Monday, October 17, 2016

The Plain and The Precious

First off, before I forget, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to the Allison's and the ward members who contributed to the package I got this week! I was super sparked and the stuff in there was amazing (cow tales I FORGOT HOW MUCH I LOVE THOSE!) and the letters were also very kind and appreciated! Thank you all for your love and support of me and all the other missionaries in the world. You are wonderful. Vous êtes géniales!

This week we had Zone conference, and I was kind of nervous because we present there in front of 50 people. We were assigned to talk about recognizing promptings of the spirit from Preach My Gospel chapter 4. We had prepared before hand, so it wasn't too bad. But before that point, President Brown talked to us and gave us the down low on all of the crazy stuff that's been happening in our mission. We talked about safety and he answered some questions. There was a really cool part though. You need some context before I tell you what happened, but I won't give you all the details haha- at the beginning of this transfer in a ville called Aix-en-Provence, there was a scary situation and the missionaries were taken out of the ville, even though there was a lot of success with amis there, and the two elders were sent to Bordeaux. During our conference, President told us the story of Helaman and Antipus, and how the warriors of Helaman weren't afraid to go back to help antipus and his army because they knew that God would protect them. President then told us that we had a choice to make, and we were going to make it as a council: are we going to put missionaries back? There was a few moments of silence, and I felt an answer burn inside of me. It was so strong and I felt so strongly to say it, so I broke the silence, made eye contact with president and said "yes." I felt a confirmation fill the room and I just looked President in the eyes for maybe 10 seconds in silence. Later in the meeting, he stood up during a presentation and we could all tell he had received revelation. He said that it is ultimately up to the Lord, but he feels that missionaries will go back to Aix, and this time they will be stronger than ever. It was such a cool experience! We also gave our presentation, and it was good too (I don't know if I can say that about our own presentation but...) I shared a section of an email I got when I was a blue From my aunt Tracy about imagining the Holy Ghost always right next to us, and then it's a little more visual. People liked that idea. It was nothing big, just plain but filled with testimony and love (like a beignets is filled with Heaven a little haha) En fin, it was a wonderful conference!

I also went on an exchange this week with our district leader Elder Oborn, who I was companions with in Ajaccio! It was super fun, and it's funny to think that I've only gone on exchanges with past comps this transfer! First, all four of us went to a members new house to do service. Elder Oborn and I sanded the ceiling with a heavy machine and all the white stuff fell on me so I looked like an office elder again haha 😉 then we painted. The rest of our exchange was just regular, except we went to a members house for dinner and they are actually the son and daughter in law of the Vendassi's couple. I don't expect you to remember everyone I talk about in my emails,  it they were the new branch president and senior couple on Corsica when I was there. So it was a lot of fun to talk all about Corsica for the soirée!

We had a soirée temple as well. Members and amis came and our DMP (ward mission leader) talked about temples, we showed a video and ate food. I seriously love the temple so much! I can't wait to go again one day!

Here is a good Halloween pirate picture 
One quick experience. We were porting one night, and the people in the neighborhood were pretty nice (and when I say nice, I mean they politely told us to go away instead of being mean about it haha). We knocked on one door and a man opened and started speaking English. He told us he was from Germany but is here as a professor. He had some little kids, and he wanted to talk. So we stood there while he asked questions, but they were questions that he had asked people from other churches and no one could answer them without contradicting themselves or their beliefs. They were questions like, "do you believe babies and children are born with sins?" And "when you repent, do you feel the weight of the sin or does it go away?" At the beginning, he thought he was going to stump us, but as we explained, in English, our beliefs, but more so we bore our testimonies he softened. It was so powerful to me to see that none of the answers to his questions were profound, they were simple gospel truths that can be found in the Book of Mormon. It was so wonderful to bear testimony to him of the truthfulness of the gospel! I love my job! In the end we gave him a pamphlet and our number, and it was one of the most edifying porting lessons I've ever had.

this is when I forgot my shoes and 
Belt at the chapel haha 
That's it for this week. It was a good one, but it went by pretty fast. Everything is going by way too fast! Transfer calls are on Friday already, so I'm preparing for that, seeing as how I'm not in the office to get all the info hot off the press haha Have a great week! Know that it is my testimony that this gospel is plain and precious, and the Spirit is real, He will guide us, help us, teach us, and edify us. I love you all.

Avec amour,
Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

this is Marc-Ange Vendassi, the funniest French boy you will ever meet

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