Monday, April 24, 2017

It takes 3 hours to fill the baptismal font!?!

Hi everyone!

Another great week! We had Alex's baptism on Friday and it was awesome! Throughout the week we were meeting with him and getting him all prepared and ready to go for his baptism. It has been awesome to see his knowledge and testimony grow over these past couple of months of teaching him. He is such a great individual and has a magnetic spirit about him.

Friday was such a hectic day! So first off, I don't know what happened or what I ate but I woke up Friday morning with the stomach flu, and it was not fun. I was so upset because we had a jam packed day and Alex asked me to baptize him and I was just like there is no way I am going to let this ruin the day! Before the baptism we had lunch with a member and I just sat on the couch the whole time and rested and prayed that it would go away until the baptism was over. Thankfully I started to feel a little better. Lunch went a little long and we ended up getting to the church an hour and a half early to fill up the baptismal font, but we didn't realize that it takes 3 HOURS to fill up the font. Elder Brian and I looked at each other and were just like oh no. We turned on the water and then we found a hose in the bathroom next to the font and we were running water from that into the font as well. It wasn't filling fast enough! So we improvised and went to the kitchen and started filling up buckets of water and throwing them into the baptismal font! We were running back and forth from the kitchen like mad men trying to fill it in time! It was crazy! But we got it filled just in time! The baptism went great, and it was an amazing experience being able to baptize Alex! He was so happy and giddy afterwards it was incredible haha. You could feel the love of Heavenly Father so strong as he was baptized..... and then right after the baptism was over my stomach started killing me again (but Heavenly Father answered my prayer!) and I just went home and slept it off and I was fine the next day.

The rest of the week was solid. We had Zone Conference on Thursday and Elder Brian and I presented our Zone vision to everyone. President said our vision was the best one out of all the zones! And then we and the other Zone Leaders had to act out the first 5 chapters of the Book of Mormon in front of all the missionaries in the zone conference. It was hilarious! I played Laban haha.
 Mission Leadership Conference
We have been teaching a few other people too. We met this one guy at GNC named Austen. He works the register there and we taught him the whole first lesson at GNC, it was sweet! He is interested in learning more and we are going back there on Wednesday!

I am so thankful for all the experiences I have had and the people I have met here on my mission.  Just in these past 8 weeks of being in the YSA Ward, my testimony has grown so much. The Lord is blessing us and we are seeing so much success! We are going to be having another baptism this Saturday for Handfull Morris! It will be another great day! 

Have a great week!

Elder Hill

 Elder Miller at transfers ...
Elders Brian & Rockwood at transfers ...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Happy Easter!

Hi everyone!

Happy Easter! Hope everyone had an awesome Easter Sunday and thought about the reason why we celebrate Easter!

This week was super busy! It was the first week of the transfer so we had all of the logistical stuff that we needed to do, and a bunch of meetings to attend, but it was awesome!

On Tuesday and Wednesday we went to PCC and set up our booth and talked to people about the new Easter video that came out. We were actually able to talk to quite a few people so that was good.

On Friday we had Mission Leadership Conference all day and then afterward we were invited to a Family Home Evening that was going on in a family ward! We thought it was just going to be a couple people, but we showed up and there ended up being 12 people there and 4 non-members, it was sweet! We shared the Easter video with everyone and then we gave them all Book of Mormons! Two of them were YSA age and so we set-up return appointments to visit with them again. One of them is from Iraq and the other is from Persia! They were excited to read the Book of Mormon and learn more about it.

Saturday we went downtown again to go whiteboarding! There was a Saturday market going on and so we were able to go around talking to so many people. There were lots of people who wanted to write on the board so it was awesome! We handed out like 75 pass along cards to people with our number on the back! After that we had a lesson over the phone with our investigator, Alex. We hadn't been able to contact him for about a week so we were a little worried. But we called him and he was like, "what's up guys! So I'm still getting baptized this weekend right!? Can we move it to Friday instead of Saturday?" And we were just like heck yeah we can! So Alex is getting baptized this Friday which will be sweet! He is an awesome guy and he has made so many awesome changes in his life.

Sitting on top of the Institute building in downtown Portland

Then on Sunday we had a lesson with Handful. She was about to get called into work but she told them that she couldn't come in because she had to go to church! So she went to church and then we had a lesson with her after. During the lesson she looked at us with tears in her eyes and said that she read the Book of Mormon this week and that she felt very strongly in her heart that God wants her to join this church and get baptized. She said she is ready right now to be baptized and that she knows she needs to do it to follow God. She wanted to move her baptism date up to this weekend but she still needs to be taught some of the lessons so it's still on for the 29th! The work is going great here; the Lord is blessing us!!

Hope you have a great week!
Elder Hill

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I guess you need Sisters ...

Hi everyone!

Transfers happened this week... Elder DeVries is getting transferred to Oregon City and I am staying in the YSA Ward! My new companion is Elder Brian, he's a cool guy. It's his first transfer as a Zone Leader so it will be fun! I'm super pumped to be able to stay in the YSA Ward!

So nothing too crazy happened this week.  We had to push Cameron's baptism back because he is still working on the Word of Wisdom, but we did have an awesome lesson with our investigator, Handful Morris.  She is from Libya and we have been teaching her for a couple weeks now. We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she said that she is ready to commit to following God and wants to be baptized! So we set her date for April 29th! 

This week we went to Portland Community College and set up our booth for the new Easter video. We went with the Sister Missionaries serving in the other YSA Ward and so many more people came up and talked to us! It was crazy we found two new people to teach and so did the Sisters. People would come up and start asking questions and then we would show them the new Easter video, give them a Book of Mormon, and setup a return appointment to teach them. It was so sweet! I guess you need Sisters if you want people to talk to you.
 Portland Community College booth with Sister missionaries ...
Lunch with Sister Mercado & Sister Gutierrez

The YSA Ward is awesome, I love this area! Time is flying by, I only have 11 weeks left! So crazy!

I hope everyone has had a chance to watch the new Easter video. If you haven't, it's on and you should go check it out! The video talks all about peace and it makes me think of the scripture John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

In this verse, the Savior is talking to His apostles and He is telling them that the peace He offers is far different than the peace of the world. We think that we can find peace in money or worldly possessions, but lasting peace can only come through Jesus Christ. His love can bring peace to our soul, which is far better than any temporary pleasure. And how do we access this peace? By following Him. If we live His teachings, and put our trust in Him through prayer and faith, then we can receive a peace that is beyond anything ourselves or the world can create.

Hope you all have a good week!

Elder Hill

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Hi everyone!

What a party this week was! General Conference was so awesome! I loved all of the talks especially Elder Rasband and Elder Uchtdorf. I loved when Elder Rasband was talking about the Holy Ghost and how that the FIRST prompting we receive in any situation is pure inspiration from heaven. We should never postpone a prompting, which is something I have been trying to work on.

This week was sweet. The new Easter video called #PrinceOfPeace came out and so we have been going crazy with it. We have been handing out the pass along cards like candy. We went downtown Thursday and Friday with a whiteboard with the question, "what brings you peace?" We had people write down what brought them peace. It was cool to see the different things that brought everyone peace and then while talking we were able to transition into talking about what we do as missionaries. We were able to handout a couple Book of Mormons and dozens of pass along cards, it was awesome. There are definitely some strange people in downtown Portland, but everyone needs the gospel!

On Wednesday, we went to downtown Portland to do service with a Christian church. We made dozens of sandwiches with the members of their church. Then we took the sandwiches, hygiene kits, and clothing and walked around downtown handing them out to all the homeless people. It was a really cool experience being able to see the reactions of others and to do a small act of service for them!

The past couple of days have been crazy with our investigators. So first off cool story that happened.. Elder Joaquin Costa spoke in Sunday session of Conference about his conversion story and getting baptized. It was the perfect talk for one of our investigators, Cameron, but he wasn't able to watch conference. So after the session we called him up and tell him that we have to show him something. Cameron was almost baptized a couple months ago, but it didn't happen because he was trying to quit smoking but couldn't do it quite yet. So we met up with him and show him this talk. After the talk we asked him what he thought. He said he really liked it and he felt really happy. We asked him if he still wanted to be baptized. He said yes I do, but I am still struggling with smoking cigarettes.. He has been trying really hard to quit for a couple months now and it is the only thing holding him back from being baptized. He was saying how he really needed to quit, and then I had a prompting (and I knew I needed to act on the FIRST prompting). I felt prompted to say, "Cameron, as personal representatives of Jesus Christ we can promise you that if you give up smoking right now and go this whole week without smoking a cigarette, and then get baptized and receive the Holy Ghost on Saturday you will never have the urge to smoke again."..... the Spirit was there working on him. He replied, "Yes! I want that! I can do it!" And so we are now hoping and praying with all of our might that he will not smoke and he will be able to get baptized on Saturday! So awesome!

And then Chad (the investigator who met Elder Ballard) should be getting baptized in two weeks! He's doing great working with the Sister Missionaries.

We had another lesson with our investigator Alex who is doing awesome. He is getting baptized on the 22nd! He is super prepared and ready! And then we have Handful Morris who came and watched Conference with us and people from the Ward, and as she was riding home with a member she told the member that she loved Conference and that she isn't scared to join the church anymore and wants to be baptized!!

So many awesome miracles happening. The Church is true people. Jesus Christ lives. He is the Savior. He has been with me every step of the way these past 21 months and has brought me more joy than I have ever felt. If you follow Him you will be happy. Have a good week!

Elder Hill
 Park in Portland asking people what brings them peace ...
 With members of their YSA Ward ...
 Downtown Portland ...
This sign speaks for itself :)