Tuesday, April 30, 2013

4/29/13 - Jordon

Hola Familia.
This week has been kinda uneventful. Elder Harder and I are working as hard as we can to bring others unto Christ, but if they don't want to come, we can't make them. We're working with our current investigators to try to get them to church, but a lot of the time they have to work and can't make it. We're also trying to distiguish their interest level, and if they don't want to make the changes needed, we're letting them go. Our time would be better served elsewhere. For those who actually are interested, we're doing the best we can to help them.
Yesterday, we didn't have anyone at church. However, the Sister Missionaries (did I mention we share the ward with Sister Missionaries?) brought an investigator, and he really seems interested. The only problem is that he has a 5 year old son that doesn't like to sit still for longer than 5 seconds. He doesn't like to sit in class either. So, we, us and the Sisters, spent a good amount of time trying to keep the kid occupied, so his dad could pay attention. There was one moment during Elders Quorum that wasn't so pleasent, however. There was one moment where the Dad told his son to sit down. He layed down on the bench infront of us (for about 10 seconds), got up said something like I need to go to the bathroom, and ran off. Suddenly we hear a noise from the back of the chapel. I looked back, and the kid was thowing up. A lot.  (Eew.) His father quickly rushed him to the bathroom, and while his dad was tending to him, we and some of the Elders Quorum proceeded to clean up the mess. I think it might have been a combination of primary snack and all that running around he was doing. After he was cleaned up, and we found him a shirt, he was back to running around again. We're going to think of activities that would keep the kid occupied this week. I hope we can help him to have a good time in class.  (Any Ideas?)
Ok, I don't know how, but some how I got sucked into the Angry Birds craze. At Wall-Mart they sell these Angry Birds eraser puzzles in those quarter machines by the entrance. Maybe you've seen them.  I decided to get one because it looked kinda cool. Somehow, I ended up collecting them, getting one or two each time I go. 

 I've gotten a few repeats, so I decided to customize them a bit.  I even got a couple pigs. 

So, who's up for a game? hehe. 
The Tower
Loading the Bird



Add caption

 I took a video, but the video was too big to send. (ps -- No, we don't do this on a regular basis. We just did this once to get the video of it.)
So, I reallized something interesting this week. Have you ever noticed how repetitive the scriptures can be at times? I was reading in Daniel chapter 3. Here's what I read:
 4 Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages,
 5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up:
 6 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
 7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of musick, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
10 Thou, O king, hast made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, shall fall down and worship the golden image:
 11 And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth, that he should be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
 12 There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O king, have not regarded thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
 13 ¶Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Then they brought these men before the king.
 14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
 15 Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

Wow! When I read this during personal study, I actually laughed out loud.
Although, if you continue on it leads into the stories of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the furnace, and then into Daniel in the lions den. From these stories, and several others, I've concluded that as long as we obey the commandments given to us, everything always works out alright.

That's it for this week. I hope you all are having a great Spring. It's blazing out here. I looked at the temperature today and it said 101 degrees.And it's only going to get hotter. Oh, well. I'll live. (hopefully, hehe)

Con Amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

4/29/13 - DJ

Hola, Everybody!

So we didn´t baptize anyone new this last week, but we are all set to baptize the boyfriend of one of the daughters of that family this week. We may also be able to baptize Ramses Sister, Montse, this week. We have taught her a little in the past, but she wasn´t interested then. She just had a major upset in her life, though, and so is turning to God, and since half her family is already baptized she came to church this last Sunday to see her parents confirmations. So things are going good, and its great to see a family come together and change for the better in the Gospel

In other news my Nieto(grandson) got his mission call. Why is he my grandson? Because I´m his Abuelo(grandfather). OK - storytime. First, he is like the best YSA member in the stake. Second, his grandfather is named Hilberto (I´m not sure on the spelling) and everyone calls his grandfather Hill for short; and since my name is Hill, he´s been calling me Abuelo since he met me my first week in Mexico. So I call him Nieto (his real name is Alejandro Ceron) and he got his mission call to Guatelajara, Mexico, and he leaves on May 29. Its just way cool. 
                                                           Mi y mi Nieto

Thats pretty much it for new news. Have a great Week!
-Elder D. Hill

Monday, April 22, 2013

4/22/13 - DJ -

Hola Everyone!

Week this week was cool. For the most part it was business as usual. However we baptized Ramses´ sister, Yazmin, on Saturday, and We baptized his Parents, Graciela and Fidel, on Sunday and once his other sister and her husband(boyfriend) get married, they want to be baptized, too (they are the other 2 people in with his parents, Itzel and Edwin).  As it turns out, Edwin is the nephew of the stake primary president, so we are hoping to get her to come to the baptism once we have it. and maybe to help encourage them to get married. I´ll keep you posted.
  Yazmin (in white)

Itzel, Graciela (center white), Fidel (center white), and Edwin
(And us, of course)

I´m also beginning to understand that the Atonement isn´t just for receiving forgiveness of your sins, but is the only real way we can change ourselves for the better.

Take care everybody!
-Elder D Hill
4/22/13 - Jordon

Well, this week was kinda slow. We weren't able to get in with as many of our investigators as we would have liked. It seems almost like no one wants to meet with us anymore. Although, we did manage to get one lady and her kids to come to church.  Her name is Claudia, and she has been investigating the church for a few years now but is super floja (lazy). I guess this is progress. The work may be slow, but it's still going forth.
Yesterday, I think I was more bold than I had yet been previous. We were talking with one of our potentials on their doorstep. He was saying that they were about to sit down to dinner and that they didn't have time right now. Elder Harder brought up that the word of God is important and asked why they couldn't take 10 minutes to listen to us, but the man remained adament. I then turned to Elder Harder and said, "Si, es importante, pero para comer is mas importante." (Yes, it is important, but eating is more important.) The man was taken aback by this statement but still chose dinner over the word of God. So, we appologized for wasting the man's time and went on our way.
I finally made use of that cookbook you sent with me this past week. Last Monday, I decided to try out making one of the recipes and made dinner for the Elders in my apartment; myself, Elder Harder, and another companionship. I made the marinaded chicken on potatoes dish. (I forget what it was called.) I turned out really good. (Picture below, I forgot to take a picture before we served it, so I took a picture of my plate.) Everyone really liked it. It was really cheap, too. With the supplies I bought, I worked it out to about $1.85 per serving. I just might have to do this more often. The interesting part was that I actually kinda enjoyed making it.
That's it for this week. I'll leave you with this story from Elder Bruce D. Porter talk in General Conference.
One cold, wintry day, another friend of mine, Tom, was walking across the university campus. It was only 7:00 in the morning, and the campus was deserted and dark. Heavy snow was falling, with a brisk wind. “What miserable weather,” Tom thought. He walked farther, and out in the darkness and snow, he heard someone singing.
Sure enough, through the driving snow came our ever-optimistic friend, Bruce. With his arms outstretched to the sky, he was singing a number from the Broadway musical Oklahoma: “Oh, what a beautiful morning! Oh, what a beautiful day! I’ve got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going my way” (Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” [1943]).
In the intervening years, that bright voice in a dark storm has become for me a symbol of what faith and hope are all about. Even in a darkening world, we as Latter-day Saints may sing with joy, knowing that the powers of heaven are with God’s Church and people. We may rejoice in the knowledge that a beautiful morning lies ahead—the dawn of the millennial day, when the Son of God shall rise in the East and reign again on the earth.
--Elder Bruce D. Porter, "Beautiful Mornings"
Even when times are rough and the way is dark, look for that silver lining and then even the darkest storms will seem bright.
Until next week,
Con Amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
4/15/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well, we had another week in Mexico. This time with a great amount of success! 
We met a guy named Ramses who wanted to change his life for the better and decided that the gospel and baptism was how he wanted to do it. As we taught him, we also started teaching his family. They all want to be baptized, too! Ramses was baptized yesterday, (see picture) and the rest of his family shouldn´t be far behind him. 
We are also teaching a lady who wants to be baptized, but she lives with her boyfriend, and he doesn´t want to get married. We´ll have to see what happens there. 

That´s about it. Everything else is business as usual.

Nos Vemos!
-Elder D. Hill

4/15/13 - Jordon

Hola todos. ¿Cómo están? Espero que bien.
Well, I did some math this morning, and I discovered somthing: I've (we've) been on the mission for over 200 days now.That's a lot. I know we hit the 25% mark a few weeks ago, but 6 months (and 3 weeks) vs 200 days sound very different. (or it does to me anyway.)
So, this week has been a bit interesting.
We have a few investigators starting to make progress. There were 3 investigators of ours who attended church yesterday; two of which I hadn't seen there prior. Their names are Sandra and Erica. (Mother and Daughter) They really liked church from what I understand. Although, Elder Harder and I realized something when it came time for the Sacrament: We hadn't actually explained everything that happens at church. (Oops! ) When the Sacrament was passed around, they were unsure of what was going on or what they should do. We briefly explained that the bread and water represent the body and blood of Christ, and it's to help us remember him. They could take it if they wanted, but didn't have to. The chose not to. We have a lesson with them today. We're planning to teach them a bit more about church. hehe. But, things are going well with them, so there's a possibility of a baptism in the near future.
I meet with Michelle Hooper again this week. For the most part, this meeting was basically to discuss if I really needed to meet with her anymore. We determined that I we had achieved our purpose, and we didn't need to continue meeting. My mind set is quite different from when we first started. I still have a few complaints about mission life, but I've determined that there is no use in crying over spilt milk. So, I just let them go and keep working my best.
Oh, and I had a run in with the police. (hehe, I can see the surprise on your face right now.) Don't worry, nothing bad happened. Elder Harder and I were proselyting in a trailor park. We were just doing the "missionary thing" and talking to everyone we could to find those interested in learning more. Well, apparently one lady complained to the maintenance guy (who has never liked us, anyway). He found us and told us that we were soliciting and he was going to call the police. Elder Harder told him that he could go ahead because we weren't soliciting. We went on talking to people, the guy called the police, we talked, and the final end result is that we weren't doing anything wrong. We went on our way, and that was the end of it. See? Nothing bad. However, that maintenance guy really doesn't like us, so we're gonna try to avoid him where we can.
(Solicit: Ask for or try to obtain (something) from someone; typically money.)
Other than that, nothing new this week. Business as usual.
A few weeks ago I realized something: Remember the Scout Oath and Scout Law? I do.
Scout Oath:
  On my Honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
Scout Law:
  A scout is: trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, curtious, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. (and hungry.)
This sounds like the qualities of a missionary to me. (Yes, even the hungry part. Especially in spanish work.) Just a thought.
I hope you're all doing well. Tell everyone I say hi.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

4/8 - Jordon

Well, this week has been a bit of a let down as far as investigator progress goes. People are just hard to meet with. Although, we have one person on date for April 27th. so, that's a plus. Her name is Daniella and she is 13 years old. She seems to really be interested in the message we share, and she made friends with one of our youth, Vanessa. So, that's looking good.
Yesterday something interesting happened (asside from conference). We were talking to these two people on the street, when I guy walking his dog while riding his bike rode by. As he was passing, the leash got rapped around the front tire, causing hime to stop right in front of us. (interesting timing don't you think?) Well, we were busy talking, so we didn't catch the kid before he freed his tire and continued riding, but after we finished, we got in the car and tracked him down. We caught up with him (the leash got caught again ), we invited him to hear our message, he accepted, and we had a great lesson. And, he was super receptive. Unfortunately, he's English, so we had to pass him off to the English elders. Oh, well. It was still great, anyway.
My nerd senses were tingling the other day. We were on our way to a lesson, we parked the car, and I saw these on the car infront of us.  

Nerds, we're everywhere! Don't worry, I took these after the lesson. 
Remember that pokemon paper craft you sent me? We'll I finished it last night. Here's the finished product. It turned out good, don't you think? This week I had an apostrophy (I mean epiphany.) I realized you sent me the Bibarel (the beaver pokemon) and then for Easter you sent me the beaver pencil topper. Are you trying to tell me something? I gave it a little thought. I thought about the nature of beavers and realized that beavers are hard workers, so I should be working hard like the busy beaver. I am by the way. hehe.
(NOTE FROM MOM:  I sent him this to put together to ease the stress levels.  On the back of each piece was a scripture he was to look up before he could glue that piece in place.)

Ok, I'm sure you've been waiting for this. General Conference. Yeah, this conference was quite interesting. There was a lot about mission work. (or maybe I just didn't notice as much in the past because I wasn't a missionary.) Anyway, one thing that caught my interest was something from Elder Holland's talk (I love his talks) He said that the size of your faith is unimportant, what matters is what you do with it. I like that. Even when your faith is low, cling to the faith you have, and eventually it will grow.
By the way, if faith can move mountains, should we warn the skiers?
Well, that about covers it for this week. I hope you all are having fun with the full house (All DJ, Jordon, and Tyler's friends).
Until next week.
Con Amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
4/8 - DJ

Hola, Everyone!

Well, again not much new to report, except this last weekend was General Conference! and I watched, like, 5 minutes of it in Spanish! The American missionaries commandeered an extra room and changed to the English Conference, so I was able to understand everything. Something I thought was great was that the first 3 rows of the stake center were reserved for investigators. That was cool. The downside was that the investigators we invited skipped out at the last moment. Oh well, at least it meant I could watch in English. My favorite talk from conference was probably President Monson's talk on Obedience from Sunday Morning.  Particularly the story he used. (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/obedience-brings-blessings?lang=eng) It could be applied to so many things. A lot of conference seemed to be directed to having peace and obedience. It seemed like everyone was being more direct this time.
To answer your questions before the general e-mail: Life in Mexico is normal I guess. The only thing new and exciting is that I ran a bilingual D&D game this morning.
Other than that it was pretty much the same as usual: searching and trying to teach people. Oh, new experience. I fell in a hole this week. not a big hole, but the lid flipped when I stepped on it. My foot fell in about 2 feet. I fell and rolled, but in the end was pretty much just dusty. I had a bump on my leg the rest of the day, but that was it.  Thank you to everyone praying for my safety, I´m sure the lack of injury from this experience was an answer to those prayers.

Take care everyone!
-Elder D. Hill
4/1 - Jordon

Hola familia. ¿Cómo están?(How Are You?) ¿Disfrutaron la Pascua?(Did you Enjoy Easter?) Happy Easter!
This week has been a bit of an adventure.
As you know, transfers were this week, and my new companion is Elder Harder. (Below) Last transfer, there were 2 companionships in my appartment, both spanish, and elder harder was in the other one. Well, for transfers my companion and his companion both left, and he and I were put together, staying in my area, and in Elder Harder's area were placed 2 Sister missionarys. One of which just joined us in the mission this past Wednesday, fresh from home. She lived in Mesa before, and her call said to report straight to the mission office, not the MTC. Interesting, don't you think? So while she and her trainer are trying to figure things out here, we're helping them out when they need it.
As for us, we've had an interesting time trying to figure out miles for the month. Each day we're supposed to track how many miles we drive, and then submit the report at the end of each month. Also, each area is assigned a monthly mile limit. Well, last transfer, I was in my car, then at transfers I got put in Elder Harder's car in my area and the sisters got my car in Elder Harder's area. So, we had to kinda "swap" the monthly count thus far. After that, Elder Turner needed our car to get some work done on it, so we were put into a third car for the time being. So, three cars to work into our monthly miles. I was kinda enjoying the math though.
As far as missionary work goes, things are going alright. We're doing our best to teach those we have, and are always trying to find more people to teach. We're in a bit of a rough patch for the moment, but the work moves forward. We've been finding people here and there who appear to be interested, and we're going to visit them again soon. We don't have anyone near baptism for the moment though; except for Claudia, she's been taught by the missionaries for a while and has a desire to be baptized, but she isn't married to her "husband" and the "husband" basicly says that if they didn't get married before having kids, why should they now? We've been trying to get in with them to talk with them both about it, but he works most of the time and is never there when we visit. Ugh!
This past Tuesday, We went to the Easter Pagent again. This time we took Daniella, the daughter of one of our investigators. She really enjoyed it. I took a few pictures, as well. 
Here's me with one of the guards. He let me use his sword for a moment.  I wish I could have kept it. Then afterward I went to take a picture with the captain of the guard and then Isaiah and one of the Pharasees (or at least I think it was a Pharasee). 

 They let me hold the whip. I was happy tonight. I love props! By the way, if you ever come to a point where you're worried about me, just remember: I have angels round about me. (picture 513)
Earlier that night after dinner, we were taking pictures with the Guzman family, and I found some sombreros. We had a bit of fun. The one on the horse is Elder Macfarlane, Elder Harder's companion from last transfer. 
Well, this week has definately been interesting. Before I go I'll share with you a small segment from a 2010 talk by Thomas S. Monson titled, "He is Risen!"
There was very little written of the boyhood of Jesus. I love the passage from Luke: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” And from the book of Acts, there is a short phrase concerning the Savior which has a world of meaning: “[He] went about doing good.”
 Let us do as the Savior did; continually doing good and striving to please our Heavenly Father.
Until, next week.
-Elder Jordon Hill-
4/1 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well, my exciting news about transfers is that nothing is happening.  I´m staying in my area and Elder Butterfield is staying my companion.  The good part about this is that we can just keep going like we have been. The problem is that we still don´t have any baptisms lined up. But we don´t let that bother us, and we keep working as hard as we can.

In other news, we had a Mission-wide Dodgeball tournament this morning. (See attached pictures). The teams were each of the zones, and it was a little crazy. We didn´t win, but we didn´t come in last either (I don´t know exactly where, it was double elimination, and we played 3 times before some of the other teams played at all). We had ordered team shirts from a member, but his store was robbed Saturday, so we had to do something else. We ended up getting t-shirts from Wal-mart and decorating the backs.(see picture for mine) In my opinion, my shirt is way more awesome than the one we ordered was going to be.
                                                          My Shirt

                                                   My Zone (I'm in the back)

                                         Action!  That's me in the center.

Words of spiritual wisdom:
The Lord blesses you more and with greater force when you are looking for those blessings for the purpose of helping someone else instead of yourself. 

Take care everybody!
-Elder D Hill