Monday, June 26, 2017

Ce N'est Qu'un Au Revoir

how beautiful are the feet!
It's weird how nothing changes except for our feelings. The days are still full, the people are still there, the work is still moving forward, and yet I have a feeling that everything is ending and it's so weird. TV shows always wrap up storylines, send away characters and include a couple nice musical montages before the finale, and that's what I feel is happening. This past week was great, we talked to quite a few people and had some cool experiences. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to contact Alexandre again... I'm not quite sure what happened to him, but I know someday it will be his time (I feel like a already said this a couple weeks ago haha).

This week we did service for a member who is kinda interesting. She has a lot of interesting ideas, and she needed help with one of them... so what we did was drive to a construction site, with large buckets and some pasta strainers and shovels and we sifted dirt for 3 hours. We ended up sifting 60 liters of dirt (which is a lot) and the construction workers were just sitting in their little hut watching us. Then we cleaned her floors. Come to think of it, I've cleaned a lot of people's floors here in Geneva!

Our 🚂 
Another funny story is that I was on a bus and this little kid in front of me kept looking at me, so I talked to him. Turned out he loves math (he was only 6) so for the next 20 Minutes he quizzed me on multiplication problems, but the embarrassing part is that I haven't done math in such a long time, I got most of them wrong. But to be fair they were like 54 million times three hundred thousand and that's hard! But the lady next to me helped me, and then I was able to talk to her about what I do here. It was cool, because his mom was also curious after that.

A couple months ago, I contacted this young man on a bus and talked to him and gave him a card. Well, this week, he found the Spanish sisters and came to the church, saying that he wanted a Book of Mormon because he needs something more in his life and he has felt that this is it. It was cool to talk and testify of repentance and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. And it was cool to see the fruits of a little contact.

Also this week, we had a couple game nights to invite our potentials to. Only a couple people came, but they were still fun! Lorrane came to one of them, and because her phone was the only one that had a certain app to contact a potential, when he called, she answered. We could tell that she's learned from the missionaries because she this is how she answered, "Hello. We are the members of the church, please come to the church. It's very important. We have a lot for you to eat." Hahahaha we died! She also took us on a fun tourist train ride around the lake after a lesson, but it went by the beach and so we had a good tour of the our train car floor haha.

black and white
On Sunday, the sister had the baptism of Mael, the 11 year old boy of the less active mother we found last transfer. I was asked to baptize him, and it was an honor. I found that the baptism pants I bought 2 years ago had become more tight than they were the last time I wore them (2 years ago) haha, but it was an amazing experience as I watched this little boy make such a big step in his life. I was able to watch closely as he emerged from the water and for a moment I saw him being washed clean, being reborn. I am so thankful to my Father in Heaven that I was able to have that experience before I finished my mission.

Finally got to baptize
And this is it. In one week I will be a Landon instead of an Elder. I will take off the plaque and loosen the tie, but I will never take off my title as a disciple of Jesus Christ, and I will never loosen my grip on doing the things that have taught me how to love, serve, and teach others. I would like to say that I've changed myself, but all I can say is that God changed me. I understand now the importance, more than ever, of this calling, of this gospel, of my Savior and His Father. These past 2 years have been much more of a blessing for me than for anyone that He has put in my path. I cannot forget the people I've met, I cannot deny the feelings and responses I've received that have come after prayers, or in buses, or in lessons. I know that what I have been doing and saying for the past 2 years is TRUE. JESUS CHRIST LIVES- Through Him, we are SAVED (after all we can do!) JE SUIS UN ENFANT DE DIEU, and so are you! TEMPLES ARE HOLY PLACES, FAMILIES ARE ORDAINED OF GOD TO BE ETERNAL. I know it with all of my being. Even though this is the end, it's really only the beginning, because I now know how to apply this gospel. And I intend to do just that. So, as they say in French, "Ce n'est qu'un au revoir."

Have a great week. I will see you all soon. *roll credits*

Avec amour,
Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

Monday, June 19, 2017


2) elder Mendel exchange!
I can't believe that I've been here for 100 weeks. If i had the time I would tell you my top 100 mission experiences, or 100 acts of service I've done, or 100 different times I've eaten chocolate here but instead I'll just tell you how week 100 went. Disclaimer: it went well.

mixing our 15 kilo meal
So first off, we had our big multi Zone conference this week. On Monday night, us and the STLs with some other missionaries spent 5 hours preparing lunch for 50 people. We prepared 15 kilos of meat, rice and beans to stuff inside tortillas, we cut 6 watermelons, and made 5 kilos of sauce. My companion cut his hand and threw up, but not in the food, and so it was a successful night haha. The next day we had our Zone conference. I was asked to conduct, and then Elder Hoffmann and I presented on how to help our amis keep commitments to read specific passages in the Book of Mormon. It was good, but short, because there were so many missionaries who had to give their departing testimonies, me included. It's weird because I've watched my whole mission as groups of missionaries give this last testimony and I've stressed about what to say and I never thought I would actually have to do it haha. 
Zone conference
But as I started, I was able to talk a little bit about the other missionaries going home and what they have contributed to this mission, and then give my very simple testimony of the church of Jesus Christ, the restoration and the Book of Mormon. I love how I was able to see my growth even as I was testifying compared to the elder Hall that left 2 years ago. But it was a good conference, one of my favorite ones of my mission. Before I left, President caught me and said, "What this mission will miss about elder hall is his love." And that really touched me. If that's the one thing that I leave here, I will be pleased with my service.

Also, this week Alexandre texted us and said he was just in Italy on a last minute trip! He said he's still been reading in the Book of Mormon and he was going to come to church but he didn't... that's okay though, because I know that we will see him and he will continue down this path!

pizza party
We also had a couple exchanges this week. The first was right after district Meeting, I went with Elder Thompson, who just came off of Ajaccio, so it was so fun to talk about the members and the work since I've left (which has been over a year!) He is a hard worker, and really loves the work, so it was great. We gave a few blessings and then we met up with Elder Hoffmann and Eklund and had a pizza party! Haha

The second exchange was in Lyon, and I got to go with Elder Mendel, who I came into the mission with. He's from Germany, I have already told you about him, because we are super good friends, but it was so great to spend time with him. On the exchange actually, at one point the assistants had to go pick up a new couple so Elder Hoffmann and I went to the Ecully chapel to clean it, but none of the other missionaries who were supposed to come, came. So we did it all alone, but then all these members that I know from there showed up for a smoothie Father's Day party and I was able to see them and have smoothies! It was so great, and I can't believe that Elder Mendel and I are that old...

picnic with the dream team
Otherwise, we have an ami. Sayid, from Ethiopia who followed us on a train to an outerville just to see us! He is so cool. We showed him the Hope of Gods light video, and he loved it. He's not sure if he believes in God, so it was great. Then we had a picnic with the Soeurs and Lorrane and Celine. It was so much fun and Lorrane taught us karate so now I'm a black belt! And on Sunday after church, we had a missionary fireside where we played a game that elder Hoffmann and I created about connecting anything to the gospel and to Christ. It was a lot of fun, and I even got to see Elder Brady Haug (Fabian) who came to visit!)

this is a man-don haaha (comme Landon)
So this week gets 100/100, and I can't wait to see what these next couple of weeks have. I was asked to baptize Maël, the child who's mom is a less active that we found, that the soeurs have been teaching, so that will be this week. I feel so blessed from the Lord during this time. And I'm still trying to give my 100%, as much of it as I can anyways. I know that the Lord carries us when we can't do it ourselves. I can testify of that as I've seen it through my life and my mission. I love you all and thanks for your prayers! Have a great

Avec amour,
Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hall monitors

"its elementary my dear Hoffmann" 
Another week bites the dust Hall monitors. It's getting harder and harder to write emails, but I'll keep trying my best. This week was great! We had an exchange and a fake out exchange haha also, when we were doing our shopping today, there is this guy in Ferney (where we live in France) who always finds us and gives us his spare change because he says he never gives anything for Jesus so he counts it as filling his dues. haha

So our exchange was with The English elders, and I went with Elder Caramelli! It was a great exchange, and we were able to go to the Wyss' house to help them with family history and eat. There was a giant storm though, so the sisters were late, so we ended up staying there for longer than expected, but we had some other RDVs so it was a good exchange. I love that Tahitian, he is just so sincere and kind. I learn a lot from him after every exchange, and he is the only one that has been here in Geneva as long as I have.

Elder Hoffmann (whom I lovingly refer to as Elder Collègue 90% of the time) and I went to teach this referral we got from the Spanish elders. His name is Mario, but he was kinda crazy. He reminded me of a chameleon because his eyes were also kinda crazy. But he said he didn't quite agree with some of our doctrine, yet he has never read or prayed about it, so we tried to explain that in order to gain knowledge il faut put in the effort but he didn't want to. Something that I've learned is that everyone has their agency (whether we like it or not). That's one of the most important parts of the Plan our Heavenly Father made for us.

Spanish elders = chauffeurs
And in speaking of that, we invited Alexandre to come eat with us at the Cornetas house (our bishops family), and we didn't answer our calls or texts. We even made cookies to deliver to his house for his family, and for some less actives, and still no answer. I have faith that he will be touched by the spirit at some point, because he is a good man, very in tune with the spirit. Even if his time isn't now, I know it will be at some point. But we will keep praying for him!

poop pillow party
On Friday we went to three members houses in a row, the Cornetas, the Muellers, and the Fidalgos. I love all these people! We wanted to bring the fidalgos something so we went to the store and bought them a little emoji poop pillow family 💩. They loved it! They are so hilarious, and I always feel at home when we are with them. And the Muellers are as amazing as always.

The work is still going well. Geneva is great because there are so many different kinds of people to talk to and teach. I love the feeling of warmth and truth that comes when I testify of the truthfulness of this church and our Savior. I love the boldness that I have acquired in doing this work, that I can testify without any doubt, and speak the words the spirit puts into my mouth. I am not perfect by any means, and if there is anyone that can improve dramatically, I would say that person is me, but I love this calling.

Thanks for all your prayers and love. Have a great week!

Avec amour,
Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

Monday, June 5, 2017

Raining Down Miracles

lying on the grass being missionary models haha
At MLC this past week, President Brown reminded us that now that the temple is dedicated and running, Heavenly Father is ready to pour down His blessings upon us like rain, and I can tell you that if that's the case, this week it was raining cats and dogs! I can't wait to tell you all of the amazing things that have been happening here!

So, this week started off in Lyon. We were there for my last MLC, which in total makes 11 that I've been to. I've been going to those things since my first transfer in the office... it was a special MLC though, because every one in my group, the 111's, so the missionary's who came in and will go home with me, were all there! There were 30 of us who will all go home at the end of this transfer, and it was so so so great to see them all! It's incredible how fast it has gone, because I remember when we were all sitting there in that same chapel as bleus, waiting to get our trainers. It was such a good conference, we talked about how, now that the temple is finished, what's next? Well, what's next is inviting people to come unto Christ and be baptized. It was so cool to watch as we received revelation as a mission leadership to know that we can engage 170 people to baptism before the end of this transfer. Which leads to the other miracles.

My missionaries 111
So, you remember Gustavo, that really cool Venezuelan man we met on Sunday? We had a rdv with him on Thursday and we engaged him to baptism on the 18 of June. He said that he would because he feels like this is truly the path for him. He is so cool, and has so many good questions. He has seen the hand of God in his life, and it shows in his faith. Unfortunately, the spirit told us that he should probably be taught by the Spanish elders so he can better understand, so we passed him to them, even though he said he loves us the best haha. But he came to samedi Sportif and it was a lot of fun!

office elders pic- I'm the one going away and the oldest haha
And then one of the biggest miracles of my mission. On Wednesday we got a call from a member who was at the church and a random guy showed up. He gave him our number, and we thought we had his right number but it was the wrong one, so we could only pray that he would call. HE DID! He called and we fixed a rdv for Saturday. He showed up and we showed him a little tour of the chapel, he took it all in. We talked about the Plan of Salvation (which was the only pamphlet the member could find to give him) and he had already memorized the kingdoms of glory. He said that he has been looking for Jesus for a long time. His name is Alexandre and he is so so cool! Luckily, there was a baptism at the same time, and we went to show him. He said that he wants that, he wants to be cleansed. The spirit told us to invite him to be baptized on the 18 of June as well, and he accepted! He is honestly one of the most prepared people I've ever met. He asked when we could meet again! Pray for him to continue to prepare!

waiting for our ride
We also did a lot of service this week, with members and their friends. We helped Soeur Muller and her friend put up IKEA things, but they are both so stressful in certain situations so it was like trying to work under two little mice who were trying to do everything! Hahaha her friend kept trying to use one of those hand winding flashlights to help and it was giving no light haha. We helped the Benteles do yard work, and it felt so good to do that again! Then we helped the Volpicellis with their friend, who is going to come to FHE soon!

We also carried a couch through the streets of Ferney Voltaire and everyone thought we were thieves, either that or just Mormons haha.

That was our week. I feel so blessed to be seeing so many miracles, even as my mission is coming to a close. I can't believe this is happening, but I've had to start facing the facts, even if it makes me feel sick haha. I'm trying my best to do everything I need to to finish strong. I know that I am being carried by angels, whether they are in the form of missionaries, members, amis or strangers, or real angels. I love this work. I love these countries, these people, this calling. I wouldn't trade it for the world, not even when I sit down and immediately fall asleep because I'm so tired haha. This is the work of Salvation, and it is rolling forth, and I am so lucky to have been rolling right along with it!

I love you all! Thank you for the prayers and thoughts! Have a great Week!


Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

Monday, May 29, 2017

La Suisse

We were chez la famille Mueller this week when Soeur Mueller said this quote that I think is pretty true: "Les Suisse ont, a la place des cœurs, les montres et à la place des cerveaux, les portefeuilles." (I'll let you translate that one haha). But this week we did a lot of problem solving, which involved a crashed car, abonnements, and service. Between all of that, we were able to see some really cool miracles, and start off the transfer, as always, on an interesting note!

A funny story I forgot to tell you all about was a couple weeks ago, a member asked us to come give a blessing to her sick friend at the hospital, so we showed up in the evening and she told us that he's been screaming a lot lately. So we took the elevator up to the floor, and we heard an awful screaming as the door opened. We walked down to the end of the hall and the screaming was so high, like a toddler, I was scared! The member opened the door, and said, "Bonjour, ça va?" All the while he was screaming until she asked if he was okay and then he stopped very suddenly and just said, in a low, normal voice "ca va". Ok, well it's a lot more funny to me than to you... anyway, we sang for him and were able to give him a blessing and he stopped screaming after that.

We also found this less active family that hasn't been to church in a long time. We were doing passbacks and we decided to go to their apartment. The first thing she said when she opened the door was "Oh, the missionaries, I've been meaning to call you. My son wants to get baptized." It was super cool! We were able to do service for her. The family has some problems, but her son is 11 and he seems to really want to learn more. The sisters are seeing them now, because she's a single woman, but it was cool to find and help a lost sheep!

We were with the Muellers a lot this week, we did service for them, and met their friend who asked us for service as well! We also helped them with genealogy and a surprise party for Sr. Zahnd! They gave me a really cool Swiss wood chess set that we have put to good use! We also went to the Bentele's, who bought us more than 100 francs worth of sushi! They are so cool, I love them, and their dog is giant. Another family we visit often is the Wyss family, an older couple who we are

teaching to do family history. They feed us so well and we are trying to get them to invite their friends as well. The Volpicellis are still amazing and we were able to give them a blessing of counsel to know when they should serve a couples mission! Woohoo!

Saturday was cool, because a member invited us to a Philippine indépendance celebration! We had food and talked with the people and watched their cool dances. I'll send some pictures, but they are so kind and we were kind of like celebrities because we were missionaries and so they wanted pictures with us too!

On Sunday, a man showed up to church who is from Venezuela, who doesn't speak a lot of French, but wanted to know more. His name is Gustavo. We were able to teach him and give him a blessing, then he came to a returned missionary fireside which he really liked. He said that recently he's been feeling God a lot in his life and he knows that God is trying to tell him something, and he wants to know more because he feels something different at our church. We asked him if he wanted to go to the Spanish ward but he said no, he wants to learn French and he also made some friends in ours! We are seeing him again this week and will engage him to baptism. (Funny thing is that I've been speaking a lot in Spanish, so people now think I speak a lot more than I actually do, and my French is at an all time high, so I feel so good about the overall sounds my mouth makes).

I've been reading in the Book of Mormon, where Christ came to visit the nephites, and it's such a powerful passage of scripture. I love how He taught them, then he left them to practice what he taught for a little bit, then he returned to help them more. One of my favorite parts is when He prays for them. I has never occurred to me that Christ prays on our behalf to the Father, but the spirit taught me as I was reading that it's a part of the Atonement, that He would be our mediator, even in prayers. It was pretty cool.

Anyway, have a great week! I love you all! The church is true!

Avec amour,

Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

Monday, May 22, 2017

l'Esprit du Dieu Saint

I spy

Elder Hoffman 
There are times in life that where we visibly see the love of God for us, and this week was one of those times. So many things happened that I want to tell you about, but the obvious climax of my entire mission happened this past weekend and I think that that's probably the most important thing to explain. Also, you should know that I received my last real transfer calls on Friday, and the news (another tender mercy) is that I will stay here in Geneva to finish my mission with Elder Hoffman! I am so excited to work as hard as I physically can and finish off strong in a sector and with a collègue that I love.

I was able to go on an exchange this week in the Spanish sector with Elder Gottscheck. It was a lot of fun, and I prayed a lot in Spanish haha. We also were stuffed to the brim with delicious Spanish food. Also, because I was practicing all day, my Spanish even improved a little and I could communicate, but interestingly enough, our day was full of RDVs and we taught in English, French and Spanish. I loved spending a day with elder Gottscheck for the last time. I love that kid!

Our tri lingual display
We were also invited to a lot of members houses, and we helped them find ancestors for the dedication. With one family, an older couple named la famille Wyss, we were able to find an entire tree already done of family members starting from their great grandma that they didn't even know existed!!

On Friday, in preparation for the temple dedication, we asked all the missionaries in Geneva to come to the church and clean it really well so that it would be perfect to act as a temple during the consecration, and we dusted, scraped, vacuumed, mopped, wiped, scrubbed, and organized. Afterwards we felt so proud of the work and the building felt better. I know that all of us were blessed by the small part we did in helping prepare for the dedication.

Saturday was a big day because it was the cultural celebration! I was so excited because I have never seen one before, and because all of the youth from every stake in Francophone Europe would be participating. We invited a lot of people to come, and unfortunately not a lot were able to come, but we took our seats with those who did and it started. It was separated into stake, and each stake had prepared a presentation about their specific area of France, their history and culture, and they presented it through song and dance. It was so so so so cool to watch all of the areas where I have been blessed to either serve or travel through and see be represented. And not only was that good, but the best part was seeing all the kids, the youth with whom I have served and loved on my mission. 

I saw some from Lyon, when I was first a blue and learning how to speak French, who patiently helped me. I saw some from when I was an office elder, who laughed with (and at) me, who recognized my presence even when the adults didn't (you know the life of those office elders ;) ). I saw the youth from Bordeaux, who paid an hommage to missionaries and their work in France, and I remembered teaching them and teaching with them, encouraging them and serving side by side with them. I saw the youth from Geneva, who have inspired me, who have lifted me and whom I have been able to share special moments with. We cheered, we sang along, we laughed and we watched as these youth of Zion expressed their heritage, not only of France, but of the church. It was absolutely incredible.

the temple for a day 
On Sunday, we got up early, fasting, put on our best, dry cleaned suits, our cleanest pair of church shoes, and our nicest ties. Two years ago, I never would have thought that I, serving in the south of France, would be able to go to the temple on my mission. However, we drove in reverence with the Spanish elders, we parked our car, we presented our green temple recommendations, and for the first time in a long time, I was able to enter the House of the Lord. Now, of course it wasn't the real temple, but for one day our chapel was set apart as a special branch off of the Paris temple. I sat quietly while the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sung, and then they showed the Celestial room, filled with faithful members who have been waiting for this much longer than I have, but who were filled with as much excitement and anticipation as me. I watched as President Eyring, Elder Anderson and Bishop Causée, servants set apart by the Lord, walked into the room. The Spirit filled my soul as the choir started singing, and my heart skipped a beat when I saw who was singing in the choir. It was members from Bordeaux, and who else but one of my favorite families of all time: THE VENDASSI'S!! I watched them sing and felt so much gratitude for another tender mercy Heavenly Father gave me. 

Chez les cornettas!
The talks were inspired, the music was beautiful, all in French (of course) which added to my joy, and when it came time for President Eyring to give the prayer, and dedicate the Paris temple to our Heavenly Father, I prayed to be filled with the spirit as a confirmation that what I have been telling people for the past two years was truly about to be fulfilled. My prayers were answered as I felt an indescribable warmth and love flow from my head to my toes and as I felt this same feeling déverse itself upon the land I have grown to love. France was changed forever in that moment, and so was I. We sang hosanna to the Lord, and at the end, I felt that I was physically there in the temple. It was amazing to feel the spirit so strong. During the prayer, President Eyring asked a special blessing upon all the missionaries, past, present and future, and those they are teaching and the members, so they can invite their friends. It was so touching. It was also incredible to sing "L'Esprit du Dieu Saint" in French with all of the members of francophone Europe. We were able to assist all 3 sessions, I translated the second session from French into English for the English speakers, and Lorrane came to one of them! She loved it, and said it has inspired her to go to the temple. She felt the spirit strongly and loved the prayer.

I cannot begin to express my joy and love for this experience, which took my entire mission, validated it, and, if I may express this in my own terms, put it into a beautiful musical montage that served as a perfect finale of a great season. 😁Now, rejuvenated and full of power, I plan to make the most out of these next 6 weeks, which I'm sure will go by way too fast, but which will be filled with miracles.

I love you all, I know this church is the true church of Jesus Christ, and that He truly has given us the greatest gifts of all: families, forgiveness, and the temple. I testify in His name, even our Savior Jesus Christ, amen.

Avec amour,

Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

Our paparazzi

Monday, May 15, 2017

Green Temples and Tender Mercies

a patisserie that was too expensive but sooo good
So I don't know if anyone reads these besides the people I already saw yesterday, so if you do you I think you're great haha It was so fun to see my family, although I felt like they aren't real, and it was all just staged because after everything went right back to normal missionary life and it felt like a dream. But anyway, that's life as a missionary! This week was so full of things to do, we hardly even had any RDVs yet we were constantly busy.

On Tuesday we were trying to fix some things we had forgotten about in the way of stake business that we usually take care of, but we couldn't use the computers because the room in the church was being painted so we had to go to this sketchy part of town and use a cyber cafe to do all that (haha just writing this makes me sound so spoiled haha but seriously who goes to cyber cafes nowadays?) Then we tried to plan for Zone conference, then took a train to Lyon for our exchange with the assistants. We had a great conversation with this evangelist young African on the train, and it made me again thankful for the knowledge I have in this gospel. Then we were crossing a street and a guy stopped us and talked to us for about 45 minutes. He said that whenever he sees the missionaries we are dressed so well, our teeth are so good and we have a light. He was super funny and at the end he said "I don't know how many people thank you for what you do, but I want to be one of the ones that does. Thank you for making the world a better place." That really touched me, because that was the first time a random person has actually said thanks for the work I have been doing for 2 years here. It was a tender mercy.

exchange with elder underwood
My exchange was with Elder Underwood, and it was really great! I love doing exchanges with the assistants because I served in their ward for 3 transfers so we can go visit members that I love! We saw Sr. Barachant who is as cute as ever, another Soeur who is my friend, and had a great rdv with their ami who just needed to feel loved. Then we saw The Zinn's! They are the amazing American family whom I just love. It was so fun because all the kids remembered me and we were just able to laugh and laugh haha

We came back and the next morning we cleaned a ton for our apartment inspection, and the Austin's did it, and the best part were the cookie bars she brought us! We did some shopping for Zone conference food, then we had our interviews with president. It was great to see them, and my interview was good as always, plus I got my recommend for the Paris temple dedication on Sunday! Elder Menzel joined in our équipe for the next couple days, and it was so fun to spend more time with him!

Zone conference (sad seeing my friends leave)
On Friday we had Zone conference, and it was all about Eternal Marriages and temples. Elder Hoffmann and I gave a "green temple report" talking about how our zone is doing in helping people find ancestors to bring to the Paris temple dedication. We made a big sign with the Paris temple on it made out of the names of the people our zone has helped, and overall we have found 1117 names to do ordinances for! Then we also made little green temples (like the ones on family search but with the Paris temple instead of the salt lake) and hid them everywhere so they had to find them! So fun! Then the Soeur presented about eternal marriage and it was cool to learn and think about, especially since that's (weird to think about) the next stage of my life. EEEEKKK! For lunch Soeur Austin made my favorites: homemade macaroni and cheese and meatballs!

delicious Italian food
We also had stake conference this past weekend and it was really good. My favorite part was when the stake president said that sometimes the Spirit gives him "un grand coup de pied dans les fesses spirituelle" hahaha

So there, a very busy but very good week. Lorrane is still doing well every week! Geneva is warm and I love it!

This week for our presentation, we read in Luke 15 about the parables Christ gave, when three things were lost and found, we hope much joy the people had when they were finally found. Just like in D&C when we are told that our joy is great when we help bring but 1 soul to Christ, so it is greater when we bring many. I feel that joy as I participate in missionary work for both sides of the veil. I feel the spirit as we teach and testify about temples and families and as I see people change and turn towards Christ. How great has been my joy! I know that this is true and I testify of it!

I love you all! Have a great week!

Avec amour,

Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

Monday, May 8, 2017

En Bref

thug life
What a week, rainy as ever but luckily I found a nice big umbrella that doubles as a walking cane in our apartment. It's super classy (by missionary standards haha) and so it made a good sidekick. This week we did some stuff. I'll cut to the chase because I'm tired now haha

We gave some more blessings this week to missionaries and members, and even blessed an apartment for a member who needed it. As always it feels so great to exercise the priesthood and know that I have been entrusted with such a sacred responsibility. I hope to be always ready and worthy to use it. We also were able to do some service for an older Soeur in our ward. She needed us to do some courses for her, but then we had to go back and forth from the same two tram stops for 2 hours because everything kept going wrong...

waffle party! 
We had a great lesson with Lorrane this week. She is doing super well. She has a lot of great questions and is able to piece a lot of gospel things together. She also has made a kind of commitment to herself to stay with it, seeing as sometimes she tries to leave but then the Spirit makes her not, so she finally said that she will hold to her faith and defend her beliefs. She is integrating well and receiving a lot of blessings. Well, at our rdv we invited Celine (her friend from America who is here as a student) and Sandrina (the bishops daughter who is Portuguese and just got back from her mission) and we taught and talked then we prepared Belgian waffles for them all to get to know each Other! It was super fun and delicious, they are all great! After, Celine didn't have anything to do, so we asked her if she wanted to come do some passbacks with us and she did! We had her first porting experience, we contacted people and did the passbacks. She really enjoyed it and we are hoping that she'll feel the spirit of missionary work and decide to go! She was like our little blue but is a girl haha

service with elder Eklund! 
We also had an amazing district Meeting, we talked all about Christ and his connection to the temple. We talk a lot about the temple but sometimes we forget why, but it's true that it's all really about Christ and how we can become like him and learn from Him. Plus the Paris temple is getting so close to being dedicated! I'm so excited!

I went on an exchange with Elder Eklund, he's in his second transfer and he is such a stud. We were able to visit a ton of members, do some service and has some funny conversations. He's a stud and it's impressive to me how good of a missionary he already is!

some of the African food we ate
Then we finished off the week by eating with Suzanne and her family and the soeurs. She made us SOOO much African food and it was so good. She also showed us some funny African pastor who makes inspirational music videos. They are funny people, and I loved being there with them!

Sorry this isn't super long, but we are doing well! Things here are great, we went on a beautiful hike today and everything is awesome! Keep letting your lights shine and blessing the lives of others!

Avec amour,

Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

top of the mountain 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Soggy Socks and Hot Milk

It's been a rainy, slightly dreary week here, with soggy socks and hot milk. Let me explain, and as always, we can start with the beginning! Well, we will start with the before the beginning beginning. Here in Swiss, after Easter, the stores put all the chocolate on sale for 1/2 off, so I bought a bunch of chocolate, and one of them is a blueberry one and wow, it's wow. Hahaha, also, if you saw a video of us singing in a train with a random mec, ya on our way to Lyon we were standing in the back of the train because there weren't enough seats and there was a ukulele so I started playing, then a couple other missionaries did, then this guy came back and was like "I like to play too" and he pulled out this belt and I thought he was going to kill us, but it was just a ton of harmonicas and a guitar and we just jammed for an hour and a half! It was so so fun!

Elder Curtis!
Ok, now to this week. It started off with an exchange with the English elders here in Geneva. I was able to go with Elder Curtis, who is from Arizona. He's super funny, and I've known him since the beginning of his mission. We had to go to a doctors appointment for my head, because (I didn't want to say anything until I got a professional opinion so now I can tell you all) we went to get my haircut by Vanessa, our Brazilian ami, and she was cutting it and then was like "you have a mushroom on your head" and her husband, who is a geimocologist (wow I don't know how to spell that) was like "ya, that's going to eat your skin and your hair will fall out" so I fixed a rdv chez the doctor and we went. Fortunately, the doctor looked at it and assured me that it's just a mole hahaha so don't worry!

Fun fact: mushroom in Mongolian is "moog"

But then we were able to do some passbacks on our exchange and we contacted some cool people. It was super rainy so not a lot of people wanted to talk, and the hole in my shoe made my socks all wet, but it's okay! Then I lost my contacts because they fell out of my eyes so I was blind for the rest of the exchange, but we got to our RDVs ok. There were some sisters in our zone who needed some blessings, so we were able to help them. They both asked me to give them the blessings, and as always, I love the feeling of letting the spirit speak through me, even if I am nervous. I know that with faith, everything will be okay, and one of them is already free of her problem!

hot milk
On Wednesday night, we were invited to mutual to talk to the young men about missions. We should them our schedules, the app, we talked about experiences we've had and answered their questions (which were all about the scariest things that have happened to us haha), then we did role plays with them on how to respond to questions and criticisms from friends and strangers. One kid didn't quite know how to respond, so he told us that we cannot disprove him if he's doing push-ups and then proceeded to start doing push-ups hahaha. It was fun to teach them, and it made me realize how much I have learned and grown on my mission, and how I can comfortably talk to people about the gospel now. They were all super excited about the idea of serving a mission, so it was great!

samedi Sportif ft. Darge! 
On Saturday, Darge (dar-gee) came to samedi Sportif, and played volleyball with us! Then he asked us to help translate for him to buy a bus pass, so we did. He is so great, like a little child, very trusting and humble and willing to learn. We explained a little bit about the word of wisdom when he asked if we wanted some coffee as a thank you for helping him. Then he insisted on taking us to a cafe and that we would all drink hot milk instead! So we went to a cafe, sat down and ordered hot milk hahaha surprisingly it was super delicious and now I'm hooked! He is progressing well and came to church (even though he was supposed to go to the English ward haha). He also told us that in Ethiopia cows wander around like dogs and then come back at night to sleep haha Also, his favorite new food here is cereal, but with cold milk. ;)

me finding my ancestors haha
We also have been working on helping people find their ancestors, and even finding our own! I have been finding many of my ancestors, including French ones, who need the ordinances of the gospel! As we have been doing this, it's been so cool to see miracles happen and people's hearts turn towards their fathers, just in time for the temple dedication! I LOVE FAMILY HISTORY! There is really such a cool feeling that comes when we find a member of our family we didn't even know existed. They are so anxiously waiting to be found and to be helped, and it's only us that can help them! I can't wait to go to the temple and be a small part in helping save my family. I feel so close to them. I know that it blesses all those who engage in the work, and so I encourage you all to take some time and find out where you are from! It will bless you so much!

Have a great week! I love you all! Try some hot milk.

Avec amour,

Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ethiopians and Lost in Translation

p day on lake Geneva! 
I find myself asking how it's possible that time keeps on passing when I am trying so hard to slow it down! Haha another week flew by... it was a good one! It started off in Lyon and then ended up back in Geneve (c'est normal). The work has slowed down a lot since last transfer, as our ami pool kind of shrunk during vacation time here, but we are trying to find some new people to teach! First, I'll give the rundown on my companion:

Elder Hoffmann is a super hard worker, he speaks great English and is really funny. Because my way of speaking and my vocabulary is kind of different than other English speakers, I say a lot of stuff that he doesn't know, so then I teach it to him. For example, this week he learned:

"Howdy buckaroo"
"Hoity toitty"
"I'm gunna punch you right in the sucker"
"Dirty, rotten, good for nothing..."

And I learned this: "T'es dans un etat d'arrestation. Bouge-plus! Jevais te tirer dessus!" But that's only for extreme cases 😉 hahaha

Other than that, we get along great and I feel that my French is really improving!

So, in Lyon we went to MLC, and it was really cool. We talked about a topic that is near and dear to
Office elders (I am the grandpa)
my heart. If you know me, you may know why I liked it so much... FAMILY HISTORY!! So our mission goal for this transfer is to help our recent converts, less actives and members find ancestors to print and bring to the Paris Temple dedication (which will conveniently be the last Sunday of this transfer, May 21!) we have already been able to bring 2108 amis to partake of the sacrament last transfer and 30 baptisms as a mission! The Lord is truly pouring out his Spirit on our mission and His Work. It's amazing to watch! And already, I have been blessed to have found ancestors who need ordinances done, and even to find that some of my ancestors are French! Quel bonheur! Hahaha

church in black and white 
Something else that was fun that happened this week was in the genre of contacting. So I was sitting on the bus and this man comes and sits down next to me. I felt that I should talk with him, so we started talking, but in English. He told me he was from Ethiopia, and is new here. We talked about Christ and families and he gave us his number, his name is Darge. Well, we also fixed a rdv and he came to get a tour of the chapel. He likes what we teach and is down to learn more. He even said that he is going to teach us how to make Ethiopian food and he wants to exercise with us at the park. He's super cool! But then, we started meeting all the Ethiopian people in Geneva! We meet 2 more back to back, one was even when we ran into Darge and he was teaching us some words in Amharic (the language) and this other guy was like "I'm from there too!" It's funny how as soon as you find one type of person, you find them all!

We also did service for the Volpicellis (shrubs have never looked so good), we had 3 giant meals in the course of 8 hours (an African meal, a Mongolian meal, and a Spanish one), and we have had a lot of RDVs with less actives. It's fun to work so much with members!

Geneva Zone!
Something that I want to share is just the power of the gospel. Thanks to the gospel, I have seen lives change, my own life has changed, I am able to testify of the power of the priesthood, I am able to exercise the power of the priesthood, I feel happiness and reassurance that nothing in this world can bring, and I see the eternal perspective on small problems and small successes, I can love those I serve while serving with love, I can overcome any trials, weaknesses and faults that I am prone to have. I love this gospel and everything it has made of me. I am so lucky to be able to share it with everyone!

I love you all! Have a super fantastic week!

Avec amour,

Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Bells

the picture we made for Easter
Joyeuse Pâques tout le monde! I hope you all had such a wonderful Easter weekend! I think I did, haha, it wasn't anything super special but it was okay! I guess the thing that makes it special is that we get to focus on Jesus Christ, so from that perspective, yes, it was very special! Well my first week with a francophone was great! It's funny to serve with someone whose native language isn't English, it leads to a lot of funny "lost in translation" moments, but he speaks really good English so we have a lot of fun. Elder Hoffmann is from Charles-Le-Roi, Belgium and he is basically a Belgian version of Jason hahaha. Honestly all of his motions and even the way he answers the phone reminds me of him! Also in our apartment building, the Spanish elders are both frenchies so I am, for the first time in my mission, the only American, I am the minority!! It's interesting at times when they go off in super French slang I don't know at all so I just sit there like "lol don't judge me" but it's a new experience and I am enjoying it! I asked them about my accent, individually so that they wouldn't be swayed by each other, and they all said that my accent is "cute. Like a little French boy" hahaha oh, ok. 

atoussa came! 
So the transfer started off with an interesting morning. We got a call at around 4:30 am, and it was a sister in our zone who was pretty sick all night and couldn't find anyone to help her. So we called the Spanish elders (who have a car) and asked for help. Elder Gottscheck was like "you need help at 4:30 in the morning?!" So we drove to a little ville called Annecy and Inwas asked to give the blessing. It was cool because I was pretty tired, but I felt the spirit speaking through me, and we left. When we called to see how she was doing a couple days later, she told us that everything I said in the blessing was exactly what she was worrying about and had expressed to her companion the day before. That's a testimony of the power of the priesthood! 

We also had a really cool rdv with Ali and his daughter (who was baptized exactly a year ago) Atoussa, and we really were able to connect with them and talk to them about their spiritual progression. It must have really worked because Ali came to church for all 3 hours for the first time ever as far as I know, and Atoussa (who hasn't been to church since I've been here) came to the ward buffet and was swarmed! It was awesome! 

We sang in a cart on the train and a guy joined us, 
ill explain it next week haha 
We also met with Lorrane, who said that she's felt great all week, super calm and peaceful. It made me so happy to see that the Holy Ghost is already influencing her life! 

Also, a follow up on Rodgers: he kind of told us that he is going to make his own church online and then one day when he has enough followers he will combine it with ours. So that's good for our membership I guess haha ;) 

me, a rabbit and a chocolate bunny haha

And then one day we were at the gare helping Elder Pesnell and his blue pass through, and there was a big guess how many chocolate eggs are in this box thing so we went to play it and then this lady came up and was like "you can't do that, that's a vice" and we were like "it's just a game" and then she was like "no" so she took a picture of me standing there probably red like a tomato. Haha but it's okay because then I didn't play it because I felt bad! 

But for Easter, we made a picture with a scripture to give to all of our members. I was able to really study the last week of Christ's life and then I taught the lesson in gospel principles about his life. It was amazing how, as we went through the timeline of his time on earth, how the spirit witnessed to us that he truly did walk here, heal here, teach here and suffered and died here, and how, best of all, he was resurrected and LIVED here! I felt so touched by His marvelous life and ministry, and all he did for us. On Easter morning, I heard the traditional French church bells ringing and I realized that, just as he lived and rose, He will come back, and on that day all the bells will ring, sounding his triumph over evil and death, and we will feel the scars in his hands and feet and truly see our Savior. I know it with all my heart! 

I love you all, have a wonderful week! 

Avec amour, 

Elder Hall 

Your Favorite Missionary