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
9/23/13 Jordon
Well, this week has seen some improvement. In one of our wards, we got an assignment to checkout some of the members and make sure they still live there. roughly about 20 addresses. Thus far we've found out that several of them have moved. Of those, some of their replacements weren't very nice. However, in one of the houses lives a man that offered us water and said to come back any time. We don't know if he's a member or not, but we intend to find out. And, in another house we found a really friendly lady who said she would be interested in learning more of our religion. We're a little interested in what her motives might be because she is Jehovah's Witness, but we'll see how this goes. (Also, she looks and sounds near-exactly like Renee. You might remember her. She went to sci-fi club back when I was in high school.)
Yesterday, I gave a talk in church. The topic was "My Role in the Work of Salvation -- The Missionaries Perspective." It went well, I think. Everyone kept telling me that I did a good job and that they liked my talk, but I don't know if I like how it turned out. Not having a computer to prepare the talk on makes the task a bit different. If I can, I'll try to type up the talk and send it home for you all to see.
In other news, I'm going crazy. It's finally fall here in Arizona. Last night the temperature was somewhere around 80 degrees...and it felt wonderful! I remember a time when 80 degrees felt hot! Perhaps it was just the humidity that made it feel uncomfortable, but still. I must be ill or something.
That's all for today. I hope everyone is doing well. Thursday is the one year mark. Looking forward it still seems like I have a long way to go, but looking back it seems to have just flown by. What ever the case, I'm not done serving yet, and I hopefully never will be.
I miss you all a lot. Just three months to the next Skype call.
Oh, they just informed us that we will likely start doing internet proselyting soon. We'll be getting ipads soon as well. The theory is by the end of October. I'm still not certain yet of all that's involved with these new tools, but we'll find out soon.
Until next week.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
9/16/13 Jordon
Well it´s September. I know it was last week too but this week...IT'S STILL HOT!!!!! We're making our way towards fall, but it's still up over 100ºF on a daily basis.  They say it won't start feeling like fall until Halloween.
The work is still going slowly, We haven't been able to make much progress with anyone this week. We do have few people that we are teaching, but for the most part they can only be taught once a week. We are trying to work through our members a lot more, and it may be starting to pay off. a few days ago, one of our members introduced us to a family friend. Her name is Baily. she's just a kid, but she is interested in hearing what we have to say. This could turnout fruitful.
In other news, we do have someone (another kid) on date for the 28th. It seems that the kids are a bit more open than the adults. In fact, it seems that a good portion of our investigators, of the few we have, are kids. Hmmm. We may need to jump on this. More to come..
Just a random observation, but I don't think I've seen a firefly for a very long time. I remember seeing them all the time back home, but I don't think I've seen a single one out here. Just a random thing I noticed.
That's it for this letter. I apologize for it's shortness. Nothing really happened this week. I, myself, am questioning where the week went.
Until next time.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

9/16/13 DJ
Hola Everyone!

So I Lied. We had a baptism this week! Her Name is Sara and she is the Girlfriend of one of the YSAs in the ward. when the ruling came down that our investigators needed to go to church 5 times she had already gone 3 sundays. So she was baptized and confirmed this weekend! Ivan (her boyfriend) performed the actual Baptism and he got it right on the first try!


Also I survived my First Mexican Independance Day! (¡VIVA MÉXICO!) It was crazy. President told us we had to be in the house by 6 so that we would be safe. There were Fireworks and shouting going on all night. We also had a short Flag Ceremony after church, so that was really cool too. (pics 3499, 3500, 3508) I got to see how it`s done here in Mexico, and it is different, but still with respect.

In other news Elder Millerberg, My Trainer, finished his mission today and is on his way Home. It makes me realize how long I`ve been here that my trainer is going home. on the plus side Elder Zamora (the other trainee of Elder Millerberg) is m zone leader so we can talk about him whenever. 

That's everything, hasta luego.

-Elder D Hill

9/7/13 DJ
Hola Everyone!

Well it´s September. I know it was last week too but this week it´s more obvious.  We have been having a ton of rain this last week. I don´t know if some tropical storm worked it´s way inland to us or what but it´s been crazy. Wednesday we had to go from the top of the hill to the bottom in pouring rain. what made it worse was that the staircases down the hill were more like watterfalls than stairs. That was fun. we made ti down the hill in about 5 minutes (usually it takes us about 10) and we were soaked. it took my shoes 3 days to dry out. (they are fine now). So it´s been fun here.
Also, President Hall has asked us to teach more using the pamphlets that go with each of the lessons, and leave a pamphlet with every person in the lesson. he told us that we have ordered thousands of pamphlets so that we should have enough to give a pamphlet to every person in Mexico. He also said that if we don´t have enough, he´s going to pay more in his tithing so that there will be no excuses.
What else, OH. I´m teaching English! Scary I know. no seriously. President Hall has said that those missionaries who don´t already speak English will learn it and will take a certification exam at the end of their mission and they WILL pass this exam.  So I´m teaching my companion English and the english speaking missionaries are giving practice tests every week in zone meetings to the other missionaries. So this will be fun!
In other news (Pay attention Jordon) we had to clean out our Area Book. for those that don´t know what that is it´s a book that the missionaries have so they can track what they have taught to whom, and ours had alot of old information that President instructed us to get rid of. So Elder Vazquez and I put it to good use (See attached Pictures). We are planning on using it on the 26th to celebrate 1 year in the mission (yes that is my nametag in the last picture, thats how big it is.)

That´s everything, Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill

9/7/13 Jordon
Hola Familia.
This week like the others has been slow. I always used to think that English work was so much easier than Spanish, but that's only because there were always people to teach when I was on exchanges. The finding part is still super difficult no matter what the language.
However, despite the lack of people to teach for the moment, this week has still been filled with activities. On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference. That was fun. There was a bit about planning and a bit about teaching, and there was a lot about obedience. President Nattress apparently refers to the Mission Handbook as the "Book of Blessings". It makes sense. If we do what we cam to obey the rules, we get blessed for it.
Do you remember that pointer that I bought in the MTC? Well, apparently, it's gotten me President Nattress. At transfer meetings and at Zone Conference, he always asks me to lead the music, which I enjoy doing. And, I'm not certain why, but for some reason, whenever I pull out the pointer to conduct, I hear a little laughter in the room.  Especially, during lunch at this last Zone Conference. Whenever, we have a meal provided by the members in a mission meeting, such as Zone Conference, we always sing Called to Serve to them, and after the final verse we follow it up with "Arizona Gilbert Mission wants to thank you for this meal!" I like to have fun when conducting, especially in circumstances such as these. In this case, between verses of Called to Serve, I wave the pointer in a star shape and continue into the verse, and when we were saying the last part, I motioned to the members when we said "you". I truly am an entertainer, aren't I?
I was also asked to conduct at a very special meeting on Saturday. What makes this meeting so special is that Elder Neil L Anderson came to speak to our mission. He's a great guy, and funny too. And, for the majority of the meeting, Elder Anderson was standing no more than five feet in front of me! And, I don't mean I was on the front row and he was at the pulpit, he came down from the stand. At one point, he poked my nametag as he was saying that we wear Christ's name, and then he proceeded to read my nametag, "La Iglesia de JESUCHRISTO de los Santos de los Ultimos Días". There were some snickers in the room. And, I was beaming from ear to ear. I really enjoyed his time with us.
He also mentioned that we are a very special mission. Other than a Utah mission, our mission has one of the highest densities in any mission, and getting denser, yet. He told us that we need to get to know our members more and I already knew that member missionary work was going to play a huge part in this mission. He also mentioned that if things don't work out, that our mission will likely get enveloped back in to the Tempe Mission. I don't expect that to happen. I don't want it to happen. We will make this work.
So I realized last week, that I never told you what my current address is. I'm living at:
1482 E. Maiddison Cir.
San Tan Valley, AZ 85140
Be aware that this is likely going to change 3 weeks from now.
That covers it for this letter. It sounds like it's chaos as usual at home, but with a different flare. I hope everyone recovers fine.
Until next time.
Con Amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-