Monday, April 27, 2015

Mi Querido Familia,
I´m glad that everyone had a fantastic week! Jacob looks like he had a lot of fun at Prom, and I can´t beleive that Emily already starts class this Tuesday! That´s so crazy!

Mom, I´m glad that you are putting such a great example in family history work for all of us. Sometimes I think that we forget that one of the three purposes of the church is to redeem the dead. We found out yesterday that out of all the stakes in Ecuador, Babahoyo is Gthe worst at family history work, and our stake president asked us to work with our recent converts to take more names to the temple. One is really excited and is going to make an account in family search when she gets back from Guayaquil. (She is having an operation.)

So this week has been a little interesting with everyone adapting to the changes. Literally every other campanionship in the zone had a change of sector or of companion except us, so we got to help a lot of people get to know Babahoyo. The new missionaries in our ward are from Canada and Honduras, and are really excited to be working with everyone.

We have been a little short on people to teach this week, so we´ve put a real focus in helping less active members, and I think we have the zone record for number of lessons with less active members in a week. We´ve had so many great experiences helping families that have lost their way a little.

It rained a lot this week, and I have a funny picture of one night when Elder Alucema and I got stuck in the middle of a storm and came home soaking wet. The rain is very random sometimes and a huge storm came out of nowhere!

I hope that everyone is settling down a little, and that everything is going well with you all. I love you so much and can´t wait to talk to you in two weeks!
Lots of Love,
Elder Hales =)
getting drenched on the way home

Visiting this less active sister with the ward missionaries.  She was excited to learn that she could put her scriptures on this tablet.

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Dear Family!
Wow it sounds like everyone was super busy this week, and I`m so glad that all the family was able to get together and have such a good time listening to Emily`s talk and the experiences that she had on her mission. I have seen many evidences of that increased love in Emily in all the letters that she wrote me when I was in Vinces and I had no way to write her back. Thank you, Emily! I can only imagine how happy everyone was to see her again, and if she does move back to Provo soon, just tell her that the only rule is that she comes home for Mother´s Day. ;)

Here things have been going really well, especially with the Castilo family, (Paola and her son, Carlos, who got baptized this last weekend.) She is so in love with the gospel, and it almost scares me how fast she has been strengthening her testimony. This weekend she presented us to a friend and her family, and they`re really excited as well to enjoy the love of the gospel. She bore a powerful testimony about the Book of Mormon, and then Sunday, (I couldn`t believe this) they asked her to teach the Relief Society lesson! It was so incredible to see how well she has integrated with the ward already.

The only other news is that there have been massive transfers in Babahoyo this weekend. Four missionaries finished their missions, and two more had transfers, meaning that every companionship except two, (mine and two sisters in another ward) had either a change of sector or of companions. So we`ll have a brand new zone here tomorrow! That`ll be exciting to start working with all the excited and animated new missionaries!

I hope Jacob enjoys Prom, and that Isaac doesn`t crash in his new bike! Joseph sounds like he`s a real goal scoring machine, and he has grown so much from the last time I`ve seen him!

I hope you all have incredible weeks! Lots of Love,
Elder Hales =)
At the bus station helping Sisters Mamani and Llusco with their suitcases on their way back home to Bolivia

Monday, April 13, 2015

Hola Mi Familia!
Wow! It sounds like you all had adventures in the airport, but I guess that means that Emily has one more mission story with her future children haha =) I know that I`ve said this before, but I`m so proud of the great examples of missionary service in our family, and I`m so proud of my favorite sister =)

To answer your question Mom, there has been more rain here but not much more flooding. And only the houses that are right next to the river are on stilts. The rest are normal houses like in the states, just not waterproof so when it rains water leaks inside.

Also I picked up the package this last Monday from your patient Dad, and we`ve already eaten all the double stuffed Oreos between the four of us that live in our apartment. =) Thank you so much for thinking about me! Also, could you also tell Nana and Granpa thank you for the package I just got from them? It was filled with lots of Valentine's Day treats =)

This week we were doing a lot of things to prepare for Saturday. We had such a special baptisimal service on the 11th! Three people got baptized, a single mom (Paola) with her son, (Carlos) and one other teenager named Nahomi. It was so special because the father of Paola is a recent convert, and he`s blind, but he baptized his daughter and was so happy. It`s just another reminder of how the gospel blesses us in our families. =)

But like it always happens after a baptism, we`re a little short on people to teach. Our ward is so great and they have already started helping us to find more people.

I hope you all have a great week! And Emily I hope you enjoy yourself! You deserve a nice few days of rest. =)
Lots of Love,
Elder Hales.
baptism of Nahomi Chang (her father is Chinese)

Paolo and Carlos' baptisms - Paolo was baptized by her blind father who is a recent convert
My Dearest Family!
Wow, I`m glad that you are all having fun, and I can`t believe that Emily is coming home this week! That is so crazy! I`m still a little shocked that Kyle has been home for almost 3 months now! 

Here things have been a little crazy. So Babahoyo flooded this week because of so much rain, and there were so many houses that got flooded that the stake had an emergency meeting in how to help all the members. So we had lots of service opportunities, and a lot of people really apreciated the help, and we were happy to help them! =) 

The temple was also super spiritual, and I always love seeing it full of missionaries, and our mission president directed the session. We had a really interesting discussion later in our zone conference and we read from the book of Moses the story of Cain and Abel. Our mission president talked to us about how Cain brought the best of his fruits and vegetables, but it wasn`t the sacrafice that the Lord wanted. He then asked us how many times have we sacrificed fruit in our lives? What He`s asked of us is all of our heart, might, mind and strength as our sacrifice as missionaries. If we aren`t living in the manera that the Lord requires us than we are offering fruit and not a first born Lamb. I had never thought of the story like that!

And then the general conference was so great! We got to watch Saturday in English, but Sunday the stake center needed the room we were in to listen in Spanish because so many people from the stake came for Easter Sunday. It was such a powerful conference! I thought it was so intersting to hear so much about how the Church is helping other countries, and how we all need to work on our own spiritual conversion constantly.

We`re really excited for this next week, and we have a lot of exciting things planned out to try in our sector that we learned in the conference, so hopefully everything can keep going well!

I love you all and I hope that you enjoy your time with Emily! I`m so proud of the example that we have in our family of serving missions. 

Lots of Love,
Elder Hales =)
Valentine cards from Aunt Shelly!

Zone luncheon before transfers