Sunday, January 1, 2017

December 26, 2016 - Augusta / Evans, GA

Hey Y'all!

It was so great skyping with y'all and time always goes by so fast! It's always eye-opening to me at how fast time really does go and before you know it, it will be time for me to go home. There was so much that happened last week with Christmas, Skyping, zone conference so it will be fun to tell y'all all about it:)

This week was sure a memorable one for many different reasons and it's crazy to think that it was my last Christmas in the mission yesterday. Time just keeps on flying by!

On Tuesday, it was a slower day for us for finding people. It was a pretty nippy day and we had planned to go to contact a few people in the park but it was pretty slow even though we ran into a member at the park and we had a nice chat with them. We had an awesome lesson with Larry and we talked about some of the struggles he's having with the church and alot of it comes to down to faith. He's been struggling with the change of pace and the change that comes with the gospel, he's leaning alot on his family and us for support. He also mentioned that he misses home in Pittsburgh and is thinking of going back even though if he does that he wont have much support with the church there. So we are doing all we can to help him feel loved and to love the area more. That night we talked to the Lawrys and had an awesome talk with them. 

On Wednesday, we woke up at 4;30 and drove to Statesboro for Christmas zone conference. I was able to drive through Waynesboro and see my old area which was really fun. It was so crazy to be back there after 18 months and I saw alot of houses and roads that made me reminisce of biking and talking with people there. Lots of good and bad memories of that place. The Christmas Conference was awesome and I loved the spirit that was there. Hearing peoples testimonies of Jesus Christ made the meeting really spiritual. One interesting aspect of the meeting where it was the first time where I felt like one of the older missionaries in the meeting. The Sisters that I came out with bore their last testimonies in zone conference and it made me reflect and wonder where all the time went.Soon enough it will be my turn which will be a bittersweet experience. It is such a blessing to be in the service of the Lord in your life especially around Christmas time. Bearing His name on your chest goes by so fast and I'm trying to soak it all in. I got to see a lot of old friends and enjoy the spirit of the season! I absolutely love Christmas time and on your mission Christmas' are a little different than most but they are Christmas' that you wont forget and you'll cherish forever. President Grayson also gave us mission T-shirts and we wore them at the end of zone conference. He compared it to the title of liberty and how we need to be unified in the same great cause so that we will be of you mind and one spirit and one mission. After zone conference we drove back through and I took a few pictures in Waynesboro before we eventually got home from a long day on the road.

On Thursday, we had a very busy day in the afternoon we went and saw an investigator and her name is Rosemary we dropped off some chocolate for her and it made her day! We then wen to to a retirement home and sang carols to the people there. My all time favorite Christmas song is silent night and I always feel the spirit when I sing or hear it. After we sang we went to Brother Criswells home where we met with Larry to have a lesson and be in the nature so that Larry could feel like he is at home. It was an awesome lesson and we talked a lot about prayer and how we can recognize the spirit. Its amazing when you are in the outdoors how much more you can recognize God in your life as you start at His creations and you start thinking to yourself, could this have happened by happenstance or is there a plan for all of us. If you think about the exactness of the earth and if the world was one fraction closer to the sun or one degree off its tilt we would perish and you wonder that there is a God and he love and cares for us here. After the lesson we met with the Bishop and met with him to discuss our future plans for the ward and if what we have thought matches with his vision for the work here in the area. We are planning to initiate a family mission plan to help make missionary work easier to conceive and make it not a scary thing, we are also working on making bible class a more spiritual experience or the members so hopefully they invite their friends and they feel of the spirit as well. Bishop loves the plan and we are working on starting it up in the new year.

On Friday, we panned for the first part of the day but the afternoon was crazy busy! We had appointment lined up all night and we are on exchanges with the Stevens Creek Elders. We first met with Larry and it was a great lesson but he was really questioning if he wants to know more about Jesus Christ and wants the answer then and now. We are working on knowing when answers come and understanding that the Lords time isn't always in our timing. We met a roman catholic who told us a lot about his experience in Vietnam and all the gruesome things he saw there in the war when he was in the Navy. We then had an awesome lesson with Corey and a member how actually works with Corey. We taught the plan of Salvation and the ended the lesson with ways we have seen God manifest himself to us. I told him about the experience with Erik at Taco Bell last week and the spirit was so strong in the room. He recognized the spirit and we are really excited to continue watching his testimony grow. The Plan of Salvation is such a blessing in our lives and I'm so grateful to understand that God has a plan for us and our purpose isnt just to exist but to have the potential to be like our Heavenly Father just like when a son grows he has the potential to be like his father.

On Saturday, we started the day off with a fun game of Frisbee and it was super competitive and I had alot of fun. The highlight of the day was we got invited to go to a Methodist Christmas Eve service and listen to the music there. We also had Madison Baptism interview and she is so ready and she is really excited! We are excited for her! We had Christmas Eve with the Crunks and we listened to scriptures and enjoyed spending Christmas Eve with their family.

On Sunday it was CHRISTMAS!! It was a very memorable day, I sang in the choir and the spirit was so strong. I was getting chills and warm feelings in my heart throughout the entire meeting. I know that Jesus Christ was born and that he died for us that we may be able to return to Heavenly Fathers presence. I absolutely love Christmas' n your mission and this one was very special. I love skyping my family and listening to their voices and see how much they've grown. Christmas is such a memorable day for me and I had lots of flashback throughout this Christmas season where I look at families being together on Christmas and it made me remember ours at home. People around this time of year are so happy and uplifted by the light of Christ and I wish it could be Christmas all year round on some days.

I LOVE Y'ALL! I know this church is true and I know that the more effort you put into something the more you will get out of it! We have untapped potential and as we rely on faith and pray for strength God will lead us to know what we are to do in this life.

-Elder Hill
#Christmas!!  #18months!
Christmas Morning 2016!

Smiling on a Log!

Having Fun 2016!

Christmas in the Wesley Methodist Church 2016!

Looking Tough!

The Crew, Don't Fall!

Christmas Zone Conference 2016!

Having fun!

Savannah River Rapids!

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