Monday, October 5, 2015

From Pueyrredón to Pompeya... (October 5, 2015)

Hola mis queridos queridos!!!

This week was full of miracles! 3 boys, Bryan, Facundo, and Adrian, came to 3 of 4 sessions of conference... WHAT?!?! What 16, 12, or 11 year old would do that on their own without the support of anyone? They drew us pictures and shared their gratitude to the members for helping them. Out of the blue!!! Woah- I’m so excited to hear about how they’re doing.

I am amazed by the power of prayer. This Thursday, every planned service activity that we had fell through. And it was raining, so we couldn’t sweep the front patios of people like we did before (it´s an Argentina thing, you wouldn’t understand...haha). And it was cold... sadly, after a day of searching, still we hadn´t found any service... at least, we talked to a few old ladies that needed company, and we ate a lot of fried cake, but we felt awful for not completing our goal and responsibility. So, we went home, planned, and went out to work. Our 2 teaching appointments also fell through. We felt super sick from all the fried cake. OKAY. It was time to pray long ago and it was time to pray again! We stopped and my companion offered a fervent prayer, asking specifically to be able to find and set appointments at least 4 of the people in our plans... I asked "four?" it was something that came to her mind, so she said it. We set out with all our energy to find the people waiting for us. It was amazing. We hadn’t had that kind of success in days! 2 hours of work in that day was the equivalent of maybe 2 normal days full. We found old investigators that accepted our visits with joy, we contacted amazingly receptive people in the streets. My nametag fell off and even in the traffic and noise and rain, I noticed it just a block after it had fallen and we were able to find it. At the end of the 2 hours, looking back, we had exactly 4 lessons. Exactly 4 future appointments. For something my companion felt prompted to ask for 4, and what a wonderful day that followed! We can ask for specific things. And if we ask with faith, as moved upon by the spirit, we WILL receive it, according to that faith and the will of God. Listen to the still small voice!!!!

Well, transfers came! I have left my dear Pueyrredón and I´m now in the beautiful land of Pompeya, Mar del Plata. It was hard to go. Once again, it´s as though my heart was ripped out and jumped on a couple times... Our Heavenly Father helped me though, and I feel a LOT more peace in accepting His will and trusting that Bahía is in His hands :) And in addition, we got to watch the AMAZING General Conference!!! AND I´m now with the Hna Child! Yep, you heard right, my Aunt Cami´s next door neighbor! Ever since I heard that she was coming to this mission I wanted to be her companion- dream come true! I´m excited to see what these next 6 weeks will bring!

Read your scriptures, ponderize, pray, listen and study conference, go to church, keep the Sabbath day holy!


Hermana Hill

The Adventures of Hill and Unicorn in Monte Hermoso (September 28, 2015)

Hola Queridos!!!

Today, my dear sweet companion was unwilling transformed into a unicorn. Sorta. (Luckily she doesn’t take offense with that nickname...) It all started when the elders declared this Monday Super P-day. We took a bus/car one hour away to Monte Hermoso to play on the BEACH!!! Yeah! Stinkin awesome right?! We have loved it :) It was a lot more fun before we started playing baseball... I smacked a good run and sadly got out at home when hna Saunders bunted (just fyi). It was an accident, don’t blame hna Saunders. But that’s beside the point... To cut to the chase- the solid wood bat slipped out of the hands of poor elder Baldwin and flew cartwheeling directly into the forehead of the innocent bystander, my companion. In seconds she grew a mound between her eyes... It´s still huge 5 hours later. Needless to say, we picked a different game. She´s so strong! Didn´t even cry! Only a few tears slipped out! ...crazy right? Love you hna Taborda! I hope you feel better! And I hope you don’t have brain damage.

Other than unexpected brain injuries, this week we have enjoyed the grand progression of our investigator Luisa. She´s going to be baptized on the 10th of October! Her testimony is beautiful. She first heard the gospel 5 years ago in Pedro Luro from the elders. Her husband too learned of the church and they went a few times. In this time of their life, the depression of her husband took him over more and more. After going a few times, he was offended for something in the church, and forbid her from meeting with the missionaries or members. It has been 2 months now since her husband died, and is now living here with her daughter, a recent convert to the church. Although they suffer the loss of their husband and father, Luisa is really growing in her love of the Savior and for His Gospel. Nothing can explain the joy I feel for her! She shared her testimony with everyone in our gospel principles class- it was wonderful! In fewer words she said "I know this is the only true church, and I´m so grateful to have found it. I´m excited to be baptized soon!" It hit my heart. It´s amazing to be able to watch and work in the conversion a child of God.

There are too many great stories to be able to share them all. I´ll try to write a letter to my parents so they can share a few with you all :)

The work continues strong and true here in Argentina! The church is true! Prepare yourselves to listen to conference! I hope you have a wonderful week :) Write you soon! Be strong, have faith and courage to do what you know you should!


Hermana Hill

I scream, you scream, we all scream for... Pumba? (September 21, 2015)


You heard right, Pumba. I totally ate Jaboli this week- wart hog. Going on divisions with the Hermanas of Pigue brought me back to the countryside, and brought the countryside to my stomach. IT WAS GOOD! I loved being in a pueblo again- dogs everywhere, cars that wait for you to cross the street, people who stop to talk with us, horses wandering in the street, cobblestone walkways. It was fun and wonderful to be able to spend time and learn from the Hermanas of Pigue- I got to go on splits with Hna Saunders- just like the good old days. The brother who gave us Warthog to eat hunted it himself. And get this: when hunting jaboli, he walks for what is sometimes days, alone with his dogs, to find the jaboli. Then, while his dogs distract the poor warthog, he kills it with a knife quickly, and promptly gives thanks afterward. He says sometimes it makes him sad to kill the animal, but he and his family live off the meat for months! Warthog barbeque, ward hog with spaghetti, warthog soup... I love Argentina and her little towns.

Well, there’s your cultural moment (I hope you learned something.) And now, for the weather! (haha how boring... get over it. my mom wants to know). Even though like 2 weeks ago I went out without a jacket or tights, now, it{s FREEZING COLD. like, so much for spring... Argentina.....

Now for the moment that you’ve been waiting for, how’s the work in Pueyrredon? Yesterday, a surprise visitor came to church- a man that had simply heard of the church and who wanted to go and see what it was like! WOO! Finally, someone who understands the sign that says "visitors welcome". He was excited to meet us and wants to know more about what we believe, because he is looking for more happiness in his life. AWESOME right? I’m super happy that well be able to teach him, and I know that this message will help him! The only catch.... he lives in another wards area- the other missionaries are going to teach him haha. But equally, I’m so happy that he came :) cause lets be real, it doesn’t matter which ward he belongs to, what matters is that a child of God wants to become more close to Him :D

Yesterday our Bishop asked me to prepare to talk in church next week- I’m so stoked about the topic! "Becoming spiritually self-sufficient to be able to help others do the same" or, in other words "prepare yourself to help others come unto Christ". We must strengthen our personal testimonies first, and work in families to strengthen us all together. Then, when we are a little stronger, we will have the desire and ability to share the gospel with others. I’ve learned a lot in this mission, but one thing that I want you all to know and the people I’m serving to know- is 1- GOD LOVES YOU! 2- the tools he has given us are there to help and YOU CAN USE THEM. to strengthen your testimony and prepare to help others (and these are not optional people...) please: pray daily in family and personally, read the scriptures daily in family and personally, have family night once a week :) fast and pay fast offerings at least once a month, pay your tithing. You can do it! You are strong, capable, and important. I really hope that you do these things. Sorry for not being able to share about the why and how and share examples this week. But I know that you all can do it- with the help of the Lord all is possible! Be patient with yourselves, it might take time to establish the habit, but your diligent efforts will receive success!!!

Love you all tons! Have a wonderful week! and thank you so so much for all that you do :) Seriously, I cant thank you all enough.


Hermana Hill

Karaoke Chaos (Sept 14, 2015)

Hola Familia y Amigos!!

Just a short little note from me this week, but many great things happened here in Zion, don’t you worry. We had a WONDERFUL conference with the Area Seventy, Elder Teixeira, who came to visit us- I learned SO much! And it was stinking awesome to be able to see all my buddies from the far corners of the mission. Mar del Plata, Olavaria, Tandil, and Nicochea had their own conference- but well, at least I got to see many of the people with who I’ve served and missionaries from all the areas that I’ve served in. My good friend/companion Hna Castleman is serving her last days in my beloved Trenque Lauquen, Im glad to know they’re in good hands.

This week we also had a fantastic Tuesday activity. What was planned: Karaoke and Pizza. What happened: Teams inventing songs because internet doesn’t work for the karaoke, but it was fun anyway! Our team rocked it. And then, just as the other team was about to perform- boom, the power went out in the building! So, we turned on our cell phone lights so the other group gave a 5 star performance with "fancy" lighting and everything. Then we ate more than 20 pizzas for dinner... what? Yessica cooks REALLY well okay?! We were OVERJOYED that a TON of people came to the activity! Hopefully many come this week too!

I learned SO much this week, from the conference and from my own experiences. I’ll try to share a bit:

PRAYER WORKS. Whenever I have felt weak or frustrated, even a little bit, this week, I’ve gotten down on my knees. I’ve always believed a lot in prayer, but this week I decided to stop fighting myself, to pray immediately. Many times I try to solution out the problem and as a type of last result plead heavenly help again. I’d say my prayers frequently, but not enough. That changed this week! As soon as I felt negative feelings- PRAYER! And I testify that I gained a power that was not my own. Or at least, a power that I didn’t know I had- that I didn’t feel previously. Prayer has helped me SO much this week! And I know that it can help you in your lives as well! With whatever you face. Prayer is a commandment! God is asking, commanding us to partake of his power- how could we think that he doesn’t want to help us!? I know he loves each of us, the smallest and the biggest.

I love you all so much! I hope you have a wonderful week!!! Sorry for the short letter, there is more to come in one weeks’ time. :)

Pray, read the scriptures, go to church!

Hermana Hill

The Grand Work of ZION (September 7, 2015)


Okay, this week rocked. We had a movie night (in which the missionaries who can’t watch movies made popcorn and served soda pop), we celebrated a surprise baby shower, we swept a few sidewalks for the old ladies of our area, we ate in McDonalds (has it always been so expensive?), and much much more! 
We´ve been able to teach our dear investigator Luisa various times- SHES AMAZING! And hopefully continues to progress and get feeling better. She was able to go to church this week- what joy!

That brings me to think of the great joy and focus of this week: establishing of Zion in all places. Appropriately, church was completely focused on that this week, and it all tied together nicely in that we were able to fast and share our testimonies. There was not ONE moment of silence between the people popping up to share their testimonies (experiences and witnesses of the hand of the lord in our lives). It was beautiful. Although I spent most of Sacrament Meeting playing with Jeremias (he was very entertained with my paper airplanes and "hijo de Dios" stickers), I could feel the spirit strongly. A baby was blessed and so there were tons of people to witness the happy event. 77 PEOPLE IN OUR SACRAMENT MEETING! It was beautiful to feel the spirit of a room filled up with people worshiping and giving thanks to God. 

It is SO important to support and help one another in this life! Zion = a people united in heart and mind. United by service and love for God and one another. It´s so important to attend and support the activities that we have! God commands us to meet frequently- cause, well, duh- how can you know if someone needs help or not if you never get to know them or if you don´t make an effort to see them once in a while. Sometimes we think that we need reasons to reach out and say hi to or help someone.  Wrong. Just send a stinkin’ text message! You don’t have to be assigned to do it- we should do things of our own free will! So do it! Just make your friend a dang quesadilla, Napoleon! Be nice. Smile at people. It´s as simple as: "hey, I was thinking about you today- how´s it goin?". YOU CAN DO IT!!! Zion begins with one´s own self, and each of us must put in the effort. You have no idea how much joy it brings me to see people visiting and helping one another!

Last night we passed by the house of a few members who are planning to go to the temple to be sealed this month (WOO!). There visiting was another young couple from the ward, chatting and sharing their testimonies and experiences and visiting. My heart just about exploded with happiness. We need the help of others, and we need the opportunity to help others! To see a bunch of members doing exactly that gave me hope. We´re not alone in the work of salvation! Every member must uplift one another and those around them- it´s part of the covenant that we make upon baptism. Mosiah 18. I invite all of you to review what it is that we promise when we are baptized, and make changes in your life to more fully fulfill what the Lord expects of us- I´m going to do the same :)

I love you all so much! Thanks for you examples and your support and for all you do :)

Stay tuned, this next week we´re going to have a special reunion with a member of the Seventy.  :D  ...You could say I’m pretty stoked about it.

Have a wonderful week! Keep the faith and procure to find more :) Become converted. 


Hermana Hill :)

Ehu! Tanto Tiempo! (August 31, 2015)

Muy buenos Días!

Didn´t I just barely write you all? I can´t believe another week has passed. They go so quickly! It has been wonderful getting to know and work with la Hermana Taborda, she’s AMAZING! And hilarious. Just awesome. You can all rest assured that Pueyrredón is in good hands with her around. She also loves music! And sings beautifully! And beatboxes. Like a champ. Add that to her spirituality (spiritual status: GIANT), and to her diligence (all the diligence), and to that she's neat and clean (HELLO clean house!) = you could say that I´m pretty stoked for this transfer. How is it that I get to have all the best companions in this world?

This Sunday we had the wonderful opportunity to have a Multi-Stake/Area Conference, broadcasted in part from Salt Lake and in part from Buenos Aires to all of Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina. It was opened and ended by our own leaders, individually in every stake-building. OH MY GOSH IT WAS SO AMAZING. SO much power. We heard messages from our Stake Presidents, our Area President, Walter Gonzalez, Richard J Maynes (Presidency of the seventy) Neil F Marriott (Young Women’s Presidency) and from 2 OF THE 12 APOSTLES, Quinten L Cook and Robert D Hales. It was like a dream come true. I love that they invited us to use the technology that we have been given to minister, help, and uplift, to invite to activities, and to serve one another. I´m grateful that technology gave us the chance to hear these inspired messages. Each speaker shared powerful testimony of missionary work, the observance of the Day of Rest, and temple work. Bajaron principios. They laid down the law. They exhorted us to read the conference talks and with a spirit of prayer, examine our lives and improve them. I pray that you all might obtain and grow in testimony of these things as well.

A man asked me yesterday if I think I will be truly happy following the path that I´m on. He asked me if I have investigated this and other paths, and if I´ve searched inside myself to know if it´s right for me. I have! I have searched and studied and continue to do so. More and more, every day, I feel the powerful response to his questions in my heart: The gospel of Christ is True! In it is real, lasting joy! How grateful I am for the surety and peace I feel from knowing that! As I sat in that conference, I could feel the joy that His gospel brings. Every day that I read the scriptures, pray, and share with others, I feel it again and again. Maybe the answers to our questions and prayers don´t come in an instant, but I implore you- If it is but a mere curiosity that you have concerning these things of God and life and the problems that you face, ASK. Search it out! And continue asking. Search from the best sources with patience. I know that we will receive the answers and peace we need as we ask with a sincere and willing heart.

We ALL have a place in the mansion of our Heavenly Father. He loves EACH of us. He invites all to enter into His rest. He invites us to "be still, and know that He is God". <- I love that scripture. It´s a promise, a command. He doesn’t say: "you can be still". Or "you should be still." BE still and know. The way that he says that is a promise in itself. We can confide in him. He is sure of that, and he is sure of our ability to be still and to know. Let yourself believe! Many people are scared to do that- trust me, I understand! Let the seed of the desire that it´s true enter into your heart, let it grow by meditating and searching more. you will then know if it´s something good or not!

This week we have found a few of the investigators and members that we have been looking for for a long time! It was wonderful to be able to talk to them again (or in a few cases, to get to know them)! It's crazy how God puts us in the right place at the right time. Last night we passed by for a family and ended up teaching them for longer than we thought we were going to be able to (awesome!!!!) We felt we needed to stay, and I´m so glad that we did. I was worried at first because we were going to miss a little visit that we had planned for a few less active members. In the exact moment that we got to the house of these members, they too got there! They had been taking care of their grandma. If we would have arrived earlier, we wouldn’t have been able to find them. I was so relieved that it turned out well!!! It´s another fulfilling of the words of my Grandma G- "If it´s not alright, it´s not the end, because with God, in the end, everything will be alright." That’s true on a large scale and sometimes in our weeks too. Our crazy week had a happy ending. sorry that I couldn´t share more experiences with you this week- ONE DAY you will hear all of them and be completely sick of them ;)

Thank you so much for all the prayers and help that you all give! I hope you have a wonderful wonderful week!!! Read the scriptures, pray in your families, have fun together in your fam. (and eat some carrot cake for me if you find some...)

Love you!

Hermana Hill

Capilla Abierta, Transfers, and... Feliz Cumple Little Brother!!!!!!! (August 24, 2015)

Guten Tag America! 

First off, time to embarrass my bro Brendan on his 16th Birthday!!!! Happy Birthday dude!!! I hope you have a WONDERFUL week of school and that you celebrate AFUL (um, a lot) your birthday week!!!! I can´t believe you´re 16. DUDE. how the crap are you so big?! and taller than me now.... dangggg. In my mind you were just a chubby baby like 3 weeks ago! And now youre huge (no, that´s not a fat joke. You’re actually quite buff. haha) Love you duder! Happy Sweeet Sixteen! Dulce Diesiseis! 

This week, yes, was Transfers, and so that my parents don´t have to wait too long for the news- I´m staying here in Pueyrredón! I´m super stoked about that! I love it here with all my heart, and there is so much work to do!!!! My dear companion, Hermana Saunders, is going to Pigüe, a little town just outside of Bahía. Every other week she comes here for the reuinions, asi que, luckily she´s not going too far! It´s her last transfer... What a shame, I had hoped to ´kill` her myself. But instead, and to my utmost joy, I get to be companions with Hermana Taborda! We started our missions together! She´s amazing- currently she´s the sister training leader, so maybe I´ll get to travel a little with her on her assignments (haha we´ll see). She´s from Colombia, I´m really looking forward to serving with her! And I´m so grateful to be staying here in the lovely Pueyrredón- Im one of the only missionaries to stay in their area... our pres is changing the mission around A LOT!

We had a grand week, let me tell ya.  All of our work, all the focus was on the end of the week- A CHAPEL OPEN HOUSE! The members, together with us, invited every neighbor on their blocks, all their friends, and people in the streets. We cooked, cleaned and decorate the capilla for the grand day. It´s amazing how much excitement and joy that it brought to us! Working together and seeing the efforts of one another- it brought a level of friendship and brotherhood to the ward that we haven’t felt in a good while. What a blessing! Although no, the whole world didn´t show up to see inside, a few great neighbors and friends made it and had the grand tour! They enjoyed the opportunity to get to know us all better. People tend to think that we´re secretive and weird and scary... the church is always welcoming people to come in and get to know us, but it´s rare that they do. I absolutely LOVED watching the members introduce and invite and teach and share! Almost brought me to tears :) We really didn´t have to do anything! the members did it all :) Two young men got there with the help of the member in charge of Futból. They then went to the young men-young women baile (dance) with all the jovenes!!! YAY!!! And guess what?!?! With the help of the young men they went to church on Sunday! You should of seen them, all sitting together on the same bench- a row of awesome young men :) one of the boys (the non-members) is deaf, but reads lips. The other boys were patient and SO helpful, always helping and explaining and being super aware of him. One of the members is going to invite them to hear the missionary lessons and to investigate, then is going to call us- THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE!!!!!!!!!! And another woman made it and is already great friends with most of the members! And another went with her little daughter and is going to start to go to the ward of Villa Cerrito! And a young man is going to assist the ward Hospital! So, not only did we get to help out our area with getting to know our neighbors, serving one another, enjoying the baking of one another... but we also got to help out other wards with their missionary work too! It was just a WONDERFUL week. 

Everyone is sad that Hna Saunders is leaving. She helped this ward SO much. Our Bishop cried! And his wife made us homemade spaghetti noodles with rich mushroom-tomato-pork and beef sauce. The relief society wrote cards. The young men made her a cake.  I just want you all to know that I´m in one the best wards on earth. 

I stand all amazed at the love that He gives to me! His power and glory and understanding are beyond my own (multiply that by infinity). :) I´M SO GRATEFUL and SO happy to be here in the mission, and invite you all to serve and love and smile- they’re the keys to happiness! 

Have a wonderful wonderful week!!!

Hermana Hill