Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 14, 2011

Hey Brady,
I don't know if you'll even be e-mailing today because of your going home schedule, but just wanted to say I love you.
Ths has nothing to do with anything important, but I was going through some of your old pictures you sent home on your memory card, and I didn't realize until now that some of them are videos, not pictures. I was horrified at the video of the dog and the snake in somebody's living room. IN THE LIVING ROOM !!!!!!!
Also, I saw one that was both funny and a little bit disturbing - you and Elder Curtis doing some kind of . . . . dancing? (the closest descriptive word for what I watched).
I am anxious for you to tell us all the background stories of all your pictures.
I've got to say, there are a LOT of people that are looking forward to seeing you.
I hope you have a fun "slumber party" at the mission home Thursday night. I'm not sure you will get any sleep. Hope you can sleep on the plane.
Love you Brady - See you in a couple of days.
I can't even tell you how proud we are !!
Love Mom

I Love you too. It doesn't seem like its coming to an end yet but I'm sure it will hit me. I don't know if you have done this already or not, but do you remember E, the girl that was from Quincy that moved to Phoenix and Rachel met her and everything? Would you be able or Rachel be able to invite her to the homecoming talk? I don't know if she is a friend on face book or not. Also Friday night you said that we were going to have a dinner with the family and friends and roasting marshmallows, what time would that commence? I wanted to invite some friends over but I don't know what time we will be by the fire pit. I'll be on line for a little bit so you can e-mail me back.
I hope you got the boxes!! There should be 3 of them. I'll tell you all about T and the MTC fireside on Friday!!
Love you all, -Elder Hale

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 5, 2011

FAMILY,
So you wanted to know about the facebook thing. Invite everyone in my facebook account for the homecoming talk if you could. Put on there the time and address of the church. As for the party at the house, I don't remember everyone who is on there. Make your best judgement call with familiar names maybe I can go through it when I get home and add some people. I did get the topic and day of my talk. The only thing is that I don't know when I will be reporting to the Stake President and High Council. I have heard of some elders that already know the appointment to meet with him. The church sends him my arrival information, but maybe if you could double check and confirm?
The week has been wonderful. Tuesday was the departing missionary temple trip. We left real early to get to the Nauvoo temple on time. Before we went, Elder Harrison took us to the old Nauvoo cemetery. This was the same cemetery we went to when the Illinois Peoria Mission was closing and we all went to the temple one last time as a mission. There are hundreds of graves of the saints that lived there at that time, most of them are children's graves. We has some time to walk around and ponder. I had a whole flood of memories from the IPM come back to me. We were on hallowed ground. We headed over to the temple and got in at the 12 o'clock session. It was a powerful session for me, but after the session the Temple President took all of us to the bell tower. At first we went up to the clocks, and were able to look out the windows and talk about the temple but then he took all of us the the highest spot of the temple. If you look at a picture of the Nauvoo temple, just under angel Moroni there is a silver looking dome roof. We stood right under that roof, just feet away from Moroni. It was so cool.
T was supposed to be baptized on Thursday, but she went into the hospital for surgery. She had to get her gallbladder removed along with multiple stones that were in it, one of which was the size of a golf ball!. She had a bad infection as well. But she is recovering at home and she let us give her a blessing! That is a huge step for her. She has never let us give her a blessing before and was always scared at the idea. Her baptismal interview is going to be done today right after this email, and hopefully when I e-mail next, she will be baptized.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011

FAMILY,
I am thankful for the members in the Des Moines 7th branch that willingly take the missionaries in and help us feel at home during the holidays. I am thankful for Priesthood leaders that magnify their callings as they work with us. I am thankful for members and investigators that don't have a lot to give or share and still make sure that the missionaries are fed and warm. I am thankful for the charity of the people of Iowa. I am thankful for a family at home that still prays for me every day. I am thankful for my mom and dad that are devoted to write me every week. I am thankful for two parents that understand the gospel and taught me through example. I am thankful for parents that still love their son, and reflect Christ love when they always have open arms ready to receive. I am thankful for parents that taught me to be a worthy missionary. I am thankful for a father that works HARD to provide for his family and support his son on a mission. I am thankful for a mother that was always at home growing up and able to nurture and provide for my needs. I am thankful for parents that show true sacrifice and charity by putting their needs last, and forget themselves and raise a family. I am thankful to be born in the gospel and in the covenant. I am thankful for parents that honor and keep their covenants. I am thankful for sisters that have grown up to know the gospel is true and live to reach their divine potential.
I am thankful for missionaries that knocked on my door when I needed an answer. I am thankful for being a child of God. I am thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who knew his son's potential and never left him. I am thankful for a Mission President that has always loved me and listens to my needs. I am thankful for the Spirit and the joy and peace that he gives me. I am thankful for the opportunity for serving a mission. I am thankful for being entrusted with the Priesthood and am a instrument to bring about the salvation of souls. I am thankful for a perfect Heavenly Father trusting his imperfect son to stand in his behalf and love his children. I am thankful for prayer when I can know I am doing my Father's will. I am thankful for trials and opposition to test me and build me. I am thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ to allow me to have a change of heart. I am thankful for change, the gospel is change. I am thankful for the Book of Mormon, and the power that flows from its pages. I am thankful for Joseph Smith being a instrument in the hands of the Lord. I am thankful for modern day revelation.
I am thankful for T when, through all we have been through, told us, "you guys saved me, you really did." I am thankful to help other missionaries when they need help. I am thankful for serving in a mission with the Nauvoo temple in its boundaries, and to walk the streets the Prophet Joseph walked. I am thankful for personal revelation. I am thankful to learn how to lose yourself and help others. I am thankful for Preach my Gospel and the profound effect it has had on me as a teacher. I am thankful for a perfect brother that has paid the price of my mistakes and has walked the path of my wrongs, a brother that knew no evil or did no wrongs, a brother that cried in the night to his Father for strength and a brother that overcame the world by himself, completely alone, so now he can succor his brothers and sisters to overcome as we turn to him. I am thankful for love.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011

FAMILY,
Elder Bowen come and toured our mission the past few days, as well as called a new stake president and talked at stake conference. He taught at 4 zone conferences throughout our mission and came to Des Moines Friday to speak with us. He went through the house of Israel in detail, it was awesome but at the same time an information over load. The underlining theme of his whole visit with us was that of covenants and who we as a people are, also the importance of Preach My Gospel and temple sealings. It gave me a lot to think about and I still have not found time to go through my notes. Much of the work we do as missionaries it that of preparing people for baptism, through faith and repentance. But what really hit home is that none of that really matters if a person never gets to the temple and is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. We are a covenant people and will always be a covenant people. The more I have thought about it the more it rings true. On the Nauvoo temple are sun stones, a very well known marking of a face on the sun with trumpets and so forth. In the Celestial room in the Nauvoo temple the sun stone can be seen but with a little difference. Instead of seeing the whole face of the sun, it is hidden behind the horizon with just its eyes peeking over. Brigham Young taught that represents the covenants we will make in the eternities, right now we are just beginning to see the covenants we need to make with many more to come in the next life. Every week we renew the most important covenant in the church, the sacrament. We do this often, continually renewing the same covenant made at baptism. Men that hold the Melchizedek Priesthood renew the oath and covenant of the priesthood when they go to the temple. We are a covenant people, willing to give the Father all that we have, and in turn He will give us everything he has. It was an amazing conference.
We have been really tired this last week. We needed to get up early for zone conference, the next day get up early to drive to Ames to kept score for a basket ball championship called netfest, then today we needed to get up at 5 to take the bus to the hospital to give a blessing to a member about to go into surgery. We may be taking a nap today for p-day. We did have some good news about T, she is back on for baptism for December 1st. We are working with her daily to make sure she will be ready and on track. I'm not sure why we keep going back to help her, every time we are ready to drop her, the spirit tells us, "nope, not yet” I have never worked with someone so close and so hard. She is really devoted to do it this time. She went to stake conference and to the investigator/recent convert meeting before stake conference. She got to meet Elder Bowen and President Jergensen, and an out pouring of the Spirit to say the least. It was funny she was so mad at us when the meeting was over because she had been crying, and she hates to cry. It was very brave of her to go. She does not do well with large crowds, she freaks out to tell you the truth. But with her friend D and Sis. Jahn (who I believe you have talked to) she was able to get through it, and liked it.
Just a thought, did you get the box I sent home? Rachel is getting her degree huh? Wow that’s so sweet, I wish I could be able to see the ceremony. And what about this party that you are planning? This sounds interesting.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 14, 2011

FAMILY,
You mentioned that it was getting a little cold at home. It has been a little chilly this week, it snowed on Wednesday. Most of it is gone by now but it was fun. It has actually been very enjoyable so far this year. Last year about this time it had to be below zero with the wind chill. Hopefully it will hold out until mid-December...
We had a crazy week with T. We went over last Monday, (yes she has dropped us 3 times and yes we are teaching her for the 3rd time) we went over Monday night and her other son was there. They were in the middle of a very heated argument when we were invited in. We sat down and waited for everything to cool off and see what would come of the situation. It got worse so T and us went over to her neighbor's house to talk. While figuring out what we were going to teach and get her cooled off, her son barged in and said some unkind things. T's neighbor called the cops on her son barging into her home and threatening her, which clearly did not happen as we witnessed all of this take place. So the cops showed up and statements were taken and reports were made. We didn't have anything to do with the cops we just watched all of this take place. It was a new mile marker in the mission, cops showing up in a lesson. So to sum up everything we are now teaching T again!! We did give her the scriptures, and thank you for the scripture. It is my #1 goal to baptize her before I leave this place.
I got your letter just now, I don’t know what you saw on google maps, a big rusty square in front of our apartment? There is an older apartment complex next to our place, it’s on the other side of the parking lot, and maybe it was that? Oh wait, it is the patio. There is a patio in the middle of the complex where most of the weird hipsters of the neighborhood mingle and drink imported beer. We don’t hang out there very much.
Kyle sounds like he is doing great. He’s 6 months out and he lost his greenie fire, it sounds about right. I lost mine at about 8 months when I left my first area. It is very typical about that time. Just encourage him, at least he noticed it and now can gauge what he needs to do to be better. But he training, that’s like hooking up a can of nos to a missionary. Training will boost him a lot if he wants to work hard.
We toured the Capitol last Monday too. We did it for fun, kinda cool, kinda boring. It was just us 2 and the tour guide. I will attach pictures. We had a sweet couple move into our branch last week. The Youngs! Brother Young just landed the job for coaching the Iowa Energy basketball team. It is a minor D league, not the pro's, (I don't know why but Iowa has no professional teams but they have a big stadium downtown?). He is a solid guy, the branch needs him. We are having dinner with them tonight. It’s gonna be sweet.
I was a trunked out for a couple minutes this week, we were doing service for Habitat for Humanity, and they are remodeling a building. We were putting up shelving and cleaning the building of construction junk, but while we were walking around I ran into a pipefitter's pipe machine! Dad you will appreciate this, a flood of memories came back as I was looking at it with the smell of drying drywall mud, the echo of a lift backing up, and slipping as I stepped on the 12 foot sections of pipe on the ground. Wow, didn't think I missed it so much.
I do have a question for you to ask the new bishop, Bishop Barker right? Could you ask him what day I will be speaking and on what topic? I would like to get as many non-members there as possible and prepare.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale
P.S. I am starting to send some boxes of stuff home, feel free to go through it. It's kind of like my journal and scrapbook all put into many binders. Thanks!

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7, 2011

FAMILY,
Sorry about the short letter on Thursday. We were crunched for time, and I forgot to mention some things in my last letter. I always seem to receive your letters the day after I e-mail and then forget to write about them the following week. But luckily I got your letters on Saturday and it’s fresh in my mind. For Halloween the branch had a trunk-or-treat. It was a good turn out and we were able to get T there as well. In Iowa, they have what’s called a beggars night, which is the night before Halloween, where all the kids go out and trick-or-treat. I think they do this due to all the parties and all the drinking that happens on Halloween night. So we were told to go inside from 6-9 on both the 30th and the 31st. A couple of days before this we helped close down an apartment in Winterset and scored a Monopoly game board. So we played Monopoly both nights. It was fun, we also had the Des Moines 1st Elders over on Saturday night to
play with us.
I did hear some awesome news about the ground breaking for the Sapporo, Japan temple! I saw that on some church news paper when we stopped by the mission office this week and I thought of Dad. I think that there are 3 temples in Japan now? So sweet. Just think there are people that dad taught on his mission that will be able to go to that temple.
We have a General Authority, Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the First Quorum of the Seventy coming to tour our mission. He will also be with Elder Nash. Elder Bowen will be calling a new Stake President for the Des Moines Stake and, from what I have heard, moving boundaries. This could be great for our branch, we need priesthood and leadership. It will be exciting to see what happens.
Elder Bowen has asked that everyone in the mission prior to his arrival, study the Abrahamic covenant, the house of Israel, baptismal covenant, and the oath and covenant of the priesthood. I have been studying this for a week so far and have learned a ton, so I can't wait to hear from Elder Bowen.
Thanks for getting all of my school stuff ready and signed up. It looks great. I totally forgot about the English 101 and 102 that I took in high school, but I'm glad you were able to find all of that. It probably took a lot of time and effort, thank you so much.
I was looking at those pictures that you sent me of Halloween, Rachel looks totally different, I could barely recognize her. It look like everyone have changed so much. I liked Dad's costume of Where's Waldo, and Grandpa's pirate outfit. I didn't dress up this year, I just wore an orange and brown Wembly suitmate tie (Wemblys are a coveted brand of ties around here) so I thought I would wear my best. We did pass out candy to all of the kids with Elder and Sister Jahn, a senior couple in our branch.
Right now we are headed over to go and see the State Capitol, I will send you some pictures next time.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3, 2011

FAMILY,
Sorry for the delay for this e-mail. It has been a weird week. There was a Elder that came out 6 months ago and hurt his shoulder in the mission field. He has to go home to get surgery and came back to the field this week. He came a day early so we picked him up and took him out with us for the day. He arrived on our p-day, so we had to take p-day Tuesday, but due to our schedule we couldn't e-mail until today.
We some sad news. T is no longer a investigator. Her son came to live with her unexpectedly last Monday. They don't get along very well and she had a melt down, not to mention her son and his girlfriend have a major drug problem. The spirit was no longer invited into her house to say the least. She stopped praying and handed the Book of Mormon back to us (again) and told us she cannot change because of her living situation. She fell back into smoking, subsequently her baptism was canceled. She seems real stern about not coming to church any more. The hard part is that we have a quad for her with her name on it that we have been preparing to give her at her baptism. We went around to all of the members and got them to write down their favorite scriptures and highlighted them in the quad with a note on note cards about why it is their scripture. I think we are going to still give it to her. Could you guys write down your favorite scripture on note cards and with reasons why you like them? She might like that. Sorry this is short, we have to go.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011

FAMILY,
Crazy week, it’s been getting a little cold here and Elder Purcell doesn't have any warm clothes with him. Two weeks ago he sent a letter home and asked for warmer clothes, so lately, in order to unify us together; I also have been on the “no coat until Purcell gets his package" campaign. Luckily it warmed up a little bit, and he did receive his package a couple days ago.
Oh, I never got back to you about classes. I talked to President Jergensen about signing up for classes and he said that I could take some time during the week and sing up on-line. I probably won’t do that specifically because I will be on line forever trying to figure everything out and probably wont have all the information I will need off hand, but if you could sign me up and get a schedule, and signed up for classes, then I could just jump on line and adjust some things
if necessary. If you want to send me a schedule when all said and done so I could look it over that would be sweet. Thanks.
We also met up with A again this week, the French/Swahili speaking guy. Last Sunday we set an appointment to go over and teach him with I (a recent convert from Africa), but the appointment fell through. All week we have been trying to get ahold of him to set something up. Saturday we were in the neighborhood and thought to give him a try. He was getting out of his car as we were walking up. He told us to come right in. There were some other family members in the house that spoke a little English but not enough that we could use them as a translator. We called I who was actually in the neighborhood at a friend’s house. He was over there in 10 minutes. He arrived and A started to pour out questions about the Book of Mormon and questions he had found while reading the Bible. It was awesome, he didn't want us to leave and kept asking us questions. It was crazy!
T's baptism is this Saturday the 29th. She has made so much progress, but she is still scared extremely scared of water. She has gone back and forth so much, but now it is crunch time. Last Saturday the other missionaries in the branch had a baptism and we were able to get T there so she knew what to expect. She was very nervous but sat through the whole thing. Afterward she said that she was not going to be baptized. She was not going to go through with it. She expressed her feelings with the members there and the members kept walking up to us and telling us she was not going to do it. Purcell and I were unfazed, T is prepared. We went over to her house that night because she had invited us over for dinner. We talked about the baptism she witnessed, and she said that she was not going to do it, but she was going to come to church the next day. That night Elder Purcell and I felt that we needed to fast for her, so we did. The
next morning we went over to have a little lesson before church (church starts at 11:30) and she went off on us about how she was not going to church and she wanted us to take all the Bibles out of her house and stop with the whole church thing. She had had a weird night the night before and was very scared about coming to church and meeting with us. We talked to her and calmed her down, but she was adamant about not coming to church. We basically invited pretty hard and told her that her ride was coming in 5 minutes and then we left. While we walked outside her ride was waiting there and we told them what was going on, then all of a sudden T walks outside and jumps in the member's car and heads off to church!! It was a miracle.
Later Sunday night she called us and told us that she is going to be baptized and she was ready to do it!! Please pray for her to be baptized on the 29th.
I LOVE YOU ALL!! -Elder Hale

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011

FAMILY,
I wanted to apologize if last week's letter was a little too sharp. After I sent the e-mail last Monday I felt terrible, all week. I was very stressed out and had been over loaded by a few things. I enjoy hearing about what is going on, receiving letters and pictures, and always the packages, and I read every one of them, but I really don't have time or remember on Monday mornings about specifics and even questions on everything everyone has asked. I hope you didn't feel like you were bugging me, because you weren't. I am going to try to write a few people back this week though.
The baptism for C went well, even with the short notice. I attached a picture, hopefully it goes through. Its a little dark but I think you can see everybody. T has been progressing, she came to church and loved the primary program. She is scheduled to be baptized later this month. I believe she is going to be ready by then, we have been visiting her every day for over a month to make sure she will be prepared and knows it is true. She is a type of person that needs daily visits in order to keep reading and to feel that spirit to uplift her. Her and her neighbor D are going to have us over for dinner on Saturday, I'm excited.
We received a headquarter referral for a man named A this week. For what we saw on the referral, he wanted french materials or someone that spoke in french to talk to him. We really didn't know what he wanted specifically, so we went over to go see him. He let us in right away and started to talk to us in french. He had a list of questions that he started spouting off and we had no idea what was going on. All we could do was hand him the french Book of Mormon and he started to read the introduction. He realized that we didn't know french and brought his friend over to help. He too only knew french. So both of them got on their cell phones and started calling people to find someone that knew french and english that could translate. I called a recent convert in the branch that knows about 6 languages but he didn't know french. He knew Arabic and different dialects of Swahili. A said he knew Swahili and I gave him the phone so he could talk to I, the recent convert. It was crazy! They were going off about something gospel related, I heard 'faith' and 'repentance' now and again with a little 'baptism' in there of course. The spirit was strong and these two men were searching for the source. We are going to see them again this week and bring I and his friend L who is also a recent convert and TEACH THEM!! It's going to be sweet!
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale
P.S. In your next letter, could you throw in some stamps?
P.P.S.S. Roxanne- you maybe, might, possibly have a small chance of receiving a letter from an Elder but it is going to be sent to mom and dad address. I may or may not have traded the address for some ties?!?! It was for the tie quilt, bahahaha have fun.

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011

FAMILY,
Things here are crazy. A man named C is going to be baptized this Saturday. He just moved here from the 3rd ward. The 3rd ward elders called us Friday night and told us that their investigator will be moving into our branch, and he is going to be baptized in a week. He came to the branch yesterday and now we need to put everything together and find fellowshippers within this week. Not much notice, but we will see what comes together.
So Brother Vela called Dad and Grandpa this week. You probably know but Bro. Vela found one of Arden Hale's copy of the Book of Mormon. It is signed my him with his winter and summer address. it must have been a personal copy he had, not one he gave away. Bro. Vela was so excited he had to call dad before 6 am! I didn't know the time change between here and there, and I forgot about day light savings time. Anyway, he bore his testimony in Sacrament Meeting about the whole thing, and gave me the copy of the Book of Mormon. It's sweet.
Things have been going well, very stressful, but well. Elder H (he came out in my group) tells me every time I see him how many days we have left. He claims that it is to help the time go by slower so he doesn't have to leave, I dont buy it. I have not even thought about it yet. I truly am sorry that I do not write back or talk about what is going on at home, I pray that I do not offend you. I simply don't have time, there is too much for me to do here and I can't get my thoughts focused on something other than the Lord's work.
These are sacred days an I need to make them count.
I LOVE YOU ALL
-Elder Hale

Monday, October 3, 2011

October 3, 2011

FAMILY,
It sounds like you liked my last e-mail, it didn't take me too long too write it out. Did you get the pictures that I attached with it? You had mentioned in a letter that Elder Purcell might be my last companion. He will be, usually a trainer will train a new missionary for 2 transfers, so Des Moines will be my last area. Elder Purcell is from Billings, Montana I might have mentioned that. He is 20 years old and has 5 siblings. Before the mission he would build houses with his grandpa which is kinda neat. We are going to put him to work this week as we do service at a investigators house fixing her basement wall, and building a floor in her basement for her food storage. It's going to be great.
Last week we have an investigator drop us, it was T. We were reading the 36th chapter of Alma and she stopped mid-verse and told us she could not do this "church thing". We talked about what was going on in her life and why she thought that she couldn't live the gospel. It ended up in a bold conversation with me and her about how on earth she was going to find the relief she was looking for and happiness in life if she would decide to give up. I told her she will never find it in any other church or book if she gave up and went back to drinking, smoking and fighting. I was kind of angry with her. I don't know if its a end of the mission thing, but I have been getting very frustrated with investigators and not keeping their commitments. I don't seem to have any tolerance for it. Anyway she handed the Book of Mormon back to us and told us she was done. I told her to call us in a week and tell me if she was happier. Saturday she called us, to inform us that she wanted to come back to church on Sunday. It being general conference I explained what was going on and that she was welcome to come and we could get a ride for her. She wanted to go. The next morning she was very sick, her son left the window open all night and she caught a bug, so we told her we will stop by later that day. We went by and talked to her and why she wanted us there. She wanted to come back and we invited her to baptism and SHE ACCEPTED!! It was a miracle, every time we invited her or talked about baptism, she was super, super scared of the water and would not commit to it. But this time she had been humbled and ready to do it.
I got the dental work done, I went to Ankeny to a member that was a dentist and he actually did the work for free. I thought it would be discounted, but he fixed me up for free, miracle.
Do you know a Arden Hale? A member found a Book of Mormon at a book store with his name in it. It's from the 60's, and the name kinda sounds familiar, but I don't know thought I would ask.
Do you know about classes for school yet? I was thinking PVCC and institute at ASU through out the week. Thought I would ask, dad wanted me to get ready.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale
(Arden Hale is Brady's great-grandpa!)

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF
HALE THE ELDER TO THE PHOENICIANS

Hale, the servant to the people of Iowa, under the direction
of President Jergensen of the house of Des Moines 7th Branch.
2 Grace be unto you, and peace, I'm thankful upon every
remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you
making request with joy.
3 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.
4 Behold, the time is past but is not far distant that Elder Grow
was moved upon by the Spirit, on the 22nd day of the 9th month,
during the reign of President Jergensen.
5 And lo, a stirring began to take place, not a stirring of heart
or mind, but within his suitcase; for he had many belongings
unto him and they all needed to fit within.
6 Much time was spent gathering provisions for his next calling
in the wilderness, for he left with swiftness from the land of Des
Moines and traveled eastward into the wilderness until he was
in the boarders of the land Illinois.
7 Now the people of Illinois found favor in his sight, for he was
round about the cities of Pontiac, for this is all we have been told
unto us of this great man.
8 How is it that one should leave and another not take his place?
Wherefore another was called from the plains of Billings, Montana.
9 For he was restless in heart and mind and was commanded to
leave all personal affairs and depart eastward by plane until he
reached the land, yea even this land, a land of much rain
and wild corn plants of great height and polyester ties.
10 Yea he was called to the urban wilderness of Des Moines 7th
branch after the manner of his father Elder Hale, who was fruitful
and did have many posterity.
11 Behold Hale begot Purcell and Wilson, and Wilson begot
Christensen, thus his generation was two fold with two sons and
one grandson.
12 And it came to pass the mission did wax strong.
13 Now we see that my strength was not of myself, but from the
people of Phoenix, yea, many provisions were sent not only in letters,
but in boxes and e-mails.
14 And thus I did take courage in my calling and continued to
cry repentance unto the people of Iowa, not alone, but also to the
east district of Des Moines, for we had many with us consisting
of two spanish sisters and four elders and I was called to be their
leader.
15 We did see that the provisions were needed in order to make
my journey three more months in this land, and many thank you's
are sent to you for my support.
16 And it came to pass that Elder Purcell is large in
stature; yea much more than any other companion seen before,
for he is 6'6" and shook the apartment with every step, for he
weighed 330lbs.
17 Yea, he was truly a force to be reckoned with, a man that
did fill doorways and put primary kids in awe...Therefore he will
be perfect for service at Brother Cluff's house.
18 For Brother Cluff has mountains of earth and said unto us,
yea, fill my garden with this earth, for the waters in the rainy
season have washed it away, and lo I desire to plant again.
19 So we collected our might and said unto the mountain,
"Remove", and it was removed...slowly.
20 For we have seen many miracles thus far with our
investigators, and we did await an awkward silence 20 minutes
as we asked T to pray and waited on our knees, and she prayed.
21 And lo, we were recently called upon from the distant land
of zone leader to enlighten us we will no longer have a car in
this land, yea, the land of my death, Des Moines 7th branch, and
were stricken with sadness that our whole frames did quake
and tremble, but we know it is from the mission office that
it is desired of us and we will take courage once again with
our new bus passes.
22 May my love be unto you all, amen.
-Elder Hale

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September 21, 2011

FAMILY,
Last week, as we were destined to conquer the urban mountain, we approached the summit of its marble outcropping with zeal and stratagem. Dressed in suits and dismounted name tags for camouflage, we quickly avoided the security at post. Jumping into the elevator, it only went to the 3rd floor. We quickly aborted the idea and headed for the stairs for our ascent. Quickly realizing, at the 4th floor, gates and fortifications of the most curious workmanship. This type of defence was never before seen by our people and our wit was unmatched. Like lost sheep we wandered to and fro looking for the strait and narrow gate by which we may find relief. Finding broad and confusing walkways which lead to dead ends, we cried for relief to the security's captain. We plead that we may find a outcropping high above that we may look upon the land of our inheritance and our people. He replied, "Nay, for there is no such place". We quickly left finding no relief to our ideas and adventures.
So we did have transfer calls this week, Elder Grow is leaving, and a new guy is coming here. This week we have had a ton of referrals and new people to teach. Things are starting to get crazy. T is progressing quite well. She has come to church this whole transfer, but is still deathly afraid of water and she wants to be baptized, I'm not sure what is going to help her. Brother H has really turned around. He wants to be baptized as well as his girlfriend, but they are not sure about getting married. People have been coming out of the wood works. We have so much to do this week. Just last night we were at dinner with D, We got a phone call from Sister S. She is a less-active we are working with to come back. She called us and told us that her friend wants to get baptized, just out of the blue. Crazy.
I had a sweet idea this week. I think I will make a tie quilt with all of my mission ties. The last 2 areas I have been in, I have gathered 3 fold more than what I used to have. They are all polyester ties so they are perfect for a quilt. Is it even possible to make a tie quilt? Just a thought.
I will probably go to the dentist next week when we have the car.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011

FAMILY,
THANKS FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES!! You will have to thank every one in the ward that wrote me a card. It was awesome. There was some people that I didn't recognize, it sounds like there are a lot of new people in the ward.
I also received a surprise package from Elder Phillips and Elder Benett yesterday. Elder Phillips crocheted me a beanie and Elder Benett sent me a super cool tie. They also sent me pictures of 2 people that got baptized that Elder Phillips and I were working with. It's been a sweet birthday so far.
In the plans for today, the AP's are going to take us out to lunch pretty soon, we are going to get some awesome Des Moines pictures, better than the ones we got before, and we are going to hike to the tallest point in Iowa. There is a skyscraper downtown that is like 50 stories tall. Word on the street is that it is the tallest point in Iowa, which I believe from serving in the outside areas. The missionary record stands at the 37th floor, before security find you and kicks you out. It's a missionary legend that there is a rich mans club on the top of it, or an observation deck, or a restaurant... we are not sure but we are going to conquer the urban mountain today.
So I sent a box home the other day maybe you already got it, but there is a camera card in there and I wrote on it to keep it for now, but I remembered that I need it back so I can add pictures for the slide show when I leave. There is some cool stuff on the card though, I made a music video with Elder chamberlain right before I sent it. There is a bunch of random stuff in the box, and there is a present for mom.
I went to the dentist this week for the teeth cleaning, what a nightmare. I really don't care for dental work so for my whole mission I have brushed and flossed every day, every day, but they said that I have 2 cavities and possibly 2 others. I was really upset with the whole thing.
Some crazy things have happened in our area. The other day an old investigator that we dropped a few weeks ago called us. He had a wake up call, and he wants to come back. A friend of his girlfriend got into a argument with her. Long story short, this friend had a boyfriend that just got out of jail and came to their house and pulled a gun on him for this argument. The cops were called and a police chase ensued and the guy went back to jail. He has a hard time since he lives in the hood, but he doesn't want to be a part of the hood. They both want to be baptized within a month. Cool stuff.
Things are getting better with Elder Grow. We slayed a dragon the other day while we were tracting. It's missionary talk which basically means that we tracked into a guy that wanted to bash with us, so we pulled out our scriptures of truth, our sword of the spirit and the testimonies of an unconquerable restoration and slayed the dragon of false doctrine and carnal security. It was most excellent. I think we bonded a little more after that.
Well thank you for all the birthday wishes, I LOVE YOU ALL. -Elder Hale

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6, 2011

FAMILY,
We had a sweet p-day yesterday. We went to the Cubs game. I'm not much a fan for baseball but a member gave us some free tickets so I couldn't pass it up. Things are getting better here. Elder Grow and I are having a great time together. Our area is struggling. This week we dropped our most solid investigator. She keeps giving us the run around, but sincerely knows everything is true. This is one of the main problems we have in this area, people that will not keep commitments. It's a rough area with rough people with many problems in their lives, with a lifestyle that is run from moment to moment. No forethought or goals are calculated into their life, but more temporal matters such as where is the next meal coming from and where are they going to be sleeping tonight. It is next to impossible for someone to have spiritual growth if their temporal needs are not met. This week we are going to be looking for the prepared people to help establish this branch.
The AP's are in our branch and share the area, they had 2 baptisms this weekend. It was a very powerful spirit. I don't think that I told you but there is also a senior couple in our branch. Elder and Sister Jahn. They are feeding us tonight, way cool to have so many missionaries.
Elder Grow's foot healed up very well this week. We have been on foot most of the time because it hurts him too much to ride a bike. He has actually been in the area for 4 months and knows the town pretty well. I don't remember where he is from though, a small town outside of salt lake.
As for my birthday, I don't really know. I would like more books but I have all the approved books that a missionary can have. I don't know, we shop at wal-mart all the time so a gift card would be cool. Honestly, I don't need anything. Now Christmas time I will need a few things so maybe we can roll some things over until then.
As for college, I was thinking about Paradise Valley or Scottsdale Community for school, any where with a good institute program. That might narrow it down, THANK YOU for doing this, I just want to make sure I hit the ground running when I get home.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2010

FAMILY,
The week has been slow. Most of our investigators have dropped us or have disappeared or are homeless and we can't find them now. I'm getting to know the 7th branch area well and the members too. For such a small branch, they have fed us the best out of all of my areas.
For this week we have scheduled a lot of service. We are required to do 4 hours of planned community service every week. The missionaries last transfer didn't like service so they canceled all forms of service. We are going to be helping at the YMCA folding towels and cleaning and at Brother Cluff's house moving dirt into his huge garden. We got a new branch mission leader yesterday, Brother Bently. We moved a recent convert this week. Her name is G. She is an older lady and moved into a retirement home. We visited her a few times after the move to get everything moved around in her apartment and get her internet all set up. We also started the new member lessons last night with her home teachers. It went well.
I really don't have much to say, Elder Grow's foot is still messed up and we can't do too much yet.
You had asked if I needed anything in a letter you sent me, I don't need anything and will most likely be ok through the end of my mission. I did find a dentist the other day, we were walking by and I just stopped in. I set up an appointment, and thought it a little expensive, and I wanted to run the prices by you. The cleaning was $85, the exam was $46 and the x-rays were $50. Do we have dental insurance with this new insurance group? What do you think? I asked about the exam, and they said they had to do it with all new patients. The appointment is for September 6th so you can write me back about it.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 22, 2011

FAMILY,
This week has been weird. Elder Grow hurt his foot last Monday. We were playing kick ball with a family of investigators and he slid into 2nd plate and messed up his foot pretty bad. He couldn't walk at all and his foot swelled up and turned funny colors. Luckily we had the car this week so all of our appointments weren't all lost. We haven't been able to work very hard due to the injury. I also haven't been able to focus very well. No I'm not getting trunky or anything, but I have felt a less portion of the spirit. Nothing seems to be structured or guided as it once had been. I have almost a stupor of thought while doing every aspect of missionary work. Once I arrived here my teaching has come to a halt, I can't seem to explain principles or the doctrine very clearly as countless time it has been done before. I can't seem to remember where scriptures are or what we were teaching. The Spirit is missing. I only have a couple of ideas why, the environment in the branch and attitudes seem to cause some problems. I think I found the reason I was called to 7th branch, but I'm not sure yet. It's going to test my faith.
Thank you for the package, I like the new pillow case, it's awesome. The other one that you made for me when I was in the MTC was getting a little used. I got the new insurance card as well. Should I throw away the blue cross/blue shield card then?
I attached some pictures, some of them have Elder Grow in them so you can put them onto your blog. There are more to come.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2010

FAMILY,
My new area is the Des Moines 7th branch! My new address is:
708 16th street #6
Des Moines, IA 50314
Its a way cool place it actually reminds me a lot of Phoenix. The area that we cover is down town Des Moines and the surrounding neighborhoods. It is the smallest area in the mission and we share it with the AP's. We are in a car share, so every other week we are on bikes getting around the place. Its so sweet, it's a lot like the area where first Fridays takes place, there are a lot of lower class and poor that live there with many run down neighborhoods, but then you have the areas where artsy hipsters move in and remodel and fix up the place. It's so awesome. The branch is a huge change from Quincy. In Quincy the leadership were very bold and respected as they lead with authority. Here not so much. It is a very laid back relaxed environment. I've been kind of quiet trying to understand how everything works and learn all of the members names. The branch is tiny. There were only about 50 to 60 people there on Sunday, and 12 of them were investigators. I gave a talk in sacrament meeting, it was on enduring to the end. Both of the AP's and I spoke for sacrament meeting. We brought the coolest guy to church, Bro. Haynes. He's from Mississippi and loves the Book of Mormon. From what I heard he went to church for the first time last week on fast and testimony meeting and bore his testimony of how much he loves the Book of Mormon. He has a baptismal date for the 3rd of September, but this morning we ran into some complications with his living status, he might be moving back to Mississippi. We are going to find out tonight.
The Iowa state fair started last week and President approved all of the missionaries to go. We are going today with our district. My plan is to find the weirdest thing deep fried and eat it. I've heard rumors about all of the different kinds of food you can find so that is what I'm up to today. I want to try and sent home a bunch of pictures and packages home this transfer. This will be my last area and I need to start to sent sending things home and consolidate a little bit. I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale
I attached some pictures. I hope they came through. They are all from Quincy. The last library computers didn't allow me to attach pictures to my e-mails.



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 10, 2011

FAMILY,
We had ZLC and leadership meeting last week. I think that it was one of the best meetings that I have been to in a long time. We trained on conversion through the Holy Ghost. It went pretty well, a couple of the elders and sisters came up afterwards and thanked us.
We have received transfer doctrine. I will be transferred tomorrow, as well as being released from zone leader. I don't want to leave Quincy, it is the best place to serve. The members are awesome and the missionary work is going crazy. In the last week we have taught a friend of a less active that we have been working with come back to church. It is Sister D's friend, A. We have been working with the D's for the past 2 transfers and she is coming back to church, taken all of the temple prep classes and her son was set apart to be a priest. We have been working with her to stop smoking right now and are having FHE every Monday night at her house. She has been bringing her friend A to church for a few weeks and now we were able to teach her. We set a baptismal date with her and her son C for September 3. Tonight we are going back to teach her and she is going to bring another one of her sons and his girlfriend that are also interested. I love doing this work. It's going to be weird being released, I'm going to be a "normal solider", that's what Elder Phillips calls it. It will be the first time with no leadership calling since I was trained. I've just been thinking what I'm going to do with this next area with just one missionary to worry about. It's going to be crazy.
You were asking about all of the purchases around the state in your last letter. Just to give you an idea, usually in one month we are given 1200 miles to use on our car, we used over 2000 miles. We were all over the place, it was a busy month.
I heard in the letter, Dad's got an infection? How's he doing? Is it bad?....not good. Oh and for school, I was thinking Paradise Valley or Scottsdale, I don't know whatever one has the best Institute program. You might want to just apply to a bunch of them and then we can see our options. I was thinking of working really hard and get an associates degree in a year so I can transfer that to a university and they will have to accept my classes. I need to get my basics out of the way asap. The closer you get to signing up for classes tell me and President will allow me to call home so I can get everything set up.
I LOVE YOU ALL!! -Elder Hale
P.S. Bro. G got a calling!! He's in charge of the scouts.

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011

FAMILY,
As you know we have been working at the Nauvoo Pageant. Saturday was the last day that it was showing, so we were asked to help take everything down. 2 zones were asked to help, the Quincy zone and the Nauvoo zone. We all arrived around 8 Saturday night and started to take everything down while the pageant was going. We were stuffing semi trailers with picnic tables and benches while everything was going on. After the pageant we helped take down the chairs and load all of them into the trailers. We had to take some of them to the quarry and put into sheds and a barn. After the chairs we started to load parts of the stage into another trailer. We were in Nauvoo until 2 a.m. then a good hour drive home to Quincy. The whole zone stayed over at our apartment that night and slept for a couple of hours until they need to get up to drive back to their areas for church. I was poppin' mints all of church to stay awake. It was a crazy night.
This Saturday is transfer doctrine so I won't be writing you until Wednesday. I hope I will be staying in Quincy. If any one is to leave it would be me, so I'll let you know.
We had interviews this last week with President Jergensen. He said something crazy that I didn't know. He said that he didn't want to make the new zone, the Quincy zone. He mentioned that we were on a 2 transfer trial run, and if it didn't do well he was going to shut it down. I was a little shocked to hear about this. He went on to say that he was pleased with what has happened in the Quincy zone, and it would not be shut down. A little shocking news to hear after working 2 transfers and your area would have been shut down if you didn't do well. He kind of hinted I would stay in Quincy, but we will have to see after he prays about everything regarding transfers.
I didn't know if I told you but Elder Wilson it training! I might have mentioned it but I don't remember.
President has been asking me about when I plan to go home. Since I am a IPM missionary, I could go home 3 weeks early or 3 week late. I wanted to ask you if I were to go home early, would you be able to register me for school? Like at a community college of something to start my basics. The thing is if I go home early I will be able to get a semester of school in, if late I will have to wait a few months. Let me know what you think.
I have not been to the dentist yet, still working on that.
We have a new investigator we are working with, J M. A friend took her to the Nauvoo Pageant and she referred herself to have the missionaries over. We have been teaching her and she is planning to be baptized on Aug. 27th. She came to church yesterday, and I think she liked it. She has been prepared, we left her with a chapter to read after our first appointment and she took 3 pages of notes! That's the first time I have had a investigator take notes, let alone 3 pages!!
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011

FAMILY,
I think that dad wrote me about the Taylors being at the Nauvoo pageant. When Elder Phillips and I were working there the other night we were busy talking to some members and there was this lady behind me taking pictures of Elder Philips and I. I thought that it was weird, but after I was done talking she called us over. It was Sister Taylor! I didn't recognize her at first but she told me who she was and we got a talkin. Her and Brother Taylor are working at the medical tent at the pageant. So we walked over to the tent and I found Brother Taylor and said hi.
I also ran into one of Dad's Bishops when he was a Priest. His name was Bishop Mcmin (I don't know if i got the spelling right on that) but he knew Dad and Grandma and Grandpa. He told me of one of the times that Grandma and Grandpa wanted to go on a mission. It was right after they had arrived home from one of their missions and within a month they wanted to go on another. He said that he made them stay home for 6 months to get to know their children and grandchildren again. But when that 6 month mark came they were back into his office to go back on a mission.
I was able to see the Nauvoo pageant for a second time, we were able to get H and E (two recent converts) to Nauvoo on Wednesday, and got special permission to see it again. I think I enjoyed it better the second time.
I've been dealing with poison ivy this week. We did some geo caching with Brother G on p-day and I guess I rubbed up against some poison ivy while searching for the cach. It has been driving me nuts! Our Bishop is a doctor and he said that if you don't treat it right away, you have to just let it run its course until the oils come out of your skin. Its been about a week and starting to get a little better. It should be over this week.
Saturday, Red Cross had a blood drive at the church. Now I'm not one to jump right up and give blood, needles make me a little squeamish. But a member called us up and asked if we would donate. I never say no to members so we agreed to do it. Elder Phillips has given blood many times and was excited to see what treats he was going to eat at the end of it. As for me, I am not a bleeder. I was sitting on that table for 15 minutes while they tried to get blood out of me. I was so tired the rest of the day, not a good idea while a missionary.
The week went by slow, we had 5 referrals from the Nauvoo pageant and 2 of them we got appointments with. One is a 17 year old girl named J who went to the pageant with a friend, and the other is this guy named T. He's a friend of a member. I think that both will be sweet investigators this next week. T's leg was run over by a truck a year or two ago and he has a bad infection in his leg. The doctors are talking about amputating it. I felt the impression to give him a blessing, so we did. The words need not be mentioned here but he felt the spirit strongly. He has been looking for the gospel for years, searching and studying all sorts of religions. We are going back tonight to teach him the Doctrine of Christ and invite him to baptism. I'm excited.
I LOVE YOU ALL. -Elder Hale
P.S. Melanie- thanks for the pictures!

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18, 2011

FAMILY,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELANIE!!! I don't believe that you are 17....I sent you a card on Friday so I don't think that you have received it yet. It's not a card at all, its more like a statement. You will know when you get it.
On Saturday we went to Carthage and Nauvoo with the Gardner and the Hussy family. Bro. Gardner was stoked about taking his wife to go and see everything! It was an all day thing. We started in Carthage and moved our way to Nauvoo, we had a picnic at the park across the street from old section of Nauvoo. Sister Gardner and Sister Hussy wanted to go "window shop" up by the temple on the main street. Elder Phillips and I headed strait for LDS harvest to get books. Then we just hung out with Bro. Gardner and cracked jokes on everyone, it was fun. Then we took everyone to the temple and walked around and took pictures of everything. Sister Gardner wanted to go up and touch the temple, but we told her the alarms would go off and men in black suits would run out of the temple and arrest her. Once we were done laughing we let her go up and touch it. We went to Joseph Smith's home and saw his grave, saw that blacksmith's shop, the bakery, and browning shop. We then went to the country fair and waited for the pageant to start. It was so much fun with their family. It was the first time that I had seen the pageant, the same with Bro. and Sis. Gardner. At the end they were both tearing up. Their next step is to be sealed as a family , this was a good experience for them. The Hussy's brought a recent convert, A, with them and it was a powerful moment for him. He had been struggling for a while and when the pageant was over, he walked up and told through his watery eyes that he felt something burning inside his chest. He has been through so much, foster home after foster home, abandonment, abuse, adoption, and now he feels God's love for him. It was a great night.
We have been working with two young women, A and J. They are friends of a member and ask so many questions, good questions, which is surprising coming from two 17 year olds. They are really understanding the restoration and why we do what we do. We are meeting with both of them today, A has a baptismal date on the 30th of July and we are going to commit J today. Both of them are going to go to the Pageant on Wednesday along with H, and H's brother and grandma! Its will be a powerful for every one.
I LOVE YOU ALL. -Elder Hale

P.S. A time ago I sent some boxes home with books in them, did you get those boxes? I heard of a missionary who sent some books home and the post office lost his books...just wondering. I probably sent some weird stuff home, but just hold on it until I get home. I will sort and dispose.

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, 2011

Family,
Elder Phillips and I have started working at the Nauvoo Pageant. Wednesday we worked in the seating area and greeted people as they waited for the pageant to start. We mainly go around with referral cards asking everyone if they know anyone who would want the soundtrack of the pageant sent to any of their friends. It's a good way to get the missionaries to the door step of non-members. 80 out of every 1000 doors that we knock on and use the members name will receive the gospel. Not very effective, but better than tracting, its only about 1 though tracting. Last year the pageant received 12,000 referrals, kind of crazy. Elder Phillips got one referral the other day but I didn't get any. On Friday, we were assigned to hand out the pageant newspapers at the entry by the parking lot. There were some people in the parking lot handing out anti-Mormon newspapers that looked exactly like the ones the pageant hands out. So our job was to hand out the church published copies and get rid of the anti. It was fun.
We held a baptism on Saturday for M S. I don't know if I talked about her very much, her husband is a member, but has been less-active for a numbers of years. Her whole family came into town to see her baptized. She had a lot of questions and took a lot of visits. After her confirmation on Sunday, everyone was shaking her hand, and she whispered to me that all of this was able to happen because we "saw it through, and stuck in there". It was fun teaching her. She committed her husband to get sealed in the temple in Ireland, and wants Elder Phillips and I to go. I'll have to start saving money now-ish.
Not too much else has happened. The other day we committed two other people to baptism, A P and S L. A's is planned for the 30th and S's is planned for the 19 of Aug. We also had the chance to eat lunch with some members on Saturday. We ate at the Pier, a cool restaurant on the Mississippi.
I LOVE YOU ALL. -Elder Hale

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 6, 2011

FAMILY,
Sorry the library was closed on Monday and yesterday we had a meeting in Iowa City for zone leader council. I think you were asking what ZLC was, its zone leader council. I received your letter yesterday and no, we were not the ones that had to go to the baptismal font in the middle of the night. We received a call from the Hannibal Elders in the middle of the night and they were on their way to the church. They live in a rickety apartment so they thought it would be better it they went to Wal-mart to seek shelter, but they thought they saw a tornado and turned around the other way and their next bet was the baptismal font. We live on the bottom floor of an old brick house. We do have a basement we can jump into if we need, or if we even wake up. By the way the same Hannibal Elders were the ones who are going to ship a turtle home. After the storm, the Mayor of Quincy was thinking about calling the Governor to declare a state of emergency because of all of the costs of fixing everything, I'm not sure if it happened or not.
Some cool stuff happened this week. We saw "Our Story Goes On". It is performed by the main characters of the Nauvoo pageant. They came to Quincy and put on this sweet play about the plan of salvation. We also saw Vocal Point, it's like a BYU group that sings song and music only using their voices. They came to an old folks home, and wow the old grandmas sure loved them. And tonight we are scheduled to work at the Nauvoo Pageant. We were assigned to work there Wednesdays and Friday nights for the next month. We are the ones the walk around and ask people for referrals, probably much like the missionaries at the easter pageant, I don't really know, I'll find out tonight.
Sis G and D were baptized! It was awesome, there was a good turnout from the ward at the baptism, and then a fast and testimony meeting. One of their sons J, and their daughter B bore their testimony. The whole meeting Sis G and I were trying to get Bro G to go up and bear his. We finally talked him into it. That whole family has changed. Sis G is the glue in that family and she is so solid.
Just thought that I would mention this because it blows my mind. Yesterday we received portable DVD players for the whole zone. Every companionship is commanded, by the brethren, to have one and use it in companionship study. There is a huge push for missionary efforts coming from headquarters. The brethren said that this area is ready to explode and our baptismal goal will quadruple if we work with the members. They are going all out to ensure we are the best teachers.

I LOVE YOU ALL.....18 months today, but no one's counting...-Elder Hale

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June 29, 2011

Family,
Ten fun facts about serving in Quincy:
1) Many nightly calls between missionaries are made for instructions on, "How to ship a turtle home".
2) I can eat one quart of ice cream in 5 minutes and 4 seconds.
3) When your less-active gets bored while you are teaching his wife, he could go buy 3 rats and feed them to the dogs.
4) If ever troubled with marital problems, take a fillet knife and cut out the tattoo that reminds you of that person out of your right peck. Then quickly call the home teachers.
5) Once you have been stitched up by your home teacher, put the said "tattoo" into a tanning solution in your kitchen to preserve it.
6) When 80 mph wind/storms create a danger for missionaries in your zone in the middle of the night, first, answer the phone, second, process the information, third, accept the fact that you are helpless to do anything and roll over back into bed.
7) When a tornado touches down at 1:30 in the morning, drive quickly and with purpose to the closest baptismal font.
8) Living the word of wisdom includes random missionary raids to confiscate all of the tea.
9) Days before your baptism, it is always best to shave your head into a mohawk and dye it pink.
10) DON'T EAT THE HOME MADE PIZZA!?!

This week has been really crazy, there is so much we have to do still. We need to get the baptism all put together still for this Saturday, have transfer planning, plan out our lesson we are teaching at church (it's a combined 3rd hour), and create a zone leader report. I think the 10 facts covered the craziness well. A couple of nights ago this whole area got hit by a huge storm. Over 20,000 people have been out of power for 24 to 72 hours. The library just got their Internet back up today. I think I heard 12 of the 13 substations were down throughout the city. There have been trees down everywhere. We went to the members' homes to help them with all of the damage. We cleaned out a flooded basement and helped remove a tree off of the Wilford's home. We went over to Sister Hufford's home and there are huge 3 foot in diameter trees snapped in half. Some of the city still doesn't have power today. It's been crazy. Our yard was pretty torn up, the next morning we were hanging out in the trees trying to pull out all of the broken branches. I have a few pictures. By the way, I am staying here for another transfer.

Roxanne- I have a missionary assignment for you. There is a recent convert here named E. She is going to be moving to Phoenix for school next month. She is going to start out at Paradise Valley Community College then going to ASU. She comes from a rough background and has been struggling recently with staying active in the church. She has no support from family, and the only thing that she has keeping her in the church is her friends. She needs a good friend to keep her on the straight and narrow. Could you send me your cell number so she has at least one person she knows down there? You might know more people that could fellowship her.

I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 20, 2011

FAMILY,
H was baptized! The whole program was run by the youth. A recent convert, A, who has only been a member for a couple of months baptized. The whole week we have been calling the youth and reminding them about the baptism and what they needed to do. One of the speakers and A actually backed out a couple of days before the baptism and the chorister bailed on us the morning of.....needless to say the youth are a little difficult to work with. We even went over and helped one of the write their talk for the baptism because she didn't know what to write and didn't want to do it anymore. A little stressful, but all and all every one showed up and it ran smoothly. We had about 40 people show up to the baptism and one of our investigators, K.
We had to move K's baptism to the 2nd of July. Her husband is the one that is going to preform the baptism, but he is having some struggles. So we moved it so he can be ready to baptize his wife. Their family has changed so much since we have been visiting with them. They stopped fighting, and bickering. They are doing thing as family. Their daughter is coming back to church. And D...D is a son from a previous marriage. He is 9, not a member, and has never wanted anything to do with the church. Every time we talk to him about church or to say the prayer, he runs out of the trailer. His mom even says it would be a miracle to get him to church. We were out at their trailer a couple of nights ago and D said that he wanted to be baptized, by me. It was a miracle, plain and simple. So now the whole family will be united in Christ. We have seen a mighty change on heart.
We are teaching another part-member family. Their names are J and M. M is not a member and she has many questions. We have only met with her once but the baptismal date is for the 9th of July. She is going to be fun to teach.
We had Zone Conference on Friday the 17th in Peoria. It was a long drive, almost 3 hours. The other night we had a bad storm and a huge branch broke off the tree in our front yard and landed on our car. The windshield has a big hole in it and the side rear view mirror broke off. But it could have been a lot worse. It should have crushed our little Pontiac Vibe. So that was a little stressful to wake up to. So we are out of a car for a few more days until we get everything fixed. We are always flying around, and now without a car we are sharing the other Quincy elders car. It's been a hassle.
I loved the package you sent me. Thanks for the cards. I do have a picture with Elder Phillips, I'll have to send it...when I get some time.
So I'm not sure how our insurance works, but I have the right card with the number that you sent me. So every time I see a doctor, do you guys have to pay for it? I also wanted to ask you about getting my teeth cleaned, it been a long time a year and a half...I was just thinking about it. Thank you for the AAA card. We travel so much and are usually in the middle of nowhere. So a little security is always nice.
Roxanne I like your past cards. sounds like you wedding is coming along. I have to just mention you should come get your endowments in the Nauvoo temple...I'm only an hour away and my mission president said I could go...just sayin...food for thought.
I LOVE YOU ALL. I'm good and very busy. -Elder Hale

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011

FAMILY,

There are a few things going on right now in our area. This past week we have been mostly in Des Moines at zone leader council and leadership training. Monday was p-day and had a little work to do in the evening. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we were in Des Moines. We arrived home from our travels late Thursday night, around 11:30. Friday morning we conducted a baptismal interview with a woman, that the other Quincy Elders were teaching. We had a little time for weekly planning then we traveled to Memphis, Missouri for another baptismal interview. We did not have too much time in our area. Saturday the baptism for C was planned and I was asked to help baptize. She was a larger woman so two people needed to be in the font with her. Then district meeting, tried a couple of referrals, dinner and a lesson with H, and K. Sunday, church lunch and dinner with some members and another lesson with H. That in a nut shell was my week. H is planned to be baptized on Saturday the 18th. She is stoked! She comes from a rough back ground. Her dad died years ago, so it was just her, a brother and her mother. We have been doing everything we can for H. We have brought most of the young women to her lessons, as well as teaching her one of the young women's leader's homes. We have just swarmed her with the youth and with a new group of friends. There is no way that she will make it and stay in the church if she does not find a social conversion, as well as that spritiual conversion she has. But I'll send you some pictures next week when she is baptized!
I LOVE YOU ALL. I hope the Boston trip went well. Send me some family history stuff if you found anything new on the trip, I like that stuff. How is Roxanne's wedding coming along? Let me know. -Elder Hale

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011

Family,

Things are starting to calm down. The last 2 weeks we have been using members computers to e-mail so I didn't spend the same amount of time as I usually would. We do have an apartment I think that I told you that last week. We are slowly getting furniture and things that we need to get started here. Last night we got a bike and a desk. I think the only thing that we are really wanting is an a/c. This last week had been the 90's so Elder Phillips is melting away. I don't mind it so much its just hard to sleep when its hot. This week it it wont matter. We are only going to be in Quincy for 2 days. Tomorrow we have to go to Des Moines for zone leader council, Wednesday and Thursday we have leadership meetings in Des Moines as well. Friday we have to go do a baptismal interview in Memphis, Missouri. And Saturday we have exchanges and a meeting with the stake president in Kirksville, Missouri.
The new zone is doing awesome. We doubled our baptismal dates this last week, 8 official dates in the zone, for such a small zone I think that is is great. Elder Phillips and I have 2 investigators on date for baptism. I told you about H. She doing amazing. She had a rough month. Her grandma is really worried about her and is happy to see her work for baptism, and go to church. Her best friend is giving her some flack for meeting with us. She was the one that introduced H to the church and to us, but is now talks to her about how she doesn't believe in God and all the "rules" that the church makes you live (I might mention that she is about 15-16, you know how that goes...). But we have been meeting H with many of the youth in the ward and she is determined to be baptized. Her date is for the 18 of June. We taught her last night in one of the members homes that has a daughter the same age as H. It went well and H really wants to go to girls camp this summer with the young women. She will be baptized on the 18, confirmed on the 19 and girls camp on the 20th. It will help build her testimony. The funny thing is that our other investigator is B's mother. We are actually working with the whole family. Sis. G is on date for the 25th of June, but we committed Bro. G to be worthy to baptize his wife for that date. Its going to be a push, we are working closely with the bishop, and they are as well. Pray for the G family, they need as many prayers as they can get.
All and all the ward has been awesome welcoming us here. We have received more member referrals in the last 2 weeks than either of us have had combined on our whole mission. Members work has been great. This next week is going to hurt with all of the traveling and meetings we need to cover, but come what may. I did receive you package with the dvd and dad's letters at my new address. Thank you so very much for sending those so fast. We have been using those in our members visits and have had a great response from them. We showed it to the Bishop's family and he started to cry so now I get to make fun of him the rest of the time that I am here, so thank you. Im doing great, I finally feel like a actuall know what I am doing and how to do it. I have felt a good spirit since I have arrived in Quincy and miracles are going to happen, we will expect them.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, May 30, 2011

May 30, 2011

FAMILY,
We have an apartment!! We moved in on Wednesday. My new address is:
423 N. 20th Street
Quincy, Illinois 62301
We have a bed and an air mattress...that's all we have for the time being. Sorry for the usage of my home account. We needed some things for the new apartment. The last few days we have been doing our planning on the floor, it's killing me. This week we should have some desks, and were going to borrow some chairs from the church. Working with 4 missionaries in the same area is a little tough. There is only 1 or 2 other areas in the mission that have multiple missionaries in the ward. President just started doing this the past transfer or two. There has been a lot of missionary work done by the members here in the area. We are teaching 2 investigators from the members. We are working with a girl named H. She committed to be baptized and came to church this past Sunday. She got along with all of the young women. She is awesome. We have been trying to meet all the members in the ward as well. It's another big ward. I know these e-mails haven't been very detailed the last couple of weeks, we have been using members computers. The library has been under construction for the past 2 weeks. Next week we should be at the library, and I'll have some more time to talk.
I LOVE YOU ALL. -Elder Hale

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011

FAMILY,
I am now in Quincy, Illinois! Its a neat story. So I'm still a zone leader and my new companion is Elder Phillips. He's a new zone leader. At transfer meeting there was an interesting assignment given to us. One of the old zones was split and a new zone was created within the mission, The Quincy Zone, and we are the new zone leaders of the zone. Its almost like white washing again. We both got here with no idea what is going on. There are two other missionaries here, one was transferred in and the other is a brand new greenie. So out of the 4 missionaries here only one knows what is going on and he has been out for just a couple of months. We don't have an apartment, we just bunk with the other elders for now. we should get beds today. We went and looked at an apartment this morning. It looks good so we should have a apartment by the end of the week. It's just been very crazy to try and organize everything needed to get a zone running and to coordinate the efforts of 4 missionaries in the same ward. We had to split the area for proselyting purposes. The ward is huge! It's also the only chapel that has a stained glass window. That was neat.
MOTHER!!!!! I have a huge favor to ask of you. do you remember, in a package i sent a while ago, there was a DVD called, "Preach My Gospel" with lettering at the bottom that said "District 2" It was blue with a picture of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus. Could you send that DVD to me over night? We need it very badly and we wont be able to get one from the mission office until next month.
My current address is: 1660 1/2 Kentucky St. Quincy, IL 62301
Sorry I'm a little scatter-brained right now. I can't seem to think straight.
I LOVE YOU. -Elder Hale

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 18, 2011

Family,
We had another Gnar-b-que at our last district meeting for the transfer this week. It was actually Elder Wilson's "one year click day" so we celebrated after district meeting with a district lunch Gnar-b-que! It was great. There are a couple of pictures of the whole event out side of Elder Wilson's apartment. I grilled, this has been my 4th Gnar-b-que on the mission, and it turned out great. I was also able to go to Ginelle on exchanges and was able to hold in my hand a 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. I don't think the pictures turned out very well, I wasn't allowed to use the flash but I am holding an original copy of the Book of Mormon.
On one of the pictures you can see the date at the bottom of the page. I even folded down the corner like Hyrum Smith and am pointing to the verse that they read and found solace in. It was great I felt like Elder Holland in general conference when he explained the story just a few years ago.
While I was on exchanges, Elder Clarke and I went to Brooklyn!
Yeah Brooklyn, Iowa...It was fun, thought I would get a picture.
This morning Elder Bennett, Pratt, Perfili and I took a tour through the John Deere factory here in town. I wasn't able to take my camera in, but I did get a picture of the sign out front. It was amazing how big that place is and seeing the assembly line with these huge 18 foot tall cotton harvesters in different stages of assembly. They make everything themselves. They take 50 foot long pieces of steel and laser cut every part of those tractors, with welders everywhere welding and building everything. They have about 1800 people working at the factory. I thought Dad would get a kick out of it. We will have to come back and go through together.
I will be transferred. I don't know where yet, but I will still be a zone leader. So that means there are only 7 areas that I can go. Hopefully I will go to Peoria, Davenport, or Nauvoo. Illinois would be great.
Not much else going on, We had the first the new member lesson with the F Family. They took us to Chucky Cheese for dinner, it was a fun evening. I guess later that week, their middle child, hes only 5, started to baptize the neighbor kids in the swimming pool. Sister F recorded it and showed us. He was very accurate, full name, arm to the square, he said by the authority of Jesus Christ. Then slammed them underwater, some of the kid's heads didn't go under so he started to push their head under. It was hilarious.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 9, 2011

Family,
Mom I'm glad that you like the mother's day gift. Sister Syme made them, she is our meal coordinator. I totally forgot to ask you about it.
We had a baptism this week. R was baptized first, so Sister F stood out in front with everyone else while Brother F went into the water with him. When Bro. F started to say the prayer, it was a powerful moment. This was the first time in years that he was able to use his priesthood, and the added fact that it was with his son. You could hear the emotion and love felt between them at that time. Meanwhile Sister F was crying while she was watching her son being baptized. It was neat. Then Sister F went in and was baptized. This was such a unifying moment for them. The whole program went very smooth. We watched the Restoration dvd in the chapel while everyone was getting changed. A large amount of Sister F's family was there who are not members and they loved it. President Jergensen was even able to make it with his wife. It was amazing.
I dont know what more to tell you I told you everything yesterday, but just to let you know trtansfer calls are this Saturday and transfers are next Thursday so I will be e-mailing you next Wednesday.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, May 2, 2011

May 2, 2011

(e-mail subject line today "Bin Laden is dead - neat")

FAMILY,
Ok, so about the skype thing. We have church in the afternoon and we just set an appointment with a lady this morning for after church, so the soonest we could connect would be around 5, so that would be like 3 your time. I think that will work out for everyone. We will have to make our time count because this could be the last time I will see you guys.
I have to inform you that the rapture is happening on May 21st (around 1 or 2 in the afternoon, when it is convenient). So the world will end before I ever make it home according to a "billboard prophet". We will see what fruits come from him, then judge him...
It's tornado season. I heard that there was a big storm that hit the southern United States. Our mission office informed us today that all of the missionaries are accounted for and ok. Maybe this summer I will be able to get some footage of one. Just kidding Mom...
Saturday there was a service project at the church. We were cleaning up the grounds. It lasted about 3 hours, but I got very sunburned. I didn't think the sun was going to be out, it's never out. As missionaries we are allowed to take our suit coats off when it is 70 degree outside. Let's just say that we have only taken our coats off a few time so far this year, so I wasn't expecting the sun to be out. But I got very, very burned. At sacrament meeting the 1st Councilor to the Bishop was conducting and thanked everybody that helped at the service project even though everyone got sun burned, then he said, "..but not as bad as Elder Hale". He totally called me out in front of everyone. It was a bad burn.
There are a couple of pictures attached, this photo is of the whole generation family starting with Elder Wilson, Me, Elder Eldredge, and then my brother Elder Dearing.
The second one is with President Jergensen. I almost forgot to get a picture with him because I know that you wanted one, so we were in a gas station and snagged the clerk to take a picture of us. President went out with us Tuesday night for some specialized training. We went to Sister F's house to cover some of the last commandments for baptism. President Jergensen is a talker so he started throwing questions at Sister F. He asked her how she came into contact with us, how she thinks about baptism and that sort of thing. He then asked her about when she knew it was true, since she had been taught by other missionaries in times past. This had been a question that we had never asked. We saw her countenance change and she was accepting and keeping commitments and felt that she knew, but we never had been so blunt as President Jergensen about the matter. I was a little nervous when the question was asked because Sister F is timid and a little shy about personal things and we didn't want to push that line. She answered the question referring to, I think, the second lesson that we had with her. She talked about what we covered and how it was taught. She talked about how she was totally open to learning this time without trying to find doubts. Learning for herself to find out and not for the sake of her husband or his family who are members. She shared a feeling that she had during the lesson, she said that it was an overwhelming feeling that told her "its ok, its ok". At that very point I knew that she was converted. She had felt the Spirit and it had changed her heart. I have never experienced a night like that before.
I LOVE YOU ALL. See you Sunday, -Elder Hale

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011

I just read the e-mail from Roxanne, that's exciting!! When is the big day? I hope I will be able to be there. I can't believe that. I will have to tell all the missionaries, it will break their hearts. Everybody likes Roxanne...tee hee! That's really is cool though. Wow great news.
Things in Ankeny have been great as well. Sister F is progressing so fast. She came to church yesterday in a skirt! That is big news for us. One of her concerns was that she didn't like to wear skirts and had a bad experience attending church in Utah with some of the women there. But she came yesterday for the second time now wearing a skirt. There is so much evidence that her faith is growing. She has a new continence about her, she just glows. We had a lesson with her before church on Sunday. We brought over the 1st councilor to the Relief Society, Sister Hrygil. The two of them bonded so well together. Sis. Hrygil now wants to come to all of the lessons that we have with Sister F. After church R, her oldest (he's 8), was interviewed by the Bishop for baptism. Everything is coming together. Tuesday President Jergensen is coming out with us for the night again, so we are going to take him over to sister F's for a lesson. I think he will enjoy the lesson.
In the ward we are trying to do anything we can to build members trust and work with them to do their missionary work. This Sunday we are teaching Relief Society about missionary work, and as of yesterday we are now going to be working with the Priests to get them on missions. We are going to do a little lesson Wednesday night at mutual and will be attending Young Mens every Sunday. They have a few young men they want to focus on right now to get on missions and we are going to bring them to new member lessons and less-active visits. I love this ward so much and I don't want to leave. Some of the members are going to try and call President Jergensen to get me to stay, that would be cool.
We are allowed to skype for mothers day. We are going to try and set it up with the members that did it last time for Christmas. We will see how it goes. I thought last time was a little weird, I didn't know what to say and there was like a 2 second delay, but we will give it another go. Bring some questions...
Thank you for the Easter packages, they were great. We both wore the ties you gave us to church on Sunday. Elder Perfili wants to thank you for the basket. I received your letters this week. You guys are so busy. I don't know how you get every thing done.
I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

FAMILY,
I had to get some things done today so I'm sending this out late. This week has been busy. We had ZLC in Des Moines on Tuesday. And leadership training on Wednesday and Thursday. Elder Perfili and I actually had to do some of the training on Tuesday. It was the first one that I have done. I was hoping that I could just fly under the radar until I was released. We had to train on how to receive revelation through the Book of Mormon for an hour. It went well. I'll attach some of the things that we used in our training. A lot of what we focused on was teaching to concerns from the Book of Mormon. We felt like a majority of the mission took the Book on Mormon for granted in their teaching. The whole group of elder that I came out with from the MTC were at leadership so it was fun to see everyone there and catch up.
Sister F and her family came to church! Sister B and her family came too and Sister S. Sister B moved her baptism date back to June 11th. She wanted some of her family to come to the baptism, they live out in Utah. She is ready and could be baptized tomorrow, but i think the main reason she moved it back was because she wanted her husband to baptize her and he needs a little time to get up to par. we had a great lesson last night with sister F. We brought Sis. G, the relief society president, to get to know her. We first taught R, her 8 year old son, the first lesson. It was short and with legos, but I think that he got the gist of what we were saying. We then started to answer one of sister F's main questions/concerns. Last time we were over there she said that she didn't know why her family couldn't be together forever as they are right now. She felt that God favored one family over another because one was sealed and one was not, and because the one was sealed the other couldn't make it to heaven. She didn't understand why God would do that. I have been studying on that question for 2 weeks. We brought over "The Family, A Proclamation to the World". We read a few paragraphs out of it with her showing her that God did indeed loves and approve of her marriage that she was in. We pointed out that that is what God wanted, a family married to rear children into the world. So not to say that a sealed family was better than a family married by the state, its not, it just wont last forever. Then we went over Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. We showed her that Adam and Eve were married by the Lord to work together to bring other spirit children in to the world, God told them to work together. Then we showed her that all of this happened before they ate the forbidden fruit. So when God married them, they were immortal. Their marriage would last forever but because us as humans, we make mistakes, that marriage was broken, because death entered the world. The spirit was so strong, and she understood what we were saying clearly. I know this was a long explanation of what happened but it was so powerful when we were there.
Family I LOVE YOU ALL -Elder Hale Happy Easter!

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 11, 2010

Family,
Nauvoo was fun. Thanks so much for the information of the family in Nauvoo, I find it fascinating. Too bad one of the houses would be under water. I've been to Nauvoo so many times I know my way around old town Nauvoo pretty well at this point. It was a long trip. A 3 1/2 hour drive to get there one way, but it was quicker than the 4 month trek the saints took so I can't complain. With such a long trip we didn't have much time to wander around. We went with J (a recent-convert, you probably remember him.) and his wife. It was cool because I didn't remember much of doing baptisms for the dead in Nauvoo when we went as a family so many years ago. But wow, that font was a swimming pool, it was huge. J enjoyed his visit there. It was great to see someone go from investigator to temple trip in one area. We also saw Joseph Smith's home and the red brick store. We then walked over to the blacksmith shop so J could get a prairie diamond. I didn't take any pictures, I only got one and it was on the way out of the temple. J gave a talk the next day at church and talked about how much of a great time he had at the temple with us. It was neat.
Last night we invited another part member family to baptism. It was Sister F and her son R. We have been taking the lessons very slow so that she can understand the history of what happened in the times of Christ and in the latter days of the church. Last night was a recap on the restoration and we watched the restoration movie. We answered many of her questions she had about the Book of Mormon and the importance of the book, as well as how to use it to receive revelation. We invited her to be baptized on May 7 and she said yes!! Brother F started crying at the amazement of what just happened. We told her that her husband could baptize her and their son. Miracles have been taking place in Ankeny.
Ok some answers to your letter: The pick-up truck is a missionary car. Only a few of the missionaries in the mission get one, usually the ones way out in the sticks, like the Marshalltown elders.
As for the family reference I referred to - Elder Eldredge trained me, he taught me everything I know and brought me into the mission life, so he is referred to as my "father" in the mission field. I did the same to Elder Wilson, I trained him and taught him everything, so he is my "son" in the mission. So Elder Wilson is Elder Eldredge's grandson, if you're following me. Now Elder Eldredge is training again, so he now has two sons, Elder Dearing and myself. So I have a brother now. I hope you're with me. So With Elder Eldredge training I have a brother and Elder Wilson has a uncle. Now even if my father (Elder Eldredge) is a zone leader he is still father, and always will be forever and ever just after the manner that God has instilled it within his plan.
LOVE YOU ALL, -Elder Hale