24 July 2011

Nathan's Mission - How It All Started

On March 22, 2011 Nathan opened his mailbox in Provo, Utah, and found a large white envelope addressed to Elder Nathan Robert Hales.  He dialed up his parents on Skype so his family back in North Carolina could watch him open the letter.  When he read aloud the words “you are hereby called to serve in the Chile Viña del Mar mission,” his family went crazy, cheering, crying, and quickly googling everything they could find about the place.  Nathan just grinned.  Viña del Mar, Chile.  Yeah.  It just felt right!

Nathan, Mom, Dad, and Justin at the temple together
Two brothers, two missionaries

On June 29 Nathan said goodbye to his family, boarded a plane, and flew to Utah where began his mission at the MTC (Missionary Training Center).  Thirteen days earlier, his older brother, Justin, completed his two-year mission in Argentina.  (See earlier blog entries for details on Justin’s mission).   For those thirteen days the two brothers were inseparable—Justin teaching Nathan about mission life, and Nathan reintroducing Justin to “civilian” life. 

On Sunday, June 26th, both spoke in church.  Later that day friends and family came to their home to wish them both well.  A “bienvenidos” for Justin.  A “despedida” for Nathan.

Friends and family gather to wish Nathan well

  Then later that night, Nathan met with President Catlett and was set apart as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  His mission had begun.

Elder Hales and Stake President Joseph Catlett
 Early on the morning of June 29, 2011, Nathan and his family drove to the Fayetteville airport.  Saying goodbye for two years was rough, but Nathan never wavered in his purpose.  Later that day he entered the MTC where he will study and prepare for two months.  Then, off to Chile!

Saying goodbye at the airport

At the MTC
Sigue fuerte, Elder Hales!

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