Monday, April 29, 2013

Week 12 - I woke up with a massive cockroach right next to my head.

I'm running out of greetings dangit.
What's going on everyone!?
I woke up with a massive cockroach right next to my head haha. One night one crawled in Elder Flint's ear and he freaked out hahahah.
This past week was a little slower but then started to pick up. We've found out that doing service keeps my comp. motivation (and me) to keep working hard.
Something I've learned for only being out a few weeks is that you need to find things out about people you teach to identify their concerns so then we can teach them principles according to their needs. Something I've been striving for is getting them comfortable enough to where they just talk so we don't have to ask them direct questions. When we run out of doctrine to teach in that moment, we often to turn to questions. When we teach and teach, they usually talk about what they feel prompted too which is awesome and is a goal for my mission.
Yesterday we were asked to speak in a 'group' down in Columbus which is 3 miles from the border. There was a grand total of....9 people there including us! hahah awesome. It's a spanish branch to so no one knew how to sing english hyms so it was kind of a solo. It was a little strange having sacrament right next to a white board in a classroom but it was good and the spirit was there.

The church near Mexico where we spoke to a total of...7 people.  Awesome.
Not much happened this past day we found 3 new investigators and then taught 5 lessons which is pretty good for Deming! Our man above blessed us greatly.
One day some lady came up to me and talked to me in Spanish for like 5 mins....I barely understood anything she said. The whole language barrier makes me angry sometimes as it bugs me that we can't teach them a message about the truth because....we don't speak the same language. Going to try my best to learn Espanolaao.
I got done shaving one day (yes, I shave) and heard my song "High Hopes" being played....I started singing along before realizing what was playing. I went in the kitchen and my comp. was just sitting there listening to it hahaha. Awesome.

Our entertainment in Deming on pday haha
Next week because my comp. will be going home in two weeks, we're teaching the 1st lesson....on helium....hahaha. We figured it's not really apostate, so we felt okay doing it. Although it won't go on youtube for reasons hahah.
Being in Deming has taught me a lot, not just for this service, but for my life. Patience is a virtue. Holy freakin' crap. We've heard a ton of different stories about "mormons" from people who have been through some anti crap. We've heard that mormons believe that plural marriage is okay and then their wives go to different planets to rule, or even that we pray to Jospeh Smith, Deming keeps surprising us with things. Whenever we talk to someone, tract, or street contact with the very few people that we have outside, they are almost always apart of a religion. Since there's 57 freakin' churches here, everyone usually attends one of them. We've gotten pretty good at going over the apostacy and why there are so many different churches, but it'll be different when people haven't any idea about religion. I love the people here in Deming, but am excited to serve where there's more people! It's not slowing the work down at all, but it's just made it clear that I'll do anything it takes to not live in a small town hahah. Oh gosh.
The coolest members, the Barentines!  We helped them move to they left.  They remind me a lot of Christy and Ben haha.  (He really did say this...swear.)
We have border patrol stops a lot, and we have a blimp that flies around that's apart of the homeland security so we're pretty much being watched with whatever we do.
We've also learned that Gansters love us hahah. You can tell a true ganster by what they think of missionaries - they don't mess with us because they believe we sort of walk with God so they're scared to do anything to us. We have a few 'Gansta' friends who were in the 'blood' gang who are pretty sick haha. One lives across from us haha, he's awesome.

One of our appointments fell through so we only had a few mins before the next so we went and played a prank on the Spanish Elders haha. We put bouncy balls in their beds, my comp. took a dump in their bathroom, and we put a cup of salt on their door so it came down on them hahah. They went to the temple that day (we get to go this Friday) so we took advantage. We thought of many cruder things to do....but we are missionaries, not college students haha.
Well it's time to go the driving range with a member which I've never hit a golf ball in my whole life..should be fun haha.
Church is true yo :D
Pretty sure my brother's on his way to China right now. WTF.
Love ya'll!
-Elder Hales
-Iglesia de Jesucristo, de los Santos, de los ultimos dios..I think.
D&C 130: 18-21.

About two hours later I received an email from one of the ward members in Deming:

My name is Edward and I am a member of the ward that your brother is in right now so I took them to the golf course to hit some ball on his PE day which is today. attached is some of the pictures that I took.

You have a very special brother. I new that the 1st day that I met him. He is being well taken care of with meals and just being loved for the work that he is doing.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Week 11 - We don't always know when we're acting by the spirit, until after.

Yo Soy Elder Hales (All-layce)
Un poco habla Espanol.

I say that a lot.

What's up everyone!

This week was a freakin' tough one....our landlord's husband passed away...multiple things happened within our District where President got involved, and one of our awesome investigators, Todd, passed away...couldn't believe it.

Todd passed away Saturday afternoon next to Ashely. Todd has had addictions problems and had prescriptions of 3 narcotics including 'Tramadol' which apparently is HIGHLY addictive. Todd took 3 months dose in just 13 days, with alcohol, which killed him. Poor Ashely. Apparently when I was able to give him the healing blessing where it said he'd be healed if he followed the gospel, which he was other than drugs, he would be healed. They went back to the doc. after, and his liver was completely fine....Ashely just told us this yesterday too. Wow. Todd was drug free for about 1.5 weeks and truly wanted to change his life. They were reading, praying, knew this was the true church, he just got some money to pay for his divorce papers, he even called us the other morning at 3:45am crying saying things were too hard and he was depressed. He didn't kill himself intentionally. While  Ashley came to church yesterday and loved it, it was really hard for her. 
On Thursday we went out to Adobe Deli with Todd and Ashley with our ward. I had a feeling to take pictures of us all, so we had the waitress takes lots of pictures of I know why. Ashley came up to me bawling and asking if I could mail those pictures to her because she doesn't have any of Todd and her. We don't always know when we're acting by the spirit until after. 
Ashley moved to Albequerque with her family and is still going to be baptized. That's a different mission, so we'll just mail each other every so often. Other than that, life unfortunately has to move on. It was tough and it felt like losing a friend. We saw them all the time. Ashley is done smoking and drinking and already has a testimony. She was included in a Sacrament prayer and our ward was awesome towards her. Still can't believe it. At times I felt like I was their marriage counselor, and now they're both gone. Todd is now healed and is happy. Humbling experience.

Anways....time to try and brighten up the mood yo.

I went on a split with Elder Smith and went clear down to the Mexico border fence! hahah. No one spoke English down there so it was a time for me to learn a few quick things to say in Espanolaaa. Yeah. So awesome. So many Mexicans.
My family all race the SLC marathon/half marathon this past Saturday....I ran 3 miles. It was so hard since I just got my boot off. The whole time during studying I kept wondering what mile they were on. No idea how it went, but hope no more marathon bombings have happened!!

We've run into a few small town people who are sometimes quick to judgements. Something I've learned is that what some people think you SHOULD be, compared to what God KNOWS you can be, are two completely different views. God knows our potential and our progress, and he knows in certain ways to help us.
A car wreck we helped out with.  No one hurt!!
We've had multiple 'intense' conversations. What was the veil? If as babies we have more remembrance of the pre-mortal life, then does our force the veil upon us with time? God was once a Saviour of a world, so he was a Heavenly Father too. When the counsel in Heaven consisted of Gods discussing the Plan of Salvation, how did it happen if our Heavenly Father had not been the Saviour of a world yet? God created are their multiple heavens from other Gods' creations? Mind=BLOWN.

Also went on a split with Elder Makin since one Elder was started off by visiting a less active. We said "hey terry!", walked up to his porch, he said "Eff (real world) you, I believe in God and don't want anything to do with you!!" Slammed the door, and went inside....
Just another day in Deming New Mexico.
We often have to schedule certain appointments depending on when and where we want to smell like smoke. We schedule the 'smell like smoke' appointments at night hahah. Drugs be everywhere here.
Dust Storm
There's parts in Deming here where the Border Patrol won't go unless there's backup....we've cover quite a bit of those areas. We know the dangerous parts of town haha. Pretty intense.

We leave out NO ONE.

If anyone sends me Monster...I'll drink them...but I won't buy any...hint hint.

Time is up and I have to go help someone with their computer...again.. at the beginning of my mission, someone asked who the 'computer guy' was and all the Elders pointed at me....I barely even knew them at the time....glad my nerdiness is being recognized -_-

While tons of other crap happened which made this past week, all is good. Had an interview with Pres. where it was all good and I'm hoping to train in 3 weeks. We'll see! Good things are to come.

Love ya'll! Thanks for the letters.

Anyone can email me now, friends and family. I have NO time to read stories, so letters are the way to go. But if there's an emergency or whatevs it's:

Thanks everyone.
Love ya'll! :D

Mosiah 14:14-16

Monday, April 15, 2013

Week 10 - It's so important for us to live a worthy-obedient life.

Whaddup erryone! Comooo eastaaass?
This week was spring break for people down here so it was a slower week with a couple challenges along the way, but missionary work is missionary work and it's freakin' awesome to be a part of.
Something we do as missionaries is a couple things, which we do a lot of, is "Red shirt contacting' and 'Appointment with the Lord.'
Last week (4/12) we did 'Red shirt contacting' where before you go out and tract an area, you pray that you'll be directed to someone wearing a certain color or clothing. Sounds crazy right? It usually lasts throughout the week, but in this instance it was instant. E. Flint felt impressed that we should go for someone with blue shirt and white pants. It was my turn to say that prayer and didn't feel impressed to say that, but instead say "blue or white shirt and pants" then we headed out. We followed the spirit where we should go and then I felt we should turn down a certain street. We did and then came across a man sitting on a bench wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans....that was quick. Such humbling experiences. We talked to him, placed a BOM, and then made an appointment. We couldn't find him at the CAR SHOW (SO SICK) but we found a couple other new investigators there. One thing leads to another.
Then we have the 'appointment with the Lord' which is where we pray about a certain area (we pray about 10-20 times a day which adds up to praying roughly....10920 times on my mission hahahah. nerd.) then we ask our Heavenly Father to direct us to those who are prepared for us or to the "elect." We walked quite a few miles, with my boot on, and I knew someone was waiting on a certain street. We finally got to that street and the first door we knocked on was an older lady and son who haven't been to church in years. She lost her husband and is scared to go out and do anything, so we shared a spiritual message and are in contact with her.
Things like that are why it's so important for us to live a worthy-obedient life so we are able to guided into those situations. Boom. Spirit.
At a recent Zone Meeting we were doing greetings. We had to come up with somone who our companions reminded us of....the whole zone said "Slim Shady/Marshal Mathers/Eminem" for me's the new haircut. I told the man to cut an inch off and he grabbed the buzzer and started going HAM on my head! It's never been this short before hahah. Meh. Sister Palmer's companion yelled out "There's Sister Palmer's father-in-law!!" when they were watching conference when my dad got the nice head shot, they all started laughing hahaha. Awesome.

Sister Palmer's little brother is dating a girl whose brother is serving in Tucson hahah.  We're tight. Played bball with Elder Hickenlooper the first day haha small world.
We (Elder Flint and I) are going to teach the first discussion very briefly....on helium and send it home for the blog hahaha. Since he's dying (going home) soon, we have a few things like that planned....including a Monster.
We had a lesson from a LARK who basically told us.....things we didn't really want to hear about.....having kids hahah. It turned into a lesson so it was good. His name is Ralph and he bought my comp. the whole extended version of Lord of the Rings hahaha. That's a lil bit much...
In Arizona it's illegal to deny someone a glass of water if they ask for it. This is one of the hottest missions and it got up to 118 degrees in Tucson last year when my comp. was serving there, and they don't take any safety precautions hahah. So hott! FTW!
Been a slower week, but that's okay. These next 4 could very well be the longest weeks of my mission. Been able to try and help out and give a couple blessings to my companion as he approaches reality. Blessed for those opportunities.
Well, this computer sucks hardcore, and so now I have to go. Love you all! Thanks for letters again! I usually reply within like 3 days of getting the letter...usually haha.
Congrats to those who got their calls to crazy places! Say hi to me when you fly over! hahah :D
Going up to silver to play bball with the Zone now! Seeing a doc Tuesday for my foot. Feels fine now tho for the most part.
SOTW yo: Jacob 4:6-8.
Peace out.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Week 9 - My foot isn't broken.

Whaddup erryboday!!
Week 7 in Deming (Dam-ning) is done! It was an awesome week, that's for sure.
First off, my foot isn't broken. I tore a huge muscle and had a ridiculous amount of blood buildup. So I only have the boot for 2-3 weeks!
This past week was good, although walking miles in a boot made me hurt, but it was all good as I love to be outside in 80-90 degree weather! My comp. doesn't understand how I like it hahah.
My comp. got influenced (by me) to buy a he did...."I want a Monster...I freakin' hate you Elder Hales!" hahaha awesome.
Our 'miracle couple' is progressing! We have a BD for the 4th of May which means we have to get her divorced, them both married, and then dunk them :D They came to general conferrence even though Todd was on lots of drugs, but Todd hasn't had a drink in a week and he's been an alcoholic since he was 9. So crazy. Next we have to get him to quit smoking. They are so kind to us, and things are going so good. In the middle of teaching the 2nd to them... I got crapped on....but besides that....our member who was out with us stopped us in the middle and said "I'm feeling inspired to say that Todd, if you follow this gospel, you will be healed." Which is exactly what the blessing said to him. They are literallly a miracle couple, and we thank our HF for allowing us to be the missionaries to experience this.
Since it was General Conference, I decided to add a few quotes. They are in order of how I feel they have influenced my life:
1) "We worked hard to develope talents and desires. We came to mortality with all those capabilities. Those capabilities can be destroyed." - Richard G. Scott.
2) "Use your agency to develope your talents personally. Make a plan for life. Exhort interests in skills. Gain experience. Finish what you begin." - Robert. D. Hales
3) "We are dual-beings." - David A. Bednar
4) "Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you faith is tested, I allow you to lean on me. All things are possible to those that believe." - Jeffrey R. Holland
5) "Bright lights and loud speakers are not the Lord's way." - Bro. Calllister......hahahaha crap. Screwed.
6) "Your families are well, and are in my hands." - President Eyring (D&C)
7) "We will shape the generations born and unborn." - Russel M. Nelson
8) "One person and one family at a time." - Quentin L. Cook
9) "Marriage is a gift of God to us. Quality of our marriage is a gift from us to God." - L.Clayton
10) "No one would knowlingly construct our homes..anchor your life and home to the foundation of Christ." (lifelong goal) - Bro. Dean M. Davies.
Many things happened this past week with our District that had to get President involved..we're reps of our Savior, wish everyone acted like that on a mission. Meh.
It was awesome to see friends singing in conference hahah.
Being apart of the 65,634 missionaries serving announced in GC is an awesome experience that I'm so grateful to be a part of.
There's been new change ups in leadership roles regarding Sisters. They've created a new role, but Zone/District leaders will stay the same. Pretty remarkable. We have 17 Sisters coming in next transfer! Crazy!
We always smell like smoke, it sucks.

I got Christy's blog post! hahaha it made me laugh. It's so awesome to receive those! I could spend all my free time reading over them.
Been grateful to have had experiences to where I can handle stress in situations. This mission hasn't stressed me out, but it's all because of the man above.
Gosh I want a freakin' Monster.
Love you all, and am grateful for everyone's support/prayers! Keep rockin' what ya'll do....or something.
Peace out.
-Elder Hales

Thursday, April 4, 2013

[Transfers] Week 8 - Pretty sure it's fractured.

Whaddup erryone!
So transfers are today and neither of us are getting transferred....and since Elder Flint 'dies' in may, it most likely means I'll be staying in good ol' freakin' Deming until the end of June. Oh gosh haha.
This last week was such a good week, we set a new record for lessons in a week, and got 4 new investigators. Many cool miracles and experiences this past week....other than hurting my foot (playing basketball). Pretty sure it's fractured but am seeing a doc. right after this to get it we'll's probably fractured considering I couldn't walk on it AT ALL the day it happened. Suck. We'll see! Walking around with a boot on freakin' sucks hahah.
Below is the letter Dallin sent me (sister Christy) with the description of how his foot got ran over by a car, which is why it's hurt.  LIES!!!  haha
Send all packages via USPS please :] otherwise I might not get it for weeks....but all is good!
I was on an exchange the other day, and I was bored while my comp. took a short nap, so I wrote a randon rap/poem:
3/21/13 4:08pm:
I'm on an exchange, ho.
With Elder Donaldson, yo.
There's tons of immigrants, ....
But I love this service, bro.
Servin' the Lord, fo sho.
Brother's trial is homo-yo.
He's livin' life rightly, tho.
Because of this gospel,soo..
Let's all shout, AYO!
In front of the freakin' po-po's..
Everyone's from Mexicoo..
They're always puttin' up a show.
because they always say "no!"
Sometimes the work is slow,
Freakin' Deming, New Mexico..
22.5 months to go..
So let's get this show on the road.
Yeah. Whaddup"
hahah yup, haven't changed a whole lot haha.
We had an incredible experience the other day, let me just copy it out of my journal:
"We ran into Todd once at Mcdonald's where he bashed us. Another time I flipped up the curb thing I ran over, then again tonight as we went over to meet w/ Christene. We talked outside for like 20 mins about how he needs help and wanted our church to fund a bbq for poor families. Flint gave him his Easter money and Bro.Hollis gave him $5. After attacking  us a little, his heart changed. He first went on about how our church is a joke after living in Utah w/ mormons in Utah where he had a pretty successful life. 7 months ago he was diagnosed w/ Cerosis of the liver and was given 9 months to live just recently. He showed us his slit wrist and said he tried to kill himself today earlier, when he invited us in his tiny house. He was very emotional and was raised Catholic His gf is still legally married and hasn't been able to divorce yet. Todd spend a little time in jail and his life has been turned upside down. Drinking and smoking lots w/ very little money. It was a very inspired lesson as we covered most of the 1st and said things like "we promise you now, we can help you Todd." Lessons w/ people who are truly struggling are ones I get really attached too. We went over many things over theh hour and half we were there. He's very weak, losing his vision, just lots of problems. Todd said something about his rich Autn who's mormon and wanted to talk to her but we had to google her to get her #. Luckily bro. Hollis pulled out his 'much smarter than our' phone...and we found her #. How often does that happen? Todd called her, and his aunt was saying some very inspired things. Todd told her things we were telling him felt right. She told him to listen to us. WE talked to her too which helped. Todd and Ashely poored their problems out to us, and we did our best. Towards the end of the lesson, we asked if they would liek a blessing and we explained what it was. Ashely's baptist  but had a grandma who got healed from a blessing. Todd said he wanted a healing blessing, and Ashely wanted a comfort blessing. Elder Fllint & I focused on the spirit for who should give the was me. The spirit overwhelmed me which you don't realize until after. IN the blessing, it basically said "you willl be healed if you follow this gospel."....pretty remarkable. He said much peace and happiness came over him after and he felt good. That prayer definitely didn't come from me. INsane. They both asked if they could come to church.."

Unfortunately Todd woke up with a ton of blood on his bed, so he had to go to the hospital, but is feeling much better about things now. We hope to get Ashely Divorced, Todd and Ashley married, and then dunk the crap out of them within a month or so. This gospel is soo crazy.

Mail is on hold until this Saturday -_-
On Thursday we got to go brand was crazy. We were covered in bloood from us and the calfs haha. We had to tackle them and then pin them down while they were branded. I took down a 150-175 lb one hahah. It was awesome. I'm never living on a farm.
We went to an Easter Egg thing in the wasn't nearly as big of a deal as we though it would be haha. They played a lot of dance songs really was probably one of the hardest things to not dance hahahah. I miss music so much, but the blessings are worth it.
For our District meeting on Wednesday we made spiritual scones haha it was awesome. Due to our experience with "Ruby" I called up President Killpack and asked if I could show my brother's video to my district, he said it would be a good idea. So I went onto my blog, and showed the video! (Thanks so much Christy, the blog is SO sick :D)
I finally get to drive now....our truck is a piece of crap but get some 2013 Nissan Frontier's in about a month. awe yeah.
I've never seen so many churches, stop signs, barbers, immigrants, cockroaches, Mexi-trucks...welcome to Deming!
Time to go see the doc! Probably will play basketball regardless hahah.
Love you all! :D
-Elder Hales