Monday, March 30, 2015

Another Great Week! :)

Buenas Tarders Amigos! 

Well it seems like I just wrote everyone (and I guess compared to some weeks it has been a lot shorter time since I wrote!) but there is alot to talk about! We had a busy weekend, on Friday night we had our first Noche de Hogar en la Capilla (Family Home Evening at the church) and it went great we had a good turn out and were able to enjoy a good lesson, a fun game of uno, and then some delicious argentine sweets after! I always love activities like that to get to spend time with the members! 

On Saturday we went to Pinamar for our zone conference! It was a great day full of learning and enjoying time with the other missionaries and getting to hear from President Thurgood. Everytime I have the opportunity to listen to him I admire him even more and am just always reminded of how lucky I am to have been blessed to be sent here at this time while he presides over our mission. We didn´t make it back home until about 8 o clock that night, and so we went to go clean up in the chapel and get it prepared for church the next Sunday

President Thurgood had informed us the week before that he, his wife, and a senior couple who work in the offices were going to be coming to San Clemente on Sunday to be with us in the church meetings so we wanted everything to be nice and prepared. We spent all week inviting a bunch of people to come and explaining the importance of them attending this meeting and I had a feeling that it was going to be a great meeting and that we were going to fill our little place! We got their early Sunday morning to triple check that everything was in order and then started the ¨dulce espera¨ (sweet await) for the members to show up. I wasn´t nervous more then anything excited because I knew that it was going to be full. Well as we started the sacrament meeting we had 31 people in our chapel! It was so full that one guy had to stand outside! I knew we were going to fill it up!! :) 

I was able to bear my testimony because next week is General Conference and we wont have meetings in San Clemente and President informed me that I am going to be getting transferred. It was such a great way to end my last Sunday in San Clemente. The sister who chose the music with out even knowing I was going to be leaving chose ¨Para siempre Dios esté con vos¨ or in english ¨God be with you till we meet again¨ I was in charge of running the CD player for the hymns and as I sat looking over all of the people and singing that song I just started bawling. I love the people here so much and we have all worked so hard to get our little chapel growing. I know without a doubt that the work will keep on progressing here, adn that very soon San Clemente will have it´s own chapel. What a marvelous blessing I have had to work here in San Clemente! 

The other great blessing was Sunday afternoon I get a call from the Elders in Spegazzini, they were having lunch with the Morales Family and they called to inform that Tatiana finally was baptized and that the family is still doing good and progressing with the goal to enter the temple. I wanted to cry I miss them so much and just love that family with all my heart it was so great to know that Tatiana finally got baptized! Overall it was a wonderful day and just a great blessing in general! 

We are out of time! Have a great week everyone! You can check out my blog for pics of Neli´s baptism and some of the other adventures we have had! Love you all! 

 Well this was my last cooking adventure yes that is a cow heart! No you don´t want to make cow heart empanadas. Lets just say that adventure didn´t quite lead to the land of delicousness! 

 Our Chapel! :) 

Neli´s Baptism!
 More baptism pics! 
 The last of her baptismal pics! And then the start of the party at her house afterwards! Neli and her sister, and then all of us eating that night! 

 These are two investigators from Quilmes I got to know them here in San Clemente back in November and then they came back for this last month. I love them so much, no one will understand the depth of the discussions that we had and everything that we shared! They are such amazing people! I will always remember Adriana, Miguel, and Tito (the dog)! 

 Hermano and Hermana Garcia had their 25th wedding anniversary and because of the circumstances when they got married they didn´t even have a cake and so when we made the wedding cake for Alejandro and Sylvia I told her that I was going to make her a cake! They took the traditional feeding each other cake pic, so my companion said we needed to do the same! hahaha 

Movin on up!! :)

(email from March 25, 2015)

Buenas Tardes Queridos,
Well this week is a little different because it is Wednesday, after putting my mom through what I imagine was a small attack of the nerves from not hearing from me until today I am finally able to write! Monday and Tuesday were some kind of Argentine Holiday so we changed our PDay to Wednesday this week and I forgot to let everyone know! But thats ok, my mom showed her care by emailing the mission offices, so I definitely will be hearing about it when I see Presidente and Hermana Thurgood on Saturday! :) hahaha
This week we had a good week. I am pretty sure that because I am like 90% sure I am leaving San Clemente on April 6, it makes time go by even faster because I don´t want to leave! The weeks and days just fly by so fast it is just outrageous. In church we had 24 people a mixture of members and investigators and there was such a sweet spirit. I think every one can feel the love and although we are a small group the spirit was strong and we left church feeling so uplifted. Every Sunday I just get kinda choked up as I sit and look over the members and thank the Lord for the many blessing that He has given us here in San Clemente!
ANOTHER GREAT ANOUNCEMENT! La Hermana Nelida Gasibe was baptized this Friday! What an amazing opportunity to participate in her baptism. It was a simple service in the afternoon and the spirit was super strong. My companion performed the ordinance and the sweet little lady got pretty emotional afterwards. That night we went to her house along with 5 or 6 other members and we ate and just enjoyed the night. Neli shared a few words and it was a great end to the day.
On Sunday I had the privilege of confirming Neli a member of the Church and giving her the gift of the holy ghost. I prayed every single day and every single night that she would be able to feel the spirit and that when she was confirmed a member it would give her an even stronger confirmation of what she was doing. It was an amazing experience to be able to put my hands upon her head and using the authority of the holy Melchizedek priesthood  to confirm her and to give her a blessing. The spirit was present as we all place are hands upon her head and I felt the guidance of the Holy Ghost as I blessed this wonderful lady that forever has impacted my life. I gotta say sometimes just a handshake is not enough especially when you grow to love someone so much, I wanted to give her a big hug but with tears in her eyes she just grabbed my hand and told me, ¨Gracias, muchas gracias Elder Hall¨ The rest of the meetings were filled with a wonderful spirit. Neli is the first person to be baptized in San Clemente in about two years. I don´t claim any credit to anything that has happened since I have been here, honestly it could have been any missionary I just happened to have had the luck to get sent here right when God opened up the gates and let the blessings come flooding in to this area!
This Sunday President Thurgood and his wife are coming to the meetings, and because of the amount of people that are already attending church there is already talk about looking for an even bigger place. No one expected we would have such a turn out. I have been telling everyone for almost 6 months now that the Lord was preparing San Clemente and that is was about ready to take off. Speaking honestly, there were alot of people who didn´t believe me, or who thought, ¨this is what every missionary says when he gets into an area that is really progressing..¨ I think the thought might have even crossed Pres. Thurgood´s mind, but I knew it was true! I have felt it since I got here I just never thought I was going to see it.

This last week we have also had some great lessons with some investigators that I got to know in November when they came for vacations, and then at the beginning of the month they came back to the coast! So we have had quite a few discussions with them. They were super evangelicals before but their pastor robbed them of a ton of money all of course ¨in the name of god¨ and so they stopped going. Well then the missionaries found them and they started listening, and now they are are the road to conversion. Adriana already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and excepts everything, her husband Miguel during this last month started to read the Book of Mormon, and he promised to go to church with us this Sunday! 

So we are really seeing the two ends of the spectrum the baptism of the catholic of Catholics and a huge leap in the process of conversion in the lives of two devout evangelicals and all because of the Book of Mormon. The power and spirit that this book contains changes lives. It allows each and every one of us to gain a testimony that God speaks to all of His children, and it helps us to understand the wonders of His eternal plan, but most of all the Book of Mormon helps us to grow closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I add my testimony along with the testimonies of millions of people around the world that the Book of Mormon truly is the word of God, as we study it and the Bible we receive the fullness of the Gospel and we can achieve a higher level of peace and happiness in our lives. I am grateful for my Savior and for what He did for me, words are never enough to describe how I truly feel, I am also grateful that He has allowed me to have a knowledge and testimony of these things in this moment of my life and this great opportunity to share this gospel with others. Read the Book it will change your life, I promise.
Hope everyone has a great week! Love you all!
Elder Hall 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What a Wonderful Week!

Muy Buenos Días :) 

As I always I hope this, the 75 edition of Elder Hall´s Weekly Update, finds you in good health and even better spirits! This week we had a fantastic week. I couldn´t have asked for much better. We spent a ton of time working on things in the church cleaning, painting, more cleaning, fixing things up, then some more painting.... There were a few moments when I thought we were never going to get done. It didn´t help that my random OCD kicked in and I wanted everything to be perfect (I think there might have been a few moments that my companion wanted to choke me hahaha) 

We were able to get everything done and the Pensioneros (the missionaries who are in charge of all the apartments and our building) told us the chairs and tables were going to get there on friday. Well friday comes and goes and nothing! So we called and they said Saturday at 7am truck was leaving from Buenos Aires with all the stuff. I was kinda worried for as last minute as it was especially because literally anything that could have happened to stop us from opening has happened during the last 5 months. Well sure enough like 7:05 we get a call, ¨Umm Elderes do you guys know anyone who has a truck that could go down to the other church building and get you guys chairs, the guys truck broke down just as they were about to leave. (I believe at this moment I had finished with my morning prayers and was still knelt down thinking when the phone rang. My companion was in our bedroom to and after I hung up with them and banging my head a few times against my bed I explained what happened.... (Thinking back it was kinda funny!)

Luckily there was some hermanos from Pinamar (one of the District Counselor´s brothers) who was able to come with his little brother and bring us up chairs Saturday night! (They weren´t able to bring tables though.) So its 9:3010pm and we are making phone calls trying to figure out what we are going to do for tables and it was kinda a mess. In the end we got it all solved! 

Sunday morning luckily there was no problems! We got up went early and organized all the chairs. We had 20 people come for the first day (just to compare in Santa Teresita where the actual chapel has been for like 10 years had 32) this was our first day in 8 years having the official church meetings. It was so awesome because Hermano and Hermana Romero attended church. They are the ones whose house we painted. They are basically the pioneers of San Clemente they were baptized in 1993, and the very first meetings were held in their house. Hermano Juan Romero was the branch president for years. About 15 years ago he had a serious stroke that left him halfway paralyzed. Over the years of being so sick his health has deteriorated and barely says a few words. It was a miracle to get him there yesterday, and his wife got up and shared a small testimony with everyone. The hermano was so happy and although he couldn´t express it we saw it in his face and I am pretty sure there was one moment when I put my arm around him that he almost cried. It was such an amazing experience. 

We left the church with such an amazing feeling of peace and happiness, a feeling I haven´t felt quite that strong in a long time. The looks of joy on all the members face were priceless and it made every single struggle and effort we have put into this 100 percent worth it. I can not express how much I love the people and just the entire area of San Clemente. The Lord has blessed me so much just to have the opportunity to be here during this time! I will be honest I never thought I would see so  much change so fast! 

Funny side story about sunday is that most of our members haven´t attended LDS meetings in over 8 years and so with the lack of our church in San Clemente went to Evangelical Churches for awhile. (Cultural note: In Argentina evangelicals are very animated while they worship they are know for shouting out halleluyas and praising the lords in a more expressive manner.) So we get to the closing prayer and on the back row we just have members saying, ¨Halleluya, gloria a Dios! Amen, Señor!¨ (Halleluya, glory to god, Amen Lord!) not super loud but definetly noticeable and I almost lost it laughing. Just because our meetings our know for being a bit more serious and well we just don´t do that. So it was super funny!  

The other announcment for this week is that on Friday Nelly is going to be getting baptized! Finally everything has worked out and she has made the decision to be baptized. She asked my companion to baptize her, and I will have the opportunity to confirm her a member of the church of Sunday. I am so happy to see the change that this little old lady has had, I wish you all could get to know her because she is a spunky hilarious old lady with a super knowledge of the Bible, and a firm testimony of the truth of the Book of Mormon! :) 

I am just so happy, it is a wonderful time to be in the service of the Lord. It is terrible how fast time is going by, especially knowing that I am probably out of here in 3 weeks. It makes me sad but I also know that the Lord has a plan, and I trust in Him! What a great time to be a member of the church and just to have the blessings that we have as the world tosses and tumbles around in confusion and doubt, we can have a firm and steady path that leads us to peace and happiness in this life and in the life to come. Queridos amigos don´t give up, keep fighting, and strive to follow the Savior. As we do what He has asked we will be blessed, and we are going to be alot happier. Have a great week! Love you all! 

Elder Hall  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Well We´re Going to Have a Capilla This Week! :)

March 9, 2015

Hey Everyody! 

Well because of a strange series of circumstances I don´t have a ton of time today for a good weekly update, but at least for something brief I do have time! We had some awesome intercambios with the Zone Leaders I got to check out Pinamar! (Pics next week!) it is beautiful! And because of a few problems with buses we had to extend it, so I didn´t get back here till friday! Well friday night i got crazy sick! And have been trying to get better since then! (I am alot better today though!) The great news is that this sunday we are going to be opening up in San Clemente it is official and we almost have everything ready to go! I can´t even express how happy we are! Anyways next week will be alot better update! Love you all!

Elder Hall

(What Elder Hall failed to mention is the reason for his sickness!)  This is Giardi he is one of the parasites that is now living in me, he made me horribly sick this last weekend, and for the next 5 days I will have to be well medicated to try and get rid of it! YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Could I really have hit 18 months this last week?

March 2, 2015

Hola Todos,

Man well as you all can see in the title I hit 18 months on Saturday. I will be honest when I was first starting out my mission I thought I would never make it to this point. It was like an unreachable place that felt like it would take an eternity to get to. Now with every week I get more anxious knowing that my time here in San Clemente is pretty well limited. (I mean I am never 100 percent sure, but it is like 90 percent sure that I will leave the next transfer) and I just don´t know if the time I have left is enough to do everything I feel I need to do! 

Some good news and bad news on the building for the church! The good news is that they sent a team down from Buenos Aires to start painting and fixing things up! They are working hard, and are doing what they can. The bad news is that we figured out in the process of things the main water pipe is broke, and there are some electric problems to fix! YIKES! They did say that they are going to try to do everything possible to get it done before the end of this week so we will see what happens! We are praying that we inaugurate it this sunday! :) 

Nelly is back in San Clemente and we had a great family home evening with her and the family that invited her to learn about the church. It went so well and we were able to feel the spirit so strong. She has a baptismal date for the 28 of March, and I think she is ready to bust down the gates of heck inorder to get into that Baptismal Font. She´s already got her plans to go out and look for the less actives and to go visit investigators with us and she isn´t even a member of the church! 

I am enjoy the new experience of being District Leader as well, it has helped me focus in on things and learn alot more. I have enjoyed getting to plan  out our hour and a half to two hour district meetings each week, and have the chance to learn and share some of the things that I have learned in my mission. On Saturday I had the opportunity to have my first Baptismal Interview. It was a guy named Jose Tome, from españa. The crazy thing about Jose is that he is 94 almost 95 years old! The sisters in my district have been teaching him for a little over a month, and at such an old age he made the decision to get baptized. He is a great man with a very simple testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a neat experience to talk with him, and really to try and feel if he was ready to make such a sacred covenant with the Lord. Sometimes it amazes me the things that the Lord trusts in 18, 19, and 20 year old kids! 

Have a great week! 

Elder Hall  

A New Transfer For Us Missionarys and a Rejuvenated Hope for San Clemente!

February 23, 2015

Buenas Tardes mis queridos familiares y amigos! 

Hemos tenido una semana de mucho exito y estamos muy felices! :) We had a great week this week, lots of success and great news, and I gotta say my companion and I are pretty darn happy! Well to start things off today is the beginning of a new transfer and they let us know that Elder Ridgley and I will be staying together! :) It is pretty crazy to think about how few transfers I have left in the mission, truth to be told it makes me kinda sick to think about it, so I try not to! Lots of friends are on their way home today including my second companion Elder De Loayza! In all 28 missionaries are heading home today a HUGE group so many that they actually had to close quite a few areas because there wasn´t enough missionaries to fill them all. Next transfer there will also be quite a few that head home and the same will happen! So it will be interesting to see what happens! 

Saturday was a great day our investigator Nelly got back from Buenos Aires and said that she was going to be staying for at least all of the month of March, she also told us that she would be getting baptized this month! :) I swear Angels are going to come down from heaven when this little lady gets baptized we have nicknamed her,¨La Esperanza de San Clemente¨ which in english would be the Hope of San Clemente. We all just know that when she gets baptized because of the energy and desires that she has to serve the Lord she will help to change everything!

Which brings me to the other big announcement on saturday I called the Elders who are in charge of all the apartments and who were working on the contract for the new place here in San Clemente to find out if they were able to sign the contract on Friday. The elder told me,¨ya you guys can go pick up the keys today its ready to go!¨ I was shocked I figured we still had like 2 more weeks until we would have the keys, but the Lord definetly helped the process out and it got done faster! So we went and picked up the keys and checked out our new church! :) We were SO happy! We are hoping that in about 3 weeks we will have the church reading to go, I have put a date of 22 de Marzo for our opening sunday but it could be a little bit later! :) 

We are also super happy because finally february is almost over! Which means that all of the tourists go home, and the members quit working, and they stop having an excuse to not go to church or be home! Which is why Elder Ridgley and I truly have a rejuvenated hope for san clemente, I finally feel like after more then 4 and a half months of struggling, and fighting to get things going the Lord has finally put everything into place so that this area can succeed, my only prayer is that this happens and the members realize the great blessing that the Lord truly has given them! :) 

Hope you all are doing great and have a great week! Love ya all! 

Elder Hall 

Our Big Asado a few weeks back! 

We got some serious sun burns out cutting a sisters grass the other day!! OWW!

Buenas Tardes! :)

February 18, 2015

Hey Everybody! 

We are changing things up a bit this week, it was Carnaval here in Argentina and so monday and tuesday lots of businesses were closed for the holiday so President decided to make Pday wednesday for this week! Most of our moms didn´t like that, but así es la vida! (that´s life!) 

We had a good week, Elder Ridgley and I have been trying our bests to be diligent and work hard, and it has paid off we were able to find some new people and had some great lessons. A kinda funny/scary thing that happened to me was that this week I had an intercambio with Elder DaSilva who is a new missionary from Florida that got here at the begining of this transfer. Well the other elders aren´t exactly known for a clean apartment and I have told them, and told them and nothing happened. So when I got there I put my bags down and started changing my clothes and told Elder DaSilva that we were going to clean. So he starts in on the kitchen, and I took on the bathroom. (Can we just note the service and sacrifice to go clean someone elses bathroom...It took alot to get me there haha) So they  had some different cleaning supplies so I grab a 5 Gallon bucket with some water and mixed them all up. Well after about 5 minutes of cleaning I realize that this concoction is putting out some crazy fumes, and I started coughing. So I tell myself, ¨Nah its not that strong, you can tough it out!¨ Word of advise if you are ever in a tiny bathroom with a five gallon bucket putting out toxic fumes don´t try to tough it out. I almost croaked over in there!! I think I coughed for an hour straight and at one point almost panicked from not being able to breath. Thankgoodness after a prayer and trying to take it easy it passed, but all day lond I swear I was only running off of half lung capacity! 

Today we also did some deep cleaning on our apartment, behind the stove, beneath the fridge and some serious floor scrubbing. It's always nice when everything is clean! (Gracias Madre!) 

I think one of the biggest things that I am appreciating at this point in my mission is the scriptures, my patriarchal blessing (A special blessing that members of the church recieve to get guidance for their lives that also talks about some of the blessings that they may recieve and the things they can accomplish in their lives.) talks about learning to teach by the spirit and letting the scriptures guide me in my life, and I can honestly say that over the last few months I have developed a huge love for both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. It just inspires me as I read about the missionary journeys of Paul and the boldness and bravery of those first apostles, and then to be able to study in the Book of Mormon and read about the faithfulness of Alma or the diligence of Nephi in obeying the commandments. For every person there is a story in one of the sacred books that can and will change your life. I am so greatful for the knowledge that I gain each morning as I study the scriptures and I just wish everyone could see the blessings that come from studying the scriptures! 

Well mis queridos amigos my time this week is up, hope you all have a great week and know how much I love you all! Keep up the faith! :) 

Elder Hall 

Buenas Tardes!! :)

February 9, 2015
Hola Amigos,

Man another week is already done with! This one went by especially fast! And because EVERYONE who wrote me this week mentioned it I guess I mine as well mention it here this week marks the week where I only lack 6 months from going home! I am trying not to count and you all keep reminding me! I guess it is time to teach a word that is pretty common here in the mission field! Here would be a general definition of the word Trunky- To be thinking about home, worldly things, ex girlfriends (dear johns are the worst for trunkiness), counting down days, constantly viewing pictures of familiy and friends, and just any kind of form of thinking that may or may not put a missionary into a depressed/nostalgic state of mind. There are two kinds of trunky though, there would be missionary trunky and then familiy trunky where everyone talks about how little time you have left and tells you how much they can{t wait for you to be home! haha Everyone don´t too trunky yet, I still lack a bunch of time! :) 

This week was an alright one, we are still chugging along trying to finish dang temporada (tourist season) all of the investigators that we had have dropped us until march because they are just so busy, and half the contacts we do are people here on vacation that really don´t want to listen to us, and the other half are people here that say to come back in march! So we are struggling a little bit, never the less the Lord still blesses us with just enough people to talk with to keep us from getting down and to keep things progressing! After talking with the offices they told me that they lack another week and a half to have the contract finished on the new chapel! So we continually pray that the Lord will help things go through like we want them inorder to get our place here in San Clemente the soonest posible! 

The weather has been nice and warm, well actually roasting and humid these last two weeks, but the coast is still 500 times better than Buenos Aires if we are talking weather wise! :) 

Also for a little update on Spegazzini, things seem to be going very well for the Silva and 

I think one of the biggest things that I am learning these days is just to be thankful for everything! I realized our lives are a lot better and a lot happier when we are thankful. I try to look at the good in whatever I can, and it is something that personally I struggle with. Sometimes I may joke and point out lots of negative things and I am realizing that is not what I want to be nor who I need to be! So my goal this week is to be positive in all moments even if I am only joking around! I am sure I will see a difference and because I am a missionary and have the opportunity to invite others to make their lives better I want to invite you all to do the same! It´s like a great scripture from Matthew 5:14-16! 

 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

I hope we can all be a light in the dark world that we live in! :) Have a great week everyone! :) 

Elder Hall  

Buenas Tardes :)

February 2, 2015

Hey Everybody! 

Well I gotta start this letter off letting you all know that after 17 months of writing an general email and hand putting in all of the addresses I learned that our missionary gmail has a contacts deal where you can make groups so it makes it so much faster! And there are some other people that I have only written a few times that I thought I lost your email, so now everyone address that I have stored in my gmail I put on the blast list! Why I didn´t figure this out sooner I don´t know.... 

This week we had a good week, the real estate office finished the contract for our the place where we are going to rent for the church, and now we are just waiting on the churches lawyer to approve it, and then President Thurgood has to sign it, and it is ours! We are so excited, I just hope that we are in it by the end of the month. It needs a little bit of work to get it ready for church meetings, and we have transfers the 23 of February. An interesting fact is that tons of missionaries are going home the next 2-3 transfers and there aren´t to many coming in. So they have said that there are tons of missionaries who are going to be doing white washes (where they put two missionaries in an area at the same time, and they dont know anyone or anything) and they are going to have to close a few areas. So it means that those who get transfered will stay in their areas for longer periods of time with out changing companions, and I have 3 transfers here, so it is likely that they take me out. I am praying that I get to stay here, I love my companion and I love San Clemente, and it is finally getting set up to have alot of success! But hey it´s all in the hands of the Lord. 

In my personal studies I have been studying el Libro de Mormón, and the New Testament (all in spanish) and I just love the scriptures I started the book of Acts this last week and I absolutely love it. There is so much that we can learn from the members of the Primitive Church (the mormon term for the church Christ established while he was on the earth) and the It amazes me the things that they did and the way that they did them. Although I am no where near being an Apostle like those great men of old, I am a missionary and for these two years I have the same responsibilty to preach the gospel, and invite others to come unto Christ. As I study the scriptures I learn so much, and I am starting to truly appreciate the blessings I recieve from studying the scriptures. 

I want to thank everyone from my ward and stake back home for the 40 day fast for missionary work that they have been doing, and for all of you who constantly pray for me and my areas and my investigators. I want to let all you know how much these prayers and fasts help, and that I feel the power of them, and have seen the miracles that have came because of the heartfelt prayers from each one of you. It makes  me so happy to know that I have people (a really long ways a way) that still look out and care for me and for those I teach. It means the world to me. We truly don´t understand how blessed we are, and the number of people that are looking out for us even when we don´t realize it. 

I love you all, I love the work I am doing, and I love my Savior. Although I fail Him alot, and I am no where near the missionary that I should be, I still feel His love and I feel the power of His Atonement making me stronger and stronger with everyday that passes. We should trust in Him and our Heavenly Father alot more, I know that if we do our lives will be alot better. I´m just thankful to know what I know, and to be able to share it with others!  Hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Hall 

What a Rollercoaster! :)

January 26, 2015

Hola Queridos Familiares y Amigos, 

We had a rollercoaster of a week, that in the end was a great one! We started out the week with our interviews on tuesday with Presidente, and then on wednesday morning we went to the temple! It was so great to go to the temple. It had been almost a year since I had gone, and it was so nice to be able to go and just enjoy the peace and the spirit that seems to only exist in the temple. I am so thankful for these sacred places, and for the opportunities that we have as God´s children to connect with Him in a place that is so wonderful. I had the opportunity to just sit and pray for a good time and I had such a sense of peace and hope that came over me not only for my family but for my converts, and for those I am teaching here in San Clemente! I have also set the personal goal to make sure that this one year period in between temple visits is the longest I have in my life. We all can become much better people, and have the spirit with us much more if we attended the temple more regularly. 

When we got back from Buenos Aires, my companion wasn´t feeling very well, and when we woke up the next morning he was sick... had a crazy cold that was almost like the flu. So we stayed home all day! Then friday he was feeling a little better so we went and finished painting the sisters house! (FINALLY! haha) and then in the afternoon we had meetings at the church. So we went all the way over to Santa Teresita, and we had a great meeting with our Branch Mission Leader and his wife the Relief Society President, we made plans to go visit people and it was great. Then right afterwards we had Branch Council. It was a disaster... Ugh. When we got back to San Clemente I literally just wanted to cry because I was frustrated, and didn´t know what to do. We are trying to work with the leaders more, but it has just been a little rough.

The next morning we get up and I was still a little down, and Presidente Thurgood called us. I am not going to lie the first thought that crossed my mind when he said he had some announcements for us is that they were going to close San Clemente, and we were going to be headed to different areas. Well thankfully I was dead wrong. The finally recieved the authorization to rent a place here in San Clemente so that we can open up a small chapel to start things up again!! 

I went from one extreme to the other! I almost couldn´t reply to president because I was so choked up from the happiness that I felt. After more then 3 months of fasting, prayers, and alot of work not only on our part but on the part of the members as well, the Lord answered our prayers. I can not tell you how big of a blessing this truely is for all of us here in San Clemente. We announced it to the members in a big text message last night, and they are all so excited. I want to first express how thankful I am to know that God truly hears and answers our prayers, and how thankful I am for all of the prayers that you all offered on our behalf. I am so excited to see the changes this brings to the area, and we hope to have it running in about a month! 

So it was a week of ups and downs but as always in the mission, the ups outweigh the downs and make everything worth it. Keep the faith! 

Elder Hall 

 Heading to the temple! Then with our entire district outside! 

Hola Amigos!

January 19, 2015

Hey Everybody!

Alright so I am pretty short on my weekly letter time, I had to do some other stuff on the computer to prepare for my district meeting, and so it cut into my writing time! This week has been a great week! My new companion E. Ridgley is awesome, and we have enjoyed working together so much and it has only been a week! So I am so excited to be able to work with during this next transfer! 

This week we spent alot of time looking for new investigators and exploring the area! One fo the best things about having a new companion (and especially a companion like E. Ridgley) is that you can try new things, and just start doing a bunch of new stuff to start the area up. I was about dead after we road our bikes like 6 miles in one afternoon, but the great thing is we were able to find some new investigators in areas that most missionaries have never touched! 

I am super excited because tomorrow morning we leave for Buenos Aires then we have interviews, our district meeting, and then on wednesday morning we get to go to the temple! I am so excited, I feel like it has been so long since I have been to the temple! (Almost a year now.) And I personally have set the goal that this will be the longest time I will ever go in my life with out going to the temple! 

Things are going good here in San Clemente, we take every day one step at a time, and little by little we are helping to change the hearts of the members and look for those special sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father that He has been preparing to recieve the Gospel. I hope your all doing great, and just one more time I want to share my testimony and express how greatful and happy I am to be here taking part in this marvelous work here in Argentina! Have a great week! :) 

Elder Hall 

PS. I attached a few photos of the wedding from last week! :) And of course the cake!! 

My awesome new companion Elder Ridgley! We have had so much fun, and it has only been a week! We cut our hair last night and this morning! He is a crack up, and the only problem that we seem to have is that we talk to much! (We both are ADD, and let me tell you some times our nightly planning sessions are all over the place!) We have had to buckle down and work, and then when we finish what we have to do start talking! I am pretty sure he is going to be one of my favorite companions! 

 I had a District Leader training in Banfield on Friday, but instead of traveling we did it over Google Hangouts (Like Skype)  and of the 7 hours I understood about 20 minutes. Lots of bad internet connection and people not talking loud enough! And while I did that my companion received revelation like Lehi in the Book of Mormon! hahaha 


January 12, 2015

Hey Everybody! 

Well as you all read in the title today is transfers! Yesterday at 2:30 in the afternoon Elder Racchumi and a few of the other Elders from here in the coast jumped on a bus and headed to Buenos Aires, meanwhile Elder Medina and I hung out here in San Clemente waiting for our new companions! It is a bittersweet feeling when transfers come around and you enjoy working with your companion, these last two transfers have been alot of fun and I learned alot from E. Racchumi. I am gonna miss the guy, but I also know that changes are always for the better in the mission because I know it is the Lord who leads and directs this work! 

My new companion is Elder Ridgley from Riverside, California! My second Yankee, and my second from California. He just hit his year mark this last transfer and is 20 years old. I never knew him personally  but have heard a lot of good things about him so I am super excited! 

This last week was great because we were able to celebrate the wedding of Alejandro and Sylvia! On friday morning they got married in Registro Civil (Its like the office of the goverment that deals with govt ID, and marriages!) and then afterwards we went to their house to eat a ton of empanadas, and of course Wedding Cake! The only catch is that I made the wedding cake, (with the help of my companion and a sister in the ward!) I decided I am the only loco who would commit himself to making a wedding cake, and let me tell you all it turned out almost professional! The only bummer is that I can´t send pictures this week, so next week I will send them all!) 

I am holding out the faith that Alejandro will continue to have the desires to get baptized, but the thing is him and his wife are kinda crazy. hahaha (I know that sounds mean but it is true, I say it in a nice way.) They tend to change their minds alot, so the most important thing for now is that they got married and are now obeying one of the most important commandements of the Lord, the law of Chastity. I felt happy knowing that I was able to play a role in helping them come unto Christ in that way. It is interesting all of the different ways that we as missionaries can apply ourselves! 

We are trying our best here in San Clemente to help out the members and to strengthen the leadership in our branch, one of my biggest goals is to help the branch start running smoother and get the leaders to play a more active role, because when we have that we will then have the help of the leaders here in San Clemente. So we will see what the new companionship brings and what we can accomplish in this next transfer! 

Hope everyone is doing great! Love you guys!
Elder Hall 

Chau 2014, Bienvenido 2015! :)

January 5, 2015

Well Queridos another year has come and gone! Like you all already know 2014 was by far the fastest year of my life and I imagine a good part of 2015 will be even faster! What an amazing year it truly has been filled with challenges like any other year, but I honestly feel that for me and the majority of those that I am closest too it has been a year filled with lots of blessings, more then any of us could ever count!

Here in San Clemente we had a great week, and we had the best way to start off the first sunday of the year....with an inactive sister and her nonmember boyfriend (of like 20 years) at church! POR FIN!!!! :) After more then a month and a half with only having 1 or 2 members in total from church, ( and those 2 being the most active of all the members in San Clemente) we were able to get an inactive sister Hermana Silvia, and Alejandro who we have been teaching the lessons too. The other news that is really exciting is that they are going to be getting married this friday, and if hermano Alejandro is able to stop smoking and continues progressing will be baptized at the end of the month! Couldn{t have asked for a better way to start off 2015! 

Everything is getting so busy here we are in full on ¨Temporada¨(season) and it is full of toursists! One fun thing that happened to us today is that we were able to be tourists today, because we went to Mundo Marino (Argentine Sea World)! If I am being honest it was kinda lame in comparison to the Sea World in San Diego, but it still is amazing to watch the animals perform and the majesty of some of God´s Creations that often times we don´t think about because we only see them in books or movies, (or when we go to sea world haha). I think the best part though was getting to see the reaction of the three other missionaries with me. E. Santos from Brazil and E. Racchumi and Rios from Peru had never seen anything like it so for them it was awesome! :) 

Honestly I am just so happy to be here in the mission, even with the hard times I am finally starting to understand why they call it the best two years! Love you all! Have a great week! 

Elder Hall 

(If you all notice even my name tag made it into the pic! Who would have thought missionaries could be Dolphin Trainers!!) haha

 New Year´s Eve with our Branch Presidente and his wife! We did a traditional Argentine Salud at midnight (with sparkling cider! haha) And we ate so much! (Imagine that! haha) 

Mundo Marino!

 Dolphin and Shamu Show, (theirs is names shemwah or something like that!) 

A little piece of home that I found in a restaurant today! haha :)