Monday, November 16, 2015

Death and Destruction

I'll start out with what you all want to hear the most: I'm alive!

my Asian reference for the week 
This past week has been one of the craziest ones on my mission. That is not an exaggeration, I was on an emotional roller coaster that basically consisted of a sudden drop and some loops haha.
I gave 3 blessings this week, none in French but in English and that was cool. One was to a sister missionary in my ward, one was to a member of our ward, and one was to a dying man in a hospital. I'll get to that story in a minute, but the one with the sister from our ward was so cool because she speaks English, so it got to give it in English, and I could feel the spirit so strong. I said some stuff that I think she really needed to hear but I don't even remember it haha. Heavenly Father was definitely speaking to her through me and it was amazing. Around this time, I got news of the death of my dog, Reggie, who was one of my best friends. That was so hard for me. I tried not to think about it too much but my heart broke when I did. While all of this was happening, we got a message from Christelle that said that her dad had a stroke and was in the hospital dying. We had prayed for him, and then she asked if we could come to the hospital. Well, he was in a ville about 30 minutes away in another sector and zone, but we got permission from our zone leaders and we got a miracle ride from some elders with a car who lived in that ville and got to go. In the hospital room, we explained to her a little bit about priesthood blessing, and asked if she wanted us to give him one. She said yes, and we anointed and blessed him. During the blessing, I had an overwhelming impression that he was going to die, and afterwards I found out that my companion had the same feeling. We finished it and the room was filled with peace and the spirit. We kept texting and calling her to make sure that she was okay and her family was being taken care of, and we got a text on Thursday that Bernard had passed away. I loved that old man, and it was just another thing that affected me this week haha. But through it all we have been able to talk to Christelle about the Plan of Salvation and a lot of miracles have happened this week too, just some cool small ones but I definitely saw Heavenly Father in my life and even though there's been some sad stuff, we've laughed equally as much!

Now the juicy stuff: live from France this is Elder Hall :)
Me in front of Hôtel de Ville 

We woke up on Saturday morning and started getting ready to exercise when Elder Haskin read the text that we got at 4:30 that morning that said that there had been a serious terrorist attack in Paris and we were not allowed to leave the apartment. Well that's when our minds started racing, and since we have the two district leaders in our apartment we were calling all the missionaries and making sure they knew what the directions were. We thought that the Eiffel Tower had been bombed or something, but we slowly got updates and stuff, but that morning was calmly crazy haha we made crepes and just prayed hoping that everything was okay. Eventually we got permission to go to rendez-vous but under no circumstances were we to take public transportation. So we were walking all around Lyon, which was not crowded as it usually is. We were told to stay away from dangerous places, and one thing you should all know is that in souther France, especially in the big cities, the population of Muslims is extremely high, and so we were pretty restricted area wise. But we walked to the institute and taught English class, then had to walk all the way back home before it got dark.
our fancy night 
We were not supposed to be outside in the dark. Then we heard that the Jihadists had called to all the other extremists in France to do the same thing and so our rules are still in enforcement, but we can take buses and trams. It's been kinda intense but I also know that as long as we are obedient, Heavenly Father has promised to watch over and protect us as missionaries. We are still praying for the people who were affected because it's a terrible thing that happened. In ward conference on Sunday, the stake president taught about how Satan is gaining the hearts of people, and in this day and age, if we stray even for a little bit from the path of the gospel, we are opening our doors for him to come in. I've seen some of that as members of the church are turning away, from what I've heard about with the churches clarification of children of same sex couples. The Lord knows what he's doing, and what he's doing is trying to fortify the members of the church during this time of confusion and temptation. The war is on, and we need to pick a side, because we all know who is going to win, and if we don't choose the side of God, we will be dragged onto the side of Satan. Spoiler alert, satan is going to lose. Choose ye this day.

I love you all! Keep going strong! If there is any time, it is now!

Until next week, keep praying. We all know the world needs some good prayers.


Elder Hall

our zone p day

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