Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Christmas Miracle!!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Two Christmas miracles: 

1. Our investigator accepted a bap date for January 10th! We knocked into her and she already knew that the church was true. She is one of the most prepared person I have ever met. She just wants to do what God wants her to do.

2. I went to the surgeon yesterday! My calcified stool ball is gone, they can't see my appendix, and my abcess is completely disappeared! I don't have to have surgery and my body is completely back to normal. I'm so thankful that God has been taking care of me. I know that He blesses us for our faithfulness. 

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He died for us so that we can be clean of our sins and be able to return to live with our loving Heavenly Father. I know that this gift of His Atonement is real and that every single one of us can have it in our lives. It's real. You just have to accept it.

I love you all! Hope you have an amazing Christmas and remember to share the gift!

Love,


Hermana Hall




Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Almost Christmas!!

Dear family,

Okay, how many of you still have not seen the video "He is the Gift"? If you haven't, repent right now and go watch it on YouTube or here at christmas.mormon.org

Now, for all of you who have seen the video, what have you done because of it? When L. Tom Perry came to visit on mission tour, he and President and Sister Morgan were sitting around the table and had an awesome spiritual conversation. At the end of the conversation L. Tom Perry pounded his fists on the table and said "After this conversation we can never be the same again! After feeling the Spirit like this, we cannot go back to being the people we were before!" That's exactly the point of the "He is the Gift" initiative- to change people! To help them change their lives. If you don't change after watching it and make some real goals to come closer to Christ, the whole initiative is a failure.

I love you all! Hope you have a Happy Happy Holiday season!

Hermana Hall



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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

17 Christmas Miracles

Dear family,

 I have no idea how to put into words everything that has happened this week. There are so many miracles happening and no way for me to be able to include them all in this email. Just know that I'm extremely grateful for all the miracles that we are seeing this Christmas season, and I'll try to share a few with you :)

First of all, we are slammed with work. We run all day every day. We have double-booked appointments almost every day and we can't find members to come split with us. It's insane. I've never worked so hard in my entire life. It's awesome that there are so many people to teach. We've had to tell people that we can't come see them because we're so busy. It's so hard. So for all you members out there, help the missionaries in your ward! We got a little break
on Saturday when we got to help usher for Carols on 66th St, a stake Christmas concert at the temple. It was so awesome! Just imagine how awesome a concert put on by the Manhattan stake would be. #whoneedsbroadway 

Yesterday it was POURING rain. Like dumping for days. We were walking to the train and as we were halfway there I stopped and realized that I had left my Metrocard at home. So we had to go back and grab it. We were already late for our appointment and now we were gonna be even later! As we were waiting for the train, a man approached us and said that we looked like divas and that we were beautiful! "Who did your makeovers this morning?" #cheerleadereffect Then he saw our name tags and said, "Wait! Are you the Mormons?" He got to talking and told us that he had just had to move here from Boston because his twin sister had just died. But he had taken all of the lessons from the missionaries in Boston and he just kept saying "I know I need to get baptized!" What? You don't just come up to us on the train and tell us you want to get baptized! It was the coolest thing ever. The English elders will be teaching him :) good thing I left my Metro card at home! Milagros pasen :)

Then the appointment we were heading to last-minute cancelled on us :( and we had a member with us to come to the lesson :( so I was really bummed for a second. Then we decided to knock a few doors and we ran into a guy named Junior. He let us right in and we got to show him the new He is the Gift video. He LOVED it! It opened him up a ton and he asked us a lot of his questions about God. When we were leaving he couldn't stop thanking us for coming. He said that the really appreciated it and that he wanted us to come back soon. Tracting milagros pasen!

Church technology update: Why the church is a boss.
At MLC last week the church technology bosses and missionary department bosses came and updated us.
1. Meet the Mormons- to be sold at Walmart, broadcast internationally on local TV stations (they offered to translate the video for free), rented at all 42,000 Redbox locations in the country, available on pay per view and international Netflix (next 3 years). This is BLOWING UP

2. HE IS THE GIFT
Okay. If you're reading this right now and you haven't seen He is the Gift and you don't know what I'm talking about, go watch it RIGHT NOW at christmas.mormon.org. Like really, do not keep reading this email until you have seen it.
If you haven't watched it and you keep reading this email, feel extremely guilty. #theresamonsterattheendofthisbook

This video is such a blessing to missionary work. I've already seen it open up so many people to the gospel who before would've just slammed the door in our face or ignored us. People feel the Spirit when they watch the video and they want more of it. They want to feel closer to Christ this year.

When the original team made He is the Gift, the original draft ended after it says "He is the Gift". They took it to Russell M. Nelson to be approved and he said "Not good enough. Go back." There was no call to action. So they added the words: Discover the Gift, Embrace the Gift, and Share the Gift.

This video wasn't made to be a happy Christmas video to watch once and say "That was cute!" It's a call to action. If you've seen the video and haven't been making changes in your life to discover and embrace the gift of Jesus Christ, then you've completely missed the point. So go back and do it again. Find a way this year to truly learn of Christ and to allow His atonement to enter into your lives. I know that if you do, this will be your best Christmas yet and that you will feel the true meaning of the gift that is Jesus Christ.

I love you all :) share the gift on facebook and share it with your friends. #sharethegift

Hermana Hall

Choose Celestial

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Miracles

Dear family,

I love Christmas time! The church has released a new video called "He is the Gift" and we are BLOWING IT UP. We've been stopping people on the street and showing it to them and challenging all of our members to #sharethegift with their friends. It is SO AWESOME. If you haven't seen the video yet go to chriatmas.mormon.org. Please share it on facebook with the hashtag #sharethegift.

We had an awesome week this week. We've been trying to combine two areas (hence the trio) and it's been insane! We taught 12 lessons yesterday! We had some help from one of the members who's home on medical release from her mission. She came out with us all night last night so we could split and teach all of our double-booked appointments. It's been crazy but awesome.

This weekend we held a member MTC to help members learn how to be more comfortable with sharing the gospel and it was AWESOME!  President Morgan came and the bishop said it was the best ward activity of the year. We practiced inviting our friends to church activities, fellowshipping new people at church, using facebook to share the gospel #sharethegift, and we had an awesome doctrinal training about why we share the gospel. Success.

Last night we got to one of our appointments 20 minutes early, so we decided to knock the building we were in. We met a few "no's" and then the next door we approached "¡Hola! Somos las misioneras de la iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de Los Últimos Días..." The lady got a super excited look on her face and asked "¿Los Mormones?" "¡Si!" She said that she had been waiting for us. What? She had a dream that God lifted her up and dropped her on the mormon church. She knew that that was the church she needed to go to and she has been looking and looking and we found her! She's coming to church this week! So awesome. (How many times have I said "awesome" in this email?)

Yesterday was freezing cold. We were out in the rain/sleet/hail contacting for 2 hours non-stop. But I got to thinking about it and I realized how lucky I am. It may be insane, but I love freezing my butt off teaching the gospel to people. It's so... AWESOME.

I love you all! Remember to #sharethegift!

Hermana Hall

Choose Celestial

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This is an Ordinary Post!!

Dear family and friends,

This week has been great! SO MUCH HISPANIC FOOD. We never really got fed here until all of a sudden one day EVERYONE wants to feed us. So my stomach is continuously expanding along with my waistline. Whoops. But the food is always delicious so hey.

We found a new family to teach this week! We're still working on getting to know the members and working with the ward more effectively. We're planning another MTC for Members event just like we did in my first area, and it's going to be sweet! As for Halloween, it gets real crazy here so President Morgan wants us to be home by 6. Aka we'll be celebrating with some Halloween Dunkin Donuts.

Health wise, I'm doing great. 100% back to normal. I even went running this morning like a champ (yay for sea level) so don't worry about me! My surgery will be sometime in November or December, so until then we party on.

I love you all! Thanks for your support and prayers!


Hermana Alexander and Hermana Hall



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

This is no ordinary post!!

Dear family and friends,

Sorry about not writing the past couple of weeks. I have a good reason. Ready?

So general conference weekend I started feeling really sick and stayed in bed for a week. My stomach hurt really bad and I could barely even drink anything without puking. The mission doctor and the mission president's wife said that it's definitely not apendicitis because my pain was all on the left side. At transfer meeting I just laid on the ground because it hurt so bad. So I got sent to the emergency room where they said it was either a kidney infection or an STD (we can probably rule that one out) and sent me home with some antibiotics. It got better for maybe 2 days (enough for me to watch Meet the Mormons with the mission! EVERYONE GO SEE IT RIGHT NOW) and then it got way worse. My poor companion went on splits with every sister in the zone. But I still toughed it out and made it to the L. Tom Perry fireside down in south man. I got to meet him and shake his hand! He told Sister Alexander "Take care of Sister Hall now". Apostolic revelation that I was sick? Or lack of makeup and pale face? Finally I got permission to go to  a normal doctor. But the night before I got a really high fever and the pain was worse than it had ever been and it shifted. I woke up the next morning to my mom calling to tell me which doctor takes our insurance and that I have an appointment at 1 p.m.

Then it gets interesting.  I tried to shower. Hardest thing of my life. I sat down on the couch for 20 minutes trying to recover. Then we left. The doctors office was two trains away. Okay Hall you can do this. Just make it up the giant hill to the train stop. I was going so slow and hunched over that everyone was giving us weird looks. Yes we made it to the train. Get on the train and almost hurl everywhere. Horrified looks from everyone in the train and everybody's looking at you. We get off at 145th to transfer to the next train and I just fall on the ground and sit down on the steps and hurl my guts out. Sitting on the floor in the subway puking. Graceful. Good thing my companion was smart enough to bring a puke bag, which she then nicely threw away for me. #charity We finally give up on trains and decide to call a cab. Of course we get in the sketchiest one, but we made it to the doctor's office alive. Kind of. I ran in the bathroom and started ralphing and apparently the receptionists were super freaked out. Sorry. We get back to talk to the doctor and I start blowing chunks right in her office (in the trash can no worries). She freaks out and sends us to the emergency room. She offered us an ambulance but we declined. #regrets So they call us a cab and right when we get in my companion says to the cab driver "So, there's going to be puking back here, but she's got a bag." Poor guy. We made it to the ER, they put me in a bed, ran some tests (CT contrast is gross), gave me some morphine ("Morphine! That's what they gave the guy in Saving Private Ryan right before he died!") and then I sat there and waited and waited and waited. But we got to talk to some interesting citizens of the Bronx (the guy next to me tried to go buy morphine off my nurse, popped like 10 800 ibuprofen and then snuck outside to smoke a blunt #kitehigh)

Finally the surgeon came down and said "You had appendicitis and your appendix ruptured". I don't know if it was the morphine or the fact that everyone had been telling me that that's not what it is for the past two weeks or that I was laying in a hospital in the middle of the Bronx, but I lost it. "Wait, really?" I burst into hysterical laughter. It was ridiculous. I couldn't stop. Everyone in the ER looked at me like I was crazy and Sister Alexander told me to stop, but it was so funny. I composed myself enough to ask "So, can I eat a hamburger?" That got shut down pretty fast. Only poopy jello and liquids they said. So then I got admitted and got some good stuff (IV antibiotics) and laid in bed and got poked every five minutes. The surgeon came back the next morning and was super surprised how well I was doing so he let me eat a muffin. Then another surgeon came down and asked me what I had eaten. "Juice, jello, and a muffin" "A muffin? Is that juice?" We stared at each other awkwardly and I just said "umsjskncbshlaknd..." Whoops. But after that he let me eat big kid food, like a giant bodega sandwich! Then they let me leave Saturday afternoon and we went and spent the night at the first counselor of the mission presidency's house. We basically just hung out with their six-year-old twins and watched FROZEN! Yeah. Seen it. President Morgan said I could. So let it go. Not as good as Tangled, but still love it and sing the songs all the time now.

When President Morgan got back from mission presidents seminar he came and picked us up and we had a real serious interview about my options. We ultimately decided that I wasn't leaving and I would get right back to normal missionary work, which I did and I'm doing awesome. I'll get my appendix out in 6-8 weeks and stay at the mission home while I recover and eat President Morgan's homemade grilled cheese sandwiches. Not a bad deal.


And that's my story. Maybe Heavenly Father wanted to make me more grateful for my mission and for functioning organs in general. Well it worked. I'm super excited to get back to work and kill it here in The Heights! I really do consider this a miracle and I'm so grateful for the protection and health that God gave me.


I love you all! Thanks for the prayers and the support!

Hermana Hall

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

One Year

Dear family and friends,

Tomorrow I complete one year of my mission! What?! I can't believe it.
Thank you for all of the support and love. I can't possibly describe
all of the things that I've learned during the past year, but I can say 
that my testimony has been strengthened immensely.   I know that
Joseph Smith restored the church of Jesus Christ again on the earth

and that we have a living prophet today. I have a personal witness
that God loves us each personally and that He is guiding us. We just
have to listen and obey.

 I love you all! Remember to watch General Conference this weekend! Prayerfully bring your questions and I promise you'll receive your answers.

Love,

Hermana Hall

P.S.  Six months to sexy starts tomorrow.


Choose Celestial

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Inwood in the Hood

Dear family,

This week has been awesome. I got to go on a split with Sister Baker since she is my STL now! It was really weird but fun being with an old companion again. We did church tours of the chapel (see pictures). We also had a fun experience street contacting. We started talking to this lady at the bus stop, and she was really nice and Catholic. Then out of nowhere this eavesdropping 7th Day Adventist came over and started telling us that we worship Joseph Smith in place of Jesus and all this false stuff, then a Pentacostal lady came over and gave us all mini Bibles and then this crazy guy was driving by and he pulled over and started screaming at us "Mormons deceive the people! Bleepity bleepity bleeping Mormons bleep Satan bleeping bleep!" *censored for the children* all in Spanish. He pulled over and parked the car, and got out just so he could yell at us. So we had a great discussion with every Christian religion ever and ended up bearing our testimonies of the restoration and giving out two Book of Mormons and two pamphlets, so it was worth it.

We're going to the temple today! Our area is still kicking it. All of our investigators are at the beginning stages, so most of them are just praying about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith to find out if it's true. Ylaura has a Bap date for October 11th and she is so sick! She referred herself to the missionaries and wanted to be baptized right away, and she happens to live in our area. Is God real? We taught her the word of wisdom this week and at the end she asked "Is there ANYTHING else I shouldn't be eating or drinking?" So cute! And so prepared!

I love you all. For all of you in Rainbow Crest... Ugh. Taylor Ranch Ward, I heard you had an amazing missionary activity. That is so awesome. Whenever we do things like that, we provide God with an opportunity to place the prepared people in our paths. Keep up the good work!


Hermana  Hall


P.S.  We went to FAO Schwartz and found some hidden treasures. And a lady just told us to take off our name tags because we look like tourists and people will take advantage of us. #whoops

Choose Celestial


Hermana Baker and Hermana Hall



















Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dominican Heights

Dear family and friends,

Well this week has been awesome. We've found so many new investigators! God is helping us so much. This area has a lot of people who haven't been able to be visited because the elders can't come in if there's not another guy in the house. But now that we're here they can start meeting with us and hopefully start progressing like crazy and get baptized all of them! I love this area. We've also found some hidden interior design treasures too (see attached pictures).

President Morgan came and talked to us in district meeting on Monday (that NEVER happens). He came to specifically tell us that God gives us hard things to make us stronger, and even though it's hard, if we step right into the hard thing and have faith that God will help us through it, we will come out stronger. In Ether it says "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." That means that, if we are feeling weak and we realize that we are not as good as we thought we were, we are coming closer to Christ! That's what's supposed to happen when we come closer to Him, because He wants to show us how we can become better and fulfill our divine potential. If we humble ourselves and show him that we want to do His will, He will make our weak things strong. It's true.

I love you all!

Hermana Hall


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Back in the City!!

Dear fam bam,

Wow. Inwood. What can I say? I LOVE the city! There are SO many people
everywhere and they're all Hispanic! This area is Washington Heights
but everyone calls it "Dominican Heights" because literally everyone
is from he Dominican Republic. They're like the straight-up gangstas
of the Hispanic world. Plus they have cocohelado everywhere and elote
and all of my favorite Hispanic things. I feel like I'm coming home to
a beautiful land of brown people, trains, stairs, trash, and urine.
Mmm. Only problem is that I forgot how darn expensive it is here ($6
for a box of cereal!). So I'll just live off of wheat berries and
pasta. #allaboutthatcollegelife

We (Sister Megan Brower from Riverton, UT and I) are whitewashing the
area, which means that we are opening a new area and are the first
sisters to work here. Which means we are doing a lot of finding
(Heavenly Father knows that I'm the most awkward street-contacter ever
and needs me to tune up my skills so that I can die in Harlem with
Sister Card) and trying to work with the ward members so that we can
is by far the most exhausted I've ever been on my mission, but I love
it!

Stupid Shelby moment of the week: we got permission to go to Stamford,
CT for the baptism of one of Sister Brower's old investigators. Cross
Connecticut off United States Bingo! We got there safely and taught a
bomb lesson on the train to a lady who is the boricua version of Queen
Latifah. The baptism was awesome and then we started heading back...
For those of you who are familiar with my level of spatial/directional
intelligence, this story won't be very surprising for you. We got to
the train station and only had to take one little bus home. But Sister
Hall got us on the wrong bus and we ended up on the East side of the
Bronx. So we walked around for an hour through my old area (luckily I
had a little bit of knowledge leftover) and found the bus I was
familiar with. We got off to connect to another bus, and when we
finally found the next stop, the bus had stopped running for the
night. Then we found the other one and got on the RIGHT bus and got
us back to Manhattan. Then we walked and walked and walked and walked
and walked with the pioneer children until we FINALLY got home at 1 am.
#whoops #mybad

Now for spiritual time: This week during district meeting we talked
about the doctrine of Jesus Christ (our monthly focus). The doctrine
of Christ is comprised of five things: faith, repentance, baptism and
covenants, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We do these things
because it is the only way that we can access the Atonement of Jesus
Christ and be cleansed of our sins. Now, that all seemed very simple
to me before, but we read a passage from Preach My Gospel that really
opened my eyes. It says "Those who do not endure in faithfulness to
the end will be 'cast into the fire . . . because of the justice of
the Father.' The purpose of the gospel is to cleanse people of their
sins so they can receive the Savior’s mercy at the day of judgment.
Therefore, the focus of... the work you do each day is to invite
others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel
through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism,
receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."

So that's the whole point! Of everything! Of everything we all do!
Missionaries and non-missionaries alike! As members of the church, our
whole purpose is to live the doctrine of Christ by exercising faith,
repenting daily, renewing our baptismal covenants by taking the
sacrament every week, and having the Holy Ghost with us and following
His guidance. It's the only way that we can live together with
Heavenly Father and our families forever, and we want our friends and
everyone around us to be there with us. So we have to share the
gospel! If not, no one will know about the awesome plan that God has
for us.

So this week you should all study the doctrine of Jesus Christ. I
promise that if you do you'll feel a greater love for Heavenly Father
and have a greater desire to share the gospel :)

I love you all! Keep up the good work!

Choose Celestial

Hermana Hall and Hermana Brower




Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Transfers!!!



Dear Family,

Transfers! Woot woot! I'm going to open a new area in Innwood with
Sister Brower! Innwood's at the top of Manhattan and it's FULL of
Dominicans. 100% platano. And from what I've heard I'm going to need
to just out my stretchy skirts because they feed you a ton and it's
all bien heavy. I'm so excited!

Best of luck with everything and your own member missionary work!

Love,

Hermana Hall

P.S.  Some of these pictures show what happens to your hair when it rains and
is humid and sweaty and nasty. Mmmmm.

Saying goodbye to Yonker People.......















Sunday, August 31, 2014

Last Week in Yonkers???


Dear family,

We've had a great week this week. Maribel got confirmed on Sunday and she said that she had this amazing warm feeling that she had never felt before. That's the Holy Ghost girl! We went to visit her for the first time after her confirmation on Tuesday. She came out of the house and accidentally locked herself out. The keys and a pot full of rice on the stove (which was on) were inside! She was freaking out because she was going to burn the house down, and it's not even hers! The landlord wouldn't be home for another hour or two. So we prayed that we would somehow find a way to get in the house and turn off the stove. Maybe God would give me thug lock-picking powers or knock down a window or something, but after a long good effort, we realized there was nothing we could do except wait for the landlord to come back. So we had a lesson outside and then we had to leave. Maribel called us an hour later to tell us that the rice had been cooking for 2 and a half hours with only a little bit of water and the burner on high, but when the landlord came (2 and a half hours later- repeated for dramatic emphasis) it was just BARELY starting to burn! Prayer works y'all. And that rice must've tasted darn good because them angels are good cooks.

So that was our miracle of the week. Our appearance didn't cause a house fire! Yay!


Tonight we get training calls! Only two sister companionships will be normal (not training a new missionary and not called as sister training leader). So that's horrifying. But I'll let you know how it goes next week.
I love you all!


Hermana Hall

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jonkers!





Dear family and friends,

We've had a good week this week! I've officially been assigned as ward
primary pianist, but just for the primary program that's in
November.... Which is when I probably won't be here... So I told
bishop'a wife to pray for a new sister who plays the piano better than
I do (not too hard to find...) But primary programs are my favorite
thing, and watching the rehearsals are even better, so my Sundays
haven't been too dull.

Maribel got baptized on Sunday and it was awesome! We sang "I Like to
Look for Rainbows" from the primary songbook and she stared crying,
which was awesome! Making people cry is my favorite thing to do. But
the real miracle was this: I was happily playing the piano all through
the second and third hours of church. We get out and start prepping
for the baptism (which happens right after church). Maribel's jumpsuit
fits, the programs are printed and folded, and the zone leaders are on
their way. Everything perfect. Then Sister Ramirez comes up to me and
says "Did we fill up the font?" OH SNAP. It only takes 2 hours to fill
up the font. Oh and the baptism is starting in 5 minutes.

Is that whole immersion thing really necessary anyways?

So we sprint to the font to turn it on, and the font is miraculously
filled with water! There can be miracles....! Turns out that Bishop
noticed during Sunday school and turned it on for us. I thanked him
7009 times and he just walked away shaking his head saying "Hermana
Hall". Whoops. But it all turned out great and the baptism actually
happened. Yay!

Also, this week I've been studying a lot about obedience and I found
something really cool. Elder Hales talks about how there are three
kinds of obedience:
1. “natural man’s obedience" we disobediently reject God’s law in
favor of our wisdom or our desires or even popularity. Because this is
widely practiced by so many, this perversion of obedience diminishes
God’s standards in our culture and in our laws
2. "selective obedience,” claiming to love God and honor God while
picking and choosing which of His commandments and teachings--and the
teachings and counsel of His prophets--they will fully follow.
3. Spiritually mature obedience is “the Savior’s obedience.” It is
motivated by true love for Heavenly Father and His Son. When we
willingly obey, as our Savior did, we cherish the words of our
Heavenly Father: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

When we love Heavenly Father, that's the only motivation we need to
keep his commandments, even when it's inconvenient or hard for us. If
we truly love God, we'll want to do what he tells us no matter what.

I love you all! Have a fantastic week!

Hermana Hall

P.s. Check out this really fat cat.

Choose Celestial

Maribel's Baptism
Me
Fat Cat!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Just Another Day in Paradise

Dear fam bam,

This week was awesome! There are people falling out of the sky here. We've been super blessed to find a ton of new people to teach, and they're all awesome! So we'll just baptize them all. NBD.

I have little to report this week... But I want you all to know that I love you so keep being awesome.

Love,

Hermana Hall

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pioneer Children Sang and They Walked and Walked and Walked....

Dear family and friends,

This week... Well President Morgan was tired of all the car accidents
happening in the mission, so he banned us from driving all day
yesterday and today. So yesterday we walked an hour and a half to the
church and then spent the whole rest of the day walking. Man, after
being in a car for 7 months your body becomes an old grandma body (no
offense grandmas) and I was roasted toasted. But we had a good Dora
the Explorer moment so that was fun.

As for everything else, Maribel is getting baptized this Sunday and
she is awesome! She just wants to get baptized so that she can do what
God wants her to do and be clean from her sins. Too legit to quit. We
also did a zone APF (where all of the zone gets together and street
contacts or tracts) in our area and we found a TON of dope people. We
have so much work to do and not enough time to do it! (or cars...) So
we are staying busy and I'm getting skinny :)

One thing that we've been noticing lately is the importance of the
basic missionary lessons. A lot of our members don't know the basics,
and it makes them falter in their testimonies. Seriously, if you
haven't read the basic lessons from Preach My Gospel, DO IT KNOW!
Right now! Don't even finish reading this email! Okay I guess you can
finish if you want. But seriously study the restoration, the plan of
salvation, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. I promise you lots of good
things :)

Today we are going to the temple! Woot woot! I love you all and I hope
to hear from you soon.

Love,

Hermana Hall


Attachments area
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                    Sister Shelby Hall                                      Sister Ramirez

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

Dear family and friends,

This week has been crazy. It's the third time I've trained a new
companion into this area (been here for days!) and we've been running
around trying to do 5,000 things. Plus my companion is straight from
Mexico, making things a little harder this time. I'm exhausted. But
we've had some miracles and we can see that God is helping us. He's
especially helping me survive.

The hard part about being in an area for so long is knowing the ward
so well that you know everyone's problems and you can see exactly what
it's up to people's personal choices. Sometimes agency is so
annoying... We should just force everyone to keep the commandments so
that they can all make it to the celestial kingdom! Oh whoops that
sounds a lot like Satan's plan... But we're working especially hard to
build the members' testimonies so that they can hold the ward together
and not fall off when things get hard. It's hard to see people you
care about so much making wrong decisions and not getting any
blessings. Pray for us!

Keep up the good work back home! Thanks for your support and prayers.

Love,

Hermana Hall

Choose Celestial

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Staying in Yonkers!

Dear family and friends,

Transfers are today! I'm staying in Yonkers! That will give me 7 and a half months here and 4 companions! So weird. But awesome because I love all of the crazy people here and we still haven't baptized the whole city so I guess I'll have to stay til that happens.

My new companion is Sister Ramirez from Mexico. So... That's scary. But maybe one day I'll have good Spanish so this is good. I'm super excited.

Cool story bro: so last night we were one Book of Mormon away from meeting our goal. It's 9:15 and we're eating dinner at a members house. We're shoveling food into our mouths so that we can get home on time BUT WE STILL HAVE ONE MORE BOOK OF MORMON TO GIVE AWAY. The clock is ticking... 5 seconds left on the clock... As we're walking out the door my companion asks the member to give the Book of Mormon to someone. "Espérate" and she walks out of the room and grabs this random girl who was in her house and says "Ella quiere aprender" BAM. We have an appointment with her on Thursday. God helps us meet our goals and then some.

Here's a cute picture of our zone. I know you don't know any of them and you really don't care but I think it's cute so I'm sending it to you.

Have a great week! Share your testimony with someone, okay?

Hermana Hall




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lots of Stuff

Dear family and friends,

Hey hey hey. This week has been fun. We've set a new goal of trying to
give out 35 Book of Mormons (books of Mormon, libro de los
mormones...) before the end of the cycle... Which is on Wednesday.
It's a lot harder than it sounds, but it's been really fun to talk to
everyone and share our testimony of the Book of Mormon. There are SO
many people who are followers of Christ, they just need the fullness
of the gospel! Yesterday we talked to this family and the Dad said
"Yeah we read the Bible all the time. My daughter can quote it all
day. Give us Psalms 28." She's like six years old and she spouts off
the entire psalm. I was like "Gurl you can have my job". IMPRESSIVE.

Also, I forgot to tell you about Hurricane Arthur. Our power lines
went down and we had a party in our apartment and watched the
testaments, lit candles and ate ice cream. It was a SICK storm and our
apartment building looked like the ending of a horror movie.

Speaking of... We just watched Saratov Approach as a zone and now I'm
going to be on edge the rest of the day.

I found out that I'll be staying in my area (Yonkers!) for another
cycle! I'll be getting a new companion on Wednesday but I won't find
out who until tonight or Saturday, depending on if I get a greenie or
not.

Love you!

Hermana Hall

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hump Day

Dear fam bam,

We've had another sick week, so not a ton to report, but there are
some awesome things that happened:

1. Reynoso Family sealing! My favorite family ever. We got to go to
the temple with them and be there for the sealing! It was SO COOL and
it was our very first one. They are the cutest family ever and it made
me so happy!

2. Our ward had a talent show. Oh boy. It was the best thing ever.
From ballerinas to I-don't-even-know-what dancing to Hispanic singing
to Indian dances... It was crazy.

3. We have a bap date! Her name is Maribel Herrera and she is from
Honduras. She moved to Oklahoma (where she met the missionaries) and
then she moved here when she ran out of money. She came to church for
the first time on Sunday and our ward KILLED IT. They were awesome.
They all attacked her with love and kidnapped her and helped her and
sat with her and gave her leftover food from the party the night
before. We didn't see her for most of church because the members were
being awesome! That's the way it's supposed to be people! Bishop came
and introduced himself to her and when he told her that we are her
family here, she started bawling. It was AWESOME! Twenty cool points
for our ward. And we've got a baptism for the 20th! Right before
transfers on the 23rd when I go to Harlem :) (okay that's just my
secret wish... But milagros pasen!

Also, this heat is destroying me. I thought I'd be a little better
prepared after growing up in Vegas but this humidity is grooooosssss.
I can feel my proteins denaturing. Our saving grace is the cocohelado
lady on South Broadway that gives missionaries free cocohelado :)
#ticket2celestialK

I love you all! Thanks for everything!

Hermana Hall

P.S. HAPPY HUMP DAY!





Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Plan of Salvation



Dear family and friends,

Hmm... This week...

We're still working on finding new people to teach. SO we planned this
super awesome district APF where we stood on the corner of South
Broadway and gave out free lemonade while we stood next to a GIANT
paper layout of the Plan of Salvation. "Want some lemonade?" *start
pouring slowly "Have you ever heard of the Plan of Salvation?" (Of
course not!) "oh let us tell you.... OH LOOK A GIANT BOARD EXPLAINING
THE ENTIRE THING" BAM. Baptized.
But naw, it was SUPER cool. We got to talk to a lot of people and we
found a ton of new investigators. Pictures attached :)

Tonight we ate three dinners and during the third one Sister Hansen
puked in the bathroom three times. Ha ha. Okay it wasn't funny because
we had to cancel our last dinner appointment... But it was a little
funny. #nomorebeansandrice

Anyways, we're still doing good. Our area is still struggling, but
we're working harder on being the best we can be and talking to
EVERYONE. Gotta catch 'em all. I know it's my destiny. Oh and hey
guess what... My halfway mark is on July 2nd. #humpDAY That's in
exactly a week. And that's the day the entire mission is going to the
Yankees Game! Look for us on the big screen.

I LOVE YOU ALL,

Hermana Hall

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Quinceanera


Dear everyone,

I am being cooked alive. It is SO hot and humid and I'm slowly roasting away, but still getting large because of the crazy amounts of rice and beans that we eat.

But it's all good! We have a new elder in our ward and he's super sweet and ready to work. So we're going to town! We had a quinceañera this past weekend and it was legit. I said the prayer and they kept taking flashing pictures of me and throwing off my Spanish. Blew. I'm attaching a video so you can know how to plan mine when I get home. We also had our ward Father's Day activity and it was LEGIT. The Relief Society planned a dance and it was hilarious. Too many hips. We also sang at a wedding for one of the members and had really good seafood (I haven't had seafood in almost 8 months). Best food ever.

So yeah we kind of had a party weekend. And it's World Cup so every Hispanic home is off limits for the next month. Okay not really, but no one wants to talk to us when the Mexico vs. Brazil game is on. But we keep working!

Today we played street ball and all of my athletic abilities have been officially lost. But that's okay because we're still those legit white girls who play basketball with Hispanics on pday (how many times have I said legit in this letter? = not legit)

Anyways, I love all of you and thank you for your support! We're praying for miracles in our area and I ask that you all pray for us as well :)

I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Hall




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dominicut

Dear friends and family,

My companion has been sick again this week so it's been kind of uneventful, but I will tell you about one of our less active lessons.

We want to visit Hermana Reyes, who hasn't been to church in almost a year. We brought some members over with us a couple of weeks ago and we had a really good lesson and she came to church the next Sunday.  Then we went and visited with her and she just talked and talked and talked and talked about how good she felt.  She talked with the bishop last Sunday and she resolved a lot of things.  She said she just felt amazing and light and she was skipping on the sidewalk and jumping to touch the leaves on the trees and she loves the birds and all of this wonderful stuff.  She told us that she wants to have the Spirit with her so bad that she is willing to do anything to have it with her.  She is changing her thoughts, her actions, and everything in her life just to have the spirit with her.  She reads her scriptures and prays and she LOVES the gospel. Her goal is to go to the temple in 3 months.  She is amazing and I just love her! And this all came from two members coming to her apt to invite her back to church, where she felt the spirit and realized that she needed to change her life.  Go reach out to someone this week!

Other than that, we're trying to get Sister Hansen over her sickness so we can get back to work!

I love all of you guys and I hope that you can do something to reach out to someone this week :)

Love,


Hermana Hall

P.s. I almost forgot, (Aunt Suzanne is going to hurt me...) so as we know, my hair is super obnoxious and grows way too fast... So it's been getting a little nasty and I've been living with a mullet (proselyting in the front, pday in the back) but we basically live in the Bronx so unless I want to go get a dominicut at one of the 5000 barber shops here, I'm stuck with just finding a pair of scissors and letting someone take control.  So this guy in our ward (Elvis) offered to cut my hair because it was so gnarly.  As he's cutting my hair I ask "so where did you learn to cut hair?"  "When I was in the military".  AWESOME.  But don't worry, this marine did a good job and now I have escaped the grasp of the evil 80s hairdo. Yay!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Love My Mission


Dear family and friends,

This week was a great week! We had mission conference on Friday and it
was amazing. Elder Snow from the seventy came to talk to us. He said
that he LOVED our mission and talked a lot about faith, the focus of
our mission for the last couple of months. He talked about the spirit
and how it will sanctify us and that with the spirit, we can do
anything. We just have to have faith that God with help us to reach
our goals and be obedient and faithful so that the Spirit can guide
us. It was a great reboot for us as missionaries and helped us all get
the personal revelation that we needed.

Then on Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference. Our stake
president was being released, one of the reasons for Elder Snow's
visit in the New York area. It was an amazing conference. We talked
about hastening the work and then in the morning we talked about the
Lord's vision for Zion. The new stake president, President Jeffereys
talked about how he church is not a country club for saints, it's a
hospital for sinners. We should all be physicians in that hospital,
and be the healing hands to help those who are spiritually sick. It
was an amazing conference and amazing to see the mantle pass from
President Taylor to President Jeffereys.

Funny story: on the way home from stake conference (which ended at
930pm) we were late getting to the station so we missed our train. So
we waited for the next one and hopped on, only to find out that we
were on the wrong train SO we hopped off at the next stop and sprinted
all the way back to the station that we had just come from, only to
watch our train pull out from the station right as we got there. So
then we just had to wait for the next train, which would be arriving
in an hour, at 10:50. Did I mention that we were stuck in Kingsbridge
in the Bronx? The sketchiest place ever? But we made it home by 11:30
so it was aight. And we were all alive. Winning!

Training calls come tonight and transfer calls come on Saturday. So
we'll see what happens!

I love my mission. Even though I still struggle with feeling
inadequate and not being he perfect missionary, I'm really trying. I
make mistakes every single day and I can see myself failing at times,
whether it be with helping the people, helping my companion, or being
completely obedient, but I can also see Heavenly Father changing me
into the person and the missionary that I want to be. The Spirit
really can change people, and it sanctifies us. I've seen it time and
time again. We just have to be living worthy of it and willing to let
God change us into the people that He knows we can become.

I love you all!

Hermana Hall

Choose Celestial

P.s. Pictures of us being stuck in the Bronx and of us with Elvis
walking to our member-with lesson in the rain





Wednesday, May 28, 2014

First Skype Lesson

Dear fam bam,

This week was kind of an uninteresting one. Sister Hansen was sick for
a good part of the weekend so we didn't get to go do too much. But I
now have Mountain of The Lord memorized and found myself some good
seminary videos from the 80s. #yayforipads

One interesting thing we did do was teach our first skype lesson! Katy
is the niece of our ward mission leader and she was here for a couple
of months. We started teaching her when she was here but then she
moved back to Ecuador. Boo. But we kept in touch through Facebook and
during one of our Facebook lessons she asked "Which church is true?"
and "How can I know that it's true?" Only the most golden questions in
the whole history of missionary work. So skyped with her and taught her the
Restoration and she's praying and reading the Book of Mormon this
week! Sooooo sick dude.

Other than that, the weather here is starting to hit summer. It's not
too bad, but growing up in Vegas I'm used to it. My companion however
is already melting and thinks she is going to die. We're going to the
city today to see the 911 memorial and Brooklyn Bridge
#groundsofbrooklyn #jellyalexwilson so we'll see if she survives the
city heat.

Also, this week I've been studying a lot about the doctrine of Christ:
faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, enduring to the end. A lot of
us think it's pretty basic, but it's SO not. It's simple, but it has a
lot of profoundity. You all should study it this week and I'll let you
know what I find next Wednesday :)

Love you all! Thanks for your support and your prayers!

Hermana Hall

P.S. Elder Snow from the seventy is coming for mission conference on
Friday! President Morgan said "when a seventy comes to a mission, the
mission president freaks out. Guess what? I'm a mission president."

P.P.S. This is bishop's son, and I don't care how cute your baby is,
this one is cuter. It's like Satan tempting all of the sisters here...



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Miracles


Dear Family and Friends,

This week I sat in church and saw multiple miracles. I watched Hermana
Reyes walk in with her son David for the first time in months. I
watched her during the sacrament as she closed her eyes and prayed and
thought of our Savior. I watched Maria and Erik Gonzalez sit together
with head on shoulder, remembering how Erik, age 16, told us once that
his mom was his greatest role model. I watched Iluminada's face light
up as she talked to us about her one-year-old daughter, Camila. I
watched Angel Cariño give his very first talk in sacrament meeting,
remembering how only two months ago he walked into the church for the
very first time, without a desire to be baptized or a knowledge of the
restored gospel. I watched Sandra, Kelvin, Andrew, and Eliut sit
together as a family in their best clothes, ready and anxious to learn
about the gospel. They know it's true now. I watched the Vasquez
family arrive in two taxis, happy as ever, without counting the cost.
I sat next to Maribel as she cried during a talk about prayer. I
watched Bishop fight tears as he told the ward how much The Lord loved
them. Most inspiring however, was watching Elvis Ibarra intently read
the Book of Mormon during the sacrament. I don't ever want to forget
that moment. A boy who left home at 14 and didn't return until 10
years later, during that time serving 4 jail sentences, smoking,
drinking, etc., Elvis Ibarra is now preparing to serve a mission, and
really discovering for the first time that this gospel is real. This
gospel changes people. The Atonement is real. I've seen it change all
of these lives and more. Most of all though, it has changed mine, and
although the mission is hard and some days all I want to do is quit
and cry and go home, there really is no place I'd rather be. I get to
see the gospel change people. For my birthday we ate dinner at Judy
Rodak's house and listened to her and her sister bear her testimony of
the restored gospel. That is the best birthday present I could've ever
asked for, and honestly, there is no where else I would rather be. I
know this gospel is true and that if you will do the things that God
is asking you, you will see His power and His hand in your life, and
He will change you. It's a miracle. And it happens every day, because
of Him.

I love you all,

Hermana Hall

P.s. That's Judy and then us at our five guys birthday luncheon.

Hermana Hall and Hermana Hansen
Judy