Sunday, September 4, 2016

August 29, 2016 - Augusta GA

Hey Y'all!

I'll start off this week with a joke that I heard a members home this past week..."Whats the difference between a violin and a fiddle?.. A violin has strings and a fiddle has strangs. Haha its a lot better in person because you gotta use that southern accent with the strangs! But I'm glad that everyone is starting another school year! Stake conference at the Logan tabernacle sounds like a lot of fun! I'm glad that Kristina is better and doing well. My clothes are surviving with all the rain and sweat, I had to retire one of my white shirts this past week because it was splitting at the collar and a member was generous enough to buy me a new pair of pants which was so nice of her (I'll tell you the story in my letter haha). So our mission goes all the way to the Atlantic ocean but I haven't been over in that area yet, but maybe one day I will. My zone doesn't cover that area that is on the coast, but we will see what my future holds.  But wow what a week it has been  quite a busy week and an eventful week! Just fyi we are getting hints that we might be getting ipads in our mission so keep that in mind, I'm not sure if its gonna happen or not but I just wanted to let you know.

On Monday night, we had an amazing visit with a family in Augusta. It was quite the flashback because a year ago when I was serving in Waynesboro we helped moved someone out of the apartment complex that we were going to and it was quite the coincidence. We had a great dinner with this Hispanic family. The dad was the only person who spoke fluent English, and even though I cant put together a full sentence in Spanish anymore but I could help clarify small words to where we could understand each other. Haha so I guess those 4 years in Spanish paid off a little bit haha. While we were eating this meal he didn't tell us what we were eating until we finished, but it was rice, veggies, and the meat we had was pigs brain. When he told us that I was a bit shocked because it tasted really good it was just a bit stringy and chewy but it had a good flavor to it. We can chalk that up on another interesting food on my mission haha. But after dinner we got talking and the dad was so sincere and was so thankful we came by and they have a missionary serving in New York and you could see the love for the gospel in their eyes. We had a family prayer around the table that was one of the most humble prayers I've heard. Such a great man who knows how important a gospel centered home is.

 On Tuesday we had district meeting in Aiken, SC and Aiken is such a pretty city. It is throwback to like the 70's with lots of shops and movie theaters that line main street. They have one way streets and beautiful government buildings. I'll send some pictures:) We had a great district meeting and then I went on exchanges with Elder Cannon. There is a man we have been involved with over the past few weeks and his name is Willie. Willie wanted some help with some food and rent and we went on an errand for bishop. Normally we aren't involved with welfare but with Bishop gone and Willie being so forceful we were the only ones he could turn to. Bishop left us with instructions and in them we had to buy the food and not just give Willie the money to buy food so we had to call Willie and ask what he wanted from the store. He was reluctant but we got everything he wanted with 15cents to spare. Talk about good shopping:) We dropped the food off to him and this next part kind of upset me. We got him close to 14-15 items from the store and one of items we got wrong and all that they would talk about was the one thing we got wrong and not be grateful for the other 13 items we got right. I was somewhat just shocked by how he treated us and when we offered to share a message with him after we gave him the food he said he didnt want to waste our time. So we could tell all he wanted was worldly help and financial help. It all worked out in the end, and in the end of the night we had Spanish/English class church went really well! Taught about the present tense:) 

On Wednesday, we exchanged back nad on the way back we went to this bargain store called Ollies. They had these pants there that looked really good and they were easily pants for like 50 to 60$ and they were $10.00. The problem was is that they were 32x30 and I was a 32x32. They didn't have a changing room and holding them up to my waist they looked long enough and so I acted on faith and bought them. Because they didn't have a changing room I planned on buying them and then I would go to a nearby store and if they didn't fit I'd return them, it turns out they were a bit short... So I went back to the store to return them and they had a no return policy because it was bargain store. So I felt kind of bad that I wasted $10.00 but we went through our day and we met a swimmer who was getting recruited from Denver University and I told her how awesome Colorado is and how cool the DU campus is and she said she would look into it, so that was cool. We visited this lady named Sister Cooper, and I ripped a seem in one of my suit pants that she said she could sew up and while she was sewing them up, I talked about my pant purchase and she  had went to a estate sale and bought 32x32 pants for like $2.00 and they fit great. So it was just funny how God works and how to learn from mistakes, but it worked out in the end:) We had dinner with the Shelton family and it was pretty funny they made us breakfast for dinner with biscuits and gravy with pancakes. The funny part was is they had the same dining plate set that we had at home. So when I would look down and saw the plate design it through me for a loop because I felt I was at home haha. We had bible class later that night and read in Matthew 26 about Christs Atonement. A less active we had been working with came and loved the spirit there!

On Thursday, we had kind of a rough day, all of our plans fell through and everyone we talked to wasn't interested in the message. It got to the point where we both were like who doesn't want to hear a message about Christ and what the message of the Restoration means. A lot of the times the things that stop them from hearing the message is rumors about Mormons or they are comfortable where they are at and don't want to change. They dont know what they missing out on! On the plus side though is that we had a great dinner at the Morgans and we got pretty excited for Christmas!! We got talking about Christmas traditions and it made us all ready for Christmas!!

Friday was the start to a great weekend for Dan Ngyen. We planned a good majority of the day and at 2:00 we went to go to visit her. She had some really good questions and her testimony is growing so fast! What is different about Dan than most people I've taught is that Dan wants to know the truth, she puts in the work and if she has a doubt she brings it up with us instead of turning to the internet or a friend not in the church who would know. We taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ and talked about the priesthood a good amount. She expressed to us she wants to get baptized but wants to understand it before she becomes a member. We explained to her that yes it's important to know the doctrine, but we wont understand all of it before baptism, because we as missionaries don't know everything or any person in the church. It was  of good comfort to her and from then she said I'll pray about a date to get baptized! That was just the start for her this weekend! After that we did some service with a Jamaican member, we helped her trim her bushes and mow her yard.

On Saturday, we started the day off with some ultimate Frisbee. It was the Elders and civilians against the U.S army.  Elder Weston and I were running everywhere trying to get back on defense and offense. It was hard because they were so talented and when only half your team gets back on defense they have the definite advantage and some times its only a matter of time before they score.  But it was alot of fun and it gets my aggressive energy juices out haha. We then helped someone with their move of their home and we were exhausted haha! Alot of our plans fell through that day, but the night was definitely the highlight of the day. We had the adult session of stake conference and the first half were talks of Sabbath day observance and at the end there was a question answer period where Elder Weston, Elder Billman, and I walked around with mics to people with comments. By far the most powerful comment came from Dan. Keep in mind this is her first stake conference. She had been going to the church for about a month and she gets up in front of 200 plus people and bears her testimony of the church and how she believes its true. She gave us a shout out in her comment , she said "Elder Hill and Elder Weston come over every week and answer my questions and teach me about the church." She said how I know its true and with tears in her eyes she seen her testimony grow in Christ from the Book of Mormon and reading it. She said how important we've been in her life and she told us how much the church makes sense. Everyone was very impressed and felt the spirit. I got to see Elder Showers and lots of missionaries. I talked to President Grayson about Dan and USU and he gave me some counsel.

On Sunday, we had stake conference and I got to see a lot of members from Waynesboro which was very fun!! Reuniting with people is the best! We heard some greats talks about living the gospel and making the Sabbath a delight and not a hassle. After conference we had quite an interesting afternoon. We had to wait for two hours for Elder Weston to talk to President Grayson and I got pretty hungry haha. We had an awesome lunch with the Tippetts and had some German food which was awesome! After that we had to deal with some issues within the zone that were difficult to deal with and figure out what would be best, but it all worked out. 

It was quite the week, but I love y'all and keep on keeping on!! The church is true through and through. 
P.S. Hey! Sorry I just remembered a pretty funny occurrence this past week, we were tracting last night and we knocked on a pastors door and he comes outside and we got talking about beliefs and he was pretty abrupt and we asked if we could leave a pamphlet with him after teaching about the Restoration and he said sure if I can leave you with a bible and we were like sure! He gave us this small orange bible and he said I'll pray for you... He practically rebuked us and then said the Lords prayer and he said he prayed our way into heaven and so guys guess what!!! I'm saved!!!!! hahaha 

thought you'd want to know haha:)

-Elder Hill

Father like Son :)

Mustache Mondays!

Huge Baptist Church!

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