Sunday, January 15, 2017

January 9, 2017 - Augusta / Evans, GA

Hey Y'all!

Wow what a crazy week it has been for the both us!  I really have fallen in love the people here and the area so it will be really hard to leave, but wherever I go it will be where the Lord needs me. I'll let you know my new address and my new area next week. It will be good it get a new start but it will be hard to let this area go. Those snow pictures are crazy. It sounds like mother nature played a toll on y'all! It has been cold here this past week, but not that cold.

But wow this past week was a bittersweet week, transfers normally bring that emotion around.

On Monday night, since we have been meeting with the Stake President and implementing ways we can improve the missionary work in this area we set the goals for the week super high and we wanted to show that with the new goals we set were goals we could attain and at the end of the we sure did. That night a few plans fell through but we ended up going with a youth, Daniel Barclay, to go visit some people in the area. We stopped by Scott Bradleys home and talk with him and his wife about church. It is crazy in the time that I've been here he has really improved and he has quit smoking, came to church and is the reading the scriptures more and more. Its amazing what the gospel of Jesus Christ can do if you really try to live it. We then saw Justin Carabello and taught him and his girlfriend about the Book of Mormon and the spirit was definitely evident. I always love teaching Justin because he is a very dedicated MMA fighter and I have alot in common with him and how I am with basketball. He also is someone who is really humble and wants to learn about the gospel and what is true which is an attribute that is very valuable.

On Tuesday, we had district meeting in Aiken, SC and then I went on exchanges with Elder Sommer and it might have ended up being the last exchange I will do as a zone leader which is such a crazy thought. When we got back it was like the Lord had planned the day for us. We planned in to contact people at a park and right when we got there people were just prepared. We talked to two ladies who had a question about our church that day and we were able to answer their question and also testify of the Restoration. We then saw a less active and a youth preparing to go on a mission who saw us pray with someone and he thought it was neat to see missionaries to work in action. We had a great dinner with the Negren family and she posed an interesting question at the end of dinner as to why the Mormon church is more persecuted than any other religion in the world and our answer was that Satan knows that this church has the restored gospel and wants so badly to take it down. Satan is very good at making something seem so enticing because of the immediate and temporary satisfaction. Whereas the gospel of Jesus Christ is something that takes a little bit longer to fully enjoy but the result is everlasting joy. That night we saw the Pahuamba family and we went with Brother Stott who was able to help out speaking Spanish to the family. We taught Julio and Catalina of the Plan of Salvation and answered the questions "Where do we go after this life? , Why are we here? , and where are we going?" The lesson was really powerful! At the end of the lesson Elder Sommer can speak like Donald Duck and he made all the kids laugh it was so funny!!! 

On Wednesday, we got back from exchanges and had our district meeting in Evans. It was a really motivating meeting and we were all ready to show people just how many lessons we can teach. Elder Goodsell and I had scheduled a 3 hour block of contacting people in a park. At the end of the 3 hours we taught 11 lessons and talked to 50 people. It was really good and I really felt that the people we were able to teach were prepared and wanted to know more about our church. A lot of people have a lot of questions about our day to day lives as missionaries and it helps people understand how much you're giving up that the message that we share really is important to us or we wouldn't be sharing it. There are not many 20 year olds outside the church that go and leave everything behind to help serve people. That's a blessing we have within the church is knowing how much stability can come from serving a mission, I would be in a different place with out going here. We then went to dinner with the Barclays and they are such great people! This past week because we have pressure on us to reach our goals and because our goals for the week were really high goals it was interesting how much more you desperately want as many people as possible to know of the restored truths that we teach. Because our district is so unified and we have our focus all on our purpose the power that we had this week was incredible and it will be a week I'll always remember.

On Thursday, we went to lunch on the border between the Augusta and North Augusta zone to eat with a lady named Grandma Becky. I got to see Elder Showers and talk with him about his mission. We went to Cracker Barrell and it is a place where all they cook is southern food and it is the best! Nothin like a warm biscuit and jam to put you in a good mood! They had a really good catfish that I tried and it was super good!! The highlight of the day was definitely going to Coreys home and teaching him the gospel of Jesus Christ. Brother Hinds was able to come and we first watched the bible video titled "Sermon on the Mount Treasures of Heaven" . It really set the spirit for the lesson as we talked about the Atonement, how to recognize the Spirit, how to have faith in adversity, repentance, enduring to the end, and Brother Hinds testimony was huge in the lesson and Corey could tell that the spirit was there. Corey had an experience last week that was neat to hear about. Corey grew up atheist but as  we have taught him alot of the topics we bring up are things that he agrees with but has been waiting for that moment where the Spirit testifies its all true. He was really sick last week and couldn't call in sick from work. After he took a shower he still didnt feel good and the first thought he had was to pray and after the prayer he felt 100% better and he knew that God was there and that he answers prayers. Im so grateful that I was able to start teaching Corey, but because Im getting transferred Im sad that I wont be able to get baptized, but the important thing is that he is and that he believes in Jesus Christ. We also taught Larry that night who has been learning so much about Jesus Christ and from the time we first time we taught him he has learned and changed so much! Im so proud of him and how far he has come!

On Friday, we drove to MLC in Macon. It was a really rainy/cold drive. Sister North and Sister Farmer followed us as we went and calling each other while we drove sure made for a fun drive! MLC was good, but it was crazy to think that it was probably my last MLC that I'd be apart of and its hard to be believe that its over. I felt like such an old missionary because I was the second oldest missionary there and I knew little to none of the new missionaries. Time sure does fly.Traveling back from Macon was a long drive but the Sisters helped us stay awake by talkin' to us which made it really fun!

On Saturday, it was a memorable day and a very bittersweet day. WE first went to Ultimate Frisbee and it was about 35 degrees and lots of humidity and it was bone chilling cold. Then something magical happened there was this weird thing called snow that started falling from the sky and its like I haven't seen it in about two years!! It was sooo good to rekindle that friendship with snow haha. The fields were so muddy and we were all soaking wet and frozen at the end but it was still sooo fun!! There was this part where someone through this Frisbee way far out in front of me and there was no way I could to it without diving and I sprinting and jumped for it and caught it and smashed my face in a muddy puddle haha. That night we had transfer calls and it sad to say that I'm being transferred to a new area. Itis so hard leaving an area that means so much to you. It's like leaving home again and I cant believe that my time here is up. This district, the members, our investigators have all meant so much to me and its like saying by to family. I know that God is in control and will help me love my next area but goodbyes are always hard.

On Sunday, it was a very bittersweet day full of saying bye to members and reminiscing of good times. Not gonna lie I cried a little bit haha but the people here have been amazing and I'll miss them all. We had dinner ate the Hinds' home and after dinner we went through the ward roster because after moving in after three weeks she has been called to be the Relief Society president and Elder Monsen shared this scripture with her to bring peace that it will all be okay. It's Doctrine and Covenants 121:7 "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but small moment.8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
I know that I'll have peace if I follow Jesus Christ and that if I live in the moment then I will live iup to my potential.

I LOVE Y'ALL and I'll let you know my new address and area next week. Stay tuned!!
-Elder Hill
#ByeEvans   #ontheroadagain   #lastarea?
Lunch with Grandma Becky!!

​Saying bye to Dan Nguyen:( 

Frisbee in the snow!

MLC January 2017

Somebody found the Mormons, January 2017!

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