Monday, February 22, 2016

Outside of the Box

First off, I'm am very proud of my clever title this week. It basically sums up everything that's happened and you'll see. You'll all see! Haha so this week started off with transfers. So I said goodbye to my colleagues, Elder Wade and Elder Johnson (I think this will be the last time I'll say goodbye to my trainer but we'll see). Then I received my new ones: elder Ottesen and Elder Oborn. They're awesome! Ottesen is from Washington and is a very, very fast runner. He also is a great singer so we sing a bit haha. Oborn is from everywhere, he moved a lot, but he is in ROTC and training to be a pilot in the Air Force so that's awesome! He's younger than me in the mission so it's my first time being a co-senior comp (that means nothing haha). Upon reentering the island, I made sure to tell them where we lived first off, then the real stuff began.
us in the elevator

We went around to the people and my comps met Marie rose and Sylvia and Noel, and them some other members. It's always interesting to see the dynamic changes when new missionaries come. I think for the most part everything was great! They are getting along with the group and the ami's pretty well for only a week. Plus, they have brought a lot of fresh, new ideas that I think Ajaccio needs. It's weird for me to because I'm used to all the old things we would do, but I'm learning how to be flexible and we're trying out the new stuff! Some of it works, some doesn't, c'est la vie.

this (he wasn't interested...) 
Here's a funny story, keep my title in mind. We were porting in some apartments in ville, and a lot of them had little call boxes on the outside, so in order to get in, you have to convince someone to open the door or if your lucky someone will just be interested and let you come talk to them! Well, we weren't lucky and we weren't getting in. Finally we found a building whose door was open, so we went in and got in the elevator, headed to the top floor so we could work our way down. Well it said 3 persons or 225 kg, and we figured that we were 3 persons, maybe a little heavier. It started going up and I was hearing sounds that elevators don't usually make, plus, the floor level wasn't changing. I expressed my concerns to my companions and as I did so we felt a jolt and the elevator stopped. We pushed open the door but we were stuck in between two levels with the outside doors magnetized shut. On top of that, the elevator was a box that was 3 1/2 feet by 2 1/2 feet. So we called the company, sat in the elevator for 30 minutes while the inhabitants wondered why their elevator wasn't working. Finally the guy came and opened it up and we crawled out, and left the building as soon as possible haha

a corse tower 
Also another thing with the title is this: Noel, because he was never baptized, is still an ami. He is an amazing man, but just needs to be taught simply, like teaching a child. So we've been teaching about repentance and nothing really was getting through until one night we decided to take a different approach. We played charades where we acted out sins, then the way to steps of repentance! It worked and he learned a little! So we decided, hey, why think a little and in the end, the next day we'd created a new card game, called "re-peche-ntir" (basically like sin and repent) with Uno cards and drawings we taped on. That helped him out too. We played it and we all had a lot of fun and it was effective. If anyone has any good ideas for how to teach kids simply about really any gospel topic, let me know!

One last thing. I told you that it's interesting to see the dynamic changes as missionaries come and go. Well for Sylvia, she didn't show a lot of emotion when the other elders left. But I could tell something was up during our rdv's. Finally, one night they came over, and after the prayer I saw her crying. She told me that she really misses elder Wade and Johnson and that she's felt a lot of tension building up inside. It was the first time I've ever seen her cry and it broke my heart. I suggested that maybe we should give her a blessing, and she said yes, so we did. I got to give it and it was just another testifying experience to me that the priesthood is real. It is needed at anytime, and it can change a mood, it can bring peace to a troubled soul, it can heal a heart. But for longer lasting effects, I would recommend things like reading the scriptures, praying, going to church. Things that are so simple! Life will ALWAYS present challenges, and the best way to know that when they come, you will be ready is to hold strong to the things you know, it's to have a foundation built on Christ. That way, you are ready to receive a blessing, or an answer, or the spirit. I know that it's the little things that make the biggest difference (whether or not the world chooses to believe that). I love my Savior, and everything He has done for me. I am changed by and through Him. You can be too!

I love you all! Have a great week! Don't get stuck in any elevators.

Elder Hall
Your Favorite Missionary


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