Monday, December 24, 2012

12/24/12 -

Hi everyone!

Merry Christmas! We had a great week overall.  We were busy with our investigators and with helping others in the mission.  On Thursday one of the Spanish missionaries in the zone was sick, but he and his companion had appointments, and we had some appointments cancel on us, so we went on exchanges with them. Elder Jacobs stayed while Elder Cash and I went with his companion to their and our appointments that night.  It worked out well, and I got to practice my Spanish a little bit.

I also found out when I leave for Mexico! January 7th! So I'm here another 2 weeks. We are able to have some Christmas celebration ourselves. Attached are pictures of our Christmas Tree (with presents) and of our "fireplace" with stockings.  The last picture is just to show that Santa does come to Vegas. :)

OK spiritual thought for the week: John 6:5-13 This is Christ Feeding the 5000 (also Matt 14:13-21, Mark 6:32-44, and Luke 9:10-17).  Based on everything that is written in the Gospels about it, when it came time to feed the 5000 Christ asked what was available for food (Mark 6:38) and all that there was a lad who had 5 Barley loaves and 2 fishes.(John 6:9) Christ took these, Blessed them, fed everyone that was there until they were full, and then filled 12 baskets with the leftovers. 
Christ asks for us to give him everything we can give, even if it's not much, then he multiplies and sanctifies it, then he uses it to "Pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10)

One more: Luke 2:10-11 Remember we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ because of what he did.  He is the Savior of the World. He made it possible for us to repent and return to live with God again.

Merry Christmas!

-Elder David Hill Jr.
12/24/12 - Jordon (Hey, look!  We got PICTURES!)

I'm sorry that my previous emails haven't been so informative. I just wanted the pictures to go with them.
Picture 1: The first day when we got to the apartment, I needed to use the restroom, but the door was locked. So we unlocked the door, and this is what I found inside.
Picture 2: Here they have an interesting system. Apparently, your trainer is considered your "father", and his trainer is your "grandfather", and so on. Your first area is considered where you were born. So, Elder Oscarson is my father, and I was born in Gilbert. Here we have a picture of all my living relatives. "Living" meaning Missionaries still in the mission. (Right to left. Excluding the elder in the white shirt on the right.) Great-grandfather Johnson (he's actually "dead" (not on his mission anymore), but came to the christmas party anyway.) Elder Wheler (Grandfather), Me, Elder Oscarson (Father, companion), Elder Nelson (Uncle), Elder Neiderhauser (Grandfather), Elder Leiner (Great-grandfather). Elder Oscarson had 2 trainers so I have to grandfathers.
Unfortunately, the library is closing right now for the holiday, so I don't have time to finish this, so I will continue to add things in the future.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12/17/12 -

Hi Everybody!

So this week was busy as always. here are some of the highlights: 

We had our mission Christmas party. It started with leadership training, hen a big lunch(more like Christmas dinner) and then a talent/variety show.  My district participated by performing the Hakka (a Polynesian tribal war dance done to psyche everyone up and strike fear into the hearts of the enemy).  That was fun. at the end Santa and Mrs. Clause came by and President Neider (the mission president) and his wife seem to have disappeared.  We all had a good time. 

           This is the Hakka.  That's me in the back with the
        purple tribal skirt.  Sorry it's blurry, but you get
     the idea.

I had a Miserably awesome day on Thursday.  I went on exchanges with some of the Spanish speaking elders so I could get in some more practice with the Language. it went from noon Thursday to noon Friday.  I was on bike, with a cold, and the day I'm riding a bike everywhere is the day it decides to rain in the desert. It's the only day of rain I've had here too. and the distances I was riding didn't make it better (and the person whose bike I was borrowing is about a foot shorter than I am so the bike was short too.) Now that I've done an excellent job at describing the "miserably" part, here's the "awesome".  I was able to teach in Spanish. I'm still a little surprised when I talk and the Latino people I talk to understand me. I mean my teachers back at the MTC understood me, but they also know English so they know what I'm trying to say. Some of the people we were talking to on Thursday don't speak much, if any, English, so that was pretty awesome. The other big thing was I got an added witness that day that God hears and answers prayers.  There were several times that day where I felt like I couldn't go any further, and so I would pray for strength enough to make it to where we were going; or sometimes my companions would get a bit ahead of me, and I would pray they find someone to talk to so they would stop and I could catch up.  Every one of those prayers was answered Immediately. Every single time I prayed for strength I felt the soreness in my legs disappear. I was always able to catch up to my companions. and we had several people on the street that they talked to when I had asked for it.  It was amazing to see that readily and immediately the blessings that come when you are trying to do the right thing and just take the time to ask God for help.

Our investigator Brian is Thinking about baptism.  He is a very Logically minded individual and  wants to make sure it's the right thing for him to do at this time.  All he's waiting for is a response from God about if the Gospel is true and if so, when should his baptism be.  We'll have to see what happens there.  Our other big investigator, Latanya, is ready as can be for Baptism, but she needs to start coming to church more often.  She's only made it there once.  She's willing and ready in all other areas, but she seems to be sick on Sunday's a lot. So we aren't sure about her baptismal date either. Oh well, so goes the work. We have others that we are teaching, but it's been pretty slow going with them at the moment. Everyone is busy with Christmas coming up, but that's ok, we are going to work extra hard this week to make sure we do everything we can.

That's about it for this week. Adios!
-Elder David Hill Jr.
12/17/12 -

YOU SENT ME A CAKE?! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU SENT ME A CAKE!!! I got your birthday package. Unfortunately, I still, for some reason, can't seem to remember to bring my card reader with me to do emails. GRRRRRRRR!!!!  I find it funny though that you use one of the cigarillos boxes for one of my presents. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if anyone who wasn't there found that in our appartment.
But everything is going alright here. Just curious, but how's the weather like out there. Here the days are usually sunny with a high of about 70 degrees. The nights are a bit chilly, but otherwise alright.
The members here are really nice, and we have dinner appointments just about every night. usually they give us something Mexican, but occationally we go out to eat at a resturaunt. Everyone here loves the missionaries. When we stop somewhere for lunch or something, often times a member offers to pay for our meals, just because. It's awesome.
There is something about Latin culture here that I'm not liking so much though. Apparently, they get mildly offended if you don't eat at least 2 full plates of food, and they don't seem to understand the term "serving size". Sometimes it's been really hard, but I do my best.
Tomorrow, we have a Mission Chistmas party followed by the opportunity to attend the temple.
I think that about covers it for this week. I'm sorry, but I can't really think of anything else right now. I'll try to make note of things that happen this week to write home about.
Until next week.
-Elder (Jordon) Hill-

Monday, December 10, 2012

12/10/12 - Jordon -

Hola familia, Cómo están?
I wanted to send you pictures this week, but I left my camera and card reader at home, again.:(
Life here is kinda crazy. Several of our investigators have been canceling appointments, and others aren't keeping commitments. But, overall everything is going well.
By the way, Mom, you shouldn't need to worry about me starving because we have dinner appointments practically every night. Here it's apparently considered rude if you don't get seconds. This has been a little difficult for me because these people apparently don't understand the concept of a serving. They also don't seem to hear me when I say a "little" more because they still give me another full plate. Oh, Well. 
Also, Mom, you should be proud of me. There have been several times where I've wanted to take picures of what I was eating to show you.
Dad: I'm sorry I didn't say this last week. Happy Birthday!!
I think that about covers it. If you want to send me letters and packages, the address I gave you last week should suffice.
Until next week,
-Elder Hill-

12/10/12 - DJ

Hi Everybody!

So, It's been a busy week here. First, I haven't seen snow since Utah! While the weather here is on the chilly side, It's still in the comfortable range most of the time. So awesome!
I'm starting to work better with my companions. It's a little different mechanic being in a triple companionship in the field as opposed to the MTC, but overall it's great. We have some investigators and several more less active members that we teach.  I'm not going to talk about everyone but here are a couple of people.
We teach one lady and her daughters.  She is a very sweet woman and has a deep love of the Lord.  Her daughters are usually in the lessons with us, and all 3 are scheduled to be baptized on the 22nd of December.  We have no doubt that the Mom is going to be baptized that day, but the daughters have been going through some things, and so we aren't as sure about them.
The other investigator we teach is a man with a Deep Baptist background.  He has several degrees, including a PhD, in Theology and similar topics.  He keeps and open mind, and we've enjoyed our lessons thus far.  Last Friday when we met with him he had a few more questions for us. They were some logical questions about the origin of the Book of Mormon and, unbeknownst to us, he thought that because of these questions we would decide to stop teaching him.  Instead we assured him that we will continue coming over and read all of Alma 32 with him.  It was an awesome lesson. The next morning we received an 11 page text (1 1/4 pages written in my notebook) on his reflections on the lesson. It was Fantastic! He had a spiritual breakthrough!  He then came to Church yesterday(Sunday) and he really enjoyed it. He said "Everything was centered on Christ. I don't understand why people say you aren't Christian," among other good comments.
On a different topic, we went to our ward's Christmas party. It was called "Back to Bethlehem" and they took the time to dress the gym up like old Bethlehem and had dinner, and a performance with several songs.  They also asked everyone to come dressed in period style clothing (or at least a towel and bathrobe) it was a blast!

That about sums up the highlights of this week. Adios!
-Elder Hill

Sunday, December 9, 2012

12/3/12 - Jordon

Hola Everyone.
Since my arrival, here are the series of events that followed:
Got off the plain.
Met the Mission Presidency and their wives.
Got luggage.
Went to work.
That's pretty much how it was. They took us to the mission home/office, we had some meetings with the office staff, checked out our bikes, and then we had an "OYM" (open your mouth) activity. This consisted of them giving us several copies of the Book of Mormon and sending us out into the nearby area to try some street contacting. It was hard. Although they don't call it missionary "work" for nothing. Even so, the mission field seems harder than I remember it beeing from my mini-mission. After the activity we were sent to members' houses for the night.
The next day we had a few more meetings, and then we met our companions. With my new companion, Elder Oscarson, I left for my new area and we started working right away. I still haven't finished unpacking!  Elder Oscarson is a great guy, and he's helping me out a lot. I'm starting to get this down now.
The mailing system for missionaries isn't so great. Mail sent to the mission home gets to me only after someone going to the mission home picks it up, which is not weekly. So, the better place to send it would be to my residence:
5332 East Baseline Rd. #1009
Mesa, AZ 85206
I still have more to write, so I'll send a letter.
I hope everyone is doing alright while we're gone. I love you all really much. Talk to you soon.
-Elder (Jordon) Hill-
12/3/12 - DJ

Hi everyone!

Ok so there's a lot to say. first I'm in a triple companionship again. my companions are Elder Jacobs and Elder Cash. They're the Zone leaders for the North Las Vegas Zone.  we have an English speaking area even though Elder Cash is also a Spanish speaking missionary.  It's been pretty crazy. It's hard to believe I've only been out here a week. My companions and I are staying in an apartment in the area we are assigned to. It's a pretty big area, and since Zone leaders help people move sometimes we have a truck to use for mission purposes. The weather here has been beautiful. I just wish it rained a little more often.  I guess I'll get that in Mexico City once I get there. I'm glad I'll be gone by summer. I'd boil!
The Vegas Trio - Elder Cash, DJ, & Elder Jacobs

Proof the I'm really in Las Vegas.

LV District plus Mission Presidency

Next news, I got me Visa! I (and several others waiting for their visas) went to the Spanish consulate last week and received our visas. so I'm here until my Mission president down there calls for me. which I'm told should be when the next transfer cycle is down there which would be the week after New Years; but we've seen how much my mission likes to stay according to plan so I guess I'll just wait and see.

That's about it. Adios
-Elder DJ Hill