p.s…..

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Yesterday we had sea creature soup…..mussels and shrimp and octopus and squid tentacles. ahh! Well that is about all for this week. Hope everything is going well with everyone!!
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28 Sept, 2015

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Wow, what a loong week!

I can’t even remember what really happened. Andy and Allison are back in town! We have been able to spend some good time with them. We have been able to see Waver in the rest home a couple times, he still sings to us. And Lillie has set a date to be baptized! She has been recognizing the Spirit really well and we have been focusing a lot on the plan of salvation. It is cool to me that we have been able to know them because they weren’t really progressing a while back but we kept seeing them, and not only do they crack me up and lift our spirits but there have been a lot of times when she has been really distressed, but by the time we leave she seems a lot more peaceful and cheerful because of the things we read or talked about.

Pie night was Friday and we carved pumpkins! Actually pretty much no one came to the activity BUT Sister Draney and I had fun with the pumpkins still! And there were a lot of great things about the general women’s conference on Saturday. I liked how a lot of it was through the perspective of the plan of salvation…….having that perspective can do a lot during hard times. This life is the time to prepare to meet God and act in faith, not necessarily a time for constant blessings and no trial. I think as members of the church we forget that trials are gonna happen, until they happen, and then it seems unfair or that we have to question God. During the easy times we freely acknowledge and understand that life is about being
tested……and then we freak out when the hard times actually come. There is just as much testing in the church as out of the church. If there were no trials or sickness or unexpected setbacks or even aspects of our faith tradition or history that threw us for a loop, then the plan of salvation wouldn’t really be taking place within the Church. Luckily we have all of those things that help us create ourselves and step forward further in defining our character and acquiring the attributes of our example Jesus Christ. How else would we ever learn faith, patience, how to forgive, how to love?

Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk was good as well, I know I talk myself into being miserable far too easily. “Faith and hope open your eyes to the happiness of the now.” – or something like that. I gotta understand and live FAITH more fully. I like the quote, “replace every fearful thought with an act of faith.” Or every sorrowful thought, angry thought, rude thought, sinful thought, with an act of faith, an act of kindness, a prayer, an act of service to someone who is more in need than you.

Love you all, have a great week!

– victoria
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21 September, 2015

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This has been a week of perfect weather!! It is getting so beautiful and feels great outside, wish it would last forever!!! In a few weeks when it gets beautifuller I’ll send fall pictures.

Well, the beginning of the week was busy, which I love! We have been working hard at getting members to our appointments and it makes a huge difference. Go out with the missionaries this week, they will love you for it!

Tuesday was fun, we got to help a member who had a baby not too long ago. Then we saw several people and ended the day at Jack the Dipper. Have I ever told you about Jack the Dipper? well it is a place you need to go if you ever visit Waynesville. George takes us out there once a week, it is an icecream place where they serve warm waffle cones, super yummy.

We have been helping a lady named Tami out with a painting project, we got to help her again this week. She’s the one who is a nurse for this little boy and she’s trying to get their house fixed up for them. I always look for chances to paint because it is therapeutic 🙂 and a good way to get to know people. We worked on the boy’s room and painted the walls and ceiling and put clouds on the ceiling. I love talking to Tami though, she always has these unexpected ideas and things to talk about, makes you think deep….one thing was, when I saw how much the house had changed, I said “Wow, did you take a before and after picture?” and she said “Oh no honey, that’s not how God works.” She’s not helping them to show people before and after pictures, but to help THEM and that is it.

Last night we had a ward fireside with Grant Hardy….and we actually had a pretty good turn out! A lot of members came and a few visitors. I wish all you westerners could have a few more converts in your congregations…..it is my favorite thing when the unexpected happens because it is such a melting pot of religious backgrounds. The member we asked to give the opening prayer brought up a quad and did a reading of 3 of the articles of faith before the prayer. Different touch but it was great! And the fireside was neat, Brother Hardy is going out to a conference in California to talk about how the Book of Mormon affects us in the public sphere and setting, and so he shared with us some of the things he is going to share there. A big part of it was talking about the sense of community in the church, that we are bound to each other and God by covenants, that we have covenanted to bear one another’s burdens, mourn with those who mourn (which includes members and those OUTSIDE the church as well), and that we have the chance to transcend the things that often separate us in this world….wealth, status, etc., through our service in the church, which also prepares and propels us to service outside of the church.

He also talked about how the Book of Mormon affects our daily lives. That because we read in the Book of Mormon often, we expect God’s hand and guidance in our own lives because that is what the book teaches us. It teaches us HOW to receive that guidance as well. That reminded me of Brother Pitcher in Athens, he is always talking about how if a person will look for all the instances of personal revelation in just the first 50 pages of the Book of Mormon, they will find dozens and dozens of examples, and learn how to receive answers and guidance from Heavenly Father. You can gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon just by studying it in that way. Soon you learn what it is going to take….prayer, obedience, sacrifice, faith in Christ, repentance, desire, study. And as you take those steps, you are getting rid of the sins and distractions that get in the way of what God is trying to tell you.

1 Nephi 10:19 “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.” The promise is there.

Love you all!! Have a wonderful week:)

– Sister Victoria Hale

11320 Station West Drive Ste. 101
Farragut, TN 37934

victoria. hale@ myldsmail.net

p.s. I am staying in Waynesville for another transfer! Also tomorrow is Book of Mormon day!!! (look up the date)

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14 September, 2015

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Hello out there!

Today I wanted to start with a couple scriptures and then tell you about the week.

8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

So this is in Numbers 21, where the Israelites are being bitten by poisonous serpents and dying, so the Lord has Moses set up the image of a serpent on a pole, and to tell the people that if they look at it, they will live, as a symbol to look unto Christ and be healed. We found some pictures in the church library that they were throwing away, I grabbed the one that depicts this scripture as a reminder to look to Christ to be healed. We all have our own problems and sorrows and weaknesses…..the message of Christ’s gospel is to deal with our problems in a healthy way. To turn to Him instead of staying on a path of sin or dealing with our problems in unhealthy ways. As we look to Christ, we are reminded of the healthy way, and we are able to be healed from the past and move forward.

19 Behold, he (Christ) was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live.

20 But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts. But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look, therefore they perished. Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them.

21 O my brethren, if ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly, or would ye rather harden your hearts in unbelief, and be slothful, that ye would not cast about your eyes, that ye might perish?

22 If so, wo shall come upon you; but if not so, then cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works.

That is in Alma 33. I love how simple the story makes it sound…..just look, that is all they needed to do to be healed. But some wouldn’t even look, wouldn’t even try it, “because they did not believe that it would heal them.” The simplest way to look to Christ is through prayer…but we don’t always use it even though it is simple, we don’t fully trust that we can be helped and healed. I know that we can though because I have experienced that over and over.

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8:12) “But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.” (Moroni 6:8) “Behold , he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more .” (D&C 58:42)

This week has been a slow one, but that’s all right. My favorite part of the week was Wednesday. I was on exchange in Waynesville with Sister Hart. We had a ton of opportunities to talk to random people and we were able to share the Book of Mormon with 4 people. We were talking to Waver’s rest home roommate’s friend, and gave him one, and then the roommate said “Well don’t I get one too?” So we ran to our car to grab another one.

OH!! Tuesday was Misson Leadership Conference. I lied, that was the highlight of the week. It is always awesome to get to see all the missionaries who are my friends. MLC is where the Assistants and President Griffin give trainings to the zone leaders and sister training leaders so that we can help train at zone meetings. This one was great because it is badly needed…we have had to get all these long-ish administrative trainings to get our iPads going but now it is back to real missionary work and finding. We did role plays of how to work with members, less-active members, and part-member families. It made me excited to do missionary work again. There are always so many people to go see and it is nice to be reminded of the basics.

Wednesday we called parents of young women to get them to the youth activity, and one that doesn’t come all the time ended up coming! Sometimes it is a “duh” moment when you realize how easy it is to make a phone call to invite someone or help them feel loved and included.

All right I am fixin to run out of time. Love you all!! Look at this cute picture of Sister Trommlitz, me, Sister Lundberg, and Sister Jensen!!! This is at MLC, we were all together for the first time since our little MTC district. we’re surviving!!:’)

ok bye,

– Sister Hale

September 7, 2015

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It’s been a pretty busy week! On Monday we went to Asheville and got to play soccer and hang out with the other missionaries in the zone. Then we had exchange with the Marion sisters, I stayed in Waynesville with Sister Mackelprang. It was an awesome exchange, Sister
Mackelprang helped me realize a few things that have brought me a lot of peace and a greater ability to enjoy my mission experience. I have really tried to let go of frustration that I have or being stressed about things that are beyond my control. This has helped me know how to listen to the people I teach better, and to not get frustrated or impatient, but to figure out what it is they need that day, what they REALLY need, not just to teach a principle so I can check that off as a lesson. Ever since then I have felt greater peace and an ability to love people and be guided in what to do and say.

We had an awesome lesson on Thursday. George (who joined the church in February) has been sharing the gospel with a friend from work. A few weeks ago he gave him pamphlets and a Book of Mormon, and then he set up an appointment for us!! It was a young couple named Jeff and Brittany, they fed us and we had a great lesson. It was so rewarding to see George share his testimony very peacefully and confidently. He was so excited for a week before the lesson, and then so excited after it was over. It’s so neat when members have that experience. It is awesome for the person learning about the church as well, already they have had questions come up and were able to ask George about them because they trust him.

Friday I got a blessing and it reminded me of Pres. Pickett inviting me to develop a relationship to the Savior as a high priority on my mission. Good reminder.

Saturday was great, it started out a little rough, but then we went to Lake Junaluska to see if we could talk to a few people. I feel out of habit of talking to new people, so it was a little hard for
me…..several months back that was my favorite thing to do, I guess I better get back in the habit. Anyway, I was nervous so I prayed we would find whoever needed to talk to us out of anyone who was there….we offered to take someone’s picture (great way to talk to someone) and we got to explain a little who we were, but then that lady had to take off. SO we walked back to our car, and before we got in, I looked around and saw a man in a blue shirt sitting on a bench. I told Sister Draney I wanted to go talk to him….we just stood there for a few more seconds trying to figure out what to do, and then the man stood up and walked directly to us and said hello! Turns out he is from Atlanta and belongs to the Community of Christ, aka the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We talked to him for about an hour, it was very interesting. They are the ones who believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, and in the Book of Mormon, they just have a dif. opinion on who the prophetic mantle fell on. I got his email address and I want to send him info on Grant Hardy’s books about the Book of Mormon. Cool, I think we were supposed to meet.

Let’s see what else is happening around here….Andy and Allison left for a couple weeks. Allan and Rhonda are still doing well, she got in a car wreck last week….feel so bad for her, she has so much going on. We taught them the Word of Wisdom with Sister Adler and they said they think they could do it! Coffee is the biggest thing for both of them. I have gained a real appreciation for the word of wisdom on my mission…..just because it is pretty much the last and hardest thing for most people, getting rid of smoking, alcohol, and especially tea and coffee because those 2 are harder to understand the “why”. I don’t really question whether or not tea and coffee are bad or good, that doesn’t really matter to me, it more comes down to this question: How would a person get closer to God by giving up something that they love or are used to having every day? It takes effort, humility, and prayer to overcome many habits and most addictions. Getting rid of the substance, whatever substance it is, also gets rid of a “coping tool.”….now instead of smoking when you are stressed or bored or worried, you have to turn to Heavenly Father and seek for strength. You turn to the scriptures and maybe family or friends for support. It takes humility, faith, patience, and trust in the Lord. And the blessings of living the Word of Wisdom include not only health but a greater ability to have the Spirit, peace, and joy in your life.

Sunday this scripture came up 3 times and so I think it is the scripture of the week…

Alma 37: 36-37
“Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”

I just really like that scripture. Yesterday was an awesome Sunday and I felt that closeness to God in church and especially as Sister Draney and I taught Relief Society. Many of the ladies shared experiences of sharing the gospel or reaching out to less active members, or being a less active member who was reached out to. It’s worth it! Love you all, be a true friend this week!

– Sister Hale

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