Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 25th

My Dear Family,
Wow! It sounds like you are doing a lot of hard work vacationing! 15,000-to 23,000 a day is no joke! I`m glad that you`re enjoying yourselves. =) 

To answer your question Mom, yes there is a huge catholic church here in Babahoyo, and in Vinces as well. When we went to church on Sunday we had to go past the Catholic members and it was funny to see all the people that went to church with their Barcelona or Emelec Soccer Jerseys hoping that going to church would help their team win. It`s a very different type of worship haha. =)

We learned a lot of great things about family history work this Wednesday. The whole mission came together for a presentation from the family history leaders for the church for Latin America. It was incredible to hear the stories of how the work for the dead has changed the lives of so many members. We`ve planned a temple trip with the new converts in our ward and a couple of families that just re-activated for the 6th of June. They`re all really excited to do the work!

We also were so happy this Sunday. For the first time since I`ve been here in Babahoyo we saw the chapel just packed. When we first got here the regular attendence was 115 more or less, and yesterday 151 people had the chance to go to church. It was such a sight! I was sitting up front on the piano like always, and I was so happy to see the people who had decided to make the effort to come to church. 

This next week we`re going to work hard in finding people as a zone. I`ll let you know if we have any crazy stories. Some people have incredibly interesting lives to say the least. haha =)

I hope that you all stay safe! Enjoy your stay in London this week Mom and Dad! 
Lots of Love,
Elder Hales =) 

May 19th  

Hello to my Great Family!
I´m glad that you were able to get in one more busy week, Mom and Dad, before you go on your fun trip! I´ll be praying for you that you can fly safe on Wednesday
I´m so happy that you´ll get this time for yourselves. =)

Congratulations on your run, Dad! I´ll make you a promise that when I get back I´ll do a half marathon with you. That just seems like such a great bonding experience, and I´ll probably need to get back into shape after two years of solid rice consumption. =)

Also the Payson temple just sounds so gorgeous. You´ll have to tell Nana and Grandpa to be on the look out for Elder Brady during the school breaks because he lives about five minutes from the temple.  

I´m so proud of our family and their love for temples. It seems like everyweek I get the chance to hear about a great experiance you´ve all had with the house of the Lord. It is such a great blessing to have in our lives. The missionaries in Quito don´t get to go once in all of their missions, and I know that we get to go more often than most missionaries.

Speaking of family history work, this Wednesday we´re going to Guayaquil to hear a family history message from Salt Lake! They´re sending two representatives so that should be really good. I heard that when the new converts are involved in their family history work and take names to the temple, their retention rate goes up by almost 40 percent in our area. That astounds me! There are so many blessings promised to us if we go to the temple.

Also this last Sunday we had a satalite broadcast from Peru (the area presidency) about ward council. It´s incredible how much the area wants our ward councils to be efficent and organized. That´s a large part of what we do as missionaries now is working with our wards to help them reach out to the members of their quorums. It´s been interesting seeing all the changes in missionary work during my time here. Just a year and a half ago President Monson added rescuing less active members as a responsibility of the missionaries.

I hope you all have a fantastic week and I love all that you do! Stay safe in Europe, Mom and Dad! Emil,y good luck in your classes! I know you´ll do great this semester! Joseph, good luck in your soccer tryouts. I know you play so hard. Isaac I heard you did a great job on your talk! I´m so proud of you. I know you´ll be a great missionary! Jacob, be careful with knives ;)

All my love,
Elder Hales =)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My Dear Family,
It was so fantastic to see you all yesterday, and I was so happy to see that everyone was so happy and smiling. Jacob, Isaac and Joseph have all grown so much and I just loved talking to each of you. I hope you know Mom that I was thinking about you all day and all the wonderful small things that you always do that too often go without thanks. Thank you for being my superhero! =)

As for a mosquito net, they sell them here, but it is unbearably hot inside. They don`t bite us often, almost never in the house. If we keep the windows closed then we`re okay but thank you for thinking about us. If you would like however, the mother of the house we were at might enjoy a Betty Crocker cake mix. I made the last cake at her house for a family that got married and she was so amazed at how easy it was to make. I think she would enjoy one. 

I wish you a lot of luck in your race on Saturday, Dad! (Reid is running in the Ogden half marathon.) Families are so important and we`re so grateful for all you do. 

This week for us was really nice. The rainy season has become the light sprinkle season, and it`s such a relief because the heat has also been cooling down. It`s so nice to be walking and feel an occasional breeze. This has been a real testimony of how God listens to even our silent prayers. =)

We`ve been working with a less active family, and the 4 wives have all started coming to church again. They are the Family Calderon. Now they are even bringing their husbands to church with them which is awesome because they are not members, (Yet ;) ) We`ve had a lot of success with helping less active families here in Babahoyo which has really brought me great joy. 

I hope that you can all keep doing well, and that you`re enjoying the last few weeks of the school year. Emily if you want feel free to ask whatever Spanish question you have, and if I don`t understand I`ll ask my companion. ;) Mom and Dad good luck in your talk preparation and in your race! I`ll be praying for you this next Wednesday. Joseph, good luck in your soccer tryouts! You are such a champion and when I get back I hope I can still beat you ;) Jacob, good luck with your AP test! Isaac, keep up the clarinet! I promise that it will bless your life in so many ways. (Plus it`s really fun :) )

I love you all!
Elder Hales =)

Monday, May 4, 2015

My Dear Family,
I´ll say this first so I don´t forget. We have church at the same time you guys do, (10-1 here) and then ward mission coordination, and ward council until the night. So the first chance Sunday that I´ll have to talk is at 7 pm. (6 pm there.) I hope that´s not a bad time! If not we could also do it at 8 PM at the latest, or we could leave ward council early and talk at 6 PM. Whatever is best for you guys. =)

It sounds like everyone is so busy! Emily in clases, Jacob with his AP tests, (and tightrope walking, that´s cool =) ) and Dad getting ready for his race.   I´m sure that Isaac and Joseph are helping keep the house very calm and quiet. ;) 

Sometimes we feel that all our hard work goes unnoticed but know that I am very proud to have such a hard working family.  I´m super proud of Dad and Jacob. They sound like a real hometeaching machine! Here the home teachers just have one family, but make multiple visits during the month. I think it would be really cool if you guys in your home teaching preparation, (or maybe in your PPI) talked about some of the tips in PMG chapter 10. It will really help you give your message in a powerful way. (And I´m sure Emily would be more than happy to help you if you asked her. =) ) 

We´ve been doing really well here as well. Like last week we had been working really hard with less active members, but this week they presented us to their family members who aren´t members. It was so great to see that they are starting to remember the joy that the gospel brings, and have desires to share it with those they love. 

This week there was also a 5.8 earthquake on Tuesday. It was all anyone talked about for about three days, and it was funny to hear the different reactions from everyone. Some people told us how they felt so afraid, and then my companion from Chile told them that this type of tremor happens every other month in Chile. It was really small. We just felt the beds shaking a little, but we do live on the third story, so maybe it was worse closer to the ground.

I´m super excited to see everyone this Sunday! I hope that you all have nice weeks, and don´t get too overwhelmed. Remember that it´s almost summer! 
I love you all and wish you the best,
Elder Hales =)