Monday, December 31, 2012

Merry Christmas! Happy New Years!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a Merry Christmas! I most definitely did! It was wonderful being able to skype and see most everyone. I couldn't ask for a better gift.
 
Although it was Christmas week Elder Mello and I got a lot done. I think I taught more lessons this week then any other week in my mission. I don't know how! Haha. But we met some great people including a family that we can work with. I have been wanting to work with a family for forever! So we expected a lot of people at church but things didn't go as expected. We waited outside the apartment for people to show up and we had an unexpected visitor. His name is Casm. We met him while we were caroling and we taught him once. When we taught him it was mostly his son asking all kinds of questions and he was mostly listening. But out of all the great lessons we had with all our investigators he was the only one to show up! He had a great experience at church. I gave a talk in both branches on Eternal Perspectives. A couple hours after church we went to teach Casm and his wife Abbey. We taught them the Restoration and used the Prophet of the Restoration movie to show the first vision. We invited Casm to pray about it to get an answer but he said he already has received an answer. He said "The first time you guys came over I knew God sent you" Haha. But he went on to explain that he has felt the spirit very strong in our lessons and at church. It was very nice to finally have someone come to church and already have a testimony. We should have a good week with all the new people to work with.
 
Happy New Years!
 
Love, Elder Hale

Monday, December 10, 2012

Surprises

Acclima

Hello friends and fam! So this week was full of surprises. Elder Hartshorn was transferred to Tobago. I am staying with the zone leaders in San Fernando right now til my companion gets here. He won't be here til Thursday or later. His name is Elder Mello and he is on Grenada right now.

This week was the first week we had church for the Penal members in our apartment. So Elder Hartshorn and I had to speak, sing, bless and pass the sacrament, and teach gospel principles in two branches! And they told us on Friday. But everything went really well. I spoke on the birth and life of Jesus. I told the story of the homeless man that came and gave Dad money after the Suns game. It's a great Christmas story!

We went to Acclima's and we helped her clean her house. Then we helped her son David walk to go sing Christmas carols to her father. Her Dad has cancer and he just stays in bed so he really enjoyed it. He actually belted out all the hymns with us! It was super funny. But it really brought in the Christmas spirit.

Also I had a really gnarly bike crash. A car got close to me and went off the road down a hill into a ditch. It must have been a pretty funny sight. I was fine cause I had a helmet on but it was crazy!

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I enjoyed mine(:

With love,

 
Elder Hale

This is called an Aloo pie! They are sold everywhere!
We sang Christmas hymns for Acclima, her son David (in the picture), and her father.
So this is church in our apartment! Hopefully it grows!
Elder Hartshorn's departure. This our farewell w/ Elder Webb in the back being creepy.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ramdeo

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Carlos and fam


Hello friends we had a good week again. We found a cool Hindu guy named Ramdeo who is actually a Christian that doesn't know it. Haha. There is lots of those here. He is an alcoholic and we had a very good lesson with him where he ended up opening up to us. He really wants help and that is what I like in investigators. 

After we taught him we went down the road and a lady called out to us from her balcony and said "Hey I'm from Canada!" "It's so nice to see white people!" Haha. Her name is Acclima and she left Trinidad when she was 16 and married an Englishman. She said she was sitting there reading her Bible and she was just praying that something good would happen. She looked up and saw two white boys on bikes. haha. She has been going crazy because she is taking care of her Dad. Feeding him, washing him, and everything else. She also has a handicapped son named David who needed some company. We had a nice discussion with her I think there can be something that will come out of it before she goes back to Canada in January. 

Next week we are also have a sacrament meeting in our apartment for those who live in Penal. That way they don't have to travel all the way to Siparia. It should be interesting. Also we are singing for many more activities coming up!

I love you all have a wonderful week! 

Love, Elder Hale


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This is my buddy Andrew Baptiste. But you say it like buh-teese(:


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Rasta dog!

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This is my little Hindu friend Anton at Divali.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Roller Coaster Week

Well Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! This week was a roller coaster ride. Let me tell you about it!

Elder Hartshorn and I sang "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" in our Sacrament meeting. We practiced all week so it went really good. Also President and Sister Mehr visited our Sacrament meeting. Sister Mehr kept complimenting our song which meant a lot cause she sang in the Mo tab. They blow my mind every time they speak. In the 3rd hour President gathered the whole branch and rallied the troops. He told them the whole situation of the West Indies Mission right now and explained how they could help. We have 60 missionaries coming in and not a place to put them. All visas are to their max. He asked for the faith and prayers of the branch to bring about a miracle. He says he is still waiting on Guyana to let him know if they will let more missionaries in. At most they will let 40 in. But he said "I want you all to watch what happens." "Watch the hand of the Lord in His work." "I don't know how he will do it." "But I know he will.." Everyone in the Branch was super excited and ready to do missionary work.

President also announced we will be starting a group in Penal. Which is where our apartment is. It's about 15 minutes from Siparia. And we will be holding Sacrament meeting possibly in our apartment and in Siparia. Yea it's crazy.

After church President took us to see a less active in our area. There had been a really big incident that offended her and stopped her going to church. I won't get into it but this women is very contentious. She started to tell President everything that's wrong with everyone. He politely stopped her and that caused an outrage! She screamed at him with tears in her eyes "Your nothing compared to President Gamiette!" (The last mission president) He just kept saying sorry and we eventually just had to leave because it was so bad.

In the car President did not say one thing bad about this lady. He is so humble. He just felt sorry he couldn't help. I really learned a lot from that experience. Tolerance! Man I love my President.

I love you guys too! Have an awesome week!


Love, Elder Hale

Monday, November 19, 2012

Divali

Well this week was pretty good! We found a couple more promising people to work with. The problem with people lately is committment. They don't want to do anything. It is like pulling teeth to try to get someone to come to church. And everyone uses the exuse that the Sabbath day is on Saturday so they don't really feel obligated to come to church on a Sunday. So the search with go on and we will seperate the wheat from the tares.
 
Divali was pretty fun. Lots and lots of food and fireworks. We took some food home with us and we ate it three days later. Big mistake.. I'm still recovering from it. Never eat leftover indian food!
 
Something kinda funny happened this week with a less active. She told us she is planning to come back to church next year so we taught her not to procrastinate the day of her repentence.  Elder Hartshorn brought up how we don't know when we will die. He said "What happens if you get in a car accident tommorrow?" She said "Oh please, I have plenty days left." So she pretty much shot down his point. But the interesting thing that happened is that this lady went on a trip on Saturday to maracas beach with some of her friends. On the way they were driving on a thin road and they dodged a oncoming and their car went off the road and rolled down a hill. Her friend died from the crash and she was pretty beat. So she is in shock right now.
 
On Sunday I gave my talk and everything went well. After church we had a fireside on Family Home Evening. It was really fun and we had a bunch of refreshments after.
 
There are lots of missionaries coming in the field in March and it looks like President Mehr might have worked his magic with the Minister of Culture in Guyana. They should be allowing us to send more missionaries there. It is pretty likely I could go there to train a new missionary. It will be like starting the mission over. Guyana is a whole new world.
 
Anyways I love you guys and hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
 
Love, Elder Hale

Monday, November 12, 2012

Hindu Christmas

Hello friends! This week went pretty good. We had some good days where we had lots to do and other days we stuck to finding. We really only have one serious investigator named Mia. She is 16 and she has a great testimony. She has been taught everything. The problem is her Grandma (Who is a member) won't let her be baptized because she says she isn't ready. So we are running out of ideas with her quick.

At church this week the Branch President and 1st counselor didn't even show up. The second counselor came at 9:15! It was the Primary program too. It was really funny there were only 5 kids. There was one little kid that held a microphone in the middle of them when they sang. It was like the Jackson 5! Anyways so this Branch has a lot of fixing up to do. Especially the part where we don't get fed after church. Haha just kidding! So our focus this transfer is more member work then finding new investigators. Although there is plenty time for both.

I have been assigned to give a talk next week in sacrament on "Being Positive" I don't know if I have heard anyone give a talk on this but whatever! Well I am excited for Holli and her upcoming baby! And Happy Birthday to Dad! Tomorrow is the Divali (say it like Di-wall-ee) celebration so it's gonna be exciting here. It's like the Hindu Christmas! Love you guys have an awesome week!

Love, Elder Hale

Monday, November 5, 2012

Siparia

Hello everyone! I have limited time today but let me do my best to recap this week.

So Siparia is a cool area. The missionary work however is struggling because of the lack of effort from past elders. These past couple days we have had a hard time finding anything to do besides finding! I got to ride bikes for the first time which was sweet! We rode up and down hills for three hours finding nothing but Hindus (which I love). After we were completely exhausted, I asked Elder Hartshorne where we could go and he really couldn't think of one thing. It was a little discouraging. But we had a heart to "Hart" and he really wants to work hard this transfer. He has gotten into some lazy habits so he wants me to wear him out. So we got a game plan now for this transfer and we are real excited.

We also had another amazing zone conference where President Anderson from the Seventy came and spoke to us. He was inspiring! President Mehr never seizes to amaze me either!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cool news from President Mehr!

Elders and Sisters, I have just finished up the Mission President’s Conference in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Here Elder Zwick from the Seventy was with us along with the Area Presidency. We have received instructions from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles regarding the status of the West Indies Mission.

In the next several months, because of the influx of thousands of missionary applications, we will be receiving almost 52 more missionaries into our mission. This is great blessing. The Lord is hastening His work. D&C 88:73 “Behold, I will hasten my work in its time”.

There will be challenges. There will be questions on how this will all work out. The Lord will provide. This would possibly mean that we will have 4 missionaries per unit (branch or ward). This also means that we will need to strengthen the branch and ward councils. In some areas we will even have to help create these councils.

I have felt the spirit of this historical announcement. Now we begin to implement the Lord’s desires from this wonderful miracle in our lives. Be sure to write in your journals what you are seeing and experiencing out there as you participate in the greatest hastening of the work that we have seen since the Church was restored.

We will see many miracles as we work with greater faith and haste. Right now our compliment of missionaries is around 126 and we will be increased to 178. This does not include Senior Couples.

May the Lord bless us as we prepare diligently for the hastening of His work.

I love you all,

President Mehr

Monday, October 29, 2012

Transferred!


So we got our Transfer calls this week and I'm am hittin' the road heading to a place called Siparia! Someone translate that for me.. Anyways it is way down south far from Grande. I hear people really love the area. It is full of Hindus! But that is perfect because the 13th of November is one of the biggest Hindu holidays called Divali. I guess people just roam house to house eating sickening amounts of delicious Indian food! I'm real excited cause they say Siparia is the best for Divali.

Unfortunately Elder Whitlock and I must part but my new companion is Elder "Brock" Hartshorne. He was in my district on the first transfer serving in Arima. He is really cool I have no worries about serving with him.

I was a little bummed we didn't baptize this transfer but the area has progressed greatly! Elder W. will get them baptized.

It's been sad telling people I am leaving. Everyone knows it's coming but they were still shocked when I told them. Kerwyn and Brandon were both really sad. Brandon's Dad actually cried but it was cause he was really drunk..Haha.

Well til next time I love you guys!

Love, Elder Hale

The master teacher, sister Gopaul!

We had a Trini cook-off in our apartment! I made the pumpkin! The rest is stew chicken, curry chicken, curry mango, and dhalpourie (roti).

Cricket!

The Supaul family!

Brandon and Father Mitchell saying their goodbyes (: Yes he is crying hahaha

Monday, October 22, 2012

Teaching with President Mehr

So we are down to the last week of the transfer! Sadly no one came to church this week. But it was a miracle in disguise because the meeting was sooo slow. First the first counselor Brother Phillips got up and stuttered. "Welcome to the latter.....the Jesus...The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We all looked at each other in awe. He ended up giving a 25 minute talk later. When he came to the pulpit he read off his paper. "Our next speaker will be...(pause) "Me!""Malcolm Phillips."

So this week we became teachers at Sangre Grande Secondary School teaching what is basically seminary. One of the members Samantha Harrideo hooked it up. They have all sorts of religious classes that the kids can choose from. We taught 30 kids! And the classroom is unbelievably ghetto! So the first class was a little rough cause the kids are real immature but next time we are gonna get another classroom with only people that are serious. But it is definitely a good opportunity.

The highlight of the week was going out teaching with President Mehr. He came to Grande and we taught our investigators Troy and Debbie. With Debbie we wanted to teach the law of chastity because she is not married but lives with her boyfriend of 20 years Trevor. We have been trying to sit down with him but he is always on the go. They have 3 kids so we never felt comfortable to bring up the issue. We asked President what his opinion was and he told us we will just rely on the spirit. So we went to Debbie's and she was home alone. We began to talk and 5 minutes later Trevor walks in and President got him to sit down with us. It was the perfect scenario! President smoothly asked "How long have you been married?" That opened up the conversation. They began to tell us how they are not married and how they have lots of problems. We ended up having a really good lesson. President Mehr is the man! Trevor is really interested now and Debbie has opened up a lot. So that is the success of the week!

Have a nice week!

Love, Elder Hale

President Mehr!

We made the Harrideos french toast! This is Samantha!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Salybia Beach

Sister Valere after her cataract surgery!
 
Hello!

So this week was interesting.. There were a lot of set backs. So we had Rishi done with smoking then he tells us his ex-girlfriend Rose wants to move back in. It's really hard for him because he lived with her for years and her kids are basically his kids. But we told him he can't be baptized if he does that. His date was set for the 27th. We made the situation very clear but he just kept say "I don't know what to do!" We said a prayer with him to give him strength but after he said "I'm too weak" There was nothing we could say to convince him, we only brought more condemnation to his soul!

The next thing that happened was these 4 cool Jamaican guys we met got An-tied! One of them called their pastor and told him about our visits and he told him to stay away from us. One of them said "I really think you guys are trying to sacrifice black people" No scripture has as much validity to them as the words of their pastor. They really couldn't give us any good reason. They were really rude and hostile. So we just left.

That being said Elder Whitlock and I took a trip to Salybia beach today. We went and had lunch at a resort overlooking the ocean! The lunch they wanted to feed us was real expensive but I reasoned with them and we got hamburgers and fries for a nice price. It was definitely nice! I needed it!

Love you guys! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Hale


Elder Whitlock and myself (:

Livin' it up!

on the pool deck

me and the waiter

Monday, October 8, 2012

Conference!

So it's half way through the transfer already! This week has been real nice. We met some cool guys from Jamaica that are really interested. They had us come teach them 3 days in a row.

We also played basketball against our investigators. It was us four elders vs. some teenagers from a place called the Coca. Then we played against Carlos and his work buddies. Yep we beat them both.

Other then that all I can think about in this week was conference! If anyone missed it then watch it! They were truly inspired talks! I could only get one of our investigators to watch it but she loved it. I know if more people could just see our living prophets and apostles they would accept the gospel. My favorite was probably Jeffrey R. Hollands talk on Sunday. And that is crazy how girls can serve at 19 as missionaries! And Brock can leave right after high school if he wants.

Right before I came and emailed we went and learned how to make roti, pumpkin, and curried mango. It was one of the best things I have tasted! And I made it! I wrote out all the ingredients and stuff so I'm gonna keep practicing it so I can have it mastered by the time I come home. Well I love you guys and have a magical week! - Love, Elder Hale

Elder Holland's talk from conference:

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Lot of Good

Brandon's baptism

So this week went lightning fast! A lot of good came out of it. We are getting more serious with all our investigators and hoping for a lot of results by the end of the transfer. 


At church yesterday a less active named Allen finally came after weeks of working with him. When we found him he did not know anything about the church even though he was baptized! At church they asked him to bear his testimony and Elder Whitlock said "Oh my gosh!" out loud. Haha. But then it turned out to be great. He said many things about how he loves the church and how he needs to change his life. He even committed over the pulpit to being there every week. It was great!

Roger also came to church and enjoyed. Rishi was too wiped out from his work to come. He had been sleeping on a wet mattress where he was working and they had been putting a lot of pressure on the workers. He quit the job! He said he prayed about it and he felt inclined to find work that will allow him to meet with us more so he can really change his life. So he is doing great!

Yesterday the Ap's (Assistants to the President) came and took us on trade-offs. I really learned the importance of opening your mouth to EVERYONE you pass! Elder Kaelin stopped at every single opportunity. So Elder Whitlock joined and I joined in and next thing we knew we had 17 contacts and a full day of lessons for Tuesday. So that is my focus this week. As I did that I could feel the spirit with me stronger and I was more desirous to share the gospel.

I hope everyone is doing good. I miss you all! Have a great week!



That's brother Supaul on the end.

Elder Whitlock and I cookin some curry!



Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More Determined Than Ever

So the first week of the transfer is already done! We had a good week things are going well. We are back in contact with Roger and Kandis; they had moved far away and they're back! They are more determined than ever now. Rishi was gone all week and sadly missed church because he was working.

One investigator we have been working with is Carlos and his family. He owns a tool shop not far from our apartment and we visit him frequently. One thing that I always notice is that once you meet someone you start to run into them everywhere. I had never even seen Carlos before but after we met him we see him almost every day. Anyways, Carlos is really funny and somewhat Americanized. He lived in the U.S. for two years doing construction. He has three little girls who are way cute and fun. We have been having family home evening with them and they really enjoy it. They also came to church on Sunday. The only problem is Carlos thinks it's really boring so we will have to work with that.

Yesterday we had a bbq with Carlos and the coals would not stay on fire! Elder Gines almost killed us all when he slowly poured gasoline on the fire with a full gas can. The fire trailed up to the nozzle and lit his hand on fire! He miraculously blew out the fire on the nozzle and got the fire off his hand! So Carlos ended up using a stove to heat the coals on the grill. Then he welded some stuff together and made another grill to put the chicken. It was way too much work for a bbq but everything tasted amazing! Carlos owns a bunch of bouncy castles so the kids played on those.

But I love you guys keep writing your inspiring words and have a great week!

Love, Elder Hale

Monday, September 17, 2012

Transfer 3!

So transfer two is done and I got my transfer call! I'm staying in Grande along with everyone in the apartment! So it's not the most exciting transfer call but it's what I wanted. I got work to do here!

So Brandon's baptism went great! I baptized him and Elder Whitlock confirmed him. It was a great baptism, Kerwyn spoke! Haha he was so nervous but he really wanted to do it. And he looks angry in all the pictures I send because he said he doesn't smile for pictures. But he really is a happy person. I will send pics from the baptism probably next week.

So this week we were talking to Carlos who came to church with his family last week. He thinks Elder Whitlock and I don't get to do anything fun so he made us a deal. He said if we do one fun thing with him a week then he will come to church. Haha! He's like Tuesday we will go to the mall and play video games. We were like "How old are you man?" But on Saturday we went to his house, had pizza, and played spoons! It was really fun they have a really nice family.

Debbie (Kerwyn's sister) came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it. It was way more meaningful for her because she has been really studying the Book of Mormon. She has a page of notes for every chapter she reads because she really wants to understand.

Rishi is still progressing and he is teaching his construction buddies about the plan of salvation. It all makes so much sense to him. He said he was like "No you guys don't get it, if Adam and Eve didn't take the fruit we wouldn't be here now! Haha he really loves us coming over and just soaks it all in.

Happy bday to Brock! I hope all your wildest dreams come true young man!

Well I hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Hale

Monday, September 10, 2012

Great Success

So only one week left in this transfer! It's gone by way fast and everything is going great! I kind of hope and think I will stay one more transfer. There are a couple people that should be Baptized by then.

But this week Saturday Brandon is getting Baptized. He is 15 years old and he's a pretty humble kid. He has come to church 4 times now and loves it. He really wants to be an example to his Rasta Dad who has way too many problems.

We had great success for investigators and less actives coming to church! A man named Carlos and his family of 5 came, Rishi, Brandon, and two less actives Sister Valere and Sister Harrideo came. Sister Valere is 79 and she is real funny. She loves the church but has not been in so long. Everyone in her family became less active and it's too far of a walk for her to get to church. But when Brother Supaul offered her a ride she was so excited. It made me a little sad that she was only not going to church because of transportation. She loved church and continued to hum the hymns all day long. So look out for anyone like her who might want to be at church but they just need a friend.

Another thing is feed the missionaries! Even if it is just a little drink and snack when they pass by you have no idea how good it feels after being in the hot sun. Give them referrals and go out teaching with them. That is a problem here is we don't have people to come and teach with us. You have no idea how much it helps to have a strong member there. Being a missionary in our ward back home would be heaven.

So another cool thing that happened is one of our investigators Rishi is progressing greatly. He working on his word of wisdom problem and I know he will do cause he has the greatest desire. Every lesson we have had with him has been very spiritual. Recently he was offered a great job far away in another town. At first he planned to stay there on the week days then travel back for church. After church Sunday he told me he has a bad feeling about it now and he thinks he is going to decline the job so he can stay close to us and the church. And he has faith a better opportunity will come up closer to home.

So it's been a great week here in Sangre Grande! I love you guys and have an awesome week!

Love, Elder Hale




Monday, September 3, 2012

Bacon Hot Dogs

Well this week was another great week! It was full of service and meeting lots of cool people. For independence day they were having a futbol tournament in the street and the guys were actually really good. It was fun to watch. There was even some 30 year old guys playing cricket in the street like a bunch of kids. I also made an awesome meal for the guys in the apartment.. Bacon hot dogs and macaroni salad! That is the most extravagant meal I have ever made. I also made the best western bacon cheeseburger I ever had. Tonight a member is gonna show me how to make some trini food. 

One awesome thing that happened was Bro. Supaul took us out teaching. This guy is so awesome and everyone I meet knows him because he drives a maxi and is real outgoing. The Supauls are the ones that feed us every week and make fantastic food. But he took us out and teaching and we got a lot of people that said they will come to church again. One lady was like touching his leg while we taught and his face was hilarious he looked so scared!

Also we got a family to come to church that we have been working with since my first transfer. They heard all kinds of funny rumors like we kidnap children in our church and stuff. People here really try to stop the work from progressing by spreading lots of lies. Even pastors who should be more educated say the most ridiculous things! But if you watch how these people live their lives it is not in harmony with their teaching. A man gave us all kinds of trouble while we were teaching him and five minutes after we left we saw him cuss out this guy on the street. Haha! It's funny because they always know in their hearts that everything we say is true but they are so hard headed. 

But everything is going awesome here I hope everyone has a peachy week! Love you guys! 

Love, Elder Hale

Monday, August 27, 2012

"I love giving service"

This week ended up being real sweet. I got to teach Rishi a few more times and it is going well. I went over there and he looked completely different. He shaved, got a haircut, and had some color in his face for once. He was actually happy. He said since the last lesson we taught him he just had the best week. He has been reading and praying a lot. On Sunday he came to church and loved it. It was stake conference and they were broadcasting from Port of Spain. It was really sketchy the sound came out like a transistor radio. And when there was musical numbers you couldn't hear anything. At one point the thing just turned off. But Rishi still felt the spirit and invited over later that day. He is making a lot of progress. His prayers are really sincere and he expresses so much gratitude for us being there.

We also took Kerwyn with us teaching a lot this week. He wants to serve a mission but he is really nervous. He asked us to pray for him that he can understand the Book of Mormon. He is in the Isaiah chapters so I told him not to worry. On wednesday he gave us these things that are like plantains and showed us how to fry them. They tasted awesome.

On Thursday we had zone conference at the mission home. President Mehr and Sister Mehr taught awesome lessons and got us pumped for the week. I feel really blessed to be in the West Indies Mission. I am becoming attached to Sangre Grande. We have met some really nice people and I can see a lot of potential. On saturday we went to the hospital to see this girl Avalon we had taught. Her appendix exploded or something. We said a prayer and gave her a Book of Mormon to read with all her down time. She later called and thanked us for coming. It's nice to be able to have nice experiences like that almost every day. I love giving service. We basically built Bishops house in one day. I was all burnt up but then we got roti and that makes everything better. But I love you guys everybody have a great week!

Love, Elder Hale

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Keep a Smile & Keep Workin.

So sorry I am a day late! Yesterday was a muslim holiday and every internet shop was closed.
But this week some misfortunate things happened. First I lost my white handbook with all my travel money in it. Then Elder Whitlock lost some grocery money so we are on a tight budget now. Then we took it a step further and lost our phone. But we just keep a smile on and keep workin(:

So there was a parade thing for Kershorn Walcot the Javelin gold medalist. He drove right by our apartment and we went out and videoed it. He flashed his gold medal at us from ten feet away it was awesome.

As far as missionary work everything went great. We use the Mormon Message videos to invite the spirit in to the investigators homes. My favorite is the one with Henry Eyring called "Choose you this day" He talks about the dangers of saying someday and procrastinating serving the Lord. This video definately helped us get the some people to church. When we extended the invitation to come they all wanted to say "next time" or "someday" but choked on their words when they remembered the video.

One person that came to church was Kerwyn's older sister Debbie. We have tried to teach her before but she never really took anything seriously. But after we played the Mormon Messages she finally came and now wants the discussions. It's great to be able to show people the reality of living apostles and prophets today. They have all expressed that they feel something different when they hear those men speak. Nothing like the men on the t.v. that shout "hallelujah!"

But everything is peachy here in Sangre Grande. I love all the Elders in the apartment and we have tons of fun. Elder Whitlock and I have been cooking a lot. We made some pizza and mac pie the other day and it actually tasted nice! There is so many great qualities to attain here and I am soakin it all in like a sponge! I hope you all have a lovely week!

- Elder Hale

Monday, August 13, 2012

High Hopes

So this week a lot happened. I failed to mention one thing last week that was crazy. We went to the hospital to go give this man a blessing and in the front there was this guy that was burnt all over his body. I mean his chest and back had like no skin left. He had on some plastic wrap scotch taped to him and there was some kind of ointment on the burns as well. We asked him what happened and apparently some guys poured gasoline on him and lit him on fire. Then I guess they started beating him with a hammer but some how he got away. And he was leaving the hospital that day! And the people here think it's great they have free healthcare...haha. 

Then another day this week there was this muslim guy walking towards us with a motive. He was carrying his umbrella like a rifle and speed walking. When he approached us we saw he had a flippin rifle under the umbrella! He was clearly hiding it. Anyways it was crazy. 


That night we were at a members house when she got a frantic phone call that her brothers hand had just been chopped off in a dispute by their neighbor. This place amazes me. It definitely keeps things interesting


Right now I am in an upstairs internet cafe looking down at downtown Grande. There is some pan groups playing and today is a holiday! They are celebrating the 19 year old kid that won the javelin in the Olympics! Apparently it's only the second gold medal Trinidad has ever won. He will be passing here soon in a parade or something. He actually lives in my area so I'll have to go pay him a visit. 


So it's been nice having 4 elders in Grande. We went and talked with the Bishop about our game plan. He proceeded to tell us about all the mischievous members in the ward. He was very dramatic but apparently someone went as far as to climbing through the ceiling to break into the Bishops office. Haha. And he has caught people coming in during the week sneaking in the clerks office and trashing stuff. It's ridiculous. He says they do not want the ward to flourish. I have no clue why.


Elder Whitlock and I are getting along real well. It's cause were from Arizona. Our humor is the similar unlike some of the weird Utah kids. He said he has become a dull person because no one could understand his jokes. 


We have a lot of work to do with this ward and we are pretty much starting from scratch. But we have high hopes and we teach well together! 


Well I love you guys and have a great week! - Elder Hale



Finally! Here are some pics:



Kerwin and his fmaily

Sister Drew and her nephews. We go over there and learn to cook good stuff.




Monday, August 6, 2012

"One of the Best Lessons Ever"

So a lot happened this week! We got our transfer calls. Elder Carpenter and I were sure we were staying together so he could continue to train me, but he's not! He is taking off to Santa Cruz after being in Grande 7 and a half months! I am staying here and they are sending another companionship to Grande so it will be a four missionary apartment. This is great because Grande is huge and we just could not cover everything. This is presidents tactics to strengthen the wards.Grande is suffering and getting weaker. No one is fulfilling their callings and there are no activities for the youth. I wish I could help with those things, but it's not my place.

So now I am leading the area because all the new elders have never been here. My new comp is Elder Whitlock from Gilbert, Az. I have met him already and he seems pretty sweet. Another missionary coming in was from my district in the MTC so that's good.

Something interesting happened with Roger and Kandis this week. They moved into a new home far away. They found lots of disturbing things in the house like there was a bag with a human jaw, horns from some kind of animal, and other bones. There was a whole shack full of nasty stuff and the stench was overbearing. Someone before them had clearly been doing some kind of devil worshiping. Roger and Kandis described the feeling in there house like heavy and hot. But they did not know why. Roger burnt all the stuff from the shack and said a prayer with Kandis. When they came back in the house Roger said the feeling in the house completely changed. It felt light and clean. When Kandis came in she confirmed the same thing. So Kandis asked us to bless the home as we left and Elder Carpenter and I felt all kinds of cold shivers as he prayed. We then walked half an hour on this dark scary dirt road back to where we could get transportation. Elder Carpenter was spooked and started singing hymns haha. It was a very interesting experience.

So I had one of the best lessons ever with this man named Rishi. He is going through a lot of depression and heartbreak with some things that are happening in his family. He currently is unemployed and he is drinking more and more. When we got to his house the door was open and he was asleep on the couch. So we just walked in and woke him up. haha. (The people here are different then Americans I would have never woke up an American.) So we talked about his problems and he poured out his heart. So we began to teach him the Restoration of the Gospel. His countenance started to change and the spirit was really strong when we talked about Joseph Smith's first vision. (It's amazing how at first I thought maybe the restoration was a little off topic with this mans problems, but really it is the answer to every problem.) We invited him to prepare for baptism and he gladly accepted.

He then began to tell us how he has been praying a lot lately to get help with his situation. He said he was supposed to be somewhere that day but he felt prompted to stay home. Then we showed up at his door and he said he knew we were there to help him. He began to cry. He truly felt that God was answering his prayers and cares about him. It was a wonderful experience.

Thanks for the continued support! Everyone have an awesome week! - Love, Elder Hale

Monday, July 30, 2012

All is well in Sangre Grande

Well this week went by super fast. We did a lot of service and it's been hard to catch up on sleep. I learned how to mix cement and plaster walls. So right now my back really hurts...

On Sunday we had no investigators at church! I counted over ten that I thought were for sure coming. We had success finding people and taught some really good lessons, but somehow it was not enough. Roger and Kandis have moved again and they can't even afford to come to church. But they are still going to try to.

One thing I noticed about this place is every neighborhood has it's own theme. Like the people are the same... One street we went down there was probably five different nasty girls that wanted to know if we were looking for wives. One lady was like 50! Another street everyone had totally racist views. This guy said that Jesus Christ died for us not the Africans. That's why you don't see any African names in the bible! So basically he somehow made the connection that he cannot sin. And on this other street I will just say everyone there had a very dirty mind.

It was cool the other day I heard the sound of some blues guitar licks. So my companion and I followed the sound and found this guy playin a nice les paul on his front porch. We talked for awhile and invited me back for a jam session. I would go if I could, but he said he doesn't talk about religion.

Another guy was playing guitar on the street, so I played him a song. It made it so much easier to get his contact information. One day I want to coordinate something were I could play some hymns or something to proselyte.

Another thing to note is today I shaved my head! I only did a number 4 though. It feels nice. I'm gonna try to figure out something so I can send pictures. I might just have to go get them printed or something.

But all is well here in Sangre Grande. This is the last week of the transfer and they are gonna move two new missionaries into our apartment. Anyways love you guys - Elder Hale


p.s. Mom can you send me AA batteries?

And for anyone that does not have my address here it is:

Elder Skyler Lee Hale
West indies mission
po bag 543
Valsayn Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 4: "things are going good"

So this week went by pretty fast! I am really bummed right now though because something is not working with this computer and reading the memory card so I can't send pics again! Sorry about that I will keep trying... 

So this week I went to Arima again and met some interesting people. There was this muslim guy that was trying to convince us we know nothing. So I have a Qur'an now. haha but I can't read it, there's no time for that crap. The guy was crazy though. He said they are planning to attack the government because they are trying to pass gay marriage. He said they have their guns ready. This already happened a few years ago in Trinidad. I guess the muslims killed a bunch of people. 


No investigators showed up to church this week. Except Kerwin brought three of his nieces and nephews. I was expecting like 5 at church or more. One cool thing this week was teaching Roger at his home in the bush. It was night time and all we had was a lamp for light. His shack (or home) is the size of Brock's room. It's exactly like the beginning of the pirates of the Caribbean ride. There is river with gators close and there is these bugs that light up called lightning bugs. It made for a nice environment. It was pretty much camping. Roger loves the Book of Mormon more every time we talk. He says it's really given him comfort about getting married as he and Kandis have read together. I can see a difference in their countenance.


So today I went to the medical center to get a physical so I can stay in Trinidad. Apparently I have a bladder infection... But I have not noticed anything abnormal. 


But things are going good it's almost the end of the first transfer! I have had a lot of roti already. We did service for this lady who is building a dance studio. We are digging on a slope to make it. It was hard work but she fed us the most amazing indian food! These people are obsessed with food it's great. Tonight I am getting roti again!


But I love you all I gotta go!


Love, Elder Hale 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kerwin's Baptism

Well this week was awesome! Kerwin's baptism was a success! I would send pictures, but I am at an internet cafe in grande, which does not allow me to hook up my camera. Next time! But Kerwin's mother and niece came to the baptism and now want to take the discussions. We already visited his mom and she needs to be married to get baptized, but she has the desire. Kerwin is a very quiet guy, but he bore his testimony. It was amazing to hear him talk! He said this has been a glorious and joyful experience. Haha. He then gave us mangoes as a thank you.

Earlier this week elder Carpenter had leadership training so I had to go be with some elders in Arima. The very first day we called inside this house and this 17 year old girl came out. She said her mother is baptist and won't let her attend any churches. She has been praying that someone would come to show her what church to join. I was like Yessss! Everything we taught her just clicked and she was smiling the whole time. Now she is just praying that she can find a way to get to church without her mother interfering.

Another lady we met was an old investigator. Elder Carpenter had to drop her because she wasn't coming to church. She still had been keeping the Word of Wisdom for 3 months and yesterday we went over and she had drank tea that day! She said "Why did you have to come today!" We committed her to lots of things and she is back on track.

Also Happy birthday to Mason! Is it your Michael Jordan birthday? 23 I believe. Anyways I gotta go and write president. I love you guys and thanks for all the emails! Love, Skyler


P.S.
Snacks are appreciated...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Sangre Grande Week 2

So this week went good! We are having a baptism for a 17 year old named Kerwin next week. He says he feels happy and joyful reading the Book of Mormon. He comes to every church activity! We also have Kandis and Roger. They committed for aug. 4th. Elder Carpenter has been working with them since March! They could not be baptized because they live together with their son Kyle and Roger smokes. But they are getting married next week and Roger said he's done smoking. He loves the gospel and the Book of Mormon. He tries to share it with his friends at work but they criticize him. He doesn't care, he loves it!

Church is pretty funny. The organist looks at the music with huge eyes like Chris Tucker from Rush Hour! She is so scared to make mistakes! They use this little Yamaha keyboard that sounds puny. These people are terrible at singing. I know when I get home I will appreciate the hymns in our ward so much more. Elder Carpenter and I have to tell everyone what to do. None of the teachers show up so we have to fill in spots and assign people stuff. I had to tie the 1st counselors tie for him! haha!

This place is growing on me though. It's very ugly and there is a lot of bums and crime. But it's awesome this lady has every kind of fruit in her backyard. Banana, apple, cherry, orange, coconut, avocado, mango, etc.. We are having a lot of success with the youth. They are not as hard-headed as the adults. They will come to church and stuff. People do not want to hear anything we have to say. Once we start convincing them they say no more! I already accepted Jesus Christ! They don't have to come to church because Jesus knows their heart. haha. But we are also finding humble people to teach and things are going well. Take care!

Love, Skyler

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sangre Grande

Hey everyone!

So I'm am in Trinidad not Grenada! They just put that I was going to Grenada so I could get past immigration. Immigration was ridiculous! The guy called me a liar and stuff. haha. But the area I'm in is called Sangre Grande. It's not quite the beautiful place like the islands are. But the people are cool. They all say I remind them of a movie star or that they love my eyes. They are straightforward. My comp is cool. He's from Utah, of course, and he's been here for about a year. We are preparing a few people for baptism. I think for sure we will have two by the end of this month, but I'm hoping for more. This area has been struggling. They lost 60 members and are down to about 40. The members they got are strong though. They blow my mind when they speak. I have eaten a lot of Indian food. Many people are very nice and will start cooking for you on the spot.

I have some pictures I will post. They have some interesting homes here. Our place is pretty big, but there is no A/C, just fans. But I'm getting used to missionary work. The humidity here is crazy! Most people just walk around without a shirt on. I figure I got to pay my dues in this area before I go to the beautiful islands. A couple people in my district from the mtc went to Suriname to speak Dutch! They are all freaked out!

We have about 8 people that have said they will prepare for baptism this month. But only two came to church!  They will come around.. But it's good to hear from all of you! I'm doin great!

 Love, Skyler

"The rosta guy told me his name is nigga"


Some pics from the MTC:


Monday, June 25, 2012

Elder Hale Leaves for the West Indies TODAY!

Hey friends and fam,

Just letting you know that Elder Hale is heading on his long journey to the islands today! In fact, he's probably already at the Salt Lake airport getting ready to board his flight. Exciting!


Of course, this means no more writing him at the MTC. A lot of people have been asking me how to write Skyler while he is in the West Indies. The answer to that question is located on the right sidebar of this blog, under the section "Mail for Elder Hale."

But in case you still can't find it, here's the info:

LETTERS to the West Indies:
Elder Skyler Lee Hale
West Indies Mission
PO Bag 543
Valsayn
Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

PACKAGES to the West Indies:
Elder Skyler Lee Hale
West Indies Mission
1 Morequito Ave
Valpark Shopping Mall Plaza Bldg #10
Valsayn, Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

DearElder.com
If it is too much work to buy stamps and envelopes, and haul your letter over to the post officegood news. DearElder will do it for you. Start an account on the site. Put down a deposit (the minimum is $10). Type up a letter. Click "Send." Each time you send a letter, the price of postage will be deducted from your deposit. Super easy.

Email:
Family members may email him at skyler.hale@myldsmail.net


Elder Hale really loves getting letters, so be sure to give him lots of love while he is serving in the West Indies.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MTC: Week 2

Hey everyone Im doin great! This week flew by for me compared to the first week. I got my flight plans and I'm leaving monday at 6am to Dallas, Miami, then Trinidad! Mom and Dad I'll be in Miami at 6pm so I don't know what time that is for you but that's when I'm calling. Aw just 6 more days and I'll be on the islands!

So overall the mtc experience has been good. Everyday gets a little better. Elder Casey, my companion, is from Pleasant View Utah. Our teaching gets better every time we teach. They have us teaching 2-3 investigators everyday. They could be members, but some are real investigators. I have gotten a lot more scripture savvy lately. I can always find at least one scripture that applies to the investigators needs. I was always afraid that in these 45 minute lessons I would stop having stuff to say, but we actually always go over time. We have so far gotten two investigators to committ to baptism. (They were our teachers) But they actually don't go easy on us!

I only get 30 minutes to write these emails so sorry I can't get everything in. But for a funny story... Today we were talking to these elders while we were walking and I totally ran into a pole! Everyone thought I was faking it but I totally split my eye open. So I went back to the room and slept off the pain. Also I am not allowed to send pictures here or else I would have told more stories. So when I get out to the West Indies I'll send all the pics from the mtc.

It's true what they say how missionaries get way excited for letters. At first I didn't care. But now there is so much anticipation walking to the mailbox. One elder was not getting any letters at all. So he decided every time that happens he has to bite a random person. I have a video of it. haha. Well I know I'm probably leaving you with a lot of unanswered questions but I promise I will have more time to write next week in the field! Love you guys.

Love, 

Skyler

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sky's first email(s) from the MTC

To Mom:

So this week has been good. Everyday gets better. I'm learning a ton and every disscussion my companion and I teach gets better and better. I like everyone in my district. The teachers are really good. The food is ok. I eat a lot less actually. Most of it is pretty cheap tasting. But they have good wraps! That's awesome Tj and Tressa had their baby. I like my companion but sometimes he's really hard on himself. He cried after we gave a disscussion and our teacher who acted like an investigator said no. Haha I was like pull yourself together! I'm going to the temple today so I'm pretty excited about that. But I think I might have more time to write later today so we'll see. I love you. love skyler

To Dad:

Hey Dad! I think my toes fine but I'll keep a close eye. I haven't seen the blog Holli made me yet but I'll see if I can get access. I'm pretty used to the schedule and waking up at 6:30 has been no problem. I stay focused the whole time while others kind of screw around for hours during study time.  I want to see a picture of Tj and Tressa's baby. It's about time they had that thing. Tell Brock I said congrats on the baseball stuff. I have this guy in my district that kinda reminds me of Brock. He is way good at basketball and he's here instead of playing college ball. I also met this guy in Seth's district who pitched in the minors for the Yankees. He's had a few surgerys so he's hoping two years will help him heal. But you and mom will get a letter soon. I'll keep you guys updated. Love, Skyler

To Holli:

Hey! Yes I got your email! Did you get my letter yet? Yea I haven't seen the blog yet I really want to. I don't know if these computers will let me. But my letter answers the other questions. My first week has been pretty good. Everyday gets better it seems...and faster. Yes only two more weeks! I see seth green every day. Its awesome. His companion is like a weirdo though. My toe is fine too. I have played b-ball with no pain. I feel like learning so much everyday. Every discussion my companion and I teach gets better and better. I didn't get to do choir on Sunday cause we were eating dinner but I was going to. Hopefully next week. Im goin to the temple today so im pretty excited. Yea I know I'm making grammar errors but I'm writing everyone fast.. Anyways I love you. I talk to you soon! - Skyler


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

til we meet again

About an hour before Elder Hale entered the MTC, he sat down and played this one last song on the guitar...


God be with you till we meet again, 
By His counsels guide, uphold you, 
With His sheep securely fold you, 
God be with you till we meet again. 
 
Till we meet, till we meet, 
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet; 
Till we meet, till we meet, 
God be with you till we meet again.

Elder Hale goes to the MTC

Jacob and I had the privilege of picking up Elder Hale from the airport in Salt Lake City and dropping him off at the MTC (just around the corner from our house) the next day. We took him out to dinner and let him relax before his big debut as a missionary.

Dinner at Station 22

We ate dinner at a new restaurant in downtown Provo called Station 22. We decided to eat out on the patio and enjoy the cool evening air. Elder Hale ordered the "pig and cheese" sandwich, and loved it.



The next day Elder Hale slept in for (most likely) the last time in two years. He got all of his missionary stuff packed into the car, and we headed to the MTC... but not before getting some lunch.


For Elder Hale's last meal before entering the MTC, we took him to one of our favorite spots in Provo, Slab Pizza. And of course, he chose a Mountain Dew for his drink. Not gonna get any of that in the MTC!


brother + sister

Then it finally came. We drove Elder Hale to the MTC...

Sky puts on his missionary jacket. It's all really happening!

Sky was calm and collected as we helped him get his bags out of the car and met with his missionary "guide," though he seemed in disbelief that it all of this had finally come. In moments he would be in the MTCofficially a missionary.

Elder Hale's "guide" asks him a few questions before escorting him into the MTC.

Jacob gives him some final words of advice.

One final photo before Elder Hale leaves to be a real missionary.

And of course, this is where I lost my composure. Everything seemed pretty normal and calm until that last hug and goodbye. I felt bad because I knew that he already had to go through all the tears and goodbyes the day before at the airport, but I couldn't help it. As soon as the tears started welling in my eyes, he laughed at me and scolded, "Now don't start that!"

Jacob and I waved our final goodbyes as he turned and walked into the MTC with the rest of the new missionaries.

Bye Elder Hale!
WE LOVE YOU!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sky says bye

It was hard to believe, but the time had finally come. Skyler had been set apart as an elder, and it was time for him to report at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT. It was time for his final goodbyes to family and friends in Mesa, AZ for the next two years.

Mom had to take one last "cool shot" of sky.

Sky says bye to the nieces and nephews. They're gonna miss Uncle Sky!

Sky and his friend/bandmate, Tj.
According to Sky, the airport was the hardest part. You can already see them getting teary-eyed!


the whole gang that came to see Elder Hale off at the Phoenix airport

It was a tearful goodbye, but we know that Elder Hale is off to do great things.
FAREWELL!