Monday, January 27, 2014

¡Que Calor! Estoy quemando aquí en Argentina!


Hola Familia y Amigos,

(I don´t think you all realize how much I try to put something new, but letter writing is not a very common subject so I don´t know the vocabulary to put something more then just Amigos y Familia!) haha 

So this week has been HOT! Like all of my phoenix family and friends I don´t want to hear it in july and august when you are all roasting, I have lived in the heat all my life, and I would say I am pretty well acustomed to the heat, but here is a totally different story. It is crazy hot, and crazy humid. Like I have heard all my life why would you guys want to live in Arizona it is so hot, and  I say here, why would anyone want to live here it is so hot and humid! But needless to say I am surviving! 

Apart from the heat, the work he has been a bit slow, we have been working hard everyday trying to contact old investigators, knocking (actually here in Argentina is clapping) on doors, and just talking with people in the street, and we just didn´t quite have the success that I would have liked. Never the less, we are working, and I still am happy and just going with the flow. The definition of success as outlined in, ¨Preach My Gospel, The Handbook for Missionaries¨ is that our success is not defined by our number of baptisms, or lessons, but by the dedication we have as missionaries to the Lord and to his work! So I am keeping that in mind and we are going to try some new techniques this coming week. 

A huge blessing that I have seen in the last 3 weeks to a month is my ability to speak. I know that the Lord has strengthed me so much to be able to communicate with the people this transfer. With me being the one who knows the members, who knows the area, and who is kinda running the show here in Villa España I have really had to start talking more, and I have been blessed with the strength that I needed to get those ideas acrossed, and the things out that I needed to say. So it has been alot more enjoyable as well, just to be able to talk with the people, and to not be worried about what was going to come out of my mouth! 

We are all pretty excited because next tuesday we get to go to the temple as a district, and get to do a session! Because we are headed to the temple on tuesday, this will be my Pday, so when you all don´t get an email monday you will know I am not croaked over somewhere, just having to wait till tuesday! 

I am hoping all is well, and am trying my best to send,every single bit of warmth and sun I can, (not because I am nice, but because I dont want it here!) to my friends and familiy up in the northern hemisphere! As always your in my thoughts and prayers! 

Elder Hall 

Monday, January 13, 2014

¡Semana 20 de La Misión!

Querido Amigos y Familia,

Espero que todo está bien en casa! :) Elder De Loayza and I have had a pretty good week this week! It has been a hard week, but a good one! We have been looking for investigators like crazy this past week, and just really trying to find some people to teach! We had a day where we walked probably close to 8 miles, and I am not exaggerating. It was a not very fun day, we had plans made and names to stop by for every part of the day, and we had 1 lesson. 1 lesson... Then we had other days this week where we were teaching more then 5 lessons a day, and contacting people, and had great success! So it was a different week in this aspect! 

We got caught in this wild rain storm, on tuesday, that was like some one had a fire hose pointed straight at us, after two blocks we were soaked hasta al hueso (to the bone)! But during the whole time we were just laughing because it seriously was just outrageous the amount of water and wind! 

Elder De Loayza is great, he is kicked back and a really hard worker. We are a great team, and I am learning so much from him! He is a really good listener in lessons and doesn´t talk a lot, but when he says something it is articulated to exactly what the person needs, and his spirit packs a punch! :) (Interesting phrasing on that one, I know haha) 

Another thing in the last two weeks my spanish has gotten good. Like the Lord has blessed me with the ability to finally start to really communicate with the people, to listen to what they have to say, and to be directed by the spirit to what they need to know or how I can help them. It also helps that because I am directing the area, I do a ton of talking, and so I have gained alot more confidence, and it really has just been awesome. I still have a long ways to go, to be at a fluent fluent level, but as of right now, I am very happy with where I am at! 

Yesterday, will also be a day in the mission I will never forget. During our afternoon study hour, I finished the Book of Mormon for the very first time cover to cover. Now yes some of you might be thinking, how can Brennen be out telling people and teaching about the Book of Mormon if he has never read it? Well that is a good question, I have read lots of different parts of it at different times, and I have prayed about it, and before I did have a testimony of the truthfulness of this book. But after I had finished the last chapter of the Book of Mormon, I did as Moroni the very last prophet to write in the Book of Mormon says,  
¨3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.¨

I kneeled down by my bed, and I offered up a prayer, with all the faith that I had, asking my Heavenly Father to reaffirm the testimony of the truthfulness of this Testament of Christ I already had. My family and friends, I can not deny the feelings that washed over me, I was overcome with a peace and joy, that I will always remember. I have always known for myself the Book of Mormon is the word of God, along with the bible, but now I have a new found sense of strength to be able to testify to anyone, anywhere of the blessings that can be found in the Book of Mormon. I know with all my heart, and I pray that although these are just letters on a page, you all can feel a small sliver of my testimony through this email. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, it was written for us in this day, and age, and I know with every fiber in me that anyone who wants to come to know Christ and their Father in Heaven better, can do just that as they apply those sacred teachings of the Book of Mormon to their lives. 

I love you all, and I pray that you all would take the time, and read the Book of Mormon, I know there is strength and power found in its pages. All is well here in Buenos Aires, and I pray the same for all of you. 

Con Todo Mi Amor,

Elder Hall 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

¡Feliz Nuevo Año!

¡Feliz Nuevo Año mis amado amigos y familia! 

How crazy it is to think that 2013 has come and gone (Que Rapido!!). I spent a some time thinking about 2013, and all of the things that happened in this year. I am not going to waste everyone´s time and list everything that happened, but I will say how thankful I am for the blessings, and just everything that I have had happen to me in the past year. I have seen alot of change in myself, in my family, and in everything, but I would have to say for the most part it is all good. 2013 will forever be one of the most memorable years of my life. Never the less bienvenido 2014!! 

So this week was a week of lots of lessons for me, but in a good way. Because Elder De Loayza doesn´t know the area, I basically have the responsibilites of a Senior Companion, decide who we are going to vistit, and what we are going to teach, and just direct the work here in this part. Let me tell you it isn´t easy. Like really it is quite hard, but I have felt the spirit much closer, as we have planned and been prompted to visit these different people, or go to a certain area, and we have had some powerful lessons, and just it has been amazing. Like I have a new found respect for planning, and planning with the spirit. Now obviously all of you at home don´t sit down, every night and have a serious planning session with a prayer and everything, but I think a lesson that applies to us all is, to walk everyday with the spirit. That as we say our personal prayers, as we read our scriptures, attend church, and live the commandments the Lord is going to bless us with his spirit, and our paths will be guided. 

Elder De Loayza is great! Like I seriously don´t know how I have lucked out and had such great companions. He is really chilled out, and kinda crazy spiritual (but not in the like woah this kid is kinda weird spiritual), he is always ready to work, and honestly I am so excited to get to work with him for the next six weeks. I think I am going to grow a lot as a missionary with him as my companion!  

So this week I also had another first! ¡Un perro me mordió! I got bit by a dog! This dang dog was like a black wolf, it was huge, and here in Argentina they always have a wall or fence of some kind in the front of the house. So we were talking with the owners, and out of nowhere through the bars of the fence this dog bites me! I really didn´t think it was that bad, because nothing happened to my shirt, and honestly it took me a minute to register what happened. And to top it off the people didn´t even want to listen. haha Well we get to the bus stop and I unbottoned two buttons of my shirt and my undershirt has a nice bloodspot and I was like awh crap this is worse then I thought! It turned out to not be that bad, and it mainly just scratched my skin, never like punctered! So I learned to keep the belly away from the fence! I am healing good though, and am not worried! 

So overall it was a great week, and I am looking forward to this next week! Hope all is well with everyone at home! Love ya all! 

Elder Hall   
ouch :( 
(moms note: I want to break the dogs neck)

Holy Delicious! haha 
(moms note: i sent him mac n cheese in his package, they don't have it in Argentina!)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Feliz Nuevo Año!

(so this mom is a week behind on posting, sorry!)

Hola mis Amigos y Familia! 

I hope you all had a great christmas, mine was a little warm, but very good. It was so nice to be able to talk to my family, even though the time just flew by! They celebrate Christmas just like we celebrate the fourth of July so it was weird, but a lot of fun. 

This week I learned alot about listening to the spirit as we prepare our investigators for baptism, and the importance of the baptismal interview. The lord has given us this tool to help make sure that our investigators are prepared for baptism. We ended up not having our baptisms this week but I can tell you I learned more from not having baptisms then if we would have had them. 

We found out saturday night that Elder Garcia was being transfered to Avellaneda where he will be a District Leader. That was a hard phone call for both of us, and after he hung up, there was a big hug, and we were both sad, but excited for this new change. You get pretty close to someone, when you spend twenty four hours a day, seven days a week together, for 3 months! (Or you kill each other! Luckily elder Garcia just became one of my best friends!) 

I have been sick (like horribly sick) for the last three days so I didn´t get to go to the transfer meeting, I have been in bed all day, but my new companion just made it to the Cyber his name is Elder Layzo from Peru! (Apparently I am destined for peruvian companions!) I havent really had the chance to talk to him much, but I am pretty sure we are going to work just fine with other, he is 19 years old, has 10 months in the mission, I am excited to get to know him a little better, and I will let you all know more about him next week! 

I am starting to feel sick again, so I am going to send this one off! Thank you all for the merry christmas emails, they ment alot. Love ya all! 

Elder Hall 

 I found Brett! On Monday in Banfield for the Christmas Lunch at the Mission home! So cool to meet up with Elder Holmes after not seeing each other since 5th Grade!

 What´s Christmas Eve with out a note and some treats for Santa Claus? 

 Afternoon lunch of Asado!

 The infamous Blood Sausage...(moms note, if you all wonder why Elder Hall mentions being sick well this non appetizing thing is the answer! He ate it & suffered the consequences of it for 2 days with time spent in bed & in the bathroom, I feel bad for him, but then again I can look at that hunk of meat & say no thanks!)

 Fireworks at Midnight!

We found this little guy in our bathroom! haha Surprise! (Still not sure how he got in!)