Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Does someone actually live here?

Hi everyone!

This week was pretty crazy! On Wednesday, there was a worldwide missionary broadcast for all the missions in the world and they changed the missionary schedule for the morning and the p-day schedule! They made it so that there is no more companionship study in the morning and we plan in the mornings instead of evening. It's super weird. And Pday now starts at 8am instead of 10am! They also changed the stats we report on. We don't report on lessons we teach anymore we just report on new investigators we find, people at church, people with a baptismal date, and people getting baptized. It's kinda different, but I like it. After the broadcast, Elder Merrell and I got up and talked and got our Zone pumped up. Our Zone has been killing it the past couple weeks which has been awesome.

On Thursday, we had a really cool lesson with one of the 16-year-old boys in our ward and his friend. We played basketball with them and then afterwards we taught the Restoration to his friend, Hayden. At first Hayden said that he didn't wanna be religious or get into it, but he was open to learning stuff. We shared the Restoration with him and the Spirit was working on him and by the end of the lesson he was interested in reading the Book of Mormon and praying. It was sweet. Especially because he has no religious background at all and was pretty against it before. Hopefully we can get him into it.

Also on Thursday, we went to go see the plane house in the forest again to see if we could meet the guy that lives there, but he didn't answer again. I really wanna meet him! Thursday night Gilbert (old investigator) took us out to eat! He's still the same and is talking to the missionaries over in Moreland still. Hopefully he will get baptized in the next few months, he said he was thinking about it still!
 Dinner at BWW with Gilbert ...
Does someone REALLY live here?!?

We have been doing a lot of tracting and street contacting. We met a lot of cool people and some not so cool people who don't like us.

Everything is going good in this Ward! The members are awesome. We will hopefully be having a baptism coming up next month!

Hope everyone has a great week! Can't believe January is already over!

Love and miss you guys! 

Elder Hill

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Service in the rain!

Hi everyone!

This week was good! It was the first week of the transfer so we were introducing Elder Merrell to everyone. Elder Merrell is a cool guy; he is from Pleasant Grove, Utah and he played baseball in high school so we get along super well and talk about sports all the time. He's a solid missionary!
Elder Merrell ...

There were some pretty intense rain storms so the snow and ice all finally started to melt this week. Tuesday night, we were out walking in a neighborhood to visit someone and we saw some people shoveling snow and ice out of their driveway and gutter because it started pouring rain and it was starting to flood up to their house. We went over and started helping them and we shoveled ice for a couple hours in the rain. Afterwards, we talked to them about what we do as missionaries and they thought it was awesome. We gave them a Book of Mormon, told them about it, and they said they would read it. So that was cool.

We had a few lessons throughout the week that went well but we are trying to find some new investigators now that Tuesday got baptized and that we had to drop some others. So we are just trying to talk to people on the streets and knocking doors. Tuesday is still doing great.  She is trying to get her kids to come to church and she just gets so excited about the gospel it's so awesome.

We had MLC (missionary leadership conference) again this week and we were playing a family feud game thing where 3 people go to the front and the APs ask a question and whoever grabs the marker that is in front of them first gets to answer the question and get a point for their team. All of the questions were about the handbook, missionary manuals and what not, except for when it was my turn haha. Our question was, "can you sing the mission song?" All three of us at the front backed away from the marker and were just like, " heck no" hahaha. My team was yelling at me to grab the marker and sing it so we would get points. So I finally did it and sang the mission song in front of all the mission leadership hahaha. It was awful, but super funny. 

Spiritual Thought:
In MLC, President Newsom was talking about how in life you can either be two things: you can be a hammer or you can be a nail. When you are the nail you get hit over and over by life and you just keep taking a beating. You have no control, but when you are the hammer you are the one who is doing the hitting. You have control of your life. You have goals, you make plans and you execute them. We can all control our lives, Heavenly Father has given us the agency and capability to do our best. There are some things we can't control, but we can control how we react and what we do with what we are given. With God nothing is impossible.

Hope everyone has a great week!! 

Elder Hill

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Baptisms, Transfers & SNOW ...

Hi everyone!

It was a pretty crazy week here in Oregon! There was a crazy snow storm and we got about a foot of snow!! Oregon is definitely not set-up to have snow storms so a lot of places shut down and no one was driving. We were locked down in our apartment for a couple days and then after three days President said we could drive if we felt the roads were good enough. After being stuck in the apartment we were ready to get out, so we took our little Corolla out and that was a mistake. When we were driving we hit a patch of ice and we were coming up behind a car and we just kept sliding on the ice and ran into the back of a Jeep. So that was a bummer. 
But on the bright side Tuesday Buffinger, our investigator, got baptized!! We had her baptism on Saturday and it was awesome! There were over 60 people at her baptism. The place was packed and it was so awesome to see so many people come support her. It was probably the best baptism I have been to on my mission! Tuesday is such an awesome person and I am so grateful to have been a part of her conversion. She has been such a great example of commitment of following the Savior.
Oh and transfers are today! Elder Miller is getting transferred to Milwaukie and I am getting Elder Merrell. He is from Pleasant Grove Utah and he is a pretty cool guy. He has been out 15 months and it's his first transfer being a Zone Leader. 
 Saying goodbye to Sister Cho ...
Elder Hintz is going home too ...

I'll keep it short today because we have lots of stuff to do, but I am so grateful to be a missionary. Being a part of someone's conversion story, like Tuesday, is such an incredible blessing and I can honestly say that there is nothing that has brought me more joy than helping others come closer to Christ. 

Love and miss you all!

Elder Hill

P-day football game!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Another Cold One!

Hi everyone!

This week was another cold one! There was a pretty big snow storm followed by freezing rain so we had to park our cars again for a couple days and walk everywhere. Oregon's weather is the weirdest. 

On Tuesday, we had a couple of solid lessons with our investigators and we also had an interesting lesson with a less-active lady. About two months ago we met with this lady and she was being super strange running around looking into people's houses thinking her kids were there (if you remember me writing about that). Well, we were walking in her neighborhood and her brother was driving by (he is a big Hawaiian guy) and he pulls over and says, "hey are you guys visiting my sister today? You should go visit her." Not wanting to argue with the big guy we said yeah we can do that even though we knew it wouldn't go well. So we went and visited her and it was crazy. It's hard to explain what happened, but she has a very strong paranoia with some stuff and when we were talking to her she kept going upstairs thinking someone was up there and then she would come down and yell at her dad for no reason and then go back upstairs. When she went upstairs again her dad was like, "she needs Jesus bad" Haha. It was nuts, so we just shared a scripture and left real quick.

We had a lesson with our investigator, Tuesday and it was awesome. She is getting baptized this Saturday and she is super pumped! We were gonna have Ward Conference, but we are having her baptism instead. The whole ward and the stake presidency will be there, and it's gonna be awesome! She read the whole Book of Mormon and is the most prepared person I have ever taught.

Thursday we were out in the boonies looking for a former investigator and we met this guy named Dave. He was an interesting fellow. He said that he had talked to Mormons before, but that he believes in aliens. He believes that aliens came down and injected us with DNA and that is how evolution happened. He also said that Jesus was a good Guy; that He is a Buddhist and that's why we have Buddhism. It was kinda funny, but he was a nice guy.

Other than that nothing too exciting happened this week. Oh, church was canceled on Sunday!! They canceled it because of the freezing rain and they didn't want anyone to drive in it. So it was weird not having church.

I was reading in the Old Testament this week and I wanted to share one of my favorite stories from there... This is in 2 Kings and it's when the King of Syria finds out he has been losing a lot of battles because of the prophetic influence of Elisha. So he sends a spy to find him....

"13 And he said, Go and spy where he is, that I may send and fetch him. And it was told him, saying, Behold, he is in Dothan.
14 Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.
15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.
17 And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."

I like to think that as missionaries we are Elisha. Even when we may be faced with great adversity and it seems we are heavily outnumbered, "they that be with us are more than they that be with them" .... always remember that!

Elder Hill

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everybody! 

Can't believe 2016 is already over. I hit my 18 month mark last week and 2017 is the year that I go home which is weird to think about!

On Tuesday we had our Zone Meeting and me and Elder Miller were in charge of putting it all together and doing the training. It went pretty well. Our Zone is doing great with baptizing, so that's good! We also had interviews with President Ballard and in mine he told me that I'm going home soon and I was like, "what I have six months left!" And he just said, "yeah you're about to go home so what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind.  What do you want to be remembered for?" It was weird hearing President say I'm going home, but he gave me some good advice.

Our investigator, Tuesday, is getting baptized a week from this Saturday. She is doing great and is super pumped to get baptized. Now she is trying to get her kids to come to church as well and get baptized haha. She's awesome!

On Wednesday we had some lessons cancel and so we just went and started visiting random people, and we felt like we should go visit less-active people way out in the country. We felt prompted to go stop by one family, the Scott's. When we stopped by they opened the door and said, "oh my goodness Elders!. you are just who we needed to see! Both of our daughters really need blessings and I can't believe you showed up today!!" One of their daughters was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and she was going into treatment and we were able to give her a blessing. The other daughter was having really bad anxiety so we gave her a blessing as well. They were all super grateful and they said it was exactly what they needed. It was cool to look back and see how we were guided to their house when we weren't planning to be there at all. 

On Friday, we had a special Zone Meeting training given by a guy in one of the wards in our Stake. This guy is a Master Chief in the Navy which is the highest possible rank you can achieve. He went from the bottom position in the Navy to Master Chief in 13 years which is the fastest it has ever been done. He was in charge of the operation of killing Bin Laden and many other terrorists. He is the intelligence guy for most SEAL Team Six operations. He had some of the craziest stories ever and is insanely smart. He has seen and done some crazy things! He gave us a training on how to work with our investigators and use the Spirit to discern things. He has a really strong testimony and it was cool how he related his insane stories to gospel topics. It was awesome.

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day we had dinner at our Ward mission leaders house and we played games with them. It was pretty fun! 

Hope everyone has a great week and looks forward with faith to 2017. There is a cool New Years Mormon Message called "Look Not Behind Thee." It just talks about how we need to learn from the past and not look back. There are so many opportunities that God has in store for us and that He is willing to give us if we just move forward and put our trust in Him. Believe that what Heavenly Father has in store for you is better than what you have right now!

Love and miss you all!

Elder Hill