What a week! It sure has been a busy week for Elder Hill and the crew, but its definitely way better to be busy than not:) The fire is mostly is in northern Georgia but the smoke from the fire has traveled to Evans and it has made for some smokey days. But we have not had a good solid Georgia rainfall in a while so it is a bit dry here which is probably why the nosebleed happened because of the lack of humidity in the air, but it hasn't affected us too bad.
Lots of growing experiences this week and the work keeps on moving forward!
On Monday, after I played basketball we went to Brother Criswell's home and watched him process a turkey for one of his friends. Definitely an eye opening experience physically watching how a turkey is prepared for sale. It definitely doesn't just come from the store. Brother Criswell does it in a very humane manner and always thanks the bird for its life before he slits the bird throat with a sharp knife. It definitely helped me understand that meat just isnt there in the store but its the concept of a life for a life. That night we taught Corey. I haven't told y'all much about Corey but he's friends with a member here in the ward and is interested in knowing more about the church. We watched the Restoration video with him and it helped him understand the spirit of the first vision. We are trying to help him know for himself that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself for the world because he doesn't have much of a religious background and we are trying to help him recognize his answers through the Holy Ghost but hasn't received an answer yet. It will come in Gods timing...
On Tuesday, we woke up at 5:00 and had a a lot to get done. After working out and getting ready for zone conference we had to go clean the car inside and out before car inspections. It was a pretty brisk morning so it definitely woke you up washing a car before the sun is out. Elder Weston and I were busy bees trying to get everything situated for zone conference. We had to figure out a lot of electronics and make do with what we had. It went really well and we found solutions to the problems. So many wonderful training's were given and it was so beneficial for me. I learned of a new way to mark the Book of Mormon to where you can get a jist of the spirit of the Book of Mormon and know of its truthfulness in 90 minutes. We used it this past week and when asking someone to read the Book of Mormon its alot less daunting of a task because it wont take as much time and helps them commit to reading. We also received alot of direction in finding joy through trials and suffering. President Russell talked about finding your individual purpose in life and using the motivation of who God wants you to be be the light to finding joy amongst all the darkness around you. We also were taught about the new Christmas initiative coming called #LighttheWorld. The video will be coming out this week and it will be a great way to start talking to people. Zone Conference definitely a spiritually motivating meeting and I'm always grateful for an opportunity to learn from our mission leaders. That night we met with Brother Rivera and had dinner with him and I always love going over to his house because I always feel the spirit in his home. We talked a lot about our future spouse and different things that contribute to the decision of picking someone to marry. Don't worry y'all its a ways out haha.
On Wednesday, it was a pretty basic day where the plans you had worked out jus the way you'd hoped and found a lot of success in our plans. We talked to a lady named Garnet and asked her she'd be interested in knowing about the 90 minute Book of Mormon challenge and she said that she would read the Book of Mormon with the marked up Book of Mormon where before she was opposed to reading anything contrary to her Catholic church. So small and steady we are hopefully planting a seed within her heart. We tried a few more potentials and shared the Restoration with them, and that night we went to Madison Boswells home and had a delicious dinner with her and her parents. Madisons parents have opened up quite a bit from the first time that I met them and we have gotten to a very friendly basis which is awesome! It's amazing how much the Lord can help us bind relationships with people through the gospel. Our conversations that we have at dinner are always gospel centered and because the spirit is there it unifies us and helps us understand where each person is coming from. A lot of people look at the church and pick out the differences and that's all they focus on, but as you look for the good in everything and everyone your whole perspective on people change and you want to understand more.
On Thursday, a good majority of our day was tracting and finding new people using the training's we had at zone conference. We walked along a road called Hereford Farm and knocked on all of the houses off the road knowing that missionaries probably haven't knocked those homes. The first road we went down was a long dirt road covered by trees and if there was a moment on my mission where I felt like I was in the south that was it! At the end of the road there were four homes with dogs on leashes barking at you with no trespassing signs posted all over the property but both Elder Weston and I didn't really feel scared or nervous about knocking them. No one ended up answering but it was cool experience. Later we knocked into a lady who shared a story of how she overcame cancer and how much faith her son has in her and how she'd overcome it. Her son has been on 2 tours being a gunner for a tank and has had miraculous stories of survival. We also met this lady who was hesitant of accepting a Book of Mormon because she had read bits and pieces from missionaries in the past but became discouraged because she wasn't receiving an answer. We told her about the 90 minute Book of Mormon challenge and she loved it and from being hesitant to completely agreeing with the reading the Book of Mormon. We are excited to check up with her after Thanksgiving. We had dinner with the Aldermans who fed us a southern meal of salmon patties, cornbread salad, and peas. Gotta love southern cooking:) We met up with Justin and Tracy that night and taught them about the Plan of Salvation and by the spirit he was able to have a few of his questions answered and it all made sense to him which is exciting!
Friday, was mostly planning but that night we another lesson with Corey and talked to him about 3 Nephi 11 and how answers come by the spirit. We shared many different insights with him but TJ the member we took with us had a really good insight at the end and he said" That in a car we pass by tons of cars and don't really notice a specific car until we pick it out and then we start seeing it everywhere. It's kind of like blessings from God that if we don't look for them they can pass you by and it's easy to not notice all the plentiful blessings." He committed to look for at least 3 ways each day the Lord has blessed him this week!
On Saturday, It was a physically laboring day which started with Frisbee and me being on a team with 4 people when the other team ha 5. You know me and how I always love a challenge and we stuck with them right to the end and I was sprinting everywhere haha. After we got to our apartment I had a prompting to help a family move who was moving in front of our apartment and ended up helping them move all their furniture from a third story across the parking lot. We met a man named Chris who then after it was over took us out to lunch because he loved how we were in the service of God. We talked alot about what is true happiness and living in such a way that people notice you. We talked about having integrity and how the world today lacks integrity. He loves the work we do and wants to stay in touch!
On Sunday, Corey came to church and whenever an investigator comes to church your nervous about everything and how they'll accept the messages by speakers. Corey seemed to like church but I could see he had lots of questions and we are meeting him tonight so we will see what questions he had. A few other investigators came to church and are progressing well! After church we went to the Gomez' home and had a meal with them! We played with their pet parrot and yes I took a picture haha:) I gave a blessing to Brother Gomez because he just had surgery and the spirit was very evident! We then took a Brother who just returned from his mission to see a lady named Lisa when instead we met her husband and wow what a conversation... He was those kind of people that makes a very blunt point and then when you try to answer wont let you talk and we had to raise our voices a few times because he was contorting lots of things that weren't true about the church. He also believed that the earth was flat and that science has lied to us all these years and yep... I know right... But he wasn't willing to listen so hopefully the way we took his yelling made an impression on him. That night we had a stake priesthood meeting and received training on how to improve our home teaching. I got to see a member from Columbus and it was great to see him!
It was a great week with lots of learning experiences! I know the church is true and I LOVE Y'ALL!!