shot at and one was killed. He says he can't forgive..just found out on my my final 4 teams lost. SUCK! we went over forgiveness. We watched a powerful 'mormon' message' video, then talked about forgiving others. It was a lesson run off the spirit and I felt so inspired to say so many things. Busted out 3Nephi12:42-46 & Ether 12:27. He looked at the versus for a long time, and it stumped him. he doesn't want an afterlife where he lives w/ people he doesn't like and won't forgive. Both of them have a really good heart tho. They offer to feed us always haha. So grateful for opportunities to share what I've learned in my own life in lessons. Experience is a great teacher if you get your points across using the spirit and not focus on entertaining them. So many humbling experiences by making sacrifices for obedience in order to take advantage of special events..."
Just an example of a lesson of the week!
A couple of us sang "Come Thou Fount" at a it felt so freakin' good to sing again! Music is definitely one of the hardest things for me to adjust to. Worth it.
hahaha so we gave a talk yesterday in church, and everyone knows how I 'freakin' talk. Apparently I said 'crap' and 'heck' in my talk....apparently I shouldn't say that here in a small town. After I spoke, Bishop got up and was like "we'd like to thank our past speakers...except for a few choice words (looks back at me) who needs to polish up his language." uhhhh WTF. The spirit was there in my talk, and tears started to come during it too. No one else really said anything about it. It kind of irritated me a little bit, but we were thanked by a few people, and Bishop called me later and apologized haha. Overall, it was a really good talk and was guided by the spirit.
My family are all training to run the Salt Lake City marathon soon...I train probably once a week by running 6 makes me feel involved hahah.
Last night we were asked to go over somewhere and bless someone's house because they had some weird ghost experiences haha. Elder Flint allowed me to say it, and it was cool to dedicate a really was a pretty creepy house.
Some thoughts I've been thinking about lately is how important exact obedience is for us. Why should the Lord trust us with special events if we don't make necessary sacrifices? Already have seen blessings come from what I believe is striving for that exact obedience. Although all of our baptism dates have dropped because of their parole, not attending sacrament and other reasons, we're improving. Deming was known as where they sent the 'apostate missionaries' so we're changing that with all of us being new to Deming.
I've lost like 5!
Alma 9:21 & Romans 8
Thank you everyone for the support again and again. Finally to the point where I love missionary work and am comfortable living our here...although I'll never live in a small town if I can help it.
Love you all!!
-Elder Hales

Jimmy, my brother.

I've been meaning to get this up on Dallin's blog last week when I received it, but went out of town and accidentally left this letter at home.  Here is a letter I received via snail mail, 3/6.  


I recently found out about my brother, Jimmy Hales, in Utah...apparently his "coming out" has been pretty well recognized by many people.  Some people believed being "gay" was a choice (including me).  Regardless of what people believe, I could not be more proud of my brother.  Just because someone is facing a life-changing trial doesn't mean they are doing something wrong.  Although my reaction was consistent laughing, I never thought about my brother differently, other than feeling sadness and sorrow for the life-long trial he is here to face.

I will have to admit, when I found out how big the reaction was to my brother, it was a little distracting from work.  Serving an LDS mission has given me opportunity to help people w/various challenges in their lives.  Everyone has continuous trials in their lives, Jimmy's is on that poeople aren't used to hearing.  A gay Mormon?  How is that possible?  Our faith can't change problems people are going to face, but our faith gets us through those challenges.

Jimmy is a great example and is giving many others the opportunity to face something "new" instead of keeping something "old" a secret.

I may be serving a mission, but my support will be there.  By serving out here, it will just open the opportunity to bring comfort unto others.  My gratitude is high for not having t to go through what my brother is, but this is a great example to many.  Trials always make us stronger.  A trial Jimmy wasn't sure what to do about for 25 years is now helping many others out by expressing that it's okay to admit one's trial.  Again, trials will always make us stronger.

-Elder Dallin Hales

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Week 6 - We could also see Mexico.

Another week in the lovely town of Deming freakin' NM. Been a slowish week..
Gotten letters from a bunch of friends this week, thank you so much, they seriously are amazing. Written everyone back!
Last pday we went on a long hike up Red Mountain where we could look over all of Deming.....there's nothing here haha. We could also see Mexico.
We've been helping a guy out named 'Dean' who is a major motion pictures director/script writer/ scene worker dude. Out here there is an old western town which has had a bunch of movies shot at it and it's a big opportunity for us to do service. We go out there every few days and help paint it. Dean is Miranda Lambert's cousin apparently hahah awesome.
This week was a slower week because of many canceled or forgotten appointments from members/larks/investigators. We have 8 investigators here and try our hardest to keep getting more. It's rather rough. Some days while tracting we only can talk to a couple people max. Alwell.
We did have one lesson with an investigator this past week which was very awesome. His name is Victor and we've had to reschedule a couple times because he's 'on call' for the volunteer fire department. We were finally able to sit down and talk with him. It started out with him saying he wasn't going to join any church, but then lead to us teaching the first discussion. Everything went well and my comp. and I had good unity with switching back and forth between every principle. Then it was my turn to recite the first vision, and at a zone training we were told to try and take 50-55 seconds while saying...that's a very long time. Anyways, I tried to take my time while saying it and the spirit was there. Started to sort of choke up from the spirit, and Victor said he felt it. The spirit is so crazy when it hits your investigators. After answering questions and talking with him for about an hour, he said "yes I'll consider it" with a huge smile on his face when asked if he would prepare himeself to be baptized. Should have a couple baptism dates this week!! Crazy.
If anyone snail mail's me pictures, they go up on my wall! :]
A scripture that's helped with the small town adjusting and work down here is 3Nephi 12:47 "old things are done away, and all things have become new." Yup. Awesome. I'm a spiritual tard.
I've counted about 65 letters that I've written while on a mission hahaha, if you write me, I WILL write you back when I can!
I can tell from the support back home from friends and family that it has given me such peace this last week. While my comp. was out this week, I tried to take advantage of the time and have been given so many blessings throughout the week. For instance, on 3/16/13 while reading my journal, I got this instant comfort that made me even more excited to be on a mission...I remember looking out the window and knowing it was someone praying for me. Thank you.

Another cool experience was a baptism two days ago with a couple from our Ward (not taught by us). Elder Flint and I were given the small opportunity to do the '5MTM' which is the short teaching moment after they get baptized. We went with a simple versions of the first discussion and the spirit was so strong. Matt and Carol were so overwhelmed with the spirit they couldn't keep the tears in. It's opportunities like those that make me so excited for missionary work. This gospel can bring SO MUCH to people's lives. We are given the job to 'invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receieve the restored gospel' and even if it means people don't/won't accept it, we've given them the opportunity to receive it. If they reject it, they can't stand before God and say they never had the chance. It sucks at times, that's for sure.
The blessings from serving a mission are remarkable. My comp. said "this is the hardest part of my mission" which describes our area pretty well hahah. We continue to strive on improving and asking for what sacrifices need to be made in order to excel even more. The spirit is so awesome, it blows my mind.
Where is Heavenly Father from? What is our Heavenly Mother's role? MIND=BLOWN.
Thank you everyone. One more PDAY until transfer week! Anxious to see what happens.
Peace out homies!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 5 - She let me watch my brother's video! (+ Picture Load)

Well whaddup erryone!?
Holy crap another week has come and gone. Let me start out by explaining the pictures:
The one of me holding the ipad next to my Mission President's wife Sister Killpack is because she let me watch my brother's video! Holy crap it's awesome. "What a bummer." " don't like boobs?" and mom's classic jaw dropping hahahah. It was so awesome. We had to go to Tucson on Friday for Trainer-training which meant we woke up at 3am and drove for about 10 hours that day and then hours of class, but it was awesome since we got to see a lot of people. I went and talked to President and Sister Killpack about if they had seen my bro's video and they had! She then offered to show it to me, I didn't even have to ask! They are awesome and are very supportive of the whole situation. Go gay mormon bro! hahah. A few other Elders watched it and all have their support for James/Jimmy. Including one who I have a hunch is struggling with it by the comments he said about it, so I'm glad he saw it.
The other picture is of my companion Elder Flint....let me just copy it out of my journal:
3/7/13 4:23pm "hahah so one of our investigator's just drove out of state...Delia. haha so Cindy and Amanda both weren't freakin' home, but we tracted and talked to a few guys and placed a BOM. When we were walking back to our place to train me about the area book, we were walking by Delia's house and her truck was there so we decided to knock..then we heard someone knock back , shut the door and started yelling in Spanish or something. She opened the door while yelling at Marcus her son and gave us a tire....uh wtf.. She came outside and told us to hop in.. we aren't aloud to be w/ one girl in a car, so we just hopped in the back of her very very old Ford Pickup. We had NO idea where we were going or what was going on..but we didn't feel the spirit telilng us we were in danger, so we just rolled with it haha. She drove over to her daughter's home across town , talked to a bunch of people in Espanola, then parked. Still having no freakin' idea, she told us to come w/ her to her daughter's apartment where she cointinued yelling (not at us) then knocked at the door. They didn't answer, they went around looking but no luck. Melissa who was the aprtment next door said no one was home, Delia said "it's none of your business!" snd swore at her in like 3 languages. Delia gave us a Spanish Children's bible, 6 dollars, and a bandaid and told us to teach her grandson a lesson. She then grabbed us and had a random picture taken w/ us, then I took one her and Marcus. Then I asked her if we'd see her again and she said she didn't think so....well crap. We were about to lose an investigator...suck. She said she was going to another state for a construction company. She thanked me, shook my hand, and  just like that, being fetching confused, she left her fam.."

Well that's the just of the story...we lost like 2 or 3 investigators this week because they're being pretty unreasonable, but we feel we're doing our part. 
This week we were tracting and were invited by a spanish couple to attend "The Light of the World" we did by invitation! It was in Spanish so we had to have a translator but it was all good haha. It's crazy what other religions do. We found out there are 57 CHURCHES in this tiny town of Deming....there are literally churches EVERYWHERE and only 1 LDS church. After the church session was over we were surrounded by a ton of people who came and talked to us...long story short, we gave out a couple BOM's and went through lessons 1 and 2 and taught a lot. It's so cool so see the spirit work amongst people. I'm stoked to bust out Act 19 since they worship Paul haha.
Remember a while ago I said something about Christene's thug sons? yup. FILL THE FONT YO! Being a 'greenie' you're given the opportunity to invite the first person to be baptized, and so I did. His name is Tony and he got out of jail 42 days ago after being in prison for 7 years for attempted murder.....he hasn't done drugs since, and read the bible a ton. We gave him a challenge to read 2Nephi31 I think and he did it in one night and we talked about it the next day during sacrament! He had to leave after sacrament to go take care of some parole stuff hahah. It's so awesome. He said he felt like a changed man, and loved the way it made him feel. It's crazy how the spirit can work amongst all people. My comp. said that Tony was "the sketchiest person I've had come to church." hahah, too awesome.
We found out more things about Jack and what he's done....holy crap. He's quite the playa for 
an 75 year old. Yikes.

I bought a ASU shirt. Woot!! Everyone in Tucson is a huge U of A fan so I'm glad to support the school I'm going to go to eventually. Sun Devils!

I can feel myself getting out of shape....I hate it. We're out in the sun a lot and it'll be in the 70's all week so we're getting a pretty gnarly farmer's tan hahah.I weigh 150 with all my church crap on...and I've never eaten so much and didn't gain weight. Eff.
We recently are doing a 40 day fast which persists of giving up things that are distracting from our work. Our mission is lacking and is actually in last place compared to the missions around us, but that's why we're here. We're so stoked to bring this mission back up and we were given to "Standards of Truth" for our entire mission, which means working our butts of in Deming New Mexico to read those standards, but we can do it. We got 4 new investigators last week, and we're continuing the work knowing the Lord will prepare those for us if we are obedient and do our complete best. 
Something we're doing this week is flat out going up to people and asking, "Are you Mormon?" ...I'm stoked. 

We killed a massive cockroach in our kitchen the other day....freakin' nasty.
It's funny to see people's reactions to when I talk about my fam....they don't know how to react really hahah. I can take the things my family is doing and use the stories in lessons. I use Christy's and Ben's miracle "Cave Story" a lot of the time, especially to couple's. It's perfect because it shows that by following Christ and making the butt load of sacrificies that they made to get married in the temple, they were literally saved....then it's a pretty transitioner to the Plan of Salvation and Eternal Families hahah.

We had a few discouraging moments this past week, and Elder Flint came from an area of 10 baptisms a transfer, tons of people at church and all of that. It's been an opportunity to test us and we're making progress as time goes. 

Well we are going to hike Red Mountain today in a our minimal spare time, hopefully the rattlesnakes don't eat us...that would be a bummer.
Letters are basically Christmas, and I love to read them whoever they're from. 
Stoked to hear about what people are doing in their lives!!

Love you all! 
Don't be stupid. Take advantage of everything you can.

"Do and I say and not as I do" hahah we learned a new motto from a member.

Peace yo.

Elder Hales out.


Dallin sent home his flash drive with his first round of pictures (lots!!).  The night before he left for the MTC, he had some friends stop by before he was set apart.
After he was set apart (read: midnight the night before he left), he finished packing up all of his stuff.  Dallin has always been a late nighter.  (I'm sure that has changed!)
The morning he left, he took a few more pictures for the last time for two years.
12 days in the MTC:
Off to Arizona they go!

Sorry forgot one thing!

I'm insanely curious about his upcoming General Conference. We were talking to an Elder who knew someone's dad that worked for the twelve with missionary work. He said that they are strongly considering making ALL mission's 18 months because of the huge surge. If they were to go through with that announcement, it makes the most sense to announce it before summer when the surge actually hits. Who knows!

Also very curious about what they'll say or not say about gay mormons....crazy to think the impact my bro. is able to have on people.

Okay now I'm out.

Times up!

1 Chronicles 19:13