Monday, July 17, 2017

FAITH TO FIRE



Selfie with my burning shirt!

Oh my heck I can't believe it's been another week! Next time I won't
blink! Oregon hasn't been better! The weather this week was GORGEOUS.
Clear skies, high of 80, low of 60. This is why people live here! Too
bad it only last for like three weeks haha! We had QUITE the eventful
week.

I'll start off by saying I've purchased a harmonica to learn in my
personal time. I can already play a few hymns and twinkle twinkle
little star! It's been a fun thing to start learning.

We've taught Andrew, Cass, and Dax several times this week! They are
all progressing well. We should get all of them baptized by the 12 of
August! We are so excited!


On Tuesday we were at the Oregon City Municipal Elevator (the only
one of its kind in the USA) doing some tasks and talking to people.
This guy is walking towards us and I said hello. He came over and we
started talking. His name was Jackson, and he was 21. Well, he told us
his life story. This kid was addicted to heroin, and watched his two
best friends be killed for it. As he talked, he broke down into tears.
I asked if he needed a hug and he just bawled on my shoulder for a
solid 5 minutes. I didn't know what to do! All I could think was, "I
wonder what this looks like to everyone walking by right now..." He
wasn't interested in the gospel, though his heart was so prepared. I
told him that God had sent us to find him, and he needed to listen to
us. Hopefully he will realize he needs the gospel and will call us.

We had a beautiful Wednesday morning at the visitor center with
Janean, a recent convert in the 5th ward. We watched the two new Book
of Mormon movies, only available in the 18 visitor centers across the
world! They are so well done, and bring tears every time I see them.

Thursday was my year mark!! I couldn't believe that I've made it this
long! Haha it's been so fun and so trying, but I wouldn't change it
for the world! I'm looking forward to this next year! I did burn a
shirt and it was AWESOME. Don't worry mom, I burned one that had a
really bad stain on it! It was quite the day. Of course what do I
spend the day doing on my year mark? Being a referee for the sisters
in my district. I thought drama ended in high school, but BOY WAS I
WRONG. I'm glad they finally got some issues worked out so the work
can progress!

Because of some struggles my district has been having, we decided to
do a district fast on Friday. We decided that morning as we all came
together to pray, that we would call it "Faith to Fire". It was the
perfect name for what we needed to accomplish as a district! It was an
amazing day filled with miracles, and I know we haven't seen the end
of the blessings that will come from it! We found two new
investigators named Tonya and her son Elliot. We are so excited to
teach them! They are so prepared! Well, we thought we would end the
day with a prayer as well. It was 8:30 and we all met at the stake
center. There was a stake fireside going on, so we just went into the
relief society room to end. Elder Itaia, the Elder from the Marshall
Islands who doesn't know too much about America, was real interested
in the fire alarm on the wall. Not knowing what it was, he followed
the directions on it to push the button in, and pull the lever down. I
watched in horror, yelling as he pulled it. Bells, lights, alarms, and
mass panic quickly set in. The fireside thank goodness had just ended,
so everyone quickly evacuated, not knowing the fire alarm was a
mistake. I didn't know what to do, and everyone was looking at me
because I guess I'm the district leader, so I should know what to do.
Eventually, the fire department came roaring in on their trucks,
dressed in the full gear, masks and all! Luckily they got there fast
enough to turn off the system before the sprinklers were enabled.
Elder Itaia felt horrible, but the firefighters assured him that it
was ok, just don't do that ever again. We laughed all night long!
President Leptich, the stake president, came speeding in and was
relieved to find out it was all an accident. We all got a stern
talking to. I couldn't help but laugh when I realized this fast was
truly a "faith to fire" experience, complete with real firefighters!!

Saturday night we had a district dinner with my FAVORITE lady,
Annette! It was so fun. I can't even describe to you the experience,
and I wish I could! Let's just say we had the night of our lives. One
we will never forget! It was so fun, and I'm so grateful that my
district has really bonded with each other now. Heck, after all we've
been through this week, we could conquer the world!

I'm so thankful for all of the support I've received from each of you.
I love all of you, and I love this gospel! We truly can go from faith
to fire as we let the Lord lead and guide our lives, and we keep His
commandments. Now hopefully there's no real fire, but a spiritual one
in your heart, that you can't deny. I love you all, have a good week!

With love,

Elder Hall

  

Burning the shirt!

  

I love my district!                                       One of my favorite numbers stickers I've seen! 

  

    
District pic at Annette's!                                          Talking with my best pal, Annette!  

video

The burning shirt video!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

CUSSIN'



Waiting for the rodeo!!!

Hey everyone! It's been an absolutely gorgeous week. The sun is shining, it doesn't get above 90 degrees, and we've had some adventures! My family probably saw the title of this week and thought, "Oh no, Bridger swore at somebody" or something to the effect. I promise it wasn't me! I haven't said more than 4 bad words on my mission, so ha! The atonement can change people! Haha I'll get to that story in a bit. 

4th of July! America's birthday! It was so fun! We went down to the Molalla Buckeroo with our district. We had so much fun! I'll tell you, I've never seen or smelled alcohol like that in my life. I think literally everyone there was drunk. Not to mention, no one believes in clothing anymore. My goodness, it was almost pornographic! People need to stop wearing dental floss for clothing! And boy, you think cowboys have colorful language, just get a bunch of drunk Oregonians in a rodeo. Golly! Elder Itaia, who I've talked about before, was hilarious. He couldn't believe his eyes!! He said, "All of Marshall Island come here. I love America! I'm never going back!" He had us rolling. It was the first time he had ever seen a rodeo, a carnival, or fireworks. It was so fun and it made me appreciate where we live! 

Wednesday we went to our investigator's house to teach her a lesson. Her husband greeted us and Sister Wall, our trusty member present and fellowshipper. This man opened a can of who knows what on us. Every cuss word in the dictionary he said. He yelled in our faces for a solid 5 minutes. By the end, I was FUMING. I don't care what you call me or my church or my "cult beliefs", you DO NOT speak like that in front of a woman, especially your wife and this lady who hasn't done anything but smile and be nice. The spirit held me back like a champ. When he was finished, I simply said, "I'm sorry you feel that way sir. We will be leaving now." And we walked out. It was a big deal for me to not stand there and fight back. It was a blessing though, come to find out this man has seriously hurt people in the past. I was grateful for the protection of the spirit that day and for the Holy Ghost holding my tongue. 

Of course our appointment after the adrenaline pumping one we got a commonly yelled, "Hail Satan!" on the other side of the door. Unfortunately, that's a usual occurrence for missionaries. 

On Thursday we had our first interviews with President Bullen! It was so great. We had a very nice interview together. I could already feel his love for me! I'm grateful for him and his wife. Sister Bullen and I had a very nice conversation as well! She has never been a missionary or done anything like it, so I was answering her questions. It was so fun to get to share the knowledge I've gained out here with our own mission mom! 

We taught our investigator Phil this week too! When we went over, we began teaching him and his family about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. About halfway through, Phil got up and left. I was so devastated! Never in my life had I felt such crushing disappointment. I was on the verge of tears, but we kept on teaching. About 10 minutes later, he came back into the room, something a little different about him. He looked me in the eyes the whole time I spoke. At the end of the lesson, I invited him to be baptized and he said yes! We invited him to read the Book of Mormon, and he said yes! I about fell on the floor! The spirit was so strong, and I knew that it had called him back into the room where we were teaching. I just love the gospel!

We taught Dax on Friday, and let me tell you, this kid is a freaking genius. He taught us the Plan of Salvation and then told us what he had been reading in the Book of Mormon. We are so excited for him to be baptized soon! 

Yesterday in church, we talked about prophets. As we spoke about the first prophets of our dispensation, we talked about what they asked the saints to do. The question then came up: would following the prophet back then be harder than it is now? Then a groundbreaking revelation hit me. The prophet today doesn't ask us to move our homes, he asks us to move our hearts. Following the prophet today is much harder than it has ever been because we're asked to change ourselves rather than our circumstances. I promise as we move our hearts closer to God, to Zion, we will feel the power that comes with being one with Christ. We will be happier. That is the greatest part about the gospel. It is never easy, but it's what will bring true joy. I love you all, have a great week!

With love,
Elder Hall

  

Holding a duckling (bird whisperer?)  I found "the spirit!"  It's a 1976 Dodge 15 seater van!


   

My district at the Buckeroo!   Our view of the arena!

   
 4th of July ward breakfast.   At the official "End of the Oregon Trail" marker!


We found Utah in the sidewalk!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

I LOVE AMERICA!!!



Me and Elder Erskine on our adventure hike!


Happy 4th of July!! It's my favorite holiday!! I LOVE AMERICA. Us
Halls have a deep love for this great country. I am really missing our
annual flag raising, national anthem, and pledge of allegiance as a
family. What a neat tradition we have! There's no one quite like us.
Well, WHAT A WEEK. Wow it has been so crazy awesome! This a long one,
so buckle up! I promise it will be worth it!

My new companion is Elder Erskine (pronounced Er-Skin). He is from
Salt Lake City and has been out almost 9 months. He's a hard worker
with an incredible testimony! It's going to be a great transfer!

Last Monday was so so bitter sweet! President and Sister Ballard gave
their final remarks to the mission. I got to sit next to my lifelong
best friend, Elder Wilcock for the day and my goodness I love him. We
are so lucky to be in the same mission! The two of us did some serious
tear shedding while the Ballards spoke. It was just so emotional. It
was seriously like losing two incredible parents. They will be dearly
missed.

I came down with a bad cold this week, but don't worry mom! I have
most of it prayed away by now! Haha! I'm thankful for the strength
Heavenly Father has given me each day to get up and keep going,
despite my lack of natural energy. I was so so grateful!

Really quick. I've come up with a comprehensive list of living in Oregon City:
1. Take your shirt off. Right now.
2. Smoke more than your chimney.
3. Steal as many shopping carts as you can and abandon them throughout
the city.

You follow these steps and you will be a real OC resident! Hahaha you
have no idea how close to real life this really is.

I am so excited to be continuing in my assignment as district leader
of the OC district! They best part is with the exception of me and my
companion, my WHOLE district is training! I'm swimming in
greenie-ness! It's awesome though, because they have a fire that can't
be replicated! I'm so excited! Hopefully I don't scar them with my
district meetings...

So last week at church, this lady came up to us and told us her son
wants to baptized, and they need help doing that. Come to find out,
his name is Dax and he is 9 years old. When you're 9, you're
considered a convert, so we are teaching him! Dax is such a sweet
little kid, not to mention he has better hair than I do! He is so
smart! This kid read the first 5 chapters of the Book of Mormon and
could tell us exactly what was going on. He is so awesome! I love this
guy! We are hoping to set a date with him soon.

We taught Cass this week too! She is also such a sweet little 9 year
old. She is ready for baptism! We set a date for August 12th! It is so
exciting! We are very proud of her and we are excited to get her
baptized!

They called a special district leader meeting Thursday  so me and
Elder Navarro, the other district leader in the zone, went on splits
to go. We drove way the heck back to my old home, Cedar Mill back in
Beaverton. President and Sister Ballard were there, and it was the
last time I got to see them as a missionary. It was pretty sad. As he
left the meeting, President said, "I love you. Remember to be OPMs.
Now go find teach baptize! HOO-RAH!" And with that, he was gone. I'm
sure gonna miss him.

I got to walk the Brady's chicken, Starla! Wow what an honor and
experience. I'll send pictures!

We went to visit our investigator Ray this week again! He is
struggling with seeing how the gospel will bless him and change his
life, but we aren't giving up! As we were talking, we discovered his
11 year old son Andrew has never been baptized. We asked if he wanted
to be baptized, and he said he's always wanted to, but no one ever
asked him! We set a date for July 29th! It was awesome! We are so
excited for Andrew!

I was so sad to hear of my good friend, Rich Crockett passing away. He
will be dearly missed. I send my love to his family and his
sweetheart, my southern gal, Bonnie. I'm thankful for the knowledge of
the Plan of Salvation.

Sunday was my favorite Sacrament meeting(s) of the year! I LOVE the
patriotic hymns. I couldn't help but get a little emotional as we
stood and sang the national anthem with that beautiful American flag
on the stand. The music kept going as we had dinner with the Chelsons!
They are very musical and we ended dinner with a beautiful rendition
of "My Country 'Tis of Thee". I love this country!!

Yesterday we had a mission conference with our new mission president,
President Bullen! That's why P-day is today. It was so awesome to
finally meet him and his wife! They are amazing! I already feel the
love they have for me. I'm so excited to get to know them more! He
said a few things that really struck me. Both in regards to serving a
mission, they still apply to every one of life's situations. The first
thing he said was, "Isn't it amazing that God and His prophet trust us
with this hard thing?" Sometimes we forget just who has put us in the
situations we are in. The second is this: "The Atonement is real and
it will help us carry what we're asked to carry." Isn't that so
beautiful? What an incredible truth! I am so grateful for leaders who
truly are called of God! I love this gospel. I know it's true. I know
the blessings that come from following its precepts. Have a happy 4th!

With love,
Elder Hall

  

Me and Elder Wilcock!  Love this kid!   Riding the Oregon City Municipal Elevator

   

Willamette Falls             Telling people from 1890 the gospel!

 

Willamette River        

  

Walkng Starla the chicken!    4th of July breakfast!