June 22, 2015

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I am so happy!!! Awesome things are happening:)

This transfer I have really been able to work harder and smarter than ever….definitely worthwhile to see the results in the way I feel and in what’s happening with our investigators and the ward. There are so many good things that will happen and that we will recognize if we just give a little extra…give our all to whatever it is we are doing!

We had Waynesville’s first monthly pie night on Friday….it was awesome! Definitely feel closer to the members here, and they love going to extra activities, there were a lot more that came than we expected. We called SO MANY people and ended up with several members who came, 2 nonmember friends, and other members who haven’t come to the church in a while. That lady who lives right next door to the church (i wrote about her last week) came and just clicked with a lot of the ladies. She came to a RS activity the next day and now her husband has also met a few members. At pie night we invited Brother Breeden to sing and play his guitar….that was also fun for everyone. Just a fun and casual night:)

We are trying new things with the ward and it’s exciting! I feel an urgency to see as many people as I can every day. We set a goal to talk to 10 people a day and get a new investigator every day, so far that has pretty much happened. I got re-motivated after exchanges with my MTC companion Sister Trommlitz…got to spend a day with her in Murphy! She is very upbeat and ambitious and I got some good ideas from her.

I have definitely seen God’s hand in my life and the lives of others this week. It is awesome to see how things end up fitting together!!

I am really pleased with the progress of Lily and Waver. They are an older couple, and they were both in pain this week, Waver took a couple falls and has just been getting weaker. Previously they hadn’t progressed much, mostly just gotten visits but not teaching, maybe the missionaries thought they were just too old. But this transfer they have come to church twice and we are working on Word of Wisdom with them. Waver LOVES church. Waver asked if he could get a blessing, so we brought over Brother Sasser and Brent and it was really peaceful. Afterwards Lily got a blessing too, and they both felt a lot better. Sister Beckstead pointed out that if we hadn’t taught them the Word of Wisdom, we wouldn’t have taught them about Priesthood blessings, because that’s when it came up (in the pamphlet). Earlier in my mission I would do more visiting than teaching because it seemed like that was the best approach to gain peoples trust / not offend them, but teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is really what people need….that is really what will help them the most. Waver was also blessed to be open and humble to God’s guidance and the things we are teaching him.

Quote of the week:
"Remembering, rather than experiencing, moves us toward greater independence and insulates us from the vicissitudes of the moment." – Teryl Givens

I am feeling so blessed this week in remembering all that has happened. The work is hastening in this area and it is sweet to me….there are too many things, just in this week, for me to write about. I love having my heart and soul molded into someone more like the Savior. We all have a long way to go but the process is worth the effort.

Love you all!!! 🙂 pray for those families of those who were shot this week…breaks my heart.

Have a great week!

– Sister Hale

picture: I like living in Waynesville…it reminds me of Grandpa every time I see a road sign. had to take a picture by the sign for Grandpa Wayne Burke’s 80th birthday:)

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June 15, 2015!

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Just now we met a lady who lives by the church and was watching her grand kids ride bikes in the church parking lot…she said she had never met anyone from the church but wanted to visit it sometime, and that she had wanted to order a free Book of Mormon several years ago but never got around to it…so we gave her a church tour and Book of Mormon! Perfect timing. I really love this little church, it has some big beautiful pictures throughout the hallways.

It has been another successful week, and I want to write a little about hope!

Hope is the opposite of discouragement and pessimism. It is displayed in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, energy, patient perseverance, contentment, vision, forgiveness, repentance, seeing the good in people, pressing forward, and rejecting depression. We “press forward with a perfect brightness of hope” and “steadfastness in Christ” as a part of enduring to the end. I don’t remember where this is from…oh just found it, Elder Kevin W Pearson,

“Enduring to the end is a hallmark of true discipleship and is essential to eternal life. But when trials and challenges come our way, we are often told to simply “hang in there.” Let me be clear: to
“hang in there” is not a principle of the gospel. Enduring to the end means constantly coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him.

If enduring to the end is essential to eternal life, why do we struggle to be faithful? We struggle when we are caught between competing priorities. Casual obedience and lukewarm commitment weaken faith. Enduring to the end requires total commitment to the Savior and to our covenants.”

Hope gives us the vision and the ability to be shaped for eternal life…without hoping and having that vision of becoming purified and perfected, it will not happen.
Ether 12:4 “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.”
Hope through the atonement of Christ is the anchor to our souls. I’ve been studying hope all week and I love it because it applies to a lot of things! Hope that we can change, hope that others can change, hope that we can survive our current challenges and that there are good things to come. It is a happier way to live and it is true.
This week I got to paint!! There is a new family in the ward and we got to help out with their house. And it was awesome to talk to Sister C. because she has a family member who has had big faith struggles with the church recently, and I love talking about The Faith Crisis of Mormon-dom. It is awful for those going through it but I am so grateful I did because I learned a lot and still do. Throughout my mission I have had a lot of realizations and I am so grateful I didn’t go home those first few months like I wanted to. It is crazy to me that is is June already!
We had MLC? mission leadership conference? on Wednesday and it had a great feeling to it. We have our iPads and the rest of the mission will get theirs this week…already it has been so nice to have access to Gospel Library and other church apps and videos! I feel spoiled!! It will help us study and teach and we are grateful.
I think that is all for now. Sorry I haven’t been good at writing letters….but I love you guys still! Have an awesome week!!:)
– Sister Victoria Hale
victoria.hale@myldsmail.net
a: went to Asheville! this was a tall building. so I took a picture.
b:…meh the rest are self-explanatory

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June 8, 2015

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Another good week and not as long as last week so that’s good! We are finding new ways to get members involved and have had some good lessons with members this week. We had a great Testimony meeting and Lillie and Waver came again! They are an older couple who have been taught for a while…Waver is hilarious to me. I love getting to know the people here.

We had our first exchange this week! I was with Hermana Challman……I love singing hymns in Spanish!!! Maybe someday I’ll finish learning that language. I stayed in Waynesville so I got to drive and learn the area a little better.

I kinda can’t think of anything else that happened this week….

Follow Christ’s example! Read the Book of Mormon! It will help you change and give you hope!

have a great week!

– Sister Hale

look who showed up to our mission conference to say hi last week…it’s Judge!!! (from LaFollette/Jacksboro) He is doing great.

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June 1, 2015

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This has been a wonderful week! The first few days were the longest of my life…and I have a lot of humbling to do…but I think this transfer is going to stretch me and help me grow a lot so I’m excited! I miss Athens, TN and all the people I love over there, but this is the place for me to be right now. I learned so much in Athens about the kind of service God needs in his church from each of us, and I learned so much about how to do missionary work a better way, so I am grateful and think I can help spread that to the missionary effort in Waynesville. One thing the PEC felt the ward lacked was feeling connected to each other, and I told them about Pie Night… already our ward mission leader has gotten it approved for every third Friday of the month…wahoo!! It’s a great way to get members and friends into the church building for a casual and fun night.

We had our whole-mission conference with Elder Zwick of the Seventy and Brother Hemingway, director of proselyting (for the whole world). It was neat to have all the missionaries together. The conference was to receive some trainings on iPads….it wasn’t really about iPads though but about turning inward and thinking about the condition of our hearts. Elder Zwick asked a lot of questions like "Am I really a disciple of Christ? If so, what do I need to do differently today than I did yesterday?" "Can I really be trusted?" "What am I willing to change?" "Am I pure?" He had us write "I will never violate sacred trust." He pulled out a lot of great scriptures, and throughout the conference I realized what a great opportunity these iPads are for our mission, and for me personally. Before this conference, there were several things that had prepared us for this time. President Griffin (our mission president) is a truly inspired man and has built us up so well. Before we could even have this conference, for months we have been having trainings on obedience and having a change of heart. Elder Zwick came to talk about these things and to discern if our mission was ready for it, to see if we were going to succeed or if the iPads would be distractions or dangerous for us. I think it was great for each missionary to be there and have those questions asked. It really encouraged me and lifted my vision of how possible it is for us to change our hearts and become trustworthy and pure. AND simply of how to not waste time on technology…one of the things we will be doing is before we turn on our ipads, we tell our companion what it is we are doing so we don’t just waste time browsing.

We got to help with some cleaning projects this week. It feels so good to do service!! Yesterday, I gave a talk in the ward on member missionary work. President Griffin was there to speak too, as well as Elder Searle (from Burley!) and it was a great church service. I am excited to be a member missionary….and a visiting teacher….sounds weird but I have really gained more about how to be a good member on my mission than how to be a good teacher or anything else. Heavenly Father has given us the Church and these service opportunities to interact with all kinds of people and try to serve each other…in that way, we are forced to be humble and love the way Christ did. NOT just those who are easy to love, but those who are hard either because of their prejudices or ours. It is genius!

Love you all, have a great week, get out there and serve!!

– Sister Hale