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