Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 51 - #SaveaSoulToday #HastaLaVista

11 going on 12. 19 going on 20. Life is nuts.

Well it's only been 5 days since last time we were able to email. Buut good things are happening out here in good ol' Sierra Vista. #SaveASoulToday #HastaLaVista yup, I'll have lots of things to tweet when I get home.
Elder Simps and I!
Some things that Elder Simpson and I are doing is blitzing other areas in the zone. Meaning we'll go into another area besides our own and spend 2-3 hours 'finding'. This next week we'll do a couple more and then hopefully soon enough we'll do a  2 nighter where we'll blitz two areas in Douglas (Americanized Mexico) and then get us all to blitz the Bisbee area. Good things to come! We're also moving apartments this Wednesday. Our new place has our own washer and dryer. FTW!! 

On our way to blitz an Elders' area. The GPS literally leads us to the middle of no where sometimes. Got to love SV!

Reminded me slightly of my first area. We tracted here and came across 'Raychel' and her son who is a pastor for a penecostal church. We all had a really good talk. Although they weren't interested, we were able to clear up some stuff. Sometimes that's all you can do to those who may not listen, but they'll have a better impression.

Everyone has been sick in Sierra Vista. We were able to give a few blessings this past week to people who were sick. Members and non-members. Giving blessings is probably one of my favorite things to do on the mish. What a remarkable opportunity to feel a portion of God's love for those the blessing is being given too. 
Our last zone lunch last transfer before almost half of the zone was transferred. We ate at a literal haunted hotel in Bisbee. Awe yeah.

Even when you don't have a ton of time to go out and work in your own area because you have to travel around or get some things done. If you do what's right, the Lord gives you opportunities when you have free time to get new investigators. 

Few mins. to spare. Chillin' and waiting for a member to take us to a blessing.

Let's update on some peeps!

This past week, an investigator named Cynthia contacted us and asked us to come over. SWEET. I never met her last transfer because she's very busy. She's read the BOM once and is in Mosiah again, along with completing the D&C and Pearl of Great Price. Dang. She said, "I'll get baptized, just not sure when." So that's what where we're at with her. We had a solid lesson with overviewing everything, asking her what may prevent her from progressing, or what she's expecting to get that 'aha' moment she's looking for, for when it's right. It went well and she said there will be another good time this week to go by. TBA.

The couple Lanney(member) and Aaron(investigator) that we've been working with are coming along. They've kept the promise that they'd read and pray nightly if possible. Even sometimes at 3am or 6am, so they seem committed. They are both married to other people in difficult situations where it would be very hard to try and get divorce.'s quite funny. The cost to get married is $50 or something? ....and the cost to divorce is around $600? Man. I wonder where the investment is. It sucks for them right now. We talked with our Bishop, and he counseled us by saying keep working with them with high faith, because if something should happen to them to help Aaron progress, God will make it happen.

Jen and Jeff (investigators - also married to other people. It's a trend sometimes) apparently got up and moved... so we have no idea where they are now. Although, Jen's mom is there and although she's Catholic, she accepted an RA (return appointment) and a BOM! Saweet. The Lord places people prepared in houses you come across. It's happened quite a bit. It's eye-opening when you see how the Lord works. To be continued...

Loretta! Our progressing investigator! Man, she's solid. We had a couple good lessons about prayer and the BOM more in depth along with a Plan of Salvation lesson. Loretta has come to church every week since first contacted and loves church! She's definitely a blessing for us to work with because she has her eyes set on what Heavenly Father wants for her. The generally ends up blessing their lives when those two things match up. Her baptism date is for Feb. 15th - 2 weeks from this Saturday! YES! We're stoked for her. Our ward has awesome fellowshippers who help her out without us lining anything up for her. So awesome.

Our zone is making improvements. It's cool to see the #'s go up weekly. Numbers definitely don't mean success always, but they can reflect effort. Our referrals have gone up, which is a sign of Heavenly Father blessing our areas. Lots of praying and fasting - two things that never fail.

We had an ex- J-DUB come to church yesterday with her husband. We have an appointment with them for friday. Perfect way to spend the bday! We'll also be in Tucson for mlc and then have some appointments afterwards. Next bday I'll almost be home. crazy.

I'm tired. Last night we finished off our day with over 90 mins. of calls and forms. Pretty great! Going to the gym in the morning definitely helps wake you up!

The Lord definitely prepares you for future events (transfers). 

We have been doing some recent covert lessons to Jeffrey who was baptized a few weeks ago. We watched the Restoration video and it made me think of the first time that my dad took me to the premiere of the Joseph Smith video in SLC. I'll never forget the feelings, even at a young age,  that overwhelmed me to see what happened to Joseph Smith.. Although he was simply just a man and no more, God called him to restore the church because He trusted him. My testimony of the BOM and Joseph Smith's experience has without a doubt grown on my mission. There's a reason why there is so much false hood out there. When something good happens, Satan tries his best, and he's good at what he does. People bring up "Joe Smith" all the time, and I'm grateful to have a testimony that has grown that can lead me no matter what people may say about him. Joseph Smith truly walked the earth and saw our Heavenly Father and Savior to restore the church once more to help bring clarity, truth, and peace into anyone's life. The church is true! And it's great to serve.

Well that's that. We might be doing a split with the AP's which should be fun.
Elder Simpson drinking some mate. No worries. It's okay.

Love you all. Yup. I'm a missionary. It still blows my freakin' mind. 
"The Best Two Years" I accidentally just put this picture as this computer's screensaver haha. At least our Bishop's the President! Oops. Alwell. Missionary opportunity.

Thank you for the prayers and support, I never shut up about it, but it's truly helped me.
STAY REAL 801, 435, OR WHEREVER. Don't be stupid. :D
-Elder Dallin Hales

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

[Transfers] Week 50 - Another transfer in Sierra Vista? Heck yeah.

Well, another transfer in Sierra Vista? Heck yeah.
Text from Elder Simpson an hour before Elder Smith and I got transfer calls...but right after Elder Simpson got transfer calls....WHAT UP!

BUT FIRST, last week:
It started out by doing an exchange for a 'mission-wide' focus on extending as many invitations as possible. I went out with Elder Tayler to Douglas, AZ! From their back porch you can see the Mexico border fence haha. It's pretty awesome. About half of the people talked in only Spanish, so I could understand....nada mucho, but enough to know what the convo was based on. We had a good day with 1 new invest. a few potentials, along with setting a baptism date with one of their investigators! Her name was Mary and she is Catholic - not too unusual for near the border. The lesson went well and we extended a date, and she accepted! Since then we think her husband has talked her out of it or something...but high hopes for her.
Turning onto a street, Elder Tayler said, "AAaaand on your right, you have Mexico." Sure enough. It was literally right there haha. Fun exchange.

Visiting Bisbee...where it smells like weed most of the time and there's alot of crazy people.

While on that exchange, a dude next door came up and talked to us. He was tight. He had an eye drop tattooed next to his eye...and he asked me if I had an accent. I said, "Nah, I'm just from Layton (Lay-in) Utah." He said. "Oh." haha. Hopefully I don't come home sounding like a hick haha.
Elders Mariluch and Tolman on an exchange. Studs.

Testing out the camera. I miss Rykar.

Last week was our Zone Meeting which was my first getting to train. It went well! Wow we covered a lot of stuff. (wow our phone is EXPLODING right now). It was chaos at first because of people had lots of things to say, but the 2nd half was spirit-driven, which I'm grateful for. Training ended up being over 2ish hours. Soowoo

These guys are studs

On Thursday we held an activity for seminary students to bring non-member friends (or anyone) to an after school thing where we would teach a brief lesson and answer any questions they may have. It went well! The classroom was full and there was a few non-members. We'll be doing this monthly so hopefully we'll get more contact from the non-members. Teaching seminary is pretty awesome.
The Whitney family! One of thee coolest members out there. Brooke (girl on right) is our only Ward Missionary but is a real hard worker. We're in the process of getting a YSA branch together and she's helping a ton. 

A member in my last area passed away a couple weeks ago...Elder Hall (my son!) let me's sad to see people die that you work with weekly. Man. At least they're in a better place. RIP Sister Dunbar.

We have an investigator named Loretta! She's solid as. She's also progressing and we have an appointment with her tonight. Loretta comes to member's homes so we can teach her due to her living conditions with her husband, but she's awesome. Elder Smith said,"Probably the most solid investigator I've taught." Pretty awesome!

FUP (follow-up) with Lanney (member) and Aaron (invest.). While teaching them last week, I had a prompting to tell them that if they both read from the Book of Mormon every night together, and simply asked God to help them afterwards, that things would start falling into place. Every time we've been over there since, the prompting keeps coming back. They just had their car repo'd, no job nor unemployment pay, and a crappy living situation at the moment along with 5 sweet kids. Last night introducing Elder Simpson to everyone, we stopped by their place. They said they read and have been praying and said a miracle from the 'power of prayer' happened. We looked at they now have a van! Lanney told us that both of them had been reading and praying, early in the morning or really late at night since that's the only times available to read. She said her dad bought her a van. Wow. She sounded shocked about it. SO COOL. Gosh this Gospel is true.

Jason Cox! He's a member who became reactivated and is awesome. He never quits.

Another cool moment was with a member named Laeke. He's had some rough paths and is trying to get things straightened out for a mission being 21. We randomly went over one afternoon and talked with him about a mission and all that good stuff. I asked if he would like a blessing (post prompting) and he said yes, and that his dad usually gives him one, but hasn't for a while. He asked me to give him the blessing. Wow it was a very spirit-driven blessing. Many things were in that blessing. So cool. He had tears coming down his face afterwards, so did I. It was really cool to see a big ol smile on his face afterwards. He's coming out with us 2 days straight as part of a 'mini-mission' to help prepare him. 

Sooooo...yesterday being transfers, every companionship in our zone (10) was effected, except ONE. I've never seen so much change! It was crazy. Basically a new zone. My new comp. is ELDER SIMPSON!! He was my Zone Leader the entire time I was in East Tucson for 4.5 months! He's a really hard worker and has been out one more than me and we get along awesome and really are a lot alike haha. He's from Spanish Fork, Utah. We'll be focusing the couple weeks to do a lot of blitzing in the areas out here in hopes to get some work going. Lots of praying and fasting (and sleepless hours) have gone into this zone, and I have lots of good feelings about it. We have some high goals and hopes, but it's possible! Elder Smith will die (finish mission....not get shot) up in North Tucson in a YSA ward. Hopefully one day I'll get to serve YSA, but man, there's work to do here first! Last transfer I sure learned a lot of life lessons, and now it's time to put forth what I've learned.
Saying bye to members for Elder Smith! 

I'm grateful to be serving out here. Can't believe this is my 9th transfer out, and that there's only 8 left! I've learned how much our Father in Heaven truly wants us to turn to him in all that we do. The Lord truly calls us for who we are, and that's who He WANTS us to be. He knows our potential, that's why we must be ourself!

"If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

Our zone motto:
Love you all. Should get mail tomorrow or Friday.
Your prayers are felt and the support is heard!

-Elder Dallin Hales
Word up.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 49 - A member of the 70 spoke, Elder Wright.

Wow. This is the last week of the transfer. What the crap? Next week I'll write home on Tuesday ya'll!

Last week was crazy! Probably one of the most sleepless weeks of my mission. Most days I was up at 5 or earlier (3:50). Pretty nuts. Good thing the church is true!!

Nothing beats the AZ sunsets. #nofilter 

It started with a temple trip to the Gila Valley. It was awesome. Our session was at 8am, so it was an early morning for us. But man, I wish we could go more. The temple is always so motivating. 

The Gila Valley temple right before our session.

Our Zone (minus the Sisters) right after the temple trip.

I bought a CTR ring. It should be here in a week or two. Woot.


Elder Mariluch. Stud. We came out together yo.

One of the things Elder Smith and I have been doing is going through our ward list (massive) and visiting all of the more less active people on it. Still aren't done. But one night we came across Sister Stock...who's been a member for a good solid 35 years or so now and works on weekends. Her husband also died a few years ago when she stopped coming to church. That we taught her about the sacrament. Although she's a member, she has very little knowledge of the sacrament and the BOM. Definitely not her fault! She said it was a miracle we caught her that night because of her chaotic schedule. INSPIRATION. That was the second time we were told that that day. Earlier a guy named William said that too. Up by our investigator's place "Lois" there's almost nothing. So after scouting out the remainder houses, we came across William -  an SDA and who was really nice. Not interested at all, but also said it was a miracle to see him at that time. Hopefully something we talked about sparked something for opportunities down the road. "Just spittin' fack yo."

One of our invests. "Aaron" is a member's boyfriend. Both of them have 3 kids together but are still married to someone else and it's a pretty frustrating situation for them. He had a BD up until yesterday, but hopefully with a wing (fasting) and a prayer, the good man above will direct them. That night teaching about the law of Chastity, the prompting came to me to promise him and his wife, that if they both take time out of their crazy lives every night, to read from the BOM TOGETHER and to pray afterwards and to ask for help, that the good man above will bless them with what is needed to get through everything. Those spiritual promises usually just come out of our mouths. Awesome. Just awesome.
At Aaron and Lanney's house doing some service to help them out with their front yard.

Our Saturday we were supposed to go up to Phoenix....well we did! Although we weren't allowed to take pictures off the bus so not a whole lot of pictures from it. But Elder Holland....was called to another he wasn't there :(. A member of the 70 spoke, Elder Wright, and it was awesome of course. Took a lot of notes. While up their we sat with the Phoenix and Tempe missions. I saw some buds from High School! Elder Derek Ford and I had a good chat.

Two referrals were sent to us this past week, and both seem to be SOLID! One of them came to church and we're having an FHE with her tonight! Her name is Loretta and was referred over from Hawaii. Now she's out here in Sierra Vista (for some reason..). There's a lot of good feelings about her progression so we'll see what happens. The other one is also solid since she's "looking for a church." PERFECT. She was sick, along with everyone else in SV, and we'll be seeing her this week. We found Cynthia 10 mins before curfew which goes to show that working pays off.
 Do you see SV? It's the purple area right spack down to the border. AWE YEAH.

Tonight and tomorrow I'll be on an exchange in Douglas. Their backyard is less than a mile from the border. Time to brush up on some Spanish. Crap. Should be good! Our whole zone will be doing an exchange for the mission wide "The Day" where we focus on one specific thing. Should be good as we're doing a mini mission with someone down there. So a member will be acting like a missionary for a day with us! Soowoo!

This Wednesday will my first Zone Meeting to train in. Should be good. Although there's a lot of things to cover for our zone. Reverence, unity, and a lot of things, we're hoping it will be led by the spirit!
At Zone Training while Sister Killpack was training. My comp's the one laying down. Awesome training.

"Sometimes our gifts appear as weaknesses." - President Killpack the man himself!

1Nephi17:13 " And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led." 

Next week this Zone could be quite different, but I've learned to love people more and to look for strengths even when your stubborn self may make you more blind to them.
A room divided. 

This past week really helped me notice the true support that's there. Just want to thank everyone for your prayers, awesome letters (still waiting for some tards to write me!) and for the care that's there.

Love you all. LET'S GO!

Almost to the hump...CAN'T BELIEVE IT. Feels like I was just in Demnation.

-Elder Dallin Hales

Monday, January 6, 2014

Week 48 - Let the blackout year begin!


Let the blackout year BEGIN (the year where you serve the entire time).

Wow, I've learned a ton in Sierra Vista, especially about myself. But hey, the work is slowly progressing in our zone which is awesome.

Our week started out by setting a date with a guy named Aaron. He's the bf of a member and they have 5 kids under 9 yrs old and are struggling. We've been trying to talk with Aaron, and now he's been taught the Restoration. YES. They didn't come to church because it stressed them out, but we're working with them and hope for the best!

During our awesome weekly planning session, one of our finding ideas was an 'appointment with the Lord'. So we set time aside to do it on Thursday.Wednesday night amongst the chaos of stuff, we looked at a map, said our separate prayers, and felt prompted to go visit this tiny place at the very northeast part of our area that wasn't really ever noticed. Woot, let's go there. So on our way up there, there was nothing but dirt roads, old stuff, very few houses, and a few tests of faith along the way. Heck, we still felt like there was someone waiting. 

This is where our 'appointment with the Lord' led us haha. Yup. There's people ready everywhere!

The first 4 or 5 houses (which we had to look for!) there wasn't a soul there...crap. Lame. The journey continued up the steep dirt hills until a house on the top of a hill looked awesome. As we pulled up, a lady named Lois came out and greeted us! YES! She was awesome and very nice. Her husband died 3 years ago and she was interested in the Plan of Salvation. There was no one around her, and it felt like we were in the ghetto of Deming or something. (There's a very angry lady on this table.) Lo and behold, someone was waiting for us. Satan sure does like to put doubts in our minds where being lazy seems to be the way out, but heck no. The Lord drives us and opens up opportunities as we get off our butts and work!
So that was cool.

The house straight ahead is Lois' house. Her husband restored cars, so there's cars everywhere.

The same night, we felt an inclination to go see a LA. Random prompting. A guy opened up whose named is Sam. He told us, "I was just waiting for the door to be opened." *everyone turns head to look at opened door* *laughter* it was awesome. He had been chillin' and going to the 'Cowboy Church' (yup!) where it's like a rock concert every time or something like that. He was interested in the Restoration and so an appointment was set. The Lord blessed us that day.

Being one of them Zone Leaders allows me to go to a monthly meeting called "MLC" (mission leadership conference). It is my favorite meeting because we all have a voice for the mission in the discussions and what not to see what can be done to help the mission out. It rocks.

Last PDAY we went bowling and a small hike with some members. The Whitney family! They are saints and are such sick people.

Yesterday while visiting lots of people before our now 1pm church (changed from 9am), we swopped out our truck for a mini van. Meh. It's for tomorrow for our temple trip so we can Caravan (pun) people to the temple. Anyways, I heard a leak from a tire....yup, we had a massive screw in the tire. Fetch. So after jacking the van up, and winding this jack thing to release a spare tire rim....there was no spare tire. SWEET bro. Luckily one of our members manages a BIG O here, so the van was dropped off there and we were picked up for church. Although we visited 4 people/families, not one of them showed up. Gah. Probably one of the most frustrating things of my mission. Only thing to work.

 Pointlessly changing the tire.

This is Nathan! He has something similar to down-syndrome, and everytime we're over there, he brings out hangers and pretends they're guns. Such an awesome kid.

This morning, once a month, our zone goes to a food bank here in SV and helps out! It's run by a Catholic church and they like our help. About half of our zone showed up, since our zone is so far apart, and it rocked face. We helped people carry their food to their cars or wherever. If you want to care for people, just go out and serve them. Mosiah 2:17!

This morning volunteering at the food bank from 8-12!

I wrote a poem while waiting *tard alert*:

Right now, I be chillin' in a Library.
Hold up, wait a minute, no computers are free.
I can rap "Please Stand Up" until I bleed.
But please, let's be honest, no computers are free.
My family and friends are waiting, yes indeed.
I love the ATM, but it's PDAY, let it be!
Get off the computers, so at least one can be free.

I say it all the time, but there truly is nothing better I'd rather be doing. The blessing and protection missionaries have if they're obedient, is just remarkable. To be able to be lead physically to people who are ready, is a blessing. Although this transfer I feel that sometimes my outlook on things may be different, the Lord is always there. We are definitely grateful for President and Sister Killpack!

New Year's resolution: Have more charity and patience for everyone I come across, in hope to be humble. Woot!

There's your enjoyment for the day. Now go rock someones face!

Luke 21:19 "In your patience possess ye your souls."
Jacob 4:7 - trials can show where we're at in life.

If one's path is difficult, their calling is higher!

Let's rock this world again!!

Guess what we did for New Year's? Went to bed. Heck yeah.

Love you all. Stay real Scranton.

-Elder Dallin Hales