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Thursday, March 24, 2016

March Madness, and the New Guy

I'm training! I got the official call from Elder T (the assistant,
who just happened to be one of my trainers) last night. I'm super
excited. New missionaries have this fire to them, it's a beautiful
combination of willingness and faith and constant learning. There
aren't very many moments of your life that match that feeling of
panic, adventure, and thrill. It'll be awesome. I don't know his name
of the new Elder yet, but I know he exists, and he is one of the two
elders that came out this transfer. I am staying in the Old Settlers
Ward for another six weeks. The next round of transfers will be the
week before mothers' day. That's crazy.
Before I go any further: can someone please do me a favor. I haven't
heard anything about the Golden State Warriors in weeks. Please tell
me they are still on track for having the best record ever. Please
tell me Steph Curry is the most amazing shooter since Maravich, if not
Okay, time to move on. Tuesday we and two other missionaries painted a
kitchen for some less actives in our Ward. It was super fun and I
managed to not get paint in myself. However, Elder Diaz swiped the
right half of my shirt with paint. Apparently it was not in the plans
to save that shirt. But the family loved the new look in the kitchen!
They said they owed us a few dinners and a lesson or two. Which is
great. Service softens the hearts of all people involved, both Those
who do it and those who receive it. It is a great way to express love
and willingness.
That night we got to finally give Al his Arabic Book of Mormon. I
don't know know if I have talked about Abdel before, but he has
traveled all across Asia and Africa for his job. I can't really
understand his accent, but I think he was in the oil industry. Somehow
he's in North Austin and he is really interested in Christianity. I
don't really know how far we can teach him, because he's told us Abdel
isn't even his real name, and he is very set in some Islam traditions,
but it'll be a wild ride.
That same night we taught Brother B's wife, who is Jewish. We
went over the spirit world, resurrection, and the afterlife. Really
interesting to see her point of view. She had a hard time
understanding the spirit world, but she enjoyed the lesson. She
apparently reads the Book of Mormon from time to time. Other than
that, she isn't progressing too well. But she does want to do temple
work for her family, so we are doing everything we can to help her get
there. It's hard though, when you don't believe Jesus Christ is your
savior, and you must be baptized to enter the temple.
Friday I fell ill. Not fun.
The rest of the week just feels like a blur. Saturday was one of the
windiest days I've ever experienced on a bike. Seriously. I felt like
I was back home, in the wind tunnel they call the Magic Valley. It was
been uncomfortably windy for about the past month or two, but Saturday
was the worst day yet. My throat has been getting windburn. Pretty
badly. I hope it doesn't anymore. The Ward asked me to sing in
sacrament next week for Easter. One of my favorites too.
This week wasn't filled with anything too special or too cool, so I'll
add on a thought I've been having.
Change is constant. In an experiment, there are constants, things that
never change,  but more constant than the constant in an experiment is
the presence of a variable. Change is inevitable. It is perpetual in
existence as well as motion. We cannot stop exterior changes from
existing. That is out of our ability.
However, reaction to the change, our own change, is controllable. It
is not always consistent, but it is within our power. Between stimulus
and response, there is a choice. Change is not the variable in the
equation of life, our decisions are the variable. And our decisions,
our mindset, our attitude, our faith, ourselves, have more weight and
importance in the equation than any other component. interpretive
communities, false binaries, socioeconomic status, hyperreality, and
predicted simulation affect you- to a point. But when you reach that
point, the output to the experiment of life is determined by you.
Follow the guidance of Thomas S. Monson. "Decisions Determine

Elder Richard Hall

1. The district! Filled with great missionaries, but not the best photo
2. Me and the S girls, Isabelle and A

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