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Monday, November 2, 2015

Puddles of Thought

It's been another wet week in the land of gated communities! Suburban
salvation is at hand as we slip slide in the rain. I never expected
Texas to be so wet, but Holy Noah it feels like Shoah out there.
Riding a bike in Texas rain is a real experience. At first you just
think it is getting humid, then you're soaking wet.

This week we had the opportunity to go our wards' Fall Festival. Both
of them had tons of less active members and nonmembers there that we
got to talk to and get to know. It was a great experience.
Along with the nonmembers there, there was also cute little 6-year old
Ellie Osbourne, who is obsessed with "Missionaries." Every time she
sees Elder Hill and I she skips and yells "Mishinahwies!" and runs up
and hugs me. It's always me. Throughout the festival she would run up
and talk with me, and I just sat there and listened. I mean, right
now, it is adorable, but give it +/- 10 years and that's trouble.

If you ever are wondering where you can start with missionary work,
you can always start with an invite. Missionary work is simply loving
your neighbor. It's one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have
on this earth. We have been working with a part member family in our
ward to get them reactivated. During our PEC meeting before church,
the bishop and other men gathered together and we talked about what we
can do to get the whole family to church. The father was coming on his
own for a while, but he was really struggling because the rest of his
family wasn't coming with him. We've invited, fasted, loved this
family, and we were looking for our fruits of labor.
It was there where we came together, leaders and servants of the Evans
Ranch ward, in humble prayer and asked God for his will to be done,
and that Brother Gidish and his family could come and enjoy the
blessings of the sacrament, and willing church attendance.
In just 20 minutes, we saw Brother Gidish and his family sitting in
the pews of the chapel. They attended all three hours and the
nonmember wife loved it. It was a powerful testament of prayer and how
the action of faith is precious, and brings forth blessings

The other day I was reading in 1 Samuel 15. Of all of the characters
in the Bible, I like Samuel and Saul the most. Samuel had a rough
prophet-ship. He had to deal with these amazing men who threw away all
of the promises of the Lord. He had to watch his people choose the
lower laws of kingship. Poor Samuel. His story is beautiful and filled
with poetry. It is his brief but powerful conversation with Saul that
rings in my mind. "It is better to obey than to sacrifice."

If you can take one thing out of this letter, it is that obedience
brings happiness. It is as plain as that. One of our investigators is
getting baptized next week. I have seen his life make a complete
turnaround since the first day I met him. He told me that the greatest
thing he has felt from talking with us is the sense of direction. The
loving commandments of God give our lives a structure; one built for
success. We will not find a more perfect, a more whole solution to the
problems of the world.

We were going by some part member families this week, when we met a
man that hasn't come to church in fifteen years. It wasn't that he
didn't have a knowledge of its truthfulness, he just was lonely at
church. We talked to him for a few minutes, and his eyes lit up. He
invited us to come back any time, and he's working on coming back to
church. It wasn't because we taught him some truth he didn't know, it
was because we reached out in love. It was quite the miracle.

One of my trainers, the great Elder T, has been called to be the
next assistant to the president. I am so excited for him! He is an
outstanding missionary. His faith was magnificent, his spirit strong.
I am so glad that I was able to serve alongside with him for six
weeks. Now he gets to love and instruct so many other missionaries.

I am now going to go play soccer. Have a fantastic week!

Elder Richard Hall

A photo I took while going to a meeting

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