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Monday, February 15, 2016

Good Times and Sunshine

To my beautiful lifelong friends,

It's been a great week! There's been some great things happening this
week that I'll get to remember and cherish forever. One of them just
happened! I was buying some pretzel bites with Elder M at the
HEB after grocery shopping, and this college-aged girl asked us what
Mormon missionaries do. I told her a little about our Christianity and
how we serve others and was about to get to the Restoration when she
cut in, "and are all of you are cute as ____?"
"Uh, sure."
"Oh, you can come over and talk to me any time."
I don't think we're going to, but that made me feel a lot better that
I was going to buy pretzel bites solely so I could eat the frosting
I am healthy. Trust me.
Well, sort of.
To start off this email, I just want to say: I love being a
missionary. When the first presidency said that more joy awaits you an
you have ever experienced as you labor among His children, they
weren't kidding. Yeah, I had to overcome some fears. Yeah, I still
have to get rejected more than an empty credit card, but hey. It is a
matter of perspective. Are we looking down or are we looking up. Just
remember forever goes both ways from where you stand.
Tuesday we finally got to have a lesson with the Bs. R is
loaded. He owns a cement company in Texas, and his house is probably
the size of Campus Plaza back in Provo. But man is that guy humble. I
loved sitting down and talking with him and his wife, Kasha. Ryan
completely believes the Book of Mormon to be true and Joseph Smith  to
be a prophet of God? So why isn't the son of a gun baptized already?
Well, mainly it is because of his wife, Kasha. He won't do it without
her, and she is afraid to read the Book of Mormon. This is something
that happens with a lot of people. If they read the Book of Mormon, if
they come to church, they might receive an answer that the church is
true. And if that happens, then what they first believed in May have
to be adjusted, or they must walk a path of discipleship that does not
line up with that of the world. It might just be too much work.
Luckily, K loves missionaries. And luckily, her husband has a
marvelous fire for the gospel. K was courageous enough to accept
our invitation to read. Awesome! The next step is to get them to
church. They already agreed to come to a baptismal service. That is
way exciting
One of my favorite things that missionaries do is teach children. We
are teaching a kid who is getting baptized on the 5th of March. Her
name is Jessa. Her parents were baptized only a few years ago, and
moved into the Ward just recently. They want their kids to have the
same experience they did, so we go by and teach Jessa the lessons when
we have time. She is way smart. For having been in primary for 2
years, she knows a heck of a lot. We asked her what the Plan of
Salvation was, and she basically told us all you need to know about
agency and resurrection. It was great. Last night we were teaching her
the gospel of Jesus Christ last night. She's totally ready. Her
parents are great. Before we left her parents asked if we left any
"valentines" back home. Elder M said no, and then pulled out
a three pound link of salami and said, "THIS is my Valentine!" Oh
Elder M, always surprising the crap out of e strangest
situations. If he wasn't so dang funny he might be weird. Nah, he's
When I said I didn't, you'd have thought Jessa was going to tear up.
Tender hearted little girl. It's alright, I told her, I'll just steal
Elder M's for lunch tomorrow. She was a little confused.
Saturday night was special. We got to teach D for the first time
in a month. He wants to get baptized after he reads the Book of
Mormon, which might be a while. He may be one of the top programmers
at Dell, but he reads English very slowly. If you met D, you would
understand why he feels like he must read the whole thing before
baptism. It isn't that he lacks faith, or wants to go through a
system, he just wants to make sure that what he is learning is 1000%
truth. Good thing he came to the right place. And he loves it. He told
us that when he finishes, he wants his whole family baptized, and to
have their own copies. When we asked if there was anything we could do
for him, he said "giving me this Book was the best thing you could do
for me." It was a simple yet touching remark. You could feel the
What gifts do we have that we do not appreciate? What are the things
of God that are so readily given to us and we do not use? I know that
before my mission, it was my family. But perhaps for others it is the
Book of Mormon. And for others, it may simply be the shoes on their
feet. But whatever it is, we show love through actions, we should
gratitude through consistency. Each day I get to go on a bike. At the
beginning of the day, I always hate it. Give me a piece of plywood for
a companion, send me to Siberia, put the apartment next to a Kingdom
Hall, just get me off that bike. But after a few hours, I get use to
it. I feel the spring air flow through my body (p.s. It's 70 degrees
here), wave at cars, bike through beautiful parks- it becomes
pleasant. Life is to be enjoyed. Life is to work.

Elder Richard Hall

1. This is Nixon the Corgi. He has 13,700 followers on Instagram.
Probably the most famous thing I have met yet on the mission. Look him
up at Nixonthecorgi
2. My favorite Valentine my mom sent me. I felt sad that it said
"friends forever, and then there was no one on the card but Batman. So
I put a T-Rex next to him to make Batman feel better. Missionaries,
always worried about feelings.

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