Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ice Blocking the AZ Way!

Hi everyone!

Another week!! This is already the last week of the transfer, crazy! 

So this past week was a little slower and we had a lot of meetings. On Monday, we had Family Home Evening with our Ward and it was awesome. We went ice blocking! It's where you ride a block of ice down a grassy hill.  Everyone in AZ does it, but no one had ever heard of it in Oregon haha. It was so fun!  I love being in the YSA Ward cause people bring their non- member friends to the activities and we just get to have fun and talk to them! There are some pretty funny videos of us going down the hill! 
Throughout the whole week we had so many meetings to go to. We had a Zone Conference and our Zone joined the Beaverton Zone for training and stuff.  The Zone Leaders always have to give some kind of training at Zone Conferences so me and Elder Argyle were asked to train on teaching in unity with your companion. I have never been a very good public speaker; it's always been a weakness of mine, but the calling as Zone Leader has helped me get over that really fast haha cause we always have to do training in front of groups of missionaries and this one was in front of 50 missionaries and the mission presidency. It was pretty scary, but I'm getting used to it! Our training went well and everyone said it was good!:) 

This week was slower with lessons. but we did have a lesson with this less-active girl who hadn't been to church since she was a kid. She has gone through some hard things in her life, and we went over and shared a message with her and her siblings! After the lesson was over, we were outside walking to our car and she came running outside and said, "guys, how do you know God is actually there?" Elder argyle and I looked at each other and we both bore testimony on how we know that God is there. She was almost in tears and she said that she needs to go to church and she did! She came on Sunday! We have also started teaching this an investigator who got referred to us. His name is Ryan and he is awesome. He has the most sincere desire to know if the BoM is true and he wants to receive an answer. We are going to the temple visitor center with him this week! 

So our Ward just got so much bigger because BYUi just got out of spring semester and a lot kids are back for the summer. One of my friends from BYUi, Hannah Murphy, is in this Ward! It was so funny seeing her on Sunday cause she runs up and says, "Tyler!!.... I mean Elder Hill!" Haha It's fun to talk to all the people in the Ward about BYUi, it makes me miss it! 
Thanks for all of the emails and the support! Love and miss you all!! 

Have a great week!

Elder Hill

Scripture of the week: Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I know, with faith in Christ, there is nothing that we cannot overcome or accomplish. With His help we can endure anything!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Brush with Death & Basketball School is in Session

Hi everyone!

Can't believe another week is gone! There are only two weeks left of the transfer holy crap!

Well this week started off with us almost dying...... So we drove to Family Home Evening with our good friend, Ryan Doss, and the activity is pickin' blackberries. To get to the berry pickin' place, you have to turn off a main road onto a smaller road. The smaller road has a small hill you have to drive over to get to the place. So the FHE activity goes great and everything. On our way back home we start driving back down this small road, and then all of a sudden Ryan just floors it to like 60mph (Ryan is known for his crazy driving so it's not a surprise) and as he is flooring it we are about to go over the small hill and I am thinking, "the stop sign and the main road are not too far after this little hill," (something Ryan completely forgot) and so we go flying over this hill and Ryan sees the stop sign but it is too late. He tries slamming on the breaks, but we catch air and land past the stop sign. We bounce/skid through the four lane main road, and THANK GOODNESS there were no cars driving either way or we would have been dead. We go flying over this main road and on the other side there is a huge barley field. We dodge a tree and go flying a good 40 yards into the barley field until we skid to a stop. Thankfully we were in a big Silverado truck so there wasn't really any damage to the car, but holy crap it was INSANE! Talk about lucky to be alive hahaha.  It was a small miracle!! 

In other news, we had lunch with Gilbert this week! He is one of my investigators from my first area! It was super awesome to see him. Hopefully he will be baptized soon; he is working on it! 

So we were walking in the park one night trying to talk to people and we see some guys playing basketball. Elder Argyle and I both love playing basketball so we go over there and we ask these three black guys in their 30's if we can play with them and they say, "pffff you guys ain't ready to ball," and they turn and keep playing. We were like okay fine and so we go ask these five college age looking guys if we can play with them and they say, "yeah sure we will go get those three other guys you talked to and play 5 vs. 5 full court". They go over there and get them and I say to Elder Argyle, "dude, I won't play very well in my church shoes and shirt and tie," and he just turns and says, "Bro, God will help us play good". And he was right! Haha it was probably the best basketball I have played in a long time. Elder Argyle and I were on a team with three of the college age kids and we killed them. It was like those YouTube videos you see of missionaries dunking on people! There were cars driving by yelling, "go Elders!!" Haha Elder Argyle and I did really well and one of black guys said, "I can't imagine what you guys play like in sneakers" haha. Little does he know that we played better in our missionary clothes. It was pretty awesome though! We were able to get one of their numbers and talk to them about what we do as missionaries.  We will hopefully be able to meet up with them again! 

Sunday we had a huge regional (Portland and Vancouver) conference! There were like 1,000 YSA people at this sacrament meeting. It was so cool meeting so many people! And one of the speakers for the meeting was Ryan Doss, the guy that almost killed us in our Ward haha. In his talk he gave us a shoutout! He said, "I love the Elders. Elder Hill and Elder Argyle are some of the most solid individuals I know! They are the best people. I love going out with them."  I wanted to cry haha, that kid is awesome even though he did almost kill us.

Spiritual Thought: I was reading in 2 Nephi 2:4: "And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free." I thought that was really cool, how it is really up to us if we want eternal life. It is free to everyone; there is no person that has lived or ever will live that doesn't have the opportunity to gain salvation. If we want it we can have it, we just have to do the things that will allow us to gain it. Since it was 7/11 last week... It's like getting a free slurpee on 7/11. Slurpees are offered to everyone, and they are free. There is no one that isn't allowed to have a free slurpee. But to actually get that slurpee you have to do your part and go get it yourself. You have to drive to 7/11, walk in the store, grab a cup, fill it up, put a lid on, and straw in it. You can't just sit at home and expect a slurpee to appear in your hand. Salvation is free, but it is up to us whether we get it ourselves. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us and want us to gain eternal life and salvation. And I know as we do our part in doing those things to gain that, then They will make up the rest. Christ suffered for everyone, not just a select few, but for everyone. We all have the same opportunity but it is up to us. 

Love you all!! 

Elder Hill
 View overlooking the area where they are serving ...
Tyler with Elder Argyle and Ryan Doss

Monday, July 11, 2016

Temple & Sorority Girls

Hi everyone!

Had another solid week here in the YSA Ward! For the Fourth of July, our Zone walked in a parade with Sister Ballard (mission presidents wife). It was pretty fun. We got to throw candy to people and when we ran out of candy we were throwing out Mormon.org cards hahaha. Then we went to one of our friend's houses in the Ward to light off fireworks and hangout! We were allowed to stay out until 11 so that was sweet. I forgot to mention previously that we share the Ward with Sister missionaries: Sisters Bagshaw and Abplanalp, and so they came with us to do fireworks! We are always with them at activities, dinners, and meetings. It's kinda weird sharing a Ward, but the sisters are awesome and hilarious! 
We were able to go to the temple this week! It was the first time in over four months, and it was awesome. I love going to the temple and being able to feel the Spirit and receive inspiration and answers to questions. The bishop in my last area said, "the temple is the only place on earth that Satan cannot get into." I thought that was pretty cool knowing that I was in the only place where Satan can't be. And I saw Brother Smith, my old Ward mission leader from my last area, at the temple!!! It was so great being able to see him.  We were able to catch up and talk for a little bit. He's one of my favorite people I have met on my mission. 

So to explain the second half of the email title.... Sunday night we were sitting in dinner and we get a call from a random number and I didn't answer it. But then they call three more times and so I finally just excuse myself and answer it. I answer it and there is this girl on the other line and I start talking to her and she started telling me the craziest story of how she got our number! Her name is Elaina. So Elaina's family just moved to Oregon, but she was going to college in Georgia and she was in a sorority and was living with a few girls. She became best friends with them, and then a few months ago two of them died in a car accident while they were up at school. That completely devastated her. She dropped out of school and didn't know what to do with her life. She started just traveling around and was really into hiking. She made it to Utah at some point and while she was hiking she ran into two return missionaries who started talking to her and gave her a Book of Mormon. She didn't really think too much of it and she just kept traveling around doing her thing.  However, she said she loved the BoM and read Alma 36 over and over.. She then went backpacking up to Yellowstone. While she was up there hiking she ran into a lady who was looking for service on her cellphone. They started talking and Elaina reached into her backpack to get something and her Book of Mormon fell out. The lady was like, "oh are you LDS?" And Elaina was just like, "no some people gave me this book." And this lady says, "my husband is an LDS bishop! We would love to talk to you!" So Elaina talks to this family about the church and the BoM and the Bishop finds our number online and gives it to her. She decides to come back to Oregon to live with her parents for a while and that's when she called us. SO CRAZY!! LIKE THE GUY WAS A BISHOP! That's insane. Talk about divine intervention!!.. I told her on the phone that it is not a coincidence that all these things happened to her. God has His hand in her life and He is watching over her because He loves her. Now we are meeting with her again this week!! So cool. 

Everything is going great here in Oregon! Everyone is playing this new Pokemon Go game and so there are lots of people out and about that we can talk to! The Lord is hastening His work with Pokemon Go hahaha. 
Thanks for all the emails and support! 

Love and miss you all!! 

Elder Hill

Saturday, July 9, 2016

One Year Down & Happy 4th of July!!

Hi everyone!

On Friday it was my one year mark!!🎉🎉🎈🎈🎉🎉🎈🎊🎊 I can't believe it has been a year already, it feels like I was just in the MTC, it's goin' by so fast! And I'm scared this year is going to go by even faster. I am so grateful for this past year that I have had to serve the Lord! I have learned and grown more in this past year than I have in like the past 10 years! I know that I am here in Portland for a reason. I am thankful that I have this time to not only serve and teach the people in Portland, but to increase my own faith and testimony as well. I know that God lives and that He loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that because of Him we can find peace, direction, and happiness in this life. I am grateful to be one of His servants and to bear His name on my chest. One year to go!

Well, we had another solid week in the YSA Ward! The members here are awesome!  Going to dinners and activities is like hanging out with your group of friends back home. Everyone is so social and friendly, it's the best!  

On Tuesday, we went on exchanges with the AP's (assistants to the mission president). They have to do exchanges with all the ZLs and we were first this transfer. I went to their area and it was interesting! They are in a wealthier part of the city and so when we went tracting everyone was Indian or Asian and worked for Intel haha. They didn't really believe in God in the sense that we do so it was kinda hard to teach them. One of them told us we could come back so that was cool! 

On Thursday, there were so many miracles! We had three lessons cancel at the start of the day so that sucked, but then out of nowhere we had two investigators that we haven't been able to get a hold of text us and say they wanted to meet up! One of them was the random guy we called out of the areabook last week who hadn't met with missionaries in 2 years, and so we met with him and we had the best lesson. The Spirit was strong and we committed him to be baptized on July 30th! He was so pumped and when we showed him the font in the church, he got really excited. The other girl that we met up with was someone missionaries have been trying to get to church for forever and she has never come. But this time we were super bold with her and told her that the only way she can find the peace and answers she is looking for is by coming to church. And she came!! Hallelujah!! 

Being in the YSA Ward, we get to go to institute! So we just go with all of the members and their friends to the church on Thursday and they have like a seminary class where the teacher just teaches about Christ. It's pretty sweet. 

Friday, for my one year mark, we went over to one of the member's houses that we are good friends with and I burned a shirt (it's a tradition). We put a bunch of sparklers and fireworks inside the shirt and threw it in the fire haha it was crazy! And some of the sisters, Sister Jones and Sister Clemence, bought me a toy giraffe because they didn't have any camels at the dollar store haha! They are awesome! 

For the Fourth of July we are walking in a parade and then going to a barbecue and shooting off fireworks with some of the YSAs!!! Hope you all have a great 4th!! 

Miss and love you all!! 

Elder Hill