Monday, September 5, 2016


Marathon Volunteers

Hey everyone!

It's been a good week. We started off with an exchange! I went to the
cedar creek ward with Elder Hutchinson and his companion, Elder Kern,
went to Woodhaven with Elder Bang. It was pretty good. We went
tracting and met a very drunk man. He was very concerned that there
were no more gold "tablets" and why the guy Smith had to make them
disappear. Man there are so many drunk people here.

When we got to the apartment, Elder Hutchinson asked me if I wanted to
watch a movie. I said yes because we don't have anything like that in
Woodhaven. He pulled out a tiny portable DVD player and he put in the
testaments. Well, it was in ASL. The movie would go really small to
the corner and an Indian guy would show up and sign all the words. I
started laughing, but quickly realized Elder Hutchinson didn't see
anything wrong with it... So we watched the WHOLE MOVIE. I still am
laughing thinking about it!

We taught Frank this week, after not seeing him for a little while. We
were ready to drop him, because he doesn't really focus on our purpose
and just wants to discuss scripture. We showed up having every
intention of dropping him. As we taught our lesson about the Book of
Mormon, he explained that he really wants to know if it's true and he
reads it and prays every day, and he would get baptized if he knew it
was true. As soon as we left we both knew we couldn't drop him. He's
not making lightning progress, but there's progress there. We aren't
giving up!

Elder Bang and I went tracting on Friday, and we gave out 2 copies of
the Book of Mormon in just 45 minutes! We are pretty sure it's a new
record here in Woodhaven.

It rained every day this week, and let me tell you, when it rains
here, IT RAINS. Locals tell me it doesn't stop for the next 8 months,
so bring it on Oregon. I'm ready.

Part of our mission is service, and so we go visit the elderly and
play cards or just talk. Deedee isn't a member, but she loves her
missionaries. She calls me kid and elder Bang is boy. She is a riot!
She's quicker than anyone I've ever met, and she's 93! We usually play
cards and eat ice cream with her. Phase 10 is her favorite, and she
wins every time. Totally reminds me of grandma Beth! She taught school
for 18 years, and has the most incredible talent to paint and draw.
Even at 93, her hands are so steady, drawing and painting in the
tiniest detail. Her best friend is a little dog named Molly, who she
rescued after she had been severely abused. Deedee knew I was a "good
nut" when Molly came right up to me because she is very afraid of men
after the abuse she suffered. Both Deedee and Molly need each other,
and bless each other more than they realize. It's a bond that will
touch your heart and impact you forever.

We taught Matthew again this week! He told us he has never had friends
in his life, and he decided he needs to meet people, and church would
be a good way to do that. He told us we are his best friends. He isn't
sure about baptism, because he has some issues on the word of wisdom,
but he wants to know Jesus. It's slow but steady progress with him!

Laura finally got home from vacation, and we taught her again! She is
excited to come to church, and has continued to pray and read the Book
of Mormon. She isn't sure about baptism yet, not until she knows that
the church is the right thing for her and her little boy Ryder. Well,
she came to church yesterday and stayed all 3 hours! It was such a
blessing! Ryder made so many new friends and primary was so fun! (we
know because we went to primary it really is the place to be). She
really liked it and had lots of genuine questions. The ward is
incredible. I don't think she ever had a moment alone. There was
always someone talking to her, asking about her, showing her where to
go. I know she will get baptized!

On Saturday, we served at a half marathon! I got to direct traffic on
a busy road. It's so funny, no one cares who you are, but the second
you put on a reflector vest and point at cars, you become the most
powerful person on the road! Anyway, as the runners would run by, they
would say, "thank you!" or "thank you for volunteering!" As I stood on
that street corner, I thought, "they think that being here is a
sacrifice out of my day, but I'm a missionary. We don't do much." Then
I realized something. I was standing on that street corner because I
volunteered my life for the next two years. That morning wasn't a
sacrifice, these next years are my sacrifice. I was almost brought to
tears each time a runner would say "thank you" after that, because
they weren't just saying, "thank you for stopping traffic," they were
saying, "thank you for serving a mission." It's been a hard few weeks,
mostly missing home, but I know I'm here to bless someone's life. I
don't know how, or when, or who, but I do know the Lord needs me here.
I'm so thankful that my Heavenly Father let me hear His thanks for my
service. It's a tender mercy that I will never forget.

Thank you all for the continued prayers and support. They are what
keep me pedaling my bike, knocking on doors, and waking up every day.
This is the hardest thing I've ever done, but something I'll be
forever grateful for. This church is true. I know the gospel and the
Savior are real, and when we follow Jesus Christ, our lives are
changed for the better. Keep the faith! I love you all, have a great

Elder Hall



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