10 January 2011

Dearest friends and family,
Well, this week in Rio Gallegos Carlos Peralta was baptized and confirmed!  He`ll be a great priesthood holder for the branch.  He went to church for like 10 months in another branch, but then moved to our branch.  We met him and he was ready to be baptized!  So, we had a great baptismal service.  We are also teaching a young man named Aldo who is super excited about improving his life.  He`s already accepted a baptismal date for the 29th of January.
The church here is pretty small.  There aren`t any wards or stakes, just branches and a district.  Last Sunday there were like 40 people in church.  So, we`ve got our work cut out for us.  But, we`re going to work a ton with the members and recent converts to start building up the church here in this part of the world.  Well, here its been unseasonably hot, like high 60`s (not that I`m complaining!), so I`ve still to experience the real gallegos weather.
I`ve got to tell you guys that the sunsets here are way amazing, I think it has something to do with the angle of the sun or something, but the sky just explodes!  Me and my companion are working way good together and we`re starting to see miracles every day. 
This sunday I played the piano and spoke about missionary work.  We`ve really won the confidence of the brand new branch president, who was just called like 2 weeks ago.
Haha the funniest thing happened this week.  We had a lesson with a huge gypsy family.  They are actually way, way nice people and let anybody just come into their house and talk.  The women all wear dresses and funny head ribbons and the men just wear regular clothes.  Well, we walked in and tried teaching, but they just kept telling us that they believe in Jesus and that we need to go to their church this sunday.  They also told us that we were now their adopted sons and that if we ever wanted to go live with them, we could.  Ha!  Anyway, there are a ton of gypsies here, but its like they live normal lives with jobs, houses, cars, etc.
So, I`ve been feeling very deeply that the Lord is preparing people here in Gallegos who will listen to our message and accept the resored gospel.  Man, I`m so sure that God speaks to us through our thought and feelings.  It really comes down to that.  If you want to communicate with God, get on your knees and pray.  Then, pay attention to your thoughts and feelings.  I`ve really come to appreciate that gift from God on my mission.  I`ve also learned that heartfelt prayer is like a window.  We can`t control God`s will through our prayers, but we can come to see more clearly God`s will through prayer.  When we don`t prayer, we back away from that window and we feel like God doesn`t help us, just because our vision is limited.
Well, I hope you guys are doing awesome.  The members keep telling us that in the US there are crazy snow storms right now.  They tell us that that is a sign that this year we`re going to get a lot of cold during the winter.  We`ll see what happens.
I love you guys!  I`m loving my mission here, its the coolest place in the world!  Have a great week.
Elder J. Hales

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