Wednesday, March 25, 2015

One More Week!

Dear family and friends,

What an awesome week! You all remember Guarina, our recent convert who
was baptized about two months ago? Her husband committed to be
baptized in April! He is so awesome and he really pays attention to
the Spirit when it speaks to him. So we're super excited about that!

We've been really trying to focus on member work lately because it's
so hard to see them frequently because of our enormous teaching pool
(not complaining). It's been awesome to have the members' testimonies
build ours as we teach them. I had to say goodbye to a few and that
was not fun :( We've also restarted our free English classes! We
advertised hardcore last week and 12 new people came tonight! It's
awesome because we share a spiritual thought at the end of each class
and it gets a lot of people introduced to the chapel, the
missionaries, and our beliefs.

I had my exit interview with President Morgan on Monday. It was so
awesome! It feels really good just to know that, looking back on my
mission, I really did try my best. I was never perfect, and I'm still
not, but I tried my best the whole time and I feel good about the fact
that it's coming to an end. I feel like it's been wrapped up
perfectly. Today we are going to the temple with President Morgan and
I'm super excited :) I'll send y'all a video next week.

Love you! Be a member missionary and choose celestial!

Hermana Hall

1. Homemade Utah dinner brought to you by yours truly and my lovely companion
2. We finally found an authentic Mexican tienda in the middle of the
Dominican Republic! Aka my area
3. Goodbye to some of my favorite families

Here are some pictures of my visit to the Statue of Liberty:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Shout Out to Brock Nordstrom!!

Dear family and friends,

Awesome week this week! Shout out to Brock Nordstrom for coming and
taking us out to lunch! And for the going home advice: "The hardest
thing about coming is realizing how evil everyone is" So maybe you
should all take some time to repent over the next two weeks so that I
don't fall right into shock when I step off the plane.

We had an awesome experience street contacting yesterday. I was with
Sister Burnell and it was almost time for us to go, so we decided to
talk to one more person. We stopped a young dominican guy and started
talking. He said that he usually stays away from religion and doesn't
believe in Jesus Christ. Sister Burnell shared the scripture from Alma
32:27 that says "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your
faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a
particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe,
let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye
can give place for a portion of my words." As she finished reading he
started rubbing his eyes and backing up, so we both thought it was
because of the awful wind we had yesterday and that he was going to
say "You know what guys, this stuff isn't for me". But then he started
apologizing and we realized that he was crying. Like sobbing. He told
us that he has been going through a really hard time and that talking
to us made him know that Jesus lives and that he really did know him
personally. We got his info and the elders will be teaching him soon!
So awesome that the Book of Mormon could bring the spirit so strongly
on the streets of the Heights of Manhattan, and that he could
recognize us as representatives of Christ. Sister Burnell had
specifically prayed that morning that people could see the light of
Christ in us that day as we talked with them. So awesome!

We continue to teach and stay busy and hope for the warm weather to
get here... Today I'm going to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island!

Talk to you next week! Share your testimony this week and remember to
always choose celestial :)

Hermana Hall

P.s. Did I mention ever that we live in the coolest historical place
ever! The battle of Fort Washington! And a mission clothing swap! And
my hair is growing!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wicked on Broadway

Dear family and friends,

Wow. Can't believe another week has already flown by. It's finally warm! We're still teaching like crazy. I got the chance to go on a split to the English program on Friday and it was so fun! I talked to a refined Irish woman whose daughter danced with Mikhail Barishnikov, a young student studying medicine at Colombia #personalfavorite, a gangsta woman in the hood, and everyone else in between! It was really fun and I learned a lot from Sister Burnell, who has only been out for 3 months or so. Like President Morgan always says, every generation of missionaries is better than the last. Aka I'm now officially one of the worst missionaries in the mission... Haha

As for us Spanish people, we're working a lot right now with a young girl named Vanessa. Her two young daughters sang the songs from Frozen for us in Spanish last time we saw her. Yeah, they win. But she has so much real intent! She just wants to learn everything about God and is so sincere in her search. She reads every single time we leave her with an assignment and is always so excited to learn. She is praying to receive an answer that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true, so we'll see what happens :)

Today we're going to see Wicked on Broadway! Probably doesn't happen too often on other p-days... Here are some pictures of us at Central Park Zoo from last week. I love you all! Be an example this week and help someone learn more about Christ because of your actions :)


Hermana Hall

Hermana Hall at Wicked

Missionaries at Wicked

Sister Baker, Hall, Card, and Maw at Wicked

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Páginas en blanco

Dear family and friends,

K lo k. This week we had a giant meeting with two general authorities about using digital media. They announced that we would be taking a break from facebook to refresh and restart. They talked a lot about repentance and how it's a happy thing! When we mess up, God gives us the chance to change and fix what we did wrong. We should be excited every time we get to repent! When a little baby is learning how to walk, the first time they fall we don't say "Wow. You're such a loser." We get excited and help them get back up! And when they fall again we keep helping them until they can walk like a pro. And that's what God does with us! So we will be refreshing and restarting, including a new online training module for missionaries who are returning home soon, but that won't come out for awhile... Looks like I'll just have to stay an awkward turtle when I get home.

Yesterday it rained a ton and we came home soaking wet. We had a lesson with one of our members which really made me think. She talked about how some commandments aren't important and how they just don't matter. I felt in that moment the love that God had for her. She just doesn't understand how many blessings that she is missing out on by thinking that her rationalizations and opinions are right and that God is wrong. They're keeping her from all of the blessings that God wants to give her. President Ucthdorf taught that a lot of times we imagine God locking up all of the blessings in the clouds of heaven, refusing to give them to us until we comply with his strict commands. But that's not how it works! We can use the analogy of us standing in the rain with an umbrella. God is consistently and constantly pouring out blessings upon us (the rain is the blessings) but we stop ourselves, pause for emphasis: WE stop OURSELVES from receiving the blessings through our pride, stubbornness, and disobedience- the umbrella. We are the ones who put up the umbrella, and all we have to do is take it down to receive all of the blessings that God is constantly pouring down on us. I hope everyone understands that as soon as we put away our selfishness and make the will of God our own, we can be truly happy. It's hard to kick against the pricks.

I love you all :) keep up the good work and do some repenting this week.

Hermana Hall.

P.S. This week we're going to Central Park Zoo #madagascar #alexthelion. Then next week we're going to see Wicked on Broadway and then the next week is The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island then a temple trip with President Morgan the next. I love this city!

Hermana Hall at Central Park Zoo

Hermana Hall and Hermana Pounce

Hermana Hall and Hermana Pounce

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Las marmotas son inteligentes

Dear friends and family,

Oh my. This has been a crazy week. Sister Dodson went home on Wednesday (may she rest in peace) but transfers weren't until Friday, so I got to go on a split with the English sisters in the zone until then. I had a real American dinner! Yay! And the crazy thing about English splits is that you have to teach the whole lesson all by yourself in Spanish... Let's just say I was exhausted by the end of that day, but it was fun :) Then on Friday I got my new companion Sister Ponce from Logan, Utah. She's legit and all 3 of her previous companions have served with me so she says that she already feels like she knows me from all of the stories they've told her. Uhh... good thing or bad thing?

The rest of the week has gone by pretty smoothly. We continue to find more and more people and we just can't fit them all into our schedule! Every time one of the elders says "Hey we found a woman who is interested! She wants you to go visit her!" We say "Hooray!" but then we look at our schedule and think "uhh... Hermione, can we borrow your time turner?" It's crazy but it's awesome being so busy all of thetime.

I love you all. Keep up the good work and share the gospel with someone this week!
Hermana Hall

P.S. Here's a selfie of us from when we waited for 20 minutes in the living room while our investigator talked on the phone in the back room. #developingpatience.

P.P.S. The marmota was right and we are still freezing cold here. Rub it in Utah..

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Dear family and friends,

What an awesome week! (Do I say that every week?)

Yesterday we were teaching our investigator about the Book of Mormon. As we explained where it came from, she stopped us and said, "I'm really sorry to interrupt, but I have to tell you this". She then told us about how her whole life she had wondered why Jesus hadn't visited any one else besides the Jews. When she had asked people if he had visited the people in the Americas their answer was "No. The Americas hadn't been discovered yet" But she had never been satisfied with that answer and she knew in her heart that Jesus had to have visited other people. She was SO excited to find out that Jesus visited the Americas, and when we showed her the picture in the front of the Book of Mormon of Jesus teaching the Nephites, she was so excited to read the story. I'be never seen someone connect to the Book of Mormon in that way. It was so cool!

Funny moment of the week: I've been really healthy lately (outside of the piles of rice and platanos from members) but doughnuts are my weakness. So the elders gave us 2 doughnuts the other day and Sister Dodson said she didn't want hers, so clearly it was mine. Then halfway through I wondered if she had changed her mind and actually wanted the last half, so I asked her and she said yes. I should've seen this coming... But she grabbed it and ran as fast as she could to the bathroom (the nearest trash can) to throw it away to save me from those empty calories. I don't believe in wasting deliciousness, so I sprinted after her and grabbed her backpack, threw her to the ground, snatched the doughnut out of her hand and ate it as fast as I could while she laid helpless on the floor. It was like a primeval human survival instinct. We sat on the ground laughing so hard we were crying/coughing because I was simultaneously shoving doughnut into my mouth. Once again I tackle my companion to the ground for a noble cause and rise victoriously.

Speaking of sweets... Sister Dodson and I have been trying to get more motivated to talk to people on trains and buses (it's really scary). So we decided that every time we talk to someone we get to eat half of a cookie, which is normally strictly banned according to the two months to twig-skinny rules. Now when we get on buses I imagine people's heads turning into big giant cookies and so I automatically have to go talk to them. Haha not really but it's been a really fun way to keep track of how many people we talk to and to be rewarded by something fun at the end of the day.

Also, our investigator Milagros is going to try to quit smoking! This is the first time I've taught someone who's trying to quit something, so I'm really excited about that.

I love you all! Keep up the good work back home!

Hermana Hall

P.s. We're going to the Museum of Modern Art today :) #shoutouttodan

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I'm King of the Rock!!

Dear family and friends,

This week has been really fun. We went to Top of the Rock on Wednesday. It's not a mountain or a geographical feature, it's just the top of the Rockefeller Center where you can see the whole island of Manhattan! Pictures attached. Be jealous. We played around downtown and even made a snowman in Central Park and ate lamb gyros. Be more jealous. Oh and we played chopsticks on the big piano in FAO Schwartz. Any Big fans? Be even more jealous. Did I mention that today we went to the Met? Ya tu sabe.

But anyways, those are just the fun stuff we do in the city on Wednesdays. On Friday we had mission leadership council with President Morgan and he gave us some awesome training. We all had to split up in groups and make a device made of plastic straws and duct tape to safely catch an egg dropped from 10 feet. We only had fifteen minutes. Our group totally won! But then President Morgan made the analogy "How many of you were thinking about home or your girlfriend while we were doing this activity?" No one. When we were completely focused on our end goal of catching the egg safely, we had one purpose and we worked effectively together to accomplish it without distraction. The whole purpose of missionary work is to catch eggs safely, to bring people unto Christ! We can catch eggs, we just have to be focused and give our all. So awesome.

So remember that it's not just the missionaries who have the purpose of bringing others to come unto Christ. If we all work together, members and missionaries, we can save even more eggs! Pray for missionary experiences and seek God's guidance to help you know how :)

Hermana Hall
Hermana Dodson and Hall at the Top of the Rock
Shelby on The Big Piano at FAO Schwartz

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Blizzard" of the Century

Just kidding. There was no blizzard. We were all prepared with candles and flashlights and extra food to hole us in for 3 days, but it snowed less than a foot. A little disappointing, but we still got to go out and do some good work!

Guarina is doing awesome and is a whole new person after her baptism. Her husband came back from the Dominican Republic and we've started teaching him. She is the best member missionary ever! We're hoping that he will get baptized so that they can get sealed in the temple next year! Sister Dodson contacted a guy on the train who fell in love with her and wants her to come over and hang out. She says "We would love to teach you about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Is it okay if we bring the elders?" Haha. He called us to chat and got completely shut down. Better than the guy who came up to us on the street and said "Hey, I'm looking for a wife". My response: "Well, we can't help you with that. Would you like to hear a message about Jesus Christ?

Last Wednesday we got to go see the 911 Memorial Museum. It was SO AMAZING. By far the best P-day of the mission. It was awesome to be able to hear the personal stories of the people who suffered from the terrorist attacks and see the reality of what happened here when I was only in 3rd grade. I don't really know how else to describe it... Just that God really does have a plan for us.

911 Memorial Museum

We had Sisters Conference last Friday! That's right, a whole conference for just sisters. No elders allowed. We had some really amazing speakers who talked about how we can have confidence. "Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God".  So if we have charity and virtue, we can be confident before God, and in turn be confident in ourselves because we know that God is pleased with us. And really, nothing else matters. Sister Freihofner shared the story of Ruth and said "If you're not living the story you want to tell, change". 

Hermana Card (my MTC Companion) and Hermana Hall

Hermanas Smart, Hall, and Dodson

Hermanas Dodson, Smart, and Hall

I love you all! Remember that God has a plan for you and a story that he wants you to write.   But it's up to you to do get out and do it!   Have an amazing week and share your testimony with someone :)

Hermanas Dodson, Smart, and Hall

I love you all! Remember that God has a plan for you and a story that he wants you to write. But it's up to you to do get out and do it! Have an amazing week and share your testimony with someone :)

Hermana Hall

P.S.   We're going to Top of the Rock today. Pictures later :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Awesome Week!

Dear friends and family,

We had an awesome week this week! Guarina got baptized and we had 4 investigators at the baptismal service! That has never happened to me ever on my mission. And it turns out that Guarina knows 2 of them from a long time ago but lost contact. And then another one is her husband. She's helping us by picking up our investigators for church and giving them motivation to learn more and progress and will be an awesome member present. After going to the service one of our investigators committed to baptism! She wants a brand new start on life and knows that this is what God wants her to do. Lots of miracles!

Keep being awesome back at home! Love you all!

Hermana Hall

P.S.  Here are some good pictures:
"You distract her, I'll push"

Guarina and her husband

"Nuff Said"

Tu sabe

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Soda Kills Living Organisms!!

Dear friends and family,

We had a really good week!

Funny moment: We've been getting feed SO MUCH lately, and despite our efforts of waking up an hour early to go to the gym, our bodies are being destroyed by Hispanic food, but mostly soda. So we made a goal to tell everyone that our New Years resolution is to not drink soda or juice, only water. So our investigator says "Can I get you something to drink?" "¡Agua por favor!" "Okay" she says, but then comes back with two GIANT glasses of red soda. Ugh. So we start drinking and my heart is slowing down and my body is like "Are you trying to kill me?" Then all of a sudden there is a knock at the door and our investigator goes to answer it, and Sister Dodson jumps up and grabs my glass of soda and pours it into a potted plant that was in her living room. Whoa she got brave. But then the soda starts fizzing out of the pot and exploding everywhere! And our investigator was starting to come back! One of the most horrifying moments of my life. But Sister Dodson got it under control and our investigator didn't even notice. We came back 2 days later and the plant, which was perfectly alive and healthy before, is now turning read and dying. Moral of the story: soda kills living organisms.

We've had some really cool lessons with the Book of Mormon lately. We've been doing an activity where we have our people write down a "question of their soul" something they really want to know from God, then they ask God specifically in their prayer, and then we find an answer in the Book of Mormon. We've had some REALLY awesome lessons lately. We even had one of our investigators, who is sincerely looking for the truth, receive an answer that she should go to a different church. So we told her that if God told her to go to that church that she'd better go. Never done that before... But if God wants her to go there there is a reason and we know that she is being prepared to find the truth. It's true that the Book of Mormon can answer any question that we have if we pray and ask God for guidance.

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week! Share the gospel with someone :) and everyone!

Hermana Hall

P.S. Did any of you ever watch "Between the Lions" on PBS?

Hermanas Hall and Dodson

Between the Lions


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ya ta sabe

Dear friends and family,

It's transfer time! I'm staying in Inwood as Sister Training Leader with Sister Dodson (the brunette one) and Sister Smart is going to South Manhattan! Which means I am officially ending my mission in Inwood! Which means I'll be here for a total of 7 and a half months! Good thing too because I love this place. And Sister Smart successfully packed everything into her suitcases! 50 space bags later...

This week has been fun. We've been preparing our investigator for baptism on the 17th and we're super excited! She wants to get baptized so bad and wants to know everything now! We keep telling her that all she needs is her testimony, and if she has that then she will be just fine. We've gotten fed a lot this week because all of the members want to say goodbye to Sister Smart and love is communicated through food. Aka three months to twig-skinny starts today.

I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week and have an opportunity to share the gospel with someone.


Hermana Hall

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Bring It On!!

Dear family and friends,

What a week! Christmas was awesome! We weren't allowed to proselyte so we made good use of our time and made breakfast for all of the sisters in the zone (don't worry there's only 5) and opened presents and then took a 3-hour nap. Best Christmas present ever: sleep. Then we ate dinner with the Gifford family and they're American so we had a real Christmas dinner with potatoes, ham, and homemade rolls! Then I got to talk to the Bevans! I got to talk to Shawn too! Which was super awesome. So good to see everyone. That was my last Skype call home of the mission! What in the world? New Years Eve we had to be home early so we didn't get to party, but we cleaned and did our nails and even made some t-shirts for the zone (picture attached). 

This past week we've been focusing a lot on one of our super progressing investigators (Guarina- the one who had the dream that God dropped her on the mormon church) who has a baptismal date for January 17th. Her husband is flying in from the DR on the 15th so he'll get to be there for her baptism and he wants to learn more too! We had a lesson about the first and second commandments and told her that she had to throw away all of the Saints that are in her apartment. We were so nervous but she understood the commandment very well and promised us that they will all be gone by the next time we come over. She is willing to do whatever God asks her and she feeds us lots of Dominican food. #biggestlosersignmeup

I know that Jesus Christ lives and that it is only through Him that we can gain eternal life and live with our Heavenly Father. I'm so grateful for this holiday season and the opportunity to focus on the birth of Jesus Christ and to make new goals for the next year. I know that we all can change through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, if we let it.

I love you all!

Hermana Hall

Inwood Zone

Hermanas Dodson, Smart, and Hall