Monday, November 23, 2015

Best. Week. Ever ...

Hi everyone!

Craziest/best week!! Sorry this letter is long, so much happened.. We had a baptism!! Carissa was baptized on Saturday, but I will get to that later. 

Monday night we had FHE at the Holgate Center and it went great! Tons of people showed up and Elder Giles and I gave a lesson on how Heavenly Father answers prayers. Everyone participated and it went great.

Tuesday we did some finding, had a couple lessons, and in the evening we had dinner with a non-member family! We helped this family move some stuff in prior weeks and they invited us over to have dinner at their house. It went well and we even were able to share a message about families and we gave them a Family Proclamation pamphlet. They have two kids in elementary school and the parents are awesome. They said that we are welcome back anytime, but the challenge will be getting them more interested in the church. They are an awesome family though!

Wednesday morning, I came out into the living room from doing studies and Elder Giles is sitting on the floor with a cat hahahaha. I was like, "dude where did you get a cat!?" And he said that he opened the door and it just walked right in, so what do we do!? What any normal person would do, we take a bunch of selfies with it obviously.....

 Later we visited a couple of less actives, and then we went tracting. It is not my favorite thing to do but you sometimes gotta do it.... a lot of it. There was this one lady who opened the door and said, "sorry we love everyone," and then she slammed the door. People don't even give us a chance. But we did go tracting on the river and found a spot to take some majestic pics... In the evening we had a lesson with Gilbert that went really well. The new church policy has been bugging him and so we watched Elder Christofferson's interview on it (if you have questions about the new policy go watch the interview on!). We addressed his concerns and he says that he really wants to be Mormon, but just doesn't know if he can do it. So we are gonna keep working and praying for him. 

Thursday we had Carissa's baptismal interview! One of the Zone Leaders did the interview with her and they were in there for like an hour which was weird because they usually don't take that long so we were worried that something was wrong, but he came out and said everything is great! Carissa was so excited!

Friday we went over and visited a potential investigator, Amy. She is an older black woman and is super sweet and funny. She asked if we could give her a blessing and we said of course. So Elder Giles anointed and I sealed it and gave the blessing. It was the most interesting experience I have ever had giving a blessing. At the beginning of the blessing she was softly saying, "hallelujah, praise Jesus, thank you Jesus, hallelujah Jesus," over and over, and then as the blessing went on it progressively got louder. By the end of the blessing she was basically yelling, "HALLELUJAH JESUS, THANK YOU JESUS, HALLELUJAH, PRAISE JESUS." It was so hard to stay focused and finish the blessing because I couldn't hear myself think hahaha, but she said that she immediately felt better and she was so grateful. She said she wants to start meeting more and learn more, so we were super excited about that and are pumped to teach her!

Saturday!! Carissa's baptism!! So Carissa wanted to get baptized in Forest Grove, which is out of our mission (Salem Mission) because she has a lot of family and friends over there, a close friend of hers was the one that baptized her... So we called President and he gave us permission to attend the baptism! It was such a great experience. After teaching her for four months, I have been able to get to know her really well and become great friends with her. Being with her through everything and seeing all the changes she made in her life to get to this point has been a really humbling experience for me. The Gospel quite literally changed her life, and I had never seen her so happy than she was on this day. The entire baptism I kept thinking of the scripture in D&C 18:16, "And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me"... My joy was pretty great today. 

Sunday was just as good as Saturday. So we were sitting in church, and there are tons of people there to witness Carissa get confirmed. And we get a text 5 minutes before the meeting is about to start from Brother Francis (he was the one confirming Carissa), and he says that he is having major back problems and can't make it to church. So we start freaking out and we tell our Ward Mission Leader who then tells Carissa. She looks at me and asks me if I will do it...... Let me just say that I almost peed my pants. I have given a lot of blessings since being out on my mission, but not in front of 100+ people!! I told her that I would love to do it. So I went and sat down and said the most sincere prayer I have ever said to calm my nerves and when it was time to do the Confirmation, I got up there and I wasn't nervous one bit. I was able to do the whole thing without any problems, and the coolest part was that someone even had it recorded and I got a copy of it. The Spirit was so strong and I can't express the way I felt but it was incredible. Being able to use my Priesthood to bless the lives of others has been the greatest blessing for me and I can't thank Heavenly Father enough for the opportunity I have to exercise the Priesthood. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be on a mission to have met the people in this area, especially Carissa. Being a part of someone's conversion is one of the best experiences ever.

Have a good week!

Elder Hill

Tyler's Highlights this Week!

*HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Always give thanks to your Heavenly Father for everything. Shout out to my dad for showing me an awesome scripture about being grateful, Mosiah 2:20-24
*Thank you to everyone who has sent cards or packages or wrote a note on the Christmas tree cactus:) I really appreciate it!

*The weather was beautiful this past week; it couldn't have come at a better time!

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