Monday, March 30, 2015

My Dear Family!
It sounds like you`ve all had busy weeks! But I`m always happy to hear of the adventures that you all have.
First, I`m so happy for Isaac! That`s a real honor to get Viking of the Quarter and I`m so happy for your hard work, Isaac!

Mom, you continue to amaze me that you find time to go to the Family History Center with all the other responsibilities that you have. Keep up all the great work!

The Church in Africa seems so interesting! What Dad said about the roots of the church is so true. That was more of a problem in Vinces than here. One week President Riggins asked all the males who were older than 18 in the district to come and be interviewed. Eight people from our branch came. There just weren`t enough willing roots to keep the branch healthy there. But I`m sure that the gospel is the answer to Africa`s problems. That the gospel is the answer to everyone`s problems is something I`ve learned so far in my mission. The eternal joy that comes from the deep conviction that Christ lives will help us in every aspect of our lives. 

Tonight we`re traveling to Guayaquil for zone conference tomorrow. I`m really excited for what we will learn.

I`m also super excited for General Conference and I`ve been trying to read all the talks from October before this weekend. There are so many pearls that we can learn. How blessed we are to have living prophets and apostles in our time. 

I love you all so much and I wish you the best of luck this week!
Lots of Love,
Elder Hales. =) 

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Dearest Family,
I´m glad that everyone was able to make it home safely and that Jacob and Dad enjoyed their trips! It´s so fun that they had those opportunities. And I´m glad that Jacob is taking full advantage of his time in high school. 
Isaac, I think it would be so great if you could help the struggling music program. Band really was such an important part of my high school experience, and I made many friends that helped me in hard moments, so you should definitely give it a try!

Here in Babahoyo things keep progressing! I love how animated our members here are. If we give them an idea, then everyone supports us. We´re now going on visits with our Elders Quorum every Tuesday and Thursday night. They are so kind to the investigators and the less active members that come to Sacrament meeting.

Because of the help of a member, one less active member named Ramon is finding his testimony again, and wants to prepare to baptize his children. What a marvelous miracle for the family!

This week I´m super excited because we´re going to the temple twice - once with our ward on Friday, and then as a mission next Monday for a zone conference that we´re going to have in Guayaquil. When we go with the ward we´ll be in the baptistry with the recent converts that we´re working with. When we go with the mission we will be doing a normal temple session.

Things are going really well here. Thank you for always thinking about me. I hope you all have really incredible weeks!
Elder Hales  

Monday, March 16, 2015

My Dear Family,
I`m very sorry that I`m writing so late today, that is a long story that involves quite a bit of explanation, just know that I don`t think we`re going to do activities as a zone for a while, because as I`m sure you know missionaries are almost always late, and a group of missionaries is almost an epidemic in time wasting haha. 

This week was nice and very normal which was a relief because we`ve been a little chaotic for the first few weeks I was here. I hope you all can get back into a nice rhythm again whith Jacob and Dad getting home this week from their great adventures. 

We`ve been working a lot with our ward lately and this week we were able to organize with our Elders quorum president, and our war council visits that we`re going to do with the Ward Tuesdays and Wednesdays to visit less active members, and the new converts. That has been a real struggle with our ward that we noticed. Of the 77 converts the ward had in the last two years, 55 are inactive now. Hopeful we can help rekindle the fire for the truth they once had.

I`m sorry that I have to be short today. Know that I love you all and I hope you all have an incredible week!
Lots of Love,
Elder Hales. =)

Monday, March 9, 2015

My Dearest Family,
I´m always so happy to hear that everything is going well at home. How exciting that Jacob is leaving for New York! I think that´s very appropriate because he really wanted to see the big city last summer.

That´s so funny that Joseph is competing with me in the pedometer races, (and winning most days). We averaged only 13,000 steps everyday this week. We didn´t go to the other side of the river very much last week where the houses are really far apart, but we´re going there almost everyday this week because hopefully a sister is going to get baptized this Saturday. She´s 70 years old, and is setting an example for all of her family that are less active members. (There were 14 people from just her family in church!) 

There were a lot of changes in our zone today, including the sisters in our ward and the zone leaders that live in our house with us. (And yes Mom we are living in the same house that Elder Brady lived in, and we´re working with a family right now that he baptized almost a year ago and they´re preparing to go to the temple to be sealed. The daughter is not a member.) It´ll be really interesting to see how the zone changes. In three weeks there have been changes in every one of the 8 companionships. 

We also were really lucky to see a wedding that happened this week! Two investigators of the sisters in our ward got married today and are going to be baptized this next Saturday. I was really moved and the father told us while we were helping him get ready in the morning that he never imagined that this would happen to him, but he wants to set a good example for his children. I was so happy and I learned that our own conversion is strengthened so much when we help others in the proceses of conversion.

Other than that we´ve been having a lot of success here in Babahoyo with the members. They´re all really dedicated to helping the ward grow, and now just need to start working together in the goal. =) The members here are all so loving to the missionaries, and I think that´s true world round, but especially here in South America where almost everyone is a convert to the church, and the missionaries have played such an important part in their lives.

I hope you all have a really great week, and I´ll try and do the same =)
Lots of Love,
Elder Hales

Monday, March 2, 2015

My Dearest Family,
I´m happy that things at home are just as crazy as usual =) I´ll just say to Jacob that I hope you don´t get too out of hand. I want to come back and see you with both arms and legs and your head the right way on your shoulders. ;) 

This week has been very interesting here in Babahoyo. It´s rained now for 9 days in a row, and it makes working on the other side of the river a real adventure because sometimes it floods overthere at night. But I´ve been really excited with the progress that´s been going on here. When I first got here the people we were teaching were not really progressing, and my companion and I have talked a lot about what we can do to help them progress as families and we were really blessed this week to see three families come to church. We were so happy and the ward was so nice to them. I could really see the hand of the Lord working through so many faithful members. =)

I´ve also had a lot of fun with the pedometer! We average 15,000 steps every day, and the most we´ve had was 16,900, so we´re yet to beat Joseph, but I´ll be sure to tell you, Joseph, when we walk more than 20,000 ;) I was also so happy with the contacts that you sent. They´ve really helped in the afternoon when it´s more hot, and in the evening when it´s raining to still be able to see the streets. Thank you so much for getting right on that.

I was almost asked not to play the piano anymore on Sundays because the members need the help of the singers on the CDs to know the songs, but the Bishop but his foot down and said that there was no better time for the ward to learn how to sing which I thought was funny. I was also grateful that I will get to keep playing. It is actually such a wonderful way to get rid of stress, and Mom I would just like to put another official account and say thank you for all the years of persuasion in helping me with the piano. =)

I hope that everyone has another fantastic week, and I´ll try and stay dry here ;) (They say that after March it stops raining as hard/frequently so we´ll see soon.)

Lots of love,
Elder Hales =)