27 July 2011



So this was my first full week here at the Missionary Training Center. This week has been full of amazing experiences, and lots of learning. However, for time's sake I think I will tell you guys just a few of the highlights.

So on Saturday night we had a big celebration for the fourth of July, which was interesting because we have so many people here from all around the world. It would certainly seem strange to me if I were from South Africa! Well, after that meeting we got to go outside and watch the fireworks from the Stadium of Fire. It was awesome!

Sunday night was even better! We had a meeting with all the missionaries, and the key speaker/performer was Jenny Oaks Baker. Don't worry, I didn't know about her either! Haha But apparently she is one of the most accomplished violinists in the world. Her father is Elder Oaks! Well she would tell us stories about her life as a performer, and then she would play the most beautiful pieces. Having played the violin some myself, I could recognize how amazing she was. The definite highlight of the night, however, was when she had her four-year old, six-year old, and eight- year old perform. The 8 year old played the piano really well, I was really amazed! The other girls played the violin and cello. The did a really really good job, and afterwards everybody couldn't help but giving them a standing ovation. It was sweet!

Tuesday night we had an emeritus General Authority come talk to us. Brother Kofford did an extraordinary job. He gave us very usable and simple advice that has already helped me become a better missionary. Sweet!

Another highlight was on Monday morning. Every week we will be going to a place here called the Training Resource Center, or TRC. We went on Monday morning to teach volunteers the lesson that we are learning for the week. Monday we were scheduled to teach the very first lesson in English. This was going to be great, because I felt very comfortable in my ability to teach. Well, it turned out that we were teaching other missionaries who had been here for 8 weeks, and they told us, in Spanish, that they wanted us to teach solomente en espanol. Oh no! Haha I had no idea what I was going to say. I could barely ask where the bathroom was let alone teach a forty minute lesson to missionaries who had already been teaching the lesson for two months! Well, it went fairly well with the help of my companions and another, more experienced, missionary. So we decided then and there that we were going to teach the rest of the lessons in Spanish even though we weren't supposed to start that for another month. We have been practicing this week and it has gone really well! My Spanish is constantly improving, and I am feeling a lot more comfortable every day!

So it also turns out that I don't need a visa to go to Chile after all. I got a letter from the travel office that told me that all I needed to do was show them my passport, and I was good to go. I cannot wait to get out there! I don't know if there are any young men or women reading this, but if you have any doubts on whether to go on a mission or not, let me tell you something. You will not regret the choice to go. I have only been here a week and I have had some problems and I can see some potential problems, but seriously I feel so good to wake up everyday knowing that I am serving my God. Yo se qué este evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero. Y Mediante la expiación de Jesucristo seremos feliz y vivimos con nuestros familias por eternidad.

                 Un abrazo,
           Elder Nathan Hales

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