Sunday, July 28, 2013

7-22-13 - Jordon

This week was a bit less exciting than the previous one. I think Mission President Interviews were probably the highlight of the week. (Well, that and rain.) Most of our scheduled lessons fell through, and hardly anyone would open the door. We're trying to go through our area book for anyone that might be a bit promising, hoping they will yield good fruit. However, we did manage to get re-established with a former family that actually might come forth well. They are interested in the church, and actually have told us that they like our church more than the Catholic church. It looks like it's just a matter of overcoming family tradition, now. We'll see how it goes.
Also, unfortunately, Alfonso has been really busy this week, and we haven't been able to meet with him much. He's super ready, he just needs to sacrifice some time to come to church pretty much. I don't think he has sufficient faith to put the Lord first, yet. We're going to keep trying though. Pray for him please?
Kelly sounds like she's becoming a great member. Just baptized, and she's already getting into missionary work. That's great!
Weather Report
The monsoons are coming! The monsoons are coming!
This past week, it has been raining on and off in various locations thoughout the valley. The past few days specifically, we just happened to be where it was raining. The other day it was down pouring for like half an hour to an hour...and we got wet. I got to use my umbrella. (I always carry it with me.) We still got wet though. Interestingly, my left sock got quite a bit more wet than my right. I found out afterward that I have a crack in the bottom of that left shoe. The Monsoon Season is upon us.
-I promised a while back to share these. Here they are. 
Boy Scout Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan, and Outdoor Code

Cub Scout Oath, Law,and Motto

-Pony Pix for Pony People . There are lots of horses out here.
-Something interesting happened to my shoes. They got dusty, yes, but the pattern on them happened naturally. 
I can't figure out how.

By the way, I'm pretty sure that no matter where I am in the mission, you can probably send my mail to the Mission Office, and they will be able to get it to me in a week. The mission is small enough that they appear to be spreading the mail out fairly on time. The address is actually:
1001 N Burk St.
Gilbert, AZ. 85279
There's no 'e' in the street name.
I'm fairly sure that's it for this week. It sounds like everyone is doing well.
Until next week,
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
7/22/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well, this week has been exciting. First, there were transfers again first thing Tuesday morning. I stayed in my area (Juarez ward, Tenayo Zone) but Elder Muñante(pic 1153) was sent to another area. 

My new Companion is Elder Vazquez. 
Elder Vazquez and I have the same amount of time in the mission as in he entered the Mexico MTC on September 26 as well. He`s a blast to work with and is a lot of fun. I actually knew him back when I was in Martin Carrera. 
So on to other news. We had a baptism. Our investigator Edwin had been to church 3 consecutive Sundays before I got to the area and the missionaries never visited him, so we did and taught him everything. He was baptized without a problem on Saturday.
Us, Luis (Left) and Edwin (right)
 Our mission president has asked that we have members perform the actual baptism whenever possible. The taller boy in the picture is Edwin's friend, Luis, who is a priest, and this was his first baptism!  It was a cool experience to see it from the missionary side with someone else doing the baptism. 

Just for the fun of it, here is a picture from about 3 weeks ago (240#):

That`s about it for now, Nos Vemos!
-Elder D Hill
7/15/13 - Jordon

Hola, familia mia, ¿Cómo está?
This week was a bit of the same. Trying to find people to teach and trying to teach those we have. We found a few people this week, I'm not really so sure on how solid they are right now, though. We'll find out soon.
We're also trying to get our members a bit more involved. Just the other night, we had one of our priests come out with us after dinner, and he was with us for the rest of the night. We managed to have a few lessons while he was with us. He's a great young man, and he's preparing to serve a mission. He's well on his way.

Yesterday morning, Alfonso called us and said that he was moving..."right now" (yesterday). So, we gave up our morning studies to go help him until church started at 11 pm. We tried to find some members to help us, particularly one with a truck, but we couldn't find anyone. We asked if he could wait until after church, so we could bring the Elders Quorum with us, but he needed to be leaving for work at 2 pm. Also, we invited him to come to church, but he said with his situation (family issues), he needed to stay and keep moving stuff. We promised him that, if he put God first, everything would work out in the end and that we could bring more people later, but he still decided to stay. Later, in Elders Quarum, we asked who had a truck and if they could help us. He agreed, and we left Elders Quorum to go help Alfonso, once again. we finally finished up at about 2:45, when alfonso said that we'll leave the rest for another day. We did manage to get most of it done though. We hope everything plays out well.
As I mentioned last week, we had Transfers. Results: I'm still with Elder Macfarlane, and we're still in the same house. I guess my feelings about getting split were wrong.
Although, I did learn something really interesting. It would appear that, after this last transfer, (Elder Gutierrez went home.) I am now one of three Spanish speaking elders in the mission. THREE!Myself, Elder Macfarlane, and Elder Clark (you haven't met Elder Clark yet).  Of course, we have Spanish sisters as well, but I can't be companions with them. We better get busy on the work so there will be a need for more Spanish Elders. hehe.
Old Habits Die Hard. Did you know that? I had realization of this this past week. We had ordered a box of Books of Mormon, and when we got it, I wanted to open it up. So, I reached into my pocket and shortly realized that my box cutter was not there.  I haven't had that on me for over 9 months now. So, why am I still trying to use it. Old habits really do die hard.
I appologize if I ever give off the impression that I'm depressed or down-hearted from lack of success. It is not my intention. My demeaner is actually quite the contrary. I am aware that this work is hard. I am aware that I'm not "seeing" the success that I have been hoping for. But I'm also aware (and (ex)President Howes made this very clear to everyone) that not all of us may be here to harvest the field. Someone has to plant the seeds. So, as I'm laboring, day by day, I'm looking forward with happiness of heart and trying my best to plant those seeds upon good soil. I'm also looking to find those who may be ready for harvest, as rare as they may be among the Spanish comunity. I'm here because the Lord wants me here, and I'm glad to be here doing the Lord's work.
Another thing that keeps me going in good spirits is a portion of a talk entitled "Missionary Work & The Atonement" by Elder Holland (see below) that he gave to a group of missionaries a little bit ago. The imagery he gives is quite interesting:
“Elders and sisters, don’t you ever quit.  Don’t you ever give up! Don’t ever talk to me about going home.  I’ve said from this pulpit before I am manifestly the wrong man to talk to about going home.  You’d better talk to somebody else, because I am absolutely, totally, and completely biased.  I am insufferable on that subject.  I would wrestle you to the ground.  I would…I would grapple you all the way to the airplane terminal.  I would get into your backpack and go with you.  I would! (laughter) You would never get rid of me.  You try to go home; you look up in the middle of the night in your bedroom window, and I’ll be there.  I’ll…I’ll be there.  And I might scratch on the window pane.  I might make sounds.  Just don’t you ever turn away from this greatest experience of your life.  I couldn’t live with it.  I could not allow you.  I couldn’t do anything within my power, but have you experience what in some way what I experienced; that [of ]these brethren and sisters, your predecessors before you, missionary companions who follow you, your little brothers and little sisters till the end of time.  I am grateful for this mission, and I pray that as I bear testimony and try to fill the assignment that I’ve been given, to speak about the Savior of the World, the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, as I try to bear testimony of something of what that means for missionary work, that you will know how much that means to me;  how much I’ve been given, and how much every missionary’s given, and how much the world has been given, by the light and the life of the Son of God.”
That's all for today. We expect to see great things coming about soon.
Oh, the brethren of the church have announced that soon they are going to disallow backpacks in all missions. They want us to use shoulder bags instead. I'm going to have to get one soon. They haven't started this rule yet, but when they say no more, it's no more. Until then, we can still use our backpacks.
Also, my farewell from the MTC is now on Terra.
Until next week.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

7/15/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well, I survived my first week in the Tenayo Zone, and my first Week with a Latino companion. Really I`ve only spoken English this last week when talking to myself, sometimes in prayers, and when talking to President Hall. So if some Spanish creeps into this Letter, forgive me. 
This last week was hard. Both Elder Muñante and I are new to the area and the previous elders didn`t leave us much to work with.  We do have a baptism set up for this coming Saturday, so hopefully you`ll see pictures of that next week.  But it`s been difficult to get references when the members don`t know you yet.  
On the plus side the members are pretty cool here.  We have a nice size ward (average Sunday attendance is a little over 100 people), and most of the leadership is younger. Like the bishop is about 34 years old, and he`s the oldest of the ward leadership. The Relief Society President is married to one of the counselors in the bishopric and for work they own a restaurant, so we never have to worry about going hungry if our food appointments fall through.
Not much else to say. No Picture of my companion, he doesn`t like having his picture taken, so you may have to wait a bit for that one. That`s about it. 
Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill
7/8/13 - Jordon

So for those, who haven't heard yet, I'm now in the Arizona Gilbert Mission. I'm currently serving in the San Tan Zone (township of the San Tan Valley) My companion is Elder Macfarlane.
Oh, by the way, apparently there are only two Spanish congregations in the mission. Queen Creek Ward and Gilbert 11th Branch. So, I might be here for a while.
Remember Alfonso from last week? Well, he's been a little difficult to work with this week. He and his family are moving to a new appartment. They needed to be out of the house by this past friday, but their appartment won't be ready until this coming friday. In the mean time their staying with a friend. We lost contact with him for a few days, because they were in a hotel for a couple days and didn't tell us, but we found him, and we're staying in touch. Oh, his step-mother lives with them, and she and his wife don't really like him very much. Devorce is eminent. He's also has two jobs and hasn't been able to work much this week because of the move. So, between family, work, and the move, he's very stressed and doesn't have much time for us to meet with him. We're doing what we can to help him.
Transfers: This past transfer was only 3 weeks. So, We have a transfer meeting tomorrow (tuesday). Elder Macfarlane and I are both staying, but everyone is invited to the meeting. I can't help thinking, though, that Elder Macfarlane and I are splitting but just staying in the same house. We'll see tomorrow I guess.
So to those whom this applies: you can still send mail to me at:
195 W Brangus Way
San Tan Vally, AZ. 85143
Yes, you can send packages there, too. However, one of the Elders living there this past transfer had to go home because of medical issues, and he accidently took the mail key with him. It's supposedly on it's way, but for the moment perhaps the Mission Office would be better for mail.
The address for the mission office is:
1001 N Burke St.
Gilbert, AZ. 85279
Yes, I still use my bike. We're doing what we can to avoid it where possible though. We don't like the heat very much. Our average temperature lately has been about 30º-40º higher than yours this past week. Although, something wonderful happened a couple days ago when we were in the southern part of our area. It started raining!  We made sure to walk around a bit in the rain.  Amazingly, it drew people out of their houses. It was pretty cool.

That's it for this week. The work may be slow, but I'm not giving up. I know there's someone out here waiting for me to find them.
Until next week.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

7-8/13 - DJ
Hola Everyone!

Well, this week had several things to it. First, we hit the rainy season. That means there is about an hour in the afternoon where we need to make sure we are inside if we don`t want to become soaked. (and that`s if we are wearing our rain jackets and using our umbrellas.) Next, President & Sister Hall (& the APs) decided to come visit our branch Sunday morning for sacrament meeting. This was my first time meeting President and his wife, and they had some funny faces and comments as they drove down the street to our meetinghouse. (That`s the street all the garbagemen/Garbage Dumps are on). But everything went great. The Branch loved them. Also while he was there, he mentioned that I was getting transferred, "but you don`t know that yet, so act surprised when the Zone Leaders call you with transfers".
So transfers were this morning. I am now in the Tenayo Zone, Juarez Ward. If you want to try to find a map you`ll probably have to look up Tlalnepantla (have fun pronouncing that one).  From what I understand it`s near the border of the Estado de Mexico and DF.  My new companion, Elder Muñante, is from Peru and has about 20 months on the mission. This Zone is one that became part of the Northwest mission with the boundary change at the beginning of July.  So it would seem that I`m getting the tour. My first area is now part of the East Mission. My second was right on the northern border, and now I`m in one of the 2 new zones. Lots of Fun.
In other news, the new mission president has a blog that you can follow if you want to know what`s happening in the mission as a whole.

That`s about it, I Included some pictures of some of the most awesome families from San Pablo (and one of the Ward Mission Leader) 
Nos Vemos!

-Elder Hill

Saturday, July 6, 2013

7-1-13 Jordon

I'm sorry about the lack of email last week. It seems that there was an error sending it last week that I didn't notice.

The work is a little slow right now on the Spanish side of things. We are trying hard every day to find people to teach, but most people just don't want the happiness we offer. (likely because they don't know our message yet, and aren't willing to listen long enough to find out.) But, we did find a few people this past week that show some promise. One of which is Alfonso.  He was a miracle find. We went to his house to recontact his mother (former). When we knocked on the door, he answered it. We said who we were, and immediately he invited us in, and we started talking. He's seems super interested, and he's on date for July 20th. The work is moving forward. (Slowly, but forward.)
Oh, guess what? I memorized the Family Proclamation. I passed it off this past week.

Just curious, but how's the weather out there? Here it's not so bad. It's just HOT, that's all.

Also, I was just wondering how the Weight Loss Challenge has been going for everyone. So far, I've lost 20 lbs. (Granted, I gained 10 lbs. in the MTC, but after that, I lost 20.) Ok, fine, net loss: 10 lbs. since the beginning of the mission.

Mom, one of the members out here collects something that you may be interested in seeing.

Something funny from my studies this week:
Acts 16
16 ¶And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:
 17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.
 18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.
When I read this, I see a woman, possessed with a divining spirit, following them around for several days, proclaiming to everyone what they are: Servants of God, bringing with them a message of the way to salvation. It says that Paul was grieved, so he cast out the spirit. It kinda sounds like he was grieved because of her. I imagine it was something like, "Spirit, your annoying me. Get out of her and go away!"
That's all for this week. It sounds like you all are doing well. Some words of encouragement:
       "Keep up the good work, and the Lord will keep working on you."
              --(I just thought that up.)
Until next week.
Con Amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

7/1/13 DJ

7/1/13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

Well, it´s July 1st, so the Mission officially changed today. I´m still here in Mexico Mexico City Northwest. From the looks of the new map, the lower half of the mission shifted west and the northern half is the same, so I´m still sitting on the northern edge of the mission. 
We had limited success this last week.  What investigators we have are kinda stuck at the moment or letting other things (like work) keep them from being able to meet with us. We are planning on focusing a lot on finding this week to have new investigators to teach. Other than that it´s business as usual. 
Oh, one more thing, our Zone had the most baptisms out of any of the Zones in the mission last month. As a result, President Tervort gave us a piñata of Mickey Mouse to break. 
Nos Vemos!
-Elder Hill