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Monday, July 13, 2015

The Fear of Meats

This is it! This is the life. The mission field. As excited as I am to
be here, D&C 4 forget to mention that the fields were 100 degrees and
so humid you could cut s piece of air out and drink it.

Texas! San Antonio! This is actually a really big, sprawling city. It
is filled with a rich combination of white, Hispanic, and African
American culture that melt together to make a fun society. I'm glad to
be serving such a vast array of people.

The first area I was put in covered two wards, including the High
Country and Eden neighborhoods. Our apartment was just off the eastern
edge of of the boundaries, so you could say that we lived East of
Eden. Unfortunately, the mission president must have decided that I
was a little too close to heaven, so he sent me out to be trained by
the zone leaders, Elder A and Elder T. Elder T is from the
heart of Mexico City and is going to go to BYU Provo, which is
fantastic. Elder A is a farm boy from nowhere else but Blackfoot,
Idaho. Who would have known that one of my first companions would have
a family that was just two hours away from my own parents. Honest to
goodness, the world is small when you stay in the church. I especially
mean that when I found out the family who gave me my first dinner
appointment went to Gooding, Idaho to see their grandparents. That
town is only 30 minutes away from my own. The deli in Gooding is
impressively good for a town of 3000

The Zone Leaders +me are in charge of getting west San Antonio stake,
and our teaching area covers the towns of cibolo, universal city,
scherzt, and an Air Force base. The towns are right on the edge of
suburbia and small town. The neighborhoods range anywhere from trailer
parks to gated communities. But no matter where we go, there are
plenty of people who would love to hear about the gospel of Jesus
Christ. One of my favorite people that we have taught so far is
Miracle. Miracle is a baptist who just had a baby but is looking for
something more. We were knocking on doors in an apartment complex when
she opened up and invited the three of us in. She was so happy we were
there and right away accepted any invitation we gave her. She even
said she would read the Book of Mormon to her newborn son as he went
to bed. She was fantastic. It was wonderful to see her progress in
just 45 minutes time. In my last email. I talked about the joy I had
when Mercedes accepted the baptismal invitation and even picked a
date. I'm so glad that I can do that multiple times a week right now.

The two wards that I cover are crazy about missionary work. Between
the two church meetings we had yesterday, there were 15 non members
present. 15! Most of them friends of the youth and recently baptized.
The people here have a love for the gospel that is universal and
easily spreadable. I can already see the blessings that missionaries
can have when a congregation is helping them with their purpose. And
indeed, it is exactly what is happening with this ward. One of the
best stories is brother C, who went from being less active six
weeks ago to saying the sacramental prayer yesterday. The ZLs tell me
that his transformation was absolutely shocking and a real testament
to the atonement. And I don't know if I've met a man as happy as
brother C.

The first day I got here I was crammed into the mission home with 22
other greenies who just entered the mission. We had a fantastic meal
featuring brisket. Now, not three years, not two years, maybe not even
a year ago would I ever would eat, even try brisket. But my goodness,
when I saw the black ring of pepper seasoning and smoky smell of the
barbecue sauce laced over the meat, I was all in. And it was
delicious. By the end of the meal me and my MTC district leader were
experiment with a sandwich of plain white bread (it's a Texas thing),
creamed corn, a slab of brisket, and this amazing barbecue sauce laced
all over it. That was dang good.

Perhaps people don't recognize my once irrefutable distaste to meat.
As a child I didn't eat hotdogs, didn't have roast, and only ate fast
food hamburgers. But the brisket made unlocked a new world of
delicious. The MTC food was satisfactory, and I did partake of the
turkey, and sausage, and chicken there, but last night while heading
to an investigators home, a less active called us over for some ribs.
The ribs were stacked on top of each other in a little, burnt pan in
his small trailer home. And oh my gosh it was delicious. Meat so
tender you shake the bone and the meat would slip right off. It even
beat out the fresh smoked ham that our dinner appointment gave to us.
Why did I ever have a fear of meat.

And now that I have conquered my fear of meats, it is now time to
conquer another fear: the fear of meets. Street contacting has always
been something that I've been nervous about. Walking up to someone and
simply asking if they want to know more about Jesus Christ and His
church was and sort of still is a scary thing for me. I've let Elder
A and Elder t handle most of the talking, but I don't want my
own fear disrupt the lords work. I have been working hard since I got
to Texas to have full faith and full confidence that what I have to
say not only is true, but it needs to be heard! I know it is true, and
I'm fighting hard to know that I have the privilege of sharing it with
others. Glory to God! And may all know of it

With love,

Elder Richard Hall

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