Monday, October 28, 2013

Pictures from Week 2 in Villa Espana

 This is at the MTC in Buenos Aires, it is next to the Temple.

 At the Buenos Aires Temple Grounds

 With Sebastein at the Temple (his is scheduled to baptize him on Saturday!)

 Yo y Emillano (he was in the hospital with appendicitis) they are teaching his family.

Elder Hall & Elder Garcia at the Rio de la Plata

!2 Meses en La Mision!

¿Que Tal Amigos y Familia?

Ustedes puedan creer, yo estoy aqui en la mision for 2 mezes! ¡Esta Loco! Can you guys believe I have been in the mission for 2 months already! It is crazy! I can not believe how fast time flies by! It feels like an eternity since I have seen everyone but it feels like just yesterday I got here! I don´t know how to describe it! 

This week was more of a week of adjustment for me. The newness is starting to wear off and I am getting more comfortable with being in the mission. So Elder Garcia and I are really starting to learn to work together because I am offering my own ways of how to do stuff! It isn´t easy trying to  adjust to a whole new culture, a new language, and just the life of a missionary! But I am loving it, the Lord is always strengthening his missionaries, and I am so greatful for that! I am adjusting pretty well, and just kinda going along with things, and learning more each and everyday! 

I am growing to love the people here so much, they really are starting to become extensions of my family, and the members here have done so much, and are so nice to welcome me in, and help me with the language and everything. I will be forever greatful to the people of Villa España for helping to make my first area so great, and I really hope I get to stay here for at least one more transfer or more. I am finally starting to know the area, and the people, and I am not ready to be transfered in a few weeks! 

This was another great week here in Argentina! We were able to contact some people on the street wich is pretty rare here! And we also kept ourselves busy teaching! On Saturday we had the opportunity to attend the temple in Buenos Aires, which is about an hour trip from where I am here in Villa España! The Rama (branch) went, and we also had an investigator accompany us! Elder Garcia and I put together a small devotional for the members who could not enter the temple yet, and then we had some time to just walk around and partake of the spirit that is there on the temple grounds. I actually had a moment where I got a little emotional, because I felt so at home. Even though I am 6000 miles away from my real home, I was on the grounds of the house of my Father in Heaven. I was reminded again of the special blessing that we have, to have temples here on this earth where we can recieve those special blessings, and make those covenants that can only be made in the House of the Lord. 

If all goes as planned we will be having a baptismal service on Saturday for one our investigators Sebastien. Sebastien is 10 years old, and has become like an Argentine little brother for me! He loves to mess with the white boy who can´t speak spanish, and has been alot of fun to teach! Something really cool is he asked me to baptize him! So I was pretty humbled to have this experience within my first month of being in Argentina! It is such an amazing experience to watch people come into the church, and help them experience the spirit in their lives. We are just praying that all goes well, and we are able to do it this saturday

Overall another great week in Villa España, the work is progressing, maybe not quite as fast as we would like, but we are just reminded we are on the Lord´s time and we will do whatever we need to, and when he is ready everything will fall into place! 

Con Amor,

Elder Hall

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Rat That Didn't Get Away!

(10/22/13 Elder Hall emailed home for a quick minute because he had finished his online training they had to do & he had a few extra minutes & since they didn't have much time on pday he wanted to send another story & a picture of the firefighters from the last email!)

I swear it is always something! I didnt even get to talk about killing the rat at our Branch Mission Leaders house! It was hilarious we had to tear apart his entire apartment and then couldn´t find the mouse anywhere. Well he opens up a cabinet that we had already checked and the mouse jumps out, and runs across right in front of me so I jump then it gets trapped inside of the kitchen which is about the size of my closet at home! So I take a broomstick and then basically spear it! Then we all just started laughing because it was so funny! 

(Ok for those of you that know Elder Hall, you are cracking up right now because you can see him & his Brennen ninja skills (NOT!) anyway this cracked me up because he really isn't so skilled at things like this, but its awesome to laugh & hear his stories!)
The Rat Slayer (looks like a tiny mouse to me!)

Elder Garcia with the poor sad little mouse

Monday, October 21, 2013

¡Saludos de Argentina!

Hola Mi Amigos y Familia,

¡Saludos de 6000 mias! I hope all is well back home! Things are going great here in Argentina, I really am enjoying it here and loving the area that I am in! We are staying busy, but have had a difficult week getting into appointments! Tons of people are canceling or not showing, but we did manage to get another baptismal date so we are up to four of them. 2 of them I am almost am certain will progress to baptism the first part of november, the other two are progressing just not quite as fast so we will have to see! 

We are teaching a partial member family who have like 10 people who live in one house it is the grandparents some of their kids, and then grandkids as well! Well I found a little girl who I swear is the Argentine version of Laynee! She is about 4 years old and her name is Florencia, but they call her Flopy! This little girl is a crack up! She doesn´t not stop talking at all...and then she doesn´t understand that I don´t understand spanish yet, and so she just looks at me like ¨´hello are you stupid..¨ It is so funny, and I wish I could talk to her better! 

This week we also have been helping this 85ish year old widow. You wanna talk about funny. This sweet old lady stands about 4 and a half foot, and when she starts talking I can´t understand hardly anything, because it is so fast and then she will just start  busting up laughing, because she cracks herself up, and she has the funniest mannerisms. We ran all over Villa España trying to buy her medications and shopping for her, and it was a crazy little trip but alot of fun. We are headed back tomorrow for the same thing! 

Latin Companions are so much fun as well. Seriously Elder Garcia is always cracking me up. Latins are quite the jokers, so between the four of us in our apartment we are always playing a joke on someone! And them learning english right along side us with spanish, makes things alot easier, because it puts us on kind of a bit more equal playing field. So we are always having fun practicing the language. Which is starting to come along. Spansih finally doesn´t sound so foreign to me. I am starting to get an ear for the language and can understand much better than even just a week ago! I am starting to talk more in the lessons, and can get a general idea acrossed of what I am trying to say. I have been inspired multiple times to say things, and I know that the gift of tongues is real. I have said stuff when inspired by the spirit that I didn´t really even know. I also have learned that the gift of tongues can work in the fact that you might say it wrong but the people understand what you say. I am thanful for these moments that the spirit has touched me in sharing the gospel. I am learning what it feels like to truly be a tool in the Lord´s hands.

Today though was the funniest, we went to another area called Quilmes for a Zone Activity to play futbol and have Asado, the famous Argentine Meat! So we get to Quilmes after a train ride, and the elders start cooking and it is all over open flame. Well there are these big trees that are hallowed out that people build there cooking fires in. Well we get the meat put on and cooking, and after about 30 minutes a fire truck pulls up, and these fire fighters explain that someone from the school acrossed the street had called about a fire in the park. Well then he makes us move all of the meat and the coals out and away from the tree, and they take the fire hose and blast our cooking fire area! THEN (it gets better) This school teacher comes running over, and starts yelling at all the missionaries, and saying what a shame we all come to her country for the church, and burn down there parks, and just how much of a shame it was. Then she asks where we are all from and when there is no Argentines in our zone she really lays into us! We all just laughed afterwards! Then they continued cooking and we had a great lunch of Asado and Argentine Chorizo (which is more like a sausage in the casing still not like mexican chorizo!) It was so good and we had a great time! 

I am doing great and love Argentina, you are all in my prayers!

PS. If you didn´t get a personal reply this week I am sorry! Not alot of time! Next week!

Con Amor,

Elder Hall

Los Bomberos (Firefighters!)

 Hallowed out tree in the park

Preparing to cook the meat

 The meat cooking


Top Ten Questions for Villa Espana

1.  Do you actually have to use the beday?
    NO quite honestly I am scared to try and never have, dont plan to! (Yuck)

2.  Do you have to hand wash your clothes?
     We have a sister in the ward who does all our laundry! (Thanks for the question I had to remind my comp that we need to drop it off!)

3.  Garret wants to know what other kind of cereal you have?
     They have other types of cereal but not a whole lot, and it is super expensive!!

4.  Do you actually get mail or does the mission home deliver to you? & if they deliver to you, how often do they?
     To be honest I am not sure, not alot of people send stuff here, but I am pretty sure that the mission home delivers to our zone leaders who then distribute! Not sure how often probably once a week at our district meetings!

5.  How much do you weigh
     Not sure still trying to figure out the conversion between kilograms and pounds! Probably about the same at the mtc lots and lots of walking so I work off what I eat (well maybe!) We are always either walking or take a collectivo (bus) if we leave our area a train!

6.  Whats the one thing you already miss about the US?
     Umm cleanliness but you just get used to everything being dirty everywhere. And easy shopping. Here there is a store for everything so it takes a while!

7.  What is something you realize you can live without?
     Not exactly sure, I think snacks. They only eat at meals and I realized I am a big snacker. Nothing to munch on here!

8.  Do you have a cell phone?
     Yes each companionship has a cell phone!

9.  Is there stray dogs everywhere?
     Everywhere....but it isn´t those you have to watch out for it is the dogs that try to eat you through the fence that are the mean ones!

10.  Do you meet in a regular church building?
       We have a beautiful Capilla! (Chapel) here it is small but very nice!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

First Week in Villa Espana

 Shower (fancy)

 Shower, Toilet, Baday combo

 El Latino's cuddling up watching a church movie

 Milk in a bag

 Azucopos (Argentine Frosted Flakes but better cause they are sweeter!)
 Sleeping area (Elder Hall's is the sleeping bag)

 El Pension (the apartment)

Kitchen, before he cleaned it

 Kitchen, after he cleaned it (at first glance I couldn't see a difference, however look at the wall)

 Elder Hall's favorite new treat Alfajores (he has already gained weight, he better slow down on these!)

 The street he lives on

Down the other way of the street

Arrival to Buenos Aires

 On the flight to Buenos Aires with several other Elders & Sisters

 First sight off the airplane

 Buenos Aires temple from the freeway

A better view, along with a pic of the cars they drive

Last Week at the MTC Pictures

Elder Mitchel from elementary school 

 Elder Hall & Elder Bailey

 Elder Hall & Elder Peel

 Elder Hall & Elder West

 Elder Hall & Elder Lewis
 Elder Anderson & Elder Hall

 Elder Mondragon & Elder Hall

Elder Hall & Elder Clements

Bro. Slingerland, Elder Hall, Elder Durham

General Conference on the MTC big screen

Monday, October 14, 2013

¡Mi Primera Semana en Argentina!


I LOVE ARGENTINA!! This last week has been a crazy adventure for me for sure, and it feels like forever since I have been able to write. I can´t believe that it has been a week ago that I was leaving the MTC!

We had a nice flight and arrived in Argentina about 8:30 in the morning! The Airport in Buenos Aires, ya no Sky Harbor. Honestly Argentina is dirty. Everywhere. So the airport definetly was.All of my mission is basically the poor part of Buenos Aires (The state or Province, Buenos Aires the city is referred to as Capital) So the area is pretty run down, but there are still some sections that are nice! Like the mission home is in a very nice area which is the picture all of you seen last week! Anyways...we had a wild bus ride to the mission home after getting our luggage. First lesson learned in Argentina, they are the craziest drivers on earth!! They fly down streets, slam on brakes, and get like no kidding less than 6 inches from eachother! And still manage to not crash the assistants told us that they are the World´s Best Bad Drivers, or in other words they are really good driving like maniacs and not killing themselves!

After arriving to the mission home we had pizza, and empenadas, which oh man are delicious! I could eat them all day, then we had our interviews with President Thurgood, and then we were assigned companions! Now I have to be honest that was the only thing I was concerned about,was what my companion was going to be like. I was assigned to Elder Brigham Spencer Garcia. He is 20 years old, and is from Peru. He has been out for about 10 months now. Elder Garcia speaks some English, enough that we can communicate (especially now since my spanish is getting better), he speaks just enough english that I don´t get frustrated when we can´t figure it out, and where I have to learn spanish and get better. So honestly it is the perfect combination. We live with two other missionaries, one is an American who came over with me, and then the other is Brazilian. Seriously, Latinos crack me up! They aren´t weird but they have a different kind of personality, that I just sit back and laugh all the time. Elder Garcia, is such a blessing in my life, and we get along great. He is a hard worker as well, so I think we are going to just fine together!

You will really have to excuse my writing this time, I am seriously at the stage where I don´t know spanish or english. Some words now are just starting to come in spanish, other words are still english. So it is a bit mentally exhausting! I never know what language is going to come out of my mouth! haha But my spanish is improving. It is a totally different language here. I didn´t realize it, but Castillano is an actual language, that is almost the same as spanish but just different enough to throw a twist. However spanish speakers understand castillano and castillano speakers understand spanish. So it is very similar. They talk so fast down here though, so I have issues following what is going on. By the time they are on their fifth sentence I am still figuring out the 1st. So I am having to learn very fast. But I am enjoying it!

The people here are great, like all of the members and nonmembers alike have treated us so good. Like all places there are those people who obviously are going to be mean, but the majority of the people I have met are super nice. Most people after realizing I don´t speak spanish that well are willing to help me out, because they can see I am trying.

The Food. I am probably going to have to watch my weight here. After gaining almost 17 pounds in the MTC, I realized I can´t eat whatever I want all the time! :) On sunday we had the famous Argentina Asado which is slow cooked beef, and other meats! AMAZING! It was so good, I haven´t had anything to strange though. They all love mayonaise, like they eat it with everything,(kinda gross), something I thought was strange, which actually wasn´t that bad, was hard boiled eggs in mashed potatoes! Overall the food though has been super good! They have amazing desserts, and places called Panaderias were they sell all kinds of breads, and baked goods. There is this type of cookie call alfajores which is a triple layer cookie, with dulce de leche (kinda carmel like but way better) in between each cookie and then dipped in chocolate. I decided it is Argentina´s gift to the world! The milk here comes in a bag, so that is different for sure! Still though everything is good!

Our Apartment. surely isn´t the Hilton. But I never expected that. Everything here is old, and kind of run down (including our apartment) However our apartment still is better then what most of the families live in. I didn´t realize how much I had,till I saw how little they have here. We have a tiny kitchen and the bathroom is the weirdest part for me. The toilet, and a beday, and the shower are all in one room. Like as in the entire bathroom is a shower. So that has been weird getting used to. I spent a good amount of time scrubbing the walls of our kitchen and just cleaning it all. So I am adjusting just fine.

I love Argentina though, the circumstances here aren´t the best, but I am learning alot. I already love the people in my area, and just wish I could talk with them. As of this week we have 3 investigators with Baptismal Dates, and this week we are going to get even more! This area was kind of headed down hill, in terms of progression, but Elder Garcia and I have plans to speed things up! We have a branch or rama here. On sunday we had about 45 people total, and there was only 1 kid in primary. Much different then Palo Verde Ward. My goal for my mission is to baptize a family the same size as mine. So 7 people in a family, or at least as many who can be baptized! I think there is alot of potential in this area, but only time will tell! I hope everyone is doing great at home! More to come next monday!

Con Amor,

Elder Hall