Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Fiestas Patrias


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

¡Hola!

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.

Love,
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!!

Ciao!
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
¡Hola!

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.

Love, 
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.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Miracles And A Water Witch

July Zone Conference

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was good.  We found lots of new people to teach.

We got a reference from the system of a lady named Nicol.  Nicol's dad lives in another ward in the mission and is listening to the missionaries. Nicol had listened a few times at his house and really liked it so she had the missionaries there send us her address. She is very receptive and feels that now is the time for her to get closer to God.

Last Saturday, a man from Colombia named Luis contacted us in the street to ask us where the church was. He's a member, but he hasn't been to church in a long time. He has a crazy story.  His kids got involved in drugs and alcohol, and one day, two of them were assassinated in a park by a gang. His whole family basically split up immediately. He sent his wife and two kids on an airplane to Chile and then hitchhiked all the way from Colombia to Chile. We were able to help him meet the bishop and the bishop is helping him to find employment. His wife came to church last week and loved it.

We taught his friend, Eimer, who is also from Colombia. He has a sickness in his leg that makes it difficult to walk and doesn't have money to buy all the medication he needs. We said a prayer together for him and when we came by two days later he stood up and shook our hands. He said the day after we left he felt strength in his leg and he walked with Luis and their dog, Princesa, all over Maipú.

Love and miss you all,
Elder Hale
Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

From Elder Hale's email to Kyra:
I met a guy the other day that believed in something weird. He thinks that everything is alive and that, for example, if you pray for a thing, it will do whatever it does better.  Then he gave us a glass of water from the tap and had us drink it and then gave us another glass of water from the tap and did a weird prayer thing on the water and we drank it and it tasted a little better, I think. Pretty sure he was a witch. Don't try this.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Crazy!

No photos from Elder Hale this week, but here is Elder Goodrich as he heads home 

Dear Familia y Amigos,

Elder Goodrich went home this week... We took all 20 missionaries in his group to the airport.  It was pretty crazy when we got there. There were missionaries all over the place checking in bags.

When we were about to leave the office to head to the airport, there was a missionary in the hallway unpacking his stuff because he got there late and his bags were overweight.

About a million other things happened, but we made it.

That's about all that happened this week. It has been crazy!

Love,
Elder Hale

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!