Tuesday, April 11, 2017

When You're A Missionary

Wow. I can't really explain this week, because so many things happened that were all so surprising! I guess on a mission we never really expect anything that happens and that's why it's so darn stressful! But I will get to all that and more, it before I go any further, I'll let you know what's happening with transfers. It was the last week of the transfer so we got our calls, and I will be staying here in Geneva and my new companion is named Elder Hoffmann, he's from Belgium so he's a native French speaker, but his English is great too! I'm excited because it will be my first non American companion, and I guess it's about time. But I was super sad to see Elder Pesnell go. We became such good friends over our 2 transfers together, I learned a lot from him and laughed a lot. Almost everyone in our zone said that we were they funniest équipe of Zone leaders they've ever had, and I think its because we are so weird haha. But he's going to train, so that is super fun!

exchange with Elder Van Woerkom
So, my week started off with a last minute exchange with Elder Van Woerkom. His grandparents are actually my neighbors chez moi, but I've served around him for a couple transfers now and he's so fun! He's a great missionary that speaks the language really well. We focused mostly on contacting, how to talk to people, so we were talking to people all day on trams and buses and all those kinds of places. We were able to talk to a lot of cool people, and we were even full with RDVs as well like a mangez vous chez les Cornettas (our bishops family who feed us every week), and Lawson. The thing we learned was that when we really love the people, there is good to see in everyone, and then we can point it out to them, making it easier and more sincere to start a conversation.

We also were able to teach Lorrane the rest of the principles before baptism. We taught with the Austins, they are super! And then on Friday, with elder Pesnell, we went again to the Volpicellis with her and Celine. Well, she told Celine about how she moved her baptism, and Celine was so sad because she couldn't be there because it's Easter vacation and she will be in London (they are bffs now, so that's why it was a big deal). But Frere Volpicelli gave her a triptych (side note: is that really how that's spelt? What a weird word...) and the lesson went well. That night we got a text from Lorrane that basically said sorry for being so difficult, but can I be baptized this Sunday so that her friend could be there? WE FREAKED OUT! We called the bishop to see and he said yes, so we started making arrangements. She had her baptismal interview early Saturday morning, then we had the executive secretary send out an email, we texted people, prepared talks and clothes and the font and luckily it would be fast Sunday so we wouldn't have to worry about food haha

the baptism! 
Sunday came and we headed to the church early to prepare every needful thing haha Frere Volpicelli was going to baptize her, so he showed up, and the members started coming. We had to do it all in the little baptismal font room because there was already the other wards who were going. We all the sudden realized that we had forgotten to tell Celine! THAT WAS THE WHOLE REASON SHE CHANGED IT! So us and the sisters prayed and asked Heavenly Father to inspire and push her to the church, since her phone wasn't working. 20 Minutes later, she came walking up to the door! It was a miracle! So we had Celine, but we were mission something very important... it was 11h30 came and Lorrane wasn't there! So we prayed again, and she sent us a text saying that she was on her way. She got there, got ready and we started the meager service. She was really nervous but Soeur Burton gave a great talk on baptism, and then right before the actual baptism Elder Pesnell and I ran out to get a quick picture, and the picture is a perfect description of the whole situation haha. Anyways, the baptism went great, she said she felt so calm afterwards. I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost and then voila. An hour later, she was confirmed in Portuguese by Frere Cornetta (who is Portuguese) and it was so cool! I actually understood almost all of the blessing, which was incredible, I don't know why or how, but I did! The Spirit was strong and filled the room. After the confirmation, it was completely silent and as I walked back to my seat and saw the faces of everyone that I've worked with here (even all the 29 less actives and amis that were at church), I was so touched. She was so happy and so were we! What an amazing surprise! Haha

So there was the end of our transfer. It was such an emotional rollercoaster because baptism aren't meant to be planned and carried out 24 hours beforehand! But I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing us to see this whole process unfold and letting Elder Pesnell be here for the end. I feel so blessed that I was able to watch the spirit change someone's life completely, and can't wait to see it keep working!

samedi Sportif (but I forgot my clothes haha)
We were able to see a lot of members this week too, the Manseya's, the Fidalgo's and a part member family named the Dudoit-Elkhaims, who invited their neighbor just randomly over and turns out he's already been taught by missionaries before! Wow! But something that touched me this week was what a Soeur in our ward described to us. She said that missionaries are like angels who bring a peace and a light everywhere they go. She said that her kids look up to the missionaries and that when we visit, we recharge them and give them the hope and the force to keep on going. It's so strange because I don't feel like I do any of that... I am just a 20 year old kid with my own problems and weaknesses who's trying his best to serve and love others. But I have felt the power of the Holy Ghost Work through me, and I have seen miracles because of it, but it comes with the job! It's not that I'm anything special, it's just that I am dedicated to the Lord, and that is what makes all the difference. After all, if He can turn water into wine, He can make me into whatever He needs me to be.

I love you all, and thank you for your prayers! Have a great week, and an amazing Easter!

Avec amour,

Elder Hall

Your Favorite Missionary

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