Monday, January 27, 2014

1/27/14 - Jordon
Well, this week has been rather nice.
The work seems to be picking up. Giving a comparison: When I first started here, we were getting 4 Teaching Opportunities (TOs) a week. TOs consist of Lessons with a Member Present, Other lessons, and Lessons with Less Actives/Recent Converts. Well, last week (week before the one that just finished) we had 8 TOs, and this week we had 13 TOs.  Woo Hoo! Most of them have been with less actives, but at least we're teaching people. A missionary who is not teaching is not happy. We're still trying to find more investigators though. We'll keep trying.
I had a realization last week. This will have been my longest area of my mission thus far. At the end of this transfer, I will have been here for 3 transfers, technically tied with when I was in Tempe. However, I was there for a transfers of 5, 6, and 6 weeks (totalling 17 weeks), whereas I'll have been here for transfers of 6, 5, and 7 weeks (totalling 18 weeks). So I will have been here for one week longer than Tempe. hehe.
Transfer calls are this approaching Sunday. I just have an uneasiness in my stomach that I might be getting transfered. After my first transfer here in this area, I had a feeling that I was going to be here until the Gilbert Temple opened. However, I'm now uncertain if I might have mistaken "temple opens" with "temple opens to the public" (a.k.a. - the open house, which is underway as of last Saturday.) I don't want to leave, yet. Oh, well. If the Lord wills it, so let it be done.
Oh, we had a flash of inspiration. Perhaps the reason we haven't gotten iPads yet is so as not to disrupt our focus on the Temple Open House. Based on what Bro. Watson was saying, the timing would line up that we get them shortly after the openning of the Gilbert temple. We'll have to wait and see.
Guess what...We had a temple trip last week, and there's another new video. Apparently, President Monson authorized not one but three new temple videos to be made. The idea behind this is that the three videos will be used intermitently, so that you don't necesarily know which one will be used. Each video highlights something different, and there is much to be learned though them. I'm excited.
That's it for this week. Until next time.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

Saturday, January 25, 2014

1/25/14 - DJ
Hola Everyone!

So, this week's been a bit of struggle. Our three progressing investigators were all unavailable for most of this week, so we have been working hard on finding new investigators. After hours of contacting, asking for references, and looking up less-active members, we finally found somebody. It was like one of those missionary stories you hear about, we were about to leave the housing area to head to a meeting we had when my companion said "How about we try one more". So, we knocked on one more door looking for a less active. The member didn´t live there anymore, but the woman who did listened to what we had to say, and we were able to get a return appointment with her. It´s really cool to see how the Lord uses us sometimes. 

That´s all for now.
 Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

(Follow up on Young Sister Udall's talk.)

I asked Jordon how her talk went.  His response:

She did amazing. It was her first talk in Sacrament meeting, so she had the normal "stage fright" most normally have, but she was able to get through it just fine. She had several family members come to support her, and she even had some of her non-member friends there, too. It was great.
1/20/14 - Jordon
I have a lot of things I want to tell you, but I'm under time restraints, so we'll see how much I can get to.

This week was a bit busier than in the past. We've been able to meet with some of our less actives multiple times this past week, and they are happy to be meeting with us. We're finding more teaching opportunities as time goes on. The work is starting to pick up. Which adds to my fear that I might be transferred soon. Transfers are on Feb. 5th. I have an uneasiness that I might be leaving. One of our members apparently likes the work that I'm doing though. She wanted to call the Mission office and tell them that she and her family didn't want me to get transferred. I don't know if that will have any sway.
We had a lesson with Bro. Carroll this past Thursday. I'm uncertain of what he thinks of our meetings. I saw something interesting happen. On multiple occasions that night, he said something against the Church or Book of Mormon, to which we would rebuttal, and he then had no counter argument. We stumped him! Also, he accepted a couple homework assignments to be completed before our next meeting.  I'm so happy! Progress is definitely being made.
Lapras is complete. (See pictures.) On to my next project.  (We've been sending Jordon pokemon paper crafts to help him relax at night.  They usually are tied to theme with the scriptures written on the back of each piece.  Rule is he has to look up the scripture before putting the piece in place.)

I found something funny at walmart last week. I went to pick up my meds at the pharmacy, and look at what I found:.....Blue Screen of Death. I had a good laugh.  (It's a techy joke.)

That's all for this email...actually, could someone do me a favor? Could one of you take on the assignment of sending me any/all talks we have from Hugh B. Brown?(done)  Please and thank you.
I love you all and desire much happiness for each of you. 
Until next week.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
1/18/14 - DJ
Hola Everyone!

So this week has been good. We have pretty much caught up with everything in the offices, so we are able to have more time out working like missionaries are supposed to. We saw a wonderful example of how the Lord guides His work this week, too. We made an appointment to visit with a less active family even though the mom told us they couldn´t come to church because she works (we didn´t ask). We wanted to pass by and help them feel the spirit again.  When we passed by for our appointment (We were about 20 minutes late, not sure how that happened), the mom wasn´t home, and the daughter said nobody else home would want to listen to us. At that moment the grandma got home and invited us inside, excited that we passed by to see them.  We had a great lesson and the grandma, along with some other members of the family, said that they would be at church this Sunday. We´ll see for sure tomorrow, but I have a good feeling.

That´s it for this week. Nos Vemos.

-Elder D Hill

Saturday, January 18, 2014

This is a followup email I received from the mother of the young lady in Jordon's last letter.  Thought you should see it. - Jan

Dear Sister Hill-

When my son got his mission call, I started taking photos of all the missionaries I 
meet nationwide and send photos to their mom. This week we had the joy of having 
Elder Hill in our home for the third time (2nd for dinner). 

I want you to know what a fine young man and a fantastic missionary he is. The past 
couple of months have presented him with some very unique challenges: having a 
part-time companion, and now, having a companion that is highly ADHD. Elder Hill is 
kind, compassionate, patient, smiles easily, and shares the gospel well. 

This week, while the missionaries were here, my 12 year old daughter received a call 
requesting that she speak in church next Sunday. Our daughter has massive anxiety 
and the call put her into a panic attack. Elder Hill and Elder Jewkes stayed an 
extra hour and worked with her on an outline for her talk. They talked to her about 
the plan of salvation and about what her life might be like without the influence of
the Savior. And they gave her encouragement in the form of "if you get nervous, 
just look for us and we will do this". (See photo).
Thank you for raising such a stalwart young man. We enjoy having Elder Hill in 
our home!!

Karen Udall
Gilbert AZ
1-13-14 - Jordon
Hola familia. ¿Cómo están?
Estoy muy contento con los eventos de esta semana. Teníamos unas cosas interesantes...
Oh, English. hehe. Elder Hill was saying that I should work on my Spanish, so I was.
Let's try this again.
Hi Family. How are you?
I'm quite happy with the events that happened this week. We had a few interesting things.
Friday, Tracy Watson came from Salt Lake and did a Leadership training. He is in charge of technology in proselyting efforts. It was a lot of fun. It mostly focused on things we have already been working on, but he brought some new insight to the table. I wish I could convey everything to you that I've learned, but I simply don't have the time. However, I can say that I am very excided and motivated for doing the work now.
He also gave us a preview of something we've been looking forward to for a while--iPads. We aren't getting them yet, but I think he said in a month or so. Anyway, he was showing us the planner app on the ipad with a projector so everyone could see it, but he wanted to go up to the screen to point to things, but he needed someone to hold it upright so it would stay upright. Well, guess who got to hold it for a few!  Afterward, a few missionaries came up to me and asked me what it was like/called me lucky for getting to hold it. I'm super excited for when we finally get them. Theoretically, we should have them before I return home from my mission. hehe.
Guess who came to visit us on Saturday...not Elder Holland.  We found out on Friday that he had other things he needed to attend to, so he wouldn't be able to make it. So instead Elder Jim Wright (Area 70 over our missions) came in his place. It was still a fun experience. There were 3 missions there--Gilbert, Mesa, and Scottsdale. I found it interesting to see that the other missions had iPads already. (I'm not bitter, I promise. )  Anyway, I got to see some friends from before the mission split there. It was a joyous reunion.
By the way, Mom, on the topic of talks, I was not going to chastise you for helping Kelly. I understand that nerves can be a little high when it comes to public speaking. In fact, last night during dinner, the family we were with got a phone call from a member of the bishopric wanting to have their 12 year old daughter speak in sacrament meeting next week. Guess what her reaction was..."NOOOOOO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!..." I couldn't help but laugh. I think I remember reacting that way to talks when I was her age. Well, she, of course, "accepted" the talk. In lou of this, Elder Jewkes and I decided to help her out a little. We did not by any means write her talk for her, but we helped her by asking her questions and letting her see what she already knew about it. The talk is supposed to be for 3-5 minutes. when we were done with her, she easily had 15-20 minutes of material. She felt a lot better about it afterward. I'm glad to be able to help.
Well, that's all for this week. I see great things coming up. Oh, by the way, Gilbert Temple Open House starts this Saturday. I'm excited! Until next week.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
1-11-14 - DJ
This week was kinda cool. We started teaching this new investigator named Antonio. He contacted us one morning asking if he could walk with us for awhile. He speaks really good English. He has a friend who was Catholic, but since then has converted to being Mormon and now lives in Utah. It was interesting trying to teach him in English. I´m so used to doing it in Spanish that I had to keep myself from switching back to it. He was exited by the idea of being able to come to church with us on Sunday, so we should see him there.
Other than that it was work as usual. Nos Vemos!
-Elder D Hill
1-6-14 - Jordon
Well this week, like Elder Hill's, was kinda normal. There wasn't really any thing out of the ordinary. There are acouple things to tell though.
First, an interesting funny. Ever since I arrived in the area, I've been trying to get a time where we can meet with Bro. Kimball, ward mission leader, to talk in-depth about the ward mission plan. Yes, I mean since back in October. Well, we still haven't met with him, yet, and not from lack of trying. For one reason or another, everytime we set up a time to discuss it, something comes up. (He has to do something, we have a lesson or meeting that comes up at that time, etc.) Well, it happened again this past Saturday. He was going to have us over for dinner that evening. It would have been the perfect time to meet. However, again, something happened that we weren't able to meet. This leads me into the next thing I wanted to mention. Exchanges.
The District Leader is supposed to go on exchanges with each of the members of his district (excluding sisters, of course). Well, other than the Zone Leaders, I've only had Sisters in my district, up to this point. As of the last Transfer, we received another set of Elders into the Spanish Branch and into my district. So I get to go on exchanges with them. Well, guess when we scheduled our exchange for...Saturday. And, guess who left his! It wasn't my intention to miss the meeting with Bro. Kimball, it's what I felt prompted to do. It was interesting. Up to this point, I had never conducted an exchange . It was another first. Nor have I really ever liked exchanges. However, this one went ok. I actually enjoyed it. And, I realized something rather important. Apparently, my Spanish isn't quite as up to snuff as I thought it was.  hehe. We didn't have a whole ton of Spanish appointments, but for the ones we did have, there were a few times I got lost in the conversation.
Every time I meet with President Nattress, such as at Interviews this past Thursday, he keeps asking me how my Spanish is and if I miss Spanish work. My response back is usually "Creo que está bien" (I believe it's alright.) as well as saying that I'm ok with the English work for as long as the Lord needs me here.
Honestly, I don't think I'm ready to leave yet. I still have business that needs doing here. But, we'll see.
When I was in the Spanish Branch here in Gilbert, it was just me and my companion assigned there. Now there are 3 companionships working there, and it's interesting to see how it was split up, and I don't mean area-wise. One set of Sisters has my old phone, the other Sisters have my old car, and the Elders are currently living in my old house.  I find it quite humorous.
That's pretty much it. We have a couple visitors coming this next week: On Friday, Tracy Watson, the guy in charge of proselyting efforts, is coming to visit us and meet with all the leadership. He apparently does this for all the new missions. So, that will be fun.
Also, a very special guest will be coming on Saturday. Some guy named Elder Jeffrey R. Holland!  I'm super stoked for this. He's only my favorite appostle! He'll be speaking to a few of the missions up here, supposedly at the same time. I'm interested to see the building large enough to fit three missions worth of missionaries into it. More on this next week.
That's it for now. Until next time.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
1-4-14 - DJ

Hola Everyone,

Happy 2014!  Well, it´s the start of a new year (only 1 more year until the future part of Back to the Future!) Other than New Years this week was pretty uneventful.  The Highlight was a guy that came up to us and wanted to walk and talk a little bit. I think he just wanted to practice his English, but we contacted him and he invited us to go to his house whenever we´d like. More on him once there is something more to say. Honestly this was a normal week with office chaos and missionary work on top. 

Nos Vemos,
-Elder D Hill
12-30-13 - Jordon
Well, this past week was fun.
We've been going around introducing Elder Jewkes to everyone, and at the same time getting to know some of the other less active and part member families in our wards that we aren't very familiar with yet. We're starting to find some movement in the work, and I'm excited about it. Plus, with the Temple Open House fast approaching, we're sure to get some members calling us about the Temple Presentation. And referals galore from the open house itself. I'm so excited!
On Tuesday we went caroling as a zone. We went around to each companionships' investigators (1 or 2 from each) and sang to them. It was a lot of fun.
On Wednesday, as you know, was Christmas. We started the day by opening presents. Here are a few pictures of our tree and the presents underneath.   

I'm really grateful for the gifts I received. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to send anything out for you all. I'll make up for it next year, I promise. After that we went to a member's house for breakfast. They apparently have a tradition of having the missionaries over for breakfast each Christmas. The day in bulk was spent at home playing games, but later we went to the Frisina house to call home. It was great to see all of you again. Just 5 months until the next one.  After that we had dinner with them. Then we got together as a zone and watched the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. For some reason, when I'm watching movies I've seen before, I like to MST3K them a little. It was fun nonetheless.
Guess what I found out the other day!  Dad, you are no longer the only person, I know of, who owns a Melodica. One of our members has one too. She let us play it, and now I really desire to have one. Unfortunately, Christmas is over now.  Oh, well. Qué será, será.
Yesterday, I decided to start playing around with a piece of paper. After a while, this was the result. Enjoy!
(NOTE:  it became an optical illusion.  The high points change at different angles of view)
Other than that, there isn't really anything exciting to tell. The work goes on as usual.
Things are starting to pick up, and I'm happy about it. More to come next week. Until then.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
12-27-13 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

I hope you all had a great Christmas this year, I did. We had dinner Christmas Eve with a less active family that gave us a full spread of everything you could want. Christmas day we opened presents, ate with some members, and video chatted with our families! Friday, the 27th, we had a special Christmas party with President and Sister Hall with the whole Zone. (Each Zone had their own) where we played games, sang Christmas hymns, shared some of our traditions, and had another Christmas Dinner (albeit at 2 in the afternoon). Overall a very memorable Christmas. (I also learned how to solve a Rubix Cube :D )
Next week brings the new year and all the people back from vacations. I hope I´ll ave more stories related to the Work of Salvation for you next week. What I can tell you is that it´s never been more clear to me the importance of Christmas.  This is the time of year in which we celebrate the birth of Christ. because that single event brought hope into the world. The angels told the shepherds "Peace on earth, good will toward men." This wasn´t wishing them well, this was declaring what just came to Earth in the baby that is Christ the Lord.

Take care everyone and Merry Christmas!
-Elder D Hill