Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 73 - Welcome Pres/Sis. Pasey!

Welcome to the ATM President and Sister Pasey!! 

This morning was our last Monday call with President Killpack, but, they said we'll see them at homecomings :D Can't believe it's time to change up Mission President's already. We know that the Pasey's are what God wants for this mission. We get to meet him this Thursday at a Zone Meeting. Can't wait! Change is coming.

President and Sister Killpack dropped off some ribs and potatoes! Man. We miss them already.

Let's first start off with "The Family" - our name for the family we found because they are so awesome. This family is one of the kindest ones out there. Although some craziness is going on when we go inside, every single time we're over, they treat us with respect, gather around, and they always are nice to us. Sister Matlock adopted her grand children who are now investigating the church. They are 18,15,13, and 12 years old. We extending baptism dates to them, and ALMOST had them committed to it, but it just isn't quite time. We are going over tonight to do an FHE about prayer and the Book of Mormon. All the kids went through heck and back growing up. Every time we leave that home, we both look at each other and know they will enter the Lord's church soon enough. They said they were all coming to church yesterday, but had to cancel because of some crazy random thing which prevented them from coming...again, Satan is real. Next week for sure. We love this family! We'll try to get pictures with them this week.

Randomly awesome.

After one of the lesson's on part of the Plan de Salvacion, Sister Matlock asked us to give a blessing to her 8 yr old that has cerebral palsy I think? She doesn't talk and has some tantrums, but of course we were more than willing. I was able to give the blessing. She kept moving and couldn't stay still during the blessing, but the prompting to bless her with peace came, and she was completely still after that for the rest of the blessing. It was cool. The gospel is true! The kids are reading the Book of Mormon. The gospel blesses all families!! Feel free to keep them in your prayers :] Every prayer a blessing.
We just started walking....or else we'd be dripping in sweat. Oh yeah!!

Here's an example of the cool things we're involved with
June 28 (yesterday) - teach part of 5th Sunday lesson to HP, Elders Quorum, and RS about the 'Willing and Brief;'

July 1 - Teach 45ish min. lesson on a chapter out of 'Power of an Everyday Missionary" to High Counselman, and the WML's in the Stake and missionaries.

July 3 - Zone Meeting with President Pasey

July 10th - Teach/train the youth in the Sahuarita Stake for the youth conference for a few hours at EAC.

July 11 - MLC in Tucson

July 15
 - interviews!

July 18
+19 - musical talent show and helping out with Pioneer Day celebrations. 
Lessons and great things happening in between :D
There is always something going on. July will be a great month, which will make it FLY by.

This dog literally almost killed me...and vice versa haha

We also have another investigator in the YSA we're working with. His name is Greg and he grew up with members. He hasn't been approached by missionaries (somehow) but we're trying to work with him and hope to set a BD soon. He's a bouncer at a club. wootwoot!
Did anyone feel the earthquake? It was fun :D
The heat is literally melting away my shoes. All in a days work.

The whole "Ordain Women" thing has been brought up to us, and we had to teach a recent convert about why women don't hold the priesthood because she was approached with it. Sad day. Good thing it's not a man's church.
Our AWESOME Gila Valley Zone after District Meetings!

One day while contacting, we came across of JW's. Very good people. I've learned that with a lot of religion, that if you even bring up your beliefs with no invitations or commitments, it may often bring contention...which really is sad. We've been approached where we both felt that if we would have brought up anything, it would have brought contention. We have no problem defending what we know to be true, and we have to do it regularly, but bashing I don't believe is something God prefers. Meh.
Just doing a blitz for the sisters.

One of our favorite things to do is to share the 1st vision with people. When it is properly set up, the spirit will ALWAYS be there. Every time we've done it with members, they always had someone that came to mind that needs the gospel. It's my favorite thing. Bishop Bluth is having us (or whatever missionaries are here during the school year) teach Relief Society and Priesthood about the 1st vision and sharing that experience. I love it. No other words can we say so consistently that will always bring the spirit! 

Right after a killer workout around 7am haha. Perfect way to start off the day #morningschedule

Well it's time to go. Time is up, and we have errands to do. Including making our zone shirts! Heck to the yeah.

The church is true and I love it with my whole heart. I don't want to stop being a missionary - when all of your stress is directed towards God's children, nothing is better.

One ain't enough. Especially since it'll be 104-108 all week. Bring it.

Love you all! Hope to hear from some of y'all! People are getting married like crazy!
People get married and engaged here in the YSA on a weekly basis haha.

-Elder Hales

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 72 - Last zone conference w/the Killpacks

"I have never been so tired before in my life than in this area, even more than football." 
-Elder Netane

This past week was another example of how if you always go to work, even when you can barely function because you're so tired, God leads you to people. It says "..even when you are tired." in PMG, and it's so true. Sleep means nothings anymore haha.

This past week was the setup for great things. #miracleweek Things are picking up!!

Sister Killpack keeping the tradition going of cutting a decorated tie of all the missionaries they worked with. Going to be very missed.

Last week started by us having our last zone conference with the Killpack's. Elder Netane and I along with the other ZL's did some training, which went very well. It was about the ordinance of the sacrament for investigators. Afterwards, President and Sister Killpack gave some incredible testimonies, then at the end, they asked us to get in a line to shake their hands since we won't see them again. (Elder Netane and I will see them tomorrow morning to open up a church - one last time!) I told them I'd see them at Oak City Days in Delta. They are such incredible people. President Killpack has always been there for any of us, to counsel, and support. Going to be missed.

Our LAST Zone Conference with the Killpack's. Such an awesome meeting. One last picture with our zone and them.

"If you don't make the small sacrifices, He won't ask you to make the big ones." 
-President Killpack
2 Nephi4:3-6, Jacob 5:75

OUr trainer's 'dying' ties

While on exchanges with Elder George, the morning started off with a meeting with President Bryce - President of EAC. He talked with us about how he feels missionary work can be done most effectively. He pointed at me and said "You have the golden area out of the whole mission." and I do believe it, especially come August when next semester happens. I was asked what I thought if I was transferred a week before the semester, so who knows. I'll probably be here until right before the semester, or a month after. But all that matters, is that we went to work and helped the work progress. As long as missionaries come wanting to work, the Lord will bless them. So excited to see what happens to this area.

Doing our transferly DL exchanges with Elder George. wootwoot! 

The missionary force. At an investigator's home. He was in the bathroom for like 45 we took a pic. and rescheduled.

At dinner on exchanges, a lady [Tan Bingham] comes up: "Are you Christy's brother? She says hi!" hahah got to love it!!! So many nice people here.

Service at 5:45am. We ran there to get our morning exercise.

Appointment with the Lord is one of my favorite things to do on exchanges. We did one and felt to go to 14th street. We got there early so we said a prayer of what to do. We headed up to 12th street and saw a girl outside and asked her if she knew someone that could use help? She said "down on 14th street.." so boom, there's our answer. On 14th street we met two people, one who is not interested but we cleared up a LOT of things about our church. The other person was looking for a church and wanted to do family history! 

Our zone had a convert baptism! I was able to interview Bailey and her brother who was re-baptized. Interviewing people for baptism is one of the COOLEST opportunities.

On a nightly basis, we pray as a mission for 1) familes 2) potential familes for those in YSA. Well, we found one! While walking along in our family ward boundaries, we knocked on a house where two guys came out and told us to come back later. We did so, and there was still 2 people there. One of them a member, and the 15 yr old who wasn't. We sat down, and within 15 mins., 5 more people came and gathered around the table. We taught the entire Restoration and almost set some BD's. They said they felt "something" after the 1st vision - the spirit was there! They also read the BOM! We will follow up with them tomorrow and are praying hard that things can progress.

While talking to a guy, who wasn't interested but loved to talk, I set my comp. up for an analogy after he brought up music: "you know, music is sort of like the Book of Mormon, Elder Netane has a great analogy too!" *Looks at me and starts laughing* well that went well haha.

While planning one night, my comp. felt we should go try a member who hasn't been able to come to church in a while. We showed up there and a girl named Morgan was there - 17 years old and will be a senior in HS. Things went really well and we were able to teach a solid Restoration to her. We would have set a baptism date, but she had to leave for work right before extending the invitation. Apparently she had talked with Diego about the church and he had asked what she thought about meeting with missionaries. We had no idea, and yet, God sure did! We'll pass her off to the right missionaries and see what happens!

Saving a pup out of his yard. (Brian is in the background - his wife is a recent-convert). Such down to earth people. They always give us ice cream because he's an ice cream man part time! Nothing's better than ice cream walking hours in 105 weather.

This past week was a great week, and yet it set us up for an even greater week. We have appointments with people who wanted us over where we hope to help them progress! Yesterday more people said they were coming to church than any other week. Our zone almost did better in every area. Good things are happening and God is pouring out his awesome blessings! 

Reading this scripture really stood out to us yesterday
D&C 64:33
"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying a foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great."

Well that's a quick sum up of the miracle week we had up here. I don't have time to write about all the little things. I've noticed in myself since day 1 in the MTC, that I can recognize God's hand in my life more than ever. That's why it's harder and harder to write home each week. THERE'S TOO MUCH STUFF! Why is God so awesome? Hopefully what's said in these emails home can brighten someone's day :D Bishop Bluth will be using a picture off of here for when he teaches a lesson next month. Awe yeah! We're also part-teaching the 5th Sunday lesson next week in our family ward. Let the trainings, lessons, begin! 

I love you all so much! Keep being a boss.

+Elder DJ Hales

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 71 - Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day! 

Super sketch houses while blitzing the sister's area...

"It is what it is." - Bishop Bluth

This past week was awesome. Our zone found the most new investigators than we've ever seen while serving up here. We literally have to talk to everyone and find in all situations to find any new investigators up here. All but 1 of the baptisms I've been able to be involved with came from members. That's how big the role of members are.
 I used an Xbox controller for the Mormon Messages, it was strange.
On Thursday President wants the ZL's to train at Zone Conferences this week. Last Zone Conference they did a workshop where each zone rotates 3 times to be trained on different things. Elder Netane and I are training on "How the ordinance of the sacrament manifest's God's power in investigator's lives." Pretty slick. Our training is done and we have zone conferences tomorrow! The last ones before President Pasey arrives. Our zone is also singing tomorrow! We arranged a version of 'Bring the World His Truth' which happens to be my all-time favorite church song. We arranged Elder Netane to play the ukulele and a piano version, I'll do a duet with Sister Halle for part of it. Should be sweet! Can't believe President and Sister Killpack go home two weeks from TODAY!! Holy cow. They will be missed. President Pasey will be welcomed.

Our Gila Valley Zone (Thatcher and Pima Stakes) - one of the coolest zones ever. We all get along and all have a mindset to work as much as we can. What an awesome zone.

Last Monday we taught a girl named Naomi about the BOM and she seemed pretty interested! It was a great way to start off the week...but she never showed up again and apparently isn't interested...lame. 2Nephi2:11


There's a member named Max who we're working with trying to get on a mission - he talked to us about seeing people/ghosts wearing suits and scaring him growing up. It's crazy. The gospel literally takes care of any problem anyone has.

While planning one night, Elder Netane had a prompting to go knock the old-sketchy apartments right next to Hawaiin Snow - a Thatcher hot spot. There was a green light outside, which in Tucson means they sell drugs, and we came across a guy named Isaac! Suuuper friendly dude. We talked with him shortly and turns out he's a member! Sweet! We went back the next day and taught his roommate about the BOM and got an appointment for tomorrow night! Sweet!! Not everyone is a member up here, regardless of what some say.
Super sketch houses while blitzing the sister's area...

Another new investigator we found this past week, his name is Dillon! He's 18 and chill. We found him (while walking in the 107 degree sun :D) chillin' on his porch having moved here a couple weeks prior. They are baptist, but he pointed out some good questions about the Godhead, prayer, and other stuff. Hope things go well for him! TBA..

Aaron is the dude who owns/runs Radioactive Crossfit down here. He's a boss. Hah. Pun. He let's us go to Crossfit 3 days a week at 6:15 so we can be done early enough for studies. All we do is help him with some service on Friday's. We offered to help him paint, so on Saturday we did! Found out Aaron is a JW and a very nice dude. People know us around the gym now and one night on our way home for the night about 9pm, they were having BBQ, so we dropped by for literally 5 mins., and everyone seemed surprised when we showed up because we were missionaries who did Crossfit! They came up to us and acted surprised because we put up a good fight for WOD's. My comp. and I were talking afterwards about how cool it was that they showed their respect to us. They made us a plate of food. AWESOME people. We did a workout called Fran. It killed us. You're a representative no matter where you are, or what you're doing. It's a very eye-opening experience and goes to show that there are opportunities everywhere. Sometimes, your influence from the gospel can go a long way.

Doing a little service for Coach Aaron!
The search for investigators for other areas continues! 2 of the referrals we've passed off in the past couple weeks are still working with the missionaries! One of them was a lady that only spoke spanish - it was hard brushing off our UN-pocito Espanolo, but my comp. and I both felt we needed to get her address and pass her off to the spanish sisters. 
We let the sisters use the truck, so we got bikes! Beach cruiser for the poly...ahem..

In the oncoming month or so, there is craziness all up in herr! We'll be training at Zone Conference, the 5th Sunday lesson, a lesson to the WML's in the Stake, the Sahuarita Stake Youth Conference here at EAC, and other things as well. It's awesome to train when you're prepared because the spirit moves the discussion. 

This next semester, the MG YSA 1st Ward with Bishop Bluth will more than likely be getting their OWN set of missionaries, which will be us if we're still here. I just have to say how awesome Bishop Bluth is. He and his wife are so inspired in so many different ways. They love having us over Sunday nights to 'council and discuss' about many different things. He's become a very good friend of ours. Those two are incredibly good people.

RT (random thought - not "retweet") I felt I should share:

"Sitting here in the YSA sacrament thinking of how God prepares things before heavenly results. Our area is being prepared RIGHT NOW, just like how families are being prepared by those who accept the gospel within their families, even just one or two of them. God is always preparing people, places, and opportunities for us to progress."

My brain doesn't seem to slow down any more. There is always something for us to do, and there's no such thing as a dead area. wootwoot!

Thank you again and again everyone. Some days we wake up and are just in a great mood (like today) and we know that it's not us, but it's the prayers of people we know back home. Thank you to everyone who is a boss. This church is true, Joseph Smith truly did restore this church which now is accessible to every single one of God's children. My heart is in God's work, and I'm always excited to see what happens each day. A miracle you will remember for the rest of your life could happen at any moment! How rad is that.

Love y'all. Stay real reality.

-Elder Dallin Hales

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 70 - "I like your shoes!"

Tons of work was done, and very little was for our area, but nonetheless, the work progresses.

Here's a brief overview of what our plans were last week. It's quite a packed schedule. Ohhh the life of a missionary.

Let's start off with a couple miracles :D Elder Netane and I have working as much as possible, taking short lunches, staying out until the minute we have to be home, in hopes of getting some work going.One morning at about 10:15am we went and checked out a couple less actives, none were home, but a couple pulled up to the trailer right next door, and after they went inside, Thomas came out and asked "Do you want some ice cream? My wife is an investigator." Yes please! Two for one. Apparently his wife was taught by missionaries a while back until things got too busy. After talking about where the newly weds are at now, we asked if she had a BOM...she said "Actually, I went and bought one this morning." No way. Not many people go to the store at 9am, to buy a Book of Mormon. Wow. She is very prepared. We were definitely directed towards them, even though your plans don't always happen, miracles do. We passed her off to the right Elders, she will get baptized :D

Elder Hickenlooper said he did a baptismal interview in this house.. haha it was an awesome exchange.

Another time, Elder Netane and I were out street contacting, while using the approach of "I like your shoes!" until we walked past a sign of a trailer park we hadn't recognized before...we both headed in and knocked all 5 trailers. All ignored, except 1. His name is Carlos and has a lot of pain and work going on in his life. He poured out his life to us about wanted to change and how he loves God, but his family seems to be suffering which makes him suffer. Elder Netane and I looked at each other and both said we need to give him a blessing. He invited us in his home where we gave him a blessing. Again, he's YSA so he's not ours to teach, but nonetheless, the work is progressing. Elder Hickenlooper and I were on exchanges Saturday so we went and did service for him for an hour an moved a bunch of (crazy) stuff and set a baptism date with him. We're really hoping it goes well for the Elders. We also found pot. Fun.

John, our native investigator right after a solid lesson.

There's been a few people we've been working with, John, Carlos, and Anothony. All YSA investigators. YSA's are really hard to get a hold of constantly during the summer, and yet they are solid. Whoever will be here next semester will have a ton of work going on. The Lord is preparing our area and zone for great things and it's a blessing to be a part of it.

We blitzed 3 different areas this past week, this is the Sister's. Oh look! Boonies.

In Zone Meeting this past Wednesday, we talked about Goliath's and our zone decided that the area 'mindset' is definitely one. TRUE THAT. We're all here to change it. It was a good Zone Meeting and lots of things were talked about. Our zone found new investigators in areas we have never seen happen yet. So cool. During zone meeting we asked who wanted to do a musical # for Zone Conference next week. "All in favor of Elder Hales doing it, raise your hand." ughhhh...well...I'll be singing next week along with Sister Halle, with Elder Netane on the Ukulele and Sister Fuller on the piano. Hopefully can find a good "Army of Helaman" cover.

Our LAST Mission Leader Conference with President and Sister Killpack.

When we show God our diligence, He gives us a sense of hope.
You find crazy things while doing service sometimes.

Yesterday there was a devotional. Apparently there is a movie that came out about missionaries getting kidnapped in Russia? Well, one of those missionaries came and spoke to us and told us the whole story...holy cow. Pictures and everything. I love how hesitant they were to hurting the kidnappers because they didn't feel it was right.

Our area is slightly slow at the moment, but it's about to pick up a lot. Elder Netane and I both know that God is preparing our area, something that needs to be done before work can progress at a higher pace. I'm grateful to serve here. I've been focusing on trying to help people more, and feel that helping out the work in other areas is one way God has led us to do. This zone and mission rocks. 

Our reaction to getting no mail...

Sister Allen the wife of just released Bishop Allen of the 2nd YSA ward, came up to me at church and said, "Nate told me to tell you: Supertard." hahahah the perks of people knowing your family.

Congrats to my friends who have come home from missions, have recieved their mission calls, or have gotten married!!! So many things are happening. The church is true and I love it with my whole heart. Our testimonies are tried at times, because that means there's something to actually be tried. We know that that will result in more strength. With God anything is possible. This mission has blessed my life eternally.
- Elder DJ Hales

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 69 - #GilaValleyChallenge

The #GilaValleyChallenge:
The first week of a brand new zone is over. It's crazy all up in herr. There has been miracles already, and although our area is pretty slow at the moment, we've been able to help out some other areas. On Friday we had MLC on top of Mount Lemmon, church is crazy, and miracles have been seen. 

MLC!! It was weird to see us in jeans.

I'm in a very good mood. This morning I had an eye doc. appointment. I ordered 6 months worth of contacts and she came back with the receipt, the lady said, "I didn't charge your card because someone paid for you already." what???? It's was over $100! It hit me how charitable people are. Her name was Tami, but had left already. It's instances like that where you feel you have taken things for granted. Maybe finances aren't a struggle for someone, but it may be for others where they have to use their faith in many ways. That lady however, will be blessed.

Remember Kobie one of our invests. a few weeks back? Apparently he's on the verge of gettin' kicked out of his house because he's trying to contact people and wants to pursue this gospel. His mom has taken away everything of his. All we can honestly do is keep him in our prayers. Extra prayers always go a long way too :]

The dinners have been crazy. Most days we fast breakfast and lunch, and then have 2 dinners haha. I've only had 4 meals in 3 days...the sun just beats it out of you. 

This was our appointment with the Lord? God loves to lead us to dirt. But nonetheless, there was people we were supposed to talk to!

We did however come across a new investigator for us. At the home of some YSA, a guy named Carlos asked us to help he pulls us aside and asks for some help with him and his broken up gf...hmm...he's a non-member....we pulled the gospel into it and tried to help him out. We're meeting with him tonight again and he says he wants to pursue! Can't wait and we hope to set a date tonight.


One big focus lately has been referrals! It's been proven many times that the more referrals you give out to other missionaries, the more work comes into your own area. It's SO rad. So although our area may be slow at the moment, we have been able to send out some referrals. One of them we taught last night on splits with those missionaries. The lesson with the 16 year old went well while Elder Lowe and I went and taught 2 investigators, which also went really well. Sacrifices are always worth it, because a sacrifice ends with a blessing.

Along with that, we are always out doing SOMETHING, doesn't matter what. Out walking, praying for where we should go while looking at a map, you name it, there is always things to do.

On Friday we went to Tucson for the monthly MLC meeting. This time, since it was President and Sister Killpacks last MLC, they took us up on Mount Lemmon. Our faces show it too :D #rudolf It was crazy to hear President's last MLC meeting and the testimonies and trainings that were given were amazing. Both of their testimonies are memorable. The focus was on finding by our faith, the transition, and a lot of other things we're excited to take back to our zones. They gave us a few minutes to bear our testimonies as well. It was so cool to bear your testimony on a cliff at MLC about families and the 1st vision. Never forget. Our mission had more baptisms in April than any other AZ mission, which they have never seen. There are incredible things happening in this mission, which means miracles are happening in zones, districts, and companionships.

I guess they were looking at my camera. It was so rad. I wanted a parachute.

WE contacted a former NFL football player! What's up!! Not interested -_-
Elder Hickenlooper and Bleyl doing wuurk.

Yesterday in sacrament, someone sang a navajo song and talked about their culture, another guy gave out his number over the pulpit along with other stuff, and another guy came across that he isn't sure if this church is true. hahah. It was crazy talking with the Bluth's afterwards. hahah

Someone asked me if I was from Australia after I prayed haha. I don't know here the accents come from.

Nonetheless, it has been a CHAOS type of week with fixing cars, inspecting the zone's cars, getting new missionaries settled in, organizing many things, MLC, and then working in our own area. I've been pretty stressed out, but it's stress aimed towards the benefit of others.

Every morning at 6:30am, our zone wanted to do something. So, every morning at 6:30am, Elder Netane and I sent out a zone text that is either a workout challenge, or a question. #GilaValleyChallenge First companionship to finish/answer it and texts us back, wins 6 points for the day. It's rad and INTENSE! hahah we love our zone. There's a ton of change that's happening up here, but it's because kicking Satan's trash. wootwoot.


Not much else has happened, I can't even remember what's happened in the past week. This week is zone meeting, exchange with the assistants, and some other things so it should be a good one! In all honestly, I'm grateful to serve. It has been one of the most humbling experience of my life. There are so many things that happen that make you want to do more, become better, and strive for the best. The gospel is true, and the blessings are the same for anyone, regardless their situation. I love it with my whole heart. 

Have a good week everyone!! Love y'all. :D

-Elder Hales