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!!