Monday, October 26, 2015

DL's, FHE's, and GA's

Hi everyone!

I don't even know where to begin this week! There were so many cool and crazy things that happened! On Monday night I got a call from the APs and they say that there has been a change in our district with some people getting moved around and what not (which is very unusual in the middle of a transfer) and he said that President has assigned me as the new District Leader! A District Leader is the missionary that presides and has stewardship over the District. Our District has us and 4 other sets of missionaries so there are 5 wards in our District and I have different responsibilities in collecting stats from each ward, going on exchanges with each companionship, and to just keep things going in the district. I am way excited and grateful for this opportunity I have to learn and grow even more as a missionary as I train a new missionary and work as a DL. Pretty exciting!

Monday we had an awesome FHE with the sisters in the Holgate Center. Usually only like 3 people show up but there were like 10 people there this time!

Tuesday & Wednesday:
Tuesday and Wednesday we had a lot of different lessons and we did a lot of service for people in the ward. We had a lesson with Gilbert Wednesday night and he said that he wants to get baptized!!! But.... He doesn't really understand the standard of living we must maintain to be baptized even though we have tried to explain it to him, but we will keep trying.

Thursday we were walking to lunch with the ZLs cause they said they would take us out and they say that all they have is $20 to pay for us but that the Lord will provide (I couldn't tell if they were joking) so I brought my wallet haha. And I kid you not a lady comes up to us on the street that was visiting from out of town and says that she is a member. She pulls out her wallet and gives us $30! I look at the ZLs and they said they swear that they did not plan this haha but that the Lord actually provides! It was pretty funny but also pretty amazing. Thursday night we had a lesson with Carissa finally and it was awesome!! We had a lesson on baptism and how it is so important, and she said that she needs to stop putting it off and just do it. So she called up the guy she wants to baptize her and says she wants to be baptized November 7th. It was so great to see and hear all this! We were super excited for her, But the problem is that she has to come to church a couple times to be baptized but she hasn't been able to since she works Sunday's. So we will have to postpone her baptism but she is very enthusiastic and excited to be baptized! At the end of the lesson she asked if I could give her a blessing so that was a pretty cool thing to be able to do.

Friday Sister Gillette calls us up and says that she has Voodoo donuts for us and that she has a Jewish friend from out of town visiting and she had a couple questions. So we went over and we ate donuts and taught a lesson! Her friend wasn't super interested in converting but she asked some good questions. 
Saturday, the coolest thing happened. So there was a special Missionary Leadership Counsel (MLC), where all of the Zone Leaders and District Leaders went and had a meeting with Elder Richard J. Maynes. Elder Maynes is in the Presidency of the Quorum of the Seventy and he just spoke in the last General Conference! His talk was about the potter's clay and having it centered on Christ if you remember that talk. Anyways, there were about 60 missionaries and the mission presidency at this meeting.. Elder Maynes is giving his counsel and he is talking about the importance of setting goals. As he is talking he points right at me and says "Elder come up here!... What's your name? Elder Hill?... Elder Hill you and I are now companions!".. I go up to the front and he puts his arm around me and he starts asking me a bunch of questions about my area and goals we have. And then we role played setting goals as a companionship. IT WAS SO SCARY! The whole time I am freaking out and thinking I am not even supposed to be here! I have only been out 3 and a half months and was made District Leader 5 days ago. But it was such an awesome experience!! To be able to role play and be "companions" with a general authority in front of the mission president and all the leaders in the mission was crazy. It was an adrenaline rush, especially being a young missionary, but it was so cool!! Elder Maynes came up to me after the meeting and said, "thanks for being such a good sport and my companion Elder Hill."  Elder Maynes and I are basically best friends.

Tyler with Elder Maynes

Have a great week!

Elder Hill

Tyler's Highlights and Hints this week: 

*The members in this ward are amazing. They are really starting to like us a lot! We have been fed every day for 14 days straight, and someone has signed up to feed us every single day for the month of November. WHICH IS CRAZY. It has NEVER happened in the history of the Moreland Ward.

*It's starting to rain and be gray everyday. It is not fun riding your bike in the rain.

*Scripture to ponderize this week: 2 Nephi 4:16 - "Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard." 

Do we ponder in our hearts the things of the Lord CONTINUALLY? 
*If you see something I post on Facebook that you like, don't be afraid to share it with your friends or comment on it!

Monday, October 19, 2015

An Awesome and Terrible Week

Hi everyone!

This week was awesome and terrible at the same time. We had 18 lessons again!! Which is crazy!!.... but we also received some bad news on Tuesday. Gayle, our recent convert that we met with every week, passed away. It was really shocking and sad, but we know she is in a better place and is free from her sicknesses/ailments. She was baptized and did those necessary ordinances that  will allow her to live with our Father in Heaven again. 

Monday we had FHE with the Tupou family (cool Tongan family) and it was awesome.  We had a lesson and played a Gospel Pictionary game that we made up!

Tuesday we received the bad news about Gayle. We went and talked to the family to see if there is anything we could do for them. One of the daughters wants to start taking the lessons to know why the Church and Gospel made her mom so happy... We had a couple of investigator lessons and we met a lady at the park who said that she wanted to interview us and see what our opinion on "lost souls" was. She said it was going to be on a podcast in Canada haha it was pretty cool! After that we played basketball with the less actives and investigators in the area.

Wednesday we did some service work in Gayle's yard to help her family. We then had a couple less active lessons during the day and we had a really good lesson with Gilbert. He knew Gayle because he went over there with us to do service and some other things in the past month and he was pretty shocked and devastated to hear that she passed. We were able to talk about how she is in a better place and that because she was baptized she will be able to go to the Celestial Kingdom.

Thursday we started exchanges and Elder Roundy came here to Moreland with me.  We had a lot of different less active lessons that went really well!  On the way to a less active lesson, we were walking down the street in a neighborhood and on the sidewalk there was a little cabinet that said "free library" (pic below). There were a lot of different books in there and so we decided to take a couple of Books of Mormon and pamphlets and put a bunch in there with our numbers in all of them telling them to call us when they read it haha. Nothing yet but we are hoping!

Friday we met with Annette!! She dropped us a month ago, but recently she texted us saying that she wanted us to come over and that she missed us coming by. So we went over there and she said that she really wants us to come over often and that we were welcome anytime. So we were excited about that... And then we had dinner at a part member family's house and it went well.  We shared a Mormon Message that they really liked, but the coolest part is that they have a fountain drink machine in their house!! It was awesome. Go watch the Mormon Message, "Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time," it's way good.

Saturday we had Gayle's funeral at our church building. She was the only member in her entire family. Eighty people were there and 68 of them were non-members.  We were able to talk to a lot of them about the Church and why Gayle had such strong faith in the Gospel. A couple of people said that they wanted to come to church, and some even came up to us and said, "your church has the nicest people we have ever met". It was a great service and I was able to give the closing prayer which meant a lot to me. Gilbert even came to the funeral and he got up and said some words and  he said, "she had such a strong testimony of the Mormon faith and that's how I know she is in a better place". Gilbert gave such a strong testimony it was awesome.... Gilbert took us and two other sets of missionaries out to lunch, he is such a great guy!  Saturday night we had a special Zone meeting where the whole Zone gathers together and the Zone Leaders plan an activity. It's really hard to explain, but it was one of the most spiritual experiences that I have ever had. Sorry for the lack of detail, but the activity made me step back and ask myself, "am I ready to meet my Father in Heaven? Would I be ready to stand before Him? Would I be willing to sacrifice my life for others around me?"  There were so many questions that made me step back and evaluate where I am right now in my life. Such a great experience.

Sunday we had the Primary (children 4-11 years old) Program at church and the place was packed! There were so many people it was weird! Nothing else too exciting happened; a lot preparation for this coming week.

Have a great week!

Elder Hill

Tyler's Highlights and Hints this Week!
* Find a scripture and ponderize (yes, that's now a word) it this week!

* Once again thank you for all the support with the emails, packages,
letters, and prayers

*Elder Giles is doing well! We are getting along and I think he is a
lot more comfortable than he was his first couple of days... His first
day here he asked me if it was okay if he took a shower!  He doesn't do
that anymore and has the hang of things so that's good! Haha. Training
has been fun, I have really been enjoying it!

*And finally, after two flat tires in a matter of 45 min., I went and bought a new bike!

Had to take a pic of this cool rainbow!

Monday, October 12, 2015

New Companion, New Weather!

Hi everyone!

It's been a crazy week!

I was supposed to get my new companion on Monday, but that day at the Trainer Meeting, President Ballard pulled me aside and said that my companion was sick in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) and wouldn't be here for a couple of days. So from Monday until Wednesday night I was in a trio with the Zone Leaders working in their area and just hanging out with them. It was fun being in a trio, and I've become really good friends with one of the ZLs, Elder Petersen (picture below).

Tyler and Elder Petersen

Tyler with Elders Bennett & Petersen

Tracting by the river

My "son" finally got to Portland Wednesday night at 8pm! His name is Elder Giles and he is from Draper, Utah. He is really into cars and bikes and mechanical stuff. We get along pretty well.

Tyler with his new companion, Elder Giles

Thursday we had the "greenie meeting" where all the new missionaries and their trainers meet and have different training material they go over. The meeting was all day and ended at 3. We then had a lesson at Gayle's, but as we were biking over there, the derailer on Elder Giles bike totally snaps off (classic bike problems) so we were stranded for a little bit until Bro McDonald came and rescued us. I felt bad for Elder Giles, but he stayed positive and he seems to be adjusting well!

Friday we had weekly planning and then a couple lessons with Sister Scott and James Fergason. Friday evening we went and played basketball with Gilbert and Matt at the Stake Center and about 25 people showed up with 4 different sets of missionaries. It was crazy! They were almost all non-members too, it was awesome! So we played basketball for a couple hours with all of these different investigators. It got a little competitive and people were talking smack and getting in each other's faces so that wasn't good, but it was fun none-the-less.

Saturday we had our first District Meeting. In the evening we met with Gilbert and we answered some of the questions that had been troubling him about what we believe. He thought that he was going to stump us with some questions (like the bible says don't add to the bible and we have the Book of Mormon), but we answered all of them and he said well that was a lot easier than I thought!.. He is slowly progressing and taking baby steps!

Sunday Gilbert came to church... And HE BORE HIS TESTIMONY. It was awesome! It was like 15 min long, but it was awesome! He said that he did it to take another step closer to his salvation. We then had a lesson in the evening with the Daniels' boys. We did the lesson called, "The Sabbath is a Delight." We brought ice cream and we talked about the different activities we do during the week, and to represent these activities we used ketchup, mustard, and relish. Then, to represent the activities we do on the Sabbath, we used chocolate syrup and sprinkles. The ice cream represented Sunday and we had a bowl where we poured the weekday activities on one and another bowl where we poured the Sabbath day activities on it. Rico tried both! They really loved that lesson!

Hope everyone has an awesome week!

Elder Hill

Tyler's Hints & Highlights this week!

* We are starting to get the Oregon rain. It's rained for 4 days straight now.

* Everyone should go read the General Conference talks! They were super good!

* Training is going great! It's cool being able to take the lead on everything and introduce Elder Giles to everyone.

* "We do not have to be perfect, but we need to be good at getting better"

*Thank you for all the emails, packages, and support! I appreciate it more than you know!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Three Months Down & Transfer Week!

Hi everyone!

Three months down and transfer week! We received transfer calls on Saturday. I am staying in Moreland!!! Yes!! And the crazy part is that I'm training! So I am going to be getting a brand new missionary as a companion. President Ballard said on the phone that it's rare for a missionary who is only three months out and just finished his training to start training another missionary, but he said he knows I'm ready. Pretty crazy, but I'm excited!!  After I got off the phone with President I said to Elder Parker, "I'm gonna be a dad!" (trainers are known as "Dads " to their trainees). Elder Parker said "No way... I'm gonna be a grandfather!" Haha

Monday we went to the mall with another set of missionaries to get some stuff and it's so funny walking around getting all these looks from everyone. "Just smile and wave boys" is the slogan we live by haha. We had dinner at Brother and Sister Bishops house and then we had a lesson with Carissa again! We are still getting her ready for baptism and we had a good lesson with her about baptism! 

Tuesday we had a couple of lessons and we went and saw a less active Sister. She needed a blessing as she was struggling with health issues and I had the opportunity to give it. I have come to learn how important it is to always live worthy of the priesthood and to be ready to exercise it whenever I am called upon and to live worthy to have the Spirit with you at all times. In the evening, we played basketball with Gilbert and he brought three non-member friends! They were all super cool guys and we hopefully will be able to teach them. After basketball, Gilbert took us to Safeway to get cake and ice cream for Elder Parker's birthday. We bought the cake and then we sat down in Safeway and ate it and read the Book of Mormon together haha. Gilbert said, "man I'm sitting in Safeway eating cake and reading the Book of Mormon at 8:30 at night. You guys must be doing something right!" Hahaha it was kind of strange now that I think about it, but it was still an awesome experience!

Wednesday we went over to Gayle's house to do more service for her. We were in her backyard doing yard work for three hours cleaning out her garden. She was really grateful, and it was nice to help her out. Gilbert met us over at her house for a lesson after doing service and we taught the Priesthood and it went well! Gilbert took us to lunch and then the rest of the day we did some contacting.

Thursday we had weekly planning and in the evening we went to Gilbert's house because he wanted us to meet his friend, Ray. We had pizza and then we started talking to Ray and he loves to talk and is very energetic. Gilbert had the Book of Mormon on audio so we decided that we should listen to that and discuss. When the first chapter ended, Ray says, "the Spirit of the Lord is here and I know this is true and don't even ask if I'm going to church because I'm already planning on it!" We were so excited! Elder Parker and I both bore testimony and it was a very cool experience. Sadly for us, Ray lives outside of our mission so he will meet with the missionaries there!

Friday in the evening we went to the temple visitor center with Gilbert (we spent a lot of time with Gilbert this week) and took a tour of the temple grounds! We went inside and a set of Sister missionaries took us on a tour. The sisters were killing it! I am so thankful for them because they taught so powerfully about the temple and Gilbert was blown away. It was such a cool experience and there was a moment when we were sitting there looking at the temple by the reflection pool and Gilbert said he wanted to be alone for a little to talk to God. The Spirit was so strong and we ended with a prayer that Gilbert said, asking God to help him to know if this is where he was supposed to go. It was powerful.

Saturday was transfer calls and we spent all day at the McDonald's house watching conference and doing service for them. Conference was the best, I had so many of my questions, that I was pondering, answered. And, three new apostles were called!

Sunday we watched conference at the McDonald's in the morning and then we watched it in the afternoon with Gilbert at the Kohler's!  He said he liked it and there were a couple of talks that he thought we planned to have them say to him since they were specifically addressing his concerns haha it was awesome. We then went around and said goodbyes to all the members in the area since Elder Parker is leaving, We ended the day with a lesson with Jonas our investigator! 

Elder Hill

Brother Stokes - Ward Mission Leader

Elder Parker's birthday cake!

Eppi & Rico Daniels , recent converts

The Kohler Family, members in the Ward

The McDonalds

Sister Scott

The Work Continues ....

Hi everyone!

Here's what happened this week!

Monday was an awesome day because we went to Taco Bell and this lady 
gave me a free meal because apparently they had extra so I got it for 
free! Blessings! We played basketball and hung out with the other 
missionaries and then we had dinner at the Schuman-Curtis's and their 
son Indigo, who is 14, is making us dart guns haha. Later we had FHE
at the Holgate Center and Brother McDonald needed us to go with him to 
give a sister a blessing. We thought he just wanted us to stand in but 
at the last second he goes, "Elder Parker will you anoint and a Elder 
Hill will you give the blessing?" (Usually we get a little bit of a 
notice) but we said yes and we gave the blessing and it was such an awesome 
spiritual experience. Giving blessings, especially blessings of 
healing, have been one of the biggest testimony builders for me and 
the coolest part was that it was recorded and given to me. 
Tuesday was busy! We had our monthly lunch with Bro Christiansen at 
Costco (hot dogs)! Members love Costco because every time we have gone there a 
member has been there and asked to pay for us haha. We had a couple 
lessons during the day and we played basketball in the evening with 
Gilbert and had a really good lesson with him. We were at the Stake 
Center and we went into the classroom and drew the Plan of Salvation 
on one of the chalk boards. Brother Bishop was with us and we had a 
really powerful, spiritual lesson. We knelt down in prayer and Gilbert 
said it. He asked Heavenly Father to help him to know if this was 
the Plan for him and if he should be baptized and it was such a cool 
experience. He said that he thinks he wants to get baptized! So 
Wednesday we had a lesson with Rowan and we drew the Armor of God 
which was fun. My drawing wasn't horrendous haha. Nothing too exciting 
happened on Wednesday, but we did a lot of tracting and finding and met 
some people. My iPad went down and it felt so weird not being able to 
use it. Our iPads are like our best friends since they have all of our 
scriptures, lesson plans, planner, and everything! We then did an 
exchange from Wednesday night to Thursday night. I stayed in Moreland 
and Elder Ellis came here with me. He has only been out 4 weeks so I 
was the senior companion and took the lead on everything, it was fun 
to lead on everything! 

Thursday Elder Ellis and I had two killer lessons. One with Gilbert 
and then we went with him to visit Gayle at her house and we had an awesome 
lesson on the atonement. Gilbert and Gayle both loved the lesson they 
said. Our second lesson we taught Carissa who is doing awesome. She 
attended a baptism on Sunday and she said she is super excited to get 
baptized now! It was cool being the "trainer" for the day, leading the 
lessons and teaching him tips on tracting. It was cool to see my own 
progress and improvement on being a missionary. 
Friday we did a lot of different finding activities and we met this 
guy on the street who said "fishing is my religion and I caught a 
salmon. You guys want some?" He pulls out a Ziploc bag of smoked 
salmon and he gave us a piece. It was so good haha. We continue to 
meet many different people every single day, it's the best! We had one 
lesson and did a lot of planning the rest of the day.

Saturday we were walking down the street in a neighborhood and started to 
cross the road, when we hear a police siren right behind us. It's a policeman 
on a motorcycle, and he pulls over next to us. We were freaking out 
thinking he was going to give us a ticket for jay walking or something, 
but he took off his glasses and said, "keep up the great work Elders," 
then he drove off.  It made our day! We had a couple lessons and 
then we were invited over to the McDonald's neighborhood party. The 
McDonald's are role model member missionaries. None of their neighbors 
are LDS and they introduced us to everyone there. A couple of them 
said we could come over! One of their neighbors is a professional 
chess player and he wants to play us in chess haha so that will be 
fun! We have become so close with the McDonalds, they are like the 
missionary parents! Haha 

On Sunday Jonas came to church! It was his first time and he said he 
enjoyed it! Brother Christiansen came up and said "you're not a 
member?... When are you getting baptized!?" Elder Parker and I just 
looked at each other and were like, "oh no," but Jonas said, "I don't know I'm not 
sure yet." We perked up and were like hey he's thinking about 
getting baptized! Hopefully this week we will have a lesson on 
baptism and can commit him! 
Have a great week!

Elder Hill

Tyler's highlights and hints this week!
*I love getting everyone's emails throughout the week! Keep 
sending them please! I really appreciate it!
*"The great sacrifice Christ made to pay for our sins and overcome 
death is called the Atonement. It is the most important event that has 
ever occurred in the history of mankind."
*I learned a lot this week about yielding our hearts to God and 
willing to submit ourselves to His will. It is only then can we reach 
our full potential and be instruments in His hands.
*General Conference is this week! I'm pumped!! Go and watch it everyone!!