Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Leavin' on a Jet Plane!

This letter was sent to Emily (Harris) Brashear on March 2, 2010.

Hellooo Philippines! I got my flight plans on last Thursday! They are as follow:

1) I leave the MTC at 4:30 p.m. on March 8th.
2) Leave SLC at 7:45 p.m. to LA
3) Arrive in LA at 10:45 p.m.
4) Leave for Taipei, TAIWAN at 9:30 a.m.
5) Arrive in Taiwan at 5:30 a.m. on 03/10/10 (yes, I lose a day!)
6) Leave for MANILA, PHILIPPINES at 9:30 a.m.
7) Arrive in MANILA at 11:45 a.m.!

I can't believe it's here already! I'm SO excited to go! I'll miss the atmosphere of the MTC, but so glad to finally be doing the Lord's work! I read a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland titled "None Were With Him" from the April 2009 Conference. It's so amazing! It talks about the Saviors lonely journey towards the end of His life. I was so moved by it and I have an even greater love for my savior and what He did for me. He really is the only one that can relate to us all. He was mocked, beaten and alone. He even suffered a spiritual death when Heavenly Father had to withdraw His spirit from Jesus. It was all necessary, so that He could truly know all of us and every pain and emotion that we feel. I'm so amazed by His sacrifice for me. The more I study his life and atonement, the greater my desire is to teach this message of His gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ. I have so much love and admiration for Him. I can't even describe it.

So how are things? What have you been up to? Let me know! This will be the last week I can receive letters and respond! Thanks so much for all your letters and support! They have helped me a lot! Love ya tons!

Sister Hales

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A couple days left . . .

This letter was sent to Emily (Harris) Brashear on 02/22/10.
(I'm a little behind!)

Dear Emily,
So, looks like I'm getting flight plans on Friday from what I hear! I'm SO excited to get out to the field. However, I'm grateful for the preparation time I have left here. This week has been great! We got two new sisters in our room also serving in the Philippines. I got to be a host sister and also because I'm the Coordinating Sister I got to give the two new Districts in our branch the low-down on everything and give them a tour of the MTC!

This weekend we had a fireside with some missionaries that served a humanitarian mission in the Philippines. They showed pictures from the poor devastated areas that were damaged from the typhoons. They also showed pictures from all around the world. I can't believe all of the humbling, poor circumstances that people have to live in. We are all so blessed, both temporally and spiritually.

This morning I sang with an Elder going to the Philippines as well, different mission (Elder Villareai from Florida). We sang "Consider the Lilies of the Field". I think it went pretty well. It was fun to sing in front of a crowd again.

In regards to your last letter, I know exactly how you feel. Comparing yourself to others. I do that way too often. I was reading a talk by Elder David A. Bednar about learning. It's in the February Ensign. He basically says to learn all we can and yes, school is important, but most importantly we need to learn the doctrines, principles and instructions of God. These are more important than getting a Doctorate Degree or a Law Degree. You are learning the best information available on this earth. It's the Book of Mormon and it's searching the Prophets teachings. That's what matters.

I watched a short clip on a lady on mormon.org who talked about how she couldn't have anymore children after her twins, she ended up adopting but didn't understand why God didn't let her have more children when it is a righteous desire. Sometimes we have those righteous desires but for some reason it's not the right time or we don't understand what's best for us. But the Lord does. I am a perfect example of this. Whoever thought I'd be 27 and on a mission? For sure NOT me! But, I am so so so grateful for this experience and wouldn't have it any other way.

I know you are totally happy with Jake and your life, so this isn't any type of "helping you realize your blessings kind of thing". So, hopefully you won't take it that way. I know you won't. You are doing a fabulous job. So just keep at it. And look for other things that you could be engaged in that you never thought you would be. (good things, obviously) haha. I know that when I had the most questions about what the heck was going on in my life that I couldn't control, I prayed more and I studied my scriptures more. And, I wouldn't change where that's gotten me for anything.

I hope all is well. Love you tons! I'll keep you updated on my flight plans!

Sister Hales

P.S. And my kasama (Sister Horne) played the piano when I sang.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

a calling, the temple, and music

This letter was sent to Emily (Harris) Brashear on February 15, 2010

Dear Emily,
Hey sorry I didn't get a letter out to you last week! The time came, the laundry took forever and then P-Day was over.

So, how are things? I'm doing fabulous here! I've been called as the Coordinating Sister for my branch. Which means I take care of all the sister issues if we have any! Luckily, there hasn't been anything and I hope everything continues to run smoothly.

I went to the temple this morning. It was beautiful as always. I love to be there. I t gives me time for everything to sink in and just kind of gives my brain a rest and something different to focus on.

So, how's your throat? Thanks for the diagram by the way. That was great! lol.

This week we are getting two new sisters and my companions and I get to be Host Missionaries. Meaning we take them around to their rooms and to get their name tags and books and everything! I'm WAY excited for them! I know my first day here was so overwhelming so I hope we can make it fun for them and be good examples.

I can't believe I have a little less than 3 weeks here! I should be getting flight plans soon, like maybe next week! I just hope my Tagalog will be better. haha. As long as I can say where's the CR (comfort room/bathroom) I should be okay, right? Do they even have bathrooms? Who knows? haha

Well, this week I sang in another branch with a hermana that aksed me to sing with her "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief". It went really well. Music is my sanctuary here. It is definitely masarap sa kaluluwa ko (delicious to my soul) haha.

So what did you and Jake do for Valentine's? Anything fun? Just another day to me. haha. Well I better go! Thank you for the letters! Keep 'em comin'!

Love ya tons!
Sister Hales

Monday, February 8, 2010

One month to go!

This letter was sent to Emily (Harris) Brashear on February 1, 2010

Dear Emily,
Thank you for continuing to write! I LOVE hearing from you! This is my one month away from departure mark! I'm supposed to leave March 1st!

Okay so I have to apologize for what I said previously about my companion! haha. I hope you didn't post that on my blog! LOL. We are all actually getting along so great! Like everything, it comes after we put forth the work to accomplish whatever it is, and then the Lord will bless us!

This week has been great! I'm growing more in the gospel everyday and the language is coming along. I put your name on the temple prayer roll and I'm praying everyday you will be blessed by the Lord with a child! Every little bit helps, right? I know those moments very well of hating the RS "good news minute"! LOL. Don't worry, Em! I got your back!

I don't have any particular stories to tell this week. I'm addicted to the Book of Mormon. I hope to finish it again by the time I leave the MTC. Sorry this letter is so short this week. Keep studying as hard as you are in the scriptures! I'm so proud!

One thing I was studying this week was the comparison of Isaiah and 2nd Nephi! Such a good read. I highly recommend it! I love the correlation which just makes my testimony stronger that God is the same today, yesterday and forever. Particularly the part of how the Lord tells both Isaiah, Nephi, and Joseph Smith all about how men draw near to Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him . . . So awesome!

So did you get your dad's temple work done? How did that go? I'm sure he'll be happy to have it done. We've been talking a lot about the Plan of Salvation this week and the afterlife. I know that your dad is happy and has had a chance to receive the gospel. Well, ok, so maybe I don't know, but having you as a daughter, I'm sure he'll recognize a great opportunity when he sees it. There's another reason why I know God loves us. He gives us so many chances to make the right choice or fix our stupid choices!

Well, I hope everything is going well! Take care!
Love ya tons!

Sister Hales

Friday, February 5, 2010


This letter was sent to Emily (Harris) Brashear on January 26, 2010.

Dear Emily
Thanks for the letters! I totally appreciate them! I can only write on Mondays because that's my P-day. These last few weeks have flown by but the days are seriously so LONG! I have learned so much about the gospel and my Tagalog is coming, slowly but surely!

Thank you for the update on everyone! I hope Sara's little boy is ok. I'll pray for him. I actually got a letter from Melissa a couple days ago as well, so I was excited to hear from her.

Thank you for all of the gospel facts you've learned! I enjoyed them all, especially about the Holy Ghost. That was cool!

You can post any of my letters I send. I mean, edit them and take out the unnecessary parts, but I guess just give a recap of what I'm up to.

I'm in a 3-way companionship. So, I have two companions. I'm not going to lie, it's been hard but I know I'm learning a lot, like patience. haha. One of my companions is from Gilbert, AZ. She's about 1/2 my size, little Latina. Her parents are both from Mexico. She's really sweet. The other one is from Riverton, UT. We get along most of the time, but we've had some disagreements and at times (when Satan is letting it get to me) I'd like to leave while she's in the bathroom or something. haha. It's actually a lot better now. Last week was pretty hard.

The Tagalog is coming only with the Lord's help and my faith, so I'm sure I need more of that. haha. I love reading the scriptures and my own personal study time. I feel like I'm reading something entirely new. Like it all actually makes more sense. The more I study the gospel, the more logical it becomes.

Last night the missionary director from the church spoke to us and told us about how mission calls are issued. He said that when our papers get to SLC a big picture of us comes on their computer screen and they issue the call ONLY after receiving revelation as to where we are supposed to go. Cool, huh? It just makes me that more confident that I'm going exactly where the Lord wants me to be.

I love it here! The days are monotonous, but the weeks have flown by. I get up at 6:30 a.m. everyday. Breakfast at 7, personal study, companionship study, class, lunch, language study, class and either a devotional at night, a teaching evaluation where we have pretend investigators or some other meeting at night time, planning, quiet time at 10:15 and 10:30 lights out. It's a strict schedule, but I don't mind it too much.

The Elders in my district are pretty cool. I've already heard Elaine S. Dalton of the YW General Presidency, Vicki Matsumori of the Primary General Presidency and Elder L. Tom Perry speak to us. I've also heard Elder Holland frequents the MTC so I hope I get to see him before I leave. The Spirit here is so strong. It's like a missionary factory. There are so many people here from all over the world, serving all over the world and speaking a million different languages. It's very humbling and also another testimony builder of how true the church is.

Well, my laundry is about done. I'm sitting on the cold hard floor of the MTC laundry room. Exciting huh! Keep writing! My thoughts and prayers are with you! Love you tons!

Sister Hales

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sister Hales

Officially entered the MTC in Provo, Utah yesterday (01/06/10) at 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thank you, Emily!

Ok, so, one more tiny post! I just wanted to tell Emily thank you for keeping this blog for me while I'll be gone! You are the best! So, to all my peeps out there, whenever there's a post, Emily is behind it! Thanks again, Em...Love ya tons!!