Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween!! So I have two weeks to catch up on. So much has happened.....

Well two weeks ago when I was in the YSA Ward still, we went to the temple with one of our investigators and it was awesome. He should be getting baptized soon!! And then a few days later one of the members in the Ward, Jordan Pregil, went on a mini-mission with Elder Craft and I. That's where he is basically a full- time missionary with us. He was with us for three days straight, 24/7 and slept at our apartment and everything. It was awesome. We are pretty good buddies so it was super fun and he said it was the best weekend he has ever had.  He has only been a member for 8 months!

At the Portland Temple with their investigator, Ben

Saturday, we got transfer calls! I was transferred to the Farmington Ward with Elder Miller! It's in the Beaverton Oregon West Zone and we are the Zone Leaders over that Zone now. This past week has been pretty sweet! Elder Miller is one of my good friends in the mission so we have been having a lot of fun! He is from SLC and he loves sports and the same stuff I do...... The area is huge, it reminds me of Canby. Half of the area is in the city and then it goes way out in the country. 

 Tyler & Elder Miller

 At the transfer meeting ...
Tyler & Sister Barney

This last week we were visiting a lot of members and getting to know them. We are trying to find things to do since we can't tract anymore. We have gone to a lot of parks and contacted people and have found a few people to teach that way. A cool experience we had was when we were at a park trying to talk to people and we were really struggling to find anyone who was remotely interested. So we sat down on a bench and prayed that someone would walk by our bench that would simply have a conversation with us. After our prayer ended, we started talking to the next guy who walked by and it turns out he was from Puerto Rico and was meeting with missionaries over there but he lost contact with them when he moved here to the states. He said he lost his Book of Mormon so we gave him one and got all his contact information and he wants to start taking the lessons again. It was sweet!

Everything else is going good! All the missionaries in our Zone are cool! We had a couple District meetings this past week so we got to know each other a little bit. I'm excited for this transfer! It should be fun. I hit my 16 month mark tomorrow which is crazy!

Tyler & Elder Miller on a random porch swing :)

Hope everyone has fun trick-or-treating. We are going downtown for P-day and Halloween!

Have a great week! 
Love you all!!

Elder Hill

Monday, October 17, 2016

Another crazy week!

Hi everyone!

Another crazy week! So much is happening, but I wanna start off with a story...

So some pretty crazy/scary stuff happened to one of our missionaries in the Zone... On Monday, the Rock Creek Elders left their apartment to go to an appointment. They came out of the appointment after 20 minutes to find that in one of their helmets there was a bag of Sour Patch Kids candy. They weren't sure where it came from and they were kinda skeptical if they should eat it or not, but they hadn't eaten dinner yet so one of the Elders (we will call him Elder F) decides to eat a couple. Everything is fine and they start heading back to their apartment. They get back to the apartment and Elder F starts acting a little funny. His companion didn't think anything of it, he just thought he was a weird kid. Elder F takes out the bag of Sour Patch Kids and decides to eat about 10 more. About 20 minutes later Elder F passes out. His companion, at that point, calls the mission nurse and calls 911. They rush him to the hospital and have to put him on a bunch of IVs and what not. The doctor said that the candy was laced with THC or marijuana and that eating two of them would get someone really high. Elder F. ate 12 of them! He was completely passed out for about 6 hours until they drained his stomach and released him from the hospital..... but the scary part is that we found out later that the bag of candy was actually stolen from the Westview Elders who live in the same apartment complex as the Rock Creek Elders. One of the Westview Elders recognized the bag and also that the candy was oddly cut in half just like his was, but he hadn't been able to find his bag of candy for the past few days. So someone stole this bag of candy from the Westview Elders apartment, laced it with THC, and then gave it to the Rock Creek Elders.... Portland is weird. Everything is okay now though, Elder F is doing well and he is just fine! Just some weird stuff going on! 

On a brighter note, we have a couple of investigators with baptisms coming up! Ben is getting baptized on November 12th and Tyler is getting baptized on November 26th! It's so awesome to be able to teach them and see how the gospel makes them so much happier. You can see their countenance change, and their minds are cleared. It's such a cool experience to be a part of that. We have been working with both of them for quite a while so it's great to see how far they have come! I love being able to help people change their lives and be happier.

Oh! and I forgot to mention, Elder Ballard came to visit again on Saturday. No big deal. Grandpa Ballard just coming for another visit, it was my third time seeing him on my mission.... We are so lucky to be able to have an Apostle come speak to us so often! I learn so much, and every time he comes it is the most spiritual meeting ever. There is one thing that he always does when he speaks. He always says "Go to Gethsemane and think about what the Savior did for you." He would talk about how no matter what you are going through, if you are having a hard day, if you are burdened, if you are depressed, if you can't go any further... pause and think about Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. Think about what He felt, what He went through, for YOU. If you do that you will IMMEDIATELY find the strength and motivation to keep going. It was an amazing experience hearing from Elder Ballard and shaking his hand again! 

I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that He is real. Sometimes we may wonder if Christ was an actual or person or if this is some fanciful story, but it's not. Jesus Christ is real. He lived and died for each of us, so that we may be reconciled to God through Him and that is the only way in which we can return back to our Heavenly Father, is through His son Jesus Christ. Think about the reality of the Savior for you and your life, and how you can make that relationship more real and meaningful.

Hope you all have a great week! Enjoy the nice weather! 

Love and miss you all!

Elder Hill

 District Meeting at Skyline Memorial

Zone service project at a middle school ...

Monday, October 10, 2016

"If you love Jesus, make some noise!!!"

Hey everyone!! 

So this past week was pretty interesting.... we had MLC (missionary leadership council) on Friday, and President Ballard has made the decision that we are no longer allowed to go tracting (door knocking) anymore. He wants to have us focus on the members and working with them because that is where all of our baptisms are coming from. Tracting is pretty ineffective in Portland, but now we can't do it at all anymore. So crazy! Everyone was freaking out cause that's what missionaries are known for is knocking doors. It will be interesting to see what happens! 

The reason for my heading... earlier this week we had a lesson with two girls that we had met, Leslie and Jenny. They are both super friendly and really outgoing, and they are both really involved in their church they go to. We had a pretty good lesson with them and we invited them to come to church with us on Sunday, and they said, "yeah maybe, but we have church on Sunday too! Do you wanna come with us?" So we made a deal that we would go to church with them if they came to church with us! So at 10am Sunday morning we roll up to the Calvary Christian Church in our full on suits and missionary attire haha. People were giving us funny looks, and we had multiple people ask us (in a nice way) "what are you guys doing here?" We would just tell them that Leslie and Jenny invited us!

The service was pretty interesting. They had a band and some singers and one of the guys on stage was like, "if you love Jesus make some noise!!" We love Jesus so we were yelling "yeeeaaaah!!!"... The first 30 minutes was the band playing some songs and the crowd singing along, and then the next thirty minutes was the pastor giving his sermon. It was pretty cool, he just taught out of the Bible. After the service we were mingling with all the members talking to them and stuff, and we actually ended up getting a lady's phone number that we could go do service for haha. As we were talking to the lady we could see the pastor behind her, staring us down. So we go over and start talking to the pastor! He was a nice guy but we could tell he wasn't too fond of us. Overall, it was an interesting and fun experience!!

We had six investigators at church! Leslie, Jenny, Ben, Nate, Joran, and Zach all came! We couldn't even keep track of all of them.  We were trying to introduce people to all of them. Ben and Nate are two interesting guys that we are starting to teach. They showed up to church in these long Chinese robes that have some symbols on them. The symbols mean "new beginnings" so they wore them since it was their first time at church. It was really interesting. Right before sacrament meeting was about to end they both got up and stood by the door and bowed toward the pulpit and then walked out, but then they came back for Sunday School so that was good!

Things are going great out here in Portland. It rained every single day last week..yippie.

Hope you are all doing great! Love and miss you guys!!

Elder Hill
P-day Activities ....
Famous ice cream place!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Barbara's baptism!!!

So this past week was so crazy and exhausting.

Monday night we had a bonfire with the Ward at the bishops house which was really fun. I love the YSA Ward so much, the people here are awesome.

On Tuesday, we were going to visit a less-active guy and we knocked on his door and his roommates answered. They let us in and they asked us if we wanted to hold their pet snake. I was like yeah sure why not so I held their bell python snake and it bit me!!!....... Okay just kidding it didn't bite me, but it was really cool since that was my first time holding a snake haha.
Thursday, we had our Zone meeting and interviews with President Ballard. Since being a Zone Leader, I have been able to get to know President and work with him a lot more, and he is the best. He has helped me a lot and given me so much advice.. For Zone meeting Elder Craft and I had to prepare the whole meeting and the training. So the whole week on our downtime we were trying to get it all put together and what not. It was so stressful, but it went really well! 
 Selfie with Sister Ballard!
Missionaries with President Ballard?

Thursday evening we took Jordan Pregil, a recent convert, out with us to a couple of lessons but they both fell through. We didn't really have a back up plan so I pulled out my areabook on my iPad and I had a list of names of former investigators or people that were taught by missionaries in the past five years that we could go see. I was like, "Jordan, I'm gonna scroll through this list and when you feel prompted by the Spirit to stop on a person you say stop." So we did that and he stopped on a guy named Michael. So we go knock on Michael's door and he answers! (It's pretty rare that former investigators are ever home). We start talking to him and eventually his sister and girlfriend come to the door as well, and they are all interested in learning more and being taught! It was crazy cause that never happens! It was a cool miracle!

Friday was Barbara's baptism!! It was awesome! It was all the way out in Mt. Hood so it was an hour drive and we hit traffic so we were late, but they couldn't start the baptism until we got there since I was the one baptizing her haha! When we got there, Barbara had the biggest smile on her face. It was so great to see her after four months. I could tell she had changed so much and she was so happy! Right before the ordinance of the baptism, there was a musical number of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," the Spirit was so strong it was amazing.  I was just thinking about how Barbara was introduced to the gospel and the changes she made in her life and how much of a miracle it all was.  Baptizing her was awesome. Just like at Logan's baptism I once again felt that overwhelming feeling of God's love for His children and how He knows each of us individually and by name, and how proud He was of Barbara. It was such an incredible experience, and it has definitely changed my life!
 Tyler & the Sisters who taught Barbara at Barbara's baptism!

I hope you all enjoyed General Conference! It's like a rock concert for missionaries haha. I really enjoyed Elder Uchtdorf and Elder Ballard's talks. And I love the quote, "Be Ambitious for Christ!" I think that is something we can all do!

Love and miss you guys! Have a good week!

Elder Hill