Birth and Death

Date: November 14, 2010
Area: Aurora, Alicia Area - Roxas Zone
Companion: Elder Farley - CA -( MTC District Buddy )


There is nothing in life like birth and death.
8 years ago I experienced both in the same week. Sunday November 10, 2002 I was ordained a deacon. Grandpa Hale was in that circle of priesthood holders that laid their hands on my head and conferred upon me the Aaronic Priesthood. I understand more now, than I did then the significance of what had occurred.

The next day Shammus was born. I remember there were several complications with the pregnancy, but he came into the world nice and healthy. No doubt he came from a loving Heavenly Father, who wanted Shammus to find true happiness in this life and to qualify to return and live in His presence for time and all eternity.

That Wednesday Grandpa Hale was admitted into the hospital and then passed away that Friday. While there were many tears with the death of Grandpa Hale, there was also a sense of peace. We understood that death is a part of life that we all must experience.

Those questions of where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going are answered in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Friday morning at 10 me and Elder Farley walked into the mission home in Cauayan. When I saw Sister Banks and her companion I had a feeling something may be wrong. President and Sister Carlos came in from the Cauayan airport a little later. President invited Brittney into his office and then Sister Carlos, with tears in her eyes, told me that Doug had passed away.

Soon after, President invited me into the office and got Toni on the speaker phone. There was a point in the conversation where Brittney explained something to the effect that she knew that her dad was OK, but that the people here don't know that. They don't have that knowledge and she wants to stay here so she can help others understand that.

There were tears and in true Hale fashion, there was joy and laughing and a feeling of peace from that prospective the gospel brings. After the phone call President Carlos talked to us. He is full of love. He gave Brittney a powerful blessing of comfort. Then he invited Elder Farley in and had Elder Farley give me a blessing.

They got us all lunch and fed us some Mrs. Fields cookies that they had found in the airport in Manila. We chatted for a bit and then Me and Elder Farley left and I pondered. If all I have gained while on a mission these past 10 months has been is a stronger testimony of our Savior and His atonement and a stronger conviction of the reality of the Restoration of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith, then it has been worth every second.

That testimony continues to grow. I am far from a perfect person. I am grateful and humbled by the opportunity to serve as a missionary. I am grateful for this time I have to raise my voice and declare to the people of the Philippines that I know my Redeemer lives, that He guides this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints through a living Prophet, Thomas S. Monson.

People here sometimes explain how hard life is here in the Philippines compared to America. I often tell them that I know people in America who have a bunch of money, a bunch of cars, a big house, a lot of other worldly things and yet they are unhappy. I then explain how I have come to know people who live without those things yet they are the happiest people I know, because they have a true knowledge of their Savior, the Restoration of the Gospel and they live according to that knowledge.

We need to live each day of our lives with that eternal prospective in mind of what really matters. Mom and dad, tell Toni, Jake, Becky, Tawnie, Brittney and Mellisa that I send my love. They are all in my prayers.

As President Monson has quoted from a book, "death is just like going into another room, in that other room we shall see all our dear loved ones."

We'll all see Doug Banks again.

--Elder Hale 


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