Saturday, December 12, 2015

My Dear Family,

I was so happy to hear that everyone has been enjoying the holiday season, I can´t believe that Christmas is just the week after next! 
Mom, how did your organ recital go? Did you finish with the Messiah?

I´m glad that Jacob also had the chance to sing at temple square! What a treat! I was also so impressed with the music in the Christmas Devotional. Really it was so incredible all the songs that they sang. I especially liked Elder Bednar´s message about Christ being the Light of the World. That is so important that we can remember that the light in our lives comes from the Lord and His love for us. =) 

Things have been very busy here as well. This week we finished all the zone conferences which has been a huge relief. It was great though to be able to see all my friends from the mission when they came for their respective zone conferences. The most notable was probably seeing Elder Bagley, my MTC companion. Just how the transfers have been I haven´t seen him in a little more than a year and it was so great to catch up a little bit. The biggest blessing was probably being able to go to the temple with all the zones (6 time in the last two weeks). But I´ll also be happy to catch up on some sleep as well, seeing as they were all 6 AM sessions. haha =)

But now that the zone conferences are all over we´ve had to put all our energy into planning the Christmas activity. It should be really fun for the missionaries. We´ve been planning a lot of good things to do, but they all require a lot of coordination which means a lot of planning on our part. So far all the missionaries are going to arrive in Guayaquil the 22nd, and do service projects in the afternoon, and at night go caroling with the zones in Guayaquil. Then the morning of the 23rd there will be hospital visits and initiatory work in the temple. The day will finish with a Christmas dinner for the whole mission, and a devotional from President Riggins. Sounds exciting! 

I don´t know if I told you this or not, but my friend, Elder Rydalch, (the Utah basketball player) became an assistant to the president a couple of weeks a ago and stays with us in the mission home from time to time. We´ve been having a lot of fun talking about the BYU vs Utah game. It´ll be a really interesting game. Emily, that´s also great news that you´ll get to go see the game! You´ll have to send me some pictures! =) 

Also I wanted to thank you because I got both of the packages that you sent this week! The reason that it took so long to get here is because they sent it to Ventanas, and the package got there on Tuesday, but I had an emergency transfer to Guayaquil on Monday. It was actually in the country a long time ago, but it got to me this week, (just in time for the 12 days of Christmas!) Thank you so much for thinking about me. I´m excited for the chance to call as well! It should be a great Christmas. =)

I hope everyone has a great week! Thank you for your prayers, and know that I´m also praying for you everyday. I love you all! =)

Elder Hales.

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