Sunday, December 25, 2016

December 19, 2016 - Augusta / Evans, GA

Hey Y'all!

This has been a very crazy week! I'm feeling way better than last week and pretty much all recovered. The medicine and the inhaler really helped and after I got the medicine and the inhaler I was feeling pretty much 100% a few days later.
I cant believe its a week til Christmas and its crazy how time goes 

On Monday, P-day was such a busy/stressful day and it was hard getting everything we had planned that day done and done well. One hard aspect about this area is because the other 4 Elders in this area are on bikes so we have to pick them up and drop them off at different places where they need to be and making time to take them home is sometimes hard so it really makes you communicate plans for the day because if you don't then that's when your late for things. The highlight of that day was going to the Pahuambas for FHE and we are really excited for that family. They live in Augusta and travel close to 40 minutes to church with 7 kids and they are at church every week. They have seven kids and two of them want to get baptized and we are preparing them for that. Its amazing how the Lord works in mysterious ways because I use Spanish as we teach and I remember my Junior year having to make the decision if I wanted to continuing Spanish to Spanish 4 and at the time it really didn't make much sense for me to take the class but now I'm so grateful that I continued in studying Spanish and learning more because in this area I've used a lot of Spanish. Now don't get me wrong I cant fluently speak it but I cant remember alot of phrases and verbs to conjugate that I can make a broken sentence in which they are able to understand the point we are trying to get across. So my testimony in the gift of tongues has been strengthened alot since I've been here. We taught the Pahumabas about prayer and we made the analogy to the kids about toothpaste and asked the kids..."When you brush your teeth do you squirt out the whole tube at once and brush your teeth once for the whole month or do you use a little and brush multiple times a day?"  They all laughed and it helped them understand that God wants us to talk with him multiple times throughout the day. But they are really working hard and their testimony in Christ is growing!

On Tuesday, We started the day off with interviews with President Grayson and I always love spending time with him and learning from him. He is really a bright teacher and knows the gospel really well. The highlight of the whole day was that night we talked with Corey and had a great lesson with him. We both felt very strongly that we should share a story from the Book of Mormon and as we help him understand and have experiences with the Book of Mormon the more that the material we teach will be more inviting and applicable. We both felt that we should share 1 Nephi 8 talking about Lehi's dream and how coming to Christ is the message in which the Book of Mormon begins and ends. We read at the end of Book of Mormon of Moroni's final words at the end of his life to come unto Christ and that is the message of the Book of Mormon and as we explained and related Lehi's dream to how the world is he really seemed to understand and yearn for more learning from the Book of Mormon. Watching someones testimony grow in the gospel from feeling the Holy Ghost are some of the most memorable times you'll have in this life and even the next life.

On Wednesday, we had planned to do a new way of contacting people called Windows of Heaven. The concept of Windows of Heaven is all about finding the Lords elect and we do that through alot of prayer and aligning Gods will with our efforts. We had planned to go contact people at Lady A and its amazing how as we were making plans for the week that the slot on Wednesday from 3:00 to 5:00 just kept drawing us a blank as to what we should do and it almost felt that we were going to have a memorable experience there and that there is a person there that we need to talk to. We met a lady named Theresa who was the second person we talked to and a large part of windows of Heaven is contacting everyone you seee and promising the Lord that you wont let one person you see go without be talked to.  Theresa was walking somewhat fast with music on and we stopped her which was super awkward but she had gone to the park to get her mind off some recent events in her life. She just lost her mom, divorced her husband and she was in a point in her life that she didnt care what happened to her. We talked to her for two hours and within 5 minutes she was crying because she saw this as a sign from God that he does care for her and as we talked to her we answered alot of her misconceptions of our church. She accepted to read the pamphlet and we are going to see her this upcoming week! Is it odd or is it God? It was a really memorable contact for me because our human nature would say not to bother her while she was walking and all human instincts are holding a red flag saying she wouldn't be responsive but spiritually we committed to God we would talk to everyone and we did and because we did we helped answer someones prayer. 

On Thursday, we beat the world record for unloading a 25 foot moving trailer into an apartment! We unloaded the whole trailer in 20 minutes!! Granted we had 6 people but its still really impressive. It was funny the people working in the complex asked if we wanted jobs at the complex because we did that in such a fast rate. But maybe after the mission or somethin'. The next part of the day also showed us that God plays a part in this work. Throughout the whole week we had been having scheduling conflicts for Thursday trying to figure out district meeting, and the move for Brother Barclay that morning and after working it out it made our lunch break be kind of late in the day. After the meeting a few people here wanted to go out to eat and it didn't make sense for us to because we didn't have much time but we decided to go to Taco Bell. I'm not sure if y'all remember the man I talked to out the the car last week and handed him a Book of Mormon and I wasn't able to write down his number to contact him and it just so happened that he recognized us at Taco Bell and it was exactly one week from that day where we randomly met up at Taco Bell and got his contact info. If that isn't God manifesting himself I don't know what is! Crazy stuff! That day we also met with Larry where we had a really memorable meeting where we talked about the baptism questions and he was worried about not being ready to be baptized. Larry has been working so hard at being ready to be baptized and wants to understand the material. He has a learning disability so it makes it hard for him to remember a lot of material but we have been breaking the lessons down into very simple, easy material. 

On Friday, we as a district are making plans to really change the culture in this area from the stereotypes and really involving the members by making a family mission plan, an app where they can track their successes. We are trying to do big things here in Evans and things are looking up. That night we met with Larry who shared some really personal past experiences with us that he felt he should get off his chest and its saddening what humans do when they aren't surrounded by Jesus Christ and some of the experiences he shared were rally hard to believe. We also met with Madison and her parents and had a great dinner with them. We planned her baptism and she asked me to baptize her next Wednesday so we are excited to watch her make those covenants with the Lord. She has a waited a good amount of time for this day and its exciting to finally watch her be baptized! 

On Saturday, we played ultimate Frisbee and it was only 3 on 3 but it was still really fun and cold! A member here was talking to me about joining the Army. The things he was talking about made me think about it but ultimately I want to play college basketball and make my dream come true. We set some plans up for the day and the week and met with the Bishop to discuss the work and some plans that we have.

On Sunday, it was a really special service. There was a special musical number where they played "Where are you Christmas?" It brought the spirit into the room so fast and it made me think of home for some reason. The Hinds family talked a lot about how God has played a role in their life and everyone in the room was feeling the spirit. We talked to Eddy Hamrick and finished the week off well. The church is true and I know that the gospel is true. I've seen my life change over the past 18 months and have found something that I want people to know and understand as well. I also found out that Dan Nguyen got her patriarchal blessing this past week and from what she said God expects alot from her. She is doing so well and I'm so happy for her!

I cant wait to see you on Sunday and I HOPE HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Elder Hill
#1weektilIseeyou     #TheWorkisMoving
Foggy Winter 2016!

Christmas Brawl 2016!

​If we arent talkin' Christmas I aint wanna talk! 

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