Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hola Familia!
Things are going very well here, but I think one Elder said it best when he said the days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days. But one thing is for sure, everyone loves P-day!
We just taught the first lesson to our second investigator Luis, who is interested in the church because he just lost a nephew who was serving a mission, and I think Elder Bagley and I did pretty well. It´s incredible how much Spanish is here. We just got a new teacher this last week, who really laid down the law. As a district our goal is to learn 25 new Spanish words a day, 6 Spanish phrases, and a scripture every day! The thing that´s killing a lot of people though is the HSI rule, (Habla su Idioma, or speak your language.) Here at the CCM you´re supposed to use all the Spanish you know at all times. The first thing Hermano Silva said to us when he walked into the room was,´´How do you say God, Brother and Sister, in Spanish?´´ After we answered him he said, ´´Okay I never want to hear you say the words God, Brother or Sister again, understand?´´ The new rule is if you´re caught saying a word in English that you know in Spanish you need to do 25 push ups haha. 
During gym our district has started playing cage soccer with district 14A, and it´s so fun. All those crazy games in the back yard with my brothers are really paying off. When I get back I bet I can give Jacob a good run for his money. ;)

It´s so weird to think that school is starting and things are winding back into their standard routine back home. How Is Isaac enjoying the 7th Grade? I was really sad to hear about Joseph, and I hope he´s doing better. Is Jacob enjoying choir so far? Is he excited for the first Ultimate practice on Friday? How are things at the devil´s high school? ;)  

The days are really starting to blur together here, which I´m not sure if that´s a good thing or not. We have the exact same schedule for everyday except P-day and Sunday which is always a good experience, (unless you´re called to speak and the mission president is visiting that week haha). It´s crazy thinking I´ve already been out here for two weeks. My life is so incredibly different now than before, but I´m excited I get this chance to serve the Lord.
Lots of love 
Elder Hales

P.S. If you still want some Spanish sentences I can give you some lines of verses I´m memorizing in Spanish. It will be your job to find the reference. ;)

´´...no temo lo que El hombre haga, porque el amor perfecto desecha todo temor.´´

houses by the MTC in Mexico City

the MTC

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hello Family!!
         Things are a lot different here in Mexico but I guess I should tell you everything in order so I don`t leave anything out. =D
         The flights were good, but naturally I was really tired. There were five of us flying out from Salt Lake, Elder Bagley, Elder Cummons, Elder Noel, Elder Fulmner, and Elder Hales! The flight to Dallas was fine, but a really sweet man in first class with a missionary in Korea bought us water and a snack on the plane. He was so sweet! When we landed we met up with 9 more missionaries in Texas so we had a party of 14 flying down to Mexico City. On the plane ride there, Elder Cummons and I were able to talk to a Latino woman sitting next to us (because she spoke flawless english haha) but she was really interested in what he had to tell her about The Book of Mormon and she took my extra Libro de Mormon and read it the whole flight down to Mexico! It´s so exciting to be a servant of the Lord.
          When we arrived in Mexico, there were about 75 missionaries in the airport, and the line to get through customs was crazy! The bus ride there was a little scary as well because let`s just say that there are not a lot of traffic laws in Mexico. But at about 6:30 we finally arrived at the CCM in one piece. When I got there Elder Gardner and Elder Jolly came up and said hello which was really nice because everything here feels foreign. Even the keyboard I´m writing on is in Spanish, so I have to use an accent key instead of an apostrophe haha. Everything is in Spanish, and the teachers only speak to us in Spanish which has made learning the lessons a little difficult, but I´ve already learned a lot! It`s insane how fast the pace is here. Our first real day was Thursday, and we were already teaching our first investigator on Friday, and it had to be 100% in Spanish. I´m pretty sure it wasn´t real though because I saw he was wearing garments haha. It was really difficult at first, but it´s getting easier every time and we´ve already taught him 3 times. 
          My compaƱero is Elder Bagley, (the same Elder I met on my flight here) and he went to Skyline High School. He´s pretty fun and relaxed about everything, which is cool but I have to make sure we get to meetings on time. We only get an hour in the computer lab, and I spent most of that reading all the great letters I got, so I have to go. I love you guys so much!!
Good luck with your week and I´ll see you next dia de preporation. ;)
Elder Hales 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Everything Leading Up To The Mission

This is the beginning of the journey.  Jon is headed to the Ecuador Guayaquil North Mission for the next two years.

Proud Mother and Her Missionary
About 5:00 a.m. August 13, 2014

The Hales Men

The night before he was set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by his stake president, President Michael Fenton.  In the circle were his bishop, Kevin Crump, his father, Grandfather Boyd Hales, and Uncle Jay Hotvedt.

Jay Hotvedt, Bishop Crump, Elder Hales, President Fenton, Reid Hales, Boyd Hales

Bishop Kevin Crump, Elder Jon Hales, and President Mike Fenton
Hotvedts and Grandparents Came

Jon spoke in church in mid-July on service.   Following church, family came over for dinner.  

"Ecuador Here I Come!"

Family Support.  Thank you!

Jon received his mission call in April.  We all guessed where he was headed.  His Uncle Bill Dolinar guessed Ecuador.  It was a great excuse to get together for some cake and ice cream. :)