Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Welcome Amigo! I love you!

Hi everyone!

Transfers happened this week! I am getting transferred to the Canyon Road YSA Ward!! I am super pumped to go back to a Young Single Adult Ward! Prayers do get answered haha! But I am excited to go to this new Ward. It covers the entire Beaverton Stake, and I'm gonna be a ZL still with Elder Devries. We are buddies and he's a cool guy so it'll be awesome.

This week we met a lot of cool people as we were out contacting less-active members. We met a few that were wanting to come back to church so it was good to share a message with them and get them excited to go to church. 

Funny story.. On Thursday we went to a Catholic Church with an investigator we found last week. He invited us to a service that evening and so we went with him, but most of it was in Spanish so we couldn't understand hardly anything haha. At one point during the service the pastor asked, "who is here for the first time?" And so we raised our hands and one other Hispanic guy raised his hand. He told us to come up to the front of the chapel. So we walk up in front of this congregation of about 50 people and he says, "these are our brothers in Christ! Everyone is welcome here because we are all family! So let's welcome them!" Then everyone from the congregation stood up and formed a line down the middle aisle. Every single person proceeded to walk up to us and give us a hug and say, "Welcome amigo! I love you!" Haha it was so awesome!! And then the pastor gave us free t-shirts that say "Vida En Christo". It was quite the experience!

Over the weekend we did a lot of service. We went to do service for a family out in the boonies and they gave us machetes to go hack down some dead tree branches. As I was hacking at these branches, one of the branches ricocheted off the tree and came and smacked me in the face. So that is why there is a cut on  my forehead in the pictures haha. We also used an ax to cut down a couple trees. It was fun! We then went over to another family's house and helped them build a fence. It always feels good to serve others.
I am very grateful for all the experiences I had in the Farmington Ward. My testimony has grown a lot and I'm thankful for all of the awesome people I have met. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that His gospel is true. I am so thankful for the Savior and I am grateful for the opportunity to be in His service. 

Elder Hill
 Breakfast at Pres. Ballard's house.
 Bro. & Sis. Valencia (Ward Mission Leader)
 Dinner with the APs ...

 District meeting
 DLs, & STLs with Tyler and Elder Merrell ...

 Pres. Ballard, Elder Miller & Tyler at transfer meeting...
 Sister Gardner ...
ZLs & STLs meeting ...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Crunkin'-n-Dunkin' ...

Hello everyone!

This week was a bit slower than last week, but things are still pretty solid here in the Farmington Ward!

We had a Zone Meeting this week so Elder Merrell and I were in charge of putting the whole thing together and doing the training and whatnot. We were trying to think of an activity to get our Zone pumped ao we came up with this idea of the "Crunk n Dunk" (crunk meaning getting everyone excited). We got one of those Nerf ball mini basketball hoops, and we had each companionship write the name of an investigator they were going to dunk (or baptize) on the ball, and then have them dunk it. The companionship with the best dunk got a box of treats. The dunks were hilarious haha. The Zone liked it a lot and everyone was pumped!
Elder Merrell, Elder Rockwood, Tyler

On Wednesday we gave Tuesday, our recent convert, a blessing. It was us and some close friends of hers from the Ward that got together and had one last lesson with her. She is moving to Roseburg this week to her new job:( its super sad to see her leave, but I am so grateful for the experience I had to get to teach and become friends with her.

Friday, we went and visited a potential investigator way out in the country. We go knock on his door and this Hispanic lady answers it. She didn't speak any English, but she let us in. We went in and on the wall there was an enormous cross with Christ on it.  It almost took up the entire wall!  She sits us down on the couch and in walks her husband who spoke some English. He told us how he knew who we were and that he really likes missionaries. He was a hardcore Catholic, but we ended up teaching about the Book of Mormon and testifying of it and he said he wanted to read it. He was super grateful and gave us big hugs afterward. It was pretty cool.
Knocking on doors ...

The work is still moving along here. We had some setbacks, but it's all good. This is probably my last week in the Farmington Ward. Transfers are coming up this week so we will see what happens! 

Love and miss you guys!

Elder Hill

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Someone DOES live in the airplane house in the forest!

Hey everyone!

So this week was another pretty solid one. 

On Tuesday Elder Argyle, he is one of the Assistants to the Mission President and one of my old companions, came out with us on an exchange. It was fun being with him again, he's one of my favorite companions. So on our exchange we went to go see the famous plane house in the forest. It was my fourth time going to see it and I had never met the guy that lives there, but this time there were stairs that had dropped down from the back of the plane. So we go up the stairs and knock on the door. The guy that lives there answers the door and his name is Bruce, and then right behind him there were two reporters from Oregon Public Broadcasting! Bruce lets us in and then the interviewers come up and start asking us questions. They were super excited to see us and they started firing questions at us about our mission, what we do, where we are from, cool experiences we had, and why we are on a mission. We were all able to bear testimony about Jesus Christ and how He has helped us and others. It was awesome!!
Tyler, Elders Argyle & Merrell finally meet the airplane owner ...

We then had a lesson with a girl named RyLeigh that we have been working with for a while. We went in there with the do or die mentality of we are either going to drop her as an investigator or set a baptism date with her. At the beginning of the lesson, it looked as if we were going to drop her because she just wasn't engaged, but thankfully the Holy Ghost was there and we just started asking her inspired questions that prompted her to think and the lesson completely turned around.  We ended up setting a baptismal date for March 17th and she was pumped! I'm grateful for the Spirit and how it can soften the heart of anyone.

On Wednesday, we went to the Calvary Chapel Church sermon to look for any service opportunities in the community. We went and listened to the sermon and jammed to the music for a little. Then we were chatting with some of the people after and one of the pastors comes up in a confrontational manner, "so, what are you guys doing here today?" We told him we were just looking for any service opportunities we could help out with. He wasn't really having it with us and basically told us to leave. But, we did get a ladies email who said she had some service things we could help with! So that was good.

On Saturday night, we went over to a family's house, the Normans, and made cookies with them to take to their neighbors. We went around and met a lot of different people and had some awesome visits.

The weather is starting to get better finally! Everything is going great here. I love serving and I know the gospel is true!

Elder Hill

 Tyler & Elder Miller with Pres. & Sister Ballard
Tyler with Elders Williams, Argyle, Peterson & Fleming

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

So many miracles ...

So many awesome things happened this week! It's crazy all the miracles and cool things that happened. 

On Tuesday, we went and had a lesson with the Waters family. They have 12 children and their oldest, David, who is 24 yrs old was less-active for a while and has recently just started coming back to church and he just received the Melchizedek priesthood a few weeks ago. I've become pretty tight with him the past few months cause we play basketball a lot with him. So we have a lesson with their family and at the end of the lesson Sister Waters asks for a blessing because she has cancer and is going through treatment. She asked David to give the blessing and it was his first time ever giving a blessing. He starts giving the blessing to his mom and then he starts crying because the spirit was so strong. He gave one of the shortest yet most powerful and sincere blessings I have ever heard, and everyone in the room was bawling. You could just feel the spirit of God in the room, it was so awesome.

On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference and Elder Merrell and I gave a training on Real Intent. It went well!... And I found out that Barbara (the person I baptized out in Mt. Hood) had her nephew move in with her a couple months back and he was baptized this past week! I was so pumped to hear that! Crazy how you can see God's hand in everything.

On Friday, we started the new member lessons with Tuesday! She is doing awesome. At the end of the lesson she bore her testimony about how the Book of Mormon is true and how the gospel has blessed her life. She's so solid.

Time for a crazy story... a few months back me and Elder Miller started teaching a 12 year old named Jacob LoGreco. His grandma was a member and she had just passed away. So we were starting to teach him and help him work towards baptism, but after a couple months of taking the lessons he wasn't taking it seriously and didn't care. He didn't want to come to church or read the Book of Mormon. So we told him that we couldn't come back and teach him anymore because he didn't want to keep his commitments, he was a little upset but he just said okay. Then on Thursday, night I was on a split with one of the youth in the Ward, and I felt impressed to go see Jacob (it had been four weeks since I had seen him last). But I talked myself out of it because I didn't think it would be an effective use of time. I got the prompting again to go see Jacob, and so I was just like fine we will stop by to just see how he is doing...We stop by and Jacob was super excited to see us. We go in and he says, "I can't believe you guys are here! You will not believe what happened today." He said, "earlier today I was thinking about you guys for some reason, and so I decided to make a bet with God. I made a deal with God that if none of my friends could hangout today then I would go to church with you guys and get baptized. I don't know why I made that deal, but I felt like I should. And today literally none of my friends could hangout. Not a single one! So I said okay God you win, I will get baptized. But I didn't know how it would happen since you told me you weren't coming back anymore, but then 3 hours later you show up at the door!!"...... You can imagine my excitement as he told me all this. I was freaking out, but I was also overwhelmed with gratitude that the Lord led us to his house. We then had a lesson with him and set a baptismal date for February 25th! He came to church on Sunday for the first time and he loved it. He even said the closing Prayer in his Sunday school class, and in his prayer said how much he liked church! Talk about miracles. 

There were a lot of other small miracles that happened. This past week was such a testimony builder for me that Heavenly Father knows us. He loves us. None of this is just a coincidence. He has a plan specifically designed for each of us; I have seen it in my own life and countless times on my mission. The Lord has His hand in our lives, we just have to be willing to recognize it. I love serving the Lord and I am thankful for all the experiences I have had.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Hill

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