Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 17, 2010 (audio tape)

These are some excerpts from a tape that Brady sent home:
"Mission log - Stardate 561-3"
Here is some crazy news about July 1st, we just found this out at zone conference on Friday. President Erickson said effective July 1st, there will no longer be a Peoria Illinois mission. It is dissolving into the Des Moine Iowa and St Louis Missouri missions. So when I come home, I will be coming home from a different mission depending on where I'm at on July 1st, and that will be my new mission. So that was some crazy stuff.

Oh thank you for the ties. There is a rule - you can't have ugly ties, so you can't have polyester ties. But you've been sending me silk ties which are awesome so keep sending silk ties. We also get free ties from the Benevolent Society because we go there to do service and we get hooked up on ties when we go there. It's a place where people that need things like clothes , well like Goodwill, but it's free and people can come in once a month and pick out things they need. So last week we were in there organizing shoes and folding clothes and setting up lights.

Three appointments fell through today, but we tracted anyway because we're studs. Not much else for today besides eating donuts and being extremely cold right now.

Mother, you'll never guess this . . . but I'm in the choir. Me and Eldredge have been recruited to be in the branch choir, so we actually sing. You should hear me, I sing. It's amazing, I know. You'd never believe it (I don't know what Brady said for the next few minutes on the tape, because our whole family was howling with laughter!)

We went to the Arboretum - it's this huge nature place, it's an outdoor nature museum basically. This lady in her 70's bought a bunch of acreage and her house is there. When we are doing service work, usually what we go out and do is burn branches basically, but we didn't get to do it today. All we did today was go to this guy's house, pick up this. . . I don't know what you'd call it - this tub of worms. I guess they recycle . . . well, I guess worm's poo is like black gold. That's what they tell us. So they give paper shavings and lettuce to them and they make this . . . well. . . poo substance. Well anyhoo, we had to go pick up this tub of worms. So we got it from this guy's house out of his basement. Everyone around here has a basement which I think is weird. In our basement, oh my goodness our basement downstairs is scary. Every time I do laundry it scares me a little bit. Anyway, we went to his basement, got the worms and set it up for the nice people here. Then we went to the potting room and emptied out some nasty disgusting smelling dirt and washed the tubs out. We looked at some plants and talked to Dave. Dave is the nature guy there. We are going to baptize him. He doesn't know that yet. There's just a whole bunch of fun old people there that make us cookies every week. (Grandpa was listening to this tape with us. We were all loving Brady's stories, but I'm not sure what Grandpa was thinking. I think he was expecting a spiritual BYU devotional, but instead, we got stories of worm poo!)

Oh - you'll never guess this. Today was the first day I was flipped off! It was actually kind of exciting. It's number 1 for the mission accounting records.

We had to race home because Sister Brown is SO NICE. She made up Bar-B-Que ribs which we have not eaten yet, but we will eat - wait, excuse my language . . . FEAST upon!

So we walked over to Brother Tingley's house then we proceeded to walk to the church. That sounds like a neat little nice walk on a nice cold evening, but it was probably about a 45 minute walk. So we get there to the church. Everyone was busy with meetings, we couldn't get a ride to the youth activity another 3 miles down the road. So that didn't happen, we thought we were done for. Then luckily Caleb, he's a boy scout, 7th grade age, he walks in, in his scout uniform and he's like "where is everybody?" So I'm like "Man, everybody is at the Near's house." He's like "Dang it!" It was a blessing in disguise. He calls his father and proceeds to ask for a ride for all 3 of us. So we got a ride all the way to the Near's house, who were all ice skating out on the pond, combined activity with the Dewitt branch. So there are youth all over the pond, all playing hockey. So me and Eldredge threw down some skills on the pond. Eldredge was better than me, he went after the ball. I clearly did not, I just owned middle court. We mingled somewhat with the youth and then went inside for hot chocolate and treats. Our whole objective was to get a young man to get to church. He's 16. His 2 best friends are in the ward so we talked to Jake to go invite him to church. He halfway said he would, but I was like You and me - we are best pals. We are both basses in the choir and we have to stick together and hold our own - we're Basses! So we're pounding fists and stuff so I'm like "Jake - as a fellow bass, man, you need to invite him to church" So he said alright, I'll get him to church. (He's totally going to church, even if he doesn't know it yet)

Then we played this crazy Ninja game. Eldredge ninja-ed me out of the game after about half a minute. It's only because he's done Karate for 5 years. He's like a black belt. That doesn't matter. But he did win.

Caleb was talking to us on the way home. He likes us, totally looks up to us. He wants us to come over on the days we don't do anything. Which then I told him - "We do everything all day long. We do everything always." We're growing on the branch, the branch is growing on us.

So I left on my mission weighing a buck ninety five. 195 pounds. I got here and I weighed myself and I'm like 204. What the heck?! But this morning I weighed myself and I was 199.8 I'm still under 200 by 2/10ths of a pound. I'm blaming it on all the muscle I'm gaining. Everyone tells me this is a 40+ pound mission, but I'm NOT gaining 40 pounds on my mission. That can't happen, no way. (But I have eaten some massive steaks.)

Other than that, I'm doing great. "Over and out - Stardate 26148-A"

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010

Hey Family!!
Hows every thing in Phoenix going? Last night we received about 4-5 inches of snow. Everyone told us it was going to be like 10 inches so we were happy to just get 4-5. Mom, I don't think that there is a Bank of America here in Clinton. There isn't even a Chase in town for my church account. So I don't think that there is anything I can do at the moment. My package should arrive tomorrow. I sent it on Friday, because I did not even finish the tape until Wednesday. But there is also some stuff in there that I think that you would like to keep.
The dormers sound like a huge project, but I bet they look great. You should send me a picture of the finished product. Dad, I love getting your letters in the mail, and about you and grandpa. It sounds like he had a great time at the tractor show with you. I wish I could have been there, I really liked the last one that we went to way out on the edge of town. I'm happy to hear that grandpa's doing well, he's such a stud! How's everything going in Primary? I enjoyed teaching the 5 year olds. And I will always remember what Kovin said, if you don't know the answer just say "Jesus?" Sounds like work is keeping you busy, hopefully you won't get burnt out doing choir, work, and tractor building. Melanie, your letter made me laugh so hard. I like those kind of letters. I don't really know what you can tell that kid, you should tell him that only through repentance and waters of a shower can he be forgiven. Roxanne-WRITE ME BACK! Rachel, thanks for your letter.
This week we have been really busy. Last night we found out that were leading the district in church tours and baptismal commitments. So we are totally going to get some free lunches out of it.
We met a duck yesterday. We named him Harold and got some sweet pictures with him. We finally got a new investigator to go to church this Sunday. He's living with his sister who is a member and we're working with him to get back on track. I love being a missionary. It's weird to be in a home and all of a sudden people are praying for the missionaries, and then you realize that's me. Every day I understand a little more about the gospel and the love that it brings. To see a change in someone just brightens my day and makes me want to work even harder. The love of the members is the same everywhere in the church and it's such a wonderful thing to be a part of it. I LOVE YOU ALL AT HOME AND IN THE WARD.
-Elder Hale

February 15, 2010

This week was sweet. Tuesday we received a call from the mission office. They said that there was a man in the hospital that wanted a blessing. We got the room number and the phone number to his granddaughter and was told to call her before we went to the hospital. We called her up and she was a member who lived in Colorado. She had called Salt Lake, who called our mission office, who called us. Her grandfather was in the hospital, was not a member or his wife. his daughter was not a member as well, but they were all at the hospital with him. She asked if we would give him a blessing of peace and comfort because he had been sick for the past 4 years and that morning he stopped all the medical treatment he had been taking because he had had enough. We found the room and talked with his wife and daughter. They were grateful to see us and for the blessing even though they weren't members. We have him the blessing and the spirit was definitely there in the room. Once we were done, his daughter was just in tears. We talked with her a little more about the Plan of Salvation and handed her a pass along card. She then looked up and said there had been a sense of peace since we had been there. That hit me hard to realize what kind of comfort we can give and share with other people.
Our zone conference had been moved from Tuesday to Friday because of the weather so Thursday evening Elder Eldridge and I packed up to go stay with the Elders in Rock Island in the quad city area. The next morning we met up with some more missionaries in Davenport then headed for Nauvoo. It was a long day of driving. We got there to that chapel across the street from the temple. We had a great morning then a massive lunch. Then we proceeded with the second half of conference. We then left and arrived home about 7:15 that night only to learn that I was going on exchanges with Elder Bell and Elder Dalton. So I ate at home then got packed up to drive right back to Davenport. I slept there and went tracting the next morning with the Elders. Elder Dalton was on an extension of his mission and only had a week left. I learned a lot from him. He bore his testimony at zone conference, he is a powerful missionary. I arrived home the next day around 3. We had an appointment at 4 with a man from Mexico. He asked so many questions about the Book of Mormon and asked us if he could come to church before we could even ask him. I love the guy. He is so nice and loving. We extended the commitment to be baptized and he said yes. So March 13 is what we have planned.
Sunday I gave a talk on preparing for a mission. There was a sister leaving for Ogden UT and was giving a farewell right after me. It went so good. At the end of the talk, I turned it around and applied it to everyone and asked them if they were ready to share the gospel. The branch president really thanked me after the meeting for what I said.
So, you had some questions about the mission - here are some answers:
I did fly in the tiny plane all the way from Texas to Peoria. It was an extremely hot and compacted ride, not to mention shaky. When the President assigned me to Clinton, our branch mission leader drove us the 2 hours from Peoria to Clinton.
Here is a picture of our apartment. It is an old house and now has 4 apartments in it. As you can see, our room is the one with the Jesus in the window, second story on the right. It's ok with the furnishings, it's like a normal student apartment, all mismatched items, but everything works. It's way cool. But it's warm, too warm, there is no way to control the temperature so you just have to crack a window or something. It's stuck at a toasty 75 degrees. The bed is like medium youth size, my feet hang over the end, and I'm not even a tall guy, but you get used to it quickly when you come home pooped.
Elder Eldredge is the most solid educated dude in the gospel. He has read everything and knows everything like the back of his hand. Just for the fact that he's the only one in his family that has gone on a mission, I look up to him for that. Grocery money is deposited into our missionary credit card every month. It is so much money, I'm living like a king. I'm used to the $80 a month I lived off of up in Flagstaff.
(I asked him if he misses having a cell phone in his pocket) We do have a cell phone, but we can't use it in public so we have to come back home to use it. It might as well be a portable house phone. I have a watch on all the time so I don't even pull it out at all throughout the day.
We only get fed once a week here, but it is starting to pick up to 2 times a week. We make meals often for ourselves and have some interesting things for breakfast.
I'm sending home a tape, pictures and some things you might want for a scrapbook. Family, I love and miss you a lot. Please thank everyone in the ward for the Valentines cards, they will definitely get me through a rainy day. I love you all!
--Elder Hale

January 15, 2009

These are some excerpts from a letter to Roxanne:"

How are you doing? I hope you got my last letter, HOPE FULLY. (I'm so tired i didn't mean to make that 2 words)"

"I have to tell you something, I was showing my family pictures to the Elders in my zone last night, and an Elder Higginson really, really wanted to write you. Actually a lot of Elders wanted to write you. At first I said no, but then I thought about your weird boy friends you bring home, TEE HEEE! Just kidding. (but, no really . . . Roby? That's not a name.) So I only let him write you."

"Elder Eldredge saw a picture of you too and wanted to write you too. I can't keep the Elders off you, I have to keep them back with a stick."

Roxanne recounted with a valentine card to Brady:
Roses are Red,
Violets are Blue,
missionaries like me,
more than you!

"Tonight Elder Eldredge and I have a dinner appointment at 6 and we have to bike over there in the snow, I can't wait for that. It's okay to ride in it, but the snow gets in my eyes and then I can't see, and ride off the curb, cuz I'm riding down the road with my eyes closed. That sounds safe."

After talking about the small, old town that he lives in... "The basement is creepy to say the least, that's where the washer and dryer are. I'm glad I have to have a companion with me all the time cuz it creeps me out down there."

"I will be a yo-yo master when I get back."

"Well my love goes out to you, keep busy with your ward, and stop dating goofballs, Love Elder Brady Hale"

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19, 2010

Host unlimited photos at for FREE!
Look what I found and stole off Kelsie's blog! (Debbie, those pictures are great. It's fun to see her!) Kelsie and Brady are cousins and overlapped their time in the MTC.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 15, 2010

Ok, I totally don't have time to tell you every thing that has happened this week but it was AWESOME. We had Zone conference in Nauvoo at the church basically across the street from the temple. It was a spiritual time for me. There is some crazy news about my mission but that's on the tape I'm making right now and will send this week. I got the pictures done and will send them as well. Mother I love you, and for the package you sent and every one that sent me a Valentine card. THANK YOU WARD FAMILY!!!! You have no idea how nice it was to get that and think of every one. I actually need to go but I'm sending a big package this week so look for it. There is so much support from every one and it makes me want to work that much harder. I love you all and will send a much more detailed letter and tape of this week. I LOVE YOU ALL and hope you have a great week. LOVE ELDER HALE

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

This week I've received more mail and e-mail from friends than I have ever had. Brian, it's so good to hear from you, and that you're working really hard in school. I hope all is well. You need to send me your e-mail. I'm going to try to reply to the message you sent me, but I don't know if it will work. I was wondering about how I was going to get ahold of you because I can't get onto facebook or anything like that.
Mother, I know you asked me some questions on the letter you mailed to me but I forgot to bring it (as usual). So I'll try to fill in the blanks. The house looks good, it looks like the project went up pretty fast and easy. Melanie, how on earth did you get those nasty dread locks to stay? They look pretty much rockin! Keep on keepin' on!!!
My week has just gone by so fast. Elder Eldredge and I had our first dinner appointment on Wednesday. It was with a family with 6 kids, the Nears. They are the biggest family in the branch and also make up of 25% of the branch on their own. Their oldest son, Logan, is 21 and just received his mission call to Canada, (Chinese speaking, who knew?). So he asked us if he could go out with us for a day, from 8 in the morning to 9 at night. It was approved by the mission president so this week some time he's going out with us. It's going to be sweet because we'll have someone to drive us around all day. This week we had about 12 appointments lined up throughout the week, but only one of them came through.
So I'm getting used to tracting and knocking on doors. My companion, in his last area, became addicted to Pokemon cards and soon thereafter he got me into it (I never would have thought I would). It's actually a good pastime during fast Sunday when you only have an hour left of fasting and have to keep busy doing something. We were tracting that afternoon but we decided to come in about 6 because with the Superbowl on, people were getting mad at us for "disturbing them". We then took our studies from 7-9 that night since we had church in the morning. ( I know the colts won, booo! GO SAINTS!!)
Family, I'm sending the memory card home since I can't seem to get the pictures done while I'm at the store. I hope to hear from you soon and have a Happy Valentine's day. Family, I Love you all and can't wait to hear from you.

(Apparently, Brady didn't get the full news report on the Superbowl last night!)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February 1, 2010

Mother and Family,

I can't believe it. I was in the library for an hour writing a four page letter that was perfect and then went to change the address and the server had an error. Two weeks in a row and my e-mails have been messed up. So I'm going to try and re-cap as best as I can.
So I landed in Peoria in a spitball of an aircraft. Let's just say a couple prayers went out on that ride. There wasn't even enough room to stand all the way up, so the 9 others and I got off the plane and met the Mission President in the baggage claim area. He was there with his wife. His name is President Ericson. He's a nice guy. We then went to the stake center in Peoria and were taught how to do a church tour with investigators. We then went to the mission office and received a binder about 2 inches thick full of more rules and regulations. We met the people that work there then set off for the mission home where the President and his wife live. It's huge, there are about 12 beds in the basement as well as a small meeting area. We had dinner and a meeting to go over more rules and goals which include reaching 220 baptisms for the year of 2010. After that we could finally go to bed after being up for almost 20 hours. The next morning we all went back to the stake center to find out our companions and our new area. My new companion is Elder Eldredge and we were assigned the area of Clinton, Iowa. Both of us didn't know where this was but it's actually 2 hours north of Peoria. Here's the funny part. The President wanted to white wash the area (in other words, replace both missionaries because the area has not had much success). So Elder Eldredge has only been out 4 months, and I'm brand new, we both don't know the town, don't know the streets, don't have a car, or bikes yet, don't know the members, or the contacts or investigators. Our mission leader is Brother Tingley. He is a convert and has only been in the church for a year and a half. He was called to be the mission leader 3 months ago, but got trained 3 weeks ago so we are all new to this. All this last week, Elder Eldredge and I have been doing is tracting every day. We go the members along the way for "warm spots" where we can meet them and ask for referrals. The other night about 8 o'clock we were tracting and tried a member's house for a warm spot. They are a solid core family in the branch (yes, it's a branch, a small one at that). We were there joking about the cold and being from the desert. They got on the computer and told us that it was -9 degrees outside. We didn't even know. So it is cold here if you were wondering. All this tracting has been tough to say the least. I think it's the cold though, it really sucks the energy out of you. The people here are a bit bitter, I blame the cold. The town is so small, smaller than Flagstaff, I think. We had a meeting with an investigator this last Thursday and he committed, a man named Marcus, to be baptized and set a date. The district leaders could hardly believe it. So we are doing some white washing. Our goal as a companionship is to make the branch explode and turn this town around. I'm guessing I'll be here for at least 3 months.
Please tell Aunt Lauri thank you for the letter. Aunt Debbie, thank you for the cinnamon rolls. They were yummy in my belly. And thank her for the note. She is so nice.
Mother, I know I told you a few times I would get some pictures developed, but I forgot my card while I was at the store. I might just send it home, but then you won't have the names. I don't know, we'll see.
I'm doing good. The cold doesn't really bother me anymore. I'm staying warm and am being safe. I've only gotten through half of the tape you sent me. I really love hearing all of you.
It's almost been a month! How cool.
Missionary work is fun, when I get rejected by someone, it just makes me smile and try harder. I really do like it and see all the love in members' lives. I'm staying focused and strong.
I love you all so much, and keep writing!
Love, Elder Hale

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February 2, 2010

It's been a long long week not knowing where Brady was living since he arrived in Illinois. We hoped to hear from him Monday, but the day came and went without a word. We finally got an e-mail from him this morning. It reads:

Well yet again, computers suck!!! I just wrote a 4 page letter and the computer logged me out so I'll be writing to you by hand this afternoon. I'm in Clinton, Iowa. I'm a little ticked so I don't want to write much. I LOVE YOU ALL and wait for the letter in the mail.

So Yay! At least we know where he is. Clinton is a small community on the Mississippi River, population 27,000 and home of the 'Clinton Lumberkings'! But now we have to wait a few more days until we hear about his first week.