Sunday, July 3, 2016

June 27, 2016 - Columbus, GA

Hey Y'all!

Life is going great!! It's crazy to think that this time next year I'll be home and in a way I feel like I just came out, but then again I've gone through so much that it feels like it's been more than a year. I'm not sure if that makes sense but I hope that ya catch my drift:) Thank you soooo much for the year mark package, the journal, the card, the stickers, and the AWESOME ties it was just what I needed. So thank you sooo much and by the way I've already got compliments for the ties so good job picking them out:) Haha and being a zone leader has its very stressful moments and I'm sure when I come home and tell you about them that we ALL will concur sometimes its hard being a zone leader, but at the same time I wouldn't have it any other way.  I'll be prayin for ya like always. This week definitely had it's ups and also had some downs and I can already tell that this summer is finna be a scorcher! (finna =going to be)

Tuesday, we had a district meeting with the district and learned a lot about how we can make our studies more effective and how we can use more knowledge from Preach my Gospel into our teaching. It was funny one of the elders in the district made a reference to green eggs and ham and he said that a lot of our investigators will say that they don't like our church and are skeptical about going to church, but just like the story in Dr.Seuss and green eggs and ham unless you try it you wont know if it's good or not. It was just interesting how he related that to the story about Green eggs and ham. Later in the day we went tracting and had a pretty great experience. We knocked doors for probably a half hour at this point and we had a few people answer the door and listen to the message of the Restoration over the course of 30 minutes. Well, we get to the end of the street and there is an older man sitting on his porch, and we start talking with him and he tells us about his life and how he grew up in Detroit and how impoverished that place is. You could tell by the way he talked that he was from Detroit and he's been through some rough neighborhoods in his life. We shared the message of the restoration with him and committed him to pray. So as we left both Elder Memmott and I both had the expectation that he probably wasnt going to progress or read the pamphlet because of his body language and the Lord taught us a valuable lesson... When we came back he knew the whole pamphlet and even told us how he felt the spirit and wants to know more... He also said that he wants to be baptized by someone holding the authority that Christ had. So the Lord pretty much slapped us in the face and told us to not judge a person before you really know him and it turns out that he is on date for the 23rd of July so NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER! Following the lesson we drove by these two 20 year olds playing some basketball and seeing that we had a few minutes to psare we got to play some ball with them and it was a really memorable time. I treasure those moments when you get to play and teach people about the gospel. It was pretty funny I had this one play where I made this kid fall down from a crossover I had and everyone watching thought the world was ending by how much they were screaming and it was pretty funny! Later in the night we had a dinner with one of our investigators because it was his birthday as well as Elder Memmotts and took us out to eat! They are such a great family and I really felt as if it was a member meal. They are such good righteous people and you can see the light of Christ in them! I'll keep you up to date with them because they are a family that will bring many people to the gospel!

Wednesday, we did service at the Food Bank and helped them sort and pack boxes. It's really cool to work with people who want to serve the community and we have been able to make lots of good friends through that Food Bank and the service rendered there. We went on Fort Benning for dinner with the Mackies and had a great dinner with them and learned alot about their missions and the experiences they've had. Being out for a year I can tell how a mission can change you as it has over the past year for me and how you interact with people and how to live your life. It's sad to see people make wrong choices and in the long wrong makes them sad, but if they would just hold true to the iron rod they would be so much happier!

Thursday, one of the highlights for the day was when we were watching the bible story on the mormon channel about the atonement and the part that really stuck out to me this time as I watched it was the part when peter cut the soldiers ear off because they were going to take him to be crucified and just heals the soldiers ear and tells Peter that he's going to drink the cup the Father gave him. I was just in awe that the people even though they just witnessed this selfless and loving miracle and still took him to be crucified and the obedience to the Father really made it clear that we need to be the same way with God and keeping the commandments no matter how hard it may be.

Friday, was MY YEAR MARK!!!! It really is crazy how fast a mission goes I mean two year in the big picture is a long time, but if you focus on the work and serving it makes time go by fatser and more importantly you change as a person for the better. This whole year I think my testimony in the Savior is the strongest its ever been and I partly wish I could go back and redo how I did things before my mission ,but at least now when I come back I can make those changes and be strong in the faith! It's tradition in the mission field to 'burn" a white shirt for your year mark and to me that just seemed like a waste of a shirt and it's not as memorable in my opinion so instead Anna Harrell wanted to smash a cake in my face to celebrate and so for lunch we drove to her house and she smashed a chocolate smash cake in my face! It was such a better way to celebrate than burning something and it was alot of fun! Later in the day we had a lesson with Amanda, her daughters, and another member in the ward that she is living with. I'm not sure why this lesson rubbed me the wrong way but as we talked about Jeffrey R. Hollands talk "Tomorrow the Lord will do wonder among you" and I might have mentioned Amanda's story in a previous post but we found her at a barbecue restaurant and after explaining how God loves us and we told her about the restoration she wanted to know more. She texted us asking for us to find her a place to stay and it's not our place to ask the ward to house someone we met so we asked the member who Amanda is staying with now for any advice or shelters and the member took her in and housed her. Not only that but recently the member took both of Amanda's daughter in by the goodness of her heart and is living with them. During the lesson she expressed that she doesn't know if Joseph Smith is a prophet or if the church is true. She is getting baptized into the Calvary Chapel's church (The pastor we talked to church a few weeks back) and so the reason it rubbed me the wrong way was because she pretty much denied that we did anything for her and wont really pray about the message of the restoration. But this might be one of those times I just wont see the fruits of the labor and who knows what may happen down the road so we will keep on keepin' on.

Saturday, in the morning we both were dead dog sore and we went to a service project that was one of the least sterile and unsanitary environments I've ever been in. There's a man in the ward who got an infection from the trailer he was living in and so the ward is providing service to help him make his home livable. He had 11 dogs, he cleaned his dishes by having his dogs lick them, there was mold growing on the walls and as you walked into the trailer you would look down and your shins would be all black from the fleas jumping on you... So we emptied the trailer and threw all of the furniture and mattress in the dump and found a place for the dogs. It was so hot and the dog dander was awful! But we got it done and we got home and showered and cleaned the apartment. We sweated so much on Saturday the heat index said it was 117 degrees and we were out in it all day. We help Brother Anson move a very heavy desk into a room and it turned out it didn't fit through door so we had to move it back on the truck. We also played some ball with some kids in the street. I told him about me wanting to play at Utah state and he  said " I'm playing with a D1 prospect!" It was funny! So much fun!

Sunday, we had a great church service and Elder Memmott and I went out to Fort Benning. We had a lesson with seven soldiers about the Plan of Salvation. One of the soldiers is getting baptized on July 24th and we are so excited for him!! We had a great dinner with the bishop and his family! He is such a great man and his family is awesome! With July 4th coming up and serving near a military base it makes me so grateful to live in a country where we can worship as we please and live like we want to live. Even though there are things that we would like to change the country, it makes me so proud to say I live in the land of the free! God Bless America!


-Elder Hill

#GodBlessAmerica   #Itsgettinghotinhere  

Ballin' with the homies :)

Dinner with Byron and Synthia!!

The view with running in the morning!

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