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!

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