Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Dear family and friends,

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! We're eating at a member's house, so we
probably won't get any turkey, but hey, it's a miracle already that
someone even invited us here in Olmstead so I'm pretty happy about

Yesterday we had a zone APF (area proselyting focus (don't worry I
just learned that too)). We set up a turkey and asked people to write
what they're grateful for on feathers and stick them on the turkey.
Then we could incorporate gospel topics and hand out free things and
get referrals. My favorite was when this crazy Republican guy stood
there and told us that 1. He loves Romney and voted for him 2. He read
the Mormon "bible" (Book of Mormon) and said that it didn't coincide
with the Bible at all 3. We don't believe in regular Jesus, we believe
in the Jesus from Montana. It was fun talking to him though and we
gave him a card, so maybe he'll read the truth about us sometime. I
also talked to a Hindu guy who demanded to know when Christ was
coming. I explained that we don't know because we have to have faith
and repent daily, etc. which he then started condemning the world for
their sins. So I really liked him. Lots of interesting people in the
Bronx. Most of them too busy and ungrateful, but ya know. Baptism will
fix that.

Our area is notorious for being difficult. We get juked a lot and
there are only a few really want to help out the missionaries or come
to church, but we're working on it. One guy did bring a lady to church
though, and she said she would bring her husband next Sunday, so cross
your fingers! We're also having a ward activity, a mini MTC
experience, to "train" members on how they can be more effective
member missionaries, so I'm super pumped for that.

Oh and Facebook. Comment on the missionary posts because our
investigators and in-actives can see them and learn from your insight!

Keep being member missionaries and remember to reach out to someone
before Christmas!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In the Bronx 1

Dear family and friends,

So... Remember that one time when I lived in New York City? In the Bronx? WHAT

This place is sweet. Hispanic wards have food at everything! After the
Elder's baptism on Friday, they had a full-blown meal complete with
dessert. I could get used to this culture, except for the kissing on
the cheek thing. I'm pretty sure that my right cheek is permanently
stained with dark powder from the members' faces. And I also have a
completely rational fear of one day accidentally kissing someone on
the mouth...

On Tuesday we went to Manhattan to get our new iPads! I got to see
Juliard, eat at Steak-N-Shake and witness the existence of the
largest, most grotesque cockroach known to man #subwayzRfun

For any of you who think that I've already become an apostate
missionary on Facebook, this mission is an online proselyting mission
so I am allowed to use Facebook to talk about the gospel and bring
others closer to Christ. All of my posts are shared with members in my
areas, active, inactive, and non-members, so please feel free to share
your spiritual insight by commenting on my posts.

I LOVE the members in our area. They are all so sweet and welcoming.
There are so many cultures here and my Spanish is... really bad.
Dominican's speak really fast and drop their S's. I need the S's!

This past weekend was Stake Conference. There was a HUGE emphasis on
missionary work. One speaker shared "These efforts made me feel so
good. Any part of missionary work you partake in, it will make you
feel SO good." Clayton Christiansen was quoted "For those of you
struggling with sadness, missionary work will bring you great joy."
It's so true. After days of feeling unproductive and cooped up in
meetings during my first weekend here in a new place, we had our first
real lesson. As I shared my testimony and felt the Spirit, I received
my answer that I truly needed to be here and I was SO happy! Then
yesterday we met with a recent convert and taught him the plan of
salvation. He shared his testimony with us and during his prayer he
asked "please Heavenly Father help me to be good so that hopefully I
can live with You again". It was so amazing and sweet and the Spirit
was so strong. He truly has a relationship with our Heavenly Father
and knows that he has God's love. That's what the gospel can do for
us, so let's get out there and share the good news with EVERYONE!

I love you all.

Hermana Hall

P.S. Ballard Challenge Countdown- 35 DAYS
"We are not asking everyone to do everything. We are simply asking all
members to pray, knowing that if every member, young and old, will
reach out to just “one” between now and Christmas, millions will feel
the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful gift to the

Choose Celestial

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New York at last!!

Dear Everyone,

So... I'm here in my first area... which is Olmstead. Where's Olmstead? The Bronx. Sweet, right? Straight up in the hood. K lo K

My companion's name is Sister Dalley and she is awesome. She went to beauty school and is SUCH a Barbie. But in a good, cute way. And she loves to shop and buy lots of new clothes. But my mission president said that he thinks the world of her so I'm stoked to be trained by her. Also, the mission president said that the newbies have to teach 75% of each lesson and I think we have one tonight... oh snap.

But everything is great here. The fall colors are SO pretty and the weather is AWESOME! And by awesome I mean crispy cold. I forgot how much I missed that. Tonight we'll finish moving in and everything and we get our new mini ipads tomorrow! Hooray!

My mission president and his wife are amazing. President Morgan is SUCH an example of Christ. Last night we had a testimony meeting with all of the new missionaries. It was incredible. After a whole day of worrying about whether my in-field experience will compare with the awesomeness of the MTC and my district and teachers there, hearing President Morgan bear his testimony was just what I needed. I seriously felt like Christ Himself is my mission president. So now I'm putting all my confidence into the future and am planning on being the best missionary I can possibly be!


Hermana Hall

P.S. What language is that Dominican speaking?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pictures while at the CCM in Mexico City

Last Greeting from Mexico!!

Dear everyone,
Lots of fun stuff this week. I´m split almost exactly 50-50 between raging excitement to leave and extreme sadness to leave. I´ve learned so much here in the past 5 weeks and I am planning on making this week the best one yet!

1. Halloween: who says missionaries aren´t allowed to have fun on holidays? We all bought 10 pieces of candy from the tienda (yeah mom that´s what the 120 pesos is for) and then took turns standing inside the classroom while the rest of us came to the door and said "Trick or treat!" None of us can figure out why that was so much fun for us #missionarydeprivations

2. This week we practiced using imperfect and preterit tenses in describing the first vision of Joseph Smith. MYTH: Everyone who works at the MTC is a member. THIS IS FALSE. I now know this. But, in the days of my innoncence (Wednesday), I walked up to a worker and just started rattling off "Yo sé que Jose Smith era un profeta y vio a Jesucristo y Dios. Él buscaba por la verdad y oraba y leía las escrituras..." Blalalabalabla. Halfway through my rant I realize the GINORMOUS crucifix hanging from his neck. OH CRAP. That explains the absolute blank stare pasted on his face. Good thing my companion was there to save the day. We hobbled back to class laughing so hard that we were crying. Then our teacher, Hermano Hardy, made us go back and give him a card. So we did and he said he was interested in learning more "¡Bueno! ¡Tenga un buen dia!" We then go back to class to tell the story and Hermano Hardy was like "Why didn´t you get his information?!!" #missionaryfail #whoops

3. Today at the temple Elder Ramirez brought a Libro de Mormon in which we had all written our testimony and planned on giving it to someone we saw on the bus on the way there. On the way back we passed a guy in a wheelchair and Elder Ramirez got to give it to him! The guy promised he would read it and we all got way too excited... But it was awesome! #mishmoments4life

4. I got a haircut. #horrifying #imissauntsuz but I guess my Spanish was good enough to explain what I wanted because it looks awesome! (pics next week)

5. I ALMOST got through the WHOLE temple session in Spanish! And we have a new district of natives who we are best friends with who are teaching us Spanish tongue twisters. #dondelenguas

6. FUNNY STORY: (background info: "Yo sé" means "I know" in spanish while "Yo soy" means "I am") One time these two elders were teaching a fake investigator in the TRC and they were coming close to the end of the first lesson about the Restoration. One Elder wanted to bear his testimony with great conviction, so he leaned forward, looked the investigator square in the eyes, and firmly declared, "Hermana, yo soy Jose Smith". The "investigator" lost it and bursted into laughter. The Elder realized that he had said something wrong, so in an attempt to cover his mistake, he recomposed himself and once again declared with firm assurance, "Hermana, yo soy Jesucristo".
That was almost as good as when an Hermana in my district told me that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we could be cleansed of all of our past fishes. (pecados vs. pescados)
7. I learned A LOT this week.

a. We can ALL receive personal revelation. I took that for granted for the better part of my life, but if we have the gift of the Holy Ghost (which comes after baptism) God really can talk to us! I was having a really hard time so Hermano Hardy pulled me out and asked me what was wrong. I poured out my soul to him and he said "Okay, kneel down right now and ask God to tell you anything He wants you to know. Then we´ll sit here for as long as it takes for you to get an answer." GUYS IT WORKS!!! As soon as I finished my prayer, everything that Heavenly Father wanted to tell me popped into my mind and heart. I challenge everyone to do this! It´s amazing!

b. Satan makes our greatest strengths seem like our greatest weaknesses. We just have to learn how to get rid of those negative thoughts that he keeps putting in our heads. In fact, we should be EXCITED whenever one of those thoughts pops into our heads because then we can realize EXACTLY how Satan works and exactly how to combat it. Take the exact opposite of that negative thought and THAT is how Heavenly Father wants you to think.

c. The Spirit guides the lessons. God is the one that knows the people who are learning about the Church 1000000000 times better than we do and he knows what we need. This week we continued teaching Renato, who committed to baptism, but never really felt the Spirit since. We went in with hearts full of prayers and just asked him questions and helped him to feel the power of the Atonement. At one point he got teary-eyed and just stopped and said "I can feel something in here" and pointed to his chest. We explained to him that it was the Holy Ghost and that after baptism he could have that with him ALL the time. The Spirit was SO strong and it was THE BEST LESSON EVER. We also taught a new investigator named Danny who believes in God because he was saved from a near-death experience. We invited him to baptism but he declined. He said he felt something good and full of peace and happiness, but he wanted to learn more before he committed to anything. After just one lesson we fell in love with him. I´ve really learned that the Spirit is the ultimate guide and we can´t have ANY success without it.

This week I´ve truly felt Heavenly Father´s love for me and His love for all of His children. He loves you and wants to hear from you, regardless of your situation. He is never far away.

Reach out to others and share the gospel with them so that they can feel the joy that this gospel brings us.

Choose celestial!

Hermana Hall

P.S. Next time you hear from me I´ll be back in the States!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dear Everyone,

My friends hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not. Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not.

Thanks for the letters.

So this week I shook hands with the prophet.

Okay, I shook hands with a guy who shook hands with the prophet (President Pratt) but it still counts.

Also, gift of tongues is LEGIT. I can officially roll my R´s now (thanks cody and pierce, but not as good of coaches as the Spirit)

This week has basically just been same ole same ole at the CCM. Learning lots of Spanish, teaching lots of lessons SPEAKING OF we have a new investigator named Sandra who is straight-up Catholic. When we walked in we asked her to turn off the TV so that was awkward to begin with, and then during the prayer she started doing some weird Catholic chanting thing then made the chest cross thing. It was so so weird. But probably the most realistic situation we´ve had. So, we butchered that lesson. But I guess it was a blessing because now our pride has been crushed and we have to be humble in order to teach her. But she really is just a crazy old Catholic lady.

Elder Allen from the Seventy came and talked to us this week. He is the MTC Managing Director (of the WORLD). Oh and I got to meet the head of all of the international MTCs so that was fun. But Elder Allen´s talk was the! My favorite quote was "Don´t think that this is anything less than a war". We really are at war with Satan and all of us are going to win! So let´s all be recruiters and invite everyone we can to join the ranks! (intense much?, sorry bout it)

Yesterday during class we had an exercise where we had to teach someone who had already denied baptism. Our teachers said to only focus on the investigator and the Spirit to know what to say. Guys, it works. As I was teaching, the questions and scriptures I needed just popped into my head (in Spanish!) and she accepted baptism! It was so awesome! Hermana Card and I have agreed that we´re both obsessed with feeling the Spirit. The feeling of peace, reassurance, and happiness that comes from it and the truths of this gospel is something that EVERYONE needs to know about.

I love you all. Remember that EVERY member is a missionary. That´s right ALL OF YOU

Hurrah for Israel!

Hermana Hall

Pictures of Hermana Hall in Mexico City!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dear family and friends,

First off, some random deets:
1. I used an umbrella for the first time. Everyone said that I looked like Mary Poppins aka Julie Andrews so my mission has been a success.

2. Also, remember that scene on the Other Side of Heaven where he sleeps with his feet out of the sheets and the rats ate his feet? Well that happens here with mosquitos. Any exposed body part gets devoured. And even then they have mutant beaks which allow them to penetrate any kind of fabric. YOU´RE NEVER SAFE

3. For our service activity this week, the workers came and started leading us and directing us where to go. We started following and they led us straight to the... (insert psycho screaming noise) CAFETERIA (insert blood-curlding scream). I was facing my entirely rational fear of ever re-entering an MTC kitchen. But then we just cleaned the walls so it ended well. Except for the fact that I accidentally told the elders in my district about the cereal challenge and now they're determined to do it. I'm a disgrace to MTC cafeteria workers everywhere. #christopherpeterson #meghanschiers #meghanwhateveryournewlastnameis

4. This week Hermana Card and I were called to be Sister Trainers! They´re like the girl zone leaders and basically we´re just in charge of all the hermanas in our zone. So we thought that we must be doing something right. UNTIL we lost 5 of our hermanas at the temple today. From that I learned two things: 1) Obedience brings blessings and 2) Mexicans mean what they say. "Don't go to the tienda. If you´re not back by 12:40 WE WILL LEAVE YOU". Sooo... when we got on the bus and our girls weren´t there on time, he said "oh well. they´ll have to get a taxi". Then, as Hermana Card and I are panicking, we see them sprinting out from the tienda. Bus driver wouldn't stop. "Shoulda been here on time". And then our girls were left to fend for themselves in the big city of Mexico DF.

5. Two of our "investigators" committed to baptism this week! Lugo loves object lessons so we read Alma 32 with him and busted out a seed and let him "nourish" (dump water) on it whenever he listed something that would help his faith to grow. Then at the end we busted out an apple and said "This can be you! You can grow into this delicious fruit! But we all have to start as a seed and constantly be nourished" He was SO excited! Then I busted it out: "¿Seguirá el ejemplo de Jesucristo y será bautizado?" CHA CHING Then there´s Renato who knows he needs to be baptized but he hasn´t learned how to receive answers to his prayers yet. Next lesson: personal revelation from our loving Heavenly Father.

Hay tres milagros esta semana:

1. My testimony of faith skyrocketed. We were doing a practice exercise where we had to answer someone´s question. Our question came from a lady who had a 10 year old son with cancer "Why would God do this to me?" I searched and serached the scriptures but couldn´t find anything to help her (The part where in Alma where God tells Alma and Amulek to let the righteous burn in order to bring judgement upon the wicked wasn't going to cut it). Our group of 5 missionaries had no idea how to answer. Then Hermana young came over and started asking really hard questions "Why? Why? Why?" It really shocked me that I didn´t know the answer. Then with the next thing she said, the Spirit punched me in the face. Yeah, it can do that. "Faith. God gives us trials so that we can learn to have faith in Him. Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement is everything". Then I started bawling. That NEVER happens. It was then I realized how important faith is. If we can have faith in Christ we can have everything. And that to me is a miracle.

2. Miracle number 2: during that same exercise Hermana Card's group was answering Elder Ramirez's question: "What happened to my mom after she died in a car accident 2 years ago?". Hermana Card answered with her testimony that his mom is still living and that she is very proud of him and that she loves him. Elder Ramirez started tearing up. Then as Hermana Hart said the closing prayer, Hermana Card could feel someone giving her a hug saying "Thank you for telling that to my son. He needs to know that his dad is proud of him". Then she realized that the scenario was real and that it was Elder Ramirez's dad. He ran from the room crying. He later told us that this was the reason he finally made a concrete decision to stay on his mission and every since he has been such a powerful district leader. #CHURCHISTRUE

3. Hermano Hardy sat us down and talked with us as a district. He said that there are lots of things we can improve on and he shared a story with us about Wilford Woodruff while he was on his mission. One night he was at a tavern and the whole town had come to hear him preach and mock him. But as he prayed he said "God, whatever you tell me to say, I will say". Then the lives and transgressions of everyone in the room flashed before his eyes and he knew everything about them. They didn't see Wilford Woodruff that night, they saw Christ. Having the spirit with you changes your physical countenance and people can see that. We have to be representatives of Christ and have the Spirit with us so that we can invite people to come unto Christ by hearing His message that we have to share. Ever since that talk, our district has been so much stronger and the goofy elders have started studying! That is a miracle. Look up that story about Wilford Woodruff though. It's great. #gogramps

Spiritual thought of the week comes from Matthew when Peter walks on water. He had faith to walk in the beginning, but when the wind and waves became boisterous, he became afraid and began to sink. But as soon as he called out for the Lord, Christ IMMEDIATELY reached out and pulled him out of the water. Same in our lives guys. We may stumble and fall, but Christ is always there to help us back up if we come unto Him. Alone we are nothing, but if we have faith in Christ we can do anything. FAITH IN CHRIST AND HIS ATONEMENT IS EVERYTHING!


Hurrah for Israel!

Choose celestial!

Hermana Hall


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dear everyone,

This past week at the CCM has been amazing!

1. MOST IMPORTANT: FRUIT. Has anyone eaten guava fruit and not told me about it? Because I'm pretty sure there's a scripture somewhere that condemns hiding the light from those in darkness. Unless it's the casting pearls before swine thing, in that case, nevermind. But I eat at least 3 every meal, yesterday at lunch alone I ate 9. WHOOPS. There are also these apple pear things that have the texture of water chestnuts. We call them panzanas, you know peras y manzanas, and they are delightful.

2. A lot of people have asked about my schedule so here it is:

6:30 Wake up
745 Breakfast
825 Gym time in which Hermana Card kicks my butt because she is a BEAST when it comes to working out. We also have way sweet facilities like a weight room, full court gym, track, volleyball courts, and cardio room
945 Study
1245 Lunch
130 Study
615 Dinner
700 Study
900 Plan

Study time consists of being taught by our FABULOUS teachers Hermano Hardy, Hermano Salvador and Hermana Young, of studying on our own in the computer lab or in the classroom.

Hermano Hardy had personal interviews with all of us this week. Holy cow is that guy close to the Spirit. He quoted stuff straight from my patriarchal blessing. He told me that I was to preach the gospel with boldness because that was the kind of missionary that I was meant to be. So if I end up being thrown in prison or stuck in a pit of lions or stoned SORRY ABOUT IT. But not.

Also, we have devotional every Sunday and Tuesday night. The last one included Presidente Tenorio reccounting stories that started with ``the first time I was mugged, the first time I was kidnapped...`` Welcome to Mexico City.

3. Also, this past week I had an experience that rivals Aunt Suzanne's story about falling off the railing at the MTC. Except this one didn't include flirting with the Elders.

It was raining outside, a light downpour, and our district was scheduled to be in the computer lab. As many of you know, my love for rain is almost comparable to my love for guava fruit. #maddawgclypuppy #raindancepower So I ran across the cobblestone square to the computer lab as the raindrops hit me as I ran. Unfortunately, I did not realize that the floor at the entrance was a slick tile. There was no time for an attempt to slow my pace, so unfortunately when my foot first hit the tile, there was no traction to save me. My foot flew into the air, taking the leg with it, causing me to land flat on my back. It was the PERFECT cartoon banana peel slip. BUT let's not forget that I am a sister missionary, and therefore am required to wear a skirt at all times. ADDITIONALLY, the entrance to the computer lab opens to two doors which each open to its own respective computer lab. AND it didn't help that our district was late, meaning that the rest of the missionaries of the CCM were on time. So putting these facts together, I'm sure you can picture the scene: a sister missionary lying on the ground in a lake of water, skirt above the head, gasping for breath as she laughs uncontrollably while two packed computer labs full of both elders and hermanas stare in disbelief. Let's just say that some poor elders were scarred for life that day. At least everyone got to see me bear my testimony... WHOOPS

4. Another part of our schedule during study time includes teaching investigators, who are really just our teachers. We had a really good lesson with Lugo on Monday. He was really interested and wanted to read a Book of Mormon. Hermana Card got so excited that she gave him the book, stood up and exclaimed ``OKAY GREAT! THAT'S FANTASTIC!!!! WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME!!!`` and started skipping to the door. I grabbed her arm and pulled her back to her seat while saying ``Lugo, would you mind if we say a closing prayer?`` Haha at least she's just as enthusiastic about being a missionary as I am. But hopefully she remembers to say the closing prayer.

5. Spiritual thought of the week: So... a lot of people think that the MTC is a magical place where you walk through the doors and you receive a welcome packet which includes a wrapped gift of tongues with a bow on it. Then you are automatically able to speak your assigned language because you're a magical missionary. Just want to clarify: NOT TRUE!! It takes hard work and effort on your part, but then the Lord pushes your ability farther than you could have ever imagined.
THEREFORE, I have gained such a testimony of prayer. In the Bible Dictionary it says: The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.

He's there for us. We just have to ask Him guys! I've learned that this week as I've struggled with teaching and with the language. God wants to bless us, but sometimes we just need to get down and ask. Even just asking for Him to send the Spirit to be with us in a lesson makes the HUGEST difference. I know I've already lost the ability to speak/write in English... But my challenge for EVERYONE this week, I don't care what your religious background is, whether you belive in God or not, whatever the depth of your conversion to the gospel of Christ, I want you to kneel down and just ask if Heavenly Father is there for you. Then tell Him EVERYTHING, all about your struggles, your worries, and your joys. It's simple, I know, so DO IT. It will bless your life and bring you closer to your Dad.


Hermana Hall

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dear everyone,

So... basically, this place is AWESOME! It's seriously so great! The food is delicious, but might be slowly wearing away the inside of my intestines. And the mosquitos, we need to get some serious West Nile Virus surveying up in here because I think I get at least 6 new bites everyday. It's probably because I eat 400% of my daily intake of fruit because it's so delicious here. American mangos, you have been replaced. Also, I killed two spiders in my casa. The pre-mission fear factor training for millipedes was successful! But for spiders...

My companion's name is Hermana Card and she is from Orem so we have a lot to talk about. She loves eating and working out so basically we're already besties (those are the only two requirements) SHOUT OUT to BRYCE: I'm not the jolly companion! Anyways, we both love to have fun and both love to study and put in a ton of hard work to learn everything we need to, and we both hate being late. Hermana Card is REALLY good at Spanish. She's the one at the airport who said she had been taking it for 7 years. She's good at conversing in Spanish and I'm good at remembering gospel vocab so we're a good team. Also, neither of us like showering so... (don't worry Aunt Suzanne, I shower every other day)

So I have to tell you guys a story of the coolest thing that happened on the first day. They took all of us, probably about 30 missionaries, into a room and brought in an investigator and had us ask questions about her life and try to get to know her worries, needs, and questions in life. The first girl was looking for happiness and as all of us asked her questions and bore our testimonies, the Spirit became SO SO strong. But she said she had only come to do her friend a favor and that she wasn't really interested. Then she left and another investigator came in and as we did the same thing, she started crying and said that she knew that it was true. So then, skeptical Shelby, hehem Hermana Hall thinks that they're just fake because she now knows the in's and out's of the MTC (SHOUT OUT TO ALEC) but later we talked to the head guy who was in charge and he said that they were for sure real and that both of them were now really interested and meeting with the missionaries! HOW SWEET IS THAT!!! That experience just made me want to baptize everyone and bring them the eternal happiness that comes from the gospel!

This morning we went to the temple! In Mexico City!!! WHAT UP Still not quite used to the fact that I'm actually IN Mexico City. Or even that I'm a missionary. The other day we were sitting the auditorium waiting for class to start and two elders walked through the door and I hit my companion and said "LOOK IT'S THE MISSIONARIES!!!!". Not as bad as the time when we were driving through the city and Hermana Card saw green, red, and white decorations around a street sign and yelled "Look! They're already decorating for Christmas!!!!". Ummmm... nope. Those are Mexico's colors. WHOOPS.

Oh yeah the temple... It was SO awesome! The inside is almost exactly the same as the Provo temple, the layout and everything. Too sweet! Oh and I did an entire session in Spanish. Yeah. The ENTIRE session. It was amazing! OH and the other day for a fireside for the entire MTC, I said the closing prayer in Spanish! This immersion thing is sweet. Except, it's really not me, it's the Lord helping me along.

And CONFERENCE?????????? Did you guys watch that????!!!! If you didn't GO DO IT RIGHT NOW!!! GET OFF THE COMPUTER AND GO WATCH ALL OF IT!!!! (unless conference is on your computer, then you can stay on). It was so good! (understatement) They talked a lot about faith, the healing power of the Atonement, keeping covenants, and MISSIONARY WORK!!!! That's right Gifford Nielsen, it deserves exclamation points!!!!!! P.s. Shawn, if you won't listen to any other general authority, I know you'll listen to Gifford Nielsen, SO GO DO SOME MISSIONARY WORK!!!! EXCLAMATION POINT!!!! But really, my favorite talk was by Timothy Dykes, who talked about how the Atonement of Christ can make us whole. If we have faith in the healing and enabling power of the Atonement, we can take up our beds and walk, even when we feel too weak to do so on our own. Christ is there to help us because He loves us! We just have to come closer to Him and we will help us rise and stand taller than we ever could on our own. ALSO Russell M Nelson's talk was the, but that's a given (SCIENCE IS FUN)

So remember how happy this gospel makes you and how blessed we are to have families that are sealed together FOREVER. Share that with someone. One of the conference speakers challenged us to reach out to ONE by CHRISTMAS. I echo that challenge and ask all of you to join in the hastening of the work in this day. Everyone needs the joy that this gospel can bring and if you truly loved them, you would want them to have eternal happiness. SO SHARE THE GOOD NEWS! An invitation out of love will never be received offensively. And if we have the charity and pure love of Christ, we would want ALL people to have the gospel because we love them and recognize that they are sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who wants them to come home! EXCLAMATION POINT!!!!!

I love all of you guys and wish you the best in all of your endeavors!

Remember to always CHOOSE CELESTIAL and NEVER BE ASHAMED of the gospel of Christ.


Hermana Hall

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I'm in Mexico City!!

i officially arrived in mexico city but this keyboard is in spanish and i have no idea where the shift button is so none of these letter will be capitalized. sorry bout it. i have also officially forgotten any spanish i previously knew, but i did feel better when we were filling out migration forms and one girl asked ''WHAT IS NOMBRE'' insert question mark here. but then this other girl said she took seven years of spanish so thats awesome too. oh wait. hey look an ñ i connected with tons of missionaries on the flight from dallas to mexico city and four of them are going to the same mission as me. um... texas is just as big as everyone says it is and mexico city is really crammed and ghetto but the mtc is nice so thats good. i wish i knew how to use punctuation on this keyboard... okay well thats all for now hopefully my next letter will be punctuated hermana hall

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Decision to Serve

"Dear Sister Hall, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the New York New York North Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months. You should report to the Mexico Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, October 2, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish nation... We place our confidence in you and pray that the Lord will help you become an effective missionary."

In October of last year, I sat in the Tabernacle at Temple Square when President Monson made the historic announcement which permitted girls over the age of 19 to serve missions. I cried. I was so inspired by the hastening of the Lord’s work in our day. He is calling more and more of His servants to aid the work of bringing the gospel into the lives of so many. “Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.” (1Nephi 22:12). I am committing to 18 months of serving my Savior in accomplishing this great task. Why would I give up a year and a half of my life for this cause?

I debated it for a long time before I finally got my answer. I’ve always wanted to go share the “good news” with everyone, but I had to know if it was what God truly wanted me to do. I prayed for months and tried to better myself in order to be ready for a mission. Then one night I was reading in D&C and I came across Section 4:3 which reads “Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work”. Right when I read that verse, the Spirit was so strong and I knew that I was supposed to go because I truly desired to share the word with all.

This desire to serve stems from three key experiences in my life. First, after watching the movie 17 Miracles I was filled with total gratitude for my pioneer ancestors. They gave up everything for the gospel. Before hearing the word of Christ, their lives were without purpose and without answers to life’s most pertinent questions. When they heard the “good news” of the gospel, their hearts leaped for joy and they knew that they had heard the true teachings of a Heavenly Father who loved them dearly. Just as Lamoni’s father in Alma 22:15, these faithful saints declared “What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.” The early pioneers truly did give up all that they possessed for the kingdom of God: their lives, their families, and in some instances, even their lives. They knew it was the glorious word of God and knew that nothing on earth was more important than this gospel. In modern days, I know that I do not have to give up my worldly possessions for this gospel, but I do know that I can serve my Lord with all my heart and show Him that I love His gospel. I can give 18 months to the Lord and serve Him by serving others. I hope to be able to emulate the examples of my early pioneer ancestors and those brave enough to stay true to their dedication to the Lord when life became unbearable.

“We must be sure that the legacy of faith received from the pioneers who came before us is never lost. Let their heroic lives touch our hearts, and especially the hearts of our youth, so the fire of true testimony and unwavering love for the Lord and His Church will blaze brightly within each one of us as it did in our faithful pioneers.”

“Can we somehow muster the courage and that steadfastness of purpose which characterized the pioneers of a former generation?” President Monson asks. “Can you and I, in actual fact, be pioneers today? A dictionary defines a pioneer as ‘one who goes before, showing others the way to follow.’ Oh, how the world needs pioneers today!” President Monson teaches that Latter-day Saints can be modern-day pioneers by being aware of the needs of others and then reaching out to rescue them and show them the way to Christ.

“Truly the Lord encourages us to walk in faith to the edge of the light and beyond—into the unknown,” Elder Ballard says. “After the trial of our faith, He once again shines the light ahead of us, and our journey of faith in every footstep continues. Now it has swelled into billions and billions of footsteps throughout the world.” I hope to be a force to bring this magnificent gospel into the lives of others, even if it means sacrificing schooling, friends, and years of my life in doing so.

Secondly, I am going on a mission because I love others. I went home for a week and was able to see my old friends from high school. Listening to them talk about their lives was so hard for me because I knew that they were missing out on the countless blessings which the gospel brings to us. These were my best friends during high school and now they have lost the most precious help in succeeding in this life. If only they understood that the gospel was not a list of rules to follow, but a support and key to eternal happiness. I wished there was a way for them to understand that the principles of the gospel would bring them truly happiness. I may not be able to change the lives of my friends, but I can serve with all my heart for 18 months to bring other people the gospel. Other people who have friends praying for them to accept the gospel, other people who have experienced loss and pain, all of which can be healed by our loving Savior, other people who are meandering through life without purpose, other people who feel alone and helpless who need to understand that we have a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother who love us unconditionally and want desperately for us to return home to them. These truths of the gospel change lives. They can save lives. If I can be an instrument in the conversion of even one person who is struggling, then my service to my Lord is complete. “O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth” (Alma 29:1-2).

Another story from the Book of Mormon highlights a group of missionaries who went about teaching many. “Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thought that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble” (Mosiah 28:3). I feel exactly the same way that these true missionaries felt. I truly want everyone in the world to feel the peace and joy that comes from living the gospel. I want everyone to know that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them. I want everyone to know that they have a Savior who died for them and has suffered all of their pains and afflictions so that they can be saved. I want EVERYONE to know. All I want to do is share the gospel with others so that they can have happiness in their lives and understand the plan of happiness that God has created for us.

My last reason for wanting to serve a mission is the most personal. When I was in high school I made some really stupid decisions. I remember at one point hearing the Holy Ghost speak loud and clear, announcing “I’m leaving now”. I didn’t care. I didn’t want to give up my worldly desires. And then I realized how much I missed the Spirit in my life. I have a testimony of the Atonement and know that it truly can cleanse us of our sins and bring the Spirit back into our lives if we are willing to humble ourselves before God and sincerely repent. I also know how horrible life can be without the influence and guidance of the Spirit. I have been blessed to have the Holy Ghost with me for the majority of my life, but there are SO MANY people out there who do not have the comforting feeling that comes from the Holy Ghost. There have been so many times in my life when I felt that my future was unsure and I was full of self-doubt, but when I felt the Holy Ghost guide me in the pathway which I should go, I knew I was doing the right thing and I knew that I could trust in the words of our prophets because I knew that the church was true. These confirmations only came because of the promptings from the Holy Ghost. In the Book of Mormon the people “did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them” (3 Nephi 19:9). I want to be a part in bringing that gift to other people. Life is so hard without the personal revelation and comfort which comes through the Spirit. I want to ease the sufferings of others by offering them this precious gift which has been restored to this earth.

I know that God loves all of His children. He is always watching out for us. He knows our fears, our struggles, our joys, our pains, our hopes, and our dreams. He truly wants us to succeed in all that we do. He sent His Son to earth to die for each one of our sins. I know that the Savior suffered the Atonement personally for ALL of us. I know that God still speaks to His servants the prophets, and that we have a Latter-day prophet on the earth today. I know that he receives revelation for our day and that his counsel comes from God. I know that we have the word of God on the earth today found in the scriptures. This word is found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith restored this gospel to the earth and that the priesthood is once again on earth, the ability to act in God’s name through His sacred power. This is my sincere testimony. I know that it is true without a doubt and I would DIE defending my faith.

But I was afraid.

When I started thinking about serving a mission, I told myself that I wasn’t good enough. I’m not a scriptorian, an orator, or Relief Society president and thought that I couldn’t serve because I wasn’t perfect. I make mistakes and know that there are many others out there who have much greater talents and capabilities than I. And then I received an amazing priesthood blessing. The Lord counseled me to not only rely upon the cleansing power of the Atonement, but also to rely upon Its enabling power. “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God”. Christ died for us, and because of His sacrifice we can truly become perfect. He wants us to become perfect, and He is with us every step of the journey helping us to become better. We must simply recognize that He is there. In Ether 12:27 it reads “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them”. I know that because I will be serving the Lord, He will strengthen me if I humble myself and come unto Christ and rely upon Him in all things.

A mission is not a light undertaking. I know there will be times of desperation, frustration, and heartache. But I am going to serve others and serve the Lord. I know that despite my weaknesses, through Christ’s Atonement I can be made strong and use my abilities to help others and invite them to Christ. I am sure of this and I am no longer afraid to share this wonderful message with the world.

I have been called to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is no light undertaking. I will wear Christ’s name on my name tag every day and represent Him in all that I do. I know that I can truly have all the blessings promised if I am obedient to the Lord and stay true to the work which He has called me to do. “I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” (St John 15:16). I know that is true and that the missionary effort is the greatest work on the earth today and will spread to all corners of the earth to bring people unto their Savior, Jesus Christ. This gospel is the greatest news anyone can hear and all of God’s children deserve to receive this light.
I am so excited to serve the people of and bring them to Christ.