Monday, August 31, 2015

THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME!

Hi everyone!

THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME!  Best week since being out here ...

We had four investigators show up to church and we taught 18 lessons this week!! When you teach 20 lessons in a week that is the standard of excellence for missionaries and we were so close!! 

This week I want to start out with a funny, but terrible story! 

So on Tuesday we played basketball with Gilbert as usual. A while back I asked him to read Chapter 32 of Alma in the Book of Mormon (good chapter on faith), and on Tuesday I reminded him to do that. So later that night when we got home we got a text from Gilbert saying, "Hey Hill I read Alma Chapter 32 and I liked it. I really hope you wanted me to read that one and not Alma 1:32 because that verse just messed up my whole world for about 5 minutes! I'm going crazy man!" Elder Parker and I read the text message and looked up Alma 1:32 really fast. And this is what it says: 

"For those who did not belong to their church did indulge themselves in sorceries, and in idolatry or idleness, and in babblings, and in envyings and strife; wearing costly apparel; being lifted up in the pride of their own eyes; persecuting, lying, thieving, robbing, committing whoredoms, and murdering, and all manner of wickedness; nevertheless, the law was put in force upon all those who did transgress it, inasmuch as it was possible." 

We were like oh crap!! And just started dying laughing hahaha that is like the worse possible verse for a non-member to read!! So we called him and he said, "guys I know I haven't been going to church but dang man!! You guys are hitting me hard! I knelt down and prayed right there when I read that!" He was laughing about the whole thing and we explained that it was Chapter 32 not Verse 32 and he thought that it was pretty funny haha we all got a good laugh out of it.

Monday:
So Monday we went to the transfer meeting and we said goodbye to all of the departing missionaries
:( but I was also able to see Sister Downing again, and Elders Mortensen and Maloney from the MTC!! I love seeing all of the other missionaries! We got 28 new missionaries this transfer, I'm not the newest anymore!.. 75% of the missionaries in our mission have been out less than a year now. We had dinner at the Schuman-Curtis' and then had a lesson with David LaPlant. Both went well and David is getting super close to baptism. We are either gonna have him commit or we are gonna have to stop teaching him because he has been taking the lessons for 15 years. So hopefully we can finally commit him.

Tuesday:
Tuesday we had a busy day. We still hadn't fixed our bike and the bike shop was closed and we couldn't fix it ourselves, so we ended up walking two miles to our first appointment. Thankfully we had an amazing member drive us to our next couple appointments and attend them with us. We had a lesson with our investigator, Annette; a lesson with a recent convert Gayle, and then another lesson with our new investigator Pat. They were all back-to-back so it was a busy afternoon! All the lessons went really well! We then played basketball with Gilbert and Matt which is always a good time. We then had another lesson that evening with a recent convert family that was baptized not too long ago! It was a super solid day. And then it ended with Gilbert sending us that text and reading that scripture mentioned above!

Wednesday:
Elder Parker went to a meeting in the morning so I got to hang with Elder Peterson for a few hours. Elder Peterson came out the same time as me, and he loves sports. We got along really well, and we ate at a really good place for lunch called Killer Burger. Wednesday was a little slow, we only had one lesson but the Zone Leader's dropped off a new bike so we were able to actually bike!

Thursday:
Thursday was super solid! We had a lesson with our new investigator Jeannine! It went well and she wanted to watch the restoration movie so we might watch that with her soon. We then had a lesson with Annette and we took Brother and Sister Bishop with us. They are both converts and Annette loved them.  She related so well to them and Annette is starting to really progress! She wants to get baptized within the next few months. We then had dinner at the McDonalds house and Gilbert came with us! It went great! Gilbert said he really enjoyed himself and he thinks the McDonalds are super cool and he even came to Book of Mormon class with us! He is slowly coming around! He said that he's gonna take us to a court side Trail Blazers game! I almost cried tears of joy. 

Friday:
Friday we had another solid day. We met with a guy in Hospice Care.  He is 55 years old and only has a few weeks left to live. He has a Neural Virus which is causing some problems and he got it from a food handler when he ate at a restaurant. Meeting with this guy changed my entire perspective on life. He was talking about how he could be angry at whoever did this but what would that do.  He said that he was so blessed and he is so grateful for his life and everything in it. He said a lot of other things and I was just astonished. This guys attitude is so incredible. He only has a little bit of time left to live and he just feels so blessed. It makes me realize that I should never take anything for granted and always be grateful for everything Heavenly Father has given me.
We then had a lesson with James Fergason and it went well. After the lesson with James, we played a board game and had a lesson with Sandy Pierce (the lady with the amputated leg). Which was super fun! Later in the evening we had another lesson and just contacted after.

Saturday:
On Saturday it was a designated mission wide finding day. In the morning we went to this awesome park a couple blocks down (there's a pic of it below). We went on a blitz with some missionaries in a area next to ours. A blitz is like a split and two missionaries from one area go to another area and they find potential investigators with the missionaries there. I went with Elder Roundy and Elder Parker went with Elder Ellis (he has only been out a week). We found two potential investigators in their area. And then we did another blitz with Elder Johansen and Elder Beamer in our area. We found two more potentials so it was good. I love working with other missionaries. In the evening we had dinner with the Francis Family and our investigator Carissa came with us! She loved it and she and Sister Francis became best friends! We taught a lesson on tithing and she said she was totally going to pay tithing. She said it's really starting to feel like home since she has moved. She said she wants to set a goal for baptism within two months! Super exciting.


Sunday:
We had four investigators show up to church Sunday!! Gilbert, Annette, Rowan, and David LaPlant all came. Elder Parker and I were speaking in sacrament too so it was perfect! Everyone said they enjoyed our talks and Gilbert said that he could really relate to what I was saying so that was great to hear! 

Have a great week!

Elder Hill


Tyler's Highlights and Hints (random info) this Week!

* Super solid week!

*Our mission president said that he was reading up on Portland and he said Portland is top 10 in the USA in: best places to eat, best night life, most attractive people, best music places, best recreation, AND it is the #1 "Godless" city in America. Hooray.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Transfer Week ....

Hi everyone!

Here's what happened in the OPM (Oregon Portland Mission) this week!

Monday
We had dinner and a lesson with the McDonalds and their friend Duane which went well.  Duane is less active but loves the church. We then had FHE (Family Home Evening) with the Chiniquy Family and they have two younger girls that are 7 and 4. We had a lesson with them and they loved it! At the end, we had them write down a characteristic they wanted to work on throughout the week and the youngest girl said that she was going to take hers to school and show all her friends haha. 

Tuesday:
We had our last District meeting:( this district was so awesome, we have three departing missionaries from our district so there are going to be so many changes. After our District meeting, we had a lesson with our new investigator, Jonas and he is doing super awesome and wants to keep learning and to keep praying. Later that evening we went and played basketball with Gilbert again. We were having a lesson with him after and it didn't go so well. Long story short he got mad because he felt like we weren't listening to him and he kicked us out. It was quite upsetting, but he called us the next morning and apologized and then he called us Thursday morning apologizing again and said he would take us out to lunch. So we're glad everything is good there.

Wednesday:
We met a new investigator, Jeannine!  Before we even mentioned Joseph Smith, she said that she already know that Joseph Smith is a prophet because if he wasn't then he wouldn't have affected so many lives (which is so true!). So hopefully she will continue to meet with us. We had a lesson with Bro Roberts and Rowan and we drew the plan of salvation. They voted that mine was the best drawing which is funny because my drawing skills are terrible! After that we had a lesson with the Stecklers again, and this is the family and friend that have the two girls that go to BYU. They are actually both converts! They told us their conversion stories and they were so awesome to hear! I love hearing those stories. Love that family!

Thursday:
We got that call from Gilbert and we went and helped him do some service and he took us to lunch. We were able to get on good terms with him again and he said that he loved us and that we are his brothers! He wants to always keep in touch with us no matter what, so it was awesome to hear that he doesn't hate us! Later that day we went and saw Gayle and we watched the video "Finding Faith in Christ" with her. Go watch it! It's an amazing video about Christ. We had dinner with a guy in the Stake that goes by Brian da Hawaiian. He took us and some other missionaries to an Asian restaurant and he ordered like 3 appetizers and then our meals. I've never felt so full before. He said that if there is an empty spot on your plate then something is wrong!!

Friday:
We did service for Sister Kerezman again and helped her move some stuff. We had a couple of lessons and our last lesson we had was with our new investigators,
Pat and Paulita! They are twin sisters that live together and they were sooooo excited for us to teach them. They are so enthusiastic about learning and it is the best! They love reading the Book of Mormon. Friday at 9pm we started exchanges! I went to the Milwaukie area with Elder Udy and it was so fun. He is leaving to go home this Tuesday!

Selfie with Elder Udy before he goes home on Tuesday!

Saturday:
While I was in Milwaukie we had to take the car to Jiffy Lube and so that wasn't too fun but we were able to go and contact people later in the day and we met some interesting folks. I love going on exchanges because you get to see how different missionaries work and do things. Saturday night we ended exchanges and Elder Parker and I went to our Ward party. It was so fun! Tons of people came and we had three investigators come! Carissa came and she loved it, so that was awesome. I love the people in this ward! I gave the blessing or prayer on the food in front of everyone and I'm so used to giving prayers in meetings and gatherings now haha. I've said more prayers in the last two months than probably my entire life!

Sunday:
On Sunday, nothing too exciting happened. We had church and there were a lot of people that came! We had dinner at the Tops and they gave us chocolate cream pie so that was tasty. We then met with the Tupou Family. They are this super awesome Tongan family and they love the missionaries. Part of their family is less active, but they are super cool and love the Church.

Have a good week!!!
Elder Hill

Tyler's highlights, hints and shout outs this week!
* Shout out to my man Quentin Davis on getting his mission call to Kobe, Japan! 
* Shout out to Austin Golding on getting married!
* Shout out to Sister Alexa James on making it to Japan! So exciting!
* Transfer calls were on Saturday and Elder Parker and I are both staying. AND, we are losing our car for the entire transfer. We don't even get it part time. LAME.
*Watch the video "Finding Faith in Christ" on lds.org

Throwback picture at the MTC with Elder Holmes (serving in the Arizona Tempe Mission), Sister Alexa James and Sister Riley Tyler!  Sister Tyler lives in Gilbert, Arizona about 15 min. from Tyler in Chandler! 

Elders at their last District Meeting!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Another Week Gone ...

Hi everyone!

Another week gone. This week we had some pretty good days and some not so good days ... 

Monday;
All our appointments fell through so that was rough.

Tuesday:
Today went well!  We had some good lessons with Gayle and James Fergason and then we had our basketball night with Gilbert! We played basketball with him and his friend Matt and then we sat down and taught a lesson. Right in the middle of the lesson, he pauses and looks at me dead in the eye and says, "Elder Hill..... I know you from somewhere. I knew you in Heaven before this life. I'm telling you man it's the truth, I even told Matt that I did."  He was dead serious so now I'm thinking that maybe he is right haha. Gilbert is the man, he is such a good person and so kind.

Wednesday:
Wednesday, we did a lot of service for Bishop Mackay and also for Sister Kerezman. It's always good to do service for the people in our ward. We had dinner with the Stecklers! Sister Steckler is awesome and her husband is less active and he is super cool. At dinner was their granddaughter, Jennifer, and her best friend, Blair. They are in our ward and they both go to BYU. I told them I went to BYU-I and Blair said that she wanted to transfer there because Provo was too crazy. BYU-I IS BETTER PEOPLE!! Haha ... Just kidding, both are super awesome!!!

Thursday:
On Thursday we went with Brother Christiansen to get COSTCO HOT DOGS! He gets so excited about Costco hot dogs it's hilarious. He also loves to talk in Pig Latin so every person he sees at Costco he asks "how are you?" in Pig Latin and then turns to us and chuckles haha. We then had a lesson with our new investigator Jonas! He and his sister are both in college and they live at their mom's place. They are all so friendly and they are really interested in the church. We then had a couple other lessons.

Friday:
Friday we had a lesson with Carissa and it went super well and she wants to set a date for baptism as a goal. She really wants to be baptized and it is so cool to see her progression and excitement.

Saturday:
Saturday we went to Gilbert's store and he introduced to all the customers that were in there it was so awesome. Gilbert is such a good missionary! He introduces us to everyone and says, "I want you to meet my brothers!!" We actually met some people that are kinda of interested so that was cool. We had dinner with the Mosely family and they have these two little kids that are two-and-three-years-old and they are so funny (the pic below is the two-year-old, Archer, playing with my shoe at church).

-
Sunday:
Sunday was good. Gilbert came to church!! He said he liked it and that it was enjoyable. Before church, we met with this couple that we ran into while tracting and they are so friendly and so interested and open about religion and they want us to come back and to teach them more. They are super solid! We had good lessons later that evening with different members and another investigator.

Funny story of the week
When we were at Gilbert's store on Saturday, he introduced us to this elderly couple and he is pretty good friends with them. They were getting ready to check out and Gilbert turns to us and says watch this. He went over to the checkout counter and rings the lady up and the total is $62. He says, "okay how much should I charge you for all this?" (He usually gives really good deals to his friends) She said that it was up to him. He said, "how about $40 dollars?"  She was hesitating and looking very unsure, but decided she wanted it to be lower so she says, "how about $20!?" And he says "$20!?.. Okay, how about we make it $20 AND you have to come to church with me tomorrow!"   He then turned to us with the biggest smile and winked at us and was just shaking his head yes hahaha and we just started laughing. She replied, "how about $25 and no church!" And he just said fine.  Gilbert is the man!

Tyler's Highlights this Week (no tidbits)!

*  I was able to be a part of three blessings this week and I gave two of them! Always a cool experience to be able to give a blessing.

WE GET THE CAR THIS WEEK!!!

* My bike pedal broke on Sunday ... classic bike problems.

* This week a random lady gave us $20 and then random lady at Costco gave us another $15. We always try to say no thank you but they don't take it back. There are some very loving and generous people out there and it's so great to see people like that!

Love,

Elder Hill

 Tyler and Bro. Christiansen (Costco hot dog/Pig Latin friend) at church!!

Tyler and his companion with Pres. & Sis. Ballard (Oregon Portland Mission President)

Tyler with Pres. & Sis. Ballard

Monday, August 10, 2015

Busy Week in Portland!

Hi everyone!

So here's what happened this week ...

Monday:
We went to a park to contact and there was a summer youth activities thing going on that happens every week day. They had a bunch of stuff to do that was open to anyone, so we went and played ping pong with some kids and met some really cool people.

Tuesday:
We had a couple of lessons and then we went on splits with some brethren from the Elder's Quorum in the evening. I was able to give the Sister with an amputated leg a blessing and Elder Parker went and contacted referrals. It was a cool experience to do that. 

Wednesday: 
We had our first Zone Meeting and my first interview with the Mission President (President Ballard is awesome). It was cool to see all the missionaries in our Zone. Between the meeting and my interview I was able to go on a split with one of the AP's (Elder Andersen) and we went to a park and contacted. Elder Andersen is the man! He is so good at talking with people and I learned a lot from him. Later that evening, we went and played basketball with our investigator, Gilbert! He is in his 50's and he is way good at bball! We played 21. I got lucky and barely won the first game and then he kicked our butts the second game haha. He is the nicest guy ever and he always buys us food whenever we see him. 

Thursday:
We had some lessons and one was with Carissa. Things are going well with her, but she is trying to juggle three jobs and she can't make it to church :,(  but hopefully things will work out.

Friday:
We had exchanges!  My companion switched places with another missionary in a different area and spent the day and night over there and I was with Elder Roundy for Friday and half of Saturday. We went to the store that Gilbert owns. He owns a record album store that also sells DVDs, CDs VHS and cassettes. It's on the top 20 for stores to visit in Portland! He was working and we went in and he was so excited to see us! He started introducing us to everyone in the store, it was awesome haha. We met a lot of his friends and some random people in the store. We gave out like three pass along cards and a Book of Mormon! And then of course he bought us food. He is so great! We then did some service for a Sister in our ward. She had a bunch of blackberry vines that she needed removed, and those things have some nasty thorns let me tell ya. We then had a couple more lessons and one was with two teenage boys that just got baptized and have pet parakeets. We held them and one of them pooped on my hand of course.

 Visiting Gilbert (and Gilbert's friend, Matt) at his record store!

Pooping parakeet (haha)!!!

Sunday:
We had one investigator show at church!  Better than zero!!  Later in the evening, we had a lesson with Annette and she is so close to a baptismal date! She has come so far and is doing so awesome and just needs to take the next step!

Have a great week everyone!

Love,
Elder Hill


Tyler's Highlights and Hints this week!

* We are back to bikes this week.... Lame!

* Our church building is like 80 years old and it has been added onto at least six different times. It has a basement with a bunch of classrooms and a nursery and then there is a tiny room in the library that has a ladder that goes to different ladders and goes up to the steeple. They used to have a bell up there, but it was removed so we climbed up three different sketchy ladders to get up there and on the walls a bunch of missionaries signed their names, so we did that.





* Watch the Mormon Message:  "My New Life" on lds.org

* Thanks again for the letters and emails! I really, really appreciate them. They make my day!



Monday, August 3, 2015

One Month!!!

Hello everyone!

Here's what happened this week!

Monday:
Today we did P-day things and it was a swell time, but the best part of the day occurred at night. So we had dinner with the McDonald Family (Brother McDonald's name is Ronald McDonald haha) and that went great. We then had an appointment with our investigator Carissa! We have met with her twice now and she is super awesome and LOVES the Book of Mormon. We had taught her the Restoration last time, and tonight we talked about the Plan of Salvation. The lesson was going well and as I was talking I felt impressed to ask her to be baptized again and to set a specific date. So I was talking about our earthly life and the gospel and I related it to baptism and I asked her if she would still like to be baptized and she said yes.  I then asked her if we could set the goal for her baptism to take place on August 22nd and she said that sounds great! Booooooommm! So exciting!! We finished the lesson and we had a member there, Dennis McDonald (Ronald's brother), and he bore such a strong testimony of the Plan of Happiness! It was an awesome lesson and now we have a baptism set for August 22nd. After that we went and saw a Sister in the hospital who's leg had been amputated and she showed it to us and it was really crazy.  She is awesome and her attitude is so happy and makes me realize that if she is so happy with her circumstances then I really need to change my attitude and be more grateful because I am so blessed to be completely healthy. Never take that for granted!

Tuesday:
The bike troubles continue. We were going to meet up with an investigator, Fernando, to play basketball and he never showed up, which stinks cause I was so pumped to actually play! When we were riding back to the church which was about two miles away, Elder Parker's bike pedal fell off completely! Like the bolt holding the rod and the pedal came loose and fell off so the bike literally only had one pedal hahaha. Elder Parker had to ride it as a scooter for the next mile. In about a week span we have had four flat tires and an entire pedal fall off, what the heck!? But we fixed my previous bike and so we have two working bikes that hopefully will be good for at least a couple of days. We had a lesson with the Chiniquy Family, and it went well. Brother Chiniquy loves his new calling and Sister Chiniquy is warming up to us. They are a great family!

Wednesday:
Today we met with Brother Fergason and he is still doing well and he asked us to give him a healing blessing which was very cool. In the past month, I have had the opportunity to be a part of nine blessings, and was able to actually give six of the blessings. It's such an awesome experience to be able to do that and be a part of that. Later in the evening, we had dinner with the Francis Family and Sister Gillette. Sister Gillette brought us the famous Voodoo donuts. They have a donut with bacon on top of it haha it was so good. We then had an appointment with our new investigator, Gilbert! He is the friendliest guy ever and he bought us burritos. He owns this really cool record store. He is in his 50's and he is really good at basketball so we are gonna play with him. We had a solid lesson about the restoration with him, and we both bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and after we had finished he said "because of what you both said right there, I'm going to put my heart and soul into this." That is like the one thing we love to hear from anyone!! So hopefully we will meet him again soon.

Thursday:
This morning we were planning and we received a text from Fernando.  He said that he hasn't had a meal in days. So we went to the park and brought him lunch and we met with him and then Larry showed up! Larry was guy we met last week that was super smart and was converted to Christianity in prison. We taught both of them as we ate and it was pretty good. Fernando said that he is coming to church. We then met with Gayle the recent convert and she is doing well.  She has some health problems, but she is always in good spirits. After that we went to help clean the house of a less active member because they were having apartment checks.  We helped them clean for a couple hours and then she gave us ice cream. We had dinner tonight with the Bishop Family. Brother Bishop is one of the coolest people ever.  He is like 60+ years old and he is hilarious. Brother and Sister Bishop are both converts and they shared their conversion stories with us and also their marriage story. They said that we were the first missionaries they had ever told those stories to. We felt honored haha. They were some pretty awesome stories and they both got really emotional and teared up when they talked. Pretty cool.

Friday:
Today we helped Brother McDonald move some stuff from the church in the morning and then we went home to have lunch. While we were eating, someone from our apartment complex came and knocked on our door and asked if we could help them move some stuff out of their apartment, so we helped them for an hour. It was good to have some service opportunities because we hadn't had many of those so that was nice. We met with Brother Fergason again, and we had a good lesson with him and he said the closing prayer which he never does! So that was exciting. In the afternoon and evening we contacted potential investigators. We met an older man from Vietnam that spoke almost no English, but he loved showing us pictures and videos of his kids so it was fun to look at those.  We left him a temple card and he really liked that. We also knocked on another guys door and he opened the door and said "oh hey it's the monks!!" He smelled strongly of weed and also had a joint in his hand haha. He came outside and talked to us for a little bit and he told us about how we were monks and how he was also a monk himself and that together we could save his son who was doing "the things of the devil", which he said was "drugs" hahaha. It was an interesting visit and he told us to come back. There are definitely a lot of characters in Portland.

Saturday:
One month today! Today we went on Facebook and we used it to proselyte and to add all the members as friends. If you have anyone that you know that is interested in the church, you could send them to us on Facebook and we can find the missionaries in their area. Also, if you see anything you like that I post, don't be afraid to like it and share it with everyone else! We had a lesson with Rowan and we played Monopoly again and taught her a lesson. I am terrible at Monopoly. I just make all these deals with Rowan so that she will win and Elder Parker will lose. And it works haha. 

We met a guy in the park and we talked to him about religion and we asked if we could share a message with him right there and he said yes! So we sat down on the bench win him and shared a message and it was going pretty good until a homeless man came and started cussing at us and telling some crazy story. I asked he and I could go talk somewhere else so that Elder Parker could finish the lesson, but the moment was already ruined and the guy said he had to go. So frustrating!!

Sunday
Today we had zero investigators at church, boooooo! But, the whole Chiniquy Family was there!  It was Fast Sunday and I bore my testimony! So that was good. We had dinner with the Key Family and they have a son that is getting baptized soon. We met with Carissa again tonight! We had a good lesson with her and she is still progressing and things are going good with her. 

Love,
Elder Hill


Tyler's Highlights and Hints this Week!

*It was 95 degrees or hotter all week! What the heck Oregon!?

*WE ARE STARTING OUR CAR SHARE WITH THE OTHER DISTRICT. WE GET A CAR EVERY OTHER WEEK AND WE GET IT THIS WEEK!!!

*Thank you for all the packages, letters, and emails I really really appreciate them!!


 Tyler and his companion, Elder Parker, at the library!

 A letter from his favorite missionary, Sister Peterson, who is serving in the Norway Oslo Mission!!

Voodoo donuts ... bacon, really??!!


video
Video of Tyler "playing" the piano at the church!!  Enjoy!!!