May 25, 2015

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Been a great week! I am now in Waynesville, North Carolina just about 30 Β miles outside of Asheville. So far things are great, I tried to meet as many of the members as I could on Sunday. We are focusing on finding new investigators and trying a few things with the ward council over the next month…I’m excited!

I just want to share 2 assignments πŸ™‚
Daily process of becoming perfect:
  • When you get up in the morning, examine yourself to see whether the Spirit of God is with you (are you happy, excited for the day, ready to serve, peaceful, confident, full of faith? or are you afraid, grumpy, selfish, feel dark, feel weak?). If you feel those negative things, pray to know why, what to do to change, and for strength and peace.
  • At night, review acts and words of the day and ask God if there is anything you need to repent of (big or small)
And the promise is that if you do that for a week, you’ll be a lot happier and excited for your future and feel your heart changing. πŸ™‚
We have some fun things coming up! A full mission conference next week in Farragut. I’ll let you know how it goes! Love you all!!! πŸ™‚
– Sister Hale
The Moses’s, Jerry Ogle, Brother and Sister Peterson, Halie C, Sister Verdejo, Sister Hansen, new companion Sister Beckstead!

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p.s.

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Since I am leaving, don’t send letters to my current address, you can send stuff here and they’ll forward it to my new address:

Sister Victoria Hale
11320 Station West Drive Ste. 101
Farragut, TN 37934

May 18, 2015

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Hello all!

It has been a wonderful and fun week. We had a zone training meeting on Tuesday…I liked it because at first I hated it and was tired of missionary meetings and not really having a good attitude about having to role play…but the last training really helped me. It was about obedience and the Elder who taught it was really humble so it made me feel open to wanting to improve rather than getting annoyed (I really have a bad attitude sometimes…need to change!). We talked about obeying out of love and that as you go throughout your mission, it is something you can learn, you won’t be perfect at the start and that is why we are out here for 18-24 months. Each missionary has their own weaknesses…for some it is harder to wake up at 6:30, for some it is harder to be on time to studies or to talk to people…so don’t be self-critical, but still desire to move forward and turn the weaknesses into strengths.

SO we got transfer call, and I am leaving….so is Elder Larsen… and I’ll be a sister training leader somewhere, which means I conduct exchanges for all the sisters in a zone with my companion, and teach at zone meetings. At first I wasn’t excited (out of laziness…) but I think it will be great! I love getting to know missionaries and I get lazy when I am in the same routine for too long, so this will help me.

Thursday was great! We had dinner with Sister Carter’s brother and sister-in-law and they are now investigating the church!! We like them a lot. They came out to pie night on Friday and we had a lesson with them yesterday that also went well, and they said they feel they are on the right path and that we have helped bring them joy. I have an awesome video of their pug dog chasing its tail around and around.

Thursday we also had tennis night! None of our investigators showed up, it was us and the Elders and Bishop and a couple other people, but I learned how to play tennis! I love it!!

Saturday we had an intense lesson with Jerry Ogle and Brother Pitcher…by the end we were all friends again though πŸ™‚ We taught from the Sunday School manual about Christ’s church in former times. A lot of people don’t realize Christ set up a church before he died, and Jerry didn’t either, so it really helped to go back to the New Testament and take it a little slower. I am so grateful we found Jerry!! I will miss teaching him so much!

We got to go to stake conference in Ooltewah (right outside of Chattanooga) and that was great. They gave a lot of good counsel to married people, about making the happiness of your spouse the most important thing in you life, behind the Savior, and to give up whatever is holding you back for the sake of your relationship with your spouse…whether that be too much tv, laziness, pride, pornography, lack of communication, lack of prayer…to give that up and go back to the basics. For families and individuals. It made me want to be a better prayer….more consistent, more sincere.

Well you will find out where I am next week!! someone predicted the Asheville North Carolina zone so now I’m kinda used to that idea….we’ll see!

Love you all! πŸ™‚

– Sister Hale

 

pic 1: This is the family that is crazy enough to drive half an hour at 9 pm to bring us food and say bye to me. Craig, Sherlene, & Sammy Wiseman:) made my week!

pic 2: evidence that Jillian is awesome (if we needed any)…she writes me every week!

pic 3: Sister Warren

pic 4: Tricia!!!

5&6: touring Mayfield

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May 11, 2015

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It has been a great week! I will write some stories (even though some of you heard them on Mother’s day) because good things are happening!

First off, fireflies!!! We saw the first ones of the summer Saturday night πŸ™‚ Sister Verdejo hadn’t seen them before.

While we were driving home Saturday night, we passed a car on the highway that was stopped and had their emergency lights blinking. We went a mile and then were wondering to each other if we should have stopped and helped them…or if there was even anything we COULD do to help them (we can’t give rides in mission vehicles…and heaven knows i’m not a mechanic). I wondered if we didn’t stop because a) it was dangerous or b) there really wasn’t anything we could do to help or c) we were lazy. I asked Sister Verdejo, and we decided it was because we’re lazy, so we turned around to go see what we could do! But the car was gone by then. BUT at least we knew we weren’t lazy, and also I think that is a good way to decide if you should help someone or do something good. What are my reasons FOR doing it, and what are my reasons for NOT doing it? It is hard to kick that lazy bone in gear, that is usually the deep down reason for not doing it. One blessing we got from it (besides peace of mind) is that it made us stay out later and we got to see fireflies!

I love the humidity and even a little bit that bugs are coming back…it reminds me of the beginning of my mission. Those were rough times in the hood….glad I made it through!

I finally met our Relief Society President’s husband…they had us over for dinner. He isn’t a member and the missionaries haven’t had much luck with him, he’s very anti-organized religion. However, he is really funny, and it was a great night. We invited them to do a 30-day book of Mormon challenge, to read from it for 15 minutes every morning with no distractios, before you turn on the tv, and really use that time to pray and seek understanding. She said “Sure! I’ll do it.” and he refused. haha. While we were leaving, Sister Verdejo turned back to him and said “So are you gonna read the Book of Mormon, or are you gonna be a big baby?” haha I died. She said it with such a nice smile on her face, he then agreed to read with her in the mornings, if she reads to him. πŸ™‚ and he said we could come back! I know she has been praying for a softening of his heart.

Leeann is still doing nicely, she came to church yesterday and set a new date for June 6th. We love her!!

Here is the rest of the story of Jerry Ogle……he is the one we taught months ago when I first got to Athens. Our Restoration lesson back then went great…he said “Does the world not know how amazing this is?” as we were talking about the Book of Mormon and the way it fits into the apostasy. Back then he said he hasn’t had a spiritual witness that it is the truth, but that logically it made sense to him, and he’d need to pray about it. Over the next few months, we weren’t able to teach him super regularly, but we’ve been focusing on him a little more lately. We had a lesson Saturday on Faith, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. He was absolutely adamant that he’s been baptized by the Spirit, he doesn’t need a man’s baptism, and he knows he had a spiritual experience that changed his heart. We explained covenants and the blessings, but it wasn’t quite clickin for him…finally Brother Ward brought up fasting. We all agreed to fast together, us from food and him from cigarettes for 18 hours, and to pray that he’d get understanding and an answer about whether or not God wanted him to be baptized. He gave me his cigarettes and I said I’d give them back to him after church the next day.

Well, he didn’t make it to church, so we stopped by his house afterwards to give him his pack back and ask how his cigarette fast went. He said “Well Sister Hale, better than you might think. I’ve been thinking that I need to get baptized.” Wut! Was not expecting that…maybe I should have been. He said that this doesn’t mean he’s not skeptical of a few things still…but he thinks he is supposed to because it will help him help other people better. He said Jesus didn’t get baptized or die on the cross for himself, he did it for other people, and so he’s willing to do it if God wants him to. He still has to quit smoking, that will be a big one for him. We’ve been looking over the “stop smoking” workshop…maybe it will help!

ok gotta go!

– Sister Hale

pics: our district, then y’all, then me, then the Daggs who have us over for dinner a lot, then a chalkboard. …Ok I guess those were all kinda obvious.

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May the 4th, two thousand fifteen

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There is so much I want to share about this week. I am close to being done in Athens (possibly) and I am so very amazed at what has taken place here. With other people, members and nonmembers, but mostly myself.

So many times I am so frustrated with my testimony and understanding God….I wonder where the evidence of my faith is and how to know that I know the things that I believe, and how to always be guided by the Spirit. …it’s tricky. I’ve gotten past a lot of my confusion/doubts of church history and sorted through a ton of the details, for the most part. I fight against my doubt because I believe God is guiding me, a little at a time, and if I just endure through the harder times and am patient, that God will let me know He is there again. This week I had an experience where God worked through a person and the Spirit to let me know He is there. It is an experience that I cannot deny and one I will never forget. Funny thing though….it hasn’t magically changed me or made me more diligent, that is a choice I still need to make. Laman and Lemuel experienced miracles, but didn’t follow it up with a change of heart. Alma the Younger experienced a miracle, an angel of God came to him just like to Laman and Lemuel, but when Alma tells the people how he knows God is real and Jesus is the Christ, he says it is because of his fasting and prayer and the Spirit of God (Alma 5: 45-46), not because an angel came to him and told him to repent. Miracles don’t produce faith….we produce faith, by our actions, by prayer, and by the changes we make in our hearts and lives.
Love you all. Make a list of your burdens, pray, act, and see if God takes care of them πŸ™‚ He will.
have a great week!
– Sister Hale
pic 1 is Charles White and Frank! at the old folk’s home. The others are just beautiful Tennessee.

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