Monday, December 23, 2013

12-23-13 - Jordon

Hola familia. ¡Feliz Navidad!
This past week was awesome!
As you know, Transfers were this past week. But, first, a little bit of unfinished business: Here is the picture of Me with Elder Cox. (Picture 1827) He is doing fine. He left for Pennsylvania Wednesday morning. 

My new companion is Elder Jewkes (Picture 1832) He's been on his mission for about 6 months now, and he comes from Orangeville, Utah. (Where?) It's a small town in Emery County, near Castledale. He's a fun-loving guy and is quite the social butterfly. Already, I've noticed several things that we can learn from each other. This is going to be an interesting transfer.
After Transfer Meeting, we all went down to the Gilbert Temple to take a picture. Yup. All the missionaries in the mission. Later, they gave each missionary a copy of the picture. I meant to take a picture of the picture so you could see it, but I didn't get to it. I'll show it to you next week.
On Thursday, we had the Mission Christmas Party. It was quite a change from last year's. Each of the Zones was instructed to prepare a song or skit to be performed at the party. Even the office staff got in on the fun. I'm in the process of putting the videos on Terra (our hard drive at home), but I might not be able to get to all of them today. Something else we did at the party were some "Minute to Win it" games.  It was a lot of fun for me to see.
As far as missionary work goes, it's still going slow, but I believe it's starting to pick up. We're starting to see some fruits from the Temple Presentation. Likely because Christmas time is almost over, but I'm glad to start seeing some movement.
Well, it's official: I've gotten sick!  I've actually had a sore throat and been coughing for the past week and a half, but it's been going on long enough that I've had to admit it. I'm getting better though. Now I'm mostly only coughing later in the evening, starting about 9pm. It's not so bad, but it makes nightly District Leader calls rather difficult.
The other day, I was looking up a word in the dictionary, and decided to read a little bit of the preface. It was talking about where the English language came from and meantioned something about the "Norman Conquest".  Immediately, my mind started thinking D&D, and that the "Norman Conquest" might make an interesting campaign or historic plot point. Hehe.
Well, that's it for this week. If you haven't already, you should have a Bro. Frisina calling you to work out Skype calls on Christmas. We have dinner with them that evening, so I figure we might be able to do it about 4pm. Does that work for you?
Oh! By the way, I got the Birthday/Christmas package. The only problem I had was that I wasn't able to identify which of the 4 types of wrapping paper were Birthday presents and wheich were Christmas presents. I only knew which were the Santa presents. So, my solution was to just wait until Christmas to open any of them. They are currently sitting under our Christmas Tree. I'll explain a bit more about that next week.
I hope you have a very merry Christmas. I'll see you on Wendesday.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
12-21-13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

So This week was crazy in the offices. More so than last week. Monday I got to learn several things about being the Financial Secretary that I didn´t know before. I recieved my new companion, Elder Smith, and had to clean up from stuff the Elder Rutter was supposed to be doing that he didn´t do.  On top of that I had to do everything so that our new American missionaries (2 Elders & 9 Hermanas) could get their visa stuff started so they could stay.  Everything is good now but it was hectic and stressful before.
Elder Smith is pretty awesome. He´s a computer guy too so we are going to be an awesome team here in the offices. he worked as a web developer before the mission so he knows some things that I could probably learn from him.
This coming week is Christmas! as such... MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Hope it´s great for everyone. I´ll send home pictures of our tree and everything next week. I haven´t had a chance to take pictures of it yet.

Really that´s it for this week. Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill
12-16-13 - Jordon

Well, this week may have been slow, but after the events of this past weekend, I am quite happy.
On Monday, We got together as a Zone and made "gingerbread" (gram cracker) houses. I took a couple pictures of mine. (See below.) What do you think? Isn't it awesome?... Hehe. When I was starting, I didn't really have in mind the finished product, so I just attached pieces where I felt like and that was the result. At least it was tasty.
On Friday, my district joined with our Stake High Counselor over Missionary Work to do some Christmas Caroling. It was a lot of fun. We met a lady who said that this was the first time she had ever had carolers at her house. This made me realize something. I think this was the first time I had ever gone caroling. hehe.
Saturday was the big one. on Saturday our wards each had their ward christmas parties. One at 2pm, the other at 6pm. in between them, I had the opportunity to help set up for a baptism that the Sisters were having at 5pm. Dispite the fact that it was another of my firsts (first baptism the new missionary had in my district), everything went well. The only problem was that, as District leader, I have a responsibility to make sure that the Baptismal Record gets to the Bishopric/Branch Presidency presiding over the baptism. Well, I had an appointment at 5, and when we reached 5, no one from the Branch Presidency had shown up yet. But everything worked out in the end. Just a bit of stress, that's all.
The most exciting part of Saturday, however, was the appointment at 7:30 with Bro. Carroll, the less active I've been telling you about...Let me back up.
On Tuesday, we weren't able to meet with the Carrolls because they were at Disney Land. So, instead, we made a visit to the Carrolls (Bro. Carroll's parents) who live in my other ward. We talked about their son and what could be done to help. They also told me something rather interesting. Apparently, when I first moved into the area, I had drawn their attention. Mom Carroll in specific. She just felt good about me. She said that Wife Carroll (LA Bro. Carroll's Wife) felt exactly the same. I knew there was a reason I felt the need to keep meeting with him.
So, fast forward to Saturday, again. We get to their house at 7:30, but the house was completely dark. We knocked on the answer. I paused for a moment, looking for guidance from the spirit for what should be done next, then we started to leave. As we're peddling away, I noticed that my bike was really, really squeeky for some reason. So, we stopped on the corner to see what could be done about it. After a moment of examination, around the corner comes the Carroll family in their van. It was a miracle as far as I'm concerned. I'll spare you the details of the conversation, but I have reason to believe that we're making progress.
Yesterday (Sunday) I was involved in the special musical number for the New Member Fireside that the Mission Presidency has every 3rd Sunday of the month. Dispite the fact that my voice has been a little under the weather recently, it sounded great.
This Wednesday is Transfers. Calls were received last night, and suspisions were confirmed. I'm staying. Elder Cox got approval to go back to Pensilvania, so he's leaving me. (I promise to get a picture with him before he leaves.) I did not receive any leadership calls, so I'm still District Leader and not training this transfer. More on Transfers next week.
That's it for today.
Until next time.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

Saturday, December 14, 2013

12/14/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well, this week's been crazy. We have transfers this coming Monday, and new people coming in,0Which means a lot of work to be done in the offices. Plus Elder Rutter is getting transferred, so I need to make sure I know everything that both secretary positions do so I can train my next companion. Just Chaos as usual. 
We also did some Caroling in the Metro this morning as a zone. We used it as an opportunity to contact people and invite them to come unto Christ. It seems to have gone over well. Maybe this will catch on. Pics of that once I get them (one of the sister missionaries is going to get me copies of the pictures she took)
Not much else to say. Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill
12-9-13 - Jordon

Well, this week has been kinda dull. I'm more excited about the upcoming weeks.
We're still working with Bro. Carroll (the LA I mentioned last week), and he's still being a hastle. The sum up of our meeting this past week is that he asked us what are the three biggest reasons that we believe in the Church are. The first one we said was Spiritual witness. He has arguments against that one that I don't have time to explain here. The second point was in basically "fruits of the Prophet Joseph Smith," namely the Church and the Book of Mormon. He had arguments with that one too. And, actually that one comes down to spiritual witness, as well. The third point was pure personal testimony/witness. In the Scriptures, any time God gives a commandment to anyone, he always gives a set of specific blessings that are granted to anyone who keeps the commandment. He also says, in essense, "Prove me. See if I will do all I say I will do." I told him that I have done what God has commanded me, and I have reeped the reward. I have seen come to pass the things that God has promised. Up to this point any time we said anything, he always rebuttled, following which we had to remind him that we were short on time. After this one, he said that since we were out of time, he'd wait until next time to give us his arguments. And, then as we were going out the door, he was using up our time again. I think we may have stumped him a bit with that last point. We're hoping for the best. Could you keep him in your prayers to let his heart be softened?
Other than that, we didn't really get a whole lot done. One of the other missionaries in my appartment wound up with an infection in his leg and is confined to his bed, so we three "healthy" missionaries have been taking turns staying home with him, meanwhile the other two go out and work between the two areas. (5 wards between us.)
In the coming weeks we have some exciting stuff happening. On the 18th is transfers (5 week transfer followed by a 7 week transfer due to Christmas). On the 19th is going to be the Mission Christmas Party. Yay! Then on the 25th is Christmas. Still no word on iPads yet, but they say that Church Headquarters wants to have them out by the end of the year. I'm hoping to have it before Christmas, cause then I could theoretically skype you on there. If we don't have them before Cristmas, I'm making plans to go to Johnny's house like last year, although with the Transfer meeting the week before Christmas, I may need to go elsewhere. What are your time restraints so we can set up a time?
So, right now I look outside and I see early September. Mostly green with a few shades of orange. So, no, it's not beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
That's it for me. I love you all, and hope you enjoy my 23rd birthday with out me. I feel old.
Until next time.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
12-9-13 - DJ

No sign of my birthday package.

Here's the photos from Thanksgiving.

Elder Jeffersen and his companion

DJ and Elder Rutter

12-7-13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

This week was a little crazy, but only in what´s been going on in the office. Just with everyone wanting certain things, and with Christmas coming up, it´s been fun. (not to mention all the Christmas packages coming in for the missionaries)
We also had some good lessons this week. One of the people we are meeting with is a Less-Active member who has forgotten pretty much everything about the church and so we are re-teaching the lessons with the Elders Quorum President to bring him back up to speed and invite him back to church. we also have an Investigator who has lots of questions. I feel like she will be super strong after she accepts the gospel we just have to work through her questions first.

Other than that, Nothing really exciting happened. So, Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

12/2/13 -  Jordon

Hola familia. Cómo están?
This week was a little unusual as far as the schedule was concerned.
Wednesday we went to the temple. (yes, I still have names. Working through them nicely though.) That afternoon, we did some more work for the dead - We had a small training on family history work and using Family Search. There wasn't a whole lot I hadn't heard before, but it was fun. I didn't get a whole lot done, however, I did merge my entry for Grandpa Hill with Mom's. I also located the line we have that runs back to Adam and Eve, and began working on a list that traces it down to me.  I was having fun!
Guess what happened on Thursday. I spent the day in Urgent Care. (Mom's reaction: "What happened?") There's no need to worry, I'm ok, but stitches were involved. (Mom's response: "Ok, explain now!") I suppose I should explain then. Thursday, as I'm sure you're aware, was Thanksgiving. Elder Cox was home with his family/resting from cortizone injections, so I was with the other elders that live in my appartment. The schedule was a little wonky because (1) it was Thanksgiving, and (2) our schedules were meshed together. So, we started with a Lunch at noon, followed by a lunch at 1pm. While biking to our would be "Linner" at 3pm, Elder Hammond (not me) had an accident in which his chin made contact with the sidewalk, resulting in a gash about 3/8 in. deep. Thankfully we were right around the corner from our appointment, who readily took us down to urgent care. We were there for the rest of the evening waiting for Elder Hammond to be done. See? no need to worry. (Mom's reaction:  "Don't do that to me.") (My response: "I love you, Mom.")
By the way, Mom, Elizabeth Vlahovic says to tell you "hi". You don't know her, and she doesn't know you, but she likes interesting people.
As far as the work goes, it's still very slow, and seems to have slowed further. We're turning toward our part members and less actives now to see where they stand. One of our less actives is rather opposed to religion in general. He found all this "evidence" in Church History that supports theories about the Church being false, and he says there is no need for God because we can support everything now with science. I like him. He's a good guy. He makes me laugh. I see him as a son of God who has lost his faith, and I intend to do what I can to help him come back. His wife is on our side. She is a strong member of the Church And desires him to come back as well. I fear for their kids though. I don't want to see what impact this will have on their faith growing up. More info as it develops.
Well, that's it for this week. I hope you all are doing well. I imagine in the coming weeks, that feeling of "this is so wierd not having snow for Christmas" will set in again. oh, well.
Oh, one more thing. Happy Birthday, Dad!!!!
Until next time.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

Saturday, November 30, 2013

11/30/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Firstly, Happy Thanksgiving! It´s amazing how hard it is to remember when Thanksgiving is when you are in a country that doesn´t celebrate it.  However, we had a member who didn´t want us to feel homesick, so she made us a thanksgiving dinner; complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, the works. (Photos next week, I forgot my camera today)
Next we had a special zone conference with Elder Omar Villalobos of the Seventy (Church leaders who help the Apostles). It was 2 sessions, but took up almost the entire day. I learned a lot and was reminded of other things as well.  A couple of things I gleaned were: 
  • Is there such a thing as a half-blessing? if not then why are some people half-obedient? 
  • We are children of God. God lives in the celestial kingdom. Therefore, our spirits were created as Celestial spirits. Adam and Eve fell and ended up in the Telestial world, and then had kids. Therefore our bodies by nature are Telestial. One of the objectives of this life is that our Celestial Spirits can dominate our Telestial Bodies and become Celestial Beings.

That´s all for now. Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill

Thursday, November 28, 2013

11-23-13 - Jordon
Well, this week doesn't have a whole lot of news. But here's what I've got.
This past Wednesday, Elder Mueller's visa came in, and he was off to Figi the next day. So, for the time being I'm sorta "companionless."  I'm not alone by any means, I have been given Elder Cox to help me out. Let me explain. Elder Cox is from Gilbert, Arizona, and was called to serve in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission, however he had to come home due to back issues, and now they're doing a "test run" to see if he's fit to go back out or if he needs to stay home longer. So, he come's with me during the day, and then goes home at night. Meanwhile, I stay with the two other missionaries in my appartment. Savvy?
This past Thursday, Elder Bruce D. Porter, of the seventy, came to visit the mission. He talked about the Gospel of Christ: Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentence, Baptism, Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end. It was kinda cool. He openned it up for the missionaries to share insights and ask questions, and there were some pretty interesting questions. One thing that I had been thinking about a little before, but now has been cemented, is that another way of saying "death" would be a "separation." Thus, Physical death becomes a physical separation, or a separation of your body and spirit, and Spiritual death becomes a spiritual separation, or a separation of your spirit from Hevenly Father. Interesting, no?
This transfer is actually going to be a 5 week transfer, followed by a 7 week transfer to offset. Otherwise, transfer day would fall on Christmas day, and the church wants to avoid the nightmare of scheduling flights that close to christmas. So, yes I have a possibility of being moved before Christmas. Although, Johnny tells me that he is still friends with tyler on Skype, so I may use his computer again if I'm still here. I'm noth in his ward, but it would be easier than trying to set up a new one in a week. We'll see what can be done.
Weather: It hasn't really been super cold here, but it has been a bit chilly as of late. No snow yet, but it's been raining off and on for the past few days. Average temperature at about 7 pm has been about 60-65º, I think. It's interesting to compare now to how I was when I got here. I do believe that I was very comfortable in this weather, but now I'm wanting to wear my coat shell more often, I may get more use from the fleese lining this year. a ver.

That's it for this week. Can you believe it? I've been out now for about 14 months! The past two months have felt like two weeks. It's crazy!
Until next week.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
11-23-13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well, this week has been pretty normal. Not much to say. I met several of the people in the ward as well as one of our Investigators who was sick all last week. She has lots of questions and really wants to find out what the truth is.  She also said that she knows Baptism is necessary, but she wants to make sure it´s the right decision for her before committing to it. It was a great lesson.

Really there's not much else to say. Life's kinda boring as a secretary.

Nos Vemos!

-Elder D. Hill
11-18-13 - Jordon

So, Transfers were this past Wednesday. I was staying, so I'm still assigned to English wards. I'm thinking I may be here until after the Gilbert Temple opens. (2 more transfers) Oh, well. I recieved a new companion this transfer as well. His name is Elder Mueller. 

 He's an interesting fellow. He is from Draper, Utah, and loves rock climbing. He's here waiting for his visa to go to Fiji, Fijian speaking, of course. Personality-wise, he is pretty much the exact opposite as my previous companion. He's quiet and very soft-spoken. I kinda see him as an empty canvas--he has much to learn. I think mostly what he needs, however, is just a little confidence. I hope I can help him. I'm sure I have a lot to learn from him,as well.
We've been sharing the Temple Presentation with as many members as we can. Unfortunately, no one has called us yet to show it to their non-member friends. We've been examining our presentation to the members to see what we can improve. One thing we're trying is being a little more direct with our invitation to the members to invite their friends to the temple open house/presentation as well as including a date to do it by. We have high hopes for this week. Our Elders Quorum President says he should have one for us in the next couple days. We'll see what happens.
This past Thursday we had an Expanded Zone Conference to which all the ward missionaries, ward council members, and any other missionary minded members were invited to attend. It was cool. We didn't have a large showing due to a conflicting event that night, but the Bishop and a ward missionary from one of our wards and the Ward Mission Leader from the other ward were able to attend. They all really liked it. Hopefully their enthusiasm will spread to the rest of their respective wards. There's another one tomorrow in another part of the mission, but those who missed the first one are invited to attend. We hope we can get a few more members to attend this one.
That's pretty much it from this week. The work here may be slow for the moment, but it's about to explode, I can feel it.
Mom: It's kinda funny that you should use that quote from Elder Andersen. That Apostolic Promise has been a big focus for us here in the Gilbert Mission. The mission office put it on a card (below), and we've been sharing it with the members to help them with their missionary efforts. Great minds think alike.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
11/16/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well There was transfers this week and Now I´m in the Politecnico Ward in Lindavista Stake. I also have the assignment of being a mission secretary (some missions call it office elder) and have several responsibilities involving paperwork for visas, ordering materials, and whatever else President Hall wants done. Ideally our time is supposed to be split between office work and field work. my general daily schedule now has me in the office from 10-2 every weekday and out proselyting after that. Due to what president needs when sometimes it´s hard to keep to that schedule, but we try. 
My new companion, Elder Rutter, is pretty cool. He´s training me on all of the office responsibilities. He´s also from the US and as a result I think I´ve talked more english in the last week than I did in the last 2 months.
One quick experience, we were visiting a less active member with the other missionaries in our area (we share an area) and the following dialogue happened.
Member(Fermin): So you are from Utah too?
Me: Nope
Fermin: No? Arazona? Idaho?
Me: Tampoco (Them Neither)
Fermin: Then where are you from?
Me: Chicago
Fermin: Chicago! That's Awesome! <high 5>
It was a fun experience.

that´s all for now. Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill
11/11/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well this is going to be quick. we had transfers today and I was sent over to Politecnico, in Lindavista. I´m also now serving as one of the secretaries for the mission so there are a few changes to my schedule. the biggest being my Preparation days are now on Saturday. I´ll send out my full e-mail on saturday. until then, Adios!

-Elder D Hill
11/11/13 - Jordon

Well, this week had some interesting happenings.

Our focus in the work has been to meet with members about the Temple Presentation. Everyone is receiving it well. We should be getting several appointments this week to actually give the presentation. I'm super excited. Of course, we are also still teaching our investigators. We're starting to see some pick up in the number of people we are teaching each week.

On Friday, we experienced another first. It was the my first time someone I interviewed got baptized. Although I wasn't directly related to the event, there were still complications. My job as the District Leader is to make sure that the Baptismal Record is handed to the bishopric member presiding over the baptism. Unfortunately, the record wasn't finished yet. We weren't able to get all the information at the interview. The Sisters got the info from her and texted it to me, but the text never went through. At the Baptism, they tried to send it again, but, again, it did not go through. So, we had to spend some time together filling it out afterward, making us late for our next appointment. And, apparently my pattern with problematic firsts extended to the baptism itself, as well: The pianist was sick and didn't come, the person to give the opening prayer didn't show, and the recent convert performing the baptism couldn't get the words right. (Thankfully he only had to immerse her once.) Oh, and on Sunday, we found out that I misspelled her middle name. Easily fixed, but still... Oh well. It all worked out in the end. Don't you just love firsts. 

Transfers are coming up. I think they finally got the hang of it. We got our calls last night as we were supposed to. I'm staying. Elder Sievers is leaving. I'm still going to be District Leader, and I've been called to train another new missionary. The only Spanish missionary coming in is a sister, so I'm thinking it's going to be one of the Visa Waiters because the only other option is an English missionary. We'll have to wait and see.

An unfortunate circumstance occurred yesterday...I lost my pencil!  I know it sounds silly, but that pencil was important to me. I had managed to hold onto it up to this point since before I entered the MTC. It had sentimental value to me. I hope it turns up sooner or later, but it probably won't. I lost it sometime during church. Oh, well.

That's all for this week. 
Until next week.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

Monday, November 4, 2013

11/4/13 - Jordon

¡Hola Familia! ¿Cómo están? Everything here is going alright. Some interesting things have happened here this past week.
First off, Happy Birthday, Mom!!!! It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday. In answer to your question about wearing slippers, if you recall, you use to wear my Scooby-Doo slippers all the time once I out grew them. hehe.
Next, Happy Birthday, DJ!!!! 27? Wow, that's odd to think of. Granted, it's hard to think that I'm almost 23, as well. Time is flying past.
Ok, now for what happened here.
On Thursday, we all gathered together for a special Mission Conference. (I think it was to help keep us off the streets for Halloween. ) There we received a DVD with some videos. Using the videos, we have prepared a 15 minute presentation about the temple. The purpose of the 15 minute presentation is to help prepare people for the temple open house. When our members invite their friends and family to go to the open house, if the answer is yes, they then are supposed to invite them to see a 15 minute presentation about the temple to learn a bit before they go. The reason I'm stressing 15 minutes is because President Nattress made us promise that it would be no longer than that, and that he had already promised several of the local leaders that it would be no longer than that too. But, most people won't be opposed to just 15 minutes of their time, so it's important for us to stress it and for our members to stress it in their invitations. It's pretty cool.
There are four videos incuded on the DVD: 
We'll only use one of them in the presentation as the spirit directs. I'm excited to start sharing this with people.

Guess what happened on Friday...I gave my first Baptismal interview. But, you know, I have a history with firsts. Whenever I have a first, there are usually complications involved. The candidate for my first baptismal interview was a little old hispanic lady who is hard of hearing. ugh! Complications:
1. She doesn't know any English. I've been in English work for two transfers. So, my Spanish is perhaps a little rusty. I'm fairly certain I was speaking correctly though. I could understand most of what she was saying too.
2. She was hard of of hearing. So, even if I was speaking correctly, she couldn't hear me. Thankfully, the Sister Missionaries wrote out the questions for her before the interview. She took it out and was reading along as I asked the questions.
3. Yes, she had the questions written out, but the Sisters failed to write down question 4. The written questions were supposed to be so she could review them before the interview.  They said that when they went over the questions with her she had no problem with that question, so they decided to skip it. hehe. So, I had to somehow explain that she was missing a question. Eventually, I just had her read it from my list of questions.
4. She apparently haa some form of alzheimer's. So, she doesn't retain infromation much. So, she required a little bit of prompting for what some things meant.
We managed to get through it alright, and I felt that she was ready for baptism. Yay!
The next day, I gave another Baptismal interview. This one was in English, and went a lot smoother than the first one.
On Saturday, our stake had a Family Search activity open to the public. It was AWESOME!!! It was called the Ellis Island Experience. Everyone running the event, was dressed up and everything was decorated like Ellis Island back in the day. There was a Statue of Liberty stationed in the middle of the room. I got a picture with it. (See below.) There were also a ton of laptops set up for people to learn about,, and even donated 100 accounts to be used during the day. It was a lot of fun.
That's all for this week. Transfer calls this coming Sunday. Just wanted to let you know.
Christmas is right around the corner. We'll get to skype then. Yay! Until next week,
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

P.S.  Here's my Halloween costume.  I went as a missionary. 

11/4/13 - DJ


Hola Everyone!

Firstly I`d like to say thank you to everyone that wished me Birthday wishes today. It`s been a fun one.  Generally normal for a P-day. but the members that gave us lunch (lunch is the big meal here, not dinner, we eat it about 2pm) gave me a "birthday cake" made out of 2 little brownie-like cakes and used a match for a candle. It almost went out before the end of "Las Mañanitas" (the Mexican birthday song); it was great. 
             from front left to right:   Elder Hill(me), Oscar, Seleene, Laura, Tonio, Elder Zapataç

Also my zone leaders insisted we do something for my birthday, so as a zone we went to "el Habanero." It`s a fantastic taco place here in  the zone.  So attached are pics of my birthday dinner (tacos al pastor con queso) and everyone that was there (almost the whole zone)!
                              Carne al pastor with one taco made (there was a separate plate of tortillas.)

 From left to right: Elder Osorio, Elder Ruiz, Elder Zamora, Elder Coello, Elder Hill(me), Elder Zapata, Hermana Benitez, Hermana Cano, Elder Ortolano, Elder Parker
In other news: the work moves forward. We had a great Stake Conference this weekend that was almost completely dedicated to the work of salvation. We had a member of the area Seventy (area leaders) who was funny and straight forward about how things should be done. One of the things I learned was that in the church, we do our training in the field. We see how it`s done, and then do it instead of learning it all in a classroom.

That`s the news for this week, Take care everyone!

-Elder DJ Hill

Thursday, October 31, 2013

10/28/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

This week has been a little wierd weather wise.  As I understand it there was a hurricane that hit Mexico and was followed up by 2 cold fronts. The result of this was that last Tuesday was cold and wet. I pulled out my coat for the first time since last winter. Wednesday was almost as cold, but without the rain, and by Friday the sun was back out and temperatures were back up. 
In other news, the members are super excited for the work of salvation. We had some success these last couple of weeks with investigators in church, and the whole ward is starting to "catch the wave". It`s been fun.
Also we had an early change for one of the zone leaders last week. Now for the first time in my mission I have a zone leader with less time out than I have. (That`s not to say anything bad, Elder Ortolono is great. It just makes me realize how much time I`ve been out.) It`s definitely interesting.

That`s about all the news for now. Nos Vemos!
-Elder D Hill
10/28/13 - Jordon

Hello Everyone.
The work moves forward!...slowly. We're working hard to help get the members involved, but it 's not going very quickly at all. Each of our members have people they are working with, but for the moment, not a whole lot of movement. They say consistency is hard to find these days. Well, for each of the past 3 weeks, we've had 4 lessons with non-members. But, even though our numbers may be small for the moment, I believe our efforts will start to payoff soon.
This past Saturday, one of our wards had a Trunk or Treat. It was a lot of fun. I love Halloween, not for the candy, but for the costumes. As expected, everyone, or at least all the kids, were wearing costumes of several different varieties. It's fun to see how creative people can be. There were also some non-member friends there that people had invited. They all had a blast. We got to meet a lot of them. I love activities like this that can bring members and non-members together in a non-treatening way. We get to do it again on Wednesday for our other ward's Trunk or Treat.  I'm excited! And yes, I have a costume this year. I modeled it after my costume from last year. Everyone got a laugh out of it. I'll send a picture next week.
Weather Report
Time to get out your scarfs and sweaters everyone. It's getting cold out. On average, the highs are about 90º and the lows are now a "chilly" 70º. Brrrrrr. That's cold.  People have been telling us that the temperature here has been a bit colder than normal for this time of year. The temperature is actually quite comfortable for me. Even during the daytime, the only thing that makes it feel hot is direct sunlight. I must be adapting to the climate. I imagine that when I return home next year, I'll be freezing after coming out of an Arizona Summer. hehe. That will be interesting to see I'm sure.
That's about it for this week. Oh. For Halloween we're having a special Mission Conference. They're going to show us some video material and some other stuff that we can share with the members to help them invite people to the Temple Open House coming up. I'm so excited. Also, they want us off the streets and in our houses by 5 pm that evening. Safety reasons. Happy Halloween!
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

Sunday, October 27, 2013

10/21/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well, this week has been good. We have a new family of investigators who are listening to us. Their whole family are Jehovah's Witnesses, but they aren`t. The father knows the bible really well, but is open to what we are saying and teaching. It`s going to be interesting with them. 

That other family I was telling you about last week also came to our ward this week! All of the members made them feel really welcome and befriended them quickly. As it turns out, 2 of the young women were already friends with one of the daughters of this family from school. How great is that!

One more thing, this last week I had my first root beer since coming to Mexico. You just cant find it here. One of the members visited family in California and brought back a bunch and offered us some when she invited us to eat. It may seem like a little thing, but it was a nice surprise. 

That covers everything. Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill
10/21/13 - Jordon

Well, this week hasn't been too exciting.
District training this past week...To be honest, I think the first one went better. Upon reflection, I noted that for the first one, I was perhaps under prepared, and for the second one, I was over prepared.  We'll see if I can find a happy medium this week.
As I've said before, I'm back in Gilbert. As such, there is a meeting that takes place each month that I get to attend again...Breakfast with the Stake President. Each ward is supposed to prepare a stake report each month which explains what is happening in the ward--what the ward is doing, and what the missionaries are doing. This report is then given to the President Ballard (Stake President) when we, all the missionaries in the stake, go over to his house and have breakfast with him. Guess what...apparently, I did something right when I was here before because he remembered me. He saw me and had the realization that I was back and was happy to see me. And, I don't know why, but he seems a little more...eccentric?...than I remember, maybe that's because he now has 14 missionaries in his stake, and now, in his house for breakfast each the same time!
Do you remember me telling you about Spencer last transfer? Well, this past Saturday, I had the opportunity to go to his baptism. They were so happy that I was able to attend, and so was I.  (Refresher:  Spencer was the boy Jordon and his companion were teaching, but Jordon got transferred before Spencer decided to get baptized.)

As for our area, we're starting to see results. This past week, we received 10 referals. Not a whole lot of them are intereted, but it's a start. The members are great, and the Wards are doing great things. Not a whole lot of progress on the investigator side of things, though. however, there are lots of activities coming up in the near future. Each of our wards has a Trunk or Treat coming up, the Stake is doing a Family History thing (open to the public), and the Gilbert Temple Open house is coming up early next year. They've annouced the dates of the cultural celebration and dedication. They are the 1st and 2nd of March, respectively. Even better is that they tell us that the missionaries might be taking part in the cultural celebration. I'm so excited!
I had a bit of revelation this past week. I think I've figured out why babies randomly wake up and then start crying for no apparent reason. Dreams are based on memories of the past. Well, what do babies have for memories? Not much, or at least, not much from this life, anyway. Going on the thought that babies minds haven't been completely veiled yet, my thought is that they dream about premortal life and then when they wake up, they realize they're surroundings, and start to cry. We do it, too. How many times have you had a really good dream and when you woke up you were disappointed or perhaps "cried" a little? Well, babies do it, too. I don't know how accurate this is, but it's an interesting thought anyway.
Oops! I'm super sorry for forgetting this again, but my new address is:
406 E Washington Ave unit A
Gilbert, AZ 85234
Other than that, there isn't much else to say.
Until next week,
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
10/14/13 - Jordon

Well, This week wasn't really anything super special. A few interesting happenings though.
The work moves forward. We are working hard to get to know our members, and at the same time looking for more people to teach. We don't have a particularly large taching pool right now. We're trying to work with the members to help them with their missionary efforts, and hoping that our efforts with them will bring more souls unto Christ. Not a whole lot of success yet though. We follow up with several of them this week.
As announced last week, I am now a District Leader. I was given the opportunity to give my first district training this past Tuesday. I was very self contious that day. The reason being that I wasn't given my topic to train on until Monday Evening, about 9pm. I'm also training so, I didn't really even have much time during personal study to prepare either. But, the show must go on. And so, when the time came, I did my best with the preparation I had done, and, apparently, it was a pretty good training. It started out a little patchy, but those I asked said that I did a good job, and that they liked my training. I give credit to the Spirit for guiding me in what to say. I get to train again tomorrow, but this time, I know what the topic is. This one should go a little better, in my eyes, anyway. Everyone keeps saying I'm too hard on myself.  Am I?
It has been brought to my attention that I may have forgotten to share a bit of very important mission news. We have received word that we are one of 50 missions selected to pilot an new missionary tool. Soon, the missionaries in our mission will be receiving iPad Minis to use in our prosilyting efforts. With them we will be able to access the internet during lessons, so we can show people things, such as Mormon Messages, conference talks,, and so on. On top of this, they say that we will be keeping them when our full-time missionary service comes to an end. It is likely that we will be using them to do our social media prosilyting that was talked about in the Work of Salvation broadcast back in June. Lots of exciting changes are happening in missionary work, and we are in the middle of it all. I'm excited!
This past week we had dinner with the Hill family in one of our wards. We got to know them a bit, and they got to know us. They have 5 children. We met two of them: The middle child and the fifth child. The middle child is 21 years old, and her name is Jordan. Yes, Jordan Hill. The fifth child's name is Quentin, which just so happens to be my companion's name. --Middle children both named Jordon(an) Hill, and fifth children both named Quentin.-- We couldn't help but laugh when I found out. ......I think I've discovered what I would be like if I was a girl.
That's all for this week. Tell everyone that I return the "Hi" and add a "Hello" to it.
Until next week.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
10/14/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well I´ve made it another week. It seems weird, I´m seeing dates that I´ve already had here on the mission (not counting Year) so it´s weird. 

My Companion is doing Great! Elder Zapata is a hard worker and knows how to have fun without being a goof. He´s taller than me! By enough that my neck hurt the first few days. I guess all you short people would call it justice since I´m so tall. Oh well. He only has 5 months in the mission, so I get to put a good example for him.

We also have a family that is great! The only issue we are having is that all of their extended family members are in the next ward over, but we are trying to work with everyone so that there is no problem and everything goes smoothly. More info on them as it comes.

In other news, rumor has it that by the end of March, our mission will have 70 sister missionaries and that roughly half of them will be from the United States. Just to put things in perspective, the last mission conference we had about 20 sister missionaries and all of them were native Spanish speakers(none from the US) 

That´s pretty much all the news. 
Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill
10/7 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well here's the news from transfers: Elder Vazquez is training an American on the other side of the mission. I got to stay in the area and am still District Leader. My new companion is Elder Zapata. He´s 22 yrs old, has 4 1/2 months in the mission, is from Monterey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and is taller than me. He´s really cool, and I believe we will have success together. 

Conference was really awesome! It seems like everyone got a different theme out of it as a whole. I saw a lot of focus on Becoming Spiritually Prepared. (I also watched it in Spanish so if you didn´t get that, watch it in Spanish!)  Really, it was interesting to see how my understanding of Spanish has grown in the last year. or even the last 6 months. At the conference in April, I watched about 5 minutes of it in Spanish and didn´t understand anything except "welcome to conference." Now I watched full sessions and understood just about everything. 

That´s about it for this week. Nothing else really exciting happened.
Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill
10/7 - Jordon

Well, this week was interesting.
Transfer update: I received my transfer call about 2 pm last Monday afternoon. I was leaving. Elder Cope was staying. I was transfered back to Gilbert. This transfer is a transfer of firsts:
-I'm back in my first area...sort of. (I'm assigned to English wards still.)
-It was my first time "white-washing" into an area. ("white-washing": both companions are new to the area.)
-It is my first time training a new missionary (in his first area).
-and it's my first time being a District Leader!
So, there's a lot of work ahead for me. The Lord apparently has a lot of trust in me to give me all this. My new companion's name is Elder Sievers. He's 20 years old, and he's from Orem, Utah ("The Factory" as he calls it).  He's a great guy, and he pretty much already knows what he's doing. All I'm here for is to show him the schedule mostly. Also, he's spanish speaking. So I have someone to practice my Spanish on now. Yay!
I had a feeling after transfers that this was going to be a great transfer, and it looks like it will be that way. There are a lot of things in the works and we get to be in the middle of it all. We'll see what happens. I'm excited.
General Conference kinda let me down a little bit. The talks were great, but, I don't know. There seemed to be something different from times past. President Monson, without Sister Monson, didn't seem to have the same spirit as he has in the past. You could especially see it in Priesthood session. He told a funny story from his childhood, as he usually did, but it seemed almost forced, to me. His spirits seemed to lift a bit by the end of the conference, but you could still see a deep sadness in face. I'm thoroughly convinced that Elder Holland's talk was partially aimed toward President Monson. I hope he is coping well.
Farfetch'd is completed. 

So that's pretty much it for this week. We're learning the area as fast as we can and pushing forward with the work as best we can. I hope all goes well in the upcoming weeks.

Until next time.
Con mucho amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

9/30/13 DJ
Hola Everyone!

Well as of this last Thursday, I have officially completed one year in the mission. It´s kind a wierd feeling. It´s hard to believe a year has passed, but at the same time it feels like forever ago that I entered the MTC. I try not to think about it too much, but for those counting the days, only 1 more year to go.

Really there isn´t much more to report. We had a meeting last night with the stake presidency, President Hall, and all of the Missionaries, Bishops, and Mission Leaders in the Stake.  During this meeting, the Stake President and President Hall shared their vision for the stake and talked with the leadership to see how we can accomplish this. Our Leaders (Obispo Xochipa and Hno. Vilchiz) were some of the loudest voices in explaining how we could accomplish some of the things we could do. We are going to have a planning meeting tonight to set up a gameplan. This should be great!

Also Transfers here are going to be Wednesdays from now on. As such I have no Idea what´s going on with transfers until tomorrow. I´ll let you know next week what happens.

Take care everyone!

-Elder D Hill

9/30/13 Jordon
Well, this week it would appear that mine was a bit more exciting than your's at home. Several exciting things are happening and I shall attempt to tell about them all.
First up, last week I told you about the Jahovah's Witness (her name is Sarah) that we had met. At first she seemed interested, but when we stopped by for the lesson, she was a little more on the offensive. As soon as we sat down she started asking about "contradictions" between the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I put quotes around it because they really weren't anything of the such. With a proper understanding of the Gospel, these scriptures work in perfect harmony. Unfortunately, I don't think we were able to convey that as well as we would have liked. Anyway, we met with her, answered some of her questions, and asked if we could meet again on Friday. She agreed. Well, guess what happened on Friday. When we stopped by, she openned the door and said, "Oh, you came back." She then explained that she was fine with what she knew of our beliefs, and we didn't need to come back.  We decided to write her a note explaining that we didn't really have chance to give her a proper impression of our beliefs and gave her an Articles of Faith card. We'll see what she does with it. If nothing else future missionaries will follow up; She has a teaching record. Muahaha.
We had a baptism this weekend! Wooooooooo! Picture attached. I didn't really have anything to do with it, but I was happy to help. I was asked to give the Baptism talk, and Elder Cope was asked to give the Holy Ghost talk. we coordinated ties based on this. (Baptism of water, Baptism of fire)
Transfers: This Wednesday is transfer meeting. There's just one problem, they haven't called us yet to let us know who's going where. Argh! More to come.
That's pretty much it.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

9/23/13 DJ
Hola Everyone!

For those who have been watching the news, Mexico is being hit with devastating floods just about everywhere. I say just about because I´m just fine and nowhere in the mission is having flooding more than normal for this time of year (or so the members tell me) However there are a lot of Mexican missionaries who are worried for their families because they're from some of these areas.  We´re keeping them in our prayers.

We are still working hard, and we are working more with the members. We had a zone conference this week, and we were shown several videos that the church made this year for "The Work of Salvation." The videos are really good and show what the Lord wants for this work: that the members and the missionaries work together. That has always been the plan; it´s just a little hard for some people to see it. But we showed several of these videos to our ward mission leader, and he´s all for it. He´s going to show the videos to the Bishop Tuesday, and we´ll go from there. If you would like to see them too go to and search "Work of Salvation" (or if you would prefer Spanish, search "Obra de Salvación") 

In other news we climbed the next hill over today (It´s bigger than the hill of the "B" ) as a zone. Attached are some pictures from that.  Enjoy!

That covers everything. Changes are next week, so I´ll let you know what happens then.

Nos Vemos!
-Elder D Hill