Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 64 - Mini-Provo!

There's nothing like AZ sunsets.

Another week gone in mini-provo!

Although a lot of things fell through this past week, we're looking at a solid week now. It just sucks when you have multiple appointments with potentials and they all fall through haha. GAH! Satan's working hard in the mormon town! We contacted a lot of people and set appointments, but they never went through. Gah. Just have to keep working! Our Zone did slightly better at least as we've started to do some blitzing to other areas and have found some new investigators that way. Gila Valley is in a position where it's ready to be picked up in preparation for some more missionaries in the zone to come in. There's been an area or two that have closed the past few months since some things have happened, IDK, but we're ready to work hard and get as much work as possible! :D

A quick shot at some of EAC's campus. EAC is one of the few jr. college's that have dorms, so there's always people out doing there's always people to talk to! :D

A good buddy of mine Elder Wolfley was called as an office missionary. He is probably the sickest office missionary out there!! wootwoot!

Part of my 40 Day fast, I'm praying for a few things on a daily basis. Both of us are doing things to try and do whatever it takes to get things going.

There's still a lot of sketch houses. Got to knock them all! 

....I walked around.

It started out with dinner last Monday night before FHE with some YSA's. Shawn, Bryce, Payge, Lydia, Ashely, and two non-members Taylor and Miranda. It was awesome and Taylor and Miranda both said they had a lot of questions for us. PERRFECT!! We introduced the BOM and got an appointment for the next seemed like they were going to throw a lot of questions at us...we were excited to rely on the spirit...but they didn't show up, and apparently were at a photo-shoot or something. Hmmm...still trying to contact them..TBA!

Our quarterly temple trip was this past Tuesday! I always took advantage of living close to 12 of them. Looks like I'll be applying to ASU!

This is our Gila Valley Zone, aka, the priesthood zone haha. Missionaries back, ALRIGHT! 

There's a few missionaries in our zone that we love to death, but aren't always in their areas and some other things....handling disobedience can show quite a bit about someone, there's many different ways to do it. But all's good now!!

Just out blitzin'!

Our recent convert "Tracie" is doing great!! We're going through the new member discussions and have a couple weeks to finish, since EVERYONE is leaving for the summer :( crap. Tracie is very sincere and has quite a trip coming her way this summer as she'll go back to live on the reservation....where there's been witchcraft and who knows what going on there. It came to mind about a patriarchal blessing...she met with the Bishop yesterday and should be getting her Patriachal blessing soon! Within a month of her baptism! Inspiration. BOOM! Gah, it so cool to see this happen to people. 

 After Tracie's confirmation! MG YSA 1st ward is incredible. The best ward co

One of Tracie's friends "Liz" haha she rocks. She likes to get baptized in a lot of churches. She'll be staying for the summer, so we hope to work with her more and more.

From our apartment, there's "Radioactive Crossfit" about a 1 minute walk from our place. We go up there and start talking to the coach and his gf....haha. Small world. They both know Christy and Ben!! They said that Christy's having a boy which I didn't even know! CONGRATS!! We now have hookups to Crossfit a couple times each week in the early mornings :D

Zone Trainings were this past week in which we didn't train, but President and Sister Killpack and the assistant's did...Sister Killpack said, "We don't always know what to expect when we go to the Gila Valley." hahah. The training was very spirit-driven. Wow. It was focused a lot on Charity and teaching as Christ would. The spirit was there and the comments that were made were...somewhat surprising, but too awesome. It brought our zone closer and is a big step in getting the Zone where we can and will be.

We contacted and had appointments with 5 or 6 potentials, but they all fell through. This week should be a better week! There's always missionary work going on daily though. Christian Jessop is our investigator where we're just waiting on the 1st Presidency's approval and then he'll be baptized! He's one of the most solid out there. He goes home (along with 3 YSA wards..) for the summer, but we have members praying for him along with fasts and prayers, so we HOPE that he'll be baptized before guess is that he'll get baptized the week that he leaves. We've also been working with Jacob who was baptized 10 years ago and is preparing to go on a mission. I've always wanted to teach someone to the point of a mission. He starting his papers and we've seen a change already as he prepares himself for the priesthood. We also contacted a member at a park, who went through a lot of poor things growing up. The gospel, is for everyone!

My awesome companion Elder Netane and I

While in a dinner message, the phrase popped into my head (possibly a future rap :D) 
"Quit looking back on the sin committed.
Start reflecting on the repentance submitted."

Last night for dinner, we ate at the house across the street from where my Sister and bro-in-law used to live. There was like 4 girls (one whom is sitting by us in the comp. lab) and a dude. It was probably the funniest dinner of my life. We couldn't stop laughing. The meal was great along with the dinner message. What a small funny town.

Congrats to my trainer who is ENGAGED!! Whaa?

There's so much potential up here. Thank you for all of your prayers and the support! It's a missionary's invitation to find out who he is....and where to draw the line with being a 'formal missionary' and being your complete self......meh. Just follow the spirit. That's always a pretty solid (and sort of lazy, but effective) answer :D

Things are good out here, and next week there will be more update on investigators and such!! I love you all and LOVE pics. and letters. Every letter a miracle.

Don't be stupid.

The church is true and has saved countless lives. As brother Ott would say, "God said do it. Jesus loves you. The end." ...basically sums it up!
Alma 36:27

-Elder Hales

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 63 - What a small world.

This morning while cleaning, I thought of a song I'm going to write. The chorus will be something like this:

"It's the simple answers, that are guarded by angels. 
To let you know, there are reasons out there.
So come on and praise, and feel God's great love.
It's the simple answers, that we all will care."

The verses will have to do with the story of 'Dave Blake' the one who passed away in September. I might include something about Todd who passed away a year ago yesterday out in Deming. Man. God has a plan.

So, holy crap. Our first week in the transfer up here in the Gila Valley was NUTS! (good thing). After emailing last week, it was chaos. We had a baptism that night! It was for a girl named Tracie who apparently went through hell to get to where she is now. The baptism prep. was intense. So many things needed to get done and I didn't know anyone. In all in all, the baptism went VERY well and had a good 50 or so YSA's show up as support Tracie. 

Tracie! - baptism on Tuesday night! She's a native and just doesn't give up. Can't wait to work with her more and more.

Right after the baptism, missionaries do a '5MTM' (5 minute teaching moment) where they'll do a short Restoration, Plan of Salvation, or Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson....well the missionaries didn't show up that said they would do I talked with the WML and because my companion Elder Netane baptized Tracie....he was a little wet. So I asked if he wanted prelude music or for me to do it....well he said for me to do it. So I was able to share the Restoration....and it was one of the most spirit direction short Resto. lessons yet. Wow. I'm grateful for that. It goes to show the importance of a baptism! If God wants it done RIGHT, He will have it done right, no matter what kind of a tard (me) is involved. It was a great day, along with meeting a lot of YSA's from the 1st ward.

 Ensign here we come!

My companion is Elder Netane....STUD status. We get along awesome. He reminds me a lot of Elder Auva'a. Elder Netane is Tongan. Man, just something about the Poly's that rocks. They are so chill, but willing to work. Elder Netane and I were in East Tucson together and are definitely having fun with missionary work out here. We walk around on Eastern Arizona College (where we're at right now) a lot since the institute is there where we teach a lot and have FHE's and all that awesome stuff. I love serving YSA.

Catching shrimp in the river by the institute...we went and talked to this guy who is a member and he was catching things the Samoan way!

One of our investigators, Christian, is SOLID as. He's been taught everything and we go and daily nourish him with short lessons to keep him going. He's very ready and said "better sooner than later" while we're waiting for the 1st Presidency on approval. After that, we have the go!
This was a place we contacted/tracted. God loves to put me in the boonies.

My 2nd day up here in the Gila Valley, we randomly went to the institute for some reason...EmmaLee was there! A former invest. who ALMOST got baptized. We talked with her and asked a random dude to join the lesson, and wow, the lesson was awesome. EmmaLee knows the BOM is true, so there was something holding her back. The lesson went very well as the member that we took served a mission, but hasn't been able to go to church much due to his job. He got very emotional sharing his testimony, and it goes to show there are no coincidences in the eyes of God. 

Two days later, she met with us again! She hasn't met with missionaries for a few months now. Her boyfriend joined the lesson and it went great. Elder Chamberlain, who is now home (love you man!) wrote a few people down to "Not give up on!" since he served here a few months back. During the 2nd lesson, I pulled out my planner, and slid it to her to show her the list of people. Her name was on the list.....she put her hands up to her face and said "I feel like I'm going to cry!" because she noticed the "coincidence." The lesson went well as we read Mosiah 18:8-10 and then dug and dug and got a concern from her. She is scared to slip before baptism. We learned some other things and then we asked if she wanted a Priesthood Blessing, something she had been thinking about. I was able to do that and afterwards she said she felt "awesome." She's been in contact with us and good things are in store. We really hope to set a date with her and have her baptized! YSA rocks.

The list given to me from former Elder Chamberlain which was a sweet experience while teaching EmmaLee.

I finished the New Testament this past week. WOOHOO!

This a missionary meal when we don't eat with members.

The first day here, they told me that we'd be speaking in Stake Conference...well we did! I loved being able to speak at Stake Conference. At 4pm, President Larsen (President Killpack's 2nd counselor) asked us to do a role play for the Stake Priesthood leadership meeting. It went well and then 2 hours later we spoke in Stake Conference! The temple President, Stake Patriarch, and Stake presidency was there. There was a few hundred people at the Thatcher Stake Center! It rocked face. Our talks went smoothly and felt driven by the spirit. I've never had such good support after a talk before, neither have I felt so welcomed into any area. The talk went well. Some dude quoted me in the Sunday session. Almost 2,000 people were there. Must be a highly LDS populated place! The big hit was "There is no comfort in your growth zone, and there is no growth in your comfort zone." It was great to be involved.

After the talks, two people came up to me, Ammon and his wife (sorry I can't remember your name! [Taleah!!]). They are good friends with Christy and Ben! Guess what else? My sister and Bro-in-law's house is a 2 minute walk from our apartments! We talked to the guy who lived there....he is very anti......very....but it was still exciting to see! Then last night while at Bishop Bluth's house (1st ward) he was asking me a lot of questions to get to know me and he was the pest control dude for CB! hahah small world. We laughed pretty hard. He said, "Is she the runner with over a hundred pairs of shoes??" hahahah I laughed pretty hard. They remember how awesome they were when he went over. Wow. What a small world. Maybe that's why I feel at home here...because I almost am! Whaa?

Ohhhh just a house we walk by all the time....ohhh...that's where my Sister and Bro-in-law used to live!!

The 1st ward mission leader taught the 'Cook' family down the street from my dad's, small world!

Well time is about up. The work is good up here as there is much work to do. It's a chance to take what was learned in Sierra Vista which was slow at one point, and see what we can make of the Valley. Our zone is TINY, but plenty of missionary work out there. "Are you mormon?" - "yes" - "....oh!....sweet!" haha. We ask for a lot of referrals up here.
I love you all so much! Go share the gospel :]

and go running..

and drink a monster.

I love you all. The church is true and I know Christ suffered for us.

Happy late Easter! 
This is a meal when you eat with (12 Samoan) members! Holy Easter feast! They literally took a pig, cooked it, put it on the table, and went at it....dang it was good. I got full a lot sooner than they did...

-Elder Hales

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

[Transfers] Week 62 - Gila Vally YSA at Eastern Arizona College!

Well, I don't even know where to start. Transfers are TODAY and I got transferred...up to the GILA Valley. Fun Fact: our zone covers where my Sister used to live a while back! Hopefully we'll run into people. wootwoot! It was crazy coming up here to the Gila Valley. Sleepless nights. There's been some crazy crap going on up in this Zone the past few transfers, but I'm excited to get to work and see what will come of it. We have a baptism tonight at 6pm and then another one this Saturday along with speaking in Stake Conference this weekend. I'm being thrown in to a lot of things, but I love it! WE cover 4 YSA wards!! We go on Eastern Arizona College a lot. So STOKED!!! My comp. is Elder Netane, who's a poly, and a stud, and this is his 2nd transfer as a ZL. Let's do some work!
Let's recap last night and some things I've learned about Sierra Vista: Soowoo.

"got you! Now lay down for 10 seconds!"

Last week while on exchanges with Elder Wardell, we set a baptism date with a guy named Damien whom we contacted on the street. We set the date, and he said it was the same day as his bday! Sweet! Damien is Buddhist and a Master Free Mason, so it was always fun teaching him. He came to church, liked it, and is progressing! Elder Simpson said he'd keep me updated.
Last week we had a Zone Meeting. Elder and Sister Tanner (senior couple) had a son pass away the day before, and still came. It was expected, but they're strong people. The Zone Meeting went pretty well, but apparently the same reaction happened throughout the mission. While teaching, "We have been given a gift to have an outside point of view."

Last Zone Meeting in Sierra Vista. Our whole Zone including senior couples. A member made us all food!


Ashley was baptized!! By her husband!! Bro. Ott said that it was the first time to use the priesthood because of the craziness that he's been through. It was such a cool baptism. Ashley bore her testimony at her baptism and I left us speechless. She said, "I had been praying for a church because my family needed help." and got emotional and said she knew the BOM is true. it was a great way to end the transfer. When Bishop told me that April 11th would be okay for Brother Ott to baptize, I knew it was the end of my time in Sierra Vista. Ashley is working on getting her Patriarchal Blessing. Such a SOLID family. I miss them dearly.

Ashley's baptism! Will never forget them.

Our Zone had 3 baptisms last week. One of them was a guy that I was able to set a date with while on exchanges in another ward. His name is Tyler! It so cool to see work go forth.

Role playing at mission prep with some students.

Lanney and Aaron also came to church! We have never seen them more happy than the weeks that they go to church. Aaron is currently working on quitting smoking and has made huge progress since smoking since he was 15. WE bought him lots of gum and have working out with him in the mornings. It's rare to see that much happiness come upon a family amonst the crap that they have to go through. It must be the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the process of trying to quit smoking, haha it sort backfired haha.

Lanney, Aaron, and their kids!

While in a lesson with an investigator, we introduced the BOM and she was putting...ointment on because of burn....she went too high. EEK!

The Whitney family!

Like every other time I've been transferred, I always think about and list some things I've learned in that area. I came up with a LOT for Sierra Vista, but they are things that will help me become a better missionary/person. Le. go.
-In order to progress, you must have confidence in your choices and actions when given options.

-Patience helps us see God's will.

-If you trust in authority in times of doubt, the guidance you can receive comes from constantly working on the Lord's time.

-In order to become humbled, steps must be taken. Sometimes those steps feel they're in the wrong direction, but God always leads you in the perfect direction.

-I will never live in a small town X2.

-You can see an entire zone and stake completely change with simple obedience, hard-work, and selflessness.
Revelations 7:17 - "For the lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
Well shoot. I can't believe how things are going. I'm grateful to be serving, and can't believe I'm now serving YSA up in the Gila Valley minutes from the temple. We have Zone Trainings and temple trips later this month. #can'twait there's been a lot of stuff happening in the past few transfers up here, but we just have to go to work and good things will come out of it.

Saying bye to Laeke who is moving up to Pleasant Grove! (and may or may not be stopping by my mom's house soon enough.... :D)

The Ott's! Bella gave an awesome testimony at church. Wow.

Saying bye to our RC Loretta and her husband!

Dinner at the Braun's and McCue's. They gave me a couple presents and started a new tradition of making missionaries wear a super ugly tie and some socks!

 Braun's and the McCue's!

Elder Hickenlooper  - the one taking my spot in Sierra Vista. I've talked with his mom and Sister before the mission, so that's how we knew each other. Small world! They'll tear it up out there!!

Saying bye to the comp. Elder Simpson became very close friends, because man, we went through a TON!! The Stake is on its way to great things.

I love you all and am so blessed and grateful for so many things!!
Elder Dallin Hales

 Life in a nutshell. #missionarylifestyle

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 61 - Baptism this Friday!

Last week. OHh man. Commodities. Mission Leadership Conference, GENERAL CONFERENCE, and one week to go in this transfer. 

Elder Donovan working commodities like a boss.

There's a guy named big Mike that asks for our whole zone to get together to do commodities the first Wednesday of every month. We did it my first transfer here and so we gave it another shot and found some good potentials! You run around doing a lot of different things, getting food prepared for people in line and then help them carry it to their cars. Always makes you feel good.

 After Elder Chamberlain's district meeting, "Big Mike" made us a full course meal at the church! 

One of 'finding goals' recently is to go around, look for moving trucks, and stop and ask if they need help moving in or out! It's worked really well and we've come a crossed a few people that are interested! Some people we moved last week were from Tombstone (one of them therefore being stupendously drunk hahah) and we'll keep everyone updated on them Tombstonians. Another time was last week (I think - everything literally blends together) where they are interested and one night, we went over there to conveniently find an inactive member we helped move a piano for months ago. SWEET! Turns out they were friends! She has a great testimony and taught a lot of things about the Restoration. Her son came across a punk who did some pathetic stuff to her son and now the man is in jail, so they are somewhat distant to us for now, but things are going great with them. At the end of the lesson, the maintenance man knocked on the door and Joyce "Perfect! Now we don't have to pray!" US: "Perfect! He'll pray with us! He's a member!" which he is and he joined us in prayer :D there are no coincidences.

Attempting an awesome pyramid picture. I was in the back waiting to get on top...but fell down *notice President's expression* haha

For MLC we were asked by our Mission President to think of something we've done that has helped out zone positively in the past little while. Our zone's responses were very motivating: 1) Obedience 2)Organized PDAY sports 3)Zone Conference Trainings 4)Zone Unity 5)Caring (ZL's) for each other 6) Change of attitude. So there has been a big change out here in Sierra Vista (#supervista - hashtag it for me) and it's a blessing to see the Lord's arm throughout the Zone and Stake. Our zone has 100% of investigators with a baptism date progressing!! MIRACLE! Tonight and tomorrow we're doing a Zone (and mission)-wide exchange for the ongoing "The Day" where our mission focuses on one specific thing. This time it is 'finding' that is ALWAYS a great thing to improve on. WOOTWOOT

ZL's and STL's in the mission. MLC is by far my favorite meeting. 

Elder Teio! Stud. He's chillin' down in Douglas right now and is basically a professional boxer from Tahiti!

When I talk and write emails/letters, I always forget random words (who proofreads?) and I've noticed it happening while I speak too....I told an investigator "Have a good, enjoy your pizza!" I'm awesome.

"POWER WAGON STATUS" (I don't like dodge trucks. Meh) haha

We have a baptism this FRIDAY!! One that Elder Simpson and I have been working with since about January or so. At first, she said she wouldn't become a Mormon (hear that all the time) and now she is in the book of Alma, asking incredible questions, and is so excited to get baptized this Friday at 5:30! Her husband who has been less active for many many years due to military and what not (but has always had a SOLID testimony) is baptizing her! What a great way to end the transfer. Afterall, our Bishop did say "Jehovah Witnesses make the best members." Whaddup.

My companion gets a kick out of how many times the subject of "gays and mormons" comes up. He said it's never been brought up so much than it has than being my comp. haha. Yesterday, trying to get investigators to meet with us, one investigator wrote us back saying they had a hard time at church because they talked about not accepting gays/lesbians or something like that...we don't remember anything like that, and I wrote back about how our church accepts everyone for who they and we believe in exactly what's taught in the Bible about it, in Romans Chapter response....bleh. There's a lot of misconception about the church out there, but hey, there's a TON of misconception about Christ, and He was and is perfect.

One of our investigators had a crazy cool experience with the closing prayer of Priesthood meeting. Let's just say he knew the words of the closing prayer, beforehand. Mind=BLOWN. Think that's an answer to a prayer? haha. Pun.

General Conference rocked our world! (although sad not seeing my pops :[) here's some fav. quotes/notes yo! :]

GC in SV, AZ!

We missed the first half of Saturday morning because we were setting up for a baptism, but meh.

"Don't let the whirlwinds of life get you down." You will see the whirlwinds for what they are." - Elder Anderson

"Of course we will meet fear. Let us have courage, not compromise, that brings a smile of God's approval." - Elder Nelson

"He learned obedience by the things which he suffered." - Elder Hales
"The Gospel helps us treat people peacefully, even when we disagree." - Elder W. Craig Zwick

"There is no up and down in the service of the Lord. Only forward and backwards." - Elder Oaks

"Develope the skill to look beyond the moment." - Randall L. Ridd

"It's impossible to stand up straight according to popularity and opinions." - President Monson

"In His plan there are no endings, only everlasting beginnings." - Elder Uchtdorf

"Dieter, don't even think about it!!" - President Monson :D

"He will help us in a way that will help us grow." - Jean A. Stevens

"Blame keep wounds open. Only forgiveness heals." - President Monson

"It is critical to recognize when we have enough." - Michael Jon U. Teh

This week we have "The Day", Zone Meeting on Wednesday where we'll train on "Fulfilling 'My Purpose' in all that we do." Good things are happening out here! While talking to one of the assistants on calls last night, I asked him if I should start packing my bags, he said, "Yup!" But anything can happen, but I'm afraid this may be my last week in Sierra Vista. He also asked me if the ages of 20-30 sounded good to work with! Hmmm...YSA?? OH man. 

Next week I'll email on Tuesday (hopefully) since it's transfers! I love you all and LOVE hearing from anyone about anything at time in any place. Wow. Waking up at 5am is getting to me O_o

Love you all!! 

-Elder Dallin Hales

No idea how this started...but whenever you look at someone doing this, you have to lay on the ground for 10 seconds, no matter what. hahah it's awesome, especially out walking haha.