Sunday, November 23, 2014


Hey all!

...even before I get going, shout out to my little brother GRIFFIN whose birthday it is today. WOOT! I think he may even be 14. That's pretty terrifying. Another example of how time passes, right?! (see how I slipped that one in there? Pretty good, pretty good. :P)

And yes, on a logistical note, this is the second to last email I'll be sending. Next Monday we get to email for an hour, so I'll be able to shoot something off really quick to say...goodbye? See you soon? Something like that. Anyways, enough with the trunky talk!


Things are going well! This week was actually pretty incredible; we exceeded our goal in member present lessons and got (for realsies) 5 new investigators (unheard of in YSA, at least in my experience). It was crazy! And awesome. And kind of weird, as our area is spiraling into a white-wash (maybe more on that later), but Heavenly Father knows what he's doing. He also, apparently, knows that he has to keep me SUPER busy so I can remain super focused and intent on the work. It's working though, so far! Also, update, Brandon is doing well...found out he has some issues with the Word of Wisdom he's not quite ready to forsake though, so...we'll be working on that. He's loving church and the members though, and is at least to Jacob 2 in his Book of Mormon reading, which is great. Also, we're teaching Rachel the stop smoking program this week (!!) and she came to church and CSFY yesterday (mission fireside thing), so she's progressing well. :) Probably won't be a baptism before I leave (2 weekends left...can we do it?!), but at least there will be a lot of serious progress made since I got here, and some really great potential for the next missionaries coming in.


Name: Amanda
Age: 20 something! (we need to ask...)
Studying: Biology @ University of Washington
Accessory of choice: Tattoo on her foot of a compass rose; she's been a lot of cool places like Thailand and Japan.
Miracle that we found her: She normally is working weekends, but last Saturday afternoon, she was remarkably home.
Miracle #2: She invited us right in!
Circumstances of her day: Her Grandfather was getting married that day (or re-married, rather), and she took the day off so she could go...but she felt like she shouldn't.
Past with the missionaries: She had a Mormon friend in High School who used to have her and the missionaries over all the she knows a fair amount about us and what we believe.
Present religious views: General Christian, prays a lot, not going to a specific church and pretty open
Spirit we felt: Super strong. She seems super solid and willing, and we have a return appointment for this Wednesday. SO PUMPED!


This is going to be short, just for the sake of time...but I'm really grateful for the transparency of the church. One of my favorite resources as of late has been these awesome articles (very well researched) that the church has put out on different issues that people take concern with (polygamy, first vision accounts, etc). If you have any questions on these issues, or at least want to see the church's perspective on them, go here:

I'm grateful for a church that is willing to grapple with difficult questions, and is working to increase in transparency and provide more answers for it's members and those with concerns. I know these essays have been extremely informative and helpful for me, especially as I've dealt with a lot of complaints on these matters up here in good ole Washington :)


Greek again!

Me and Heather at CSFY (Investigator from my first area, set to be baptized this weekend!)

I love you all dearly! I'm so grateful for my mission, and grateful for the peace and calm I'm feeling, even as it winds to a close.


Sister Hale


NOT...even gonna say how many weeks I have left, cause it's a little embarrassing...but suffice it to say that this is either my second to last or third to last email. So! There might be a little bit of a hiccup Thanksgiving week because our Pday is being moved to who knows whether or not I'll be able to email 2 weeks from now (just a heads up), but! Today I can, so I will :)


So! Pretty good week this week if a LITTLE tumultuous at the start. Pday last week (post-last week's email) was pretty brutal, because...just a big combination of bad things happened at once (someone handing me what I thought was anti, a less active freaking out...etc.) it wasn't exACTLY the chill calming day Pday is supposed to be...but that's alright. After that, the week got better :) We got to see Meet the Mormons in Zone Conference, and it was pretty darn cool. We also are continuing to work with Rachel and Brandon, who are both on date for after I leave (:/)...but Brandon came to church this week and stayed for all 3 hours AND potluck AND came to cottage meeting in the evening, so that was fly. And Rachel's progressing pretty well too. Also picked up a new investigator Zac this week, who's really open and eager to learn. College contacting people. It works. :D


Name: Diego Carrion (roll the R)
Thing he will tell you right off the bat meeting him: He is fluent in Spanish, and is a dual citizen of the United States and Ecuador (roll the R)
Favorite Accessories: Hipster glasses, plaid shirts buttoned to the neck, fancy church shoes
How he would describe himself: Deep thinker; avid student; one who longs to take his guitar into the mountains and strum until the sun goes down...(about 4pm in Washington)
Employment: Computer Science yada yada
Recent cool missionary experience in his life: His girlfriend, unbeknownst to him, started taking the missionary lessons and has recently (like last week) gotten baptized!
Hobbies: Collecting church books, learning stories about Porter Rockwell, playing long games of Risk
Reason we like going to dinner with him: He takes us to super nice places, AND tells us church history stories
Reason we're embarrassed to go to dinner with him: These super nice places are super expensive...:X
Thing he doesn't know, but that makes him really funny: His singing very loud.
How he ends his prayers: 'In the name of Jesus Christ...Ahmen.' (the correct way)
One reason I love his presence in the Halls Lake YSA Ward: Our ward has been described as having at least 2 people from every High School clique...and if we didn't have at least ONE hipster-nerd, we would definitely be out of balance.


This scripture kept coming to mind this week, so I thought I would share it.

D&C 124:15

"And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he liveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord."

I love that; the Lord loves this man because of the integrity of his heart. I looked up the word Integrity, and it means 'adherence to a code of values, soundness, completeness.' Integrity is something I want to pursue throughout my life. Integrity (being the same person in every circumstance; church, school, online, what have you) is also the easiest and most satisfactory way to share the gospel. As we become more Christlike internally, people should be able to know Christ better as they get to know us, because we are emulating him and trying to be consistently like him in all circumstances of our lives.

I know I still need help purifying my heart and desires, but I know that as I pray for this, God will help me. Life is easier without all the baggage of wanting what the world wants. So I'll be working on that, especially as I'm preparing to come home. :)


We had fun Weekly Planning this week. Maybe a little too much fun...;P

Love you all! This really is...pretty much your last chance to write. So if you're ever gonna do it, DO IT NOW! (my address is on my Facebook cover page ;P) XOXOXOX

Sister Hale


...Yep. The time has come. The time when trivial comments about time passing quickly now become very serious and threatening. Because, ladies and gentlemen, you will only be getting 3 MORE EMAILS of this variety before I am no longer a missionary. CRAZY. (and perchance not even that; our Pday is being moved to Thanksgiving in the last week of my mission and I DONNNN'T know if there will be library time on that day. We shall see.)

But! Without further ado...THE TALE OF OUR TRIUMPHS. And my week, and all that jazz. :)

UPDATE:'s been a great week! We MADE STANDARDS (this fairly challenging combination of key indicator marks (people at church, on date for baptism, etc.) that the MP has set as standards of excellence for the mission) and had 3 people at church! CRAZY MIRACLES! :D Brandon continues to progress (he read 10 chapters of the Book of Mormon this week) though he remains frustrating...Rachel has been praying out loud (!) and is newly on-date for baptism, and Jessica invited herself to church this week! Miracles! :D Another miracle is that we found a new investigator at 8:29 last night (and it's started to get SUPER dark, thanks to daylights savings, so even more awesome), which was the last thing we needed to hit standards! Phew...rather exhausting week, but a very good one.


Not that I don't have cool people we're working with to profile, buuutt...this needs to be done.

Name: The Ghost
Age: ...anywhere from 26-35
Where we see her: Wandering our complex with a distressed look on her face
Outfit she wears every day: Purple Northface type jacket, snake-print leggings
Disturbing behavior: Shall I count the ways? ...gathering rocks into one of those free doggie bags they have in receptacles in our complex underneath our window at 6:40am...dancing at 9pm with several metal wire type things (like the type that secure the election signs in place by the side of the road) and walking around with a black trash bag on her head (yesterday, I'm not kidding). Kinda creepy.
What happens when we try to talk to her: She doesn't acknowledge us and sprints off in the other direction
My theory: Schizophrenia. Or otherwise very disturbed. So far she seems harmless, so we haven't said anything to the management, but...yeah.


Helaman 3:35

"...Now this was a great evil, which did cause the more humble part of the people to suffer great persecutions, and to wade through much affliction. 
Nevertheless, they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."

I've loved this scripture for a while, but it stood out to me again in my reading this week. I like especially where it gives the process (kinda reversed in the scripture) that goes like this:

Yielding hearts to God>Purifying and sanctification of their hearts>filling their souls with joy and consolation

Who doesn't want joy and consolation, right? Especially in times of difficulty and persecution. I love that in this scripture the direct cause of that joy and consolation is yielding their hearts to God. What does that mean for us? It means giving up your love and allegiance to things that are not of God, things that are the 'good and better' on the spectrum of good-better-best, or things that are expressly against his commandments. A lot of times we give these things up in our external lives, but retain them in our heart. It's an act of faith to sacrifice these things, but we can be confident that when we do, God will purify and sanctify us, and bring that peace and joy more fully into our lives.


He's a sassy man. This is as close as I could get. :P

I love you all!


Sister Hale


Seriously crazy how fast time is passing. Kinda scary. KINDA REALLY SCARY.

And speaking of things passing quickly, this is going to be a quick email. Cause I got lazy and took my time reading all the great things y'all wrote me. So thanks for that. ;)



Things are going well! A little bit of a stressful week...I don't know if it's the turn in weather or Satan, but some of our gators are starting to get cold feet (not as many as the poor elders though; they got dropped pretty hard this week.). Not TOO badly...there's still definitely hope...but Brandon got really wound up about the Race and the Priesthood concern, and Kevin's really nervous about his family being cool with him being baptized, and...whew. Still working though! Of course. And still loving Sister Stringfellow. She is so sweet and down to earth, and a bit of a powerhouse. There are still some communication things that we're working on...but that's natural in the first couple weeks of living 24/7 with someone, wouldn't you say?


Name: Kevin!
Age: 23
How we found him: at his cousin's baptism. He was feeling the spirit really strongly, and said that he wanted to learn about these things for himself.
The good things! He's so positive and sweet, always calls us 'sisters' in his texts, keeping his commitments, and he came to church this last week!
The hard things: He's...kinda nervous about committing to the church. He's filipino, so the majority of his family is Catholic, and he's pretty scared to go against the grain. Luckily he lives with his cousin who just got baptized, and his cousin helps him out so much.
Highlights of the past week: Great lesson with Lans (our WML), the Bishop and his wife! And he came to church the next day!
What we're grateful for: Lans is a rocking fellowshipper; there, will call/text him, give him rides, he stuck with him at church...we're super grateful for the support.


Alma 58:11

"Yea, and it came to pas that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him."

I love this. This verse comes at a pivotal part of the war chapters when the Nephite armies are badly outnumbered, in need of men and supplies, and facing a host that was 'innumerable'. I've felt this way too; when my spiritual and emotional resources are depleted, when I feel like I'm doing the best I can and it's still not is so sweet to me to know that at those times we can request those assurances from Heavenly Father. And really, if we can feel that peace, even in the midst of turmoil, what problems do we really even have? I know I felt that as I was praying for help through some of Brandon's concerns, and I received that assurance. The Lord will give us enough to sustain us through times of trouble.


We had a super amazing Halloween party this week! It was so great! And here's a picture or two to prove it ;)

Search for the candies in the whipped creme dish activity. Sweet. (Literally ;P)

I love you all! Keep me in your prayers for these next...5 weeks!


Sister Hale

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Hey y'all!

Man, so...a year ago, I was in Clearview. WHEW! The time, the time...

And now I am officially in my last transfer! AND EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED ONCE AGAIN! So, here we go.


So...! I have a new companion. HER NAME IS SISTER KATELYN STRINGFELLOW! Annndd...I'm training again. Yep! Definitely unexpected, definitely kinda freaked me out at first...but I'm doing better now! So, some cool things about Sister Stringfellow: She is from Olympia Washington, and is actually here on a mini-mission to see if her physical limitations will allow her to serve a full time mission. She has (get ready for me to butcher the spelling) Spineabifita (Yep. Killed it.) which means that her spine is too long for her body, and ultimately means that her legs are really weak. She walks around with these cool little crutches (which she has lovingly termed Doctrine and Covenants), and wears big plastic braces on her legs when we go outside...but though her body may be weak, spiritually, mentally and emotionally she is one of the most prepared and motivated missionaries I have ever worked with. She super wants to be here, and she super wants to finish a full-time mission (as opposed to the 3 months her mini-mission allows {I'm her follow-up trainer, she's been out already a month and a half}), which is great for me at the end of my mish. I feel super blessed to be her second companion and for her to be my last, and am looking forward to seeing the good things we are able to do together this transfer. :)

Also, update on the work, pretty good week this week! It has been a bit of a tricky transition for me to go from working with a well-seasoned missionary who'd been in this area longer than I had and set the pace and things like that (SVL :P) to being the one who knows everything and sets the pace and calls the shots...but I'm trying to do that without 1) chortling with power, and 2) pushing ourselves to obscene limits. Don't run faster than you are able, right? So working on finding the productive balance. Had a great lesson with Brandon this week though, brought him to the church for a church tour and had a super productive discussion. He also came to institute this week, which he loved, and which was an awesome miracle (Quote after institute from Brandon: "There is this crazy energy here. Like...that (pointing to Michael Throolin) is the happiest guy I've ever seen in my life, and there are like five of them here. There's something about this church..." **SWEET!**) So working on that. Christine unfortunately has dropped off again, so won't be making her baptism date for this Saturday. So close...we'll keep working with her and praying that she'll text us back. *sigh*


Name: Hansel
Age: 21
Accessory or choice: Table full of free religious literature
How we met him: Going contacting in the afternoon at Edmonds Community College, we heard a loud voice reading the Bible wafting from across the courtyard. We went up and introduced ourselves.
Why we met him: I felt it would be pretty dumb (Elephant in the room type scenario) if we tried to contact people in the courtyard and didn't deal with the guy loudly reading the Bible for all to hear.
Why we soon regretted meeting him: He wouldn't shake our hands (didn't want to be 'unequally yoked,' he said), and promptly began to grill us on how we thought our works would save us and how we hadn't been truly converted to Christ. We had a couple investigators and members that we had texted beforehand come over to see us, and he promptly began grilling them on whether or not they were living the commandments, and told them that if they weren't they were going to Hell.
A few quotes from our conversation: At my insistence (after a long time and persistent attacks) that we didn't want to bash, he said "Why won't you bash?!" Uhh...because contention is of the devil? *sigh*
His arguments: 
1)We were doomed to hell because we were trusting in our baptism rather than in Jesus to save us.
2) What if we were wrong? What if we'd devoted 18 months of our lives to the wrong cause, and were condemning all the people we taught to hell? (sowing the seeds of dooouuubt...)
...and there were others.
Why we were frustrated: He obviously hadn't read Preach My Gospel. Had a memorized rig-ma-role intended to make the recipient feel guilty (and I guess in his mind, thus in need of Christ), and if it didn't work he would cajole us until we would give the 'right answer' (didn't know what to do when I told him that no, the commandments weren't burdensome for me to live). He was a terrible listener, didn't validate anything we were saying (it was all bad and wrong), and certainly didn't adapt teaching to meet needs. AND the spirit definitely wasn't with him, that too.
What I learned: How NOT to be. My goodness. Having had that experience (and some experience with the Jdubs in the area), I'm not surprised that some people are sometimes rude to us or expect us to be awful and condemning. I'm so grateful that that's not what I do as a missionary all day, that my purpose is not to 'invite people to come unto Christ by condemning them to increase their faith...yada yada'. I'm grateful that our focus is to invite, add, encourage, lift and bless. I definitely couldn't (and wouldn't want to) do this otherwise.


I'm blazing through the Book of Mormon in the attempt to finish it before I get home, and here was one of my favorite scriptures that I came across again.

Alma 38:12

"Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness."

So much good stuff jam-packed into one little verse! Each of those little maxims are extremely profound, and true (I can say, having put them to the test). I encourage you to pick one of the 3 and work on it! I know it'll bless ya. :)


My new compy loves to make tasty food with me. :) SCORE!

Love you all! Don't be strangers! I'm super grateful to be here and for all your support and love.


Sister Hale


HUZZAH FOR WASHINGTON THINKING COLUMBUS WAS A JERK! Though I'm not sure I agree necessarily, I am very grateful that the state's decision not to hallow this day, because it means I get to email on a Monday Holiday (contrary to a nasty dream I had on the subject). SO YAY.

Also, so happy to hear about all the wonderful things happening in all of your lives. Wonderful things are happening here too, and it just makes me happy to see blessings all around.

OKAY. If you haven't seen/heard of this yet and you are reading this email, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND WATCH THIS TRAILER REAL FAST:

We haven't gotten to see it yet, but I hear it's REALLY GOOD. Jealous of all y'all who can go...(but we might be getting it in Zone Conference, so PUH! :) )


Very good week. ALMOST 3 investigators at church, but 3 investigators with pretty solid progress ALL PROGRESSING (almost) and making me happy. :) Great Zone meeting though, some really solid lessons (I'm sorry, I need to be better about details...but see profile below!). Also, it's transfers tomorrow! (short transfer, 5 weeks because of some mission president training thing) So...we should be hearing today. Hopefully I'll hear in time to tell all y'all what's going down (my suspicion: SVL is out of here. But we have yet to see :) )

**Also, just recieved word: suspicions confirmed! Sister Van Leuven is out of here, and I'll be getting a new compie and finishing up my mission YSA. Sad to lose her, but PUMPED to have one part of my mission future secured! Bahhh...!


Name: Brandon
Age: 31
How we found him: POTENTIALS IN THE AREA BOOK BABY! See? It works. :)
Accessory of choice: Gangsta hat. Doesn't really fit him, buuuuttt...whatever.
Living Room Set-up: Like...6 couches, scattered around the living space. And 2 huge TV's right next to each other (one for football and one for soccer he tells us). Definitely a Bachelor pad.
Religious background: Christian...but starting to question some stuff. Religious he says because living Christian principles (like honesty) have made him feel a lot better and more free in his life.
Point of struggle: A lot of his closest friends are Atheist and Agnostics, and have been telling him that the whole faith thing is a bunch of bunk. He's a very analytical guy, but feels like he's experiencing a lot of confusion and darkness. Looking for an end to that.
Experience with the missionaries up to this point: He's actually been talking to mormon missionaries for the last 10 years...but last Sunday was the first time he came to church (Conference), and he really liked it.
Signs of progress: Came to church for Conference! Lets us in! Says he has to read the whole Book of Mormon to know if it's true! On date for December 13th!
Signs of hesitation: Not used to the missionaries seeing him a couple of times a week, a little weirded out by that...also DROVE TO CHURCH this last week, sat in the parking lot and then chickened out. Ugh! So clooossseee....:/
Reasons I love him (as an investigator, don't get weird now): Very sharp, gets things right away, willing to read and analyze, has a lot of concerns that are similar to past ones I've had.
Reasons he scares me: INTENNSSSEEE...intense. Can be scary. But nice. INTENSE!


It's gonna be quick, sorry. Quick, but important! 

Alma 34:15-16

"And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about the means unto all men that they may have faith unto repentance.

And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption."

Yep, I know. A whole sermon in 2 verses. I love these though. I love the clarity of the Book of Mormon, especially what it has to offer in clarifying doctrines that have been muddled by the continued translating and editing of the Bible over time. I love that it says that Christ has prepared the way, but unless we exercise faith unto repentance (read: change), we don't qualify and are exposed to the 'whole law'. So get repentin, peeps. ;)


​Me and Demi, crazy 'gator of a last transfer. She's still coming to activities and things, which is good! Buuutt...she lives out of the mission now, so some other sisters are teaching her. Worked out all for the best I think :)

Couldn't resist another game day. 7 WONDERS ALL THE WAY BABY! Didn't win this time (tried a new strategy), but I did come in a healthy second. :)

Love you all! This is getting serious now; only 7 more weeks to get blessings for writing a missionary. GET ON IT! :P

Sister Hale


Phewww...Time flies (she says over and over again). Understatement, right? BUT, let me not overlook this opportunity to wish my sweet brother Mason a happy birthday (Hurrah!) and myself, a wonderful half-birthday (hurrah once more!). He's 19 and I'm 21.5. Weiiiird...But without further ado!


Pretty good week! Some solid lessons, 3 new investigators (very good for YSA), LOTS of referrals to contact, and general happiness and well-being (except for Saturday when I got mad at Sister Van Leuven for loving other sisters more than me. But then I got over it. Let not thou notst believe that missions work out all the imperfections and oversensitivities of the missionaries, for behold, they do not! :P ). Christine had a killer lesson (Law of Chastity and Tithing) where she showed us that she already knew all about these commandments and was committed to live them. SWEET! Only bummer is that then she missed conference, so she can't get baptized this week...but soon! Soooon...that is, if the Navy doesn't ship her to Africa tomorrow. We have yet to see.


Name: Rachell Cluff
Age: 21
Hairstyle: BIG 'ole bun atop the head
Accessory of choice: Baggy sweatshirts and minnie mouse pj pants UNLESS she's going out, in which case she gets all dolled up. 
Defining Characteristic: Very quiet. Very gentle. Timid, definitely. But very sweet.
Religious background: A little bit of Christian background...but really not much. She's barely been to church in her life before.
How we found her: Referral from the Meadowdale Elders. Yeah boyz.
Favorite hobbies and past-times: (and this is a near direct quote) "Music...and touching people's hair." (she just graduated school to be a hair-stylist)
How she responds to our teaching: Doesn't have a lot of answers to our questions, but likes listening and feels good when we come. She said (in response to Sister Van Leuven asking her what she thought of our teaching her so far) "I like it. Thank you for inviting me to things, even when I don't come." She's scared, but we're working on it. ;)
How SVL and I feel towards her: WE LOVE HER. We also want to protect her from all the bad things. 
Our desires for her: GET BAPTIZED! COME TO CHURCH! Having a really good fellowshipper will help we think, so we're working on that.
What we love: When she smiles. Oh man. She looks so down trodden so much of the time, but when she smiles, it's just like a beautiful gift. So sweet.


Conference was wonderful this past weekend. Whew! 2 years ago yesterday they lowered the age for missionary service? Isn't that insane? That's one of the greatest blessings I think of being part of the 'true and living church'. The foundational doctrinal truths (who we are, where we came from, what we're supposed to do here, where we're going after this life) remain the same, but external policies and practices are always changing and adapting to better facilitate the spread and teaching of the gospel. (age change, missionaries using ipads,, all that great stuff)

Here are some of my favorite talks that I'd recommend to you to give a read or listen to:

>Elder Lynn G Robbins (Saturday Morning)
>Elder D. Todd Christofferson (Saturday Morning)
>Elder Jorg Klebingat (Saturday Afternoon)
>Tad R. Callister (Saturday Afternoon)
>Elder M. Russell Ballard (Sunday Afternoon)
>Elder Carlos Godoy (Sunday Afternoon)
>Elder Larry S. Kacher (Saturday Afternoon)

And if you're not a member of the church and have the question about why we even do all this crazy missionary work, please read Elder Bednar's talk in the Sunday Afternoon session. It's directed towards non-members, and is pretty awesome.

I love the spirit I feel at conference, and the resolve I make to improve as a result. I'm grateful for the Spirit and it's sanctifying effect on me. I understand that now the responsibility is mine, to actually follow through on those impressions and qualify for the blessings God wants to give me. I encourage you all to do the same!


So many good ones to choose from this might get 2 again!

Exchanges this week! Herman Brunsdale is one of my hipster faves :)

And then this is me in the middle (no duh), Christine on the left and Brittany on the right. Hard not to have favorites when you work with such awesome prepared people :)

LOVE YOU ALL! This was too long already, I apologize. XOXOX!

Sister Hale