Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 94 - fear sin instead of repentance

11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
My brain turns to mush more and more each week because of the incredible things that happen everyday! Wow. I have my notebook that I write in during the week to remind me what to write home about....except now I just look at it and can't remember a lot of it happening haha. Pres. told us that if we don't read the Book of Mormon now, we won't read it when we're home. He especially asked us to read it everyday, no matter what. We spent a couple days working on new forms for the missionaries for when they do calls, and it was quite the process. But no one really cares to hear about that shtuff, so let's get to the sweet as.
There's a promise that if you look out the window at the McDonald's near here, that every 10 mins you'll see someone jump the fence to America. hahahah
Kayla, a recent convert, gave a talk last night at a UofA fireside. (my companion is acting as the secretary answering phones haha) and she did awesome! She's one of the most sincere members out there. Every time she reads she takes a full page of notes and retains so much of the things that she learns. Kayla had a brain tumor and slowly went down hill. She has a full scholarship for UofA track and runs a mile in 4:38 minutes! Just insane. She's one of the members that you meet that teaches you many things, as you try to teach them. 

One of our investigators is Elizabeth! She is worried about what her family thinks and also has questions about pets in heaven. Our lessons with her have been great as we've taught L1 and L2. She won't quite accept a date but we know with time she will. 

There's so many things to be learned on a mission. I've learned a lot about confidence along with administering vs ministering. While talking with missionaries lately, I've learned that if you don't express charity while administering, you won't have any respect towards you. If you don't express charity while ministering, nothing will be learned or taught. I can't remember who it was but they said nothing is more important in your schedule than making time to read and pray. It's so true!!
We take turns praying upon the Rameumptom haha
One night, the YSA's took us to a Vegan restaurant. Can't say I'd like to eat it everyday, but it sure was healthy! 

If we fear sin instead of repentance, it allows ourselves to accept the Atonement more frequently. So many people fear repentance. Lame sauce.

Elder Dayley who's home now, sent me this link when we were in Deming over a year ago!! 

Another investigator we have is Alexa! She was a referral! We're focusing on what her desires are (the YSA's at church, or the gospel) but our last lesson went well as she had some good questions from tithing, to caffeine (that's a fun one to teach :D) 

Sorry this week was so short. There's a few things we need to get done today with mr. President! I love you all and pray for so many of you all the time. The church is so true. I know that no matter how many times we read the Book of Mormon, say a prayer, hear a testimony, or think a positive thought, that we can always learn something new each and every time. The 1st vision has such a powerful effect.

-Elder D.J. Hales

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 93 - Elder Dalling and I basically toured the mission.

Man. My adjectives are going downhill pretty quick....awesome.

Well, ah junk. Another week has somehow gone by. This transfer is only 5 weeks total, so there's only a month left! My companion goes home at the end of this transfer too! It does seem like a bit of a load coming on with the big mission events that will be happening, but aye, God makes erry thing possible right? :D

I quickly learned that while we're out staying busy with other missionaries or some administrative things, God always blesses us. Alexa is an investigator whom we've met with 3 times this past week and was a referral while we were working with the new missionaries from last week. Alexa is doing great! ALMOST accepted a date for baptism, but isn't quite there. The 3 lessons we've had were powerful and she says she'd felt much peace and feels good about it all. Her family is all that supportive, which is probably one of the biggest reasons as to why YSA's don't get baptized...I saw it up at EAC in the Gila Valley, and I've seen it here already. Alexa is moving along and will be at FHE tonight.

From Friday to Saturday, Elder Dalling and I basically toured the mission. At the beginning of every transfer, we'll meet with the zone leaders from every zone, sit down with them and talk about a few different things such as goals and missionaries, along with blitzing any areas that may need help. Friday we went to St. David, Sierra Vista, and the Gila Valley (it was like a reunion! :D) and then Saturday morning we went out to good ol Deming New Mexico aka Demnation!! Man. It was so good to be back. The blitzes went great and it brought back memories of trying to teach Spanish people. Gift of tongues be upon us! The touring went great and it reeeally helps with getting to know the missionaries around the mission, which is a goal for this transfer. So many missionaries!! While on the tour, we received another referral!
 In Deming, NM working some missionaries. We stopped by this home because it's where Todd and Ashley used to live when I served out there. Todd past away a year ago last April. Such great memories and lessons learned in this place.
The past week, Elder Teio has been staying with us and being with us as a trio companionship. He's a big 270 Tahitian who is a professional boxer Champion. yeah. He could eat me. He's doing great in lessons! Last night we did splits with members and taught Elizabeth who is another investigator who is slowly coming along. After that we taught Kayla who is one of the most incredibly solid recent converts out here. She's incredible. She had brain surgery two weeks ago and recovered miraculously! She read the BOM before her baptism and took suuper detailed notes. It's people like that that make you want to become better everyday.

While up in the Gila Valley, we taught a few people with the zl's up there. With only a total of about 5 hours in our area last week, there was some cool moments throughout the mission! A recent convert said "A testimony is only words, without love." Boom. It was great to see some people from old areas. 
The Zone Leader's out in St. David! Best housing in the mission.
There's a lady that just walked into the mission office who's indian.
A recent convert and Elder Mariluch right after a baptism
Well everyone I know that the church is true. I'm grateful to say that I KNOW this church is true. I can't believe how much time left and haven't even counted how many weeks are left because it's scary :D I'm grateful to be working with God's children. Sometimes you feel like you meet people so they can open your eyes to new things. Wow this church is so incredible. 

I love you all!!! 

I wish I had an accent.

-Elder D. Joseph Hales

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

[Transfers] Week 92 - University of Arizona YSA 5th Ward!

It feels super weird being in your last area of your two-year mission. I will still have one more companion, but it still feels super weird. I was transferred over to the University 5th ward Sunday night so we could pick up missionaries from the airport yesterday, do many other things, and then also President matched the up with their trainers and we all gave some trainings to them! What an exciting time! :D I love the work in the YSA. I will learn quickly that you can fulfill your purpose other than helping investigators feel the spirit. There a TON of things going on before I go home, so I'll be busy, but doing the Lord's work. 

A quick recap of my last week in the great Butterfield Ward!! :D Man I love that ward to death. 
The Witbeck's!!
I was bouncing back and forth between my area in West Tucson and the assistants area getting trained for future stuff. But we had some awesome experiences! 
Us in the office!
Staci and Mark are doing SO good! Staci texted us two night ago asking some information so she could send me her "baptism invitation." YES!!! Mark and Staci I'll never forget. Mark came up to me at church after he bore his testimony for the first time in 9 years, and had tears in his eyes and said, "Your work here is done. You've done what you were supposed to, so thank you." Saturday we had a dual-ward activity where there was 2 missionary stations that taught about PMG and role playing, and then the last part was where we had Kellie (recent convert) and Staci and Mark all bare their testimonies. After that, our mission President spoke and then it ended. All of their testimonies were incredible. Staci posted on FB on Halloween about meeting us and how it's changed her perspective on her Pagan childhood life. I love seeing the effect this gospel has on families. It's my testimony that this gospel changes families and prepares the for eternal and temporal happiness. And that happiness is available to anyone. Yup. God is good.
Mark and Staci! As soon as their marital situation is good to go, she will get baptized! :D
Kellie is doing SUUUPER well too! She is a part of the ward and is involved! I've always loved Kellie because she says things how they really are and "cuts the fluff." I will miss her greatly. Thank goodness for FB.

I've looked back and have noticed how inspiration plays such a big role in each area. In each area, we've come up with different dinner messages to the members. It's crazy how they grasp onto certain messages.
Sierra Vista: The Lord's Game Plan
Gila Valley: The 1st Vision and the "Willing and Brief"
West Tucson: Preach My Gospel discussion
U5: We'll see! :D
The Rigg's family! This family is incredible.....let's just say we got along well :D I miss them already.
There are some incredible people in the Butterfield ward. The Rigg's, Bekah, Kellie, Mark, Staci, Bishop Harline and family, Price's, Wilson's, Jensen's, Camyle. So many incredible people. The testimonies on Sunday were almost all about missionary work. I've been blessed to be able to look back and see that the member work in the West Stake is beginning to change. Members are having miracles instead of just missionaries. Our Zone Meeting went great on Wednesday. I was sad it was my last Zone Meeting as a ZL to train at. The training's went well and the spirit was there. We were able to cut miles down a TON the 3 months I was there. It's great to look back and see the progress that was made. I'm so grateful to serve.
West Tucson zone!!
One thing that my testimony grew about was the inspiration that mission President's truly do have. I was able to do the transfer board last week for transfers today for the mission. On Wednesday, all the missionaries kept asking where they were going. At the end of our zone meeting, I asked who wanted to know where they were going....and then I bore testimony about the spirit that confirms in President Passey's heart as he prays on bended knee for the missionaries. It's a spiritual experience. You back President up 100% because he holds the keys for this mission. Wow. I'm excited to do it again in December!

I'm trying not to write about a ton of administrative stuff! There is so many things happening, that need to be confidential. But yesterday and today we got to spend time with the brand new missionaries in the mission! They arrived yesterday! We've done a few trainings for them and helped them get excited to be on a mission! Conducting at the transfer site this morning with a ton of missionaries was a new experience, but I know that the Lord doesn't call the qualified, but that he qualifies whom he calls to help that person learn and grow. hah. So true. I'm so greatful for the power of the Atonement. It absolutely blows me away to think of how much pain one person went through. In Mosiah 3:7 it refers to "every pore" compared the new testament where it references "great drops of blood." Another example to why the BOM is true! I love this gospel with my whole heart and can't wait to see what progress is to be made the next 3 months.

I love you all! Letters are still amazing! :D Go do some missionary work yo!

-Elder Dallin Hales

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 91 - "Hey are you Mormon??"

Hello therr errybody!! :D

Mark and Staci are doing AWESOME!!! Their story goes:
Our zone wanted to make a zone shirt! Sweet! After we mission "appropriated" it they are done! The first time we went in there, a guy had a sweet British accept who was from the Isle of Man. Legit. He hasn't been to church in years since moving to the states back then, but still has a solid testimony. His record are still back on the Isle of Man where he used to be active and very involved. His wife/girlfriend and Mark both have two young kids. They have had a crazy past, especially her. Before high school she was in the party scene a bit and went through SO many things. They are both very good spirits and you can tell when you walk into someone's home, what kind of values they have with their family. They had a very good feeling in their home! They both live in our area and close to us! On the first night we met them, she asked us about tithing, and that seemed to be her only concern already. Whenever we go over she always turns to Mark and says, "I think this is right for us." or something to that sort. No doubt she feels the spirit drawing her closer and closer to the message we share. We've taught the Restoration and part of the Plan. During the 1st vision, I kept praying that their kids would be silent, and they were! Almost committing to a baptism date too! She has been praying and reading. She wants to feel accepted and doesn't want to be judged for her tattoos and what not...can't really blame her! They came to our ward's Trunk or Treat along with a couple other non-members and they both came to Stake Conference yesterday. We sang in the choir. Woot. Anyways, they are coming along awesome and are an answer to our prayers and definitely feel led to them. Fasting and prayer works! We are always physically led along with spiritually. A family in our ward invited them over to dinner and FHE tonight with them along with ourselves. Can't Wait!!!

Crossfit never felt so good last Tuesday morning at 5:30. AH.

Alma 29:6 really opened my eyes, making me realize there's no reason we should't enjoy the place we are in right now.
 Now, seeing that know these things, why should desire morethan to perform the work to which have been called?

Elder Hickenlooper texted us to do a blitz! #inspired They came out and we blitzed an area. I was with Elder Daniel and towards the end of the blitz time, we saw two sweet miracles! After tracting out a few streets, one man was outside who starting talking with us. He was recently out of jail. Boom! Baptism date! Church commit! Wooh! It was awesome! THEN! The very next house a man opened up and was suuuper open with us about religion and said for the Elders to come back last Saturday and they did! Woah! Miracles often happen when your faith is enduring your efforts.
Out blitzing!
Another cool missionary moment was while walking in our apt. complex, a YSA was walking and I asked, "Hey are you Mormon??" and she said "No, but some of my friends are!" She walked towards us and turns out, she has read from the BOM and accepted missionaries to come over. That is why we must talk with everyone. Too bad we're not YSA.

Last night we had a missed voicemail from President asking for me to call him back, he answered and we had a good chat. He asked me to be the next assistant, so looks like things just got switched up from now until I go home! Transfers aren't until next Tuesday (not sure when I'll even get to email home) but I'm going to a UoA YSA ward where the work is great! Elder Hickenlooper will be missed!!

Today for PDAY we're doing our zone olympics!! We have multiple events planned
and all have our zone shirts! A great way to end a transfer. Our zone meeting will also be this Wednesday....not too sure about timing since I'll be switching areas multiple times this week, but who knows! It'll all work out.

I want to let everyone know, how humbling this opportunity is to be a missionary for God. I am so grateful for this chance to make my main focus of my efforts and worries about God's children and not myself. I've found that when I think of myself, stress comes. So it's a process! When worry comes, it's often because I want the best for others. I know that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration and I know that all of us are missionaries for the rest of our lives. Here, and the spirit world. I can't wait for the joy that will come when we see our brothers and sisters once again in Heaven, converted with all their beliefs towards Heavenly Father.

I love this church because it's true!!

I love you all!!

-Elder Hales