Monday, August 29, 2016

The orangutans were the best!

Hi everyone!

This week was crazy! On P-day we went to the zoo with the Sisters and one of our recent converts. It was super fun.  The orangutans were the best haha. 
This week we were so busy. We taught 30 lessons and found 8 new investigators! We met a lot of really interesting people. There was one person in particular that was really cool who had a crazy experience.... We met a guy who had a "death" experience where 5 years ago he overdosed, was in a coma in the hospital, and was "dead" for a short period of time. He had a dream during that time where an Angel walked him through his life and what he had done. He explained how he was like a "Spirit" and he was able to review his life with this angel speaking to him about it. He basically described the Spirit World and what he said lined up almost perfectly with the Plan of Salvation and what we teach. He said how through his experience that he believes God loves all of His children and none of us will be sent to "hell," but we will live in different levels of happiness. We were just like dude that's very similar to what we believe! And the thing that stood out to me the most that he said was, that as the Angel walked him through his life he said he didn't necessarily feel eternally damned for doing drugs or breaking the law of chastity. He said yes it definitely mattered because it made him unclean and he felt bad about it, but it didn't matter cause it already happened. He said the thing that pained him the most during that experience was when the Angel showed him the times that he made fun of people who believed in God and he tried to lead them away from that. He said that was by far the worst feeling he felt. The Angel asked him what he would do if he had a second chance, and then he woke up from his "coma". He said he knows that God exists and there is a heaven...... So then the next day during my studies I was studying Alma 36 about how Alma had a very similar experience. What I thought was interesting was that Alma never mentioned any very specific sin that he committed (he said he didn't keep the commandments as a whole).  The thing he was specific on was that he was "seeking to destroy the church of God" and also when he said "Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction" other than this, Alma just gives a general overview that he didn't keep the commandments of God. I pondered that and thought how interesting that is, how both this man and Alma felt the worst knowing they "lead them away unto destruction". Definitely a testimony builder for me and how real the after life is. And also how important the things we do here in mortality are. 

Everything else is going great! We are trying to teach all of our investigators and get them baptized!.. The weather is super nice and we are just trying to get our Zone pumped up and working hard! 

Thanks for the support!

Love you all! 
Elder Hill
 Missionary work on Facebook!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Are you an Eagle or a Hog?

Hi everyone!

So this week was pretty good! Elder Craft and I had to give a training at Zone Conference on Tuesday and we didn't find out what we were training on until Monday night and so we were up until midnight planning it out haha but it went pretty well... 

Nothing else super exciting happened this week. We had been teaching a guy named Everett and he is 20 years old. He has high functioning autism and so he is pretty normal, but can be very child-like sometimes. We were teaching him this week a couple times and every time we asked him a question and he answered it right he would start doing a slow clap. Then throughout our lessons he would just randomly bow his head and start praying. He told his mom that he was going to church and sadly she said that she wasn't comfortable with that and he had to stop meeting with us. So we were super bummed about that.

We have been teaching another guy named Ben for the past month. He had no religious background at all and had never prayed before.  We met with him again this week and he said that God has answered so many of his prayers this past week! It was pretty cool, and he wants to be baptized! So we are working on that with him. 

Spiritual Thought: During studies, I was reading a talk about character and how you know the character of a person by the activities they do in their free time or when no one is looking. The speaker used a comparison of an eagle and a hog:

"He said: Let us take the eagle, for example. This bird works as hard and as efficiently as any other animal or bird in doing its daily work. It provides for itself and its young by the sweat of its brow, so to speak; but when its daily work is over and the eagle has time of its own to do just as it pleases, note how it spends its recreational moments. It flies in the highest realms of heaven, spreads its wings and bathes in the upper air, for it loves the pure, clean atmosphere and the lofty heights. On the other hand, let us consider the hog. This animal grunts and grubs and provides for its young just as well as the eagle; but when its working hours are over and it has some recreational moments, observe where it goes and what it does. The hog will seek out the muddiest hole in the pasture and will roll and soak itself in filth, for this is the thing it loves. People can be either eagles or hogs in their leisure time." I thought that was really cool! I think we would all much rather live the eagle life than the hog life! 

Have a good week! 

Elder Hill
Tyler & Logan (he was baptized a couple of weeks ago and is now moving to South Carolina)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A New Elder & a Homeless Man


So this week wasn't as exciting as last week. I really don't remember what happened. I swear each day is such a blur. One moment I wake up and then an hour goes by and I'm back in bed. It's weird how fast time is going. 

So on Tuesday, we were walking down the street in a more ghetto part of town, and we saw a 20-year-old rough looking guy sitting on the sidewalk. We are always looking to find YSAs so we go talk to him. We sat down by him and he was just like, "oh hey, guys what's up?" and we started talking to him and he ended up just venting to us about his life and how he just wants to grow weed but people keep lying to him. He was also talking about how he is homeless but is working on his rap career. He said he is super, super depressed though. We read in Alma 7 with him and gave him a Book of Mormon and he thought that was awesome. He started crying and he said that he would read the BoM and come to church. It was pretty cool!... So we exchange numbers and we texted him that night and asked him how everything is going and if there was anything we could do for him. He was like, "yeah there is actually. Tonight is my last night before I go to rehab... Do you have a gram of meth that you could get to me?" Hahaha we were like, "man I don't think he read the BoM!" We told him that reading the BoM and feeling the Savior's love is far more powerful and enjoyable than any drug he could take. He said "okay," but we haven't heard back from him since. Hopefully things workout for him! 

Another cool thing that happened was when we were on a split with some other Elders. We went tracting with another pair of Elders in another area. I went with Elder Ahlemann; he has only been out two weeks. He is a little shy and doesn't like to talk to people that much. We were knocking doors and no one was interested and he was getting a little discouraged. So we were standing in front of the next door and I stopped Elder Ahlemann from knocking on it. I asked him if he actually had the faith that this person will be interested and he said, "ehh not really." So I told him that if he doesn't have the faith to find people to teach then the lord won't help us find people either. We talked about it for a little bit and he got pumped up to find people, and we then knocked on the door and the person was super interested and became a new investigator! It was sweet. Elder Ahlemann was pumped haha. 

We have zone conferences this week so it will be our Zone and two other zones. We have to give a training on something we don't know about yet so it should be interesting! 

Thanks for all the support! 

Love you all! 

Elder Hill
Tyler holding the "Liahona" with Elders in his Zone
Missionary Leadership Conference at the Mission President's home

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Busy, crazy, stressful ... awesome!!!

Hey Everyone! 

This week was probably the craziest, busiest, most stressful, most awesome week of my entire mission! 

So first off we had a baptism!! My good buddy, Logan Martin was baptized on Saturday and it was such an amazing experience. He has completely changed his life around in every way and he says he wants to be a missionary as soon as possible! He asked me if I wanted to baptize him and of course I said yes, absolutely! It was such a humbling experience to be a part of his baptism. After the baptismal ordinance, Logan and I were walking out of the font and he could not stop smiling. I think the happiness that we were both feeling was overwhelming. I was filled with a feeling that I can't really describe. It's hard to put into words but it was the best, most joyful feeling ever. I can't even imagine how Logan was feeling! And it's amazing to think that the feeling that we both had is only a tiny fraction of the happiness that we can feel in eternity. I caught only a small glimpse of the love that God has for all His children. D&C 18:15 "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" 
So some other crazy things that happened this week - we now have Facebook and Facebook messenger on our iPads! We are 1 of 15 missions in the world that are piloting the new online proselyting for iPads. On Wednesday, we went to MLC (missionary leadership conference) and received the new training from the missionary department on how to use it. The next day Elder Craft and I had to train our Zone on how to use it and WE had no idea how to use it, but it went pretty well! It's super weird having Facebook on our iPads, but it's really cool cause we are able to teach and talk to a lot more people using group chats and video call-ins. We had a couple video lessons this week and a couple Groupchat lessons! It was sweet! We will see how it goes the rest of the transfer! 

So this week we started teaching this guy named Everett! We found him looking for someone else and he saw us and told us he wanted to take the lessons! He has mild autism so he is pretty norma,l but then he will get really child-like but we have the best lessons with him. We were teaching him how to pray and he couldn't remember and so we kept practicing and he finally said all the words right with the beginning and the end of the prayer and he got so excited! And so we kept going on with our lesson and then when I was in mid-sentence he quickly bowed his head and folded his arms and starts, "dear Heavenly Father..." And he said a prayer and looks up and says, "I did it again!" He kept doing the random prayers throughout the entire lesson. It was great!

Elder Craft is a super good missionary and we have been doing well. I'm excited for this transfer!! Thanks for all the support! 

Love you all!! 

Elder Hill
Hanging with missionary friends - Sister Ball, Sister Hulet, Elder Itufia, Tyler, Elder Hintz, Sister Downing
Sweet, matching ties!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Hi everyone!

So this was the last week of the transfer and we got transfer calls on Saturday. I'm staying here in the YSA Ward, but Elder Argyle is getting transferred:( we were both pretty upset when we heard that but he is going to be the new AP (assistant to the Mission President) which is sweet! I'm getting Elder Craft as my new companion. He is from Lehi, Utah and has been out 17 months! Should be another fun transfer! 

So this coming Saturday we are going to have a baptism for our investigator Logan! He is awesome and super prepared. He said he wants to bring "tons of converts" into the church. He is so solid! It has been so cool to watch him completely change his life around and live the gospel. He is like a whole new person! 

On Wednesday we went with our investigator, Hunter, to the Portland Temple Visitor Center. We went inside and the Visitor Center sisters were showing him around teaching him some things and then we went outside and walked the temple grounds. We stopped at the front and we were just standing there looking at the temple and we asked Hunter how he felt and he was like, "I can't really describe it. It's just........epic. I feel unreal." And it was just so cool to see his reaction and how the spirit was so strong. Sadly he is moving to Eugene in a couple weeks, but he wants to keep in contact and keep taking the lessons! 

On Saturday there was a huge community event in Beaverton called, "Party in the Park". It's where they have a ton of bouncy houses and rock climbing and a ton of games and stuff to do! It's free and so a bunch of people come to it. Our Zone and three other Zones were volunteers for the event and so there was like 80 missionaries volunteering! We just helped out with the bouncy houses and were in charge of making sure things didn't get out control with the games and stuff. It was from 12-6 so it was all day. I got super sunburned which I am actually very excited about cause I'm actually kinda tan now! It was so fun! 

Oh and I hit my 13th month mark today so that's cool. Time is flying! Nothing too crazy happened last week, sorry for the short email. 

Love and miss you all!! Send me a letter or somethin:) Have a good week! 

Here is a super cool poem that we sent to the missionaries in our Zone to help them finish strong: 

"He's Been There Before" 

The alarm rings at 6:30; 
I stumble to my feet
I grab my companion's bedding
and pull off his sheets.
A groan fills the room
is it already time to arise? 
It seems like just a second
I was able to shut my eyes. 

The morning activities follow - 
study, prayer and such.
When it's time to leave the apartment, 
you feel you haven't accomplished much.
"We have a super day planned," my companion says with a grin,
I lowly utter a faithless breath, "Yeah, if anyone lets us in." 

With the word of God and my faithful Schwinn, 
we ride off in the street
prepared to face another day of humidity and heat.
It's 9:30 in the evening, 
the day is almost through; 
my companion and I are riding home, 
not accomplishing what we thought to do. 

We ride up to the mailbox,
hoping to receive a lot, 
only to look inside 
and hear my echo reverberate "Air box." 
We go up to our apartment, 
the day is now complete,
the only thing to show for our work
is a case of blistery feet.

It's past 10:30 P.M., 
my companion is fast asleep, 
silence engulfs me all about
and I begin to weep. 
In the moist sadness
I kneel down to pray.
I need to talk to Father,
but I'm not sure what to say.

"Oh, Father," I begin, 
"What happened to us today? 
I thought we'd teach somebody,
but everyone was away. 
My hands, aching hands - 
worn, hurt and beat; 
If our area was any smaller, 
we'd have knocked every street." 

"Why on missions are the days so much alike? 
The only difference about today
was the flat tire on my bike. 
Will you send some cooler weather? 
The heat is killing me. 
I sweat so bad, it gets in my eyes. It's very hard to see."

"Why do I have to wear a helmet,
isn't your protection enough? 
People always laugh at me
and call me stupid stuff.
Please send us some investigators
so I may give them what they lack;
I want to give them Book of Mormon's,
the weight of them hurts my back."

"And what about my family? 
They don't have much to say, 
I'm sick of not hearing from home, 
day after day after day. 
Oh, Father, Why am I here, am I just wasting time? 
Sometimes I just want to go home, 
I'm sorry, but that's just on my mind." 

"My companion, Heavenly Father,
what are you giving me?
The way he rides his bicycle
I don't think he can see. 
Now you have it, I can't go on,
I don't know what to do; 
That, my Father in Heaven, 
is the prayer I have for you." 

My prayer finished I stand up, 
then jump right into bed. 
Sleep starts to overtake me, 
I start to drift away. 
Then it seems a vision 
takes me to another time
in another day. 

I'm standing alone on the hill, 
the view is very nice; 
A man walks towards me and says, 
"my name is Jesus Christ." 
Tears of joy well up inside,
I fall down to His feet. 
"Arise," He states, "Follow me to the shade. 
You and I need to speak." 

My attention's towards my Savior, 
total and complete. 
He says, "Your mission is similar of what happened to me, 
I understand how you feel, 
I know what you're going through;
In fact, it would be fair to say
I've felt the same as you."

"I even know how you felt when no one listened to you,
At times I felt not quite sure what else that I could do. 
I know you don't like to ride a bicycle, 
for you a car would be sweet; 
just remember the donkey I rode wasn't equipped with 21 speeds."

"I understand you don't like sweating,
in fact it's something you hate;
I remember when I sweat blood from every pore,
oh the agony was great!
I see you don't like your companion - 
you'd rather have someone else,
I once had a companion named Judas,
who sold my life for wealth.

"It's hard to wear a helmet
and have people make fun of you,
I remember when they put thorns on my head
and called me king of the Jews. 
So you feel burdened down by the weight of your pack,
I recall how heavy the cross
was when they slammed it on my back."

"You're hands hurt from tracting
and knocking doors all day,
I guess when they pounded nails into mine,
I ached in a similar way.
It's hard not to hear from home
when your families not there to see;
I lost communication on the cross and cried,
"Father, Why hast thou forsaken me?" 

"We have a lot in common, 
but there's a difference between us you see,
I endured to the end and finished my mission
so follow and do like me." 
He embraced me with his arms, 
his light filled me with his love, 
with tears in my eyes
I watched as He went back to the Father above.

I stood in awe and wonder
when a beep rang in my head.
I listened and heard the alarm, 
then realized I was in bed. 
My companion let out a groan,
"6:30 already, No Way!"
I sat up and said, "Come on. 
I'll even carry your scriptures today!" 

No matter what we go through, 
when we feel we can't take more, 
just stop and think about Jesus Christ, 
He's Been There Before. 

#bapsquad #finishstrong 

Elder Hill
 Some of the Districts in Tyler's Zone

 Moustache party!

Smoothie party???