And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
- D&C 18:15
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Tuesday, May 24, 2016
What happened Monday to Friday was not near as interesting as what happened from Saturday to this afternoon. Friday we went on exchanges with Elder T. He is a great elder and has lot of fun doing the right things. It was a great exchange highlighted by teaching R T and his two friends, who both want to be baptized. We also taught our Jewish investigator how Christ cleanses us from sin, which was thrilling. Saturday morning we woke to 15 missed calls from who? The mission president. He called us 15 times between 2 am to 2:15 am and we slept through all of them. In case you didn't realize, that's one of the scariest things that could ever happen to you as a missionary. Our mission president would not call us more than twice for something unless it was urgent. We gave him a text and a call and he didn't reply, which made us even sicker. To be honest, the Elder S, T, and I were expecting one of our family members to be dead. Finally, we decided to call Elder C and W to see what was up. Thank goodness, no one was dead. But my trainee was in the hospital. He got in a bike crash on exchanges and had some major injuries. The mission president called us so many times because he was with Elder W, knocking on our door at 2 in the morning to try and get inside. Call me a heavy sleeper. A few hours later we got Elder W back. He obtained a concussion the moment the face hit the pavement and he can't remember anything. He has a broken wrist, a fracture in his cheek bone, two in the eye socket, and one in the nose. His right eye was in bad shape. He couldn't move most of his mouth. This was the third time he's crashed in the 9 weeks he's been on a mission. Bless his heart. This one was pretty major. Elder S and I were more than ready to take care of him for the rest of the day, but we had 8 lessons set up for that day. Instead of missing out on a milestone day, Elder C went with some other missionaries, and the four of us covered our area. We took turns. Two would go out, and one would stay with the injured W. It was chaos. We ended up bagging five of the eight, and rescheduled the other three. In fact, throughout all of this, I broke my personal record of lessons taught in a week. We had more member present lessons than all other lessons combined. Also, my companion Elder S finished his two years today, so he's gone. He was in some bad shape, but things were looking up. The three of us were contemplating how to make it work. We have so many people investigating in both wards, there's just no way we could do the work without some serious planning. It took a bit of brainpower, but with the help of our Ward mission leaders we created a plan for Elder W to be watched over as we did the work. Can I just say, the Old Settlers and Stony Point wards have been phenomenal in helping us out. We have received many phone calls and texts from the wards, member after member has brought over ice cream, applesauce, mashed potatoes, and just about anything you can eat without chewing. It was heart softening to see people walk up during church and ask to help him out in some way. And of course, this was the same week that they asked me to sing a special musical number during sacrament. Here I was, singing "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" solo while my companion is laying on the couch in the apartment with Elder T. Goodness. Things were looking up until we got a call today at 10:00. President called and said he wanted Elder W to recover in his home. He was sending him home. Oh man. He hasn't even been out for three months. It was tough. At that point you almost want to say that you should have gone home. Like if you were the one that should have got their face smashed on the sidewalk. You've been a missionary for eleven months. He needs to be out here! But it is all part of God's plan. If it was supposed to go down another way, it would have gone down another way. But it didn't. Friday night I had two companions, now I'm on an extended exchange with Elder T. Crazy. Don't know where I'll be or who I'll be with for another couple of days. Rumor has it we might get a car. With my luck, probably not. The relief society president felt bad, so she got us In-N-Out. Bless her heart. I've been stretched for sure. It's a wild, wild life. I'm just glad that there are absolutes. The mission will continue to go forth. Souls will be saved. Friends are made, hearts are touched. Having a perfect brightness of hope is more soothing than a perfect shadow of doubt. This is an amazing area. This is the most successful I've felt as a missionary in the past eleven months. I love to obey rules. I love to serve. I think it's time for me to take a much needed nap. We cannot stop the work. It will not be stopped.
Elder Richard Hall
1. This was taken before his ride to San Antonio. My first trainee.