Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 30, 2010-Becoming A Trainer

Dear Livingston Family,
It is a great pleasure to notify you that your son has arrived safely to the great mission Argentina Buenos Aires South. He is in a very good area with an excellent Trainer, Elder Hall. Although we have known him for a very short time we love him already. He will be great!


President and Sister Asay

March 30, 2010-Buenos Dias

¿que tal everyone?
well i guess i should start by thanking you all for the package that you sent me. i haven´t really had time to open it yet cause i just got it today and its been pretty crazy, but i was able to see all the pictures that you sent me and the letters. be sure to tell all the people who wrote that i´m really grateful and that it means alot to me.
i guess that i´ll get started on everything thats gone on this past luis actually wasn´t able to get baptized on saturday. i don´t want to go alot into detail about why not, but lets just say that i´m kinda disappointed with some of the members in this area. its really easy to underestimate the importance of the members who can be friends to people who are new and investigating the church. but yeah, we know that luis is going to get baptized sometime. he´s got a super strong testimony and he just needs a little more help from members. the missionaries can really do alot, but its to a limit. the members can really be the difference in someone changing their life completely. but maybe it just wasn´t the right time for luis to get baptized. not yet at least...
we had a crazy experience the other day with sara and valeria. so we went over to visit them and found out that valeria had to be taken to the doctor cause he was having some pain in her body. i talked to her mom and apparently its something thats happened more than once. the next day we went over and gave her a blessing. we talked to her and her mom for a while...sara was pretty sad about it and really wasn´t taking it that well. but we kept talking to them and they ended up bringing up the baptism. they told us that they felt like valeria should get baptized earlier instead of waiting for her mom to get married...i think that that was the most difficult lesson that i´ve had in my mission. just trying not to break down and cry. i needed mortensen to just talk for a little bit cause i tried and i really couldn´t get anything to come out. after about 5 minutes i was able to talk again, but thats really not something that normally happens to me. i think that they both felt worried that valeria might die while shes still really young (they never actually said that, but its just what i felt) and they feel like being baptized will bring her even more blessings and protect her. so we haven´t put an official date yet, but its really possible that valeria could get baptized in the next week or 2.
alright so about transfers...i´m sad to tell you all that mortensen isn´t my comp anymore. he was sent to an area in adrogue with a peruano. we were both pretty bummed cause we would have loved to stay together for another transfer. but i think that this is going to be really great for him. hes really become one of my best friends...not just in the mission, but one that i´ll have for a really long yeah he left, which means that i´m staying in alto san lorenzo again. i´m really excited to be staying here. i didn´t want to leave and wasn´t expecting to either. i´m actually going to be training this transfer, so i don´t know who my new comp is yet hahah. i´m gonna meet him tomorrow, so you´re gonna have to wait til next week for that...i´m also super surprised cause i was asked to be a district leader here in this zone. i know that this is a great opportunity for me to learn and hopefully be able to help other people in the missionary work too. i know that this is what the Lord needs me to be doing right now. i´m excited and ready to keep finding more of the Lord´s sheep.
thank you all for your emails and support. mom, i actually do remember what its like to go to the beach all the time ...vaguely hahah. its just a dim memory but its there ...yeah right how could i forget about going to the beach and doing stuff like that. dad, thanks for the email. thanks for wishing me a happy birthday. i´m definately gonna try to stay away from those... what did you call them? gangsters? no i can´t remember what you said, but it definitely made me laugh. here we just call em ¨chorros¨ or ¨pibes¨. sean, its sweet that the lakers and gettin back on track. i´m way stoked to hear about that. but if they win another championship while i´m on the mission, i might flip. they owe me a championship in 2011! paige, i talked to gubler today and he still hasn´t gotten your letter that you sent a while ago. i think that hes startin to lose hope on ya so you better hurry and grab this chance of a lifetime while you still have it. bridg, i´ll bet that you´re way excited for 2 weeks of spring break. wow that sounds way awesome. be sure and let me know all the things that you do. but i also wanted to thank you for the letter you put in my package. i thought that it was great.
ok i need to get going now. i´m here in la plata today with elder mclain (from the mtc days...he´s also training and hes gonna be in my district too) and tomorrow morning we´re heading back to adrogue. thats another 4 hours of train rides tomorrow hahah. but it should still be fun. i hope that you all have an awesome week and that you´re safe. take care. until next week...
con cariño,
elder ryan hall

March 22, 2010-Greetings To Sunny California

hows it going everyone?!
well i wanted to tell paige happy birthday again. it sounds like you had a good time. i saw the picture of you and mom. wow i really didn´t even recognize you. its crazy how much you´ve all grown already. but i really like the new haircut and everything.
thank you all for wishing me a happy birthday. it was a nice day for me. for the most part, it was alot like any other day in the mission...i think the biggest difference was just alot more cake than i´m used to in the mission. my comp made me this super funny cake in the morning, and then i ended up having 3 more from the members in the ward, and 1 from sara and valeria. so to be honest, i´ve had my fill of cake for another year. i think that i´m about full of cake. it was really nice of everyone to do that for me though.
so this week mortensen and i were able to take out baptismal dates with sara and valeria. but sara still needs to get married first, so we set the baptismal date for the 22nd of may. we might have been able to set it earlier, but sara´s son ended up getting a job up on cordoba and is going to be there working for like 2 months. sara really wants him to be here when she gets married, so we just decided to put the baptism right after they get married...we´re also pretty excited about this investigator, luis. he´s supposed to get baptized this saturday, but he´s been wanting to talk with a couple of the members in the church first. we´ve set up days for him to go visit some of the members, but the times that he´s gone, but member wasn´t there. so he´s supposed to go talk to one of the members tonight, and then we´re gonna give him a baptismal interview tomorrow. i really feel like he´ll get baptized this saturday. he´s definately ready for it. he´s the kind of guy that you could call to teach in a class at church right after he was baptized, and he wouldn´t have any problem doing it. he´s just got a really good understanding of everything and has alot of faith in this church.
i also had a cool experience last week that i forgot to tell you all. so i dont know if ive ever told you guys before but we share a church with the area next to us. so ive been able to get to know alot of the members and the hermanas from that area (los hornos) too. so the other day this little girl was getting baptized, so she asked me to baptized her. i thought that it was really awesome and i always think that its a blessing to be asked to baptize someone. ill have to show you some pictures of it sometime.
mom, i really think that that scrap book is awesome. i really liked the picture of it that you attached. thanks for always doin that stuff for me. dad, mom tells me that youve been pretty busy lately going down to san diego and other places. i was thinking how awesome it would be to go with you to mexico someday. it would feel so normal now. peruvians actually talk alot like mexicans so it wouldnt be weird at all to talk to them. sean, dude i wont lie, the trivia this week took me a little longer to remember...but i still got it! hahah of course thats clifford dude haha. such a funny movie! but dang it sounds like things in the sports world are pretty exciting right now too. im way excited about byu basketball. its about time we won one in the tournament hahah. paige, happy birthday again! its crazy to think that youre already 16. mom also told me that you went on your first group comment...hahah just kidding, just be sure to let those guys know that you have an older brother ;) . bridg, watcha been up to sis? are you still thinking about trying out for the basketball team at your school? be sure to let me know, cause i still think that it would be way cool.
alright guys, i should probably get goin...this is the last week of the transfer...i really cant believe how fast its gone. i personally dont think that ill be leaving the area. mortensen and i are hoping to stay together for one more transfer but i guess well just have to see what it is that the Lord wants from us. i hope that you all have another great week. thanks again for everything. i love you all. until next week...
con cariño,
elder ryan hall

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010-Happy Birthday, Paige

hey everyone,
alright so first of all i want to wish paige a happy early birthday! can you believe that you´re gonna be 16?! thats so crazy to me ...i also wanted to thank you guys for attaching that list of 20 things. i definately got a laugh at all that. my favorite was definately #1 hahah. i still remember that morning...once again, i apologize to rachel for her having to see that. i´m sure she saw me in a new way after that...incident hahah.
dang this week was probably one of our best ones since being in this area without having a baptism that week. we´re really trying to focus on having lessons with members. thats something that has always been really hard in this area because the members don´t get too excited about leaving with us alot. but i think that the last few baptisms that we´ve had have kind of gotten them excited and they seem more willing to help us out. i never realized how important it is to have members in lessons. they can really relate to the investigators in certain ways that us as missionaries can´t always do. especially converts...they can be huge helps for us. but yeah it was a really exciting week because we were able to take out a baptismal date with this guy luis. i don´t know if i mentioned his name the other week, but hes a really awesome guy that has known about the church for a really long time. he almost got baptized a year or so ago, but something happened and it didn´t work out. but he´s just another chosen son of God. he´s super prepared and really loves the gospel of Jesus Christ. so we put the baptismal date for the 27th of this month, which is like the last week of this transfer.
sara and valeria are doing really well also. they´ve come to church every week since we found them, which is crazy. they´ve got such strong testimonies of this church. we´re just trying to help sara get married. her and her ¨husband¨ were gonna go to the registro civil this week to set a date to get married, but the husband had to work and wasn´t able to do it. but i´m thinking that what really might help them would be to set a goal for a baptismal date. if we do that, then they´ll know that they have to get married before that time. so hopefully that will help them to go and take out a marriage date. but we´re super excited about them too. mortensen and i see all 3 of these investigators as people who are going to be really strong members throughout their lives.
ok so i´m either gonna try to mail the memory card tomorrow or next monday. if i can do it tomorrow then i will. but if we don´t have time to do it when we´re in el centro, then i´ll just probably go next monday. but i´m excited to get that sent to you all because i looked and some of those pictures were from when i was in bosques. i was just thinking how long ago that feels like its been forever since i was there. its crazy how fast the mission feels like it goes sometimes.
well mom, i haven´t gotten the package yet, but i´m thinking that it might be in the offices right now. i don´t know when i´ll get it, but i´m definately looking forward to it. it´ll be awesome to hear from you all. thanks for doin that for me. dad, hows the missionary work goin back at home? sometimes i think that it would be sweet to leave with the missionaries back home and try to give some pointers or something...but hey i´ll bet you´re gettin ready for baseball season comin up in a month or 2. you´ve gotta be sure to get a game or 2 in for me when it all starts. sean, dude i definately recognized that quote from ¨Starsky and Hutch¨. yeah dude thats a classic for sure. it sounds like the wedding plans are going really well too. mom says that you put up a gazibo (i know that i´m wayyy off on the spelling there haha) where the sand pit is. i definately want to see pictures when the time comes. i don´t remember if you´ve told me already, but what is the official date of the wedding? far as sports go it sounds like things are pretty good. hopefully the chargers can get some guys to fill the holes that we have on the team. i´m hoping that the lakers will get it would be awesome to just start dominating again right now...dude i´m definately stoked to hear the new angels cd when i get back. it´ll be way tight. too bad by then you´ll probably be over how awesome it is. paige, thats sweet that cheerleading tryouts are starting soon. i´m really excited for you. hey happy 16th birthday too! do you have any plans to do something cool? you´ll have to tell me next time if you end up doing something fun. bridg, it sounds like your party last week was alot of fun. thats way cool that you got an ipod nano! i can tell that you´re really excited about that. don´t have too much fun.
i was gonna try to attach some pictures, but this usb port isn´t working. so sorry about that. i´ll try to send you some next week though. but i´m glad to hear that all is well and that everyone is havin fun. it sounds like the wedding plans are going well. i love you all. i hope that this week is as good for you all as last week. until then...
con cariño,
elder ryan hall

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010-Good Morning

hey guys,
i wanted to let you all know, because you all asked about this...but we´ve already told everyone (district leader, zone leaders, and the president) about us getting robbed. apparently, no one ever told me that missionaries have been robbed in this area in the past. but yeah, so i wanted you all to know that those people know. and about carrying money...we normally never take money with us anyways. the only reason we had it was because we were going to buy food right after. but now we usually just carry a couple pesos and if we have more money than that, we´ll hide it in like our socks or something.
this week has been really great for elder mortensen and i here in alto san lorenzo. we haven´t taken out baptismal dates with sara and valeria yet because we´re waiting for sara to take out a marriage date first. we talked to them both this week about baptism and both sara and valeria told us that they wanted to be baptized. so we explained to sara that we believe in all of the laws and that marriage is one of them. so she told us that shes going to get married now. it turns out that the only reason her and luis hadn´t gotten married yet was because she was never sure about it. apparently, luis had tried to get her to marry him a couple times, but she never would. but after we explained to her why we need to be married, she told us that she would. so this week they´re going to the registro civil to set a marriage date. we talked to valeria and she said that she wanted to get married the same day as her mom, which will be really cool. i´m guessing that they´ll probably get baptized sometime in april, so we´re really stoked about that...we´ve also had another really awesome experience happen this week. so a while back, we found a guy named luis who had been listening to the lessons almost a year ago. he lives in our area, but always went to church and listened to the lessons in la plata because he would work there. he really liked going to church there in la plata, so we were told that the baptism would belong to the missionaries there. but the other day we talked to him and he told us that he had prayed and recieved an answer that he needs to start coming to church in our area. he came yesterday and really loved it. hes really all ready to get baptized. we just need to talk to him this week and take out a baptismal date with him. we can probably even get him baptized at the end of this transfer, which would be really awesome.
mom, just so you know, we called the president and our leaders the night we got robbed. its actually something that you´re always supposed to do because they have to fill out forms and some stuff like that too. but yeah, thats all taken care of already...oh yeah i´m also glad that you liked the picture that i sent last week. i´m gonna try to send that memory card that i have in the next couple weeks. its been full forever, so i´d say that its about time to send it home hahah. dad, i was just you know if people in ecuador speak another language besides spanish? because i´ve been finding out that a bunch of countries here in south america have their own languages that they speak. like paraguay also speaks guarani, which i´m still learning...actually it was really cool cause yesterday i met some people from paraguay. the wife didn´t really want to listen, but i started talking to them a little bit in guarani and they really warmed up to us and listened haha. it was pretty tight. but yeah you´ve also got peru and bolivia, which speak different types of cetchoa, which i´ve started learning a little bit of too. i´ve only learned a couple words and stuff in that language too, but its way cool to learn new stuff like that. so yeah, that made me wonder if ecuador has anything like that. sean, i´m stoked to hear about the chargers hanging on to, sproles, merriman, mcneil, and some others. its crazy that we got rid of cromartie, but he must really not be as great as we though he was. oh well...hopefully the lakers and get their act together too. and dude about the i wouldn´t know that song. i still sing that song sometimes! dude of course its mayday parade. speaking of them, did you ever get to hear more of their cd? i wanna know if it was that good or not...what else, no bluebird sightings whatsoever haha! toma che! it sounds like all the wedding plans are going well too. love ya bro. paige, are you still thinking about doing cheerleading? i think that would be really cool and something that you would really like to do through high school. so you´ll have to tell me how thats going. bridg, mom tells me that you had a pretty fun birthday party friday night. i hope that you had a really great b-day. i was definately thinking about you on saturday.
well i´m pretty sure that thats about it for this week. i love you all and thank you all for your love and support. i truly consider it a blessing to have a family as awesome as all of you. be sure to tell everyone back at home that i say hi too. until next week...
con cariño,
elder ryan hall

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010-one more email

hey again,
so i thought that it would be cool to send you a picture really quick. this is a picture of when javier and viviana got baptized a couple weeks ago. i realized that you don´t even know what they look like hahah...really javier and viviana are the closest people that i´ve gotten to since i´ve been in the mission. they are seriously so awesome and i always get excited to do stuff with them. a really cool thing happened with them and their family the other day, but i don´t have enough time to tell you. you´ll have to mention it another time so that i can tell you. but javier and viviana are doing to awesome and loving the church. its the coolest thing to see them coming to church every week without us having to ask them to come. i really see them being amazing members in this ward for a really long time...but yeah heres a picture that i thought you would all like. love ya.
con cariño,
elder ryan hall

March 1, 2010-Hola

hey everyone,
thank you all for your emails this week...first of all, i just wanna tell bridg a happy early birthday! thats so crazy that you´re gonna be turning 13 on saturday! just know that i´ll be thinking of you this week and especially that day. i also wanted to tell eric carnohan that i´m super stoked to hear about his mission call to new york. he´s gonna be an awesome missionary and a huge blessing to those people there. i´m also really excited because we´ll be about to chat it up in spanish after the mish.
lets see, apparently there was an earthquake here in argentina, but we never felt it here where we are...everyones kinda freakin out about the one in chile. i guess there have been a couple hundred people who have already died. there are so many people saying that the end of the world is coming hahah, but they all say that because some movie¨2012¨ came out a while ago. i´ll bet you´ve all heard of that so you might know what i´m talking about. but yeah, everything here in buenos aires south is all good.
so about elder mclean going home from breaking his leg...thats actually not true. it wasn´t mclean that broke his leg and got sent him, it was elder nalder, my comp from the mtc. i heard about it on monday and then he called me tuesday morning to tell me that he was going home that day. it was a huge bummer for me because he wont be able to finish the mission at the same time as us now. but he´s definately hoping to get back here to argentina as soon as possible...that guys a capo and he should be here with us. if you could, i´d really appreciate your prayers for him that he can get back into the field as soon as possible.
alright so this week has probably been the biggest roller coaster for me in my entire mission. i´ll explain monday night, mortensen and i came back to the area and started working again. we had a really good lesson with this family that we found and we were walking down this one street. we passed a group of guys, but walked past them and forgot about it. but like 4 or 5 blocks later, one of those guys came up to us on a bike and started talking to us as we were walking. as soon as we started talking, we could tell that he was drugged or something. so we were just trying to stop talking to him and get going. we started telling him that we had to get going and he was like, ¨i´m gonna rob you guys now...¨ my comp was like, ¨you don´t have to do that¨ and he pulled out a knife on us. it was one of those really big kitchen knifes and he took it out and stuck it at my comp. when i saw him pull the knife out, i stopped walking and stepped back a little bit. he jumped off the bike and started telling my comp to give him his watch (i actually don´t wear mine too much anymore...i guess it was i good thing i didn´t). he gave him his watch, but then the guy stuck the knife up to my comps throat. he was like, ¨give me the money..i know that you have money. give me it!¨ we actually did have money because we were gonna go get food right after. but my comp kinda forgot that he had money at the time hahah, i don´t blame him. i knew that i had like 100 pesos to buy food. i also had our cell phone and our keys. but the guy started looking in my comps pockets to try and find money. while he was doing that, i started taking everything out of my front pockets and putting them in my back pockets. once i put everything in my back pockets without him noticing, i showed him that my front pockets were empty and was like, ¨look dude i don´t have anything.¨ i even pulled out my scriptures and showed him that that was all i had in my backpack. he was like, ¨wheres the money, wheres the money?!¨ thats when my comp realized that he had like 45 pesos and he took them out and gave them to him. right then, a car came and i stepped in front of it to stop it. when the guy saw that, he must have gotten scared, so he took off. the car didn´t actually stop, but it was enough to make the guy leave. mortensen and i just decided to get back to the pension and we started heading that way...but then the guy came back and found us again. he was ticked this time and was like, ¨you guys lied to have money! give me everything!¨ when he came up from behind us again, i stepped back again, but my comp kept walking forward. the guy was closer to my comp so he pulled the knife out again and stuck it up to mortensen´s stomach. this whole time he was telling us how he was gonna kill us and everything. he told mortensen to give him his backpack, so he handed it over. then he turned to me and was like, ¨dude come here!¨ i was just like, ¨no way dude you´ve got a knife!¨ and when i said that, another car drove by. this time, i stepped in front of the car and it stopped. i started telling the driver that this guy had a knife and stuff. so the guy got back on his bike and rode away. i started asking the driver if he would drop us off by our pension, but he was like, ¨no i´ll do something even better...i´ll go after the guy!¨ then he starts driving backwards after the guy. i remember just thinking, ¨you idiot the guy is gonna come back again!¨ all in all, my comp got everything stolen from him. he had his backpack, 45 pesos, pictures, and his scriptures all stolen from him. i was pretty lucky to not really get robbed. but i´m not gonna lie, it felt like we were both robbed. we were kinda shaken up that night when we got back to the pension...we´re back to normal now, but it was really a crazy way to start the week.
but even though the week didn´t start off the best for us, mortensen and i have been working hard all week. we are really excited about sara and her daughter valeria, who have come to church with us the past 2 weeks. we were in a lesson with them yesterday and i felt like we should talk about baptism for a little bit. we started talking about it, and sara told me that she would like to get baptized, which was awesome. we didn´t take out a baptismal date with her yet though because i wanted to explain to her that she needs to get married first. we asked valeria if she would pray to know if she should be baptized and she told us that she would. they both really love the church and feel really great when we teach them. so i would really appreciate your guys prayers for them both. they are really awesome and we feel pretty excited about them.
mom, thanks for writing and filling me in on everything. i´m really grateful for the package that you sent. that means alot to me...i´m super excited to get that dvd too because it would seriously be sweet to see all of you. Dad, I was a little bummed to hear that paige got to drive a little bit in the chrysler haha...Sean, dude thanks for the email too. thanks for telling me more about emily too, because i really had no idea about any of that ...and about the sports, i actually didn´t know about us letting go of lt which is pretty lame. but i guess its for the best. dang, do you remember when we were joking about how it would be the last time i saw him in a chargers jersey?! i was kidding!! Dang it. you´re gonna have to tell me what happens because i really have no idea what we´re gonna do it we can´t resign sproles either. dude i´m pretty stoked about the lakers and byu basketball too...che don´t have too much fun with those midterms this week haha. and ¨no,¨ i actually don´t miss those too much hahah. but i was thinking about how tight it was to have you in classes and when we were living together all last year. dang dude, we had some fun times. paige, i can tell that you´re way excited about starting driving. thats really cool. but you can´t start calling it ¨pulling a ryan¨ ok? first of all, sean forced me to do it and i didn´t want to. second of all, it wasn´t an was the mustang, which is stick shift, and i was still learning to drive it. but to answer your other question, i think that it would be so awesome if you were able to write me some actual letters. its way cool to read letters like that. i think that it would be cool to write you back too yeah know? so yeah go for it! bridg, happy birthday again! i hope that you have a really awesome time on friday with your party. you have to be sure and fill me in on what you all do.
thank you all for your prayers and everything. i know that the prayers of all of you have really blessed my comp, myself, and our investigators. i hope that all is well. i love you all. until next week...
con cariño,
elder ryan hall