Monday, July 31, 2017

ET PHONE MILWAUKIE



Hey everyone! It's been QUITE the week. That's about all I have to
say. Hahaha oh man, I'm so excited to tell everyone! Before my big
news, I'll let you guys know of a few other things that happened!

Tuesday was Zone Conference in Mt Hood! We had to drive an hour to get
there, but it was so gorgeous. President Bullen is doing a fantastic
job! I know that he holds the keys for this mission.  It was so fun
because the Milwaukie zone was there so I got to sit with Elder
Wilcock all day! I love him so much! I'm sure gonna miss him when he
goes home TWO WEEKS!

Wednesday started out normal. And then went to lightspeed. We spent
the morning bucking hay for some members in the ward! It was a ton of
fun, and I played the part well enough that they assumed I grew up on
a farm. I think it was the plaid shirt that really tricked them. Later
that evening, my good old pal Elder Baugh from the mission office
called and asked if me and Elder Erskine could install an A/C unit in
the 4th Sister's apartment. Elder Erskine had never done anything like
that before, so I just went to work on it. As I was working, Elder
Erskine says, "I think President just tried to call us!" I was like,
"Well you'd better call him back!" Haha it was funny. So he calls and
President answers. In my mind I'm thinking, "Oh no. President only
calls when there's bad news. Someone's dead. Oh my gosh if Buster is
dead I will fall apart." And on and on. It only got worse when I heard
Elder Erskine say, "Oh no, that's terrible! One second, here's Elder
Hall." I'm ready to throw up at this point.

"Elder Hall, this is President Bullen. How are things?"
"They're going well, President. What can I do for you?"
"I've got an assignment for you. One of the Beaverton Zone Leaders
broke his leg and is headed home for surgery. I'm pulling one of the
Milwaukie Zone Leaders to take his place, and I want you to go to
Milwaukie as a Zone Leader. Can you support me in this?"
"Yes sir. When do I leave?"
"Friday morning. I'll give you more details about what will happen to
your area."

This is what we call an Emergency Transfer, or an ET. The next few
days were a whirlwind. I didn't have time to say goodbye to anyone or
tell anyone I was leaving. I had time to pack my bags and make sure
Elder Erskine could take over the area. Elder Kindrick was pulled and
replaced me in OC 3/5 with my companion. I came to the Alder Creek YSA
Ward and my new comp is Elder Lott!

It's super weird being in a YSA Ward, mostly because it's like what my
life will be when I get home. But the ward is so fun and awesome, and
the missionary work is blazing!! Did I also mention that Elder Wilcock
is now in my zone?! We set up splits for this week, so we can be
companions even if it's only for an hour or two. It's only for two
weeks, but I'll take what I can get!

My new companion, Elder Lott, is from Las Vegas. He's awesome! We knew
each other from back in Cedar Mill when he was my district leader for
a bit. The last few days have been full of laughs and some awesome
missionary work. I'm so excited!

The greatest part of YSA wards is that they are huge! We cover both
Milwaukie and OC stakes. It's a ton of fun! On Saturday we drove an
hour to a tiny town called Fernwood. It was in the freaking middle of
nowhere. It was one of the most beautiful drives I've ever been on
though. I love Oregon! We live right in the city, not too far from
downtown Portland. It's definitely a change, but it's a welcomed one!

I know this email is small, but I hope it tells everyone that I know
the Lord is aware of each of us, and that no matter what happens, if
you just look to God, things turn out ok. Whenever life starts to get
challenging, it means there's something great for you if you just keep
pushing. Satan never puts up a fight unless he is trying to prevent
something good from happening. Alma 26:27 says it best. "Now when our
hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the
Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites,
and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you
success." Just like He gave success to Book of Mormon prophets of old,
He will give us success as long as we push on. I love every one of you
so much! Have a good week!

With love,

Elder Hall



Living up to his Mexican heritage....ha ha!  (you have to be a Hall to understand this!)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

SUMMER IN OC



Using some real life police riot shields!

Hello from Oregon! We've had just absolutely gorgeous weather. It is
so nice, but I don't know if the 8 months of rain is worth it!

Last week we went to the metropolis of Molalla to the good ol' Molalla
Bowl for Elder Erskine's birthday! We enjoyed playing some arcade
games and some games of bowling.

We taught Dax this week and he is such a great kid! He said the prayer
at the end of the lesson and it was so funny. He said, "Bless us to
get our protein and vitamins A, B, and C, and help us to get enough
potassium so we don't get cramps." I loved hearing his sweet testimony
through his prayers that God would help all of us.

It was Elder Erskine's birthday Tuesday! I made him breakfast and
took him out to lunch. He is a good companion, I'm glad to have him.
We also taught these two YSA aged girls, and they couldn't see how the
Bible was imperfect, thus a need for the Book of Mormon. It was
frustrating, but I know they felt the power of our testimonies as we
bore them. They decided to not be interested, but the spirit was felt
and the seeds were planted. Maybe someday they will come around.

Later Tuesday we got asked to help move a pool table. We showed up
with two guys from the ward and that was it. If you don't know, pool
tables can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. The four of us hefted and pushed
and schemed to move that freaking table. It took us about an hour, but
we got it off the trailer! Hahaha we were able to move it into the
garage but that was all we had in us. It gave us a lot of laughs and
some fun memories!

Wednesday was a sad day. A companionship in my district got emergency
transferred after some issues with some of the ward members. My
district is down to 3 companionships now. It was hard to lose them,
especially after all the bonding we went through together. Their area
was absorbed into the other elder's area, and hopefully it will
continue to flourish. They will be missed.

On Thursday we helped a little non member lady move boxes out of her
house. She was moving to St. George and finally called in "those
dressed up Mormons" as she called us. After an hour of moving boxes
from the second floor to the garage, we were soaked to the bone in
sweat. I couldn't hold in my laughter after I learned 75% of the boxes
we moved were full of beanie babies. It was so great.

We had a lesson with our new investigator Homer, and his son Cory.
Never had I seen someone more eager to read the Book of Mormon and
find the answers they were looking for. With Homer losing a son and
brother in the last 8 months, and Cory's wife having a baby just a few
days earlier, their hearts are very prepared for the gospel. We are
very excited to continue teaching them!

It was so freaking boiling on Saturday. The farmers market is a big
task, now that we lost a companionship and the other sisters are in
the visitors center on Saturdays. We worked hard, and got the job
done. I'm not a fan of the no A/C thing in Oregon. At 10::30 pm our
apartment was a stifling 85 degrees and we couldn't put the fan in the
window because the neighbor was smoking weed... haha it was pretty
great!

We took our 11 year old investigator Andrew to get him some Sunday
clothes. He was thrilled! No one had ever done anything like that for
him before. He was so happy. When we got to the register, the lady
took 50% off of our purchase. It was such a tender mercy! The next day
when he came into church, he was strutting around so proudly. We are
so excited for him to get baptized on August 5th!

This week has been full of ups and downs, but in the end, I'm grateful
for the Savior and His sacrifice. I look forward to the day I get to
see my Savior again. I know this gospel is true!

With love,

Elder Hall

   

Stylin in some HUGE sunglasses in Freddies!   Laser tagging as a ZONE!




Brigem?  

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!