What an exciting time to do missionary work! I am slightly terrified
by this week, since it was the funnest, most exciting, and most
enjoyable week of my mission, and it also felt like it lasted for
about 15 minutes. Where does the time go?
This week was crazy. Most of the time our faithful trio of Elders were
not even together, instead one of us out on an exchange with the other
Elder that lives with us. His companion is a traveling assistant to
the president, which means he is constantly out with other
missionaries, helping them with their work. That leaves his companion
rather companion-less. So, while the traveling assistant is out and
about, he took one of us into his area. It is super fun!
Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to do that. Elder Nebeker, my
wonderful companion of last transferred, was emergency transferred to
a different area in the mission. Now it is just Elder Hall and Elder
H. That's definitely going to confuse some people. But it's okay.
It's pretty easy to tell the difference between us.
The work of salvation in the Indian Springs and Evans Ranch wards has
been slow but sure! On Thursday we got a call from church headquarters
about a man in the Indian Springs ward who wanted to meet with the
missionaries. On Friday we taught him, and on Saturday we set a solid
date of baptism for him on November 7th. He really wants to join the
church of Jesus Christ. He even came to church early on Sunday to talk
with the bishop. Crazy. This is one of those moments that you don't
even dream of on your mission. It's just too good to be true.
There is a family in the ward that once took me and my companion out
to eat at Longhorn Steakhouse. I have written many times in my journal
that I am forever indebted to the M family for doing so. There I
had a full rack of ribs all to myself, which I polished off in about
20 minutes. They were rather impressed that a 6'1", 150-pound
featherweight could clean that off before they could finish their
This same family dropped us off some dinner at the apartment last
Thursday. It was all Texas classics. Mac and Cheese, barbecue chicken,
pork, Texas Sheet Cake, and to packages wrapped in butcher paper with
Elder Hall written on it. Inside of each were a rack of ribs intended
solely for me. God is looking out for Elder Hall.
It is surprising that I have had such a great time this week, because
This Sunday was pretty rough. Walking back to the apartment we ran
into some people who were, uh, inebriated. They came up yelling at us,
telling us we were deceived and some other awful things. One man
almost began throwing punches at us before someone held him back.
Apparently, most of the animosity came when they thought that we were
Jehovah's Witnesses. When they found out we were LDS they completely
changed, told us they loved us, but they still didn't like Joseph
Smith. When we left they cautioned us with great concern "Remember,
you must live the gospel. NOT the doctrine." That made us laugh a lot
back at the apartment.
That moment was not fun at all, in fact, it was dangerous, but in
retrospect, there was some pretty fun parts of it. I think it shows
1. We live the Word of Wisdom for a reason, and
2. Every person will eventually be backed to their own wall of faith.
Faith is crucial. We cannot rely on other people's faith and belief to
buoy our own's up. To quote the wonderful Jeffrey R. Holland, "Belief
is a precious word and an evem more precious action." The power of
prayer, specifically personal revelation, allows us to know the truth
in all things. Every person can know for themselves the greatness and
fulness of the gospel. It is within themselves. And through that we
can know that God has organized His church on the earth, and that he
has given us authority here on earth. And when we come to know this,
and live it, there is no greater joy.
Elder Richard Hall