Monday, February 12, 2018

I'm a Jazzminton Pro!





Teaching at Zone Conference

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone has had a fantastic week! I look forward to Mondays so much. The week always goes by so fast, and then you hit Sunday and the day is SO LONG but then Monday comes and the world is ok again! Anyway, we had a pretty fun week!

We’ve been seeing miracles this whole week as we really push to accomplish our goals. Every night last week we needed to hand out just one more Book of Mormon or talk to just one more person and every time we decided to stay out and try until the last moment, we would accomplish our goal! It was super cool and a lot of fun. The other night we needed to talk to one more person and after walking around our apartment complex for like 15 minutes we weren’t seeing anyone. So with only like 10 minutes left in the day, we jumped back in the MAV (Mormon Assault Vehicle) and drove down the road. Someone was walking on the sidewalk so I pulled over and Elder Hadfield jumped out of the car and ran to talk to them. They were super mean and said some nasty words, but we got our goal and made it home on time! It was awesome!

We had zone conference on Wednesday and it was so good as always! President Bullen is such an amazing man who I love very much. We were tasked with teaching how to plan for people and planning for finding people. It was pretty fantastic, mostly because Elder Hadfield and I taught it. Haha! After lunch we were getting ready to head back in for the last hour or so when President and Sister Bullen brought out paddles and birdies for everyone and we all played a huge game of Badminton! (Well it was called “Jazzminton” but pretty much the same concept). It was a huge surprise and definitely a highlight of the week!

On Thursday we returned to Canfield Place to do our second craft with the elderly. We picked out a relatively easy valentine to make and it was a success! Pat was the only one that was grumpy but we found out that she’s actually just really grumpy all the time. I’m pretty sure that she was enjoying herself though, she just didn’t want to admit it. 

Thursday night we were going to check the mail and it was super dark. When we were walking back to the car, I heard the slightest little sniffle. Over in the dark there was a person in a hoodie with a dog that looked like he was hungry and I was on the menu. I walked over anyway and said hello. A young woman looked up at me with red puffy eyes and tears streaming down her face. I asked her what was wrong and she couldn’t get the words to come out. I sat down next to her and told her that God was aware of her and that He loved her. We gave her a Book of Mormon and said a prayer with her. By the end of the prayer she had calmed down and thanked us. She even gave us a little smile. I’m not sure if she will ever call us back or even read the Book of Mormon, but it was a tender moment that I will never forget. 

We met a sweet little Asian man named Ly (pronounced Lee). He was so excited to get a copy of the Book of Mormon and read it every single day! We are hoping to meet with him soon, though we probably will need the gift of tongues to understand that little guy for more than 10 minutes. Hahaha!

Well, I’m just grateful for the time and love that Christ shows each of us. He is real, and He lives! I love you all, have a great week!

Love,

Elder Hall


Zone Conference

Monday, February 5, 2018

My Energizer Bunny!



Me and Elder Hadfield

Hey fam! Holy cow what a week it’s been! I’ve got lots to talk to you about and not a lot of time! It’s been pretty mild this week weather wise, so that’s been good! Especially with transfers this week!

So, transfers. I had to say goodbye to the Farmington ward and and Elder Wallace! We both got transferred out of the area (whitewashing is what we call it). So Sister Bray and Sister Jacobs took over Farmington and my new companion Elder Hadfield and I took over the Murrayhill ward from the sisters! It was sad moving areas so quickly, but also cool that I stayed in the same stake and I’m still the zone leader of Beav West.

Elder Hadfield is from Layton, Utah and has been out only 6 months! He was trained, then trained a missionary, then came to be a zone leader with me. He’s a stud of a guy! He’s made me feel like an old man this week because this is only his second area and he is so green still. This kid is gonna run me ragged! He’s a hard worker that is literally like the energizer bunny. My tiring old man self can barely keep up! But we have seen a lot of miracles and I’m grateful to gain back a little of that greenie fire that I lost many moons ago.

On Thursday night after a long day of putting out fires (as usual the first few days of a transfer being a zone leader), we got home at around 8:45. We hadn’t been able to place a Book of Mormon all day and I was frankly ready for bed. But, Elder Hadfield and his super optimistic self turned to me and said we needed to place one before we went inside. I said we could try and before I could even get out of the car he was walking down the sidewalk. There was a couple sitting on some steps with their dogs a few buildings down so we *quite literally* ran over. Danica and Joshua were super cool and gladly accepted a Book of Mormon and we got a return appointment for this week! It was a super neat experience and I’m grateful for Elder Hadfield and his faith.

So we have 11 elders in the zone and only two cars that seat 5 each. Do the math and we come up one seat short! After talking to the mission office, we were informed that we would be receiving the mission minivan! We were PUMPED! Her name is Fat Pat and I will include a picture. So now I feel like a dad with all of his little missionary children driving around Beaverton in a White minivan. Woot!

The sisters that were in our area previously had signed us up to do a craft day in a rest home with a bunch of elderly people. Well, it was the definition of a FIASCO. The old people were grumpy and we had no idea what was going on. Pat was filled with sass and Paloma kept telling me she wasn’t having fun. It was rough in the moment, but looking back, it was pretty hilarious! We are not excited to go back this week. 

Our investigator’s name is Dana and she is AMAZING! We are so excited for her baptism on the 24th! She is an incredible woman and we are so proud of her. We showed her a video of President Nelson on Saturday and when it finished she said, “Oh boys I know that man is a prophet of God.” Did I mention she is from St. Louis and full of sass? Hahahaha I love her so much! 

This ward is amazing and I’m so happy to be here! They are absolutely incredible and I love it! I am just FILLED with gratitude today! I am IN LOVE with Jesus Christ and His Atonement. It is such a beautiful gift that I will forever praise Him for. 

I love you all so much! Have a good week!

With Love, 

Elder Hall



The area of rescue assistance



MLC




Fat Pat!




Saying goodbye to my pal Sister McNeil




Conducting District Meeting


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Shine bright like a diamond




Hey fam, I don’t have much time this week, but I thought I would at least say hello! This has been a hard week, but we made it through! 

This last week was quite the adventure. On Monday night, we went on exchanges with the APs! I went to the downtown branch with Elder Coombs and Elder Mobley went to Farmington with Elder Wallace. Elder Coombs and I had a really fun and interesting time in downtown Portland! There are some pretty crazy people there. It’s a pretty dark feeling in downtown wherever you go, but luckily we have the light of the gospel!

On Wednesday night I had a rare privilege of spending some one on one time with President Bullen. He is such an incredible man and I’m so grateful that I get to associate with him.

So transfers are on Wednesday, and we know Elder Wallace is leaving, but we don’t know where he is going, if I’m staying, and if so, who my new companion is. We will find out later tonight, so hold tight until next week!

On Saturday morning, we were at the Woodside’s house to cut down a tree the old fashioned way with some axes. Well, we were waiting for breakfast, and little Addie (she’s two years old) came up to me and asked if I would read her a book. We sat on the couch together and the two of us read a few books. You know, it wasn’t a big deal, but that moment made my whole week. I miss my little nieces and nephew and the time we would spend reading books every Sunday night. Addie brought in the brightest sunshine of my day. I love that little girl so much!

Someone once told me a very profound thought. Diamonds are best displayed when put against dark surfaces. The beauty of our lives is found in the deepest contrast. Can you truly shine without trials and temptation?

I love you all, have an absolutely incredible week! And take some of Rihanna’s advice, Shine bright like a diamond!

Love,

Elder Hall

Adventures at the Woodsides

 

 




Monday, January 22, 2018

Heavenly Fortunes



Hello everybody! I’m just going to tell you all right now, it was a super uneventful week with not a lot happening so this email will be very short. It’s been a wet and cold week, with a lot of rain! The weather really does affect people.

Here’s a short story that happened on Friday. Elder Wallace and I had a really hard day. We just weren’t having any success at all, and we felt like we were failures. We didn’t have dinner, but a member surprised us with reservations at a Chinese restaurant. After an incredible dinner (Stir Crazy Chinese off of TV Hwy, we highly recommend it), we opened our fortune cookies. Elder Wallace read his first: “Pray for what you want, but work for the things you need.” We were shocked. Then I opened mine: “Your faith carries you through difficult times.” It was like lightning struck. We were in utter disbelief. Heavenly Father let us know how to carry on! The work continues forward and we have a loving Heavenly Father ever-aware of us.

I know this is a super lame email, sorry! I promise next week will be better. I love you all, have a good week!

With Love,
Elder Hall

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

That dang sticker!



The bonfire, Chloe the goat, and Starlord the dog

Hey from Oregon today! It is a bright and beautiful mostly cloudy day. Haha we are enjoying any glimmer of sunshine we can! This week has brought a lot of fun and cool experiences I am excited to share with everyone! 

On Wednesday, we went to this super sketch trailer park and when we got out of the car, there was this super cute little yorkie on the porch of this house that kept jumping, just summoning us over. So we walk over and this lady (her name is Yolanda!) opens the door and we start talking. She had never heard of the Book of Mormon so we shared what it was about and read 3 Nephi 11:11. She loved it! We committed her to read the rest of the chapter, got her phone #, and a return appointment! It was so cool! #firstnewinvestigatorthistransfer

Ok so Friday was an adventure. We started the morning with interviews with President Bullen and can I just say I love that man. He is such an incredible man that inspires me. We had an awesome discussion about missions and how much I’ve changed. We were blessed to watch the funeral of our beloved prophet Thomas S Monson shortly after our interviews and it was a beautiful service as most of you probably know. What a fitting tribute to such an incredible man!

We went to lunch shortly after the funeral with President Bullen, President White, the stake president of Beav West, and Sister Bullen. President Bullen had asked us to bring a copy of the Book of Mormon with the new OPM stickers we are putting in the cover. Elder Wallace and I walked out to our car to get one and we discovered that we didn’t have any more copies with the sticker in them. We literally only had one job for this meeting and it was to bring a copy of the Book of Mormon with the dang sticker in it! We thought quick on our feet, and remembered some missionaries lived just half a mile from where we were having lunch. We jumped in the car and drove there slightly illegally fast, found a copy with a sticker, and drove back. We ran in and tried to look calm and refined. President Bullen didn’t even ask any questions why we were gone a little longer than it should have taken. Hahaha probably one of the best moments of my life! 

Another highlight of that Friday lunch was running into my good friend, President Giles of the Milwaukie stake! I love that man very much. It was so good to see him!

Well, Saturday was awesome! We went up to the Woodside’s house as usual. We built an enormous bonfire to burn and it was amazing! I look forward to going up there every week. Spending time with the dogs, the goats, and usually work in a fire there somewhere. It was an adventure as the fire started to die out, but after much love and stoking, we saved it and had a successful burn! 

It wasn’t until later that day Elder Wallace and I realized that Saturday was a landmark day for us. It was our 18 month mark! We forgot to burn a pair of pants, but I think a pile 15 feet high and 9 feet across will suffice. We decided to celebrate and go out to dinner to our favorite Hawaiian place, Roxy’s. As I’ve pondered my last 18 months of service in the Lord’s army, I can’t help but think of all that I’ve learned and the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, the things I’ve experienced. This has been the experience of a lifetime! I’m anxious to see what these last six months will bring.

I love this gospel, I know it is true. Jesus Christ lives. I love you all, have a fantastic week!

With Love,


Elder Hall


Zone Conference




Me attempting to take a picture with a cat that proceeded to bite me. Don’t pick up stray cats.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Book of Mormon



My mozzarella stick looks like the Nike swoosh!  Just "Do It!"

Hello from Oregon! It’s been a wet and rainy week, but one of many miracles and incredible moments I’ll never forget. I apologize if this letter is a little short!

I’ll start with zone conference. This whole zone conference was about the Book of Mormon and why it is so important. Elder Wallace and I were privileged enough to teach how to support investigators reading the Book of Mormon. But as many of you probably saw on my Facebook feed, a small moment came to pass that I’ll never forget. I’ll just quote it below:

"This morning we started our missionary zone conference with a solemn spirit as we learned of the passing of President Thomas S Monson. Together we sang, “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet”. The Holy Ghost quickly engulfed the room as these humble servants of our Savior sang with full hearts honoring our beloved prophet. It was an experience I will never forget. We are in the Lord’s work."

Later in the day we had an amazing miracle happen! We came out of zone conference pumped to share the Book of Mormon so we set a goal to hand out one open Book of Mormon.  We decided to stop by Kevin's.  He is someone we had talked with last week about possibly coming back.  When he opened the door he was a little surprised to see us again but after thinking for a minute let us in and said we could take 5 minutes. We explained some background on the Book of Mormon and then shared Ether 12:27 with him.  Afterwards we asked how that could affect him personally and it really made him think. We had a great conversation with him and he accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and said he would read it! We are super excited to follow up with him!

It’s short, but I want you to know that I love this gospel. It is true, and it brings eternal joy. I love you all, have a good week!

With love,

Elder Hall 


Beav west zone with my pal Kiyah Clemence




MLC breakfast



MLC group

Monday, January 1, 2018

Soaked!



Austin's baptism!

Hey everyone! My goodness it’s 2018 I can’t even believe it! I go home this year! Man that is so weird. Well a happy new year to everyone! I would also like to wish my pup Buster Bluth a very happy birthday! He’s 4 years old today! I’m excited to tell you guys about my week, it was crazy! 

Last Monday was Christmas as you all know, and I had the best time talking to my family! Those little kiddos are getting so big! I’m happy that everyone is doing well and enjoying life!

Tuesday was probably my favorite day of my whole mission. We spent the morning grocery shopping and then some sisters called us stranded because their car broke down. It took us a little bit, but we got the car to start! You can just start calling me the car doctor or something... haha NO. Anyway, we had district meetings and our zone is doing so well. I am so proud of them! 

Ok so rewind to Monday night. My boy Austin is getting baptized on Tuesday in Milwaukie and I have no ride over. Everyone I call turns me down. I finally have this thought, ‘hey President Bullen goes to all the baptisms and he’s pretty close by.’ I call President and he says he would love to give me a ride! 

Now back to Tuesday. President and Sister Bullen come to pick me up at our apartment. Elder Wallace goes with some other elders for the evening. I get in the car and we start driving, just the three of us! President hands me a stack of papers and asks me to read them and give him feedback. We have a really nice hour long drive talking about missionary work and what we can do to change some things. It was pretty cool!

Then we had the crowning event of the night! Austin got baptized! I was so happy for him! I started teaching him back in August. He was so happy and I was so honored to be the one to baptize him. It was a special experience I will never forget! 

Because this was the first time I had ever baptized someone in my mission, I didn’t quite think of how wet I would get... so of course I didn’t bring an extra shirt. I wrung it out as best I could and threw it back on, still soaking wet. Luckily, I was wearing a suit so it wasn’t noticeable, but I was FREEZING. hahaha I am so dumb. 

So President and Sister Bullen and I get in the car and start back home to Beaverton. Because of how crazy our day was, I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was now 7:30 and I was STARVING. As we’re driving, President gets off the highway in Lake Oswego, so I ask where we’re going. He says, “Elder Hall I’m buying you dinner. Will you let me do that?” I graciously accepted and we pull into this chic Thai restaurant. He brings in this stack of papers mentioned earlier and we spend all of dinner discussing. I felt like I was about to make a multimillion dollar business deal or something! Haha you could tell President has had many important meetings over dinner.

So that was my Tuesday. And it was just so neat and so fun. I will never forget it!

Flash forward to Friday at MLC which is always a party! Haha I love all of my mission leader friends! President Bullen and I concluded on Tuesday night we needed a reform of planning and how to do it. Well on Friday, he pulls out 8 of us and let’s us know that we are going to be a special committee to figure out this planning thing. We spent the rest of MLC trying to figure out some place to start. It’s going to be an adventure. 

This week has brought many emotions for me. Talking to my family, seeing someone get baptized, being responsible for a big assignment, learning that my family is moving, finding out a dear friend is going home from their mission early, and hitting 2018. There’s been points where I almost fall apart because I don’t know how to handle it all. And then I remember some advice a close friend told me that was reiterated in church yesterday, amazingly enough. It’s this: Control what you can control and then have faith that the Lord will take care of the rest. So that’s what I’ll do. 

I love you all so much much, I hope you have an amazing week!

With love,

Elder Hall 

  

The OPM Christmas Party!

 
 
Beav West, Beav Best!


   

Pictures of my area


A 1,000 piece puzzle Elder Wallace and I did on Christmas


Video of me conducting the infamous OPM Nose Flute Band!