Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Service, Companions & Nike!

Hey everyone!

The first week of this transfer was pretty solid! Here is some more information about my companion and area since I didn't say much last time. Elder Kern is from Saratoga Springs, Utah. He has been on his mission for about a year now and he likes to sing and play the piano. This is his third transfer in this area...

The Skyline area is different than all of my other areas. It is basically just a bunch of neighborhoods of super nice houses on a hill. There are no parks or businesses just all residential area so we do a lot of walking around the neighborhoods talking to people and trying to contact different members and less-active people. It's a different experience, but it's fun!

Elder Kern said that the area has been slow for a couple months and they haven't been able to find much. So we thought about different things that we could do to find people to teach and I told him one thing that worked well in my last areas was praying specifically to find one new investigator every single day. He said let's give it a try and we were able to find a new investigator for four days straight! It was sweet! So we have been really trying to involve the Lord in our finding. One of the people we found was when we were out looking for an inactive member.  We knocked on the door and his non-member father opened it. He said that his son had moved. We ended up having a solid conversation with him and he started opening up to us. He was saying how he had never read the BoM and that missionaries had come by looking for his son a lot, but had never given him a BoM. We taught him about it and committed him to read it. He said he would and we set a return appointment. It was a cool miracle from having specific prayers!

We also did a lot of service this past week! We were able to do some landscaping for a member, and then we did some tile demolition for another member. It was a super good workout! We were also able to do service at the Faith Cafe which is an organization put on by a couple churches that provides meals for homeless or struggling families. The people will come into a church and we will serve them beverages and a meal. It was a lot of fun. We were able to be the servers and just talk to the people.

Hope you all have a great memorial weekend! I'm grateful for this country we live in and for all the people who have sacrificed for our freedom!

Elder Hill
 Dinner with the AP's at Lynn's house ...
 Tyler with Jacob (he baptized him a few months ago)
 Lunch with Jasmine ...
Tile demolition for a member ...

The following pictures are from a tour of the Nike World Headquarters last week with the Sisters

Monday, May 22, 2017

My Last Transfer!!


So transfer news came and I am getting transferred! I am going to be in the Skyline Ward in the Cedar Mill Stake with Elder Kern, for my final transfer. I am sad to be leaving the Canyon Road Ward; it was one of my favorite areas and so many cool miracles happened there! But I am excited to be going to the Skyline Ward.  It's up on the hill at the north end of our mission and it's a really wealthy area. I covered the area when I was in the Tanasbourne YSA Ward so it'll be cool to go back! After 8 transfers of being a Zone Leader I am dropping to be a normal missionary which is super exciting because now all I have to worry about is just working hard these last five weeks in my own area!

This past week was packed with lots of activities. For my birthday on Tuesday, we went to breakfast with the APs and then to lunch with some of the other ZLs! Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes! I really appreciate it!  I had an awesome day!! It was awesome also for the fact that we had like 5 lessons and we set a baptismal date for our investigators, Kaitlyn and Cameron, for July 1st! So that was a good birthday present! They are both excited to work towards that date to be baptized. We had a ton of lessons on Tuesday and Wednesday just running from appointment to appointment! It was the best!

Then Thursday things slowed down.  We did some service at Portland Community College and we helped out in a garden on campus. The lady there was teaching us all about gardening and what to do so that was kinda fun.

On Friday we went to the temple with Handfull! She loved it and we had a great lesson. Handfull is so solid!  She told us how her family asks her questions about why she was baptized and then she said that she bears her testimony to them about the Church and the Book of Mormon. She said that her family wants to learn more! Missionary work is the best! I'm sad that I won't be able to continue teaching her and Alex, but it was definitely one of my favorite experiences on my mission getting to know them.
This morning we went on a tour of the Nike world headquarters campus in Beaverton. It was so sweet. And then we got passes to get into the employee store!

Thanks again for all the birthday wishes and gifts!

Love and miss you all!
Elder Hill
One last selfie with Elder Brian ...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Hi everyone!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there! And a special happy Mother's Day to my mom! She's always been there supporting me through everything ... love you Mom! And we were able to skype home for Mother's Day so that was exciting!
This week wasn't super eventful. We didn't have another baptism this week so the baptizing streak is over, but we're working on it!  We had a lesson with our new investigator, Joey, at the Portland Temple Visitor Center on Wednesday! It was sweet, he really enjoyed it. He is a dating a less-active girl in the Ward and he wants to learn more. They both came to church and he wants to keep meeting and reading the Book of Mormon!

Most of the week we spent contacting people and trying to find more people to teach. We have a few people that we are working with and wanting to help progress!  Other than that nothing too crazy going on. This week is transfers so I will find out where I am going for the last transfer of my mission.  It's crazy how fast the time has gone!

Here is a spiritual thought for the week:

In Alma 7:11-12 it is talking about Jesus Christ and what He will go through for us. It is one of my favorite scriptures because it's saying that because Christ suffered everything we will ever suffer, He is the one person that can help us overcome any trial, challenge, or pain in our lives.

"11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

This week I learned that succor comes from a Latin word which means "run to the help of". So in verse 12 it says that Jesus Christ is literally running to our aid. He is there and has an urgent need and desire to comfort us. What an amazing gift that it is! We have the divine Son of God running to our aid, all we have to do is turn toward Him and ask for help. 

Hope you all have a great week! Love and miss you all!

Elder Hill

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Baptisms on baptisms on baptisms!

Hi everyone!

On Saturday Chad Ike got baptized! He was the one that Elder DeVries and I took to the Elder Ballard fireside back in March. The baptism was sweet! I was able to be one of the witnesses and I also gave the closing prayer! During the baptism they had Chad get up and bear his testimony and it was awesome. He is such a cool guy and has a strong faith in Jesus Christ that will bless him for the rest of his life.
Jacob LoGreco from my last area in Farmington was also baptized on Saturday! We had a ward activity so I wasn't able to go attend the baptism, but I was able to Skype in with my old companion Elder Merrell, and watch Jacob get baptized. So cool! He looked so happy and excited to be baptized. I am going to repost the story on how he was found from my Weekly Letter three months ago!

Excerpt from Feb. 6th: " ....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 stopped 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."

So awesome right!? The Lord has a plan for everyone!

The rest of our week here went good! We took Alex to the Portland Temple Visitor Center and we talked to him about getting the priesthood and going to do baptisms in the temple. He was super excited and is working on getting the priesthood. He even got up in church on Sunday and bore his testimony!

On Thursday we went to the temple as a Zone which was great. In a month I'm going to be doing my departing temple trip, how crazy is that.

Saturday night Elder Brian and I put on a ward activity where we had a ping pong tournament at the institute building downtown! We had a good turnout and it was a lot of fun! I love serving in downtown Portland!

Okay, one last little miracle for the week. On Thursday evening we went to go see a less-active girl with our bishop. We had a lesson with her and her mom and it went really well! During the closing prayer I had the distinct impression to ask her if she had any friends that were going through a hard time that we could share a message with. After the prayer, I was about to ask her but before I could say anything Elder Brian asked her literally that exact same question word for word. She said, "yes there is actually! My friend is going through a hard time and he wants to learn more about the church." We set up a time to go to the temple visitor with them this week. I asked Elder Brian after the lesson when he thought of asking her that question. He said it was during the closing prayer. I was just like no way me too, word for word! It was a cool testimony to us that the Spirit will give us very specific promptings. We just need to be in tune with the Holy Ghost.

Everything is great here in Portland and the weather is even getting nice!

Have a great week!
Elder Hill

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Handfull gets baptized!

Hi everyone!

Handfull got baptized this week!! It was so awesome! The baptism went great, so many people from the Ward came! Handfull was so excited and she was so happy afterward. She really wants to do all she can to follow Jesus Christ! Then the next day at church I had the opportunity to confirm her a member of the church and give her the gift of the Holy Ghost! The Spirit was strong and it was a great experience. It was a big testimony builder for me as I felt the Spirit and the love of God confirming that Handfull was doing what the Lord wanted and that He was very proud of her. She has made so many changes in her life and you can see the joy in her eyes. And I think that is really the miracle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It can transform anyone to have the countenance of Christ in them; and make them a better, happier person.
 Tyler, Handfull & Elder Brian at Handfull's baptism
 Elder DeVries baptized Handfull!
Handfull's Ward supporting her baptism ...

At the beginning of the week we went on two exchanges. From Tuesday to Wednesday I went with Elder Moore, one of our district leaders, to his area. And then from Wednesday to Thursday Elder Wilcock, the other district leader, came to our area with me. It's always good working with other missionaries and learning from one another. Elder Wilcock and I were able to have a lesson with one of our investigators who lives downtown and is a lawyer. He is a super smart guy and he was interested in hearing what we had to say. He was a very logical thinker and so it was difficult to help him see why we need faith. But after we testified of prayer and the Book of Mormon you could see his countenance change and the Spirit working in him.  He took what we had to say very seriously and he wanted to know for himself if it was true. So hopefully he will read the Book of Mormon and receive an answer!

On Friday, Elder Brian and I were looking for an apartment in a huge complex. We had walked around for 30 min and we couldn't find this apartment anywhere. During the whole time we were walking we talked to a lot of people and none of them wanted to talk to us at all. So we were getting pretty frustrated. After walking around forever we were finally able to find the apartment, but no one was home of course. We were both thinking alright Heavenly Father has us here for a reason we need to find out what it is. And then the door right next to us opens and a lady walks out. We start talking to her and she said she had some Mormon friends but didn't know what we believed really. We gave her a Book of Mormon and were able to get her number and setup a return appointment! Heavenly Father has a plan, even if it is a little frustrating to us! He knows what's best haha!

Hope you all have a great week! Love and miss you!

Elder Hill

 View of downtown Portland ...
Really old building in Portland!