Saturday, August 13, 2016

Caves, Mountains and Airports

Last week on Elder Hall's weekly email: 
-the case of the missing missionary
-tiredness abounded and so did new missionaries
-President Brown got sick of Satan

This week we will follow up on a lot of those situations, and I'll let you know how it went. Stay tuned. 

cave cleaners 
Before all that, here's a fun example of my OCD, just in case any of you were missing it. As a mission, we have a cave (kind of like a garage under one of the apartments here in Lyon). For two years, all of the moving equipes have stored all of the excess furniture and junk down there. If you remember my first transfer in the office, we also bought a couple storage units, so we use those to store the relatively large things like appliances (fridges, washers, dryers, microwaves), and beds and desks and stuff. Well, because we have been closing so many apartments recently, we needed to make room for the stuff that is actually worth keeping, and throw out the rest that we have stored for 2 years and never used. My area of expertise. So we started on Monday morning down in the cave, and we sorted and organized and destroyed and broke and hauled van-fulls of broken desks and beds with missing peices to the decheterie. The workers were kind of surprised when we showed up, but then some homeless guy came over and started taking chairs and stuff and they thought that was hilarious. I asked if I could take a picture with him but he thought we were the cops and split like a banana. LOL I'll attach the before and after pictures so you can understand. 
Now the stuff you really want to hear about. Earlier in the week, President sent out a text to the mission telling the missionaries not to communicate in any way with the rogue elder. He had been released so he technically wasnt a missionary anymore, but he was still on the loose. On Monday night, we received a call from President saying that the missionary was coming in on Tuesday, and we needed to pick him up. Well, Tuesday morning we took a sister missionary to the airport because her real mission is Salt Lake, so we were up at 3 am, and came straight back to set up the chapel for MLC at about 6h30, then went to the gare to pick him up. He had evaded his trains before, so when we didnt see him on the first train, we were not too shocked, but President asked us to stay for the second train, so after about an hour, we went up and lo and behold, he was here! We made sure to keep a very close eye on him, and never allow him to be in front or behind us, only in the middle. We dropped him off at the office so we could go fulfil our duties at MLC. We had to take Vivian and the little car, so the Port des Alpes elders split up. I got to go with the new blue there, Elder Patton. He is so cool! I love spending time with him because I was a blue there too, so he is living the same experience! 

High on the mountaintop
At MLC, we loaded the all the mission leaders into our cars and drove up to a mountain called Mount Thou. My van got lost because we had the wrong address, but after a prayer and some faith, we got there. President talked, it was so powerful, and he basically told us that we need to be a more obedient mission. He told us that we need to be more loyal to him and to the Lord, at which point he pulled out a Title of Loyalty, and up on that mountain, overlooking all of Lyon, as well as every part of nearby France, we talked about how the Lord reveals revelation to His servants up on mountains. It was so so cool. We got to be by ourselves and just think and receive personal revelation. 

Right after, Elder Wiberg and I rushed back to take the rogue one to the airport. This was the moment that we had all been waiting for. We went to the airport, checked his bags, and ensured that he walked into the terminal. That's all we could do, but we prayed he would just get on his plane. His mother is sick back home, and he wanted to see her, so it was a miracle that he left! We called President, and he said he had been waiting for that call for a long time. We slept very well that night. 

Its fun to be back in my old ward, the member remember me and they love us already! And we are the oldest equipe in the ward :O I AM THE OLDEST MISSIONARY!! Insane... Its a lot of fun to have a blue here, he is so little and naive :). 

We had a zone training about being more obedient, which is always something we can work on, but it was pretty intense. Basically, if we decide to be obedient, we will be on the Lords side, if not, President cannot protect us, and we won't be safe here. Intense. 

dinner with the Port des Alpes elders
We took another missionary to the airport this morning. And we will make several more trips before this transfer is over. In the past 3 weeks, that makes 5 that we have sent away early. So I think what President has said is true. Of course, some of them have been because of sickness, but I am definitely going to try to be a better missionary. I know I have a lot of work to do. But if the battle between Christ and Satan is escalating this quickly, I want to be sure that I can be counted as a warrior on the winning side. It's only by obedience to commandments and the laws of God that we can receive blessings and protection from on high, higher than a mountain and higher than an airplane. Blessings from the Most High. I am finally starting to realize this. Whenever we take sisters to the airport, they give us little breakfasts and it's very kind. I asked Elder Wiberg why only the sisters did, and his response was both hilarious and also chillingly true. He said, "Well, some missionaries give us food, and some give us a healthy respect for the adversary." Amen to that. 

Have a wonderful week! I love you all! 
Elder Hall

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