Monday, December 11, 2017

True to the Faith



Hey everyone! Happy Christmas! And happy birthday yesterday to my incredible mother! It has officially been all sun and no clouds for 9 days now. It’s amazing! I mean, it’s always FREEZING, but man is it gorgeous! I’ll send pics.

So this week was just a lot of zone leadering stuff, so pretty mundane, pretty boring. But I have a few things to talk about so don’t worry!

We had our ward Christmas party this week and it was a ton of fun! Our incredible ward got Elder White and I some amazing stockings and it was so sweet. I am so thankful for them! I got a little emotional. I love this ward. 

On Saturday we did a free hot chocolate stand with some other missionaries! We did it on the busiest street in Milwaukie on a late Saturday afternoon. I was designated as the sign holder/dancer and it was so fun! I danced so hard I’m actually still a little sore! Haha that’s actually just sad... We talked to a lot of people, had hundreds of cars honk as they drove by, and even had people ask to take photos with us. It was so fun! We had a sister play her violin while we all danced and talked to people. I’ll send pics!

Well, I got to speak in church yesterday and if you know me, you know I LOVE public speaking. But every time I speak in church, I feel a heightened responsibility to be a worthy vessel for the spirit. I spoke on a topic very important to me, one that I feel very passionate about, and that is enduring to the end. I hope you feel the spirit of my words because I know they are true!

Have a good week! Love you all!

Elder Hall 

True to the Faith
Elder Bridger Hall 
Sacrament Meeting 10 December, 2017
Alder Creek YSA 

Brothers and sisters, it is so good to be with you. I am beyond grateful that Ammon is here today so we can actually enjoy the hymns instead of cringing at them. I regret not listening to my mother when she told me to not give up piano lessons. Thank you for sharing your talents Ammon. 

When you hear the words, enduring to the end, what do you think of? Maybe you think of making it through Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe you think of getting through a long day with an annoying coworker. Maybe you’re like me, and you think of the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton, braving the first expedition to the South Pole in his ship, the Endurance. 

Now, what’s the problem with all of these scenarios? You might wonder why I think these are poor displays of enduring to the end. That’s because the end we endure to isn’t somewhere we collapse with exhaustion or heartache. You probably gained 5 pounds at Thanksgiving dinner. You most likely drove angrily home from work, upset at your obnoxious coworker. And for Shackleton, the Endurance sank when they arrived at Antarctica. 

So, what is a good example of enduring to the end? Let’s turn to the scriptures. It was somewhere between 90 and 77 BC, and the Anti-Nephi-Lehies had found the joy that comes through Christ and the desire to endure to the end. In Alma 24 verses 15-17 we read: “Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords are made bright, let us hide them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day, or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged, that we have not stained our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby.
And now, my brethren, if our brethren seek to destroy us, behold, we will hide away our swords, yea, even we will bury them deep in the earth, that they may be kept bright, as a testimony that we have never used them, at the last day; and if our brethren destroy us, behold, we shall go to our God and shall be saved.
And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man’s blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth.” Later we learn that many innocent Anti-Nephi-Lehies were slaughtered because they would not pick up their weapons of war. 

Now you’re thinking, “But Elder Hall, how is this different than thanksgiving dinner, or Shackleton’s ship?” Well quiet down and listen, we aren’t finished with our story yet.

Shortly after the devastating loss of innocent blood, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies (later known as the people of Ammon), were sheltered and protected by the Nephites, so they could live and not break the covenant they made to not shed any more blood with their weapons of war. 

Fast forward to about 64 years before Christ was born, when the people of Ammon were having children starting to come of age, 2,000 boys to be exact. The war for liberty was raging, and the fearless Helaman needed soldiers to fight. While recruiting for the war, Helaman went among the people of Ammon. After realizing he could not ask them to break their covenants, he was about to move on. Then in Alma 53 we read: “But behold, it came to pass they had many sons, who had not entered into a covenant that they would not take their weapons of war to defend themselves against their enemies; therefore they did assemble themselves together at this time, as many as were able to take up arms, and they called themselves Nephites.
And they entered into a covenant to fight for the liberty of the Nephites, yea, to protect the land unto the laying down of their lives; yea, even they covenanted that they never would give up their liberty, but they would fight in all cases to protect the Nephites and themselves from bondage.
Now behold, there were two thousand of those young men, who entered into this covenant and took their weapons of war to defend their country.
And now behold, as they never had hitherto been a disadvantage to the Nephites, they became now at this period of time also a great support; for they took their weapons of war, and they would that Helaman should be their leader.
And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all--they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.
Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.” They were men of truth who loved God, faith unwavering. 

Later, in chapter 56, we find out more about these boys turned warriors. “Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.” After a ferocious battle, Helaman was in deep sorrow, assuming these untrained boys were killed in battle. He recounts, “But behold, to my great joy, there had not one soul of them fallen to the earth; yea, and they had fought as if with the strength of God; yea, never were men known to have fought with such miraculous strength; and with such mighty power did they fall upon the Lamanites, that they did frighten them; and for this cause did the Lamanites deliver themselves up as prisoners of war.”

Brothers and sisters, this is the kind of enduring to the end we need to learn from. May I suggest a revision to the term “endure to the end” and that is, true to the faith. At times we will have to endure. We may feel like the people of Ammon; strong in testimony but getting slaughtered nonetheless. But that time has passed. It is time for us to take up arms like those 2,000 stripling warriors, and be true to our faith. We will never look for a fight, but defend ourselves WE MUST. 

Now, sometimes being true to the faith feels a lot like painfully enduring. But when faith is involved, I can assure you that endurance is not passive. Perhaps I can illustrate this through a short story called, “Pushing Against the Rock”.

There once was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Saviour appeared to him.
The Lord told him He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock explaining that he was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown; his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man showed signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture - placing thoughts in the man's mind, such as ``Why kill yourself over this?, you're never going to move it!'' or ``Boy, you've been at it a long time and you haven't even scratched the surface!'' etc. giving the man the impression the task was impossible and the man was an unworthy servant because he wasn't moving the massive stone.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man and he started to ease up in his efforts. ``Why kill myself?'' he thought. ``I'll just put in my time putting forth just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.'' And this he did or at least planned on doing until, one day, he decided to take his troubles to the Lord.
``Lord,'' he said, ``I have labored hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock even half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?''
To this the Lord responded compassionately, ``My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength and that you have done. But never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. At least not by yourself. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, ready to quit. But is this really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled; your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet still, you haven't succeeded in moving the rock; and you come to Me now with a heavy heart and your strength spent. I, my friend will move the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and push, and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom, and this you have done."

There will be times in our gospel journey when an enormous rock is placed in our path. For some, enduring the trial of that rock is to sit with your back to it, and wait for the day the Lord decides to move it. While this option may look attractive and seem easier to endure, it isn’t what the Lord asks of us. We must be as the man in this story, and push until our strength is spent. This is true endurance, this is being true to our faith. As we continue pushing, the Lord will not abandon us. He will, in fact, do all the moving as we do all the pushing. 

After the ship Endurance sank, Ernest Shackleton and his crew rowed a small lifeboat 800 miles through the worst ocean currents in the world so they wouldn’t perish in the Antarctic climate. You can lose those 5 pounds after Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the invention of the treadmill. You can learn to love that difficult coworker. 

One thing is certain, however, and that is it is not just endurance that is required of us now. We must remain true to the faith! President Thomas S Monson said, “It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we’ll make the effort. We must actually make the effort. It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals. If we constantly put our goals off, we will never see them fulfilled. Someone put it this way: Live only for tomorrow, and you will have a lot of empty yesterdays today.” 

Elder Robert C Gay visited the Oregon Portland Mission over a year ago. He said something I will forever remember. He said, “Don’t sit, get the vision. Figure it out.” 

The hymn, True to the Faith, captures my feelings perfectly.

Shall the youth of Zion falter
In defending truth and right?
While the enemy assaileth,
Shall we shrink or shun the fight? No!
True to the faith that our parents have cherished,
True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,
To God’s command,
Soul, heart, and hand,
Faithful and true we will ever stand.

While we know the pow’rs of darkness
Seek to thwart the work of God,
Shall the children of the promise
Cease to grasp the iron rod? No!
True to the faith that our parents have cherished,
True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,
To God’s command,
Soul, heart, and hand,
Faithful and true we will ever stand.

We will work out our salvation;
We will cleave unto the truth;
We will watch and pray and labor
With the fervent zeal of youth. Yes!
True to the faith that our parents have cherished,
True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,
To God’s command,
Soul, heart, and hand,
Faithful and true we will ever stand.

We will strive to be found worthy
Of the kingdom of our Lord,
With the faithful ones redeemed
Who have loved and kept his word. Yes!
True to the faith that our parents have cherished,
True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,
To God’s command,
Soul, heart, and hand,
Faithful and true we will ever stand.

I testify as we watch, pray, labor, cleave, strive, and work with fervent zeal, we will be found worthy of the kingdom. With Christ on your side you CANNOT fail. He has overcome all, and He will encourage us every step of the way back to Him. May we ever be true to the faith that burns within us is my prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


   





 






      

Monday, December 4, 2017

Bless You, Elder



Burrito Boy!  Costa Vida stop!

Happy December! I cannot even believe it is Christmas time. The weather has been unusually nice here... It’s freezing, but the skies are blue and the sun in shining. Where is my gloomy Oregon winter? I was so prepared for it and now as the Beaver would say, “Wally, I’ve been tooken!” Haha that was mostly for Maddie. This week was crazy crazy! 

So Wednesday was unusually gorgeous outside! We decided to go down to Clackamas Community College and hand out surveys. We tossed around a football for a few hours and ended up talking to over 60 YSA aged kids and got information for 12 of them! It was pretty cool. We even handed out a Book of Mormon. It was a pretty fun and successful day!

Thursday. Holy cow, Thursday. Elder Carl B Cook of the Seventy came and did a mission tour. We had an absolutely incredible zone conference! He taught from the scriptures all day about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I loved every minute! I was asked to sing a solo in the meeting and I think it went well! I sang, “If The Savior Stood Beside Me”, one of my favorite primary songs. The spirit was with me when I sang, and many testified of the spirit thereafter.

The next day, we had an MLC. What an opportunity to learn from such an incredible man! We sat and discussed the mission and where we needed to go. One of my favorite things he said was, “Goals are not just wishes, they are desires of the heart.” Sister Cook said something I loved as well! She said, “The climate is perfect for a miracle!” How right she is! We are SO CLOSE to our goal of 20 baptisms for this quarter in the Milwaukie stake. I believe we can do it! 

Saturday morning we had the awesome opportunity to volunteer at the Nike Cross Country Nationals! All of the best cross country teams in the nation came to run. It was an enormous event! It was televised on ESPN with commentators, reporters, and crazed fans, the whole nine yards! It was nuts! We were on the course making sure spectators didn’t cross the course during the race. We got front row seats to the whole thing! Not only that, we got some SWEET free hoodies! Shoutout to Devin for hooking us up! It was super cool!

The stake had a Christmas party this week and us elders got a picture with Santa! I’ll include pictures.

I’ll have to admit, we’ve been pretty blessed with visits here in the OPM by Elder Ballard. So when I heard it was a Seventy coming, I was not super excited. It was sort of a let down. As amazing as zone conference and MLC was, I still was kind of feeling let down that we didn’t get to hear from an apostle. Elder Cook got up at the end of MLC and bore his testimony, that he was on the Lord’s errand, that all he taught us was from the apostles, that the Lord knew us. I felt the spirit strongly. Then after the meeting, Elder Cook shook each of our hands. When we got to me he grabbed my hand and paused. He held my arm, looked me in the eyes and said, “Bless you, Elder.” For that moment, it was as if no one else was in the room. I suddenly was filled with such love and care. Godly awareness as I’ve come to call it. It was a moment I will never forget. 

I know without any doubt that Elder Cook is called of God. I know this gospel is true. Joy will come in no other way than following the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all, have a great week!

With love, 

Elder Hall 

  

Modeling pose!

 

     The Milwaukie Elders with Santa!
 

Stopping by in "Bethlehem"


  

        Our matching hoodies we got.


Nike X Nationals

Friday, December 1, 2017

Turkey Day and Stuff



Thanksgiving Dinner

Hello everyone! And Happy Holidays to you! I can’t believe November is almost over, that’s just crazy! It’s been the craziest week filled with lots of fun and adventures! It’s been pretty chilly this whole week, but it’s ok because I finally have a jacket again! Thank goodness, I was starting to freeze! Anyway, I’ll just jump into it!!

We had a toilet paper fashion show on Monday for FHE! Elder White was volunteered as our model and the girls in our group made him a bride. It was so funny! 

We did a zone fast on Tuesday for the #HOVlane and our 4th quarter goal. We are doing well, but we’re still behind. It was a really neat day with spiritual experiences for everyone. We enjoyed Tuesday night with a game of badminton with the ward and I SLAYED. #hiddentalent. After badminton, we went into downtown and picked up one of the assistants, Elder Coombs for our exchange. It was quite the experience driving through the scary part of downtown at 9:30pm. Portland is pretty scary at night. I’ll get to that in a minute though....

We had interviews on Wednesday morning and I just love President Bullen so much. That man is inspired and a father to me. He is such a sweet man with a good sense of humor, and he likes my jokes. We went to Subway again and if you’ll recall the last time we went with him to Subway it was quite the fiasco hahahaha! This time didn’t disappoint! He had offered to pay for all of us, which was good because we were all broke. Well when he went to pay with the mission card, it declined... He had forgotten he didn’t refill it, and he didn’t have his personal card on him. Between all of us, we scrounged up enough cash to pay for everybody’s lunch! Hahaha it was so funny, we all had a good laugh over that one!

Wednesday night came around and we had to make our way back to downtown to drop Elder Coombs off. The church in downtown is in a sketchy part of town with a scary underground parking lot where the security guard enjoys kicking hobos and druggies out. While ending the exchange, a big fight between the security guard and a scary hobo broke out. It was exciting and terrifying at the same time! Thankfully no one was hurt and everything cooled down. While on our drive home, we took a wrong turn and it sent us deeper into downtown. It was scary I won’t lie. 

Thanksgiving. 1000 times better than last year!! I didn’t have a hibernating companion so we actually had an awesome day! We started out with some service with the zone at a turkeython. I got to be the cheerer at the last leg of the race, and man did I have a ball! I saw people at their best and people at their worst. It was fun, despite the pouring rain and no rain jacket! We even got a picture with Santa afterwards!

Right after the race, we went to a turkey bowl with some members of the stake! It POURED. Like, it was honest to goodness like a shower. We got SO muddy playing and it was so fun!! I made some impressive plays and even got to break out my center skills. It was a blast!

We enjoyed dinner with the Grahams and it was very nice. They had some little kiddos running around and it made me miss my little ones at home! I love them all so much!

On Friday we went on exchanges with the Moreland Elders! Elder Gonzalez came with me to Alder Creek and we made the trek out to Molalla. It was an absolutely gorgeous drive. It made me miss AF canyon so much! I can’t wait to get back there someday.  

It’s been a pretty fun week and I’ve enjoyed every second! I am thankful for my family and my Savior. I love you all, have a good week!

With love,

Elder Hall 


 

Pre-race party!

                  
                            Posing with Santa

 

Cheering at the race!

  
                                      Action shot!

    

In the rain!

Turkey Bowl Shoot!


   

Post Turkey Bowl!

                                                                                               

Pre-race orientation at 6am!




My hashtag the panda impersonation!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Do It Like Milwaukie




Hello everybody! I am literally in disbelief that Thanksgiving is this week. That is seriously so crazy! The weather has been a little rainy and very chilly. It’s been just gorgeous late Autumn weather! This week was just a lot of really mundane stuff, but I wanted to share a few highlights of this beautiful week!

This last Thursday we had the opportunity to go to the Union Gospel Mission in downtown Portland and help prepare for their Thanksgiving feast! It’s always exciting when you go downtown, but especially exciting when you drive there and because your companion is a terrible navigator you end up somewhere in china town where everyone looks like they want to kidnap you or sell you a *real* Michael Kors watch. Haha it was QUITE the adventure. When we finally got to the UGM, we wrapped plastic silverware in napkins so when the homeless come to eat, they feel just a little more at home. We wrapped over 1200 sets of silverware! We had a ton of fun laughing and enjoying the complimentary Dr Pepper and Coke Zero. 

After our downtown adventure we got a call from the mission office informing us there was a blessing to be had at the hospital. When we called the contact number, we discovered it was the friend of the gentleman who was in the hospital. The friend was LDS and living in Colorado, his friend here in Oregon in the hospital, however, was not. This man was prompted to send us to give his friend a blessing, despite his friend’s dislike for the Mormon church. Well, we can’t deny a man’s prompting, so we went. 

This guy was 43 years old, in the ICU with liver, lung, and kidney failure. His wife greeted us warmly and said she was thankful for any kind of prayers. We explained a blessing and she said she would like that for her husband. As we were giving him the blessing, he began to move around. When we said amen, his eyes were open and his wife was in tears. It turns out he hadn’t woken up for 9 days and they were worried he wouldn’t wake up again. His wife thanked us with tears streaming down her cheeks. The spirit was tangible in that room. I testify that the power of the priesthood is real and it is here in the restored Church of Jesus Christ.

The next day was another fantastic day! We had MLC in Beaverton with President Bullen. We got a LOT of policy changes for the mission, the biggest one being about music. It’s going to be an adjustment, as all changes are, but I am fully supportive of President Bullen and his inspired leadership! 

The best part of MLC was reviewing the statistics of the mission. Milwaukie Zone was literally on top of the mission! As each zone presented their problems, President Bullen would turn to us and say, “Elders how did you solve that issue in Milwaukie?” Every time someone asked how they needed to move forward, the answer came from President. “Do it like Milwaukie.” I felt so proud of my zone!! I’m so humbled to be the leader of these great missionaries. We are changing the world out here!

I know the gospel is true, I know the priesthood of God has been restored. I love you all, have a happy Thanksgiving! 

With love,

Elder Hall

MLC

 

     

MLC
      

A guy in our ward has lightsabers that are so COOL!

   



 

Our Silverware

  

            Elder's of Milwaukie

    

    Union Gospel Mission



   We found a Buddhist Temple!



Monday, November 13, 2017

The Transfer



Hey everyone! It’s been a wet and mild week here in Oregon. I’ve lost my Utah skin. It’s 45 degrees and I’m ready to curl up in front of the fireplace! Someday I’ll regrow all my tough skin haha! We had a stuffed week of meetings and lots of things and frankly it’s pretty boring stuff so this might be short...

We had an awesome miracle! We went to lunch with our amazing recent convert, Hannah. I went up to order and the cashier guy kept looking at my name-tag. I could tell he had a question, but I felt like I should let him get the courage to ask. He finally asked if I was on a mission and told me his best friend from high school was Mormon. We got talking and he told me he really loved Mormon temples and the cool feeling there. I told him about the YSA ward and all the fun things we do and then asked if he would be interested. He told me he had been praying about a church to go to, one that he could be a part of. I turned and introduced Hannah to him and she told him how great the ward was and that he should come! He agreed and asked what he needed to do to come! We ended up getting his number and inviting him to come to church and to learn more. God really puts us in the path of those looking for the gospel!

So, President asked Elder White and I to do the training meeting for missionaries about training new missionaries! It was super weird because that’s a thing the assistants usually do, and especially because neither of us have trained a missionary before! Everyone kept asking us if we were the new assistants so it was kinda awkward, but we had a good time!

We went and stopped by a potential investigator named Eric. He came outside and we taught him a little bit about the Book of Mormon and what it’s about. He asked if he could have one, and then invited us in! He is living with some other people right now and they didn’t want to give up the living room, so we went into his bedroom. I sat on the floor and Elder White and Eric sat on his bed. He told us his life story and all the really hard things he’s been through. I sat in disbelief at his life. This kid was only a year older than me and the things he’s seen and been through are just horrific. I am SO thankful for good parents that raised me with love and support. I am so blessed to have such an amazing family.

Well, this is all I’ve got for today, but I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOPHIE!

With love, 

Elder Hall



Riverside District



Moreland District

Monday, November 6, 2017

Baptism Grand Prix



Hannah's baptism!

Hello from Oregon! We have officially entered into the cold and rainy season. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the sun, but it’s too late now! Haha I’ve got my happy light to keep me company until the sun is back come May. Anyway, we had a ridiculous crazy week and I’m so excited to share it with you!

On Monday we had our zone Halloween party! It was so fun. We laughed our heads off! We made lunch, played games, and told scary stories at the Sellwood building, the scariest church building in the mission. For FHE that night, we carved pumpkins. Elder White and I carved the Portland Temple and it was awesome! We won Bishop’s favorite!

Halloween was an average Tuesday. We had District Meeting and got all of our zone responsibilities out of the way. We went to Chick-fil-a for dinner and then headed home for the evening, as missionaries had to be in their apartments by 6:30. It was a nice quiet evening. 

Wednesday was another average day in the life of a missionary. District Meeting, helping someone move for 3 hours, partying with YSAs, you know, the usual.

Ok now we get to the exciting tales of our week. Hold on, people! 

We went to the temple visitor center with Hannah on Thursday morning! We had a blast. It was also so fun to have my pal homegirl Sister Bray and her companion be our tour guides for the morning! We walked around the temple in the FREEZING wind and rain, but it was so worth it. We took Hannah to a spot in the parking lot that has the most exquisite view of the temple. When she turned around, she burst into tears. The spirit was so strong in that small moment. I can’t wait until she can go inside someday!

SATURDAY. Hannah got baptized! We were so happy for her! There is no better feeling than seeing someone you have come to know and love make promises with our Heavenly Father. The happiness in her eyes was undeniable. I couldn’t help but get a little teary-eyed when she came out of the water smiling ear to ear. I am so proud of her! President and Sister Bullen came out to the baptism to support Hannah too! After the service, President and I were standing together. Our zone had brought four investigators to the baptism, and the room was buzzing with excitement. President, with a look of disbelief on his face, leans over and says, “Elder Hall.... Milwaukie is on fire!” I felt like a proud dad! I have loved this Zone so much. I’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into their success as we’ve loved and taught and encouraged these missionaries. Being their zone leader has been the biggest blessing of my mission.

We taught Austin on Saturday afternoon after the baptism! We haven’t seen him for a while and we were getting worried. Turns out he has just been super busy, but the guy has been keeping all of his commitments! No coffee for 5 weeks now! We are so proud of him!

So the ONLY DAY of the year missionaries can get an extra hour of sleep is when we fall back an hour with daylight savings. So OF COURSE we have a 7am meeting, making us wake up earlier than usual and totally ruining our extra hour of sleep. On the upside though, the meeting was with the stake presidency and it was very good and we are excited to move forward with missionary work in Milwaukie!

After Ward council meeting Sunday morning, we realized no one had gotten back to us about picking up Austin for church. We drove to Oregon City to pick him up. As we pulled into his house, we got a text from a member saying he would pick him up. So, we started driving back to the church. Well, funny story. We followed the member that was supposed to pick Austin up all the way to the church. And he didn’t have Austin. Well, it’s 15 minutes until church starts, and it’s 15 minutes one way to OC, so we could turn around and be late and possibly miss Hannah’s confirmation (which I was performing) or Austin would miss church. We said a quick prayer and turned towards Oregon City. 

We drove as fast as tiwi and Oregon traffic would let us. We weaved through cars and sped through yellow lights. On the last stretch to Austin’s house, a small one lane road, there were so many cars in front of us going SO SLOW. Out loud I prayed, “Heavenly Father we need to get around these cars or we aren’t going to make it.” Immediately after the words left my mouth, all 8 cars turned off the road into driveways or just into the fields. We were in awe. The Lord had literally parted the Red Sea of brake lights! I again prayed aloud, thanking God for this miracle. We stopped only long enough to let Austin get into our car and drove like maniacs back to the church. 

We sprinted into the church just in time to hear over the microphone, “Elders, are you here?” We had made it literally just in time! We ran straight to the front of the chapel and got into the circle of priesthood holders surrounding Hannah. I took a deep breath to slow my breathing, put my hands on Hannah’s head, and closed my eyes. A feeling of peace overwhelmed me so suddenly. It was such a sweet spirit. After receiving the Holy Ghost, Hannah was beaming. After the Sacrament was administered, she got up and bore her testimony. It was filled with power, conviction, and undeniable truth. The spirit was radiating from her. I couldn’t hold back the tears of joy. It has been such a privilege to teach such an incredible daughter of our Heavenly Father. I feel so blessed to play just the small part I did in her experience of finding the true church of Jesus Christ. 

Well, we ended up having to make two more trips to OC yesterday. It was a lot of driving and a lot of anxiety. I don’t plan on doing anything like it ever again! Austin loved church and Hannah received the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was an incredible day. And we forgot to eat dinner. 

I know the gospel is true. I am so blessed to have it in my life. I love you all so much!

With love,
Elder Hall

   

Me and Hannah                                              Hannah's baptism!

 

Milwaukie leadership

  
                           

  Me and Hannah

   

Me and Elder White                                               Me and a very friendly dog!



Our winning pumpkin!


Monday, October 30, 2017



Dentist!

Hello there from Oregon! It has been a very Autumn weather week. Oregon this time of year really is breathtaking! I’m soaking in all the sun I can before the rainy season starts! It’s not too far off. Well, we had a pretty crazy miracle-filled week! I’m excited to tell you about it!

It all started last Monday. We went to lunch with Hannah and her little cousin she was babysitting and then played at the park in the beautiful Oregon sunshine! It was so fun. After that we headed over to the stake center to play some chair soccer with the zone. Normally, I’m a whiz at that game (I know, surprising isn’t it?) but after a little bit I felt really bad. I’d had a toothache for a few days but that just made it so much worse. I spent the rest of Monday pretending to be happy, but man I was in misery! We did an escape room for FHE and that was so fun! I’ll include pictures of it.

Tuesday I couldn’t take the pain in my mouth and now face anymore. I found out there was a dentist a block from our house that happens to be a member of the church and was willing to see me that day. So to the dentist I went! Dr Packham was an awesome guy! We all had some good smiles and laughs about the comedy that is missionary work. After examining my my mouth he discovered that the gums around my back molar were swollen and inflamed. No abscess thank goodness, but getting there. I know what you’re thinking, “ew Elder Hall doesn’t brush his teeth!” FALSE. I brush and floss every day thank you! Dr Packham said it was a result of not having regular teeth cleanings from the dentist because you know, I was too busy serving the Lord. 

It turns out getting your face poked and prodded, numbed, and assaulted by a dentist really takes its toll on you. So, Wednesday was spent relaxing, and weekly planning on the riverfront. We Skyped Hannah like we do every day and found out she was struggling just with life, as people do when they’re about to get baptized. We had an awesome lesson with her and helped her to feel better. She is so awesome!! Love you girl!

Now Thursday was a really awesome day! We had a pass off lesson with the OC Elders, so it was decided I would go to the lesson with the greenie and Elder White would go to our district meeting with the other Elder. Me and this Elder Greenie went to the lesson to find out it fell through. With our companions in a meeting for the next hour, I looked at him and said, “what are we doing Elder? I’m following your lead.” He looked so nervous. I told him it would be ok, I wasn’t going to write him a report card or something. We spent the next hour tracting. It may be the least effective thing ever, but we had a fun time getting to know each other and enjoying the weather!

After we switched back companions, Elder White and I went to meet a referral that was sent to us a few days earlier. He was just getting in his car to leave when we walked up. After a minute or two talking, he said, “Well, I’ve got to go. You’ve got 30 seconds to tell me why I should keep meeting with you and listening to what you have to say. Go.” Elder White and I layed out the restoration and the miracle of the Book of Mormon. He looked at us in disbelief and said, “I’ll start reading the Book of Mormon. Can you meet on Tuesday?” We were so pumped!! It was awesome!

That night we went to meet with another referral we got. We had spoken with her before and knew that there were no men in her house. We couldn’t find a man to go with us, so we prayed to know what we should do. We both felt that we needed to go prepared to teach anyway. When we knocked on the door we were greeted by Lucy, her sister, and their two guy friends! Not only was there a man in the house, they wanted to listen to us! We ended up having an awesome lesson with all four of them, Lucy, Daniella, Sir-James, and Todd-Miyo (yeah they were some sick that play college basketball). It was so awesome! We committed them to read the Book of Mormon and pray and they were all so pumped! 

After our sweet lesson with them, we still needed to find Hannah a ride for her baptismal interview the next day. We had been trying all dang day with no success! As we prayed, I kept thinking of the name of a girl in the ward that I’ve only met one time, and we weren’t sure if she even knew Hannah. We decided to text her anyway. She replied right away and said, “Oh my heck Hannah is so awesome, of course I’ll pick her up!” It was such a miracle! We had a pretty sweet dance party after that text!

Friday was so great. Hannah had her baptismal interview. She felt like she failed it and had accepted the fact she wasn’t going to get baptized. We were freaking out because she is so ready! FINALLY the word came that she was ready to be baptized. Hannah, Elder White, and I cried tears of joy!! We’re having her baptism on November 4th!!!

We spent the rest of that beautiful Friday at Clackamas Community College (CCC for short) handing out surveys and talking to college kids. It was awesome! Two guys that filled out our survey were interested in learning more and we set up a time to meet up! It was awesome! We finished off that day with our DLC meeting and some eggnog soft serve ice cream cones from Mike’s. WOW those things are amazing!

The rest of our weekend we spent volunteering at the Family History Conference in Milwaukie and at church with a VERY excited Hannah! We finalized things for her baptism and gave her a tour of the font. She is so ready!!

Sorry this one was super long, but know I love you all very much! Heavenly Father watches over us, and miracles are real. Have a good week!

With love,

Elder Hall


   

New do! Just kidding, it's a wig.      


   

Riverfront


   

Dentist!          Escape house!