23 de noviembre 2015!!!

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Pretty good week, still been a struggle to keep busy with teaching appointments but we are still meeting lots of people at every chance and having good experiences with members. We met with one family who the husband’s parents are going through kind of a faith crisis with church history stuff, we had a good talk about that and I’m going to send him some things that have helped me. I want to be led to people like that that I can help in some small way.

My scripture of the week is 3 Nephi 19:9 β€œAnd they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.” When we pray for it we figure out what we need to do differently to have it. Elder Bednar gives a talk on having the peace of the Spirit in our daily lives, I really liked it, here is a piece:

“We more readily receive and recognize the Spirit of the Lord as we appropriately invite Him into our lives. We cannot compel, coerce, or command the Holy Ghost. Rather, we should invite Him into our lives with the same gentleness and tenderness by which He entreats us (see D&C 42:14). Our invitations for the companionship of the Holy Ghost occur in many ways: through the making and keeping of covenants; by praying sincerely as individuals and families; by searching the scriptures diligently; through strengthening appropriate relationships with family members and friends; by seeking after virtuous thoughts, actions, and language; and by worshipping in our homes, in the holy temple, and at church. Conversely, casualness about or the breaking of covenants and commitments, failing to pray and study the scriptures, and inappropriate thoughts, actions, and language cause the Spirit to withdraw from or to avoid us altogether.” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/receive-the-holy-ghost?lang=eng)

The time we take every day to learn and remember the teachings of the Savior is important to me personally because I feel more balanced, patient, and at peace with myself and others when I do. I am happier and funner and more excited for the day. That is a message of the gospel, that we find our true selves through the gospel, and it is something that brings greater meaning and joy and love into our lives. That is something I need every day as I try to get out of a rut!

I can’t really remember what happened this week so Sister Skinner is letting me use her email for mine. Enjoy!

“so this week has been pretty exciting! I had my first door slammed into my face! I think that it is pretty good that its taken me this long to get one. Plus I am trying to stay positive even though it hurt a little. I just try and count it as one down until I get closer to someone that wants to hear the gospel. Trying to stay positive really does help too and as I looked back on the situation I bet she probably felt bad for what she did. So who knows maybe she will be kinder to the next missionaries that decide to knock on her door. Something that I am super happy about is the fact that Sister Hale and I were able to give out three Book of Mormons that day. The people that we gave them to actually seemed like they were going to try and read them; I really hope that they decide to. My favorite one was when I handed one to a nice elderly lady at the assisted living center. She looked so touched when I gave it to her and she said that she would give it back to me when she was done, but I told her that it was for her and she looked so happy that she gave me a hug. It was really touching and It makes me hope that she will read it and find the truth in it when she does. One of the best feelings this week was when I felt the spirit over power me into saying my testimony to our investigators that we were teaching one night. the spirit felt so strong and I ended up saying the things that I felt about the Book of Mormon. It was the coolest experience that I have ever had where you don’t even feel like your the one speaking but you just feel this wonderful feeling. I have never had that experience before and when it happened I felt like the spirit helped me express the importance to our investigators. After the experience Sister Hale and I were able to have them commit to reading and I think that they might actually read it. I am so excited for our return appointment and see how everything is going for them.”

ok adios amigos!!

– Sister Hale

p.s. forgot one big change that happened….we live with 4 of us right? Well Sister Winter has been very sick so Sister Trommlitz got transferred here, Sister Winter went home Friday to recover. Very sad because she is awesome and very hardworking and we will miss her, but she will get better soon and be ok:) here is a picture of all 5 of us….precious….and a few other pictures. Oh and Sister G my trainer was in town!! this is us at Waffle house. the last one is me and Sister Skinner.

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November 16, 2015

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Better week! Things are coming together. I am loving Knoxville and the Pellissippi ward and the people I meet every day. I feel like I’m really getting the chance to apply all the things I’ve learned throughout my mission. And I have started to feel better and have a little more energy and optimism as well. Saturday was awesome! We spent all afternoon trying to contact potentials or less active members who were all nearby each other and ended up talking to a lot of people who were outside because it was a nice day and knocked on a few doors too. Feel like I haven’t done that in a while. We ended up meeting 2 or 3 new friends that way….one is a 94 year old lady (she seems about 80!) Christine who welcomed us right in. She said she has had Elders come by about once a year and she has a Book of Mormon on her bed stand with her Bible and reads it from time to time but hasn’t ever really been taught anything. We read a little and taught her about the Restoration and asked her to pray about it, and she said she would, and that she’d pray about baptism as well. We felt good about her. She also wants to understand the Bible better, I’m excited to teach her. And then we met a 16 year old Andrew who wants to know more. We’ve also had some good lessons with 2 different ladies who are members but haven’t come to church in a while, they have opened up to us and we are hoping they will come to a Relief Society activity this Saturday to get to know more people. They are both kinda in the same situation of feeling alone when they come to church…..we assured them that there are several members who are single or whose husbands aren’t members or whose family are less active….we have all gotta be extended family in a way and notice those who need extra support. We also told them that we don’t know anyone in the ward yet either so we are in the same boat and can get to know everyone together:)

We have been teaching members about missionary work and it is awesome!! And it is what we were supposed to do all along but I didn’t really know how until recently. I remember a lot of missionaries coming to our house for dinner but unless they left a challenge with me or asked about my friends, I really don’t remember being changed by what they shared. That has helped me see that it really is important to help the members become more converted to the gospel. And then they are ready to share the gospel so we help them and teach them how.

I about flipped a brick this week when I realized I have less than 11 weeks left…that is a weird feeling!! I really want to achieve the expectations I have had for myself. The biggest thing I want is greater trust in the Lord. If we trust then we see that the things we are worried about are going to be taken care of, and in the end any suffering or confusion or loneliness won’t matter. And it can be lessened by that trust, because our faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His gospel will qualify us for the Holy Ghost, which is the Comforter. “And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.” (Moroni 8:26). I love that scripture because I have experienced it. When we are lowly in heart or humble, and recognize that we need a Savior, that is when our belief can be confirmed by the comfort of the Holy Ghost. That open heart and willingness to trust God and do what He asks is the only way we can truly gain the peace and healing and knowledge we want. Otherwise he might be trying to teach us and change us but we just haven’t opened ourselves up enough for the message to get through.

Gotta go, love you guys!

– Sister Hale

photo = the Robinsons from the Athens ward πŸ™‚ Bill Robinson was a prisoner of ward in Vietnam and does a lot of presentations and we got to catch them for a few minutes between appointments. It was fun to see them again!

November 9, 2015

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So this week was transfers, I had to say bye to Sister Draney and all my friends:/…… I am now in the Pellissippi ward right in Knoxville. Wednesday at the meeting, I received my new companion who came straight from the MTC, her name is Sister Skinner and she grew up in Las Vegas and Utah. She is doing super well and always seems to have a smile on her face. She is really eager to help people and she is always grateful for everything. They call it whitewash training when you get a new companion and go to a new area, so far it has been awesome and we have done our best to meet as many members as possible. Also we have made a zillion phone calls, we have 9 set appointments this upcoming week with either investigators or members so it will be a good week!

One cool experience we had, after a dinner appointment it was about 7:15 and very dark outside already, and we don’t know anyone so we didn’t know who to go see. We had a missed call from a member but we were gonna call them back later so that we could find someone to teach before it got too late. We had a little prayer to know where to go, and asked if we could teach someone else before we had to go in for the day. After the prayer Sister Skinner felt like we needed to call that member back so we did, and found out that we had an appointment that we were late to! If we wouldn’t have called back we would have missed the appointment. It was the Stewarts and they were at the Fleisch family’s house for us to teach them with them, but we had no idea about it, so we hurried over and didn’t really have time to prepare at all but had a nice lesson on prayer and committed the family to pray every day, and the Stewarts bore their testimonies. We were grateful we got to be there.

There are TONS of members in the ward. Well, to me at least. I keep saying that and Sister Skinner will say it’s a small ward. I’ve been in 50-80 people wards or branches for more than 15 months so it’s still kinda culture shock to be here. And I am in a lot of traffic and tons of stores and restaurants and malls….. And the houses are HUGE and beautiful and nice and it is culture shock. It’s definitely an adjustment but I figure I will learn as much here as anywhere else I’ve been, even if it’s out of my comfort zone for now. We also live in a nice house with 2 other Sisters, I feel pretty spoiled. So far everyone has been very welcoming to us, we have been invited to have dinner with people several times, and we have met with the new ward mission leader Brother Christiansen a few times. We were at their house last night, and he and a stake leader gave me a blessing for my fatigue. I feel like I will get the help I need.

I am right around the corner from the mission office, well a few miles, but you can still send mail there.

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

We have been thinking about how to prepare members (or ourselves really) to share the gospel. If we want to be prepared to share the gospel and sincerely testify of how following Christ has blessed our lives, we can first evaluate our daily prayer. Is it happening, is it meaningful, am I sincere? Evaluate your daily scripture study. Is it happening, do I learn, do I feel the Spirit, am I teachable, do I change because of what I read? And prepare to take the Sacrament next Sunday with a willingness to follow the Savior. These are the simple things that bring the power of the gospel into our lives and gratitude for what we have. We have been asking all the members we see which of these 3 is hardest for them and their families, and pretty much every time they say scripture study. So then we will invite them to make a scripture study goal. Right now my hardest thing is focusing when I do these things:) so that is what I am working on this week.

Have a great week and happy birthday Jillian and Sarah G and Christa and Uncle Steve and whoever else has November birthdays!!!! Love you all!

– Sister Hale

2 November, 2015

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What a long week! We had a good exchange with Marion, I went there with Sister Mackelprang. That area is so busy and they are doing so well with the work! It made me want to become a more expert planner. We taught a lot of neat people and it was fun to be with Sis M, we came out at the same time.

Thursday we went out with Sister McClure and stopped by several members that we haven’t met, not all of them were home but we did meet a new lady that we actually tracted into a few months back, she just didn’t tell us she was a member at the time:) She said we can come back though so we were excited we got to meet her. We also stopped in on a member Fred who hasn’t been to church since high school and invited him out to church. I was super bold and told him to just be courageous and come and he won’t regret it!

Friday was the Fall Festival/ ward activity! They had it all decked out and decorated and lots of games for the kids. The Cagle kids came!! We spend a lot of time with that family.

Halloween was pretty uneventful…..we were to spend it with members or other missionaries or ourselves, and since we are stranded in no man’s land with no miles, we had chili cheese dogs with a member and then watched mormon messages at the church for 2 hours. ha.

I found out I am for sure leaving Wednesday to a new area and I will be training a new missionary. I will miss people here but ready for a change of scenery. Also, turns out when you are leaving you find out that people like you! I had to say the prayer in every meeting at church yesterday cuz I’m leaving. I got a lot of hugs. It’s weird to leave people who have become so familiar to you and have to show up at a different church with unfamiliar faces the next week. And a new companion after being with Sis Draney for 4+ months.

Oh oh and that Fred guy ended up coming to church! He stayed for all 3 hours. Also rewarding is that Rhonda, who also hasn’t been to church in many many years, came for Sacrament meeting. She said next week she will stay a little longer. Also rewarding is that George passed the sacrament for the first time!! We were proud of him. He is the one that got baptized in February. It was a good Sunday to end Waynesville with.

Okey dokey that is all I have for now. I am tired all the time and I hope to feel that way the rest of my mission if it is from working hard and being obedient.

Love you all!

– Sister Hale

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26 October, 2015

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This week started out with an exchange in Asheville with Sister McNeill!! It was awesome! She is fun to teach with. We tried meeting a couple unknown members and we got in with a lady who seems really cool! Hope the sisters get to keep seeing her. In the evening we went to a Family Home Evening at their bishop’s home with a few ward members. I haven’t been to a family home evening or really been in a lot of nice-feeling homes for a long time, so that was a peaceful and fun night. I would like to serve in the Asheville ward!!

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Friday we went out to Sylva with Sister Adler and had an awesome lesson with a lady named Rhonda (different than the rhonda from before). She has been a member for a long time but hasn’t been to church in 20 years…..we have been meeting with her and we have become good friends and she seems to feel the Spirit while we are there. She has been reading verses we will leave her. I shared with her Friday how I made a decision to commit myself to the church, and it influenced so many areas of my life and helped me love people and have more gratitude. She said she will come to church this next Sunday on my last sunday here (and hopefully after too!) Helping people remember their testimonies is as important and awesome as helping people join the church in the first place. I try to remember the most important things are the way we love, serve, and remember the Lord, not numbers or statistics or lessons taught in a week. And it is never about me or my abilities but figuring out how to be humble and recognize that every good gift comes from Christ, and if we are given a gift or positive attribute or blessing, we need to remember where it came from. That helps remove competition and pride and envy. All good things come from Christ and we can find joy in any good thing that anyone has been given.

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Saturday was Zone Training Meeting and that meant me and Sister Trommlitz gave an hour long training on “Teach people, not lessons.” It was a good one to study for and think about. We talked about asking ourselves why we do certain things….why do we pray with people at the beginning and end of a lesson, why do we teach them, why do we leave them with a commitment? It’s not to be able to count it as a lesson but to have a learning experience that invites the Spirit to teach them and allows them to act between our lessons as well. President Griffin gave some good counsel to us all in that meeting. One thing I liked was “Cynicism creates numbness toward life”, meaning that when we become scornful, negative, bored, tired, or prone to criticize, we lose our gratitude and peace and joy and love towards everyone around us.

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I am so grateful I got to stay here in Waynesville NC, one reason is that it is BEAUTIFUL out here and the leaf change between last week and today has been amazing. I will send some pictures. Love you all!! Do the little things, find personal quiet time to pray and read from the scriptures and be taught by the Spirit. Be your best self. Have a great week!

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– Sister Hale

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19 October, 2015

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this is kinda two weeks combined.

So went to Farragut 2 weeks ago Tuesday with the zone leaders and Sister Trommlitz for MLC. That is always fun to get to see all the missionaries. Sister Gifford who was in the Asheville ward is now in Athens and also an STL! So I got a little caught up on my Athens people and how they are doing.

Wednesday to Thursday, Sister Murri came to Waynesville with me for an exchange. She came out just a couple weeks ago and it was awesome to get to study and teach with a new missionary, she helped me remember how to have a good study and she had some good insights on some of our investigators. We had an idea to go to one of the recent converts in the ward to help her clean her house, so we showed up in service clothes, but she told us to never come back again 😦 that was sad. She got baptized in March and we’ve been trying to get her back to church ever since I’ve been here. We decided she will probably let us come back in a month or two though. We also had a couple great lessons that night with the McClure’s and George so the day ended on a good note.

Saturday was a highlight of that week, it was George’s birthday! For some reason he wanted to take us out so we surprised him by inviting a few people from the ward to the restaurant. We brought party hats and stuff to the Chinese buffet. and cupcakes! We ran into the McLain’s there, they were there for their anniversary so we gave them party hats too.

Last Sunday was good, we got to teach youth sunday school about media and entertainment, and we taught Young Women’s (all 3 of them!) as well about developing Christlike love. (i love the new YW curriculum by the way). In the afternoon we went and saw Allison, and did a Book of Mormon read in Mosiah 4 where we each thought of a personal challenge and read through it looking for an answer or something that would help us. and then went to the Cronin’s who fed us some awesome chicken enchiladas and apple crisp.

So this past week we had an exchange with the Asheville sisters so I went to Asheville with Sis Hovey!! We went to stake correlation and the main message I got from that was to become the missionary that members have been waiting for to teach their friends. And also that missionary work is as dependent on members as it is full time missionaries, I need to remember that and work harder at getting the ward involved in every possible lesson we teach.

The Hardys drove us back to Waynesville and we all went to jack the dipper together!! that was fun to get to see them again.

OH and a non-missionary but still possibly uplifting event for you all to read about, Friday night was the Tuscola-Pisgah football game, which is apparently one of the top high school rival games in the nation, 13,000+ people attend, and WE GOT TO GO!!!!!!!!! And we didn’t even have to pass out cards or wear a skirt! George’s son is on the team so we got tuscola t shirts with his number and last name. We were so pumped. They were tied and then Pisgah won in overtime so that was sad but it was still a good game. We watched it with George and Bro Wood and cheered for Keely in the marching band and it was FREEZING cold. Since then it has been freezing, we had frost on our windows this morning.

Well that is about all. Me and Sister Draney have made long lists of things to stop doing or start doing and we had a fast yesterday to start a 40 day fast from those things that get in the way of being guided by the Spirit. so far so good! only hard thing is we have to repent every night of the things we messed up on. It will end on Thanksgiving day BUT if we are sincere then we will permanently improve!! I am excited for a change of heart.

I like writing out my week because sometimes the days and weeks are discouraging and lonely and hard, but when I look back, really all the good things that happened make it all right. I hope I can spend more time being grateful and happy and letting things happen as they happen. “Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday, and all is well.”

that is all my words of wisdom for the week…..use them well!

– Sister Hale
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5 October, 2015

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Rainy week!! Also not too bad of a week. Conference is like vacation for missionaries, finally a time just for you to sit and listen and learn and be renewed. I was so disappointed as I watched because this seemed like the best conference and none of our investigators we invited ended up coming 😦 BUT that’s ok we will make them watch it later πŸ™‚ Usually I look back and can pick out 4 or 5 or more talks that I didn’t really connect to at all, but every talk was powerful and relevant in some way, at least to me. I want to share just some of my favorite tidbits.

– Become a peaceable follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and focus on the simplicity of Christ’s grace
– You cannot separate Christ from His leaders
– What do I need to change? Ask that question and the Holy Ghost will tell you what you need.
– Happiness in this life and the next life are interconnected by righteousness.
– Self-control is like a muscle…the more you use it, the stronger it gets.
– Only your resolve to be obedient can change your life
– Express compassion to those who suffer
– "Doubt not the Lord nor His goodness, for we’ve proved him in days that are past."
– Revelation begins with conversion
– Work without faith is dead <- very true
– Light up those who are dimmed by discouragement
– We need to comprehend the true worth of a soul and recognize people’s divine nature in order to serve capably and mourn with those who mourn
– Teach fearlessly, speak with clarity, communicate from the heart
– Ask God for a knowledge of the Savior and His sacrifice
– A community of Saints to sustain each other causes us to go beyond concepts. We need to serve and the Savior needs a church
– Pondering and memorizing a verse of scripture each week provides an uplifting place for your thoughts to go
– Christ wants us to do many hard things. Hard is good.
– Accept trials with faith….they will be overcome through faith, not through fear or complaint or doubt. Thank God for your trials.
– When you cannot do what you’ve always done, then you do what matters most. Physical restriction can expand our vision.

We also had a good district meeting Friday and President Griffin was there, he had time to talk to each of us and that was good. I think I have til Nov 4th in Waynesville and then I will go to my last area!! crazy! I think a new area will be good for me but that is still a ways away so I gotta make the best of where I’m at right now. It’s hard to be in the same area for a long time…but it is getting so beautiful here with the leaves changing, in the next couple weeks it is supposed to be the prettiest, so we are excited for that.

What else….we got to paint on Wednesday! and we got to watch 17 miracles with Andy and Allison on Tuesday! They liked that a lot and asked questions throughout it about the pioneers and temples and church history. I wish everyone could watch a movie with andy…..it is an experience for sure haha.

OK that is it for now. Love yuns!!

– Sister Hale
victoria. hale@ myldsmail.net

I’m making sis draney drive now!! she loves it! πŸ™‚

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