Monday, January 27, 2014

Clarkson's Baptism & Harrison's Cave

Hello friends on U.S. soil!

It has been a fantastic week! We had Clarkson's baptism and it was very nice. He is a shy guy so he didn't want to promote it too much so we just had about 10 people there and he was happy. After he came out of the water his smile never left his face which is definitely unusual for him. After the baptism he just stood and looked at this picture of Jesus for like 10 minutes straight just smiling. It's so interesting to me that such a simple act as baptism really does bring a remission of sins and changes lives. It has built my testimony to see every person that I have taught and baptized testify of the difference they feel in their life. Clarkson received the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday and he may have been even more excited for that. The members have really welcomed him and we are now trying to help him find a job and get into better living conditions then he is now in.

We have seen some great success with other investigators we are teaching as well. We are teaching this Rasta man named Claudius he is from Dominica. He has the Rastafarian pride but he knows and loves the bible so he has been very interested in our teaching. He came to church on Sunday and entertained the members with his funny accent and Rasta mannerisms. He made us lunch after and fed us green papaya, dumplings, and hot peppers all cooked together. It tasted...natural.. He was obsessed with the doctrine of eternal marriage which he learned in the gospel principles class at church.

This morning we went to Harrison's Cave which is one of the biggest tourist sites to see here. It was so epic!!! It was the real Matterhorn! This place was stalactite-tastic! and stalagmite-tastic as well! They had a movie before that talked about how Barbados became an island and how the cave came to be. It was educational. We did the tram tour and I took tons of videos and pictures it was like some crazy dream inside there. I hope you guys can see it one day, it also reminded me of "Goonies." Pictures coming later today for this amazing site.

Have a great week!

Love,

Elder Hale


Forgot to tell you about the puppet show! It went great! We met someone at KFC that night and we saw our puppet show on the news! So my hand was on the news! woooo!!!

Clarkson's Baptism

approaching Harrison's Cave 

They had stops where you could get off the tram and get a closer look (: 









Monday, January 20, 2014

Clarkson: Before and After

Hello friends!
 
So when I first got here this man named Clarkson came to church on his own. Missionaries had never taught him he just showed up and to be honest I wasn't sure if he was homeless and had mental problems or what. No one was really sure because he would just keep to himself. He wore dirty clothes and smelt like campfire. But after talking to him I could see he was actually intelligent but he did have his past with drugs and alcohol which brought him down where he is today. From what it sounds like at one point in time this man had one foot in his grave and the other on a banana peel! But he has cleaned up those things and is trying to get back on his feet. Everyone waits for the New Year to do this kind of stuff. haha. So we started teaching him twice a week and it's been great! We meet him at the church, bring him sandwiches, and he really enjoys the lessons. We watched the restoration movie and after he just looked super happy then he said. "That's the first movie I have seen in years.." So he understands and accepts everything and he is being baptized this Saturday. He really really wants to get some work so we came up with a big idea. We showed up to a lesson and told him if he wants to find work his appearance is going to play a big role in that. We gave him soap, razors to shave, and some dress pants, shoes, shirt, and  a tie. Then we pulled out our clippers and asked him if he would like a trim. He was super excited for that. He hadn't had a haircut for over a year. So we gave him the clippers (which was the small kind for face shaves) and he just went for it! He took his beard off and then just went right through the side of his head. Haha we hadn't planned to cut the hair on his head because we didn't know if the little face shaver could do it but we did it and it worked great! He looks like a whole new man. And when he came to church Sunday no one even recognized him. The Gospel principles teacher asked him when he was baptized cause she thought he was already a member. All the members showered him with love and I don't think he knew what to do with himself. He looked shocked but happy. He just kept telling us that he appreciates everything we are doing for him. I will send some before and after pics when I am at the church later.
 
What's also cool is we got linked up with this pastor of another church that puts on alcohol awareness puppet shows for kids. So all us missionaries are the puppeteers. We are doing three different shows this week so that will be fun.
 
Everything else this week was good just finding and teaching people! This morning we had fun playing volleyball at the beach... So life is good!
 
Love you all!
 
- Elder Hale

Clarkson Before

Shaving Clarkson

Clarkson After

Sis Armstrong is the best cook in Barbados!


Beach Volleyball 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Spiritual Boost

Hi!
It has been an awesome week. Elder Shariatmadari and I are just having a wonderful time and seeing lots of success. So the Green family is super awesome! We lent them the Prophet of the Restoration movie and they watched it like 3 times. Davida the oldest daughter was like crying apparently and she said she was so fascinated by all the sacrifices these early church members made. Our lessons with them have been filled with the spirit and they have just became great friends. On Sunday we came and picked them up and walked with them and Sis Bourne (another member) to church. Eight of the people we are teaching came to church. I think that might be the most I've had. We were overjoyed! It seems everyday we have met new people who are just so sweet. I started talking to this random lady on the street and we ended up talking for like at least 30 minutes about the gospel. She is super excited to have us come teach her. We taught this amazing couple with a newborn about the restoration/plan of salvation and they said that with the new year they had both been praying about which church they should attend and grow their family in and they absolutely want to learn more. I don't know why but everything just seems to be going just right. I'm so happy!
Zone conference was on Tuesday and it was so good to see President Mehr. He absolutley loves this work and loves the Lord. Now that I think of it the spiritual boost I got at zone conference was probably what made this week so darn good.
I had a nice morning at the beach today. We played volleyball and just enjoyed the scene. The weather has just been perfect lately. We are gonna go to the driving range after I'm done emailing.
Hope you all have a great week!
Love,
Elder Hale


Pres and Sis Mehr, Shariatmadari, and Elder Creech.



The only thing missing from this pic is a dolphin and unicorn... Check out that rainbow! haha


Monday, January 6, 2014

BARBADOS

Happy New Year! I can't tell you everything that happened this week. Way too much. And this dumb library computer is timing me so I gotta rush. But firstly we flew from Guyana to trinidad and we had a few hours til our next flight. I ran into an old missionary friend Elder Rivers at the airport. He is going to Guyana. So we went outside the airport to get some doubles but the doubles man was not there so I got this strangers phone and called my best friend Roger! He was so shocked I called him but he rushed to the airport and took us to get some nice Trini food. He also had a present that was in a gift bag and everything. A new tie! And boy would it come in handy...(forshadowing) But it was so great to see Roger.
 
So we made it to Barbados but our bags did not. I came a little prepared for that knowing this airline LIAT. lord I am trouble. I stole joke from an old man. But I had a few extra pairs of clothes so I've just been washing those. And I got two ties I've been using. I still don't got my luggage yet but it sounds like the Trinidad missionaries figured it out and it will get here tomorrow.
 
But Barbados is the bomb! I seriously love it more than I thought. It meets the high expectation I had before I came out. I ended up loving Trinidad but it wasn't what I thought it would be. But yea this is real island life. I see the beach pretty much everywhere I go. We get up every morning and take a nice 10 minutes jog to the beach. (I'll have to send pics later) I have seen more caucasion people today them I've seen my whole mission.. not including other missionaries.
 
All the people I have met here have been super nice. The funniest thing that happened was this lady came up to us and said she knows this girl who has always wanted to meet the missionaries so we said sweet let's go meet her. So we go to this apartment and knock on the door. This little girl answers it and the lady told her to go get her sister Aleya. So this girl comes out and just screams and runs out of the room. We were like "What did we do?" Apparently she ran and hid under her sheets in her bed. Her mom came out and was like "She's just nervous cause this is her first time meeting.." then she pointed to us. We were like "White people?" hahaha. She said yea her daughter adores white people it was hilarious.
 
What else... I get a car! And there is so many roundabouts here it's just ridiculous. This old lady said something hilarious the other day. She referred to her granddaughter as a "Jap". I asked why she's a Jap. She said "Because you never know what she's gonna do!"
 
The Branch here is great they got a great chapel and the members are very seasoned. Sis Cadette from Haiti had us over for lunch and she cooks amazing!
 
Don't let me forget my new comp Elder Shariatmadari. He is really cool we have a lot of fun together. He grew up in seatle but moved to Utah more recently.
 
Alright love you all gotta go!
 
Love,
 
Elder Hale

bye bye Bachus family

Roger and I

Roger at the airport 
run to the beach