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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Lost in a Cloud Again, Son of Man, We Draw Near!(2)

I suppose that for all those that know me, they know that Thanksgiving
used to be  sans-substance holiday. What can I say, I was a picky son
of a gun for most of my life. But I think that I should just make a
quick list of all the junk I ate for Thanksgiving while eating amongst
the Texans
- Mashed potatoes
- sweet potatoes, pecans, and marshmallows
- yams
- stuffing
- creamed corn
- corn
- ham
- honey mustard
- turkey
- barbecue turkey
- brisket
- kale
- pecan pie
- pumpkin pie
- chocolate chip pie
- lava cake
- cranberry sauce
- asparagus
- green beans
- apple cider
- pomegranate apple cider
- cranberry apple cider
- rolls
- ice cream
- and other stuff!!

Thursday is worth an email in itself. We had a lunch appointment,
dinner appointment, and two other meals. At first I thought this was
going to be the best day of my mission, but it ended up being one of
the hardest. It was a marathon of food. By the time that Elder Hill
and I made our way to the last appointment, we were both in food
comas. Unfortunately, our last appointment showed no mercy. The cutest
little woman made us and her family of three a meal that could feed
about twelve people, and every last bit of it was delicious. The
stuffing could have been a meal in itself. The ham was delectable, and
she even made chocolate chip pie for me.
this lady asked Elder H and I what our favorite pies were in
preparation for our visit. When I told her it was chocolate chip pie,
she was confused. She had no idea what it was! So I gave her the
recipe and she made two of them solely for me. She sat down and
watched me eat two pieces of it, and said "You know when I was making
this, I realized that this pie is basically a really big, condensed
chocolate chip cookie." To which I replied, "why do you think I like
it so much?" Ah, Sister M. She makes the best food.
Not to take away from my exquisite Thanksgivin', but our Wednesday
dinner appointment was awesome. We knocked on the door to see a
wonderful old lady welcome us in. Unfortunately, her husband wasn't
home yet. Since we aren't allowed to enter into a home unless another
male is present, we ate in her garage. which I have to say was the
most quaint and homely garage I've ever seen.There was a wonderful
wooden table with matching chairs in the middle of a neat, well swept
garage floor. She then proceeded to run in and out of the garage with
salads, homemade bread, egg salad sandwiches, jam, all on the cutest
plates. Honestly, it was the most memorable dinner of the week. I
attached a picture of us in her garage at the bottom of the email.

In non food-related news, I am a missionary! This week was wild. On
Tuesday we were getting ready to head out of the apartment and start
our day when my front tire popped. It was toast, sugar and butter.
Gone. a great big gaping hole resided in the middle of the bike tube.
The tube itself now resides in the trash can. We had to call up some
other missionaries to take us to a Walmart so I could grab not one,
but two new tires, because about a week before my rear tire did the
exact same thing, but was still fixable. By the time that we got the
new tubes in, we were still twenty minutes out of our area and about
an hour and a half away from our appointment, and sunset was coming
soon. Needless to say, we got a ride into the area that day.

My favorite lesson that we had this week came from a man named Om
Kalyan Purohit. Om is a student at the University of the Incarnate
Word in San Antonio, but he is originally from India. One of his
professors is a member of the Evans Ranch ward, and he as well as all
the other international students (as well as us) were invited to have
Thanksgiving dinner at his home, since everyone was far away from
their home. It was here where Elder H and I met Om, as well as
Tian-Tian, Zhu Ling, and Wang from China; Tony from Albania, Ronald
from Russia, and Freida and Tony from Ukraine. All of them were so
nice to us as we had an excellent Thanksgiving dinner with the
R. We got to talk to all of them about our beliefs over dinner,
but Om was special. When we asked him what religion he was a part of
he said that he wasn't from any religion. In fact, he believed in
every religion because they all testified of Jesus.

When I first heard this, I didn't believe that was possible. My first
thoughts were, "Are you kidding me? What about, Islam, Buddhism,
Hinduism, Shintoism, Satanism, Taoism, Aboriginal traditions, Atheism,
etc.? To believe that every religion has a belief in Christ is a
little absurd.
But then I got to thinking about it, and I was reminded of a or a
passage in Isaiah 40:18-20
"To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it
over with gold, and casteth silver chains.
He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree
that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a
graven image, that shall not be moved."
The workman, the goldsmith, the poorman all knew there was a God, or
what God was supposed to be like. They made a connection to a higher
power, they honored it, worshipped it. Their worship split away from
Christianity when their God differed from what we know to be God, the
word, the truth. However, the Gods that these people created stem from
the one God.
Though they don't know it, these people who do not believe in Christ
are still showing that there is a higher power. As a Christian, we
know that Heavenly Father is our God, and Jesus Christ is our savior.
It's kind of hard to explain, but in a sense, every religion follows
the words spoken by Alma in Alma 30:44, when he says that all things
denote there is a God.
Though Om was very general with his statement, he's kind of right. But
only kind of. Don't take my words the wrong way, I'm not saying
everyone believes there is a God, but I am saying that all people have
been put here on this earth but a loving God, and what they do on this
earth reveals their relationship with the Father in Heaven.
Anyways, Om loved talking to us. Since he lives out of our proselyting
boundaries, we have to refer him to other missionaries, but before we
left, he gave us some "Aerican fist bumps." Americans are weird.

Looks like I had a lot to say this week. I'm loving it in the Hill Country!

Elder Richard Hall

P.S. We finally moved into our area. if you want to send me a package,
or letter, send it to

Also, some photos
1. Elder H and I having dinner in a garage
2. Elder H and I getting caught in the rain
3. a picture of the Indian Springs ward, basically

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