Sunday, January 27, 2013

1/26/13 - Addresses

Hi, everyone - It's Mom!  Just to update everyone, here are the boys' new addresses:

Elder Jordon Hill
2659 E. Desert Lane
Gilbert, AZ 85234

To send letters/packages to DJ, put his name in or next to the return address, then address the envelope/package as follows:

Elder Jose Luis Escobar Maya
Apartado Postal 118-184
Gustavo A. Madero
Mexico, D.F. C.P 07051

1/21/13 -

Hola Everyone!

So this week has been busy.  We have a lot of people we are trying to see; but first, I´ll explain the pictures. 

This is a picture of my new home for another 20 months.  The pictures were taken at about dusk and

 the bright building in the second one is the Mexico City Temple (which is just outside of the Mexico City Northwest Mission).  

I have yet to get a picture of just me and my companion, but I figure that this picture  will do.  This was the picture from my first baptism on the mission!  From right to left is my companion, Elder Millerberg, Karla (The investigator I mentioned last week, who is also the one being baptized), her daughter, Alejandra, her Grandparents, and then Me. I had the privilege of Baptizing Karla and said and did everything right on the first try.  Now her grandparents are interested in what we have to say, and we are teaching them as well.
On a different note, I´ve been told a couple of times in the last week that my accent is great and once I get the language down I will sound great.  I don´t know if they´re telling the truth or if they are just trying to make me feel better. but whatever.
The sisters in the ward that feed us keep getting worried that I don´t eat enough. I eat until I´m full, stopping just short of being lethargic for the rest of the day and they say (translated to english) "You are so little, are you sure you don´t want more?" Either I am going to have to learn to eat more, or I´m going to have to find a better way to say I have a small stomach.  On the plus side, I´m full for the rest of the day after we have our meals.

Take Care Everyone,
-Elder Hill

PS: The food still hasn´t made me sick yet :)
1/21/13 -
Hola, familia. ¿Cómo están?
This week has been a bit better than last week. Our numbers are up, my homesickness is down, and the work is moving forward.
A couple of interesting things happened this week; both, in my opinion, inspired from heaven.
First, we had just finished teaching Calixto, one of our less actives. And had planned to go visit his neighbor, Elena, afterward. However, we soon discovered that she was home alone. And without a third male, we couldn't teach her. So, we set up a return appointment and left. We got back to the car and both had the thought, let's see if Calixto could come with us. So we did, and he could. The lesson was good and Calixto was able to participate well.
And second, we had a lesson scheduled with Angelica, a new investigator, for the following day, and we needed to find a third male to come with us. (Curse that rule of 3) We tried to find a member to come with us, but no one was available. Well, that night, we had a lesson con Juan. Remember Juan, the 20 year investigator? well, during the lesson, I had the thought, "Invite Juan." So, I explained the situation to him, and invited him to come, and guess what:  He accepted! He came with us to the lesson, and it turned out that they knew eachother. It was a great lesson, and I feel that Juan benifited from it, as well.
On a side note, remember those paper clips you sent me for Chirstmas, I found a use for them. (See Picture) What do you think?
That pretty much covers it for this week. I'll leave you with a scripture that I've taken a liking to this last week.
             Joshua 1:9 -- Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Con Amor,
-Elder (Jordon) Hill-

Saturday, January 19, 2013

1/15/13 - We received a hand-written letter from Jordon today.  This would have happened before transfers.  Here's the highlights:

<Another> thing that happened is that the other day while we were biking toward the house of a potential (investigator),  we saw a Mariposa (butterfly) on one of the houses.  Mexicans love butterflies.  So, we decided to stop and knock on the door.  We did so, and a woman opened the door and asked what we wanted.  We introduced ourselves.  We were about to ask if we could teach her, but she stopped us and told us that it was odd that we should be stopping by at this moment.  Apparently, there was a family crisis and our "timing" was perfect that we could help out.  We did what we could to help and set up a time when we could stop by and see how things were going.

It's interesting how things seem to "time ot" when Heavenly Father is involved.  I'm grateful to know that he trusts me enough to serve in situation like that, and I'm grateful to have had this opportunity to do so.

In other news, we gotr a call from Sister Howes today saying that I'm moving houses.  you see, our house was semi near the edge of our 40 square mile area.  So, we spent most of the day moving into the new house, which is two miles closer to the center.  It's not much, but it helps a lot when you have a mile budget.  We have 1,000 miles per month (car use), which equates to roughly 32-33 miles per day.

So, yea, transfers are tomorrow (See letter below).  It turns out that I'm staying here in Gilbert, but Elder Oscarson is leaving.  We don't know to where yet, though.  We find that out at the meeting tomorrow.  I'll let you know.

That's it for this week.  I'm honestly not sure what the address is here exactly.  It's kind of confusing, so I'll let you know next week. 

Hasta luego.

Con amor,
Elder Jordon Hill
1/14/13 - DJ

Reports of my kidnapping, dying, or joining the Mexican Circus are highly exagerated!  Honestly, I didn´t get a chance to Email last week.

I made it safely to Mexico and had no problems coming in through customs.   The mission president and the assistants to the president were waiting for us at the airport.  From the airport we went to the Mission President´s home and had dinner followed by a training meeting and then head to our new homes with our new companions.
Speaking of, my new companion is great. his name is Elder Millerberg. He is from Utah (meaning he speaks English, too), and he has been out for 16 months so far. Our area is the Carrera Ward.  The members are awesome. We were double transferred into the area, so neither of us knew anything about the members or investigators except what was left in notes from the last missionaries; and that wasn´t as helpful as you would think.  We are doing well though. We´ve been able to meet several of the members and track down several of the less active families mentioned in the notes.  We started teaching one sister last Friday, and she already is excited for her baptism! 
In other news, where we are in Mexico City reminds me of Newark, NJ, except everyone is Mexican and speaks Spanish.  I´m learning fast and can understand them much better than I can speak it, but it´s coming.  The food hasn´t made me sick yet, although everyone tells me it´s just a matter of time. I guess we´ll see.
The work down here has a major focus on the Spirit. Our mission President doesn´t just want us to teach by the spirit, but to make sure to introduce him to the investigators when he shows up. It works miracles! More about that another week.

Nos Vemos!
-Elder Hill

1/14/13 - Jordon
Hola todos!
Well, this week has been semi-eventful. Lets start with transfers.
And servey says.....Elder Gutierrez is my new companion. He's a good guy, kinda laid back, but he's a hard worker. And, get this, he's from Montreal, Canada.  He's been out for about 18 months now. He and I seem to be getting along well.
However, because Elder Oscarson left, it fell on me to start doing everything in the area, because Eder Gutierrez didn't know everything, yet. That's a lot of pressure! And, unfortunately, I felt that it was a little too much. I wanted to go home. And, attempted to do so. I told President Howes, and his response was basically that I had a job to do, and whether I felt like being here or not, I had accepted this responsibility, and he was going to hold me to it. He then offered some words of encouragement and sent me on my way. I'm doing better now.  It's through our trials that we grow right?
But, the rest of the week wasn't as encouraging. Most of our lessons fell through, not many of the people we visited wanted to listen, and there was hardly any people on the street. Ugh!!! But the work moves forward, and I'm helping.
I appologize that there isn't much in this email. I didn't have much happen this week. however, I'll leave you with this.
     President Hugh B. Brown, formerly a member of the Twelve and a counselor in the First Presidency, provided a personal experience. He told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet (1.8 m) high and was yielding no berries, so he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. … And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”

     President Brown replied, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.’

     Years later, President Brown was a field officer in the Canadian Army serving in England. When a superior officer became a battle casualty, President Brown was in line to be promoted to general, and he was summoned to London. But even though he was fully qualified for the promotion, it was denied him because he was a Mormon. The commanding general said in essence, “You deserve the appointment, but I cannot give it to you.” What President Brown had spent 10 years hoping, praying, and preparing for slipped through his fingers in that moment because of blatant discrimination. 

     Continuing his story, President Brown remembered: “I got on the train and started back … with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. … When I got to my tent, … I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, ‘How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?’ I was as bitter as gall.  “And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. …
     “… And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’”
Con Amor,
-Elder Hill-

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

1/7/13 -

Hi, everyone.

One last thing from Christmas.
The spanish branch that we cover had a special christmas dinner. The food was good, and it was very festive. They also did a small performance of the story of Jesus' birth. Guess who some of the wise men were...

yup! Elder Oscarson and I got to be 2 of the wise men. So, even though I'm a missionary, I'm still managing to find opportunities to dress up in a costume every once in a while.

So, this week has been quite interesting.
We have this investigator, his name is Juan. He has an alcohol problem and has been "investigating" the church for 20 years! And I thought just shy of 3 years was a long time. Anyway, he's been sick recently, so we offered to give him a blessing...In Spanish! I was the one who gave the blessing. I think it went well. My words were a tad shaky, but the spirit was strong.
There's more, but I'll write a letter because I'm out of time.
Happy New Year.
---Elder (Jordon) Hill ---

Thursday, January 3, 2013

1/3/12 -

Brother Cutler, whom DJ spent Christmas with, had some fun with the guys while they were there.  He sent this one to me.  Thank you, Brother Cutler, for your awesome talents and generosity.

12/31/12 -

Hola Everybody!

It's been a great week.  Our investigator Latanya is on track to be baptized soon. She is just super excited and says she can't wait. While Brian (I mentioned him a few weeks ago) is being prepared, we don't know when he will accept baptism. He has some hesitation about being baptized so I don't think it'll be before I leave for Mexico. We spent a good amount of time this week seeking out others who are ready to receive the gospel. We found several people who might be interested, but the best is this this family. Christina, Renee and their family.  We found them by talking to one of their daughters while she was walking home.  We came by a few days later and offered to leave a blessing on their house, which they greatly accepted. They are so awesome.
So my big story for the week:  A few days ago Elder Cash and I were on our way to an appointment with this family.(Elder Jacobs was on exchanges with another set of missionaries at this time.) As we are going we see someone pulled over to the side of the road.  So naturally we stopped to help.  She just needed a Jump Start. As we waited for the battery to charge enough for the engine to turn over, we were talking to her and found out that her Fiance was an Inactive member of The Church, and that they had been talking recently about going to church.  So as she was asking God for someone to help with her car problem, who should show up but the guys in suits with the black name tags. She said she was taking this as a sign that she NEEDS to get back to church and said she and her Fiance were going to church Sunday. 
Now for part 2: after getting her car to start we went to our appointment.  We were about 10-15 minutes late. When we got there we found out that the Christina and Renee were out running errands. Just after that sentence was said, they pulled into the driveway, so had we not stopped to help out the first person, we would have been there long before they got home and we wouldn't have been able to have that teaching appointment.  So then we were invited in and we were able to have an awesome lesson. The Holy Spirit was super strong in their house as we taught, and it seemed to have touched the hearts of everyone in the room.  It was so great.
 Now for some photos.  We spent Christmas with the Cutler family.  They're super awesome, and Bro. Cutler has a real sword! (One of my favorite topics.)  

This was our Christmas card to our investigators.

I found the Las Vegas skyline at night a pretty sight.
Well that's about it for this week.  Not sure what opportunities I'll have next week considering that I'm flying to Mexico on the morning of the 7th. I'll write again soon.

-Elder Hill

12/31/12 -

It's a photo extravaganza!

Merry Christmas!!!
Picture 1: Everyone's presents.

Picture 2: Everything I got! I'm happy
Picture 3: From one of the classes at church. In the box were a card and 12 little presents each with a number and scripture attached.
Picture 4: From my family. I'm very grateful for their love.
Pictures 5: Elder Carrol's family sent each of us a little boot (kinda like a stocking) and a "B.O.M.B" shirt (Book Of Mormon Boys) We look good, no?
Picture 6: Does anyone know what Sticky Back is or what it's used for?  Because someone sent me a box containing 5 reams of it. It's basically a folded sheet of plastic with a sticky side. I have no idea what to do with it. And I can find no name on the box for who it was from.
The Mission Christmas party was a lot of fun. There was a special program with several of the mission presidency giving a talk and each of the Zones prepared a song. My zone sang "Joy to the World". We sounded great! After that was a dinner. and it was back to work. 

We missionaries of the Tempe mission are fancy. We import our snow. Picture 7 & 8: Some of the missionaries from Show Low filled the beds of their trucks with snow and brought it to Tempe for the party.
                                                         Elder Frosty

It's time for me to go. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful new year.
-Elder Hill- (With Elder Oscarson)