Monday, November 25, 2013

Priesthood Power

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Today we are celebrating Thanksgiving in the mission because it's Pday. I made a request to Sister Esplin that there be candied yams so I'm hoping that wish will come true. The Christmas songs have all started and it makes me miss you all. I mean even right now they are playing all these jazzy Christmas songs and I'm all holly jolly. 

We really had a great week. Melissa had a concern about obeying a certain commandment after baptism. It's not that she didn't want to obey it but she has struggled with it in the past. So we had a 24 hour fast with her Saturday to Sunday. She was a bit grumpy at church from fasting which was kind of funny. One thing Elder Tillotson and I have learned lately is that the key to getting someone active in church is to get them a responsibility even if they're not a member yet. So we worked it out to have Melissa assist in primary and it was perfect for her because she loves kids. So she's all excited about that and it looks like she will be well prepared for her baptism.

There was another cool experience with Sister Debbie one of the relief society counselors. We asked for referrals but she said all her friends have their own churches. We talked about the restoration with her and explained that we should still share the fullness gospel with them. So she said ok and we went out and met and taught many of her friends in a place called overton dam. Sister Debbie's testimony and understanding of the gospel was able to touch the hearts of her friends. So now there's a boat load of new people to teach. 

I had a really spiritual experience giving priesthood blessings to a family of 5 that were all sick. We came back a day or two later and every member of the family was back to full health. My testimony of priesthood power increased greatly. 

I do love you all and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. So remember to be grateful. Gratitude is the key to contentment. It will make life rich no matter what circumstance you may be in. Love you!

- Elder Hale

the sea wall

mixing cement

Monday, November 18, 2013

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear

Dear loved ones,

Today I have a journey to take you one. To tell this story I have to turn the clock back 6 months when I was in Curepe Trinidad. There I met a young couple named Arvin and Shama from Guyana that were members of the church.They had been in Trinidad for a long time but never came to the church. We started visiting them and have Family Home Evenings and stuff. They talked about how in Guyana there family was the missionaries favorite and I could tell because they catered to us very well. We became very close to them and they even had us talk to their family on the phone.

I remember one night we went and they had gotten really bad news from their family in Guyana. They have two children that live with Arvin's family there. Their 5 year old girl Lisa was diagnosed with Leukemia a while ago and her condition was worsening. Over the next week or so as she was being tested the doctors were not very optimistic. However they did have a treatment that they were going attempt. I remember my comp and I really had a loss for words when they were telling us all of this. There was absolute terror on Shama's face but Arvin was staying positive. The only thing that came to my mind was to invite them to fast with us. Faith, prayer, and fasting works miracles. I have seen it and I testified to them that it would work a miracle. Shama had never done it but was very willing to try anything at that point. 

I felt so much compassion for this family and going 24 hours without food had never been so easy. We really did have a meaningful fast and we were happy to hear that Shama had to. Unfortunately I never heard any more news before I left to Guyana in July. 

This week I went on a trade-off to Rosehall with my good friend Elder Watson. He took my by a family and as we walked up he said "Hey Lisa!" I recognized her from the pictures Arvin and Shama had showed me. She looked happy and healthy! Arvin's Mom recognized my name as the missionary she talked to on the phone. haha. She was a little shocked to see me. I asked her how Lisa is doing and she told me that through priesthood blessings and also the fasting of their branch a miracle has happened. She has been tested few times and all of her cancer is gone. I was overwhelmed with joy to hear that! She was also very grateful that we had fasted for her as well. She told Lisa "This missionary went without food and prayed for you." And Lisa was very cute she said Thank you. I had to take a picture with the miracle baby.
We had a lot of success this week. Another investigator named Roshana is progressing very well. We had a couple great lessons with her, set a baptismal date, and she came to church. In our first meeting she said she did not believe in Jesus Christ but now she is definitely feeling the spirit and is very committed to her baptism date. Melissa's baptism is supposed to be this week but we might push it back because she doesn't feel ready yet. Either way it should be soon she is very fun to teach.

They are sending me to Trinidad in December for a mission leader meeting. I am so excited to see my Trini friends and eat doubles!
Mom I thought you should know that this year the Senior couples are taking good care of us for Thanksgiving. It will be much better then last year when I went to Subway and "I'll be Home for Christmas" was playing.
Something to remember this week... The Gospel is not only true; it's urgent!
Elder Hale

p.s. picture number two is us celebrating Nigel's b-day. We made him a cake and used matches for candles. He was happy with it(:

Us celebrating Nigel's b-day. We made him a cake and used matches for candles. He was happy with it (:

This is what you call toting. You may sometimes see a family of four doing this in Guyana

Bro Yearwood studying the Word of Wisdom in his bud light shirt

my terrible haircut at zone conference last month...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Luke, I'm your Father

Week 5

Dear friends and fam,

A lot has happened this week but all I can keep thinking about is the crazy events of yesterday... That sounds ominous..haha. But to start the story we had a man named Yusuf call us to set up an appointment to teach him more about our beliefs. He explained he is a very strong Muslim and has some questions about Christianity. He sent us some interesting texts with questions about how we could worship Jesus Christ if there is only one God and he professed his love for Allah. So yesterday we go to meet Yusuf at this fast food place and we see him dressed in his Islamic attire and then I recognized him... I froze and Elder Tillotson was trying to figure out what was going on. It was an old friend! A member of the church who just kind of disappeared a couple months ago. He recognized me as well and it was like a strange "Luke I'm your father!" kind of moment. I felt a little sad too because he was so strong and even preparing to serve a mission. But we went in and talked to him and it went really well. We answered all his questions and gave him a mini Book of Mormon to sneak into his dorm. Long story short his plan is to finish his studies of Islam in 3 weeks then return to Trinidad to prepare for a mission.

The other event that happened yesterday I won't get into too much detail. There was these two brothers that got into a fight on the street and they were literally trying to kill eachother. They fought with glass bottles and even started fighting with machetes. It was not pretty... But we were with an investigator so I found it appropriate to explain the story of the wars of the Nephites and Lamanites which came from two brothers as we all know. haha it was kind of funny.

The biggest success this week was with a family who hasn't been to church in years. The first time we went the Mom wouldn't talk to us and did not look happy to see us at all. The father is an alcoholic but is friendly. The kids by there appearance seem to be wayward, judging from the colors they have chosen to adorn their hair with. But over the weeks The mother has totally softened up especially after we gave her a priesthood blessing for all the health problems she has been experiencing. She told us she wants us to come as much as possible and on Saturday night we had a wonderful lesson with the whole family. We talked about charity and most the kids said they had no experiences of doing anything nice for someone or helping someone in need. But the spirit was really strong in the lesson. I love Mathew 25:34-40! In fact I love it so much I had to memorize it. Well the mom of that family came to church on Sunday and she just looked beaming. A completely different person from the first time I met her.

I love the gospel. I love you. The church is true. The book is blue. You should be a Mormon too(:


Elder Hale

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"White man ran into me bike!!"

Week 4

Well a ton happened this week. I think might have to just send pictures so you get the idea. I'm a little short on time today because we went to the beach with the youth of the branch. It was actually really fun we played some intense cricket. It's funny to see how hardcore the men are at playing it even when they are completely out of shape. Everyone was asking "Who learned you for play cricket?" Cause my baseball skills came in handy. I really wish you all could come and meet these people they are amazing and hilarious. I don't think that there is many missions that get to have the closeness with the members like you have here. The people absolutley need to see you every week or they want to know what happened to you. It's really funny and it takes a lot to balance your time with everyone.

So we worked real hard this week with many of the investigators we have found and they are progressing well. But only Melissa came to church because she is 100 percent golden. She showed up to church on Sunday and after many people bore their testimonies she went up there as well. She said that she knows that the little she's learned from us and read in the Book of Mormon is true. She said knows God sent this into her life and she explained the story of how we met her. It was really cool! She has already made lots of friends so things couldn't be better. She wants to be baptized as soon as possible so we are working on moving her date sooner. So I love the work right now we just gotta find more Melissas.

On Saturday we had a Mormon Helping Hands service project. We painted a few pedestrian crosswalks and had dhalporie roti and chicken curry afterwards. I overheard some of the women talking about the big fast and they were making sure everyone remembered. One of was like "Of course I remembered I'm going the full 24 hours!" That made me happy. Later in the day we baptized a couple kids in the branch that turned 8 this year and it was great cause they were super excited.

Yesterday was the biggest Hindu holiday of the year Divali! Except it wasn't as big as when I was in Siparia Trinidad and there was tons of Hindus. There are mostly Christians in my area but it was still really cool. Everyone was lighting fire works and spinning steel wool. I did get some indian sweets that I love. And I also got into an awesome head on crash with another biker because it was pitch black outside. He yelled "White man ran into me bike!!" He was sure it was all  my fault. A lady that witnessed it told him he was riding like a crazy man and it was his fault. I just bit my tongue and rode off. haha. 

Well there is so much I could write but everything is good here I hope it's good for you too. Love you all. 

-Elder Hale

The monkey in this picture is a pet of the Sammy family. They say it's called a Winkie..
The next one is the cricket match.