First things first, HAPPY EASTER everyone! Bonne Pâques! So I have a big surprise to tell you all about transfers, and it actually happened last Monday morning, but alas, I couldn't tell you until today. But before that, I want to thank you all who sent your testimonies to my parents. It was amazing to scroll through and see the testimonies of so many people who have helped build mine, and if you werent able to, I still love you. I will be sure to add mine, but you'll have to wait for a minute for that. I am writing you from Lyon, actually, from the mission office right now. And this is my surprise for you all, because Elder Hall is now... wait for iiittt... the new France Lyon Office Elder! (please, hold the applause). haha So the thing about being the office elder is that its like a job, we're just missing Michael, Jim and Dwight. I'll get to the details tout à l'heure, but that was my transfer call. I'm excited, and its really nothing special, but I'll make it sound exciting for the faithful readers. ;)
our last minute Easter egg hunt haha
President called me on Monday and told me that the tribe has spoken and I had been voted off the island, and would be leaving early to come and be trained by the elder I'm replacing (Elder Boynton). I was thrown completely off guard, so I started packing, was able to have a FHE with our group and say goodbye to everyone, and it was hard. When I first got to Corsica, President told me that my heart would break when I had to leave. Well, its true. I had grown so close to these people, they were my family for a long time, and the awesome thing about the gospel is that even if I dont see them again in this life, I will one day! So on Tuesday we were visiting our amis and saying goodbye when President called and said that because of the attacks in Brussels, I couldnt take my plane out of Corsica, told us that our boat left in one hour and then it was a race against time at that point to get to wifi to download the tickets, throw everything in the suitcases, and get on the boat. It was a miracle that we made it and it literally pulled away 2 minutes after we got on.
me, boynton, lythgoe
I made my way to Lyon, and went straight to the office. A couple from my ward, the Sweeneys are serving in the office too, plus another couple that I love so it was fun to see them all. My new companion is Elder Lithgoe from Heber City, Utah, and he is just great! We get along super well, he's pretty chill, although a hard worker and his one liners are so simple but they get me every time! Elder Boynton has been training me all week. Hes super funny, and I've had a lot of fun learning from him. I hope I can fill his shoes! I've learned how to do a bunch of stuff that I never knew how to do in english, and am now doing in French. I am over phones and finances among many other things, so its a lot to learn.
The biggest thing weve been doing this week is transfer stuff. Tomorrow is transfer day, and out of the 90 equipes in the mission, 71 changed, that means that we have been working on getting everyone everywhere. Its like a puzzle because every missionary has to have another missionary on their train with them, then we take the trains, the times and the destinations and mix and match until everything works. The initial process takes us about five hours, and so we were in the office until 1 AM that night, but since then we have triple checked it, and are still fixing things. It makes this really hard because we want to make sure everyone is safe as they travel. Even though France is super crazy right now because of the attacks and stuff, I feel calm. Heavenly Father knows what he's doing, and he will watch over His missionaries, while still spreading the gospel. We are continually praying for the missionaries that were hurt, Elder Wells went to my same high school and I knew him a little, but just the fact that they are missionaries, doing the same thing we are doing, gives us all a bond.
So in a nutshell, my life got turned upside down in the blink of an eye, and I guess that's just how missions work. I am grateful for this opportunity to help serve the missionaries here, and I know that it is all Gods timing. But as surprising and unsure as life can be, I know that my anchor is the gospel and my faith in Jesus Christ. I have felt so much love for Him this week, and especially today, Easter Sunday, as I have pondered on His sacrifice for me. It means so much to know that Christ suffered for me personally. He was crucified and layed in a tomb. But we do not seek the living among the dead, for we know that HE IS RISEN. I know that is true. Our Savior lives! That sentence gives me unfaltering hope. And in a world where everyone needs a little more hope, my knowledge of the reality of Jesus Christ and his Atoning sacrifice lights the way for me. I love Him. Thank you all. I hope and pray that you feel the love of Christ today and throughout this week.
I love you all. My P-Days are on Saturday now so thats when I'll be writing.
Elder Hall(elujah) :)