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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Monday, July 25, 2016
it's for the Long Haul
I knew that I shouldn't have said anything about transfers in my email last week. I had all the stats and fun things and good memories all lined out, having a good time recollecting my time here, only to find out this morning that I am staying in the Old Settlers/Stony Point/Pflugerville area for another six weeks. In case you are wondering, this is a long time to stay in one place as a missionary. This is a rarity. This week was highlighted by the baptisms of three children. We had an excellent turnout to the baptism and the spirit there was great. Their parents recently reactivated and have come back with a great fire. Their dad was able to baptize them, and a member of the bishopric confirmed them members of the church. It was a great occasion. I can't wait to see them in the temple together. Yesterday was Pioneer Day. At church I got to sing "Come, Come Ye Saints" three times, one for each sacrament meeting. It was fun to teach the investigators and recent converts what Pioneer Day is and why we celebrate it. But goodness, we had the most depressing pioneer story told over the pulpit. We celebrate Pioneer Day for the courage, faith, and perseverance of these people, not to recollect on the bleeding feet and the dying family members and the maggoty bread. Pioneers were some of the most amazing humans who have lived on this planet. Their hearts and determination were some of the strongest you'll ever find. The spirit of the Pioneers is found to this day in the culture of the church. Today is July 25th. Merry Christmas in July! A member told me the other day, "the stress you feel on a mission is nothing compared to the stress that you have when you get a family, career, real life. The stress I felt on my mission, that wasn't stress." I think that missionaries get scared of that stressful feeling that they have on their mission because the think it is stress. But I think that Brother was right. Perhaps it is more of what J called, an "over-anxiety." Perhaps this is not a stress, but an urge, something that we've never felt before and are struggling to find the right word for it. Many missionaries call this feeling "the fire." That still doesn't describe it perfectly. It is like a realized desire, a moment of clarity that lasts too long. At any rate, I liked what he said, so I decided to share it with you. It's hotter than heck out here, in case you were wondering. It's been over 100 every day for the past while. I grew up in the Central Valley, where it gets fairly hot as well. I used to think that it was cool to be hot. The hotter the place you lived, the cooler it was to live there. That philosophy died abruptly when I came to Texas.
Elder Richard Hall
1. The District 2. The B Family. The Elder on the right is Elder B, from Edmonton. He taught the B family his first day in the field. He leaves for home Wednesday.