Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27, 2010

MOM and DAD,
It was good to hear from you guys. You all look very different.
Elder Curtis and I had a great Christmas. I didn't take any pictures, I'm bad at that. You will have to tell everyone thank you for me. The ward and family and friends were very nice to me.
Church was nice. Due to all of the zone stuff that had to be dealt with it was only the second time that I had been to the ward here in Ankeny, and the first time that I had been at Elders Quorum. I still struggle with learning everyone's names. There is only a couple weeks left of the transfer and I feel a little under pressure to get to know everyone if Elder Curtis does leave the area.
The other day Elder Curtis and I tracted into a less active member's home who had just moved into the area. She is a single mother with 4 daughters. Her daughters are not members so we have been teaching them for the last week or so. Two of them are interested in listening and possibly baptism, but we are not sure yet. I think that is the latest and greatest that has happened to us. This week has been really slow with Christmas and the mission wide bi-transfer interviews with President. With the new year approaching Elder Curtis and I are going to start a new diet as of Jan. 1. During the last couple of weeks every one has given us so many holiday favorites, so we are going to purge our systems with a good old magnesium flush to get us started, its a popular missionary diet starter.
Well I did want to thank you guys for all of the awesome presents that you sent me. Elder Curtis and I had a sweet Bop-It battle last night. He won. He holds the new high score. I've already dived into a couple of the books that you have sent me. Thank you. I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22, 2010

Hey Family,
Sorry about Monday, there have been some big things going on in the zone that Elder Curtis and I needed to take care of, so I didn't get a p-day until today. This last week has been really crazy. We had to take care of some emergency exchanges last Wednesday with two companionships in the Ames area. The last week we have been back and forth between Ankeny and Ames to cover both areas and to get everything straightened out and packed up. It's been very stressful.
This last week I have discovered a grey patch of hair that just showed up, so don't make fun of me when you see me on Skype. We haven't had much time to work in our area. Everything either got canceled or rescheduled until after Christmas. I did get your Christmas packages yesterday. Elder Curtis wanted to open a gift last night so we both opened one. I opened the new family picture. Everyone looks like they have lost weight. Melanie you look so grown up, I can't believe how much you all have changed.
No worries family, Christmas is going to be awesome! President has given everyone the option to sleep in until 8:00!! I didn't see that coming. So we are going to have a great morning. Then the Cox family invited us to come over and have homemade waffles and open our presents with them, which will be fun. They are a huge, energetic family. President has also allowed the missionaries to watch a movie, "Its a Wonderful Life", so we are going to watch that with them as well. I don't think that I have seen it so that will be cool. Then after all that is done we are going to go over to the Price's house and skype so I think that it will be around 12 maybe 1 o'clock? around then some time. So sleep in, enjoy the morning, get a cardboard cut-out of me and put it on the couch.
I've received some awesome packages and cards from a lot of people in the ward and friends, so I just wanted to say THANK YOU SO MUCH!! It's great to have so much love and support from everyone.
LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale
p.s. Sister Jergensen said thanks for the Christmas card. She loved it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010

MOM AND DAD,
I have no idea when I will be making "THE CALL", but I'll let you know when I do. We have found a member's home that has Skype, but we have yet to get all the details worked out. Elder Curtis and I have been so busy the last couple of weeks planning exchanges, zone conference, training meeting, interviews and a zone emphasis. We aren't going to have a regular week until after Christmas, but I'll put it on my to-do list this week.
I received a package from the Wagners this week. I already opened the presents that were in it. I'm glad I did, it was some winter gear. Thank you so much Wagner family!!
This week was a busy one, we had zone leader council on Tuesday, and leadership training meeting Wednesday through Friday. Then we went on exchanges with the Ames district leader. We haven't had a lot of time to focus on our area, but when we were here the weather was awful. Saturday night there was a huge blizzard and all the cars were grounded, but we did get to go see a less active member within walking distance, along with a little tracting. Sunday morning church was canceled, and our only appointment for the day rescheduled, so we tracted for the day. I recorded the weather man onto a tape for you guys, so you could know how cold it was..."5 degrees, brisk wind" and took a picture of ourselves in out winter gear and I looked like the kid from off the "Christmas Story", I wore every layer I could.
We do have a baptism date though, his name is J. He a golden investigator who is about to get married to a member. His fiancee was less active, but she is now coming back to church. His date is for the 15th of Jan. Every thing has been going great for J and the baptism until this week, his fiancee showed some concerns. She said that she is not sure this was the path that she wanted for them, (regarding being active in the church). She feels like she doesn't have a testimony and is not sure if this is right for the two of them. So now we have some things to work on.
Family, I have a list of some stuff I was thinking about for Christmas that you asked me last week about:
-Articles of Faith by James E. Talmage
-Answer to Gospel Questions by Joseph F. Smith
-The Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W. Kimball
-A Marvelous Work and a Wonder
-A Bop-it? that would be cool...

I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010

MOM AND DAD,
Well, here I am again, just been transferred and had a baptism on Saturday. It went real smooth. His name is J and he is a 18 year old guy who was introduced to the church by a member. His family are not members but are very supportive and were touched at his baptism. We are going to try to start teaching his parents this week.
Ankeny is so different from the rest of the mission. This town reminds me of Anthem / Scottsdale mixed together. Its a very new and fast growing town with very wealthy, established people living here. I'm still in culture shock.
My companion is Elder Curtis. He's way solid and is really showing me the ropes of the Zone Leader thing. There is so much more to plan for. We planned for almost 2 days last week to get every thing set up for the transfer and to get out goals established for the zone. Yesterday we had to give a presentation the the Stake Presidency at a missionary coordination meeting. I now have a greater appreciation for Stake Presidents and Bishops. There is so much that goes on behind the curtains to run the church.
All and all every thing is good. The ward is HUGE! and they are very very helpful and engaged in the work. It reminds me of a ward at home or a ward in Salt Lake. The members are awesome, and actually played a prank on me last night for being the new guy, I'll have to tell you another time.
I didn't get your letter last week. Elder Noel should forward it to me soon. I have some things that I was thinking about for Christmas, mainly books. Ill get it to you next week.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale
P.S. I can Skype for Christmas, so you will have to get that connected and up and running!!!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010

MOM AND DAD,
So I hope you got my Christmas card, it should be there by now. I also sent off a package of some books, letters from home, and some old movies from around the apartment that we don't use any more, just hang onto the books. I want to read them when I get home. The reason I am sending you a box is because I am getting transferred. Tomorrow morning I have to be in Iowa City. I don't know where, or who my companion is, but I did get released from being a District Leader and called to be a Zone Leader. I'm a little nervous. Being a district leader almost wore me out, but we will see how this new calling goes. All the elders in the district are mad that I am leaving. Elder Franz, in particular, is upset because we have become good friends and I will miss Elder Noel and Elder Wilson. So no worries on packages and letters, just hold off until Monday until I can get you my new address.
This week has been sooooo cold. Last night we were tracting and I just don't remember last year being so cold. I put on all my layers and the wind was still getting through.
So I now get to miss out on D's baptism, I'm a little sad about that. This letter was probably all over the place but my mind is a little boggled at the moment.
Hope all is well I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

p.s. I'm going to try and sent those pictures you wanted in this e-mail. Hope you can work with that. Yea, I cut my own hair, and its short!

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010

MOM and DAD,
Guess where I'm at right now? I'm in Des Moines because we have just received a new car. A 2011 Chevy Malibu. It's pretty nice but I think everyone who knows me knows what I think about Chevys.
Anyhoo, we have had a little excitement this week. Yesterday at church Bro. Hansen walked up to us right before Priesthood meeting and told us that a kid by the name of D M wanted to be baptized. We just looked at him and asked who's D? (we didn't know him). He said that it was his sister's grandson who is about 10 years old and has been coming to church had asked if he could get baptized. We have been praying for a baptism but we didn't think that it was going to slap us in the face like that. Pretty cool.
We also got a referral from the zone leaders about a kid named J. Hes only 20, going to school, and had a 1 year old son. We went over to go see him, and he is so sincere about finding and going to a church here in the area. He wants the best for his son, so we have been really hitting hard on family principles. We have a church tour lined up for him tomorrow which we are excited for.
And guess what, Elder Noel and I were over in Manson doing a little tracting Saturday night, and I guess we were hitting the pavement so hard that someone called the police on us. It is a real small, tight-knit (catholic) town and while we were tracting, a policeman pulls up in the driveway where we were currently knocking on a door and asked what we were doing and for identification. All I had was my ministerial certificate, so he took our names down and tells us that someone down the street called in because they thought it was weird that we were knocking on doors after dark. Manson was a interesting town.
This week our Mission President has approved and issued texting! Its weird to be a missionary texting people, but some people just won't answer our calls, but they will text us. I never thought this would ever be a part of missionary work. First Presidency Approved!
Mother, I have yet to get you the pictures that you wanted. I was going to do it this morning but I forgot, I'm on it though!
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

Family,
Sounds like you got my package that I sent. Dad I want see you in those t-shirts, I thought that you would love them. As for the pictures I'll try to get a good one to you. I actually am sending season greeting cards out this week, they are pretty cool I think.
Before I go on too far, I need to tell you that I shook the hand on an apostle on Saturday!! Elder Nelson came to stake conference here in the area, but on Saturday there was that World Wide Leadership broadcast. President Jergensen wanted all of the district leaders in the area to go to it, so we traveled to Ames. He was there, so after the broadcast Elder Noel fullbacked his way to the front of the chapel, while I was the running back behind him. We hit the gap between the elderly and hurtled our way over a wheelchair, only to put a spin move on bishop, (you know how crowed a chapel can be after a long meeting, every one has to mingle). We finally made our way over to him and we both were able to shake his hand! Elder Brimhall (I think that is how you spell it) of the Seventy was there and I shook his hand too. They both gave wonderful talks on Sunday which were very inspiring. Elder Nelson gave a apostolic blessing over the area which I had never heard of before. It was amazing.
Here in the Fort Dodge area we are working closely with an ex-communicated woman. She was a media referral that we received, and she came to Stake conference. She is really enjoying us come by to teach her and feel of the spirit. Our progressing family didn't come to church this week, we were a little disappointed about it, but were are going to commit them to baptism on Tuesday, we are praying for them. We have a whole bunch of new investigators like I told you last week, but only 3-4 of them I think are sincere about actually progressing. I think getting a 2nd appointment is harder than the 1st.
I also have to tell you we had the first sighting of snow this week. We woke up Friday morning and it was snowing. I was bummed, snow already. I got some pictures, it wasn't much but it was still cold. It's been real cold this past week, Wednesday it was 64 degrees and Friday, snow. Welcome to Iowa. Some members in the ward bought Elder Noel and I some beanies, I've been sporting it ever since we got them. Your package came in perfect timing. We were out tracting all afternoon in the rain and wind on Thursday and came home for dinner only to find a package of cookies and the best hot chocolate!! It was a great.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, November 8, 2010

November 8, 2010

Family,
We have been so blessed this week. We received 8 new investigators to teach. Our teaching pool is huge with very solid and sincere people. We had a awesome family of 5, soon to be 6, that came to church yesterday. Their names are F and C with 3 little ones, ages 2,3 and 5. F went to church in Mexico for about 4 years as a boy and remembers a lot about the church and the lay out of the block schedule. Its so much easier to keep investigators at church all 3 hours when they already know what to expect. He is so humble and ready to do the best that he can in the gospel. This week we are planning to have FHE with their family and bring Bishop along. We also are going to set up a church tour with them in the week to come and commit them to baptism. They are great. The member that was supposed to teach the investigator class on Sunday was not at church so Elder Noel and I had to just jump in and teach the lesson. We invited Bro. and Sis. Jensen to come into class with us, (they are about the same age as F and C) It was awesome, the members really got involved and bore testimony and shared stories. The members here are great. I was able to finish up exchanges with both of the Mason city Elders this week. Elder Wilson makes a great companion with Elder Franz. Elder Franz is a great kid don't get me wrong but needs help with urgency in the work. Elder Wilson has been working really hard with him and they are starting to pick things up in their area. Last week they set a baptismal date with a lady and they are still pumped for it. I got some good pictures with Elder Wilson on exchanges. Elder Wilson bought these onezie pajamas, with booties, like a youth extra large and was wearing it for the night, it was great. I'm so glad he is in the district again. I'm sending a package home today, its got some awesome stuff for dad that he will love, but also some stuff for the family. -I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 1, 2010

Family,
The Trunk-or-Treat was really fun and I got some pictures of that stuff and my costume. I forgot to tell you that a couple of weeks before the Trunk-or-Treat, the Primary had a activity and they invited the missionaries to come teach them about how to talk to their friends about the gospel. So we went and taught them then we practiced how to do it. At the end of the activity I promised the kids that if they would bring a friend to the Trunk-or-Treat the missionaries would have a prize for them. Then the little girl runs up to me (her name was A) and she said "I don't want candy, I want a cantaloupe!" I was like ok, what ever you want, you just have to bring a friend. So Friday comes around and she comes running up to me right at the start of the Trunk-or-Treat and says "where is my cantaloupe? I brought my cousin and she doesn't go to church!" I was like oh boy she really did it. So at church on Sunday I brought that little girl a cantaloupe, every one thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen. I even had to get a picture with her and the cantaloupe. But on Saturday night all cars were grounded at 6 pm and we had to be inside for the night, the same went for Sunday night because of all the trick or treaters. But we were allowed to go over to a members home for the night as long as they provided the ride. So Sunday night we had dinner with Bishop and his family, and even got to teach a lesson to his daughter's boyfriend. So all and all it was a good night.
D dropped us this week. It was the weirdest thing. We were not able to get her to come to church the past 2 weeks because she kept bailing out at the last minute. So we called her to set up a time we could come over and talk to her about what had been going on. She just told us that she didn't know if what we were teaching was true and she wanted to find out on her own. she did not want us to stop by any more, or talk to her. We finally were able to get her to let us stop by and say goodbye and say a prayer with her. so we did and it actually was a good visit, but from what we understood from it was that she just did not recognize the Holy Ghost, so we explained her feeling that she had, said a prayer and gave her a blessing, and left. She said that she would call us in the future and would continue to read the Book of Mormon (she read all of 1 Nephi up to this point) So the ball is in her court and we will try to go see her in a few weeks or so. Kind of a bummer. Other than that just the same stuff.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A real letter in our mailbox!

Dear Mother and Family,
Ok, so I have not written you in many moons, at least not a letter written by hand. A lot has gone on the past few months. So I came into Fort Dodge with 2 other companions. As it stands right now I only have one, Elder Noel. I am also District leader for the second transfer in a row. It's tough but I think that I am getting used to it. Last transfer district meeting was only 1 1/2 hours long, but now President wants it to be 2 1/2 hours long. So I have to teach a little bit longer. The hardest part I think is being that example to everyone, and most of everyone in the district has been here longer than I have, so I have to keep myself in check. President says "As goes the district, as goes the mission". So I'm trying to do everything asked of me.
So last week was a weird week like I was telling you. Nothing to get nervous about, just a little opposition, ALL WEEK LONG!! Wow, it was a hard one. I have had days that felt that bad before, but for a whole week, it was literally draining me of energy. Never had something like that before. But I'm back to my old self, my neck still hurts, ( I think sleeping on the floor threw something out of wack), so I might have to call the missionary mom (Sister Jergensen) about it.
Enough about me, now about the area. Ft Dodge is such a farming town, and all the other outside towns. Dad you would love it. Don't worry, I got some pictures the other day. You know, some John Deere stuff. Oh and I also got you a puzzle at the World's largest Truck Stop! It's of a cow, your favorite.
I really don't have any awesome, cool amazing stories if you guys were looking for that (at least not at this point). A lot of what we have to do is defend what we believe, and not bash with people. Because of where I am at, in the Bible Belt of America, and how close I am to Nauvoo and other old church sites, there is a lot of contention with the people and the church. The other day Elder Noel and I tracted into a lady who knew a lot about our church. She went on to say that the Book of Mormon was false, because it was an "additions to the Bible" as it says at the end of Revelations. So we said if we look at Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32 it states that exact thing stated in Revelations,"Do not add or take away from God's word", but Deuteronomy was written thousands of years before Revelations. And that is because the Bible is compiled of 66 separate books that were later put together to make the bible as we know it today. So the statement "do not add or take away from these things" is only talking about Revelations and not the bible as a whole. Concern resolved, right? Nope, she then went off about grace and how we (as in God's children) are in a grace phase and we don't need to show works. All we have to do to be saved is accept Jesus into our hearts and that's it. You wouldn't believe how many people actually believe this. We went back and forth about this topic for a few minutes while we were sharing bits and pieces from James 2: 17 -26 about faith and how it is tied to action. She then suddenly looked at me and said, "So what is all of this about?" I said "There is a prophet right now, leading and guiding all of God's Children" She looked me square in the face and said boldly "You're Wrong!" This was one of the times where I felt so sorry for this lady. Here is an opportunity knocking at your door inviting you to come closer to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father by making a covenant with Him, and ultimately receiving exaltation, but you closed your mind and hardened your heart. I just felt so sorry for her.
Oh, I forgot to tell you there is a member in the ward here, his name is Brother Jensen and he served in Phoenix, well actually it was more of south Phoenix, but he served briefly in our stake. He was transferred to the Biltmore ward for a week and went to our stake center. He also know Bishop Riding when he was a councelor to the Mission President. It's a small world in the church.
Our apartment rocks! It is way bigger than the one in Clinton. We have a ping pong table, a bunch of work out gear and a washer and dryer in the apartment. The complex really isn't that big. There is probably 30 or so apartments in the whole thing. The only bad part about it is that we are located on the edge of town on top of a hill. So when ever we take the bikes out, it is fun leaving, but coming home is always a pain.
Being a district leader is fun to say the least. It wears me out though. Right now in this new district, there is Elder Noel and I in Fort Dodge, Sister McGuire, Sister Dalton, Sister Guthery in Hampton, and Elder Franz and Elder Wilson in Mason City. I cannot believe Elder Wilson is in the district! He followed me all the way over from Clinton. I get to go on exchanges with him as well so I'll get to hear about what's new in Clinton.
This letter is a little bit different than the ones I usually send. I hope it gives a little more insight on the mission life. I agree mom, we never really talk because we write about different things on different days of the week. It's like we both say stuff and not much response, I'll try to do better.
I want to thank you for the information about Jonathan H. Hale and Elijah Thomas. When we went to Winter quarters, we were able to go on a tour of the visitors center. After we went through the temple, as we started the tour, the sister missionary started going off about how much the saints struggled and the pain and suffering that they had to bear. She then compared that struggle to the struggle of missionaries today then compared it to our own missionary struggle. Then the sister missionary took us over to the "look out" where it overlooked the temple and the graves. She then asked us why we were on a mission I got a little choked up, just a little bit, then told a small portion of my conversion and how I had got there. We then went on through the whole tour and still having our missionary struggle compared to the saints' struggles. And then you sent the stories of our families and what sacrifices they had gone through to build God's kingdom once again. It was truly amazing to realize that I am serving in the same area where my family served, still building God's kingdom. I put those stories right next to my patriarchal blessing in my mission folder.
Well, I love you guys and thanks for the Halloween package.
Love, Elder Hale

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Questions for Brady

Did you have a good birthday? Did you celebrate?
Yes, I had a great one. Elder Noel made the cake and then Elder Johnson and Noel both sang. It was a treat.
What was your first impression of Fort Dodge?
Wow, more corn! At least everyone has a John Deere.
It looks like there is a river through town. What river is it?
It's the Des Moines River. I've only seen it a couple of times from the bridge, not up close or anything.
Is it weird going to church when you don't know anyone? Is the ward friendly?
Yeah, there is not a lot of consistency with a majority of the members so I am still seeing new people week to week. But the ward is so helpful when it comes to missionary work, they are great.
Will you have a car in Ft. Dodge?
Oh yeah, our area is so big. It's the 2nd biggest in the mission. Every other week, I have to drive to Mason City which is 100 miles one way. I'll have to get you a map of our area.
Who are your companions and where are they from?
Elder Johnson - He lives in Cache Valle Utah, just minutes away from the Idaho border. He grew up on a farm and wants to be a farmer. So I refer to him as my Farmer Almanac.
Elder Noel - He always refers to his home as the Salt Lake Valley. I'm not really sure where he lives exactly. I don't think that he does either, his mom has moved twice while on his mission.
Tell me what is good and what is bad about having 2 companions instead of one.
Good - Well, with 2 companions, there is always a conversation going. We can get more done during splits and it's always a hoot with 2 other missionaries.
Bad - It always seems to take longer to get things done such as weekly planning, showers, meals, shopping.
Is the weather changing at all yet? Evenings cooling off?
Yes, the Iowa clouds are back which means it's going to be overcast the the next 3 weeks and I'm going to lose my bronze tan. Right now it feels like a Phoenix winter, but soon the snow will come back and I'll be sad.
Describe why your mother is better than any other mother on earth.
Because she sends me awesome care packages and writes me all the time. She cares about my health and well being. She prays for me and my investigators. She keeps me up to date on all the news and fads. She is the glue of our family. She works hard to keep a home feeling like a home and makes me feel like I'm still at home. She has a testimony in Jesus Christ that has never ceased to radiate from her countenance. She is my mother.

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25, 2010

Family,
Well, not much has happened since I talked to you last Wednesday. Elder Noel and I have had a chance to tract our faces off this week. It was transfer week this last week, and Elder Noel and I didn't have to go to transfer meeting so we had some full days of tracting. We did have some appointments lined up but they fell through, and our back up is tracting of course. We actually tracted a whole town. It was this small town named Mooreland, Iowa (look it up on a map, it's like 7-8 square blocks with a bunch of farm houses surrounding it.) It took an afternoon but we were quick to find out that the town of Mooreland does not like the Mormons , catholicism or bust!
D, the investigator that has a baptism date, backed out of church yesterday. We called her about an hour before church to make sure that the member that we had lined up for her ride with called her. She said that she did but she had been up all night studying about the Book of Mormon and our church on the internet. She said that she no longer wanted to come to church. Our hearts just dropped, we think she may have read some anti, or something crazy on the internet. We are going to try and see her again and answer some more of her questions and concerns. We are not really sure what happened.
Other than that, not much more to tell you in the way of the mission. I do have some letters half way done and I am going to finish them today and get them to you guys.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 20, 2010

This week has been a great one. The district has 5 investigators with a date for baptism. The Hampton Sisters have a total of 4. Here in Fort Dodge we have 1 investigator with a date. Her name is D. She is an awesome 60 year old lady who is a media referral. We had a church tour with her the other day with our ward mission leader, Bro. Fortune, and committed her to baptism. She is lined up to be baptized on the 20th of November! We are so excited for her and have a lesson planned tomorrow with her with a member. Yesterday we stopped by to drop off a Book of Mormon. We did not give one to her yet, but Elder Johnson felt prompted that we needed to go over there and give her one. When we showed up she said that she had been thinking about the Book of Mormon the night before and looked it up on the Internet to find out more. She said that our timing was right on and she dove right into the book and the chapter that we left for her to read.
I also got to go on exchanges with Elder Gates this past week as well. He is the zone leader in our area. We had a very powerful lesson with a woman and her daughter that night. It truly was a lesson guided by the spirit. I don't think that Elder Gates understands how much I learned from that one lesson. It helped me to understand more fully how to teach with the spirit, and what I need to do better in my missionary efforts. We committed them to baptism, her daughter said yes, but her mother said she was not sure, so a commitment of prayer followed and we left on that spiritual high note.
I'm going to try and get some letters out today, after hearing about all the crazy news down there. I'm bad at hand writing letters back to you guys, I always get side tracked by companions or scriptures. The good thing though is that I will be staying here in Fort Dodge for the time being. It's going to be an awesome Halloween and Thanksgiving in the heart of Iowa.
Family, I have a favor to ask of you. The trunk-or-treat is coming up on the 29th of Oct. Could you possibly sent out some decorations for the trunk? We were thinking of wrapping ourselves in toilet paper and being mummys, but you guys might have a better idea than us.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Hey Brady,
If you're still on the computer -- Hi!
It took me a couple of hours of checking my e-mail on Monday before I remembered that it was transfer week and I wouldn't hear from you until Wednesday. I will definitely send you out a halloween package.
Love you, Mom

Love you mom, I only have 4 minutes of computer time left but love you a lot. -Elder Hale

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11, 2010

Hey Mother, family,
Well, this week has been a tough one. I had training meeting this week in Des Moines again for 3 days. It was great training to go to, but oh boy it was hard to get through. We were bunked in a small apartment with some other elders, and I did not sleep well. The third day was the hardest for me, I woke up not feeling good, and Satan has just been hounding me all day long, I don't think I have ever had a day like that where he has just worked and worked on me as much as he did. I just seems like I haven't been myself the last week or so. I haven't felt good, Satan has been taking advantage of that. I have been literally drained of energy trying to keep my head on straight. It's just been a weird 7 days, hopefully everything will get back to normal. So please say a few extra prayers for me.
Thank you for the letter with all that family history, it was awesome. I didn't know all that cool stuff about them and how they were in this same area fighting against the opposition, and here I am doing the same thing today. It just gave me goose bumps when I read both accounts from each side of the family. I really want to go back to Winter Quarters and look for their graves. Our teaching pool has finally begun to grow. It's taken some time but we have really been able to meet with some solid people this week. We met with this guy named A, who actually knows a member in the ward. He's started to read the Book of Mormon, but hasn't ever been able to find time to sit down with us and talk. Finally Saturday we had our first lesson with him. We talked about the restoration and committed him to baptism at the end of the lesson, but he felt like he wouldn't be ready in a month to be baptized, so we set up another date to come and talk with him and get him ready. Elder Johnson is leaving the tri-companionship. Our zone leader got called to be an AP, so Elder Johnson was called this morning to be a companion to the ZL in the Boone area for the rest of this week until transfers. So unfortunately I think I will need to invest in a GPS for this area. Elder Johnson had one and it really keeps us effective with this huge area so we won't get lost. I just wanted to let you know.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4, 2010

Hey Family,
As for me, everything is going swell. The only thing that I can say is that this area is way too big for one companionship. About 8 years ago there was 8 sets of Elders covering the same area that we are covering now. We are just spread out so thin, and we can only spent 1 day a week in an outside area, which barely begins to make a dent in all the finding and follow-ups that need to get done. And then there is the countless less-active. kind of to put it on a scale of how big this area is, we had district meeting Friday and had to drive 100 miles to get there. We have to spend a lot of time in traveling, and it drives me nuts! The people here are a lot slower at doing things, keeping commitments, appointments, answering phone calls, that kind of thing. So the work is a lot slower than Clinton which I am still trying to get used to. This week we also had Zone conference in Des Moines. It was a great meeting with President Jergensen going over how to better use members in the work, it was kind of a spin off of what Elder Zwick had taught us the week earlier. Our district also had interviews at the end of conference. President is such a teddy bear. Its just so easy to love the guy. As for the area, things have been going slow. Still we are doing a lot of finding with the recent baptisms that went on, and many potentials to follow up on. We were able to talk with a guy named M last night after General Conference. He was tracked into but we have never been able to get ahold of him since. We stopped by his house and he invited us right in. We found out that he is originally from Chile, but is now teaching Spanish at a high school. He went to our church in Chile for about 3 years when he was a kid. His neighbors invited him every Sunday to go with them. After about a 3 year span his neighbors moved away so he wasn't able to go anymore. He still could remember the primary songs that he learned and remembered how the church building looked and felt like. We talked to him about the Book of Mormon, he mentioned that he remembered a little about Joseph Smith, so we went on a talked about the Restoration and what happened to Joseph Smith. We left him with a Book of Mormon and left. The spirit was real apparent in his house as we talked with him, and we are so excited for him.
Mom thank you for the story about Johnathan H. Hale. I was going to ask for it, but you read my mind. And I'm also excited to hear about the Whipple side, I don't think that I even know much about that side of the family. I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, September 27, 2010

September 27, 2010

Hey mother, and family,
I hope you got my card that I sent off, there were some pictures in it along with my memory card. I forgot to write on the pictures , but they were of Elder Wilson and I on our last days together. We had a couple of Gnar-be-ques! (that is gnarly and BBQ put together) The first one is when we did it on our roof, it was a trial gnar-be-que because we had to fix the grill that we had, then test it if it would work. The second one is the one at night that we did, it was much more successful because we had on head bands. The corn pics were to give you a idea of how ridiculously tall the corn was.
Well my computer just froze and deleted most of my e-mail so I don't have much time to write because the library only gives us an hour.
So I'll try to sum up my week real quick. Elder Zwick of the Seventy came and toured the mission. We had a mission conference on Wednesday in Des Moines. It was a spiritual feast, he made a promise to the mission that we can triple our baptisms if we as a mission change a few of our efforts. This week, the tri-fecta that I am a part of is rocking. We have been doing a lot of finding with the recent baptisms, and now we have a very small teaching pool. So most of our days are spent tracting. In this area there are a lot of less active so we have been very focused on them to get them active and getting into part-members homes.

Sorry this is so short, but I'm running out of time.
I LOVE YOU ALL, Elder Hale
The Castle at Eagle Point Park in Clinton, Iowa

Monday, September 20, 2010

September 20, 2010

The message line on today's e-mail: Elder Hale is the biggest slacker in the world for not sending his birthday card to his mother yet, I have no excuse and am breaking a commandment of the Lord by not honoring thy father and especially thy Mother!!!

Dearest Mother, and Family,
Mom, your card will be sent off today. Many apologies go out to the Phoenix metropolitan area for the grief that has conspired due to a mourning mother as a direct cause and effect of a son, who in any respect is not worthy to be writing this letter, did not do as James directs in chapter 2 verse 16-17 (please check that, I don't have my scriptures right now, but it is in chapter 2) I believe as to show my faith by my works in sending a card to my most beloved mother who in great respect gave me this tabernacle of clay that I am now in. In consequence I am breaking a commandment to the Lord as to honor the greatest mother who labored 9 months carrying me, and then another 20 years or so until I got my act together. Wo unto this man who is so slow to remember this mother on the most glorious day of her birth, but is quick to not remember how many of these days of birth she has experienced. I ask for your forgiveness, sorry mom.
Well if you're are still reading this and still love me I am glad to report a wonderful week here in the Ft. Dodge area. Saturday was the ward temple day and all three of us were able to go through the Winter Quarters Temple. Bishop also took us to the visitors center and that place rang a couple of bells. Once we pulled into the parking lot I remembered when all of us as a family went there and the cemetery across the street. We were given a tour of the place and I remembered some of the things in the Visitors center. It really hit home. I am so glad that you took us through all of the church sites when we were young. It really made a deep impression on me, and when we walked through the Visitors center again it deepened my testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and all of the Saints that knew that they had found The Church of Jesus Christ once again restored in the latter-days. I thank you for your efforts and guidance when I was a youth. That is the only reason I have a testimony today is because of your example, your efforts did not go in vain.
We had 2 baptisms on Sunday. Elder Johnson baptized L and I was chosen (by a game of "bubble gum bubble gum on a stick, how many pieces do you wish?", by T . . . she's 9 years old) to baptize her. It was amazing to see both of them baptized into Christ's fold.
Being the District leader has been interesting thus far, I get some creative questions. Last night the Sisters in our district called me to ask what they should do because they had found a $10 bill on the ground. It just keeps the plot thick. We had district meeting for the first time on Thursday. I have to teach the District weekly on certain topics, but I think it went pretty well, at least every one said that they learned something.
Oh, this Wednesday we are having a Mission Tour and a seventy is coming to speak to us! Elder Zwick of the Seventy is coming and I am so excited to learn from him. I'll let you know how it goes.
Thank you guys for the cards and the packages, 22 in the mission field means I'm an old man, but I think that I am still filled with youthful splendor.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13, 2010

So I'm now here in Ft. Dodge. Mom my new address is:
Elder Hale
902 Wraywood Dr. #229
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
This apartment is sweet. It at least twice the size of my last one, but I guess that's good since I'm in a tri-companionship. There is a ward here, but it has just as many members as the branch in Clinton. The bishop was the one that drove us from Iowa City, where we had transfer meeting, to here Ft. Dodge. He's a great guy, and is really involved in the missionary work. Our area is huge to say the least. It goes about an hour and a half to our north and about 1 hour east, west and south of where we are at presently in Ft. Dodge. It's a little of a challenge getting to all the surrounding areas, but it will all work out.
Thank you guys so much for the birthday presents. It was awesome. Melanie, I have to say that your card put a smile on my face. I got right out of bed Sunday morning and wandered over to my box. I went through all the cards first in a groggy state until I got to yours. It was cool, it made me dance a little bit, some fist pumps or something like that. But I have to let you know I took out the little singing device and put it into my planner so every time I open it up, it starts singing MACHO MACHO MAN!! It was way cool.
I'm still trying to get to know all the members and how everything is run here. My two companions, Elder Johnson and Elder Noel are the ones now in the tri-fecta with me. Elder Johnson is the one who was in this area last transfer and is doing a good job at getting all of us up to speed. This Sunday there are 2 baptisms scheduled here. Their names are L and T. We have had a lesson with L. the first day we arrived here. She is awesome and is on track, but her husband it giving her a hard time about it so we are worried and praying about it. T is a 9 year old girl who is also being baptized. I met her yesterday at church, but tonight we are teaching her the last few things for baptism. Keep them in your prayers. I am going to write you guys a couple of letters today, and Roxanne I got you letter finally, no worries.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale
p.s. Please tell grandma that I got her e-mail and give her the new address.
p.s. Mother there might be some people from Clinton that friended me on facebook. If you can accept them, that would be awesome. Thank you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

September 8, 2010

Hey Mother and Family,
So, you are wondering what is happening to me with transfers going down this week. Well, I want to first start out and tell you that I have received your package (the birthday package). And Roxanne I did receive your package of pictures, but I have not yet received the letter you were talking about. Maybe it will come today. Oh, the other boxes you sent me from the distribution center, I have opened, just letting you know. I totally opened them and thank you for the stuff, it was the best gift you could get a missionary, I promise. But the package that said do not open until your birthday, and that card that said do not open until your birthday I have not yet opened even though there was a tempting spirit telling me to open them (Elder Wilson). So I am looking forward to it.
As for transfers, I am leaving this area, as well as getting a couple of assignments. I am going to Fort Dodge and am leaving tomorrow morning. I will be in a tri-companionship, which is new. One of my companions is a new guy and I will be his breaker (his second companion) but I don't know who he is yet. But my other companion I do know because he used to be here in my district when I first got to Clinton. I am also the district leader as well. It's going to be fun. There is a ward in Ft. Dodge, but rumor has it that it is the coldest spot in the whole mission. I'm excited but bummed to leave at the same time.
Last night we had a lesson with LB (who if I have not told you much about him, just remember this, HE IS THE MAN) on faith, and read a big portion of Alma 32 and talked about the seed that he has planted in his heart and now he needs to keep nourishing the tree that has begun to grow. He told us that he was upset that we wouldn't get to see his baptism. So I told him that I wouldn't be there but that is not what is important, it is that you have planted a seed and now you needed to nourish it, no matter what happens. I told him about a tradition that missionaries have with new converts at baptism, and that is the missionaries give them a tie of theirs and sign it. So I gave him a tie and signed it, even though I would not be present at his baptism. He was so excited, and is so solid about his baptism. Elder Wilson will hopefully see the fruits of our work here.
We have another investigator this week that we have only met with 2 times that invited us over for dinner. Her name is L, she had us over for pizza on Friday with her husband P. She has all sorts of questions for us, some easy, but others very hard to answer. We can never seem to stay on our planned lesson topic because of all the question that she has. But for her to invite us over for dinner and talk just after 2 appointments means that she surely trusts us which is the key. We may not get very far in our lesson that we plan but for that trust to grow is awesome. She is definitely "looking" for something, but we are not sure what yet. She left us with a paper of questions after our last appointment so that is a great start.
Clinton has taught me many things and Ft. Dodge sounds just as great.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

e-mail exchange this morning:
Mom: Hey Brady -- We're anxious to hear from you today about transfers! What do you know??? --Mom
Brady: I just sent to to you guys, did you get it?
Mom: Oh - your letter popped up just as I pressed " send"!
Brady: How are things going mother, this is a first you are on when I am on!!
Mom: Oh my gosh - just read your letter. Now I've got to get on line and see where Ft Dodge is. And district leader??? That is awesome! You are really taking on a lot of leadership. Your mission president really trusts you.
Love you!
Brady: I LOVE YOU too hope everything is going good with you guys. I got your letter this week sound like the usual Hale adventures
Mom: This is kind of like instant messaging. Do you have a lot of packing to do today? Have you collected a lot of stuff since you first arrived in Clinton? How do you get to Ft. Dodge? Can you fit your bike in the car to take with you?
Brady: Well I found out that I was leaving on Saturday night so I have been packing every night little by little and I have aquired a lot of "stuff" here. Bro. Tingley is taking me to Iowa city for transfer meeting then somehow there will be a ride for me to Ft. Dodge. I will be taking my bike with me, I hope there is room. On the way to Iowa city, Bro. Tingley and I are going to stop at the world's largest truck stop for breakfast so I'm going to pick us something for dad while I'm there, there is a lot of tractor stuff.
Mom: Hey - be sure to send us your mailing address as soon as you know it. We'd hate for you to go 3 weeks without mail.
Brady: I will know my address next Monday when I e-mail you.
Mom: Perfect - I got an e-mail from the mission office this week with a map of the new boundaries of the Iowa Des Moines Mission. It was interesting to see. Maybe you'll have a chance to serve in Illinois sometime during your mission after all. It's good that the Nauvoo temple is still in your mission, although I'm guessing quite a bit farther from Ft Dodge.
Brady: Yeah, Nauvoo is in my mission still. But the Library lady is kicking me off the computer , but know that I love you.

Monday, August 30, 2010

pictures from Brady

This is Brady and his companion, Elder Wilson, with his mission President from the Peoria, Illinois Mission, President and Sister Erickson. The mission was dissolved earlier this summer and Brady is now part of the DesMoines Iowa Mission. Brady seems to do an awful lot of hard manual labor for his service work. Here he is roofing and digging out a basement.
"I'm working on my watch tan."
"It looks like I'm digging like a girl in this picture."

August 30, 2010

Hey Mother,
Transfers will be on September 9th. We will receive a call Saturday night, September 4th, if one of us will be leaving or not. But you have to remember next week's p-day is on Wednesday, September 8th, so I won't be writing to you until then.
To answer your question, some of the pictures that I sent you are from Elder Wilson's camera, so they are not on my memory card. The pictures that I did print out I wanted to write some stuff on the back of them. So that's kinda the system I've got going on.
The last week has been awesome. Saturday Elder Wilson and I got to go to the through the Nauvoo Temple with Bro. and Sis. Tingley. Bro. Tingley wanted to go to the Temple with us before I leave and President let us go so it was awesome. Since I've been here I've been blessed to go through that Temple 3 times. Its GREAT, once with all my companions. Since Elder Wilson has never been to Nauvoo before, we went to a number of bookstores, old town Nauvoo, the Bakery and the Blacksmith shop (dad I got some pictures don't worry) and of course the fudge shop. It was a awesome spiritual feast which ended in a feast. On the way home Bro. Tingley called ahead for reservations at a restaurant. We didn't know they were going to feed us or anything. So we get to Davenport and we ate at Texas Roadhouse! It was so good. Fresh Iowa beef is superior to all other.
On the other hand the work is pressing on. We were able to meet twice with M, the lady I told you about last time. At the first appointment we were on splits and so it was me and Bro. Clarke. When we started she had addressed her concern about prophets. She thought that it was the most unheard of thing to have a man on this earth today receiving revelation for the world. So we started talking about how there has always been a prophet on the earth shown in the bible up to the time of Christ. Then the whole conversation was turned to prayer how she could find out for herself. She felt like her prayers were empty when she said them. So Bro. Clarke bore a solemn testimony for like 15 minutes about prayer. Then I committed her to say a kneeling prayer every day that week and also asked her to say a kneeling closing prayer. It was great she was so moved by what the spirit had told her. Elder Wilson and I went back on Sunday to teach her more about prophets and why we need them today. We found out that her neighbor (who is a Jehovah Witness) came by and anti-ed her about us. I was a little worried about it but when she continued on about what she thought, she feels like what we teach and what she felt is what she is looking for in her life. The spirit is definitely such a blessing to have right next to the Book of Mormon, it truly is the most powerful tool we have for conversion.
LB's baptism was supposed to be this Saturday the 4th, but we found out that he is on probation until December. And the rule is that we cannot baptize until his is off probation. So when we found out, it just crushed Elder Wilson and I, and we weren't sure how to approach him about it. But at our last lesson this week with him we told him that we will have to move the date until he is off probation. He was a little upset that he had to wait, but he then said that he will have more time to prepare and read the Book of Mormon, and for us to come by and teach him. He is so willing and ready to be baptized, but we have to wait. But his 12 year old daughter all of a sudden is interested in listening to the lessons and wants to come to church. So if we can get his daughter baptized we think that this will give him added desire to look forward to his baptism.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale
p.s. I got the packages you sent me and a couple of letters, Thanks.

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010

Hey Family,
We had a sweet week this week. We were blessed with a chance to do some service to a potential investigator. Her name is M, we were in her neighborhood the other day and thought we should stop by. We had set up a couple appointments to come and teach her, but they fell through. We stopped to see her, and she was in a panic. She has a low spot on the side of her home where rain water collects real bad so a while back she had some dirt delivered to level it all out. The men that were supposed to come by to level out this huge pile of dirt never showed up. She had just received a notice from the city that she had 5 days to move this "nuisance" (I think that's how you spell it) off her lawn or she was going to be fined. She has no money nor the ability to do it, and she was just in tears with the question what she was going to do. We said that we would come by in the morning and take care of it all. So we shoveled for a few of hours the next morning and got it all taken care of. She was just in shock that we would even consider helping her even though we barely knew her. She didn't even think that we were going to come back in the morning. She kept asking why, why we do this kind of thing for people, why we are on a mission, why we offer service and help people. We just simply told her that we loved her and help out anyone in need. She was pricked to the heart just receive this simple service. We were able to set up a teaching appointment after we were all done. Yesterday she called us before the appointment and told us to come over to dinner instead. So we did, and we got to meet her boyfriend and were able to get to know them more, as well answered all the questions she had about the church. We now are going to go back this week and teach her more. We have been so blessed with service to open the door to teaching some one else about Christ.
We had Stake conference in Davenport yesterday, we had 2 investigators there. LB is the man. He's one of our newest investigators. He was there and we were able to go to the recent convert-investigator class before the meeting. He liked stake conference. One of the reasons he went was to see Elder Wilson and I sing in the choir, so he gave us a hard time about that. We were over at his house on Saturday teaching him about the Plan of Salvation. He told us before we got started that he had read that morning in the Book of Mormon, so we asked him if he had any questions about it, and how he liked it. He stated, "I really like Nephi and the way he talks. It's easy to understand him." He then told us that as he was reading, something hit him. In his own words he said, "I had a revelation about Joseph Smith. It just all came together that he had to be a prophet. If he wasn't a prophet, the church would not be here today. It would have all fallen when he died." How incredible, here is a man that has been seeking, and praying about the truth. He had the spirit touch him, and he recognized it and now is coming closer to Jesus Christ. What a testimony builder this week to the words of Moroni in 10:3-5. I love being a Mormon, where else would you have something like this happen, what a blessing.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pictures from Brady

"Mo' BRADY'S . . . in Davenport"
"We were on the highway and I saw this air freshener in this guy's car so I had to get a picture."
"We found a sweeet jacket and hat at our service work at the Benevolent Society. He had to try them out."
"We got a white board at Home Depot for planning and it did not fit in the Toyota, so we threw it up top and hung onto it all the way home."
"It was raining bad after an appointment to an investigator gave us some hats to wear to keep our head dry. We just had to get some pictures."
"District Meeting in Clinton. Elder Wilson and I set up the table for our District Leader using Relief Society decorations."
"All those days with a pellet gun in the backyard paid off. A bat got in the Near's house and Sister Near gave me a pellet gun to take it down, I only needed one shot!"
"Companionship Unity (note the safety galsses)"

August 16, 2010

Hi Family,
We had some ups and downs this week. We have an investigator, L, that had committed to baptism a number of weeks ago that has not been coming to church, this last Sunday was a make it or break it to stay on track for baptism. We reminded her of her commitment the night before at her appointment, but she did not come to church. We were pretty bummed but on the other hand we had a different investigator, LB, show up to church. He came with his daughter, who is 11, and stayed the whole time. He and his daughter loved it. They are planning on coming to stake conference this Sunday so he can hear Elder Wilson and I sing in the choir. We also had a lesson with him Sunday afternoon and watched, Joseph Smith prophet of the restoration DVD, you know the new one that the church put out. He loved it and felt the spirit there in his home. We committed him to baptism on the 28th of this month, and he was excited about it. Its going to be great, in order to fully prepare him we'll be at his home twice a week teaching. We have only 2 weeks left but we felt we needed to commit him then. He truly is a humbled man who was prepared by the Lord. Our recent convert, D, is doing much better. We have met with him a couple of times and took him to 2 teaching appointments. Last week he wasn't feeling accepted at church any more so we have been visiting him often. We just found out that on September 22 we will be hearing from Elder W. Craig Zwick, of the Seventy. That's always sweeeet to hear from one of the brethren. Elder Wilson and I are pushing the work here very well together. We have our differences at times, but there must be opposition in all things or we wouldn't know how great we really have it.
I sent a package home this week, and I hope you got it. It had a ton of pictures for you mother and a couple of tapes too. And I also received a package from Grandma, she truly knows what missionaries need.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010

Hey Family,
This week has been a little bit different. For 3 days, I was in Des Moines for a training meeting. It was all the Zone leaders, District leaders, trainers and of course the AP's. It was awesome, the church has changed some of the ways we learn out of PMG. Its called "Simplified curriculum" It is absolutely great. The way we use PMG has now been more concentrated in certain principles along with these PMG dvds, which are video clips of real life teaching situations. It was awesome how much more we can do to bring the spirit into our teaching. And I just love President Jergensen, he's like every body's grandpa. He's always giving hugs to everybody and just so lovable. I got a lot of things answered in training that I had questions about the past couple of weeks. You can't believe how much the PMG video clips really helped me and I can't wait to get those into district meeting and with training Elder Wilson.
We have a baptismal date with our most solid investigator, Lakina (I thought it was spelled Lakeena but I was wrong). She loves us so very much and we are teaching her 2-3 days a week. After this training meeting I committed her to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover and to my surprise she has been reading every day. The only thing is that we cannot get her to come to church. She commits Saturday night and we call her in the morning and even went over and knocked on her door, but she has not come yet. She has her agency, and I don't want to take that away, but it is so hard to see some one prolong their baptism just because they won't wake up in the morning. Our most recent convert, Donald is having some problems. We just found out yesterday that he doesn't feel accepted any more at church. This week we are going to change that, with a dinner appointment and also a branch party that is on Friday. It's just great to be a Mormon, there is always something to be doing.
I did not get the package sent, but TODAY I will send it off, I wasn't done getting it ready last week and I ran out of time to get over to the post office. AND Roxanne I wrote a letter to you last week but did not have time to sent it on Monday. You will be getting it this week to your new address. I LOVE YOU ALL and thank you mother for the package, I loved it. -Elder Hale

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2, 2010

Hey Family,
How have you been for the last 4 days? Being here in Clinton is definitely awesome. Some of the other missionaries tell me that I need to leave this place, so I can see the mission and know what it's really like. But I know everyone in the branch and many, many people around town. We just got our hair cut right before writing this, and 2 people I knew walked in and we got talking and tried to set up an appointment with one of them, but got his number instead. It's weird, even on the river walk where we contact people I run into people that I know so much. The last week or so we have met people on the street and a few days later tracted into their home. Its getting smaller and smaller here every week. But staying here this long isn't an uncommon thing, for a greeny it is, but I have heard of an elder that stayed in an area for 13 months! It will be hard to leave the branch and the town though, I was thinking about it when we were waiting for transfer calls, I was worried I would have to leave, but luckily not for now. Things are progressing though, we taught Lakeena a lesson with President Nickles the other night. It was a learning opportunity for everyone. We were on the porch teaching and the guy next door started mowing his lawn while we were trying to read Enos 1:1-12 about prayer. President and I almost started laughing as we were yelling the story of Enos over a riding lawn mower. No worries, the spirit came back once he was done with his yard work. she is so close to baptism, Tuesday night we will commit her, keep her in your prayers. I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale (I should send off a package today so keep an eye out for it)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July 28, 2010

We visited the primary on Pioneer day!
Hey Family,
P-day got moved to today because of transfers. On the 6th week of the transfer, p-days are now moved to Wednesday and transfers are moved to Thursday. So anyway, I am staying here in Clinton! I did not think I would be here another transfer, but now I will be here until September, I'm going to see all four seasons. The last couple of days I have been getting pictures with the members, just in case, and have been telling them that I might go. It's weird to see how attached you can get to an area. This place feels like my home here and everyone at church is my family. Everyone was telling me that they are going to miss me and I can't go. Bro. Jones wanted to call president and make me stay if I was going to get transferred. Lakeena cried when I told her that I might be leaving. It's just crazy to see how much love there is in missionary work, and I LOVE IT. There is nothing else I would want to be doing right now than this. Working with the spirit for a full time job is the greatest.
I do need another pair of dickies shorts, I ripped one of mine during service the other week, but just make sure that they are size 36. Ive got some cool pictures that I'm going to send home soon and a couple tapes (probably next week).
but I LOVE YOU ALL, and hope to hear from you. -Elder Hale

Monday, July 19, 2010

July 19, 2010

Hey family,
This week has been a great one getting to know President and Sister Jergensen a little more. We had interviews with him, I thought it would be hard to get to know the new mission president, but I already love him. Elder Wilson has become accustomed to tracting so, we have been doing that a lot more. He's now taking over the planning every night to plan what we will do the next day, so we are beinning to tract some of the outside communities around Clinton, such as Cammanche and Albany. Both towns are a little more receptive to us rather than Clinton, they are much more friendly-er.
For the last 3 days we have had youth with us all day long. It's a program the stake does every year. They were awesome, but I think we really wore them out. They kept falling asleep at appointments, it was so funny. Elder Wilson had a great time with the junior missionaries. He lead out real well and actually came and told me at the end of the day that he felt bad for me because it was really hard to go to an appointment when your companion says nothing, so now he's working on sharing more when we go to appointments. We got to go the the fireside and hear all of them bear their testimonies. It was great.
It's good to hear that you guys are safe at home now, must have been a long plane ride.
As for transfers, they wont happen until the 29th so send anything you want. I won't know if I'm leaving until the 28th though. Most likely what I think is going to happen is that I will be here for another transfer trainning Elder Wilson until the 1st of September, but I'll let you know.
LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010

Hey Family,
So Elder Wilson and I have been working so hard this week to help the Nears get everything ready for the Pioneer day activity. It was held at their home so we have been over there a lot doing all the chores around the house. The Nears said that out off all the missionaries they have had over the years, we here the hardest working ones. It was great to hear that from the members. But we invited everyone to go to the activity. We had 11 investigators show up! Some friends of some other members came so we had 13 non-members to the activity. It was so crazy trying to run around talking to everyone and introducing them to everyone.
This is the zip line platform we helped build. A storm took out the tree it was originally hooked to, so it was rebuilt into a full platform. The kids dropped out into the pond.
And yesterday we had 2 investigators come to church and 1 foof (friend of other faith), so 3 non-members, it was great! We also had zone conference this week and met the new mission president, President Jergenson, he is from California. We have interviews this week with him so we can start to get to know him better. A couple questions, Did you guys get the cd with the slide show on it? And do you know about the tax return money, I need to get a new shaver so let me know when that comes. And I got the girl's package, thank you so much, the peach rings did not make it I have to tell you, but I love all the other stuff you guys got me thanks!
LOVE Elder Hale

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010

Yea this week went by really fast! This week would be the last week of the transfer but since we are merging with Des Monies we have 2 more weeks added onto this transfer, so its going to be a long one. I hope the trip is going well for you guys, it sounds like Tom set up everything real nice for you two. Its been a hard week, I let Elder Wilson take over our planning every night, so he wanted to go tracking all day every day, so that's what we've been up to most of all this week. Saturday morning we re-roofed a house for a members son and then we went over to brothers Near's home to help build a plat form for a zip-line that is going to be for the pioneer day activity coming up this Saturday. I got so sun burned and was wiped out when it was all said and done. We had a lot of appointments lined up this week but little went through as usually with missionary work. But we did get to meet with Angela, and at the last minute Bro. Estes invited us over to teach her at his home. So we went over the restoration again, since it has been a long time, but after the lesson Sister Estes and Angela hit it off. By the time we left they had set up a time to go to the movies together! They said that she was opening up a little more. Angela is really quiet and doesn't talk much, but she will surly listen to what we have to say, and she even said she felt something! That's huge, for the last couple months she said she never feels some anything when we are there or are teaching her so its a huge step in the work here. Lakeena had surgery on Thursday, so we have been going over every day to see how she is doing and if she needs anything. She is a single mother and lost her job, has 4 kids, and is scared of what the future holds for her. We had a appointment to go and teach her Saturday with a member, but the member fell through, so I ended up making cookies and taking it to her. She loved it and now we are trying to get her to come to the pioneer day activity this Saturday! Its going to be awesome.

I LOVE YOU ALL AND BE SAFE! -Elder Hale

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010

Hi Family,
I thought that this sign would go great on the blog. It's been going around the mission and it's hilarious. There is a lot of anti-Mormon around here, but I can't believe a church would put that up on their sign. Yesterday we had 2 people show up to church! One of them was Richard, a older man in his 60's, that we have been trying to commit him to baptism every time we meet him. I was surprised to see him there at church when we pulled up. After sacrament meeting he said that the service was really quiet, not like the other church that he goes to that is really loud and moves you. So he want us to go with him to his church this Saturday. I think it is a baptist church, so that will be fun, but then we can talk about what was felt at our church and what he felt at his church and hopefully get him to recognise the spirit. Angela FINALLY came to church. Saturday we helped her put some window a/c in her home, so we knew where she really lived. We usually meet her at her ex-fiance's house where she watches her daughters all day. So we committed her to come to church Saturday night, called her a 8 am before church to wake her up, and then finally ended up knocking on her door to wake her up, but she came and stayed all 3 hours.
2 of our investigators ended up moving out of town last week, Mitch and Quinton and Melissa. I was bummed about it but Elder Wilson and I have been doing a lot of finding and now have added 8 new investigators to our teaching pool. Two of the more solid ones are Carl and Arnet. Both are looking for direction and answers, we are so excited. One of the members in our branch, Bro. Near also gave us a referral a couple of days ago (his name is Travis, please pray for him specifically by name) and we are trying to set up a appointment today at Bro. Near's home to teach him. We have been so blessed the last couple or weeks, miracles are taking place and it's just a blessing to be a part of it all.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010

Hey guys,
Things are going well. We had zone conference this week down in Peoria again, it was President's last zone conference. It was hard to say goodbye to him. He has helped me out so much and right when we got know each other real well he has got to go and now I need to get used to the next one. But I did get the CD I was talking about the other week, the one from all of us missionaries going to Nauvoo for zone conference. Its way cool. I'll be sending that home in the near future. Sorry if I am very random and sporadic when I write you back, I get your letters early in the week and then totally forget most of what you had asked me about by the time Monday rolls around, so I brought your letter with me this time. I did get the shorts you sent, and THANK YOU for sending them, doing service with jeans on stinks. I sent the shirts off last Monday, so they should be getting to CTR clothing today. We'll see if they can get back to me soon. I was thinking about one thing this week that would be cool to have, Rachel you might help me out with this, the sound track to the RM. That would be great.
Saturday I think I had one of the meanest street contacts in a long time. There was a old black guy sitting on his porch and we shouted at him and he motioned up to come up on the porch. He was clearly drinking at 11 in the morning and so he went off about how many bibles he had sitting right there is his window. He also had a Book of Mormon, so we started to ask him about it. He suddenly started talking about all of us being brother even though we had different colors of skin. He then went off on a tangent about how there is a black man on the white house and how long it took for them to get there. As he said it, "...we came from the outhouse to the white house...and we are going to stay there for the next 200 years!" (this whole time we couldn't get in a word) He then proceeded to tell us that he came from a gang in Chicago and was a "thug" many many moon ago. And to cap it all off he said that if he ever sees us on that street again he's going to, and I quote, "...chitty chitty bang bang us" And then threatened to beat us up if we didn't get off his porch. All of this is coming from a 70+ year old man who hasn't been sober this whole year thus far. So I think that was the highlight of my week. There are some more but I don't have enough time to write them.
As for Investigators, none came to church, none are progressing at this point and none will keep a commitment. Its a shame really, I get pretty bummed about it every week, but hey its not my choice to deny salvation, I gave them the opportunity every week. So we are thinking we are going to have to do some weeding with our teaching pool and start planting some new seeds. We already taught a guy named Carl who whole-heartily believes every thing in the Plan of Salvation, so it's already looking good.
I've got to go but you should be getting a package from me for Fathers day, and thank you for the pictures of the wedding It looked fun.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, June 7, 2010

June 7, 2010

Hi Family,
Training is going great. My new companion is Elder Wilson. He's from Preston, Idaho, at least he is not from Utah like my other companions. I forgot how green I was when I came out of the MTC, the questions he has are funny. But as for me, it look like I will be here around 12 weeks training him, so don't worry Mom, I'm not going anywhere. The investigators we have committed to baptism are just not showing up to church. Mitch committed (as usual) he would be at church and we even were able to sit down with him this last week and talked more about baptism and taught a few commandments. But he did not show. Angela, we also committed her for church for the third week in a row and were able to teach a lesson about the priesthood, and recognizing the spirit, but she was did not show. Justin I don't think is going to be able to get baptised this month. He wants to be baptized, but keeps falling through on our appointments. His mom, Barbara is excited for him to be baptized but it's just not a priority. The latest person we have committed is Lakeena. She is the most sincere, I think personally, and the only one that is really pondering about what we teach her. When we committed her to baptism she said that the only thing that we need to go over is Joseph Smith. That is the only thing that she is hooked up on, and basically the whole existence of our faith and church. So we are going to hit it on the head Wednesday with the next appointment.
This morning I heard a couple things off a CD and really started to think about it. I'm going to start changing and adjust my teaching solely (? how ever you spell that) to just The Book of Mormon. I need to get excited about The Book of Mormon, and if I can show how excited I think my investigators will be just as excited as I am in the Book of Mormon. And once they are excited about the Book of Mormon they will read, and learn to love the Book and learn all the plain and precious things that Nephi talks about. And then the spirit will touch their hearts and they will know that it is true. I truly feel like people are loving me and not the Gospel or the Book of Mormon that I bring into their life.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale
p.s. I forgot to tell you, I went to a Catholic mass last night....crazy stuff but I now have a former investigator's e-mail. He was training to be a catholic priest so I'm going to e-mail and convert!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010

Sorry, I know you like regular e-mails. Since yesterday was Memorial Day, the libraries were closed so our p-day got moved to today. I sorry for all the trouble my bank account has caused you and every thing that you have done for me, THANKS MOTHER!. (Brady had a fraudulent charge on his account and there is no bank branch in the little town that he lives in.)
So for the big news...I am not leaving Clinton. Elder Thurman is leaving after being here for only 6 weeks. But, I am training! Tomorrow I get to go pick up my brand new greeny missionary right from the MTC. So I'll let you know how that goes. So I will be staying here for at least 8 more weeks because we are merging with Iowa, Des Moines Mission. So now you know I will be apart of the Des Moines Mission for the rest of my missionary career. But, we have 3 baptism dates and finally had 2 people show up to church on Sunday, Mike and Melissa Murphy, Ill give you the details of every thing next week. We're running a little late today.
so I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24, 2010

This week has been a hard one. It's been a little frustrating with my companion and all of our investigators. We had 3 days that were booked with appointments back to back, and all but one of them would fall through each day. Mitch still hasn't been back to church. We called him the day before because we had an appointment, but he wasn't there, so we reminded him about church and he said he would be there, but he wasn't. We actually had 4 people lined up to come to church, but no one shows up. Its really crushing as a missionary. We met a woman last week, Angela, who we tracked into and gave her a great lesson on the porch. We were able to set up an appointment at the church for the stop smoking workshop we teach. Even with a SSW the spirit was there. We then taught her the plan of salvation on Wednesday for splits and then taught her the restoration on a church tour and extended the baptismal commitment. We set a date up with her for June 26th, and she said she would be at church, but she wasn't. I keep thinking that no one is progressing because of my teaching, but I'm inviting and that is what my purpose is as a missionary, so we'll just keep on trying.
This Saturday we will know if I'm getting transferred or staying another one here in Clinton. But I will not know until next Wednesday where I'm going . . . if I am leaving, that is.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale
p.s. Are you feeding the missionaries in the ward?...often? just making sure.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17, 2010

Hey family,
Yeah, I got the shirts last Monday, they are the right size neck wise but they are the tall ones, so I tried one on and it looks like I put on a lab coat. They are a bit big so I'm going to send them back and write a letter if they could sent the same shirts but regular, not tall. Thanks mom. And I will be sure to get a picture with Elder Thurman. Did you get my package? I sent it last week so it should be there soon. There really are not many good pictures in it, I'm not good with that kind of stuff, but there are some that you could use for the blog.
Well, President Ericson has asked of all the missionaries to go through all of the former investigators we have in the area book and visit with them by the end of this transfer. He has also asked us to give a hard baptismal commitment to every sit down appointment we got to. This is all because of a big push we have to hit our goal of baptisms by July 1st before president leaves. We have a huge stack of formers we are going through and have been busy. We only have 2 more weeks left of this transfer so we are running around. We now have three people that have committed to baptism this week, Mitch, Justin and Kiara. Mitch and Justin are very solid commitments, but we are not sure how committed Kiara is. Mitch has been getting a lot of anti against joining our church from his other pastor. He has now lost a sponsor for his fighting because of it as well. But we were talking with him and he is so solid about the decision he has made, he even had a guy training in his gym and we walked into the gym to see how he was doing and this guy started yelling scriptures at us and giving us a hard time. Mitch stood up for us and kicked this guy out of his gym. There was also another fighter training that we don't even know that stood up for us, it was great. So this week was awesome, Donald got the priesthood last week and we passed the sacrament with him at church. Things are going good, here in "Clintonia".
I LOVE YOU ALL hope to hear from you -Elder Hale

Monday, May 10, 2010

May 10, 2010

Hey Family,
It was great hearing about everything going on. I felt bad I didn't even get to say Happy Mothers Day! But I'm glad every body is doing good. I'll get the package sent out asap for you. I was starting my study in Preach my Gospel this morning and was going to ask you if you would send me a picture of Lehi's dream, the new one, the one that was hanging in Melanie's room. I like that picture a lot. But as for things needed, I'm really doing good right now once I get the shirts. Ill check when I get home if they are there.
A couple more people have dropped us. Shana and Eduardo dropped us. They left their house and told their neighbor to tell us that they did not want us stopping by any more, weird. And Catherine and Eric have found a different church to go to and are not progressing so we have to drop them. Jordan and Aneda, we had a baptismal date lined up for them, but they moved and turned their phone off, so they are still lost sheep. We have been doing a lot of follow ups and a lot of new finding to open increase our teaching pool. Mitch did not come to church yesterday so we now need to reschedule his baptism date. Amanda has been canceling her appointments with us the last 3 weeks so we haven't been able to meet with her for a long time, but tomorrow we have a time set to meet her and have a member coming with us. We have been able to meet with a guy named Justin and he seems very open and sincere about the gospel. He actually has been reading and had many questions. The only thing is that he lives with his mom and she is becoming more and more hesitant about us.
Elder Thurman and I have been bonding really well and have adjusted our selves to each other's teaching nicely. He's a real knowledgeable guy and has been helping me learn things daily.
I forgot to tell you that yesterday.
I really am ok on just about every thing else. But a package of socks wouldn't hurt.
Thank you so much for all you do for me and I LOVE YOU ALL!
Hope to hear from you -Elder Hale

May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!
Things are going good here in Iowa. I hope this card got to you before Mother's Day. I tried my best to get it out. It still haven't put together my package yet. I know you're waiting for it. In due time . . .

I just got back from Nauvoo. We had zone conference there and got to go to the temple. We also went to the brick place and got Nauvoo bricks. We also toured Carthage. I'll tell you about it on the phone. I can't wait to hear from the family. It should be Sunday evening, and I only have 45 minutes so I'll talk fast. Our area is doing good and Mitch is excited for his baptism. We have to teach him a few more things before he gets baptised. He really has had a change of heart and has prayed about what we teach him. Hope the girls and dad take care of you for Mother's day. I love you very much and can't wait to talk to you. I love you all!Elder Hale
And he was commanded to study! It's just me, every morning. This is my tracting face.

Monday, May 3, 2010

May 3, 2010

Hey Family,
Yea, on Sunday I'll probably let Elder Thurman use the phone first, so I'll probably call around 6 your time. I'm guessing all of this, they don't tell us any sort of information until the day before or the day of. But right after this e-mail, we're driving down to Davenport to have Zone p-day with everyone and then we are spending the night there too because tomorrow we are having Zone conference in Nauvoo. We're having a huge sha-bang because President is leaving so we get to go to Carthage, then Nauvoo and actually get to tour the place. Its going to be fun. I'm hoping to get me a Nauvoo brick and we get to go to the book store! I'm thinking about getting a old school Book of Mormon because I dont know if I'm going to be in the Iowa or Missouri mission, So I'm not sure if this is going to be the last time I'll get to see Nauvoo on the mission.
I haven't got the shirts yet, I think they might have been sent to the mission office in Peoria so if they are there I will have a chance to pick them up tomorrow. I'll let you know if I got them. Dad was asking about Quinten and Melissa. They are doing great, the Estes family has really become friends with them and plans all sorts of cool stuff with them. Quinten just got a job at a plastic company here in town, but he works third shift, so its hard to see them through out the week, weekends really work out for them. They have 3 girls I'm not sure on the names - one is Dakota, I'll try to remember the others. Mitch has really become our main focus though. He wasn't able to come to church yesterday, but he is still on track for baptism on May 21st, he's a stud.
This week we went on splits with the AP's and with the district leader, its been a sweet week. Elder Thurman and I have been getting along and have had more time to adjust to how we both teach. It really takes a few lessons to get used to how someone else teaches.
I'm really excited to talk to you guys this Sunday! I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 2010

Yes I got the package from you guys with all the ice cream and food! It was awesome, I didn't know that you could do that. I had a great time with the dry ice too. (It was Brady's 100th day of his mission a couple weeks ago.)
I was going to write a letter and send a package off this week but I didn't have time to put it together. We had transfers this week so Wednesday we had to travel to Peoria, Illinois. I got a new companion, Elder Thurman. He's been out a year this week so he's more versed than Eldredge was. I keep getting companions from Utah though. Elder Thurman is from the Provo area. He's excited about the area with our big teaching pool, but we have already had to drop a few people. Laisha had dropped us. She didn't keep her last appointment and then we went into her work to go and set something up again, but she is just not interested. Is weird because we have really taught her everything all with a member present and I know she has felt the spirit, so it was a little disappointing. We had a appointment planned for Amanda yesterday in a member's home, but just like last time, she texts us 2 hours before the appointment and cancels. It seems like a lot of our investigators have lost the desire to learn. But Mitch is solid. We set up a baptism date for him on the 21st of May. He came to church yesterday and was telling every one about his baptism and he liked the meeting. He's planning to come next week and has gone cold turkey with chewing tobacco. So we are excited for him.
Thank you for the shirts, I haven't received them yet but I'll keep an eye out for them. On Mothers day, I don't know for sure but it sound like after 7 pm I will be calling so that's like after 5 pm your time, I think. We get to use our cell phone so that's why we have to wait till after 7 for the free minutes. Oh I wanted to ask you if you had any information on the genealogy I sent a little while ago? The one I got from a member the had some Hales in her family.
Anyways I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale