Monday, March 24, 2014

3/24/14 - Jordon

Ok, so this week has been fairly interesting. A few things that happened include Transfers, Interviews, and a secret stake meeting.
Transfers were this past Wednesday. As I reported last week, Elder Jewkes is still my companion, and we're still here in the same area. I got the opportunity to sing "I'll go where you want me to go" again. Everyone loved it. Several people wanted to know why I had been hiding my talents.  I didn't think I was hiding them. Maybe I just never had the opportunity to display them properly. hehe.
Thursday we had our Mission President Interviews that we have every other transfer. In my interview I got confirmation of my thoughts. Every transfer President Nattress asks me if I'm doing alright where I am, and if I miss Spanish. My answer is, and always has been, that I'm fine where I am, but will happily go where the Lord needs me. In the interview, I spoke my mind. I wanted to know if the reason he keeps asking me that question each transfer is because the impressions he is receiving for me are that I should stay where I am, and he's worried that I might be getting anxious to go back to Spanish. In essence, he said "yes." That made me feel better. I truely do want to go where the Lord wants me, I want to say what He wants me to say (in what ever language), and I want to be what He wants me to be.
This Sunday, the stake had a special meeting, and everyone was invited. However, every leader who did know what was going on, was sworn to secrecy about what was happening. It was an interesting surprize. They rearranged the ward boundaries in the stake. This normally wouldn't be a problem, but they also desolved one of the wards, resulting in an imbalance of missionary assignments. We now have a companionship with only one ward and a companionship with three. This wouldn't be so bad, but the easiest fix would be to take the ward that happens to have the same time as their existing ward. This means that there would be three companionships that have wards that meet at the same time (myself included). As such, the mission leadership is counseling together to see what should be done. I may end up losing one of the wards.  I hope that's not the case, but if the Lord wills it, I will give it up. I'll give you the update when I receive it.
Margaret is having trouble. Satan is really working hard on her. Her baptism is set for this Saturday, and the closer we get, the more problems she is having. Preparation-wise she is doing just fine, but life is getting hard for her. We just need to have one more lesson with her before her interview. I hope she can make it through. I ask that you keep her in your prayers throughout this next week.
That's all for now. Until next time.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

Sunday, March 23, 2014

3/22/14 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

So, as you know there were transfers this last week, And I´m still here as secretary.  I´m still in Politecnico and Elder Smith is still my companion.  So it´s another 6 weeks until I might leave. I guess this means I´m doing something right that I´m still here. [Pres. Hall says I´m gone at the end of this transfer.]
So Sunday was great! The Ramirez Family came to church. They originally were going to only stay for the first hour (sacrament meeting), but after they said "that seemed to pass fast, we can stay for the next hour", so they stayed for the Gospel Principles class.  Then they decided to stay for 3rd hour as well. It was awesome. They loved it. The Bishop teaches Gospel Principles and made a good impression on them.  Overall great!
We also are teaching an older couple. The husband just retired and is trying to adjust to being around the house all day.  It´s great with them.  As we teach everything makes sense to Elvira (the Wife) and as Ramon(the husband) expresses his opinion of how he thinks things are supposed to be, we find out his opinion is what we teach.  They are so ready to hear this.  They are just a little hesitant to change from the religion they have had their whole lives, but the spirit is working through their hearts and they agreed to come to church this week. We´ll see what happens tomorrow. 

That´s about all for now.
Hasta Luego!

-Elder D Hill

Hola Everyone!

So this week has been crazy as usual for the week before transfers.  President has been helping us to be extra prepared by sending anyone that has to wait at his house for anything (like a missionary with a doctors appointment in 3 hours) to come help us here at the offices to prepare for changes.  As a side note, this will compete my 3rd transfer as secretary.  Elder Smith is currently my longest running companion and if I stay this will be the area in which I have spent the most time.  It doesn´t feel like it, but a lot of time has flown the last few months.
Ok, on to the good stuff. We had a lesson with the Ramirez Family. this is the family that has told us they would come to church, but hasn´t the last few weeks.  When we sopped by for our lesson this week we asked if they had any questions, and they said yes! They then proceeded to summarize the Introduction, Testimony of Joseph Smith, and the first 5-6 chapters of 1 Nephi.  It was Fantastic! We spent nearly the whole lesson answering their questions. The funniest part was they told us that when they were talking to their son, who is about to get baptized, and he asked them "Why didn´t you go to church?!?"  He told them how much they need to go. Great lesson.

That´s all for this week. 
Nos vemos!

-Elder D Hill
3/17/14 - Jordon

Howdy, everyone. I hope all is going well. News for this week includes: One awesome investigator, an amazing timing moments, dinner on friday, musical performances yesterday and this wednesday...oh, and transfers, too. So let's jump right in, shall we?
Margaret is doing awesomely! We were able to meet with her four times this week. Yes, four! We had a lesson with her on Thursday, we went to the Visitors Center with her on Friday. Saturday she came with us to someone else's baptism, and on Sunday we taught her in Gospel Essentials. On the days other than those, we talked to her at least once each day. Also, yesterday we were in the other ward, and Margaret had apparently over slept through Sacrament Meeting. We gave her a call, and she answered. even though she missed sacrament meeting, we invited her to come for Gospel Essentials anyway, and she came. She's awesome! she is currently on date for the 29th of March. Two weeks from now. I know she'll be ready.
In amongst our running around yesterday, we had to jump from one ward to the other and back again. If you recall, the both meet at the same time, so this can be quite a difficult task.We started with Freestone Park Ward Sacrament Meeting. Before it began, we arranged for someone to take us to Freestone Park Ward after the meeting, so we could teach Gospel Essentials. We didn't know that Margaret had over slept, but in our double checking that we were still needed for the class, we found out that she wasn't there. So we gave her a call. While I was calling her, a member of the family that we were having dinner with that night walked by and we were able to confirm dinner. So Margaret was on her way; we met her over there. We had an awesome lesson on the Ten Commandments, and then we stayed for the rest of Church. After church we asked our Ward Mission Leader if he could give us a ride back to the other church building. He could not, but at that point, we were walking past another member, and he said that he could take us. So back we went. When we got there, a member with a less active son was walking out of the building. (We ran into the son, Dan, the other night and found out that he had been kicked out of the house for reasons I'd prefer to keep confidential.) We talked to his father about it, and set up something for us to come meet with Dan. I love it when things work out perfectly. We needed to talk to a few people, and in between all our running around we were able to talk to everyone we needed to.
One more timing moment. On Friday of last week (Mar. 7th), I needed to use the restroom, so we stopped in at the Stake Center. Well, we just so happened to walk in at the same time Silver Creek was having their Blue and Gold Dinner. Several of the members invited us to stay and join them. So we did. As it turns out, there were some non-members there that we got to meet. (Actually, I had the opportunity to meet them at the Halloween party, but they didn't remember that.) But, we got talking with them, and they invited us to stop by their house some time. So we did. On Saturday (Mar. 15th), we decided to stop by and see how they were doing. As it turns out we stopped by just when the husband was about to try to move his motorcycle from the trailor into the garage. The battery was dead. So, we helped him move it in. Afterward he told us that he had been thinking about us and how much help it would be if we were there to help. I love it when that happens. when the timing is almost too perfect. We hope to gain their interest in hearing about the Gospel. More to come.
So, you remember how I sang in Sacrament meeting at the beginning of the transfer? Well, last night I had the opportunity to sing "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" with some other Elders at the New Member Fireside. I got a recording of it. Much better sounding than the last recording. I left it at home though, so you will have to wait until next week to hear it. As for this coming Wednesday, I am set to sing "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" again, but this time at the Tansfer Meeting. I promise this time the recording will be better.
Speaking of Transfers, we did receive transfer calls last night, as well. I've got some good news...I'm still here, and so is Elder Jewkes. I've now been here for 5½ months. After this next transfer, it will make 7 months, thus making it officially the longest area of my mission. That being that even if I am transfered elsewhere, I won't have enough time left to out last this area. That's about it for transfers. Just 4-5 left.
Oh, yeah. I almost forgot about dinner on Friday. We had dinner with the South Family. Sister South wanted me to tell my mom something. So, here goes. "Mom, you raised me right." She was impressed with our manners and wanted us to let our mothers know. Thank you, Mom, for not giving up on me. I know I was difficult as a kid, but I apparently turned out ok. I love you, Mom.
That's it for this week. Things are going well. We're still struggling to find new investigators, but we're getting by. Until next time.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-

Friday, March 14, 2014

3/10/14 - Jordon

Miracles galore. This week has been amazing.
Margaret is doing wonderfully. She has just been soaking up what we're teaching her. She may not remember all the details, but she understands it in the moment. She really wants to be baptized, and it's looking like it might be on the 22 of March. Even if her memory isn't that great, her heart is ready for baptism. When I first met her 5 months ago, she didn't want to feel pushed into baptism. Now I look at her, and it's as if she's running towards it. It's amazing how much she's changed.
Well, this is the last week of this transfer. My thoughts are turning toward me leaving again. There are a few differences this time though. (1) After my first transfer here I felt that I was going to be here until after the Gilbert Temple opens. That promise has now been fulfilled. (2)Contrary to my feelings last time, I feel quite comforted as this transfer comes to a close. And (3) yesterday in Fast and Testimony meeting, I felt prompted that I should go up and bear my testimony. When I got up to speak, without intention, one of the first things out of my mouth was that it has been a pleasure to be serving here in the ward. In essence, I just said "goodbye". These three factors lead me to believe my time here is coming to an end. We'll find out next week.
I had another "Ninja Moment" on Thursday. (I know what you're, I'm not trying to do stupid things on my bike.) Last time, I did the roll into the bush. Ninja aspect: My companion, who was infront of me, looked back and saw me hopping to catch myself. He then looked forward for a few seconds, and when he looked back again, I was gone. Ninja Vanish. This time, We were riding to our weekly Coordination Meeting. As I turned the corner into the church parking lot, my bike slid out from under me and fell. However, with my "ninja" reflexes, I was able to catch myself, landing in a semi sideways splits, straddling the fallen bike. (Not quite splits, but I can't remember what the stance was called. It resembled the one we did in karate where we were sitting on one heel with the other leg extended out to the side. I'll see if I can get a picture for next week.) Fancy footwork has been helping me a lot lately. Thank you, Mom, for enrolling me in Karate growing up.
Oh, I almost forgot. This week we also had an FHA (Family Home Afternoon). As a zone we went to the Esplin home, one of our senior couples here in the mission, and basically we had FHE, accept it was held in the afternoon instead of the evening. It was a lot of fun. We took a picture.
That's pretty much all I for this week. Until next time.
Con Amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
3/8/14 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

This week has been pretty good. Lets start with Sunday.  
The Family we were  hoping would come to church this past Sunday didn´t make it, however we did have an investigator there. A member from a few stakes away has decided instead of waiting for referrals to make it through the system to the missionaries, she is going to bring her friends to church, and even better, she is going to take them to the wards that they pertain to. So this Sunday she brought her friend Lilia, to our ward. I love finding new investigators in the chapel. Lilia has been a little difficult to meet up with during the week, but she told us that she would definitely be at church for the following week.  
Now, we also met with the family I mentioned last week. They apologized for not coming to church and after we had a lesson said that they would come this week. The spirit was so strong during the lesson, it was great!
Also a special thanks to all the Branchers that are reading this. After having problems with the mail system, I finally received my birthday card and all of your birthday wishes!

That´s all for now. 
Nos Vemos!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

3/3/14 - Jordon

This week was Awesome! I'll give you the highlights, not necessarily in chronological order.
On Tuesday, we got a call from Margaret saying that she wasn't going to make it to our appointment on Thursday.  Friday morning, however, at about 8:30 am, we received another phone call from her saying that she wanted to meet at 10 am that same day. We scrambled to find someone to come with us. It all worked out. She is really awesome.
On Wednesday, we had our transferly temple trip. Still to the Mesa Temple because the Gilbert Temple hadn't been dedicated yet. I am pleased to announce that we have aided in allowing twelve of my deceased family members to go through the temple.   I love going to the temple.
Speaking of the temple, this weekend was the dedication of the Gilbert Temple. Saturday evening was the Cultural Celebration, and Yesterday was the Dedication. Sadly, I did not get to go to either, but we did get to watch them via broadcast at the Stake Center. The Cultural Celebration was amazing! I was playing "Spot the Youth" looking for any of the youth in my wards among the 12,000 youth in the event. Everything went well, with very few mistakes here and there. I would be very surprised if someone hasn't put it on YouTube yet. You need to see it. Oh, by the was raining all day, including during the celebration. All the youth got soaked. Hehe. However, every youth I've asked, so far, said that they loved doing it despite the rain.
Sunday - The Dedication. It was new for me. I've never seen a temple dedication before. In contrast to the day before, it was sunny. The cornerstone ceremony was interesting. I don't really know what to say about it. President Monson and President Eyring came for the Celebration and Dedication. The temple is now dedicated and will be in operation tomorrow (the 4th).
The part that I'm super stoked about was what happened yesterday evening. For the Dedication, they moved all the furniture out of the rooms and put white folding chairs in for people to view the Dedication. Guess who got to help put everything back...ME! Well, the missionaries in general, but I was one of them. I got to see parts of the temple I will likely never see again. This list includes: The sisters changing room, the basement (which includes the brake room, chapel for the ordinance workers, the shop, and mechanical rooms), the floor below the basement, the attic, and the roof.  Most of this was just part of working, but I did do a little exploring, though. The one room I really wanted to visit, but didn't have the opportunity to see, however, was the Brides' Dressing Room.  Oh, well. I'll just have to wait until they build the Sycamore, Illinois Temple.  Wishful thinking?
Oh, just before we started service. We got to see 2 someones of great person! President Monson and President Eyring. We witnessed them coming out of the Temple. (Picture proof provided.)
President Eyring (center, smiling)

President Monson (center)
That's it for today. Until next week.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-
3/1/14 - DJ

Hola Everyone!

So this week has been pretty productive; the major highlight of which happened last night. 
We received a message telling us about a referral that was for our area. Well, we had some free time due to an appointment falling through, so we decided to check it out. I was expecting that this would be like most referrals in that the people being referred don´t know who the missionaries are or that they would be coming. Well, I was surprised when we rang the doorbell, and we were instantly rushed inside to talk to the whole family.  Their son, who used to be Atheist, currently is living in Spanish Fork, Utah, and is listening to the missionaries. He´s been telling his family all about it and has been telling them for about 3 weeks "I´m going to send missionaries over" and " Have the missionaries been by yet?" So not only were they waiting for us to come, but they had a ton of questions about the things their son has been telling them.  They should be coming to church tomorrow, so it should be good.

That´s about all for now.
Nos Vemos!

-Elder D Hill
2/24/14 - Jordon

Hola Familia. ¿Cómo están?
This week has been fairly interesting. Weather has been fairly nice. Not too hat, not too cold. (Too cold in Gilbert, Arizona? What am I thinking?) Although, apparently there's a bit of a drought in California, and they say that our water supply might be restricted a bit. That's not good. Pray for rain, please?
We have an investigator named Margaret. (I'm not certain if I've mentioned her before.) Yesterday, we met with her for first time in a while, and when we asked her to be baptized, her first response was that means she would have to invite everyone she wanted...In other words, yes.  She even said that she wanted to be baptized on the 8th! Two weeks away! That's amazing. We have two problems, though: (1) We have barely taught her anything yet, and (2) she just recently moved to Mesa Mission.  We have to give her away. However, there's a couple problems with that, too. She wants to keep coming to our ward, and if we were to have the Masa missionaries teach her, she would not be comfortable. All her friends are here, and she doesn't want to be tought by the other missionaries. I don't know how to proceed. (HELP!!! Where are the Elite Beat Agents when you need them?) I'm gonna talk to President Nattress about it.
Other than that the only thing that comes to mind was my Bike "Not-Crash". Remember how I told you that I was off my meds for a bit. Well, apparently, they help me to reason better, as well. I was riding my bike on the side walk next to the curb. Up ahead, there was a spot where the sidewalk split from the curb to go around a light pole while the curb continued straight, and then they rejoined like six feet later. (I think you can see where this is going.) Well, I made the mistake of deciding to ride the curb. As you might have guessed, my bike slipped off the curb, and I ended up hopping on my foot to try to steady myself. Realizing the enevitability that I was about to fall, I made an "abandon ship" and lept from the bike with a forward role into a bush. The bike came to a halt laying on the sidewalk. The bike was fine, I was fine. The majority of the damage can be summed up with a small scrape on my knee, and a bigger scrape on my elbow (now a scab). Thank you, karate rolls.
That's it for today. I hope everyone is doing well. Until next week.
Con amor,
-Elder Jordon Hill-