Monday, September 29, 2014

Day of Service & Maria


Wow, I don´t even know where to start! This week has been wonderful again- I´ve learned a lot and grown a lot and worked a lot. Argentina is beautiful and starting to warm up! Woo! The trees have leaves (leaves have trees- for all of ya´ll who will get that joke) and the nights are clear (for the most part) and the sand storms are plentiful- yeah, that´s where we´ll start! sand storms!!!

Saturday was our stake´s day of service! It was wonderful! we put on the yellow "mormon helping hands" ponchos or, in Spanish: "manos mormones que ayudan" ;) it´s not quite as catchy in Spanish, but you know, it works! We went block by block and house by house to tell people to bring out garbage and plastic and things that don´t work or have no purpose so that we and the city could clean it up. There´s a lot of diseases cause of this stuff that just sits in yard and streets and houses, especially in the poor districts. We passed out cards that inform people of how to get rid of mosquitoes (which I hope they do, cause I counted my bug bites the other day on my legs: 50 picos de mosquito... yeah. NOT fun. and that´s WITH OFF spray.) It nice to get to know people, work with the members, and help as many people as we could! A lot of people were really happy to see us! And other people were really happy to have access to the garbage of others so that they can use it- woo recycling! I´m so grateful that we had an opportunity to serve in such a widespread way! Like I´ve talked about before, even a smile can make a difference in peoples lives, and service with a smile- holy moly! how contagious and awesome is that!?!?! It definitely made the day for many of us. Even in the sand storm that blew up, service was good to do. We walked through the streets with our eyes closed, not cause there was anything profane (well, I don´t think there was, I don´t really know swear words in castillano) but because of the sand. Our hair, ears, clothes were full of it by the end. But still, it was a lot of fun! It was great to laugh at ourselves and our situation- a bunch of crazy people and kids, going street to street with smiles cleaning up garbage.

There are so many things one can learn from this experience! first off, wise is the man that learns to serve! I´ve found that many of life´s secrets are unlocked when one does service with a smile, with a good attitude and good heart. They learn to look at the world in a light of beauty. Service brings hope to people, that there IS good in the world. and that we can make that good in the world. We understand the people around us better when we serve them. When we can view them in the light of love, and help them. We learn about ourselves. I can´t explain it in a way that gives justice to the good feeling of doing service. Really, the only way one can understand, is to try it! And keep trying it, and keep smiling, and keep serving. reflect on your opportunities to serve. learn from every bit of it. write your experiences so you can go back and think and reflect and smile some more and do more in the future. If you have a doubt, if you're sad, if you're mad, serve, love, pray for charity and for hope. every heart can change! I have a firm belief in that!

Hermana Saunders and I had a really great experience last night. After a hard day and not much success in finding the people we had planned on teaching and visiting, we found María :) We pass by her house almost every other day in the hopes of finding her, she´s amazing and kind and it´s wonderful to talk with her and her children and to learn from her. She didn´t have very much time, but we were still able to have a short lesson of sorts. She told us kindly and gently that she really respects us and loves to talk to us, but that she really believes in the Catholic religion and doesn´t want to change. Her mother is Mormon, and she has learned a lot from her, but doesn't want to take up our time cause she has already found God. A thought came to my mind to ask her about if she has read the bible, so I did. She responded that she has, more or less read parts of it, but that she wants to read more and loves it with all her heart. :) she likes to flip open to a random page, read a random verse, and learn all that she can from it, cause every verse is important. (haha I love doing that too sometimes, there is so much to learn!) After talking with her about the bible, we introduced the Book of Mormon. It´s another testament of Jesus Christ, and just like the bible, by reading it, one can come closer to Heavenly Father. We promised her that if she reads this book, and prays about it, and knows that it´s true, then there is a prophet on the earth today and the same church that existed in the days of Christ is here, restored! At least, by reading this book and talking to us, we can all grow closer to Christ, and at the most, if she want´s to and feels that it´s right, with no pressure from us and no negative feelings, she can join this church, be baptized in the authority and with the power of God, and so much more! María is so kind, after we shared this with her, she invited us to come to church with her sometime and to continue to visit with us, because she loves us and God and wants us to feel the way she feels in the church. She´s going to pray and study, because if this message that we´re sharing is true, she wants to know. This warms my heart so much! Cause that´s exactly why we´re here preaching the gospel- cause we have prayed and asked and pondered and read and we know with all our hearts that this church is true and want to share it with all the people around us! We can´t go to her church right now as missionaries, but I really look forward to talking to her and getting to know more about her and growing with her in love for Christ :) There is a lot more I can say about this, but I don´t really have time, sorry.... :S I´m so grateful for the opportunity that I have to help others feel the love of our Heavenly Father! I´m so grateful for this gospel and the Book of Mormon! I know that it´s true. I know that this message sounds crazy to a LOT of people, especially coming from a 19 year old blondie, but hey- I know in my head and my heart that it´s true! :) 

You´re all wonderful! Pray for opportunities to share the gospel, it´s so important! :) I know that God answers prayers! If any of you have a doubt, or worry, or youre happy, or sad or anything, I know that Heavenly Father will help you! :)

Argentina funny for the day: here, they don't say "kinda". to describe things with the equivalent of kinda, they use "medio" (medium). "You know Antonio? You know, the medium fat guy over there?" "I can´t hear about the gospel right now, I´m medium busy" "um, my schedule is medium complicated, I´ll call you". Yep. Maybe it´s not funny for ya´ll, but I get a chuckle out of it okay!? 

I´m officially out of time. Love you all so so much!!! Have a great week! Watch conference and tell me how it goes!!! You´re great!!! 


Con Amor,
Hermana Hill

Monday, September 22, 2014

¡Primavera en my alma hay! Bautismo de Hector

¡Hola familia y amigos!

This week was the end of my first transfer in the mission! I can´t even begin to believe it.... 6 weeks in argentina?! already?! It makes my heart race a little. I also "killed my mom"- the compañera who I had finished her mission! My mama de la mission, Hermana Naylor, is headin on back to utah. Transfers are like receiving your mission call again. you know you´ll be happy wherever you go, but the not knowing who you´ll be with for the next 6+ weeks 24/7, where you´ll be living, who you´ll be serving, is weird and crazy. I´m going to be staying in Villa Mitre 2! I love it! I´m so excited! There´s a lot of work to do here and I´m elated to do it. My new companion is Hermana Saunders! Ella es tan buena! I actually got to meet her back in Utah one time when we both found out that we were coming here. We had lunch at Argentine Corner. it was great :) and now we get to be companions! Yay!

This week was so so great. Our investigator Hector was baptized and confirmed this last weekend! He´s amazing. And a huge example. He decided early on that he wanted to get baptized, and it´s been amazing to watch his progress! He stopped smoking cold turkey, and want to hear a miracle? He said he doesn't even want cigarettes anymore- we fasted and prayed a lot, and our prayers were DEFINITELY answered. He says he´s a slow learner, but he makes sure he understands everything we teach, and more importantly, understands what the spirit tells him in his mind and heart. In so doing, he has had conviction to press forward and wants to keep doing it. I hope we can all have that kind of faith and hope and dedication. I could just go on and on about his example. One of his friends from work had a stroke, and his friend has no family, so Hector moved in with him to help him and take care of him. Hector sacrifices a lot, and when we tell him so, he immediately thinks of other people.

Also, general conference is coming up!! I´m so excited. I even made a count down... :) It´s great.  Hope you all watch it and are preparing yourselves to watch and listen to it. Go with questions to every church meeting! to every time you study the scriptures! to every time you pray! I know that if you do that, you will find answers to those questions, and even to questions that you didn't think you had!

I´m totally out of time, but I love you all tons and tons! May God bless you and keep you!


Hermana Hill

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Beautiful Week and Baptism!!!!

Hola a todos!!! 

As the subject line states, we had a baptism!  It was so wonderful. It was of our dear Antonia, the sister of Maria! It was so great. She is so funny! And the spirit was really strong. Everyone was so so happy!

Hermana Naylor and I had an Other Side of Heaven moment with mosquitoes this week.  We were literally dancing outside the house of one of our investigators to try to keep them off; my legs are full of bites!  We learned our lesson, bug spray is now a morning and after lunch routine.

This week was testimony meeting!  Remember Rodrigo?  One of our investigators?  He's so great. For those of you who don’t remember, Rodrigo has a mental disability of some sort. He's so friendly and nice and smart and it's a joy to know him. He was able to come to church with us this week, and had fun sitting with all the members, and during the baptism, he sat by the bishop on the stand :) He bore his testimony this week and it was just awesome. He told us that he's grateful to have this ward, and to have so many people who say hi to him and smile at him.  He likes the feeling of unity and invited everyone to be even more united. He said he was grateful for his life and for his opportunity to learn about Jesus. What a great example Rodrigo is to us all!

The primary also did a play this week!  Our ward did Hansel And Gretel. It was so so cute! 

This week was so so great! I really don't have any time at all, so I copied and pasted what I wrote to my mission president, please excuse the fact that it's in Spanish, and bad Spanish at that... but anyway! I hope you can find someone to read it to you/translate it! so so sorry! haha I'll try not to let that happen again... :) 

This is Katie's English-speaking mother... I've done my best to translate this section of Katie's message, and intend to remind her that I do NOT speak Spanish.

This week our investigator Antonia was baptized!  The experience was nice.   But before this, we had a very interesting and almost sad lesson.  This is that I wrote in my journal afterward -"Today we went to the house of Antonia for a lesson.  Her niece was there, and we talked a lot about her religion (she is Baptist) and the Book of Mormon.  She asked Antonia a question, but Antonia, a girl in the church, could not answer.  For this reason, we told them that Antonia will not get baptized this Sunday, but continue to go to church and learn more to be prepared for baptism because it is a big thing.  She told us that she doesn’t know things - but she knows her stuff!   Yesterday at the home of Maria (her sister) the asked each of them the baptism interview questions and it went very well.  Her niece came, and we continue to talk to Antonia. I shared with her Mosiah 18, and told her that I know she is definitely ready, because she really has the love of Christ in her heart. She wants to share the message of the gospel with all her friends and family because it feels good.  She feels that the church is her family.  Satan does not want you to feel ready, and wants you to be afraid.  We talked for about an hour, and the spirit was very strong.  In the end, she asked us "Am I really ready?"  We said "Yes." She replied, “Good.   I'm going to be baptized on Sunday.  Juice girls?" It was perfect.   And  I feel pure joy that she will be baptized and that her heart is prepared and ready to be a called a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Antonia’s smile is one I cannot forget!  It was so funny that after a long time to explain things to her, was to "girls juice." My heart is filled with joy !!!!"

Sorry ya'll, that's all I have time for. Love you all!  Keep the faith, I know that this church is true and that the gospel of Jesus Christ will bring joy into our lives! 

¡ciao! May God bless you and keep you!


Hermana Hill
The play Hansel and Gretel by kids in our ward :) They were so good and had all their lines memorized! How cute! And the two main characters were Zoe and Cristian, two of our investigators! woo!

Our lunch :) made it myself! Sweet potato fries and milanesa nepolitana (chicken with delicious bread stuff on the outside and tomato pure and cheese and spices) YUM.

Monday, September 8, 2014

¡Hola a todos!

I can  hardly believe that another week has gone by! Bahía Blanca is just starting to burst into spring, and it´s gorgeous. The work here is progressing and we truly see miracles everyday. I wish I could send you all pictures! The computer isn´t working again this week... so expect tons and tons in the weeks to come. I´ve decided that the united states REALLY need dulce de leche. And milanesa. Every Monday, when we come to the city to send emails, we get churros that are filled with dulce de leche- it´s heaven! I can´t begin to explain how great it is!

A quick funny for the day- one of our investigators is an adorable and brilliant 11 year old. As we were sitting discussing the scriptures he tells us: "Jesus must be from Spain. He talks so fancy and is always using "vosotros" and such. Where is Jerusalem in Spain?" Okay, maybe you all won´t think that was as funny as we did, but it was just so darn cute! Also, I´m sure it makes more sense if you actually know Spanish.... dang. But ANYWAY- just know that funny things happen.... even if I´m really bad at making them sound funny in my letters...

One of our other investigators, Hector, is absolutely amazing. He told us the other week that he learns slowly, but that he still has bright hope and is excited to learn more about the gospel and be baptized. He wants to be baptized because even though he doesn´t understand everything, he feels good going to church and reading the Book of Mormon :) What faith and humility! He´s a really good example to all of us. He might not be able to understand everything yet, but he certainly is wise and definitely has been prepared to have the gospel enter his life right now.

Sorry that this letter is kinda scattered, I just have so much to tell you all!

For the past 4 weeks, we´ve had dogs follow us all the way to church! It´s hilarious, cause even if the investigators and members don´t come to church, their dogs will :) haha! I love it! Sometimes it´s freaky cause the guard dogs in various houses don´t like the pack of dogs and people coming to church with us every week, but these dogs also protect us and walk us home at night :) We even have a regular dog that comes to church with us every week. We named her Negrita- little black one (super creative, right?). It´s fantastic. but if I get fleas so help me...

For those of you that have asked, the language is coming along great!!! I can´t always understand, and I can´t always respond completely how I want to, but I KNOW that I have received a LOT of heavenly help with the language. And everyone says that my castillano is super good for a greenie! I mean, that´s not saying much, but it´s super comforting and kind that people tell me that! I´m so grateful!

One of the things that I have really loved that we recently started doing is singing in our lessons! Hymns and primary songs invite the spirit so strongly wherever we go! whether we have had a rough day, or a good day, humming and singing the hymns as we walk lifts our attitudes and turns our thoughts more to the joy of the gospel. That´s a huge blessing and super important, cause that´s why we´re here! The gospel is joy! And I´m so grateful to be here sharing that with the people of Argentina. There is so much peace and joy that comes from the message of this the restored gospel! Don´t forget to smile, and don´t ever forget to sing. Every day can and should be a day of joy! Sing until you feel good, that might sound annoying, but hey, do it for me. do it for yourself! Sing in a silly voice, sing with a weird accent, sing with all your heart! there is nothing more beautiful to me than someone who sings with their whole soul, even if they´re the most tone deaf person this world has yet seen. Righteous songs really are prayers to our Heavenly Father, and I know that they will bless your lives. Singing is wonderful! And singing with the purpose to bring your heart closer to God is something even more special. :)

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! God Bless you and keep you! ¡¡¡¡Quidase mucho!!!!

¡Ciao! ¡Les amo mucho!

Hermana Hill

Monday, September 1, 2014

Peras, Maté, y..... ¡¡¡BAUTISMO!!!

It´s been yet another wonderful week in Argentina! I love it here so much. I love the people, the buildings, the food, the dogs, the sky, the language- everything. As the subject line stated, we had a baptism this week!!! It was so so wonderful! This week was the baptism of a lovely 9 year old named Zoe, I think I´ve told you about her before, but she really is a special girl. (lo siento, the pictures aren´t working on this computer, so I´ll be sure to send you some next week if i can!) Her testimony is so strong. She´s very inteligente. Y the spirit that she invites es tan fuerte tambien. (sorry for the spanish... I should just start writing this totally en spanglish, cause wow...) Anyway she´s awesome! After the baptism, we asked her if she would like to bear her testimony, or share her feelings, with the people there. she agreed promptly and shared the sweetest testimony of how she is grateful that she can follow the example of Christ, and start on the path to him, and how she is clean and can covenant with Heavenly Father. What an example she is for her family and all of us! A girl in our ward heard her testimony, and because of it, gave her little sister, who is also 9, permission to be baptized! She beforehand thought that she was too young to know how important baptism is, but these kids are so ready and so excited for this covenant! It was a miracle. They´re both very excited too! and it makes us all so happy! Especially because this will be a huge blessing to them both, to be able to help each other and comfort each other as covenant children of Heavenly Father. This week we have seen SO many miracles. I wish i had time to share them all in a way that would give them the explaining they deserve! but I want you all to know, miracles DO exist in this day and age. All we need is the faith to look for them and the faith to expect them to happen, trusting in the Lord and His will. Don´t be afraid to pray for them! Heavenly Father is waiting to pour out his blessings upon you :) If you don´t trust me, search it out for yourself- i know with all my heart that they are real! 
Really quickly, because I don´t have much time, I want to tell you about another miracle of this week! One of the members in our ward works a TON and can never come to church, and never has energy to read his scriptures. This 21 year old is going to kill himself with all his work, it´s ridiculous. Anyway, I had a little mini Book of Mormon in English that he said he wanted to try to read since he knows a lot of English and wants to learn more. (a miracle that I even had or bought that thing too- cause I have a billion other copies) We´ve stopped by his house many times and no one has been home. I´d almost given up trying. But I decided to put my Book of Mormon in my box anyway, just in case. we were in his neighborhood, and decided we´d try one more time. We were kinda worried about stopping by again, because we had already seen his dad (who is a HILARIOUS man and super kind. He isn´t a member, and hasn´t really talked to us, which is hard cause we want to help him with his worries etc). But we stopped by anyway. His dad answered the door, thoroughly shocked to see us again. We talked for a REALLY long time. Things have happened in his life recently that are truly miracles for him, he cried as he told us that he is just so happy and want´s to know how he can repay God for what he has done for him. We invited him to church, and he refused that cause he doesn't want to commit to anything. We assured him that it isn´t a commitment, but that it was okay if he didn´t feel ready. He agreed to read a pamphlet though! This is a man who for years hasn´t agreed to read or investigate anything! But he told us that because he needed it right now, he truly would read it. And I believe him. What a miracle that we thought to go back again! And a miracle that this was the exact time when he needed comfort! Heavenly Father truly knows his children.
One of our investigators made us doilies - you know, those lacy frilly things that classy folk tend to have under lamps and such? YES: so now, I have a bright blue doily under my scriptures. be jealous. my companion has one that´s bright pink. You wish you had one, I know. Sorry. I guess i ya´ll want to send me money I can ask her to make some more ;) But seriously, I really do love it :D haha, who would have thought! 
Also, pears here are amazing, and maté is delicious, and the Church is true. 
love you all! i´ll try to write more next week! God Bless you and Keep you!!! Choose the right. 
Hermana Hill