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!

Monday, October 23, 2017

It All "Happens" To Be True



I found a taste of home at Red Robin!  GO VIKINGS!

Hey everyone! It's been a cold wet week here in Milwaukie, and man am I grateful I am not riding a bike this year! Heavenly Father knew I wouldn't be able to handle that right now. Aside from a stormy weekend that knocked our power out several times, today is an absolutely gorgeous Fall day. Man, Autumn in Oregon really is something else! I'm so glad I get to experience it.

Last Monday was Hannah's birthday! She is pretty amazing. She came to FHE and it was a ton of fun! We had Cupcake Wars and Hannah and I collaborated on one and we won! Our polar bear cupcake was pretty awesome!

We had such a blast on Tuesday! It was our interview day with President for our zone. We started off with some training from Elder White and I and then proceeded to interviews. I love President Bullen so much! That man is truly called of God and absolutely inspired. We had a very nice interview and even shared some jokes. We have to be there all day to keep him on schedule, and for lunch he took Elder White and I to Subway with him and Sister Bullen! We had a blast. It was EVIDENT that President had never been to a Subway before. We had to walk him through all the steps to making a sandwich. I think we laughed the entire time we were there. It was a really fun afternoon!

We had a pass-off lesson with the Riverside Elders on Tuesday afternoon with an investigator that is YSA-aged. Elder White and Elder Kunz went and taught while Elder Fitzwater and I dug a hole for our previous Bishop's neighbor. We dug and dug, and it rained and rained! If you know me though, you know I was having the time of my life! I LOVE when I get to do things like that for people, especially people who aren't able to do it themselves.

Wednesday was a blast! Elder Mobley came with us for the day on exchanges. It was fun to be with my old pal again, especially now that we are sliiiightly better missionaries than we were the last time we went on exchanges over 6 months ago. We taught Hannah at the cutest little cafe in Oregon City! It was a blast. Hannah is so ready for baptism! We are so pumped for her! It was also our investigator Austin's birthday, so we stopped a tie by for his birthday. What else would us missionaries give for a gift?

It was Elder Jensen's birthday on Thursday so we took him to lunch after district meeting to his favorite place, Subway! Man, so much Subway this week... Plenty for me. Haha he loved it and that's all that matters, though I don't know how Subway is anyone's favorite place to eat food. What a shame. #TacoAmigoOrDie

On Friday, we planned Hannah's baptism and filled out her paperwork. We are so excited! It's less than two weeks away! After skyping with her, we went to the Clack Town Mall and met up with a former investigator that said he wanted to talk to us again. We showed up and started getting to know this guy, when his best friend just "happens" to be walking by, and just "happens" to have his bible with him. It turns out they were meeting with us to preach to us, trying to tell us we were going to Hell if we didn't do what the bible said. We tried to explain that we believe the bible, but we also believe that God still speaks to His children. They were very prepared, with scriptures from the bible scribbled down on their hands. Instead of bashing though, we just bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and its truthfulness; the witness we gained as we read it and prayed about it. 

By the end, this guy's friend that "happened" to show up, was actually interested in hearing more of our message. We are excited to see where that one goes! He also looked like Jesus so that was just the cherry on top of all this.

Saturday it RAINED. Man, it rained all day. The YSA had a regional Halloween party and dance, and although we couldn't go to the dance part, we could at least get free dinner and make sure Hannah was having a good time. It was super uncomfortable, which I guess is a good thing because I'm a missionary, but wow. I was definitely out of place. Hahaha!

It has been quite the week for us. I want you all to know that I know Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know there is a prophet on the earth today, and his name is Thomas S Monson. I know blessings come as we live God's commandments. I love you all, and I wish you the very best this week! Stay dry out there!

With Love,

Elder Hall

   

Hannah and I with our polar bear cupcake!  Elder White and I have matching shirts



   

Pday fun!        Training action shot




Pete the Pumpkin

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Lord's Work, Isn't it About.....Time?





Hey from Oregon! First of all, I hope you guys get the subject. I thought it was quite clever! If not, look up, “LDS Homefronts”. It is officially autumn and it is amazing! We’ve had some stunning brisk Fall weather this week, along with some crazy storms!! It’s been awesome to hear thunder and see some lightning! That’s not super common here like it is in Utah. Well anyway, here’s my week!

First things first, I caught a cold last week. I won’t lie, I felt pretty miserable. But, thanks to many prayers and modern medicine, I’m feeling much better. Not quite 100% yet, but 80% is better than 40%.

On Tuesday we had an incredible lesson with the Oregon City Elders and their YSA aged investigator. Her name is Hannah, and she is amazing! She has been through a lot in her life and has finally found the peace she’s been looking for in the Gospel. We are super excited to work with her! She set her baptismal date for November 25th and we are super pumped! She really is a miracle! I’ll tell you more about her in a bit. 

Tuesday night we had an awesome lesson with Austin! He’s doing very well, and the ward really loves him! We brought bishop to the lesson with us, and another member of the ward. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and it was incredible. We invited him to read Enos and he said, “Oh I’ve already read that.“ This guy! Holy crap! We are so pumped for him and his baptism coming up in December!

On Wednesday, I woke up feeling like absolute garbage. But, the work goes on so I go on! We don’t have a washer and dryer and the guy we do laundry with was out of town, so we went and did laundry at the sketchiest laundromat I’ve ever seen. It was exciting! It smelled like marijuana and death, but that could’ve been the homeless man sleeping inside. When he woke up he was very nice though! It was pretty awesome. I will definitely never forget that. 

Thursday morning Hannah let us know that she wanted to go to Institute at Clackamas Community College, so we went with her so she would have someone to sit with. She LOVED it and made more comments than anyone else in the class! She is seriously so amazing! After class we talked about the Plan of Salvation and she understood it well. She is truly a miracle. We are so excited for her.

Saturday was a really crazy day! There’s been an issue with an individual and the safety of some missionaries in the mission lately, and basically the issue made its way to Milwaukie. So we spent the day with the APs and President to figure out that situation. Being a zone leader is basically putting out fires. It’s pretty great.

Austin had to work yesterday so didn’t make it to church, but Hannah came and she loved it! She introduced herself to almost every member of the ward. Not only was she commenting in Sunday school, she volunteered to say the closing Prayer! We were blown away it was so great!

This week Elder White and I really dug down for some needed inspiration in behalf of our zone. The answer was this: This work is not about filling time, it’s about helping people. It’s not about filling your day with “meaningful activities” rather, doing all that you can to help people become converted. In the Book of Mormon, King Lamoni sits for several hours in silence pondering the prophet Ammon’s words. Ammon does not go to find more effective things to do while the king thinks, he sits with him. Because of Ammon’s loving persistence with King Lamoni, nations of people were converted to the Lord. When we stop treating people like checklists, they begin to see their divine identity as a child of a loving Heavenly Father. I know that’s true. I can’t believe it’s taken me 15 months to figure that out. Effectivity was never about a pretty schedule, it’s always been about helping people. I love you all, I hope you have a week of time spent effectively. 

With love,

Elder Hall


I washed my flag!

   
              Snoozing on the job

   

At the laundromat


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Diamonds and Rubies



Hello everybody! I hope you all had an awesome week! I know we did! The weather here has been stunning. I love Autumn in Oregon! Well, I’ve got much to tell you, so buckle up!

Tuesday was pretty fantastic! We had Zone Conference and it was incredible! The spirit was strong and it went off without a hitch. Our missionaries were really involved and really enjoyed it! It’s always amazing when you get to spend the day with President Bullen and his counselors, especially in the intimate setting of just our zone. What a treat!

The only downside of Tuesday is that we all had to get mandatory flu shots. They had some pharmacists from Walmart come to the church and stick everyone. Good news, I didn’t freak out or pass out, so I call that a win! It was super entertaining to see who really can’t handle needles and shots though. Man, cheap entertainment I tell you. 

The brand new Area Book app came out this week and it is terrible. The old one worked just fine, but now we have this new one that no one knows how to work and it is frustrating! Now I know how Lehi felt when the Liahona ceased to work.  

We decided to drive out and see Jordan on Wednesday and it was good to see him! He is doing much better spiritually and emotionally, though he’s had a nasty eye infection which has kept him from coming to church. We are praying it gets better this week so he can be at church this week!

We taught mission prep on Wednesday night and it was quite the crowd! Only two people showed up, but that’s ok because it just meant we could teach one on one. It took me back to teaching seminary in Westview. Gosh, I miss those kids! We spoke about the Book of Mormon and how to teach from it. It grew my testimony as we taught and learned from its pages. The words in that book are living and breathing, with a pulse to them. They hold Power. It really is the word of God!

Thursday was a chill day. We helped a guy move stuff from a storage unit into a moving truck. I have never seen so much stuff for one person in my life. We filled a large Penske truck that was probably 30 feet long and 12 feet high. It was packed so tight I don’t think there was enough room for air. Made me think about my own stuff.  Going to make sure I never accumulate that much!

We also bought a gym membership this week because our complex doesn’t have a gym and we were sick of running to the railroad tracks and back for morning workouts. I also can’t become a fatty mcfatterton. (,my family will get this!)

I spent all day Friday in the riverside ward with my pal Elder Fitzwater! I love being on exchanges and working with other missionaries. It is one of my favorite duties of being a zone leader! We talked to a lot of people on the street and met some incredible people. Jeanine, a woman carrying a cat and a cast iron skillet in a bag while she rode her bike and smoked simultaneously has serious skills!  Who can do that?

Fitz and I thought to go to Red Robin for lunch, except it’s on the other side of the zone. Well, we decided to anyway. When we pulled into the parking lot, the phone rang. It was the hospital. A man had asked for a blessing, but he needed one in the next 15 minutes before he went into emergency open heart surgery. Well what do you know, Red Robin is across the street from the hospital. We got there just in time to give Jerry the blessing he desired and to comfort his wife while he was rolled into the operating room. Heavenly Father is mindful of all of His children. 

Saturday morning was SPC (Stake President’s Council) and it was awesome! We got free breakfast and talked about the work in our zone right now. Milwaukie is the place to be! We have a 4th Quarter goal of 20 baptisms as a zone. As of today, we have already baptized 4 people, 20% of our goal! We are well on our way to breaking records and making milestones. I love this Zone!

Now, for our adventure. After SPC, we discovered we had a nice open day, the first in a VERY long time. We’ve been putting off some names of people we’ve been asked to visit because they live so far south in our area. Well, we set out for them Saturday afternoon! The hour long drive down to the metropolis of Colton, Oregon was breathtaking. Not one of the people on our list lived there any longer, but not to worry, we made the most of our trek! We met some awesome people and took some cool pictures!

Our investigator Austin came to church yesterday! We were so pumped for him! He told us he was going to get up and bear his testimony in Sacrament meeting, but backed out. Pretty intimidating!  He ended up giving it in Sunday school anyway, and when you’re in a YSA, the second hour usually has more than the first hour anyway. It was awesome! 

After church we were down in OC and met a kid named Carlos. He just got out of jail and is in a detention home for bad behavior. He told us he wanted to change his life. We gave him a Book of Mormon and said that that book will change his life. He was anxious to start reading it!  With no phone, no email, social media, or even permission to have visitors, there was no way to meet with him at this time. But, we invited him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, and when the time came that he could meet with missionaries, he would already know the truthfulness of the message we bring. As we said goodbye and walked away, he immediately sat down and started reading. I probably won’t ever see Carlos again, but I will continue to pray for him and his desire to change. He has made an impression on my life, one I won’t forget.

As you can see, the Book of Mormon is precious to me. Russell M Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asked just last week, “My brothers and sisters, how precious is the Book of Mormon to you? If you were offered diamonds or rubies or the Book of Mormon, which would you choose?” I can say with certainty I would choose that little blue book. It has real power, and is evidence of our loving Heavenly Father. His son, Jesus Christ is real, and through Him comes matchless joy. I know it is true!

I love you all, have a good week!

Love,

Elder Hall

   
 Zone Conference!                    

     


   

      



Monday, October 2, 2017

May You See His Hand



The Think Geek store in the mall found my shield!

Hey there everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week and thoroughly enjoyed #LDSconf because it was absolutely amazing! We just found out about the events in Las Vegas, and my prayers are with all that have been involved. What a terrible tragedy. I know that God has His hand in all things, and if we trust Him, He will guide us to where we need to be; spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I know that to be true because I’ve seen it in my own life, especially this last week.

It has been QUITE the week. 

This last Tuesday we had a lesson with our investigator Adrian. We were devastated as he told us he wasn’t ready to be baptized and asked us not to come back. Regardless of his choice to follow Christ’s example, he is still a good friend and I’m grateful to know him. 

Really fast, our whole zone is Sisters! Elder White and I are relief society presidents it seems. We are very excited though, because sisters aren’t idiots and they know how to work hard. Not to mention, they don’t even know what disobedience is. It’s going to be a very incredible transfer!

Also, really fast. Elder White and I are literally the exact opposite. I am a die hard PG guy, he is a die hard Lone Peak guy (bitter high school rivals). I am a loyal BYU fan, he is a loyal Utah fan (once again, bitter rivals). He is the oldest, I am the youngest. Despite our differences, we make a great team! We often have a good laugh about how much we would have hated each other in high school. He’s a great missionary and an even better friend. 

On Wednesday Elder White had to go to a new leader meeting in Cedar Mill, so I stayed back with the OC zone leaders. It was a blast to be with Elder Comish, my MTC companion, and Elder Guymon, a friend from high school! We had a fun day.

Thursday was incredible! We had MLC and my good ol’ pal Elder Blunck did the training. He taught about teaching skills and becoming a more effective teacher. There was a lot of discussion and a lot of very good action items were pulled from the meeting. 

That night, we went and taught Austin, our other investigator. We followed up with the Word of Wisdom, and if he had gained a desire yet. (If you remember my email last week, he could only pray for a desire to follow this sometimes difficult commandment). Austin replied that he hadn’t drank any of either tea or coffee since our last visit. What a stud!!! We were so pumped! We reviewed the Plan of Salvation with him and he not only remembered the three kingdoms, he remembered their order! I couldn’t do that until I was 17 and I grew up in this stuff! We are very excited for him to continue progressing.

We had even more meetings on Friday, with both district meetings and a district leader council meeting as well. The APs and Brother Webb, the high councilor over missionary work, came to the council and it was very good! We set a 4th Quarter goal of 20 baptisms as a zone. I know we can do it!  

On Saturday morning, while on our run (Yes, family. I actually run. I know, I know) we found a smartphone on the sidewalk. We picked it up and it had a lock on it so we couldn’t do anything. We decided to take it home and hope someone called it. Sure enough, after a few hours, someone called it and we were able to arrange a meet-up to give his phone back. We tried to teach him, but he wasn’t having any of that. In fact, he offered to buy us beer as a thank you. We respectfully declined. 

We spend the morning session of General Conference with Brother Webb and his wife. We played an exciting round of Skip-bo after it ended and Brother Webb and I won! It was a lot of fun. For the afternoon session we trekked down to Oregon City to watch it with the Forkners, members of the bishopric. It was lovely! They are a neat couple. After that session, we stopped by an apartment we heard had YSAs in it. Turns out, it’s three YSA guys that all want to be taught the gospel! Total miracle! 

After the incredible priesthood session, we had a conference call with President Bullen about zone conference coming up this Tuesday. He put us in charge of the whole thing. Let’s just say, we’ve been eating sleeping and breathing zone Conference for the last several hours. I’m sure it will turn out fine.

We also got a phone call on Saturday night that a sister in the clackamas Ward scheduled for baptism the next day was getting cold feet. We quickly asked our whole zone to pray for her. President Bullen offered to call her and talk through her worries. We are so happy to report that she was baptized yesterday in a beautiful service! Prayers are answered. 

With all of the events of the week, General Conference, the passing of Apostle Robert D Hales, and tragic events in Las Vegas, the words to a favorite song came to mind, which is my testimony.

May the peace of God be within you
In every path that you take,
And may He be with you forever.
May the rising of the morning sun
Gently speak His love. May you see
His hand, in the silent stars above.
May the peace of God be within you,
Amen.

With love, 

Elder Hall

   

Me and Elder Guymon, my buddy from high school!   Me and Elder White!

   

MLC Photos