Monday, August 25, 2014

The Transition to the field

August 22, 2014

Friday night we received a call from Hannah who'd just finished her shift at the MTC cafeteria.  She told us that our Elder Hall had travel news for us. When we logged in, we were able to email back and forth for a few minutes.

Here's the conversation between the boy and Mom:

Hey, so I witnessed a miracle today. My Visa came and I head out to Ecuador at 3:30 am on Monday. My flight will leave from SLC at about 7:25 am and then fly to Atlanta!:) and have a 4 hour layover in Atlanta and then fly to Quito. I'm allowed to call home while I'm in Atlanta so plan on a call from me at about 3pm; That way I hope I can talk to everyone. I sure am excited to talk with you wonderful people! I got a calling card today so that I can talk to you. I will be online for about 15 more mins if you have any questions. You are welcome to ping me via email.

Love you,

Elder Hall

Wow!  Is that early? Somehow I thought you'd leave on a Wednesday -- guess I was wrong. 

Ya nope-- on Monday. Thank you for your prayers because all the prayers were answered today. So much joy and relief.

Is that a good time to call?


Sweet. Ok so what are your questions?

Well one is- when and how did you find out? 

I found out at 11:30 am and by the travel office. The crazy thing was that I was already temporarily assigned to the Colorado Denver South Mission, and I prayed and made peace with that, but then they called me in later and told me the visa came today. And I'll fly out Monday morning. I was soooooooooooooo grateful. 

And 2: you sure you don't wanna stay at the MTC for the whole 2 years? I could deliver packages every week, and you eat well and have chocolate milk....

No --I am so ready to go :)  Today we had infield orientation where I learned how to work with members and how to find people and I'm so excited I can't even express how happy and ready I am. 

That's awesome then...

But am I going to be able send things to you in Ecuador?

Yes, it will just take longer. Kind of crazy.

So I will fly alone, but meet up with my district from the MTC in Atlanta, before they all go to Argentina

Does it make you nervous to travel alone?

A little bit but not really. 
I'm pretty at peace with it all and just excited to get started. I have been talking with the Ecuador Elder and I now understand everything he says and I'm so excited to meet his family. He said he sent his dad and mom an email to look for me and feed me--ha ha. I'm so excited and so very grateful. Miracles everyday of every hour.

So will you travel from Atlanta to Quito alone too?

Yes. Kind of crazy. but SO EXCITED. I can communicate pretty well and pretty confident that I can ask people where to go and how to get somewhere.

Ah man! You're just the best! 

Ok well I need to go but I want you tell you that I love you. And I want you to read Moroni 7:41-43 and think about how can you apply these things in every aspect of your life. 

Love you and talk to  you on Monday OK?

Ok sweetheart.... So proud of my fine boy!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Letter 5 "Hope of Israel"

Letter 5 from the MTC                          August 21, 2014

Hello all,

This week has gone by so fast. I've had some great adventures and wonderful miracles happen. My first adventure was that our room got bed bugs and we had to clear out of our room and move to a different one. This took hours because we had to unpack every item of clothing and wash it, take our suits to the dry cleaners, and sanitize all of our stuff. The other adventure I have had was that I got to Host the new missionaries for a second week and absolutely loved it. Every time a new PG person comes in I've gotten to be their Host and bring them closer to Christ by welcoming them and letting them know how much they're loved. 

I would like to talk about Hope for just a minute and then tell you about our investigators. First, what is hope? This is what I have been studying in personal study this week because we have an investigator who wanted to know how they can be closer to God. (The best question I have ever been asked.) So Elder Glenn and I decided that we would teach him the 3rd lesson of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is my favorite lesson to teach. There are two different meanings to hope: one means you hope that you get a letter today, or you hope that you don't get the same thing to eat for the 3rd day in a row; then there's a sure hope. This is the hope I want to expound on and discern more. Hope is a sure, tangible, and joyful determination that you know something is true. Elder Neal A. Maxwell describes Hope, "...real hope is much more than wishful musing. It stiffens, not slackens, the spiritual spine. Hope is serene, not giddy, eager without being naive, and pleasantly steady without being smug. Hope is realistic anticipation which takes the form of a determination-not only to survive adversity but, moreover, to "endure...well" to the end." 

Have Hope in the Savior Jesus Christ and His gospel. Because, only through his name can we return to our Father in Heaven. Alma 32:21. 

We had our last lessons with our investigators, and invited them all to baptism. Only one did not accept our invitation. Gabriel is doing wonderful and I love him so much. Yesterday he came and ate lunch in the cafeteria so we sat by him and talked with for a whole hour. I love this soooo much. 

Smile a mile,

Elder Hall

PS  Miracles that happened today: Saw my Grandpa and the temple, Saw Hannah Ahlander in the Cafeteria cuz she works there, and saw several of my friends who came in from PG at lunch. 

Also to keep you informed, my Visa still hasn't come so I will be getting temporarily reassigned until that comes. I don't know where yet, but I find out today.
Inline image 2Inline image 1


Hey so I still don't have very many details other than that I have been reassigned and it was supposed to come tonight but it didn't. So if I get it tomorrow, I will email you and let you know.  And here are some pictures. The first one is Elder Glenn and I with Gabriel and the second one is from the temple. How is Abbie?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Letter 4 "WOW!!!"

Letter from the MTC week 4

Hello Family and Friends,        August 14, 2014

I cannot believe how fast everything is going here. Yesterday I got the opportunity to host the new missionaries coming in, and I thought to myself, "This is nuts. I was just here, and now tomorrow I get my travel plans."

This week has a been a great week of studying and working hard. Elder Glenn and I have taught about 5-6 lessons every day this week. The Spanish could be better...but I'm feeling encouraged. Something that I have focused on this week and is the process of repentance and how I can better teach my investigators why it's important. 
 Brian is from LA, California and loves to play soccer, be in shape, and work at his other job which is helping special needs kids (naturally). He is going to UVU in the Fall and all of his family are members but he is not. This week I felt to ask him what he wanted to gain from us talking to him. He then shared how he would like to know more about to be "Mas cerca Dios de Ti' -- or closer to God. We then shared about the power of repentance and baptism. Elder Glenn then invited him to be baptized. He said, "Yes of course." One of the coolest experiences I have ever had. 
 The other power which I would like to add my witness and testimony to is the power of the Priesthood. This week I was able to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord in 2 different cases. I was able to give a comfort blessing to a new elder this week and then one of the hermanas got super sick and I along with my companion and the whole rest of the district, was able to give her a blessing. 

Again, this is the work and the glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men. 

Here now is my challenge, If you are struggling in your life with challenges, troubles, or afflictions, please pray to our Heavenly Father who loves you. Repentance is called, "The Plan of Mercy" for a reason. If Alma the younger can be forgiven, then I know you can to feel and say, "Oh what Joy,"

In the name of Jesus Christ Amen

Elder Hall

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Letter 3 "There is Sunshine In My Soul--And Not Just Today!"

Hola todos personas,  August 7, 2014

This week has been full of great and most wonderous things--Such as having beautiful experiences with investigators to great and uplifting devotionals. This week we got 3 new investigators and its been an awesome experience. We now have 5 investigators and all are doing very well.

I would like to share with you an experience that we had with Gabriel. Gabriel is from Chile but has lived all over. He's about 50 years old and I love him to death. He speaks very fast spanish but I'm starting to pick it up and be able to respond. Yesterday morning, Elder Glenn and I were teaching him and we shared the first vision. The spirit was soo remarkably strong, and the Spirit just came in and sat next to us. We then asked him if he believed it was true and que signifca este historia?( do not know what that is in english anymore). Kinda like what does this mean? Gabriel turned to us and said, "God spoke to his children 2000 years before this; if God is the same, which he is, then absolutely he would speak to us now." He then continued to share to very personal stories about his life. One was from his childhood where they couldn't find his brother. He said his mom had always told him that when ever he needed help, he could pray to God and God would help him. He said he went into his room and knelt down and pour out his whole soul to god for the first time. God then answered his prayer by helping him find his brother 10 mins later. He shared another story about his son getting cancer and he was a healthy boy of 19 and loved basketball and then he got super sick. He said he knew his son dying so he was told by "someone" that he needed to take his son to the hospital. Long story short he is still alive and ok today. He said in that moment of fear he once again knelt down and poured out his soul in prayer. 

We all were crying by the end of this experience and he said something that I love. "If you find yourself on the top of the mountain and then all the sudden your falling, God will do 1 of 2 things: He will either hold you and help you get back up, or teach you how to fly. He will never leave you." Gabriel taught me more yesterday than I or my companion taught him. He his ready to receive the fullness of the gospel and have all the complete happiness, peace, and love. Which we all know is Joy

Thank you for all the prayers. Elder Glenn and I pray for you too. 
If you feel so inclined please send me letters! I love hearing from people whom I love and whom my Father and Savior loves.

Este es mi testimonio:
Yo sé que este trabaja es el trabaja de Dios. Yo sé que la iglesia de Jesucristo es verdadero.
Yo testificó Jesucristo es mi y nuestros Salvador y Retenador. Sin Dios nosotros no somos nadie, pero con Dios nosostros podemos hacer cual queir cosa. José Smith fue un profeta y vi el Señor y Padre Celestial.
En nombre de Jesucristo, Amén.

Smile a mile and always,
Elder Hall

Photos from the MTC

Two good friends from PGHS: Elder Caleb Veenker and Elder Hall
PGHS friends: Elder Kenny Godfrey and Elder Hall

MTC companions: Elder Glenn and Elder Hall
A visit to the Provo Temple

Elder Glenn in the MTC classroom
The district. All are Argentina bound, except Zach.
A close up of Elder Hall (editing c/o his mother).

First Letters Home

Week 1  "So Much YES Week "

Hola everybody,        July 24, 2014

This is has been one full week. I have already taught 5 lessons to an investigator in Spanish and studied numerous and numerous hours. I'm on West Campus which is all Spanish speaking Elders y Hermanas. It's fantastic, you walk out the door from your apartment and you hear, "Hola Elderes! Como le va?" I love it! However, that doesn't mean it hasn't been hard. This has been by far the hardest week that I have ever had. 
Thanks to family and friends and most importantly thanks to the Lord- I'm so very good and well. 

An experience I had with Elder Glenn (my companion) this week is we were teaching this investigator, Oscar, and we testified of truthfulness of the gospel and how it can bless his family. I love it! Something we say as a district when things get stressful and hard we say, "Tranquilo" which means to take it easy! In D&C 84: 77 through 88 He calls us "friend" and He is always with us! 

Abbie, I would like you to pay close attention to verse 88. Hope you know Abs, that you're in my prayers always and I have thinking a lot about you! May you find comfort in praying to your Father in Heaven who loves you so much! 

I have gained about 5 pounds already and I love, love, love the chocolate milk. Me encanta la leche de chocolate!! 

I send my love to all and thank you for your prayers and your letters!

I have the best companion ever and he works hard! We are doing awesome and are just thrilled to be a part of this work.

Smile a mile,

Elder Hall

Week 2  "I'm Singing in the Rain"

Hello all,        July 31, 2014

This week was great! I learned some important things and my testimony was strengthened so much. We had a devotional this week from John H. Groberg, and I can't describe to you how powerful it was to sing in the choir. We sang "Hurrah for Israel!" It was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had.

Here are some things that he said, "When you strike your tuning fork, others will catch the vibration and end up in the same key." He also gave a 6 important points in Bearing testimony:

1.What we say
2.What we do
3.What we sing
4.How we pray
5.What we write
6.Who we are

I want to testify to you that these things are true! Yesterday we had a lesson with our investigator named Javier. Javier just graduated from college and works in a book industury place. He has been taught by other missionaries before and was really hesitant to let us in. I decided I just would ask him what he liked and how things were going. He then let us in and we were able to share a message with him. We simply ended with our testimonies and the Spirit was so strong.

Bearing your testimony is something we all need to do constantly. Elder Glenn and I made a meta (goal) this week to share our testimony 3 times every day to somebody. It has been one of the greatest spiritual witnesses I have ever received. 

Something funny:
Elder Glenn came in yesterday and we were so worn out and tired. He saw Elder Kelly who literally came in and laid down on his bed and fell asleep. Well, Elder Kelly doesn't like spiders AT ALL. So...we took a string and decided that we would go find a spider and tie it to the string and put it on his face. He woke up screaming hahaha! SO MUCH YES!! 

Thank you for all your prayers! Thank you for your support and I hope you know that we pray for you too! 

Smile a mile,
Elder Hall

The Boy Is Off To Become A Man

The night before Zach was to get on an early morning flight to the Mexico MTC, plans changed.  His visa and passport were not released from Ecuador, and so we had a few more hours together, and readied him for the Provo MTC instead.


The Boy and His Call

On April 3rd, 2014 a big white envelope came to our mailbox. The boy to whom it was addressed was on PGHS choir tour in Disneyland, and the wait was long....

And then... the group returned. 
On Monday, April 7th we celebrated with family and friends as he opened and read his call: Ecuador, Quito Mission.  To begin July 16 2014. 

Where in the world is Quito anyway?