Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Fiestas Patrias

According to Google images, this is a view of Mirador, the area where Elder Hale is serving.


This is going to be really quick  because the time to write already ran out - holy moly.

We've been working hard, and the sector is looking great! I don't know if I mentioned it, but my companion's name is Elder Maughan.  He is from Arizona.  We have a good time.

Fiestas Patiras consists of two days.  The first marks the beginning of Chilean independence. People dancing cueca.

We celebrated the independence day of Chile this week. That means tough luck for finding new investigators for at least a week - haha!  It was tough, but we found some nice people.

Soldiers marching in a parade celebrating the "Day of the Glories of the Army", which is held the second day of Fiestas Patrias.

Today we went to an airplane museum in Los Cerrillos.  Photos coming soon, or when I figure out a better cyber to use that doesn't look really sketchy. I'm afraid this one will give me a gnarly virus...

I am really grateful to be in Mirador.  The members, especially the bishop, have a lot of confidence in us.  The bishop is hoping we will be able to bring some more life into the ward and I feel very blessed to serve here. I pray every night that the Lord will pour blessings down on Mirador and on the missionary work so we can help the ward.

Thanks for everything. 

Love you guys!
Elder Hale

Monday, September 11, 2017

Writing From Cuico Ville

Basílica de los Sacramentinos, Santiago, Chile
Photo courtesy Google Images
Hey, Everybody!

I'm now in a sector that is REALLY NICE. By nice I mean REALLY RICH, and the members are amazing.

Number one problem: how to get people not to give you dinner so you can present a discussion.

The first thing we did was visit the bishop. It is amazing the difference I've seen between the last two times I did a Whitewash. This time we have tons of investigators and loads of references from the members to visit. My daily planner has never been so filled, and we basically started from zero on Wednesday.

My new companion is Elder Maughan, from Arizona. He is amazing and his Spanish is pretty solid. We are going to "take out the trash" for sure this change.

That's all I got.

Not really sure what's goin' on all over the place because I haven't seen the news or anything, but I hope everybody is all right up there in the US of A.

Elder Hale
-Misión Chile Santiago Oeste-

Monday, September 4, 2017

I'm A Regular Missionary!!

The Chilean countryside from Elder Hale's excursion last week

Dear Familia y Amigos,

I'm going to train again in whitewash! I am going to a ward called Mirador where there were only two missionaries, so the sector is dividing into two parts.  I am so excited!  Elder Schneider served there and told me a lot about the area. There are excellent converts and awesome leadership. I took advantage of the fact that I had a cellphone with all the sectors programmed in it and asked the missionaries for the bishop's number so I could call him right away tonight.

Yesterday I said goodbye to everyone in the ward.  It was super hard. Cesar and his wife Desi (I have no idea how to spell her name, and no, it's not Daisy) invited over all the members I was planning on visiting later on and had a giant get together.  Cesar bore his testimony in church and it sounded like he was a member with years in the church.  It has been an incredible experience to see him progress in the gospel and to see how much his wife Desi loves him. 

Tonight I'll be staying in AMENGUAL!!!! (Our companions don't arrive  until tomorrow.)

Last week we had an Open House at the church in an adjacent ward in the Maipu Stake. It was awesome!!!! Elder Romero and I brought three families to the open house that we contacted in the street and in a plaza!!! It was incredible. 

I learned a lesson. I really love open houses because it gets me excited, and it was amazing how people felt that excitement when we talked to them and were able to feel the spirit of the gospel!! We have to treat the Gospel like something special, something important and life-changing when we talk about it because that exactly what it is!!!!

Excited to see what miracles the next week brings!!

Elder Hale
One of the photos sent last week - Elders Schneider, Fronk, Hale, and Goodrich

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Four More Days In The Mission Office

Elder Hale's first time seeing the Chilean coast

This last week we brought an investigator to church named Efrain. Efrain is "más chileno que los porotos," or in other words he's a hard-core, Chilean cowboy.  He used to dance the Chilean National Dance, La Cueca, professionally.  He's got a baptismal date for the 26th of September. About six months ago I probably would have understood less than 30% of what this guy says because he has the strongest Chilean accent I've ever heard. Elder Romero has just as much of a clue about what he's saying as I do, so together we understand about 80% of what he says. 

This Tuesday I got to be a pentionist for a day. We delivered materials to the sectors in the countryside in Melipilla and Talagante. When I served in Calera de Tango we were out there all the time.  I also got to see the Chilean coast for the first time on my mission!  I've now officially seen all the zones in Santiago Oeste.

This change (a six-week block of time) the mission has been focusing on asking inspired questions and listening to investigators. The other day we passed by a member's home to use his bathroom and his wife came and chatted with us for a bit (which she has never done before, ever).  It was a lesson I will always remember.  I thought about what we taught, and in the end it was very little compared to the value of the time we spent listening and asking questions.

I attached a picture of my breakfast this morning - seasoned rice with black beans and a glass of water.  If I end up training a gringo next change he's going to think I'm a freak.

Delicious breakfast of seasoned rice, beans, and water.  Yum.

Love you guys,
Elder Hale

We had a fun activity with all the returned missionaries in our ward.
They all brought in pictures and mementos from their mission and displayed them on tables in the cultural hall.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Status Quo

Dear Family,

Things are as usual here. Elder Romero is trying to learn everything before I'm outta here (the office) in two weeks, so I can't do any office work... I'm a little bored. To make it even worse, there are two sick missionaries in the office right now that have to keep busy for a few weeks, so that leaves me with even fewer things to do. I'm a bit anxious to get to back to hitting the pavement.

Last week was Cesar's birthday! We passed by him and had a great time and I gave him my favorite tie as a gift. Cesar is going to get the Melchizedek Priesthood this September. We are super excited for him. I'm hoping he will get sealed in the temple while I'm still in the mission so I can go....

I've learned many valuable lessons these last few months. It seems like the more I progress in the gospel, the more I realize that I'm not really anything special. The reality is that we can do everything we can to bring about a good purpose, but without Jesus Christ and his gospel, there will be no fruit. The two go hand and hand - personal effort and reliance on the Savior and his teachings.

Love and miss you,
Elder Hale

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Less Than Five Months To Go...

No photos (AGAIN) from Elder Hale, so here is one from last week of Jonny at Lake Powell

Dear Family,

I totally have a million photos to send but I left my camera at home.

We have been having a lot of fun in the sector and in the office. Also I realized the other day that I have less than five months left in the mission. THAT WAS TRUNKY.

I got to be a secretary pentionist for a day while Elder Romero tried to take care of everything on his own.  It was sick.  We went to a zone in the mission that a bit more humble, Ochagavia.  I'd never been there, but it felt like I was in Haiti because we saw more Haitians than Chileans there. 

Anyways, I'm running out of time to write because I had to do some office stuff while I was writing. But next week I promise there will be more content.

Elder Hale

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Disappointment and Hope

View of the mountains

Dear Family,

Normally I don't like to tell my sad stories on the emails.

Nicol, our super awesome investigator that we found last week got another job.  Not only does she work every day, she works a night shift now, too. When we taught her she was certain that now was the time for her to receive the missionaries, but she has changed her priorities. She promised that later on she would receive the missionaries.

This one is crazy. Eimer, our Colombian friend, moved. Luis, his friend, was letting him live in the house with him. Luis had been recovering from an addiction to alcohol, and hadn't had a drink in weeks.  He slipped up a few days ago and his wife Elizabeth decided she couldn't take it anymore and left him. Eimer had to leave because Luis was a wreck and throwing stuff around the house.

Sometimes people make bad choices and there is nothing we can do to stop them.  But if we trust in the promise of the Atonement of Christ, we believe that anyone can be forgiven.

We will continue working hard here in Esquina Blanca, knowing that the Lord will bless us as we show faith in him and his atonement.

Love and miss you,
Elder Hale
This photo came up as a Facebook memory from three years ago.
What a wonderful day and an amazing trip!
FYI, Jonathan is now taller than everyone in this photo.