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Monday, January 25, 2016

I've Had Adele Stuck in my Head All Week

Except for everything that did happen this week, which was a lot. To be honest with you, everything is getting to a point where days are blurry. I was in an interview with the mission president last week and he asked me what time we got back to the apartment on New Years' Eve. I thought about it for a while, and he was giving me a weird look. Finally I gave up and said, "President, which day was New Years' Eve?" 
That is a real story.
But seriously, please disregard the giant caps lock sentence at the beginning of this email. There was a ton of stuff that happened this week. 

One of the highlights of my week was meeting with Brother S and his daughter. Brother S is way cool. He is one of the two converts in our ward that recently moved in and also recently converted from Judaism. His wife is a member who can't come to church because she works on Sundays. He can't come to church because he has severe leukemia, and their two year old daughter has cystic fibrosis. It's a little saddening to think about, especially when you hear Brother S's testimony of the Book of Mormon. That man knows that it is a Book from God. He loves the church and what it stands for, and he has such a happiness to him. 
It's always a good time when we go to the Skevingtons, mainly because they don't get a whole lot of visitors, so when they get visitors, they love them to death. Also, you probably won't meet a man more at peace with his situation than he is. He stays home all day with his little daughter, while his wife works as a manager for a toy store. They have all of these little toys and gadgets lying around in their apartment. He has a giant beard he's growing out for the world's beard and mustache exhibition being held in Austin. His overall attitude is jolly, and he loves elders. I am always so grateful for the times we get to visit him. It always is a spiritual and uplifting experience. An olive leaf of missionary work.

We have a new elder in the apartment! I'm sure that I have neglected to tell you that we live with another companionship of elders living in the apartment, and they are super fun. One of them being one of my first companions, Elder A. His old companion, Elder G, just got emergency transferred, and was replaced by Elder D. My first district leader! Now he's in the apartment and it is a party every night. Fun fact, Elder Goeckeritz was on the Lone Peak high school basketball team, one of the four teams in the last 20 years to go undefeated all year. Elder D was on Plainville High School's, on one of the other four basketball teams that went undefeated in the last 20 years. He's really, really good at basketball. 

The T's came to church this week! The T's are a reactivating family from Samoa who are seeing some good things happening in their life. Their home teacher has been working with us to get them back to activity in the church. At first things were a little rough, but now they've come to church for three straight weeks! And every time they see us they come over and give us hugs, from their little eight year old daughter their monstrous father. He is about 6'3" and all muscle. He gives surprisingly gentle hugs though. They also are some of the funniest people to have dinner with too. Islanders are worse than Mexicans when it comes to dinner. They made us Pork Chops AND Grilled Chicken for us on Sunday, with roasted potatoes, carrots, pepper, etc.four slabs of meat a piece for me and Elder M. It was delicious, but way too much food. Brother T said he's going to go boar hunting so he can cook us a pig Poly-style. It's going to be heavenly.

This week we saw a true miracle happen. It seemed like the whole week we were scheduling lessons with our progressing investigators and then seeing them fall through. Just this repeated cycle. I'd say 8 of the 25- or so lessons we scheduled actually happened. We usually get about 8-15 lessons a week in this area, but this week we were a little deflated because of the potential greatness we missed out on. Anyways, our effort did not go to waste. After seeing the hundredth lesson fall through for the week, we both decided to try by a less active woman that no one has even heard of. We thought it wouldn't hurt to try by, especially with all our plans going down the drain, and it turned out to be amazing! She had us come by Saturday so we could teach her whole family. They agreed to take all the lessons and to try coming back to church! Her kids awesome. Before we left they wanted to take a Polaroid picture of us. And then they gave us the most delicious banana bread. OH MY GOSH. It was good. We are super excited for the Walters as they start their journey towards Christ.

Life is good. Life is always good. This week was an up week, and some weeks are down weeks. What makes the difference is the attitude. God looks at everything in the best possible light. He is full of grace and mercy. He is full of love. God is love!

I didn't even get to write about half the things I wanted to. But hey, the beach volleyball court is calling my name. It's 70 degrees here, baby!

Elder Richard Hall

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