Monday, December 23, 2013

¡Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad mis amados amigos y familia! Ojalá yo podría estar con ustedes por este navidad, pero yo tengo alguno trabajo para hacer aquí en Argentina! (How I wish I could be with you all this Christmas, but I have some work to do here in Argentina!) 

I am pretty short on time, so I am going to do a nice short Christmas letter to you all this week. Although I am a long ways away from home, and the culture and way of celebrating Christmas is different, the message is the same. This time of year is to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. How thankful I am for that babe of Bethlehem. As I have spent some time contemplating the birth and miraculous life of my Redeemer this christmas I have come to truly appreciate the meaning the of Christmas.

I miss all of my friends, and especially my family, but the amazing opportunity that I have to serve here in Argentina is something I wouldn´t trade for the world. How blessed we are to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, and how blessed am I to get to share this with the people here in Buenos Aires. I love the people, and my companion, and this Christmas I am just so grateful for the blessings that I have in my life.

I am so excited to get the chance to talk with my family on Christmas, and I want to thank all of you for the emails, and Christmas well wishes. Know that there is an Elder in Buenos Aires wishing you all a very Feliz Navidad y Prospero Nuevo Año!

Con Todo Mi Amor,

Elder Hall

(I gave him the recipe for Grandmas Caramel Corn & he made it for the branch!)

12 Quarts of Caramel Corn, it is different because the sugars are different, but the branch absolutely loved it, I had every member of the Relief Society asking for the recipe! It was a ton of work, but worth it!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I´m dreaming of a!

¡Hola mis amados amigos y familia! 

Another week down in the mission! I am the only one who feels like these weeks are flying bye faster then we can count! Time is ¨melting¨ here in Argentina, I can´t believe we only have two more weeks left of this transfer. I feel like I am going to stay here for at least one more transfer, but I think my Peruvian Papá (Not sure if I ever talked about it, but they don´t use ¨greenie¨ traditional new missionary phrase here in argentina. They use hijo (Son) and Papá (Dad)) is headed to another place! He has 6 months now here in Villa España so it would be pretty crazy if I left and he stayed here! But hey, I will go where the Lord wants me to go! 

So as I hinted at, it is...HOT here! The sun is like crazy strong, and let me tell you the humidity isn´t even at its worst yet, but it is absolutely terrible! For my Arizona amigos, it is like the worst day of humidity and heat in august, but worse every day here! So I am using alot of sun block and looking for shade. I am wishing I could throw my cowboy hat on! Never realized how much that helps until I can´t use it! But I am surviving. It is almost impossible to imagine that it is cold at home. I am sure when winter hits I will be crying for sunshine. So I guess I gotta learn to suck it up! (And appreciate my good AZ weather!) haha While you guys are freezing at home, we had a water balloon fight for a zone activity. Loco! 

This week we had an open house at the church and we had such a good turn out! The members really helped out, and it was just a great success. I don´t know why they don´t do these kind of programs in the states, (Or maybe they have started) but basically the missionaries just gave tours of the church and talked about our basic beliefs and then every member organization (Youth, Women, Men, Children) had members of the church there to explain things! We received just under thirty references, and three people excepted baptismal dates! So we have some work to do, to try and contact all of these people this coming week! 

Some other good news is, we got the official word that our branch will be receiving a set of sister missionaries this Thursday! So we are excited to split the area, although we are going to lose some of our favorite families, (The Nuñez Family :( ) but I know that sisters are going to be great for this area and give it the boost it needs! 

 I am really learning about the importance of the Book of Mormon. It is amazing as I have really taken the opportunity to study and read it how much I have learned, and the special spirit that it has. It´s teachings are clear and basic, and they can help us all. 

I have accepted that Christmas is kinda lame here this week, and just went with it. So I am not letting it bother me, and adapting to the traditions here. I am so excited to get to talk with my family on Christmas though!

Everything is going great, and I am loving it here! I hope and pray all is well at home with everyone! One last note, as some of you know I have my blog that my mom puts pictures on every week, and occasionally videos! Love you all! 

Elder Hall 

On Sunday we received a phone call from Elder & Sister Ehmke that are from Show Low that Elder Hall had trainings with a few weeks ago! What an awesome thing to get a phone call saying what an amazing young man he is, (we all know that already!) However for a mom to get that kind of a phone call to solidify what I already know about him is awesome! They said the Argentine's love him and he has a way with them. They also said his ability to speak the language is amazing, that when they first met him they thought he was probably about the 18 month mark, never wouldn've guess he had only been out 3 months! They told us he is very loved & well taken care of in his branch & that him & his companion have a great companionship and are doing very well & that as his parents we have nothing to worry about! It was fun to hear from them & was also very nice of them. Just made this proud mom even prouder! (if thats possible!)  We can't wait to hear from him on Christmas, just to hear his voice & honestly I think we are all ready to hear his contagious laugh! We should be able to skype with him which will make things all the better!

 Lots of missionaries! 

 My Book of Mormon display during the open house!

 All of the missionaries, and members after the open house

 Ivan (One of our investigators) and us after church! 

Our Branch Mission Leader Facundo (Soon to be Elder Aguirres, we are waiting for a mission call!) and us! 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hola Mis Amigos!

Hola Compañeros! 

Hope every one has had a great week, here in Buenos Aires, we had another great week in the mission! This week I am writing with a little country Christmas music playlist, going on in the background! It is hard to imagine it is almost Christmas. Ya here they have little Christmas trees, the stores decorate, but honestly Argentina lacks the Christmas spirit that I love. I think alot of it is because in the US we have Christmas with the people we love, and that is what it is all about. Here they don´t have that same focus. But the members are still so nice, and we have a little Christmas tree for the pension so I am not totally deprived! It is an adjustment like everything else! It just means I have to share a little bit of our traditions with my investigators and the members here! 

This week was a good week a little bit different than normal but it was still good! Monday when I was finishing my final email to my mom. as I hit send there was a huge clap of thunder, and all of the lights and computers in the cybers died! We had this crazy little microburst that came through, knocked down trees and all kinds of stuff! And we were in the street running back to the pension when all this was going on! Good times :)  haha luckily we made it safe and ended up talking with some of our neighbors who we found out lived in the US for 12 years and recently moved back! They aren´t interested in the church, but still it is always good to know your neighbors! 

Wednesday we had a Zone Conference! It was a full day of missionary training, but it was really great. I learned alot, and was excited to get out and try some of the new things we learned! One of the new ways we are trying to find people to teach is through Family History work! We have a family history center close by, and so we actually offered to help a family that the missionaries in this area have been trying to teach for a really long time, to find their ancestors, and they accepted! So it was a sweet surprise to see the results of this just a few hours after learning about this! 

The weather here is so crazy! We had the microburst deal, then it will be cool one day, then the next it is roasting and there is a ton of humidity. Today is pretty nice but it is always changing here, so we never know what to expect when we walk out the door in the morning! 

This afternoon we have also had an interesting experience, as of right now we can´t get into our apartment! Elder Garcia and I left this morning and then the other two elders left, and when we came back the lock is all messed up and the key won´t turn. And from one until four in the afternoon here we have the wonderful siesta (nap) that let me tell  you can really throw things off! So we have to go find a lock smith when everything opens back up! Our district was going to all have lunch together as well so it was pretty funny we had a bag of chicken and I found some rebar and we were able to open the fridge from the window, and then we were tried to sling the bag of chicken into the fridge, and all just cracking up! So hopefully we get things taken care of! I am getting a little hungry... 

Anyways all is well here in La Misión I am loving it here! I love the people I teach, and the members here. Yes it is different, but it is amazing. I have never had a more amazing experience then I have in the last few months. To be able to share this knowledge, and help people in their conversion it just is almost underwhelming at times (in a good way). I just think alot about how lucky I truly am to have the life that I have and to be able to have such great family and friends. Often times we see lots of sad cases where families have been destroyed, and it just makes me want to work even harder to try and help out as many people as I can in the short time that I have here! 

All of you norte americanos enjoy your cold weather, and I will be here enjoying my time, in the work of the Lord, roasting away! Love you all! 

Elder Hall 

On a side note: in our weekly emailing he has assured me he is not homesick. He does really miss Christmas since it is celebrated much differently there than here. He said the weather is so humid & yuck but he is glad it isn't cold because that would make him think it should really be Christmas! He loves this time of year probably more than any of his siblings do so as his mom I've been a little worried about him!  We are really looking forward to being able to Skype with him on Christmas day!  He loves it there & loves everything about being on a mission. I am so proud of him & that he is making the most of his experience there! He redeemed himself & did send pictures later today!
 Showing off his weight gain. If you know his Dad & Papa, well it looks like he will be taking after them! Skinny guys with a gut that sticks out! haha!

 Elder Garcia is 20 years old & has never shaved, so Elder Hall gave him lessons, scary!

Half done, the things missionaries do!

 ¡Capos! (A word for like a cool guy) 

So we have ¨Factura Friday¨for weekly planning session! Facturas are these delicious pastries that I love!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Crazy Storm Brings Investigators!

(I received this early this morning from Elder Hall as he was working on some stuff for a Zone Conf tomorrow)

So last night was totally crazy! I hit send on my last email and wham crack of thunder and the whole cyber loses power. We had a wild storm that lasted for about 20 minutes! Crazy winds and rain and then no power for most of the night. We ended up just going back to the pension and actually were able to contact some of our neighbors. They lived in LA for 10 years so they speak english and spanish! We are going to go teach them on Sunday. The wife hates it here she grew up in mexico and then when she was 12 moved to LA and has been there for a good 20 plus years. They have been in Argentina for two years now (the dad is from here and lived in the us for 12 years where he met her) Both of their kids 7 and 10 were born there and apparently the kids dont like it here either. So it should be interesting to teach them! 

(Apparently neither of them had ever heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints while living in the LA area for 10 years)

¿Donde está Noviembre?

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Feliz primero de Diciembre! I am still trying to figure out what happened to November because it feels like the month just started! Next week we will already be halfway through this transfer! Time flies when you are having fun I guess! 

So because I know every one was worried about me croaking from homesickness I´ll talk about that first! Thursday was just another day here in the mission for me! Seriously we are so busy, I didn´t really have time to think about it being Thanksgiving! And to be quite honest that is something I am thankful for! We just worked all day, and to be honest I never even ended up having an alfajore like I planned! So it really was just a regular Thursday here in the field! 

Friday I headed to El Cruce another area in our Zone for an intercambio (companionship exchange) I worked with Elder Silencio, he is from Peru, and actually has the same amount of time as me in the mission but has been in the field for a transfer longer, because he already spoke spanish so he only had two weeks in the MTC. He is a great elder, and I enjoyed working with him. The area of El Cruce, not as much, let´s just same I am EXTREMELY grateful for the area that I am in! Villa España is a pretty busy area, and a lot prettier! But we had a really good time!

Then Saturday afternoon we had the baptism of Daniela Godoy! It was a very nice service, and it has been so awesome to watch the way Daniela has changed so willingly and just accepted the Gospel with such an open heart! The Relief Society (Women´s Organization for our church) has helped us out a ton, and have just welcomed Daniela in. I really think she feels loved and around people who care about her. I hope that this friendship will continue to help her progress in the gospel! 

Sunday we had this training by some Senior Missionaries about an open house program we are going to be doing here in a couple weeks, and another Senior Missionary Couple was with them from a mission in the south of Argentina. Well we got to talking and Elder and Sister Ehmke are from Show low, Arizona. Elder Ehmke was the principal for a long time and he knows all of my family from Show Low. And the reason I know he wasn´t lieing was when he said, ¨Your grandma Estelle used to get so wound up at Baseball games that sometimes as a school principal, I just thought to myself Estelle would you please calm down!¨Now when I heard this I was almost on the floor dieing laughing! If you don´t know my great grandmother she is a little old lady more loving then just about anyone I know, with a side when it comes to ball games ain´t nobody in their right mind would want to cross! Anyways... it was just such a neat blessing, and such a small world that I am halfway across the world and I can still run into people that know family! 

Overall it was a truly great week here in Villa España, I still after 3 months of being here in the mission go home every night having learned something new. My testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ grows just a little day, and my trust in our Heavenly Father´s plan for me and my life, grows stronger and stronger. As it gets colder at home, and that special spirit of Christmas starts to fill the air, a little challenge, I ask that every person, regardless of religion try to share just a small message of our Savior with someone they care about. There is something about December and a chill in the air that seems to open people hearts. I hope that maybe the humidity here has the same effect! 

As always your all in my thoughts in prayers, Yo espero todo de ustedes, tengan una buena Semana! Talk to you soon! 

Con Amor,

Elder Hall  
 My Thanksgiving Dinner in the pension! A Milanesa Sandwich. Milanesa is like the main food of argentina it basically is like either a chicken fried steak but really thin and a chicken patty combined! It comes in beef as well! We eat it probably four or five times a week!

 Elder Garcia and I with Daniela and her daughter Melody on Saturday

Elder & Sister Ehmke from Show Low

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bernard the Elf in Argentina!

(I don't know how many of you have a little Elf on the Shelf visit your house every year around Christmas time but our family had one pop into our life last year and as luck would have it Bernard the Elf found Elder Hall in Argentina!)

Querido Mak, Garret, Russ, and Laynee,

I woke up this morning and you will never guess what I saw! All of my ties were tied together like a big rope, and hanging in the middle was a note from Bernard!! And apparently Bernard can speak spanish! In spanish an Elf is called a Duende (Dwenday) and Santa Claus is Papá Noel! He said in his note that his next stop was you guys! And I figure that by the time he makes it to you guys, it will probably be December 1st so really soon! You guys will have to send me pictures of all of the stuff he does! Who knows maybe he will play a few tricks on me before Christmas!
I love you all, and am so excited for Bernard to visit you! Make sure to be extra good!

Con Amor,

Elder Hall

(PS...This is just a small piece of what an awesome big brother Elder Hall is! The holidays are his favorite time of year, every Christmas he put lights up & decorated his bedroom, we are sure going to miss his Christmas Spirit this year!)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

¿Que es Tanks-hiving?

Hola Familia y Amigos! 

Mi primero pregunta es, ¿Que es Tanks-hiving? Well actually that is the question I have gotten asked multiple times! What is thanksgiving, apparently it is a Yankee holiday, I don`t know why it`s not like it is a holiday that was started at the founding of America or anything! No just kidding, but serioulsy it is so weird to think that this week is thanksgiving! Here is hot, and it is HUMID! And it is only going to get worse! Not anything remotely like the Arizona weather I am used to, especially for November! But I am cruising along, trying my best!

This week was a really great week, yesterday I had the privledge of baptizing Angelíca Milagros Nuñez or as we know her just Milagros! Milagros is fourteen years old, and she was actually baptized when she was younger, but the church lost her records, and so the procedure for the church is that when there is no record of an ordinance they re-do it! The thing was her family has been inactive for along time, and so it was basically like teaching an investigator! Milagros is the aunt of the kids I sent the picture of last week! It is has been so much fun to work with this family and such a blessing in my life! We love the nuñez`s and they are starting to come back to church, so we will see where it all goes from here! 

Daniela, the lady we have been teaching who lost her spouse, is like a sponge, she just takes everything we say, and this week we had a really neat spiritual experience at a family home evening we had with her and a family in our branch. We watched the movie, ``The Restoration`` which is great if you haven`t seen it I highly recommend it! Anyways after we watched it, I had the opportunity to bear my testimony of the experince of Joseph Smith, and the importance for her to find out for herself if these things we had been teaching were true, because she has been taught the lessons, and she likes what she hears but hasn´t had that confirming moment yet in her conversion. Well after Elder Garcia, Hermana Garcia (no relation to my companion), and I had born our testimonies we were all a little choked up and Daniela was crying becuase we felt the spirit so strong. She said the closing prayer, and as soon as she said amen, she just started bawling. It was an amazing experience to watch the spirit work in her, and how overcome she was. It was a very sweet experience that I will forever be greatful for. 

Another great experience I had this week happened in the filthy waiting room of a hospital. (Apparently dogs are allowed in hospitals here. !?aye ya yay, que va a hacer?! (What are you going to do about it)) Anyways we had a crazy man come up to us and start yelling at us how he was god, and lots of other stuff I didn´t understand, (Missionaries are crazy magnets, we deal with these people like at least 5 of the 7 days a week. Some times it gets exhausting!) But every cloud has this silver lining this lady walked uo and we started talking and i had the best conversation with her about Christ and how blessed we were to not be so confused like the crazy man, well then she started sharing some experiences she had had in her life, and the spirit hit me like a wall to share the First Vision (the experience of Joseph Smith) by the end of it she was crying and I bore my testimony. I think this week I learned most the power of testimony, and just talking and recieving the guidance I need from the spirit. It is just an amazing feeling to literally be guided almost word for word by the spirit. This was probably the first time in the mission that I felt it this strong, and it was just like WHAM! I left her a little card with the directions to the church on it and we parted ways!

This was a great week in the mission, and I just keep learning more and more! Just take things a day at a time, and time cruises! I can´t believe that while you all are stuffing your faces with my favorite foods on thursday, I will be in the pension, eating an alfajore, and celebrating just a little three months in the mission! Never in my life have three months passed by so fast! It´s just crazy to think! 

Anyways, I hope all is well at home, I love you all, and miss you, and I hope hope you have a Muy feliz Dia de Gracias! 

Con todo mi amor,

Elder Hall

 All of us at the baptism of Milagros! Hermana Nuñez, Milagros, Hermano Rafael Nuñez

 Elder Hall, Milagros, & Elder Garcia

 Elder Hall & Milagros

This is a special candy they only eat at christmas time, a lady in the ward gave us each one! It is like a big hunk, but not as good!

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Video From Elder Hall This Week!!

Pictures from this past week!

First hair cut in the field-where's Mariano when I need him?
(note from mom: why must missionaries do this, just find a barber pls!!)

 Benjamin & Celeste Nunez
 Benjamin, Celeste, & Flope Nunez (his favorite Argentine kids!)

Service project helping the Nunez family put a shade over their pool for the upcoming heat/humidity soon!

A Message on Faith

(sent in email on November 12, 2013)

Hi everyone, I hope everything is going well for at home! Elder Garcia is doing some online english tests for study this afternoon, so I decided to take a minute to share a message I have been learning about faith, but haven´t had the time to share on P-day! I hope everyone can take something from this, it sure has been amazing as I have applied this in my life! 

To begin, I want to start out in the Book of Mormon specifically Alma Chapter 32, the entire chapter talks about faith, but there is a message in it that all people of Christian background, no matter how strong or weak in their beliefs they are can take from. In verse 21 we learn the definition of faith

 21 And now as I said concerning faith—afaith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye bhope for things which are cnot seen, which are true.

In order to have faith we don´t have to have a perfect knowledge that God is god. We don´t have to have actually seen Jesus suffering on the cross to know that he suffered for our sins, and trials. We simply have to have a hope in these things that are true, that we can´t specifically see. 

In the following verses from the Book of Mormon, exemplify one of the best examples of faith, and how it works.  

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstandingg, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
 29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.
 30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.
31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own alikeness.
 32 Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.
 33 And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.
 34 And now, behold, is your aknowledge bperfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your cfaith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your dmind doth begin to expand.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ only takes a little seed of faith to sprout into something much grander. As we experiment on the teachings and principles of Christ, and apply them to our lives, our little seed starts to take root, then as we receive more knowledge, we get a seedling or a little sprout. My message that I want to share is it doesn´t matter how firm or how small of a belief in Christ and God you have right now. Take that little belief that you have, and try to expand on it. I know that as we learn to take the seeds of faith that are planted with in us, we will be able to grow spiritually just as a little seed can grow literally into a large oak tree. 
38 But if ye aneglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.
 39 Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your aground is bbarren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.
Now unfortunately there are people who maybe had started to grow in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but as it  talks about in verses  38 and 39 didn´t take the time to ¨nourish¨ their tree. It wasn´t because they had a bad seed or because Christ isn´t our Saviour, or God doesn´t exist. No, the seed was good, the fault lies with the person. Just as a plant needs water and sunlight to live, we to need the spiritual nourishment of the scriptures, and attending church in our lives to continually build us up, and help us grow stronger.
I want to finish with a poem that I have had since I was about 8 or 9 years old, it is called Good Timber. If you watched General Conference, President Monson shared this in his talk, it is an all time favorite of mine, and I read it quite frequently! 
The tree that never had to fight                                                                 
For sun and sky and air and light,                                                          
 But stood out in the open plain                                                                
 And always got its share of rain,                                                        
 Never became a forest king                                                                
 But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The man who never had to toil                                                                   
To gain and farm his patch of soil,                                                             
Who never had to win his share                                                                
 Of sun and sky and light and air,                                                               
Never became a manly man                                                                     
 But lived and died as he began
Good timber does not grow with ease,                                                  
 The stronger the wind, the stronger trees,                                                 
The further sky, the the greater length,                                                   
The more the storm the more the strength.                                               
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,                                                        
 In trees and men good timbers grow
Where thickest lies the forest growth                                                         
We find the patriarchs of both.                                                                
 And they hold counsel with the stars                                                       
Whose broken branches show the scars                                                 
Of many winds and much of strife.                                                           
This is the common law of life. 
My friends and family, I pray for you every day. I pray that we will be able to take those little seeds of faith in our lives, and nourish them to become those strong trees routed in the foundation of Christian Principles, that we need to survive those storms that arise. I have a testimony that we only need to take that little step, and exercise our faith, and the Lord will bless us in more ways then we can imagine. I am thankful for the opportunity that I have everyday to invite, and help strengthen the faith of others in this great work of the Lord in Argentina. It is amazing, everyday I receive some small testament that Christ truly is our Saviour, and just to think that God sent his only Begotten Son for us, specifically for our sins and problems. This gift which is the greatest of all we will never be able to repay, but we can show our love and gratitude for our Saviour, by exercising our Faith in him, and strengthening ourselves and our families spiritually. I love you all, and most importantly and I know for a fact of the love that our Heavenly Father has for each and everyone of his children. I continually pray, and hope all is well. And I share these things in the sacred name of my Savior, and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Amen. 

1 Transfer in the Field Down!

¡Buenas Tardes Amigos y Familia!

¡Ojalá toda esta bien! Todo bien aqui en Argentina. I have actually had a really weird week! I have actually been sick on and off this week! Had some wicked migraines and a fever on and off from monday night until about wednesday or thursday! But I am doing good now! 

Elder Garcia and I also worked our tails off for two days scowering our area for a new apartment! They are divinding Villa España into two areas! So either this week or next week, we are going to get a set of Sister Missionaries! I am so excited because their is a part of our area that has a lot of money, and Elders have had no luck getting into houses! I really think Sisters will be able to break into this part of our area! Plus to have four missionaries working in just one branch is pretty awesome! Who knows maybe these sisters will give us the extra boost we need to make Villa España into a ward! 

I also finished my very first transfer in Argentina, and my second in total! In every mission there is 17 transfers or 6 week periods of time! I am excited because I am here in Villa España for at least another 6 weeks! The end of this transfer will mark 6 months that Elder Garcia has been in this area! And for some reason Villa España has a tradition of long time stays! One elder who actually finished his mission today served here for a year, I have heard about others 8 or 9 months! Just long periods of time! So who knows how long I am here! For now I love it here so I am good with whatever! 

So Elder Holland was AMAZING!! He was everything that I was expecting! The same powerful speaker we all know and love was here in Argentina! However it is so interesting to me how when he speaks, he has a humble weeping way of speaking combined with all the fire and brimstone strength! He spoke alot about after our missions and how we should never forget the things we learned here. He talked about the most crushing thing in his life is to talk with a returned missionary who has lost his faith. It really made me think about how I want to be when I get home, and be the kind of person that comes home changed, but in a good way. Changed as in some one who has complete faith and trust in the Lord, and has truly served with all his heart and mind. One of the things I am learning is that you can serve with all your strength, and you are still doing alot of good and helping to change other people´s lives, but if you don´t serve with all your heart and mind, you don´t allow your own life to be changed and blessed. 

He also spoke alot on the Atonement and the power that it can have in our lives, as well as in the lives of our investigators! Probably my favorite quote from his talk was this, ´´The road to Salvation always goes through Gethsemane, it is the way of the cross. We all have a cross to bear, it may be a tiny one, but we all have a tiny cross to remind us of the big cross´´ He spoke alot about how this work we are doing is not easy, and it never was meant to be easy, not after Christ suffered everything he had to save our souls. We all have a small price to pay, and that is why life in general is not always easy. 

The biggest thing that I can stress, and message that I can share is the difference between just having a testimony, and being converted to the gospel. And there is a huge difference. A testimony of the Gospel can carry us through those good times in our lives, but when those rough patches in life arise, we fall. The need for a deep routed conversion in the Gospel of Jesus Christ has never been more neccesary. I work with people every single day, who had a testimony when the missionaries taught them, they felt the spirit and that peace, but over time never tried to strengthen their faith, and in the end lost touch with the church, and fell back into the way of life they had before. Now obviously there are lots of other circumstances that cause people to leave the church, but for those of us as members, we need to do all we can to strengthen our faith and become truly converted. If there is a doctrine you aren´t sure about, wether it be tithing, the word of wisdom, hey maybe even the Book of Mormon, try it out! Pay your tithing, live the word of wisdom, read the Book of Mormon, then look at your life, I offer my witness as a missionary of the Lord, that as we take these doctrines and apply them in our lives we will become more converted. It is no overnight process, it is just a little here, and a litte there, but eventually we will be strengthened! I know it! 

Sorry I will get down off my soap box, I guess I was feeling a little inspired after listening to my favorite Apostle! Don´t worry everyone I am not some spiritual guru who doesnt do anything, but sit and read my scriptures. I am still the same goof ball Brennen, you all know! I just have learned so much, and I don´t just only want to help the people of Argentina, but the people who I love so much back home! I hope and pray all is well back home, as you can probably tell I am doing great here, and just love it so much! ¡Hablamos Pronto!

Elder Hall

Monday, November 11, 2013

Some Fun Pictures!

 I forgot to send my Halloween picture! I tried to fly home for the night, but apparently magic broom sticks don't make a round trip flight from Villa España to Palo Verde!

It was like a brownie cake actually I am limited on my baking supplies! Only had a metal bowl that I
 used as a pan! haha

Elder Garcia´s one year was on Thursday so I made brownies! This is all of our apartment! Elder Killian (Las Vegas), Elder Santos (Brazil), and then Elder Garcia and I!

Another Week in Argentina!

Hola Amigos and Familia!

Well like all my weeks here in Argentina I had another great week here! Unfortunately I don´t have any crazy stories to share this week! It was a pretty low key week as far as the mission field goes! 

Mario was not baptized this week, because of some things that came up! So we are hoping that things will work out this week! 

We have found some new people to teach though one of them is a lady named Daniela she is in her late 20´s and has a almost 2 year old baby girl. She is super nice, and loves her baby so much. About a year ago when she was still pregnant her husband passed away. So she has really loved the Plan of Salvation and it has been amazing to watch her realize that there is hope. She is only seperated from her husband for a short time, and that they will have the opportunity to be together again! 

This week we also are starting to see some results in our work with some less-active, and in-active families. It is so exciting to walk into the chapel and see some of these families who are great people, but just have forgotten the peace, and love that comes from having the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives. And to get to play a small role in helping these people remember is a really neat blessing! 

This week I went on my first companion exchange! Elder Garcia stayed in Villa España and I headed off to Quilmes! Now for those of you who are familiar with where I am from it is like the drive from Buckeye to Goodyear! I worked with Elder Thayne my Zone Leader and had a great time! Him and I are very similar, we were both student body president, he did all kinds of stuff in high school his family is the kinda cowboy type, and he loves country music! As much as I love my Peruvian it was so nice to be able to talk with someone who knew where I was coming from on everything! I learned alot in my 24 hours with Elder Thayne so I am pretty grateful for the opportunity I had to work with him! (And the Zone Leaders have an awesome apartment! 11 stories up! The only scary thing was a two weeks before the other elevator fell from the third floor! YIKES!)

I had my second interview with President Thurgood this week, and it was nice to get to know him just a little bit better! He is such a great man, and I am thankful to have him as a mission president! He said that chances are I would be staying here in Villa España for the next transfer (6 weeks) to finish out my training, so I was excited to hear that! So it looks like I will be here for christmas! Which in Argentina is really different! For one last year it was about 120ish degrees with over a 100 percent humidity! Usually it is the worst day of the year as far as weather goes! And they don´t decorate and just drink beer all day! lol should be a blast! ;) 

OH I ALMOST FORGOT!! On Saturday we are headed to hear Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles speak!! I AM SO EXCITED!! He has the best missionary talks and this is only going to be the Buenos Aires North, South, and West Missions! So all missionaries! So next weeks letter should be a good one! 

Overall another great week! Love you all! Until next time, Ciao!

Elder Hall

 Day time view of a park in Quilmes

 Other day time view looking towards downtown Quilmes

 Nightime view! Actually pretty beautiful!
 Statue in Quilmes

Quilmes is really nice, and has a big city center! It is like walking thru a big city with all the shops and stuff!