Sunday, July 31, 2016

July 25, 2016 - Columbus, GA

Hey Y'all! 

I'll start out with a new southernism for the week, so you would say this to someone if its a yes or no question..."Does a cat have running gears? or Does a gator have teeth?" So both of those answers would be yes haha:)Wow you guys had aneventful week it sounds like. I'm sorry to hear about Kristina but I'm glad that she is recovering. I remember when I almost had to get my tonsils out but then they got smaller and I didn't have to get them taken out. But recover well and take it easy, I'll be prayin' for ya. Continue to keep me updated with the home  and I know something will come up! There has been lots of rain this week and a lot of the times we were caught right in the middle of it tracting so it made for some good memories and wet clothes. Actually here in Columbus the wind got so bad that a few trees landed on cars and houses. I just hope they had insurance because if they didn't that would stink! And by the way I'm getting transferred to a new area, I'll still be a zone leader but not really sure where I'll end up. We have narrowed the possibilities down to 4 possible places. The first is Tifton, Georgia, the second is Hinesville, G, and the third is North Augusta, GA. If I had a choice I would choose Hinesville or North Augusta, but wherever I go is where God needs me to be.

On Tuesday, we traveled over to Lanett, Alabama for exchanges there .All the missionaries were speculating where I'd end up and wanting to stay in Columbus I was reluctant to pick where I'd go. Columbus has been my favorite area and I've made so many friends here it will be sooo hard to leave, but it will all work out. Elder Hales and I went on exchanges and it rained reallly hard that day and we tracted the whole afternoon. It seemed that everyone we talked to weren't interested or were fully content and satisfied with their church that they didn't want to go to a different one. But this week I had a lot of encounters with dogs and very large dogs to be exact. The first was in Lanett when we were on the porch of this mans house. On the side of the porch there is a banister to and the whole house was covered to bugs ranging from spiders to ants, to Juno bugs. All of a sudden we hear this crackling of weeds and heavy stomps and this huge German shepherd who was close to 4 feet on all four paws comes whipping around the corner and jumping through the banister trying to bite us. With so much adrenaline we run off the porch and with the fence protecting us the dog pounced on and off the fence warning us to not come back. But wow it was a very large dog and could've done some damage! We then had shepherding visits and I went with a member from Lanett. His name is Bennie or some people call him possum. Only in the south, and we visited some less active members and Bennie took me to see a textile plant going back to the 1860's that was very unique and its so sad to see all the textile plants not in business because they outsourced to other countries leaving lots of people without work. 

On Wednesday, we exchanged back and Elder Memmott and I had a great day. We had a bible referral that we planned to contact and bible referrals come often and often times the people just want a bible and you to leave their house. But this one was way more different than that. Their names are Manny and Carol and Manny is one of the most open guys you'd ever meet in your life. Any question that you want to ask him he will answer and Carol is a super sweet elderly lady that loves learning about Christ and the bible. WE shared the message of Restoration with him and the authority that the church has really stuck out to Manny and Carol they said they wanted to be baptized and were looking in the calendar to see if that day worked for them! They truly want the restored gospel and I knew that I was supposed to meet them on my mission! They have such powerful testimonies and I cant wait to hear about their progress as they move forward learning more about the church. 

On Thursday, we did service at the Food Bank and sorted lots of canned goods gotta love that good ol' service. One of the highlights of the day happened at night and it was definitely a memory that I'll always have. So we had a member call saying that they needed to get into the building because they wanted their AAU basketball team to practice before the elders came and played basketball later that night. So we opened the door for them and we had about 20 minutes before our bible class and we took the opportunity and I was able to scrimmage against the AAU team in my white shirt and tie and boy was it fun! One of the coaches there said I look like a player off of Wisconsin that said I match his playing style! It was so much fun to get back into that speed of playing and in a coaching setting!!! So much fun!! 

On Friday, we helped Sister Meadows with some service and went to her house and did some yard work. The first majority of the time we weeded and cleaned up the grass. Then  we grabbed the bush trimmer and trimmed the bushes! You could say it was very hot and we were very sweaty but Sister Meadows took care of us! She is sooo nice! We weekly planned for a majority of the afternoon and after dinner we went over the Brother Cotates' home and helped him move some boxes into his home! They have been going through alot recently but through it all they have been keeping the faith and we wanted to to help them out. At the end of the service we helped him rearrange a office desk and we got talking about his mission and the differences. Brother Coates told us that "Your mission is the hardest in the world and you face so much rejection and loneliness that I'm impressed to see men like you who are staying positive through your trials." He served his mission in Brazil and he told us the struggles he had on his mission was retaining all the baptisms they had. He said that it was so frustrating baptizing over 200 people on his mission and seeing close to 3 people remain active. And he expressed that it just didnt make sense to baptize someone if they wont remain active. But at the end of the service his mom yelled upstairs and said  that their dog was bleeding and it turns out that their dog went into another yard and a dog bit their dog and he had to take her to the vet. There was alot of blood and I was not expecting the service to end the way it did.

On Saturday, we finished weekly planning and in the afternoon we visited a lot of less active and recent converts. One of the less active members we saw expressed why she hadn't been coming to church and the reason they didn't come to church is because a member offended them and they still haven't gotten over it. That is one of the highest reasons someone doesnt come back because a member offended them and all of a sudden that means the church isn't true... No the people are the variable in the church and the church is perfect but the people are not and so if can use the Atonement and overcome those hardships the Lord will bless us. We had a lesson with Manny and Carol with a few senior missionaries that was really powerful and Manny said he'd come to church! Later that night we had transfer calls and my name was called and so I will be transferring on Tuesday.

On Sunday, I had a lot of mixed emotions going into church, Manny came to church and enjoyed it but it was so hard saying bye to all the people I got so close to throughout the whole day. You've been apart of their lives for 6 months and all of a sudden you have to move on and bless other peoples lives. It's a hard transition and in my mission its been the hardest transition yet. Columbus feels so much like home and all the memories and good times and hard times here will be hard to leave behind. In the afternoon we said bye to Justin Robinson and Ruth! We had a lesson and had a Nerf war in their house one last time. Crazy story at J.R's house we got out of the car and J.R'spit bull chased me for no reason and came centimeters from biting my leg but I las t the last second I high stepped and dodged the dog. J.r tipped the boat over onto the dog to protect me and it all happened so fast but don't worry it all worked out. I'm going to miss Columbus so much, I've grown so close to the people here and I've learned so much. I hope I will have a great impact on my next area and will continue to love the people and share the gospel far and wide!

I LOVE Y'all!

-Elder Hill
#dogsarecrazy   #Ilove Columbus  #Alwaysandforever 
Nerf Wars!!

Flatrock District!  Columbus GA 2016

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