Monday, April 25, 2016

Sweet hike, sweet pics!

Hi everyone!

We just got done with a super sweet hike!! It was 7 miles there and back to a place called Ramona Falls. It was super cool and our whole Zone went. It was up the mountain so it was snowing too, but it was super fun. 
So this past week on Tuesday, we went to the other side of our area to a place called Government Camp. It's right next to Mt. Hood. It took us an hour to get there and we wanted to go find a potential investigator out there, but it was the wrong address haha. So we tried to talk to some people, but it's more of a tourist attraction town so no one was interested at all. We went into a gift shop and the cashier goes, "are you handing those out!?" She's pointing to the Book of Mormons in our hands. We were just like, "uhhh yeah, you want one??" She said yes and it turns out she grew up Mormon, but stopped going when she was 9 years old. We had a really good conversation with her! It's crazy the places that you will find people. 

So our Ward mission leader, Bro Smith, is the man. He is one of the coolest, but most spiritual people, out there. We had dinner at his house and we had a really good spiritual conversation and Bro. Smith was talking about some awesome stuff and bearing his testimony, and then at the end he was like, "you guys wanna go play some foosball?" So we went out and Elder Wheeler and I played foosball against him and his wife haha. 

Friday we had some really good lessons. We went to see a less-active guy named Scott and he had really been having a hard time with some things. After we talked about, I felt impressed to share with him a Mormon Message, "Hope Ya Know I Had a Hard Time" because it talks about a lot of the things he was going through. He started crying while watching it and said, "wow that was incredible, I really needed that." He was really glad that we came over to visit him. Then later we had a lesson in the evening with a couple investigators that we have been working with off and on. We knocked on their door and Josh, the person we were supposed to meet with was sleeping, but his girlfriend Katie wanted to talk for a little bit. So she comes outside and we are sitting on her porch and it is already sprinkling a little bit outside. We start talking to her and we asked about her faith in God and she just broke down and started crying and saying how if God is real then why do her family members keep dying? It was really sad. We told her about the Plan of Salvation and the purpose of life. While we are talking it starts to rain harder and harder, and it's just raining a ton and she's crying and it was just a crazy situation. We promised her that God is there, that He loves her and is watching over her and that she will see her loved ones again. We bore our testimonies and by the end of the lesson she said that she wanted to meet with us more. It was a cool experience! 
Thank you for all the emails and support!! I really appreciate it! Send me pics if you want! I love getting emails and pictures! 

Have a good week! 

Elder Hill
Replica of the gun that was used to shoot Joseph Smith 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tracting in the boonies works, Elder Wheeler


So the transfer is already half over. It's crazy how fast the weeks are going by. This week was alright, it wasn't as good as last week, but it still went pretty good. 

I told Elder Wheeler that I am convinced tracting in the boonies works for finding people and so on one of the days we went out into the woods and started tracting the houses out there and it was the worst haha. No one was home or they weren't interested at all so Elder Wheeler didn't believe me that it worked, but then I suggested the next day to try one more time and we found two new investigators!  So it does work even out in the middle of the wilderness haha. We knocked on this one house and a younger guy answered and we started talking to him. We asked if he had any Mormon friends and he said no, but he has been wanting to learn more! Elder Wheeler and I were just like wait what? That never happens haha. We also get to take a lot of pictures with different animals out in the wilderness tracting haha. 

We had Zone Conference on Thursday which was good. I always love seeing missionaries from the other Zones that I haven't seen in forever. 

We did a lot of service this week too. We helped make a nature walk for the blind. Not sure how that works, but hey it was still fun to help out. 

On Sunday our investigator John, the one that wants to be baptized because he doesn't want to be damned, announced in Sunday School class to everyone that he is getting baptized. So that was pretty cool! 

Thanks for the emails and support!  Love and miss you guys!

Elder Hill

Spiritual Thought: "You and I may speak most eloquently of spiritual things. We may impress people with our keen intellectual interpretation of religious topics. We may rhapsodize about religion and “dream of [our] mansion above.” But if our faith does not change the way we live--if our beliefs do not influence our daily decisions--our religion is vain, and our faith, if not dead, is certainly not well and is in danger of eventually flatlining." -President Uchtdorf 

I like this quote from President Uchtdorf's talk in the last conference because it basically says that if we have faith in God and Jesus Christ then we need to act like it. Our actions need to be in accordance with our faith, because if they aren't then what is the point of having faith. If we believe in something and it doesn't change who we are and what we do, then what is the point of believing.

Monday, April 11, 2016

"Every single soul is precious" - Elder Ballard

Hi everyone!

So this week was super solid! We taught over 20 lessons this week which is the standard of excellence for our Mission! We were crazy busy all week.

Tuesday we met with a lot of different investigators, and we have one investigator named John who has been meeting with missionaries for a while now. He is a war vet and a little older and is a little slow with things. We had a really good lesson on baptism and we asked him if he would like to be baptized. He said, "every time I wanna do something, the government won't let me do it!!" His brother, who is a member, was like, "John, the government isn't involved in this." And he said, "oh, in that case I will think about it." Hahaha. 

Wednesday we had a really good day and taught six lessons! 

Thursday we were supposed to go on a split with our Ward Mission Leader, but he had to cancel at the last minute and we felt prompted to go see this less active lady. So we went to see her and as we were visiting with her, her granddaughter walks in and joins us. She is a non-member and starts asking us questions and stuff and she said she wants us to come over and teach her more! It's crazy how the Lord puts people in our path 'cause we weren't even supposed to be at that house! 

Friday we stopped by another potential investigator that we had seen before and she told us to come back later, and so we did. She let us in this time and we had such a good lesson with her. The Spirit was strong and we asked her if she would be baptized if she came to know the Book of Mormon was true and she said yes. It was awesome!! Friday in the evening we went to go see John again and we talked a lot about baptism and we talked about how we have a clean slate when we are baptized and that all of our sins and guilt are gone, and he was like "wait, seriously?" We told him that it could happen for him if he was baptized and he got super excited and so we set a date for May 7th for his baptism! 

The work here is going great! We are super busy, but we had interviews with the Mission President on Wednesday and he told me not to get comfortable in this area because he has other things planned for me. I have no idea what that means, but I was a little bummed that I won't be staying in the Ward for that long. We will see what happens!! 

Saturday Elder Ballard from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and spoke to all the missionaries in our Mission. It was so sweet. I was able to shake his hand again and he said, "Good Morning Elder." It was the most spiritually powerful good morning ever hahaha. It was really cool to hear from an apostle.

Our Mission President's wife, Sister Ballard, had her dad, Ken Garff, speak to us as well.  President Garff is a former Temple President. They gave some really good counsel and instruction. It really helped me gain a new perspective on different things about life in general... One of the things that stuck out to me the most that Elder Ballard said was, "every single soul is precious. A great price was paid for each one." It's just amazing to think about how God loves ALL of His children. Not just some, and not just those that are good people. He loves every single soul equally and the Atonement is there for everyone. Christ suffered for all. We have this knowledge and so it is our responsibility to share it with others and to bring others back to Heavenly Father. Christ gave his life so that everyone could live with God again, so the least we can do is help others along their way. "Have faith, have hope, live like His Son, help others on their way." 

Sunday I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting and I finished the book, Jesus the Christ! Hallelujah! 

I really appreciate all the emails and letters!! Thank you so much for all the love and support! 

Have a good week! 

Elder Hill

This is one of our Ward member's backyards ... the Sandy River!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

General Conference, Ziplining & Hank

Hello from the wilderness of Oregon! 

So my first week in the Sandy River area was awesome! Our area is enormous and it takes about 2 hours to drive from the west border to the east border. We cover the town of Sandy and then everything to the east until Mt. Hood. The members here are awesome and they love missionaries! They are also very missionary minded and try to help us out. We have been teaching this girl named Jasmine who is 13 yrs old and she is getting baptized on Saturday! She is awesome and really wants to be baptized; her grandma is a recent convert. We have also been working with some others that could have baptismal dates soon so we will see. Once you leave the town of Sandy all the houses are basically out in the middle of nowhere and everyone has huge acres of land. 
This is a view from the edge of Sandy to Mt. Hood. We cover everything you can see in the picture or as Elder Wheeler says, "our area is everything the light touches!" haha
Tuesday we did a lot of service.  We helped a member do some yard work and then worked at the food bank in town. We also were able to go visit some people so I could get introduced. 

Wednesday we had a couple lessons and then in the evening the Ward was having a mutual activity about missionary work so we went and they asked us a bunch of questions about missionary life.  The youth here are awesome! 

Every Thursday we have a Book of Mormon class with anyone who wants to come so we did that and then in the evening we went on splits and I went with Bro. Shaffer. We went to go visit this family who used to take the lessons, but they hadn't been taking them recently and so we went to go see them and they want to start meeting with us again. So that was exciting. 

So apparently in the Mt. Hood Zone, missionaries like to pull pranks on each other ...  We were doing service with some of the Sisters in the Zone and Elder Wheeler wanted to prank them so we did haha.  Then, later that night when we got home, all of our bed sheets were in the freezer! They swear they didn't do it... So the prank wars are apparently starting. 

Saturday was General Conference! We watched the first two sessions at a member's house, the Stevens, and then the Priesthood session at the Stake Center. The Priesthood session was awesome!! I really liked Elders' Nelson and Uchtdorf's talks. There were so many things said that answered questions I had.

Sunday we went over to the Smiths to watch the morning session and they live out in the middle of nowhere. They have a zipline that goes across a giant pond in their front yard and so after the morning session we went to go ride the zipline haha. It was sweet. We watched the afternoon session with Jasmine and her grandma. Her grandma is hilarious!  She is a recent convert and says the funniest things. In the evening, we visited and contacted people. 
Have a great week!

Elder Hill

Tyler's Hints & Highlights this Week!
*Elder Ballard is coming to visit our Mission again this Saturday so that should be awesome. -

*Hopefully you all enjoyed conference! If you didn't see it, then you can watch it online!
This is Hank, one of our less actives enormous dogs. He is scared to go 
through doors so he walks through them backwards ...hahaha