Sunday, September 18, 2016

September 12, 2016 - North Augusta / Evans

Hey Y'all!

Weeks just keep on flying by!! This past week sure was a fast week and lots of really awesome miracles happened!  Oh and yes I LOVE Georgia Peaches!!! A year ago in Waynesboro a member had an orchard and we would go over on P-day and pick a basket and they are Delicious. Georgia Peaches were probably the fruit that Satan tempted Eve with haha just kidding but yes they are very good and I'll have to bring you back one:) I'm glad that the ward and Grandma and Grandpa like my blog, it takes some time but it is definitely worth it:) God definitely protects us from so many things more than we sometimes realize! 

I'll start this week off with a quote from Elder Cook last night at a devotional we were able to go to. Elder Cook said "It's a lot better to strive to be Christlike than to be authentic." I thought this was a very profound statement because its so much better to strive for the right things that may in the end be more difficult where on the other hand to stand out for the wrong reasons. If you don't stand on decisions based around Jesus Christ you may find yourself searching  and floating for happiness, but when we make decisions by counseling with God we are able to find joy and direction from someone who knows ALL things. It's definitely easier said than done to choose the harder right than the easier wrong, but the Lord will bless you as you choose righteously.

On Monday night, we were able to go over to Brother Fry's home and he cooked some pork and grilled some corn on the barbecue! While we waited for him to finish making dinner we all played a Nerf war around the house and it was a lot of fun! After we had dinner we went to go to the Carabellos home,we were a few minutes early and so we were getting out of the car to go and tract for a few minutes when we saw a couple guys playing basketball:) Haha you know me I cant pass up an opportunity like that. I played 1 on 1 against one of the kids there and it was a lot of fun:) We left him with a scripture and a pass along card and he invited us to come back over sometime to play and have a message! So dont hide your talents! After we got sweaty we went to the Carabellos home and it was Justin's birthday. He said he was really sore from training for MMA and I could relate to being sore all the time from training. We sat with them and sang happy birthday to him. We are starting to build a relationship with him and his family. We are excited for whats to come! 

On Tuesday, we hopped on the bikes and rode over to Sister Coopers neighborhood. We tried to visit a few people and see one of our investigators, but ended up talking to Sister Cooper for a time. While we were on our bikes its crazy how many people notice you and recognize we are missionaries. Its become a habit to waive at every car that you ride past as they glare at you which is a good thing becomes everyone likes a happy smile and a wave. We got back home and got into a really good conversation with one of our neighbors about churches and how he doesn't like how Pastors don't know know what they talk about half the time. He also talked about how he doesn't like the doctrine of the trinity where God and Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are one being. Over the course of my missions I've had my time talking to various religious leaders and pastors and I've found that most churches have the same foundational beliefs with Jesus Christ. But a lot of churches here in the south believe in the trinity where they are all one being. I look at the garden of Gethsemane and cant seem to understand how Jesus Christ could be praying to him himself and not the Father. Or when Christ was baptized and the Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove and Heavenly Father said, "Behold, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Its hard for me to believe that they are one person. But we talked with him and established a good relationship with him. Later that night we had English Class and taught the class about commands and how to say things in a nice way. It went well and I am thankful IO took Spanish for 4 years in high school, its helped me out quite a bit:) 

On Wednesday, we were able to meet the new missionary here serving with Elder Cayton, him name is Elder Hooley. He just came into the mission and it was fun talking to him about his mission. We did service at Mrs.Morris' and cleared some weeds for her. A lot of Wednesday was tracting and trying to find people. We met a few really nice people who had questions about the church and differences of what they believed. Everyone is entitled to their own belief and that's why this country is so great. I love talking to people about their beliefs and here in the south its a great blessing that everyone has heard of Jesus Christ because religion is big down here. The struggle is just helping people understand how important it is to have a second witness such as the Book of Mormon and the importance of having a prophet on the earth today like Moses or Jeremiah in times of old. We had dinner with the Ganuza family and I love their home because you can tell Sister Ganuza loves her husband and her kid which is evident by how she talks to them and treats them. We finished the night off with Bible class and reading in Mark 3.

On Thursday, we were able to get on the computers and update referrals. I watched a talked by Dallin H Oaks and he said a quote that was really powerful he said "When you are involved in the work of the Lord, the power behind you, is always greater than the obstacles before you." I loved that and I think of all the members and families praying for the general authorities, missionaries, and each other. It's like we are one big family working for the same goal! We talked to Sister Sapp about the Plan of Salvation and helped her understand where we go after this life. I've thought about the divine Plan of Salvation this week and how perfect it is. I got a bunch of CD's mailed to me this past week from someone in Sandy, UT. The guy was talking about how he had a question about what happens to the man who lives in China but doesn't know about Jesus Christ? He had a hard time believing that that person would go to hell and that's where the spirit world comes into play and how we can learn there for those who didn't get the chance to here. Later that day we talked to Zina Eddy and we were able to set up a time to come and see her. Thursday, we were trying to see people but they kept on rejecting us and saying to come back later. It was hard, but nothing in life comes easy.

On Friday,  the day was mostly planning for the people we have been teaching, but in the afternoon we went over to go to teach Dan about the commandments. She is getting baptized on September 24th!! She has ate up everything in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and it's been an absolute joy watching her testimony grow. She's had questions answered by God and she has felt the Holy Ghost. I go back to the reason why Dan was interested in the church. I think I might have told y'all before but Dan wasn't living in a good situation and the Urbanawiz family invited her over to live with her. Dan was impressed and felt the spirit in the home and asked why they do the things they do and they said it all goes back to what we believe in the church. That following Sunday I had the impression to ask her if she was interested in the lessons and she was! She kept telling us that I probably wouldn't have asked you guys because I'm shy so if you didn't ask me I don't know if we would be having a conversation about baptism. She received an answer through Alma 7 and now she is just eating up everything we have been teaching her! The ward loves her and she is definitely going to do great things! She asked us to pray for her on the way out that she might be able to get a job that she interviewed for and through the power in prayer Dan heard a few days later that she got the job!! I'm sooo excited for her!Later that night we had a cool experience where it was 8:45 and it was an awkward time because its too late to go see someone and you don't want to go in early so we went to Big Lots to figure out what is even Big Lots. On the way out we ran into Justin Carabello and talked to him! Just a small world moment but those are the things that make the biggest difference.

On Saturday we played Ultimate frisbee and got better:) It's a lot of fun and wet haha! We got a call from a member in an nearby area that needed help moving a friend. She had some of the heaviest pieces of furniture in her home I've ever moved. I've moved some crazy stuff on my mission like a grand piano from a 3 story building but all of her dressers were crazy heavy! She is a super nice lady and we loved getting to know her! We had dinner at the Whites home and we had a crazy small world moment:) The Whites used to live in Colorado and I asked what part and they said Westminster. I asked where in Westminster? The lived over by Standley Lake but I asked if they knew anyone near where we lived and they said. "Do you know the Parkers who lived in Amherst?" I was like no way!! They lived kiddie corner from us growing up!! Apparently the Whites would go over to their home all the time and so we might have bumped paths somewhere along my life! But it was a crazy small world moment! I raced their kid up a hill and he "beat me" haha he was a fast 5 year old:)

Sunday, we had a great Sunday! Church was great and we talked a lot about the Sabbath day. We talked about strengthening the family in the home and how we can do that better. After church we had ward council, I was very impressed as to how Bishop Richards conducted himself and got the ward involved with family history work. He is very understanding and he loves the people. After church, Alex Gomez came out with us to go see some Spanish families in a nearby neighborhood. We went up and talked to these guys grilling out and drinking some beer. In the Spanish culture they are very inviting and want you to just eat! We had some really good tacos and Alex talked to them in Spanish.The one guy who had the beer was eating a jalapeño right off the grill and he said I should have one and I was like why not! Well after one bite my ears were ringing and I couldn't feel my face!! I was trying to compose myself and not make a scene but my pain was evident in my watery eyes. The only liquid available was his leftover beer and I've never been tempted to drink beer before in my life but the only reason why it was tempting was because it would calm the hot coal in my stomach. Don't worry fam I didn't drink the beer. Don't worry:) It was a very funny time and I was glad to receive a cold water at the next door we knocked on. We had a dinner with a very cute family and their kids were really cute:) Later that night we watched Elder Oak's devotional and I really learned a lot about the challenges youth face. He gave great insight and I loved learning about how we can over come challenges:)

I LOVE Y"all and the CHURCH is true!!

-Elder Hill
#Livingonaprayer  #jalepeNO
Go Green to Stay Lean!

Green Georgia!

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