Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 18, 2016 - Columbus, GA

Hey Y'all!

I'll start off my weeks email with a southernism I heard this past week"If you put a brain in a jay bird, it would fly backwards" any guesses on what it means??? It apparently is a way to offend someone but that is a very loose definition so I'll leave it up to y'all to interpret it. But I'm glad that y'all are doing well! I like the USU football connections Kevin is getting, Kristy keep on doin that horse thang, and way to go Michelle on that ballet💪. Mom and Dad keep on looking for a home or land I know it will come and I'm glad y'all are doing well! I haven't had time to pay the ticket yet, but I'm probably going to do it after I email today so I shouldn't have to go to jail after today:)  Hopefully that will bring some comfort haha. I'll tell you what though my mission just keeps on just getting more interesting with more experiences the longer I'm out here and I just wish I had the time of the day to email ya all the things but just remind me when I get home, and I'll fill ya in on all the stories I may have missed.

On Tuesday, I was finishing up my exchange in Auburn with Elder Burgess, we found out early on that day that it was "Cow day" at Chic-fil-A and we had to do something for it! If you're unfamiliar about cow day its where if you dress up like a cow at Chic-fil-a you get a free meal... So we put black tablecloth and cut out patches to put on our white shirts and it made for a great story haha! People loved our costumes and we went twice to different locations cause hey why not:) We exchanged back later in the day and drove back to Columbus. I cant remember if I told you about this lady named Theresa but we met Theresa when we were driving by this road and we saw Theresa on her motorized wheelchair and stopped the car to talk to her. She could speak so she wrote that she wanted to meet with us on Tuesday, so we came by and visited with her and the family that she lives with. I'm still a bit confused on how they got connected together but nonetheless they are some of the sweetest people I've met here in the south! Theresa just makes you appreciate the small things about life and really the little things are what makes the difference and small things can add up to great things. We had a very busy night planned that night and we had dinner with the new Fort Benning senior couple the Youngers. The Youngers are from Roy, Utah and they are super nice. Sister Younger reminds me of Grandma Hill just from some of the things she says so it always has a homely feel when I talk to her. We met with a member later that night who has been going through some marital probably and we visited with him and you can see his testimony in Christ increase and how the power of Christ can help you overcome any guilt you may feel from past transgressions. The power of the Atonement really is sooo crucial as we look at the purpose of life and knowing Christ knows exactly how we feel during every situation and without the Atonement it would be very hard to have hope for a better future.

On Wednesday, we had an extremely busy day! We started off the day by going to Sister Meadows house for some service. Keep in mind that we have a zone training meeting on Thursday and because we were on exchanges and didn't have time to plan it out, we had to prep a meeting for 40 missionaries in a day while catching up on all of our investigators and doing things in preparation for ZTM. Sister Meadows was an answer to a prayer because she gave me ideas for my training that I could do. I wanted to focus on repentance but also the Will of God and aligning our will with his. As we were doing weeding for her, thoughts of the difference between flowers and weeds really struck me as something I needed to talk about in ZTM. I'll talk about what I mean by that on Thursday but we did some service  and it started to rain as we finished up and we were really muddy! The rest of the day we were zooming around everywhere trying to get things in order and visiting some peoples. 

On Thursday, our day started at 5:30 and we ran and worked out, got everything squared away and set up at the church for ZTM. This ZTM was one of my favorites that I've been apart of. The training's by everyone and everyone's participation really played a big role in the meeting. My training went pretty well. Sister Meadows brought in fruit for all of us to have and to relate it to my training. I related how weeds are like sin where they sped so fast and if we don't maintain them it can spread through the whole garden.Weeds also grow by root systems and often times we cant see the affects of how sins connect until we use repentance and the Atonement to pull the weeds up. Its also hard to see the flowers if its overcrowded by weeds. I also talked about the will of god and showed the Mormon message where sometimes the thing we want in life isn't what God wants us to be but if we align our will with God's and his timing then we will feel fulfilled in this life. Overall the training went super well and Elder Memmott gave an awesome training about the missionaries purpose and why we came on missions. Sister Farmer and D'avila gave great training's as well! I was pumped about it! I then went to Americus for exchanges and had a great night filled of tracting:)

On Friday, we exchanged back from Americus and found a really cool building that we had to take stud pictures haha:) We saw Theresa with a member later and we had to speak very simply and those are the best lessons when you just say things simple and to the point. We had interviews with President Grayson and he asked me a lot of questions about Milledgeville and training in that interview so I might be training next transfer so we will see. If I could pick I'd want to stay here in Columbus because its my favorite area so far and the work is awesome, but I'll go where God wants me to go. We saw a few referrals later that night and got BIG with my boy Elder Memmott that night!

On Saturday, we went to the ranch and you'll be proud of me... We shined some saddles and bridles and I just knew that Dad and Kristy would be proud of me:) I weed whacked and had fun petting all the animals.We had a really cool experience later that day where we planned to go see a see a member who has been less active and at the same time we did one of the members here went and visited her at work and the member said shed like to visit with us again. I haven't met with her in like 2 months and I was very excited to see her on Sunday. That night one of our investigators had a sign shown to him that night. Elder Memmott and I studied Ether 12 that morning in studies and we shared a scripture from Ether 12 and it happened to be the same verse he randomly opened up to that day. Not only that but as we left his house for dinner he called us back and told us that the page that we read from fell out of the binding on the ground after he closed the book. And he took it to mean that God was trying to tell him that you didn't get this read it again. Ether 12 talks all about faith and that really hit home for him . Then he prayed for a sign and he set his phone with one bar of battery on the Book of Mormon and when he picked it up to call someone after the prayer he looked at the phone and it had 3 bars... Small and simple miracles... they do happen!

On Sunday, we had a great church service with a lot of people at sacrament! I went to Fort Benning with Elder Fabiano and taught 9 soldiers the commandments. It amazing to me how much I've been protected from things by the way I've been brought up and kept the 10 commandments as wel las the other commandments. God surely does bless the willing. The testimonies given at fort Benning were awesome and one of the best parts is getting to know the soldiers before the meeting starts it's really quite the experience. We met with Mary later that night and talked with her and reminisced a lot about old times. At the end of the conversation we were both feeling it was time to go and I was pretty bold and talked to her about what happened and why she stopped coming. We were in front of her daughters and she didn't want to do it in front of the daughters so we went outside and chatted. She was going to Calvary Chapel (remember Mark Swift) shes been going there and she had some conflicting concerns about doctrine. Their church teaches that no one has seen the face of God but we look in Acts about Peter seeing the right hand of if God has a hand what else would he have to have... a body??? Yes he would!! But we answered some concerns and we are seeing her Wednesday WOOhoo!

Thanks for all y'all do and I LOVE YOU!!

-Elder Hill
#busybee  "no day will ever be your day if you give up!"
Columbus Zone July 2016!

Cow MOO Day - got a free meal by dressing up!

Creepy Cabin!!

Sweet Mill!!  With Elder Hill!!

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