Monday, February 22, 2010

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