Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Little Snow and a Haunted House

Elder Romero and Elder Hale 

Dear Familia y Amigos,

It snowed in Maipu last week for the first time in 30 years. We went to the church building to teach an investigator and the front of the church was filled with snow. When we finished the lesson we went outside and had a snowball fight with the members that were there to clean the building. Then we made a snowman.

The day before, two members of the retention were sealed in the temple - Mariela and Claudio. They invited us to their party afterwards, but we had to skip out and didn't get to eat any cake. Supposedly the lights went out in the building while they were there because Santiago isn't prepared for snow. 

Because of the power outage, we had to get permission to use a member's computer to print off a document for some elders with an appointment at the Extranjería the next day. 
Snow In Santiago! (Elvis Gonzalez/European Pressphoto Agency)

One day a member called us on the phone when we were in the office. She shared that one her neighbors had contacted her because she wanted the missionaries to come say a prayer in her house. Apparently, no one was currently living in the house because weird stuff was happening. We went there, and since there wasn't a man in the house, we went looking for someone who could come with us. Wily, one of my Haitian converts, works for the husband of the member that called us, so we asked him to go. He understands and speaks Spanish pretty well and he's sort of a go-with-the-flow kind of guy. When we arrived the lady let us in and began telling the story. She told us about all sorts of weird stuff that had been happening; something pulling their hair while they were sleeping, strange sounds coming from vacant rooms, liquids dripping from the dry ceiling, turning doorknobs, strange smells - crazy stuff. 


I looked over at Wily and his mouth was wide open. He had this expression on his face like he wanted to say, "Why the heck did you bring me here?" Hahahaha. We said the prayer kneeling and we felt good afterwards.

Love you guys.
Elder Hale

Friday, July 14, 2017

Time Is Flying By...



Elder Romero and Elder Hale
Dear Familia y Amigos,


Cesar and his wife Deysi came back to Esquina Blanca! It was really cool to see him again. We were leaving the office and I said hi to him and a member he was with, and then did a double take and realized it was him. 

Cesar and Deysi are taking the temple preparation classes so they can get sealed as soon as Cesar reaches his one-year anniversary in the church.

The District 
These last few weeks I've been putting together an office training manual for the visa work we do in the mission. Before I assembled the guide everything was just passed down from companion to companion without writing anything down (kind of the like the Great Apostasy  xD).   I finally finished it and President was really impressed. Also, I realized this week that my vocabulary has improved about 100x in the office. There are probably a long list of words I've learned in the office that I don't know how to say in English because I never worked in an office in the U.S.. 

Elders Hale and Romero make spaghetti - Deliciouso!

I can hardly believe how quickly the mission has passed. It feels like yesterday that I got to the MTC, and now the sister missionaries from my group are going home.  Crazy. 

I'm really grateful for all the people I've met and been given the opportunity to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Love,
Elder Nathan Hale,
the one and only.

Another photo from last week's visit to Templo Votivo Maipú

Friday, July 7, 2017

Templo Votivo Maipú and a Cool, Mysterious Experience


Dear Familia Y Amigos,

During my mission I've seen this giant temple in Maipu and now it is in my sector, so we went there today. It was pretty cool. I'd give you a long description but since I took tons of photos, that would probably be more efficient.

Templo Votivo Maipú

Up on top of the temple there is a viewing room where you can go and take a look around the city. You can see the Cordillera really well.

View of Provincia de Cordillera

Beautiful 300-square meter stained glass depiction of the Virgin del Carmen, designed by Adolfo Winternitz


It was the Fourth of July this week, but nobody celebrates that here. Can you believe it?  I can't.  :o


The walls of the original Victory Chapel in front of the Votive Temple

Elder Yriarte is in Calera de Tango.  If you remember, the church building for Calera de Tango is in Malloco. That is about 35 minutes in a bus from where we work. Elder Yriarte brought nine people to church last week. I about fell off my chair and fainted when I found out.  If Elder Goodrich and I brought two people to church, we were happier than a Haitian in a sauna. 




I had a cool experience this week, but I'll share it next week.

Yours Truly,
Elder Hale

The remaining walls of the original buildings 

Successive earthquakes destroyed most of the original Temple

Inside the sanctuary



Friday, June 30, 2017

Danger, Will Robinson!



Hey! 

Don't have much to say this week because it's been gnarly with all the things we've had to do in the office. But I do have photos.  (He sent 35 photos!)  Hope that is enough photos.


By the way, Elder Yriarte is in CALERA DE TANGO in special changes! So excited.  

There you go! That's it.

Love ya,
Elder Hale

Elder Yriarte and Elder Hale

Oh! I forgot that I have a crazy story. 

This morning at like 3am, Elder Romero and I had to take a missionary to the airport. We were headed home and drove by this one spot that's a little bit sketchy.  In front of the crosswalk where we were stopped was a 16-year old kid with juggling balls. He was trying to get us to let him juggle for some coins and was leaning against the front of the car, too. This was at like 4am.  Elder Romero was freaked out, so I hit the horn and the kid went packing.  We took off and when I looked back there were like one or two other dudes hiding by the bus stop. CRAZY!

Climbing skills!


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Veteran Pride

Lunch!  Check out the water barrels in the background. Awesome!

Dear Familia Y Amigos,

Well, the sister missionaries in my group are going home and one of my converts now has the Melchizedek Priesthood, so I guess I'm now officially a veteran missionary.

One of the elders in the Carlos Valdovinos ward told me the other day that Patrick was recently given the Melchizedek Priesthood. He is serving in the Young Men's presidency now. What a blessing! It makes me laugh because at his baptism one of the speakers thought he was 19-years old. Patrick is 30. What a perfect calling - haha!

Hablar con todos! Talk to everyone!
Also, Cesar is coming back to Esquina Blanca in July! Last week he taught a lesson in priesthood meeting and blessed the sacrament!

Sometimes it can be difficult to see the vision our Heavenly Father has for us. He knows that all we really need in the moment is an understanding that obedience brings blessings and disobedience brings sorrow.

Love and miss you,
Elder Hale

June Area Conference - Elder Hale - back row, middle

Thursday, June 15, 2017

¡Que Grande!

Until we meet again, Elder Lozano and Elder Lastra!

Dear Familia Y Amigos,

Recibiendo Elder Romero! Mi querido amigo Uruguayo!

These last few days were crazy! We had to take home 18 missionaries. 

I did divisions with Elder Schneider (because he has an international driver's license and I don't) to drop off missionaries at the airport and get them through the PDI (Policía de Investigaciones de Chile) and everything. We woke up early on Monday to take a sister missionary to the airport, then worked the whole day to get missionaries home until 12:30 at night. Then we woke up at 3:30am to bring another pair of missionaries to the airport at 5am. One of the missionaries had his flight time change and we had to get him an emergency flight.

We left Elder Lozano and Elder Lastra in the airport. That was pretty weird. While we were driving there I noticed this long-looking thing kind of sticking out of one of Elder Lastra's bags. When he was checking in his luggage, the lady made him pull a giant, Chinese-looking sword out of his bag. I almost laughed my head off when the lady checked it in anyway. Peruvians.

Elder Lozano, visiting RM Elder Hansen, and Elder Hale

Then we brought in 14 new missionaries! I love bringing in the new missionaries because it's probably the coolest part of the whole mission- for the trainer, too. I miss it a lot and I hope President Woodward will have me train again. Elder Yriarte and I are good friends. Same with Elder Goodrich.

Sorry I don't have much to write this week.  It's been kind of stressful and I forgot most of what happened before Monday.

Chao!
Elder Hale

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Cumbia King is Going Home!

Receiving the mail deliveries 

Hey, Everyone!

It's getting really cold. I have to wear my two-piece coat to keep warm now.

I have been very blessed these last few days. One of the best things that happen in life is when we patiently await answers to questions we have and the Lord responds to us.

We have an investigator who is divorced and very interested in the Gospel. One day he told us that the reason he invited us into his home in the first place was because he wanted to be able to forgive his ex-wife for some things that she did. What a blessing to have been messengers for the Lord to help this man understand the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

At that moment I gained a greater understanding of what it means to be a servant of Jesus Christ. When we become an influence in the lives of others to bring them unto Christ, we serve him. How powerful of an influence we are is for us to choose. 

I have had investigators that did not have to change many things in their lives in order to be baptized. However, those who need to make changes in order to come unto Christ will make that choice for their own reasons and not for ours.

May Zone Conference 

Also, Elder Lozano is going home on Monday :´(

With love,
Elder Hale

Friday, June 2, 2017

Coming To Know The Lord

Elder Lozano suffering from toe surgery.  (Heaven bless this saintly mission nurse!)

Dear Family,

Lately I have been learning to listen to the spirit. When we obey with diligence the Lord's commandments over time and pray earnestly for the spirit, it becomes our constant companion.

Elder Hale sent another version of this photo.   Lunch at Punta Sal.

Yesterday, we taught an investigator, Patricio. Patricio is very intelligent and has a strong desire to know the truth, but has a tendency to talk very profoundly about what we teach and distract the lesson sometimes. 

In our daily planning we made a brief lesson plan . When we arrived at our teaching appointment with Patricio, he had read much of the Book of Mormon. I felt a distinct and new feeling from the Holy Ghost at the beginning of the lesson that Patricio had something important to say, and that I should listen closely. It was incredible that just about everything Patricio said that day conducted the lesson towards the points we had made in our daily planning. Patricio finally accepted the baptismal invitation.

Every once in a while we need to take a step back and ponder, where are our priorities? If we want to have the power to change our lives and the lives of others we need the spirit.

Love and pray for you,
Elder Hale

Fun note from Elder Hale to Kyra regarding end-of-the-schoolyear grades:

"How did Jonny get a 4.67?  You guys are crazy!  How are y'all so dang smart and athletic and all I got was the good looks?!"

Monumento Vencedores Bailén.  This monument was constructed in memory of the soldiers of the Army of the Andes, who conquered the Spanish Army, who had defeated Napoleon in Bailén's battle. General Don Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme was the one who designed and gave order to construct this monument.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Respect!

Elder Hale in a green sweater, left side of the table. 

Dear Familia y Amigos,

This week we have zone conferences with Elder Allan Packer, an Area Seventy in South America. I attended yesterday, and it was wonderful. My companion, Elder Lozano, was selected to have an interview with him. 

I'll share a few of the things he talked to us about:
  • Every country has different culture, customs, and traditions. If we don't respect the culture of the country, we can offend the people that live there. Therefore, one needs to learn the culture of the country so that they don't offend others with their conduct. 
  • The celestial kingdom has a culture as well. When we don't learn and respect the culture of the celestial kingdom, we offend the spirit.
  • It is extremely important to merit the confidence of others. As a missionary we merit the confidence of members when we work hard. When we teach the plan of salvation to investigators with the vision that they attend the temple to do the work for their ancestors, we merit the trust and prayers of the dead as well.

Love,
Elder Hale

May Zone Conference

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Anpil Benediksyon (Many Blessings)

Mother's Day Skype!  AWESOME!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week the cold came all at once. The mountains are covered in snow, and it is really pretty.


Last week Cesar came to church here in Esquina Blanca. He came for Mother's Day, and because his records are still here, he was able to receive the priesthood!

The Haitian men we baptized, Wilfrantz, Wislet, and Jean, came to church this week without coats and it is COLD. Luckily, we have a storage room in the office with clothes that missionaries leave behind so we went ahead and gave them some of those. 

This week I also have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ more in my life. It is incredible, but I can say now without a doubt that He lives and loves us. In moments where we express faith through hard-work, repentance, and when we partake in the sacred ordinances, the Lord is teaching us, bringing us nearer to him. This week I was especially blessed to have understood with more clarity in what way the challenges that present themselves every day were helping me to build faith in Jesus Christ and help me to become more like him.

Love and miss you,
Elder Hale


Administrators Note:
We had our Skype call with Elder Hale on Mother's Day!  It was wonderful to see his handsome face and talk real-time.  And yes, I cried like a baby when the screen went black.

Here are  a few of the things we learned:

Before he went to work in the office, they ate lunch (the big meal of the day in Chile) at member's homes seven days a week.  Now that they are in the office, it only happens twice a week.

The most common meal they are served is chicken and rice.

Elder Hale's favorite dish is called cazuela - a stew with meat, potatoes, and vegetables.  It's a Chilean classic.

When he cooks for himself in his pension, Elder Hale cooks rice, beans, pancakes (from mix), cereal, eggs.  Quite the repertoire!

So before Elder Hale left on his mission, we purchased a book on Chilean culture for him to read.  Kyra also read through it and was fascinated with the fact that babies in Chile drink Coke (soda) from a bottle.  Elder Hale brushed it off, thought it was absurd, and they have gone back and forth about it for over a year. Well, Elder Hale acquiesced on Sunday and shared that he has actually witnessed babies drinking Coca-Cola from a bottle.

There are four missionaries who live in their apartment.

We asked him if dreams in Spanish.  He confessed that the other night he started dreaming in Portuguese, but then realized (while dreaming) that he really doesn't know that much Portuguese, so he switched to Spanish.  Haha!

He really likes to eat completos.  It is a hot dog (that is not smokey) topped with guacamole, tomatoes, onions, mayonnaise, and ketchup.

Currently, he is working in the office.  It is supposed to be five days a week, but frequently, they have to go in on Saturday and sometimes Sunday to take care of important matters. They arrive around 10am, have an office meeting and assign tasks.  Elder Hale is responsible for keeping track of the visa status of the almost 200 missionaries - which is pretty tough. There are things that have to happen monthly and every time missionaries change, which in turn requires loads of documentation. Much of what they do and deal with is confidential. The office staff go out each weekday evening from 6 until 9pm, and all weekend to proselytize. He seems to enjoy the office work, and is learning and growing.

His shoes (and feet) are in great shape.  (Yeah!) Shout out to Dr. Nahid Birjhani Colton for her tips on keeping your feet healthy and making your shoes last!

Elder Hale stated the best thing about being a missionary is baptisms!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Rain!

Lunch with the Munoz Family - Elders Yriarte, Hale, Lozano, and Roberts

Dear Familia y Amigos,

This last week we've been up to a lot in the office. We've been working every day in the sector too, but we struggled a bit to make stuff happen lately.

We sent about a quarter of the mission to do visa work this last week and it was crazy. Somehow we got lucky because the day we sent everybody out IT RAINED. (It sounds weird but it made everything work out great!)


I've probably written about this before, but Chile is one of the easier countries to get a visa and it has the most job opportunities in the Americas (aside from the United States).  For that reason....it becomes one of the more complicated countries to get a visa because it is so clogged up with immigrants from all over the world (sounds somewhat familiar). 

Fortunately for us, NOBODY CAME to do visas because of the rain!!! Woohoo! So almost everybody finished up their paperwork last week. 

Cesar is coming back to Santiago for Mother's Day so I'm super excited to see him.

That's all folks!

Love,
Elder Hale

Friday, May 5, 2017

May the Fourth Be With You...

Cesar's baptism
Dear Familia y Amigos,

This week (seems pretty weird to say this seeing that today is Thursday) was pretty interesting. Changes, new missionaries, leaving missionaries, and a Baptism!

Elder Lastra left.  Now it's just me and Elder Lozano. We'll be seeing a lot of each other anyway since this is Elder Lastra's last change. It's Elder Lozano's last change as well. Also, Elder Hancock, the Elder who I used to live with in Amengual, is the new pentionist with Elder Schneider. "God Bless America!"**
Fun in the office

We are responsible for picking up the new missionaries from the MTC in Santiago. Seven got here this Tuesday and it was an interesting experience to say the least. Pretty sure the only thing that one of the gringos learned in the MTC was how to say "¿Cuándo es P-day?"  It was a really cool atmosphere though.  It made me feel like it was yesterday that I got to the field. It was a strange contrast between that and the posterior day you'll see.

On Monday we dropped off elder and sister missionaries that were finishing the mission at the airport and coordinated their travel, which was a little bit stressful. We had one missionary that had to leave at 5:00 in the morning and another whose flight was at 1:00 in the morning the following day. Who needs sleep anyway?


Cesar got baptized! It was a great experience because tons of people came to see him! I attached a photo of the giant breakfast we had afterwards with the ward.

May the fourth be with you,
Elder Hale

**  (Apparently, it is a phrase Elder Hancock uses frequently.)
Wily, Wislet, and Jean

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Pigeon For Lunch, Anyone?



Baptism of Wily, Wislet, and Jean

Dear Familia y Amigos,

This week was fun! We baptized three Haitian dudes: Wily, Wislet, and Jean. They are pretty awesome. They've been coming to church for a while now, and they finally decided to get baptized. We've almost always taught them at the church building because the homeowner they rent from doesn't like Mormons.

Font filled and ready to go!

Cesar is getting baptized this week. It has been a huge privilege to know him. He has so much faith, and it is awesome. His interview is today!

The other day we found a pigeon in the bathroom at the mission office. We have a joke in the mission about Peruvians and pigeons because supposedly, Peruvians eat pigeon.  So when Elder Lozano and I saw the pigeon, we yelled at Elder Lastra, "ELDER LASTRA, LLEGÓ SU ALMUERZO!!" (Elder Lastra, your lunch arrived!) Elder Lastra came in running in super confused and then got mad when he saw the pigeon. He then started to chase it out of the office and Elder Lozano took a video of Elder Lastra trapping his lunch.  :)

Elder Lozano, Elder Lastra, and Elder Hale
Love you guys,
Elder Hale

PS- We were out contacting when the earthquake hit. I don't know why everybody is making such a big deal. There were like three earthquakes and they were all tiny.  I've felt bigger ones in California.

A 7.1 is not a big earthquake in Chile. They didn't even call it an earthquake.  Earthquake in Spanish is "terremoto". They call little ones like the one that happened a "temblor".

Kind of funny story. We saw some lady running in the street after the earthquake. Then we contacted a house close to where we saw her running and the lady told us she couldn't talk to us because she was worried about her toddler grandchildren that her daughter left home alone. Parenting.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Office



Happy missionaries and a dude with purple hair
  
Dear Familia y Amigos-

Pretty crazy week, but we've been very blessed.

Unfortunately, I'm not really allowed to talk too much about what we do in the office because almost everything is supposed to be confidential.

We have been very blessed to find many people to teach. We have four investigators with baptismal dates!

One of them is married to member that recently reactivated in the church! His name is Cesar. He used to be atheist, but with a lot of prayer on the part of his wife, he's opened his heart to the message of the Restoration. He tells us every time we teach something new that the doubts he's had are being resolved. He quit smoking last week! MIRACLES!

Elders Lastro, Hale, and Lazano - working in the office

Wow, the Lord really does bless us when we forget ourselves and get to work. The last months have been rough, but I've learned more than any time in my life about the fruits of obedience and hard work.

Love you all so much,
Elder Hale

President Woodward with his staff

PS - I don't really have a fixed schedule anymore, so don't get frustrated if you don't always get an email on Thursday.

"Did I ever send this one, Mom?"  Nope.
Baptism day with Elder Roberts. Possibly Eugenia and Claudio?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Quien Me Zapeó

The Squad

Dear Familia y Amigos,

I am the mission secretary now. I am in a trio with Elder Lozano, a Columbian, and with Elder Lastra again. Elder Schneider is in the office, too, as Pentionist - I see him all the time.  Elder Goodrich is my zone leader and Elder Roberts is in the same ward as us. Craziest transfer ever.
The Squad #2

We basically spend the majority of the week doing visa work for the missionaries and preparing documents for President Woodward. Yesterday I prepared an excel document with information on the missionaries after the special changes this week for him to look over when he decides on transfers. There were a lot of changes last week.
The Squad #3

Also, we have three baptismal dates for this Saturday. I probably won't meet them until their baptism (internal sobbing). We haven't even worked in the sector this week.
Familia Lagos

It's been a strange week.
Domingo, our super choro investigator with an adorable daughter
(Photos of her on the wall behind them)

With love,
Elder Hale

P.S. - P-days are on Thursdays - if there is time for P-day.   :0
Marina y Catalina

P.S.S. - Mom, will you please send me an email with a bunch of the pictures I've sent you? I want to print some out while I'm here in Maipu, and obviously I don't have all of them because the computers have erased my pictures so many times.