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

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