Sunday, February 26, 2017

February 20, 2017 - Alma, GA

Hey Y'all!

Well, what can I say it was a another crazy week in the south!

This past week was sure another good week in the good ol small  town of Alma,GA...

On Tuesday, we had district meeting in Hazlehurst Georgia and it was one to remember. There was a missionary who is ending his mission today and last Tuesday was his last meeting in the mission and he sang a pretty "Trunky" song to say the least but he was ready to get going. Im really proud of him though I've served around him a good little bit and its great to seem him fulfill a 2 year mission. District meeting was really good though as we talked about the importance of prayer and keeping the spirit in the lessons. The spirit was really strong and we talked about good ways to invite your investigators to pray in a comfortable way. Its really fun to be a district leader and get to watch the missionaries you serve around grow and change as they learn more and more in the gospel. After district meeting I went on exchanges with Elder Showers and its really crazy serving with him again and its definitely a flashback, but its fun seeing where we were a year ago and where we are now. We tracted and talked to a lot of people in the city of Baxley. We met this one guy who believed in Reincarnation and you don't find that a lot down here so we were interested to see what he believed. He said that he believed in the Book of Mormon that he thought it could be true, and he believed the Bible. But yet he didn't believe in a Satan. AS he talked about evolving and becoming better we thought a lot of things he said conflicted with each other, but one great thing we have in life is agency and the ability to choose. But we met alot of great people who really love Jesus Christ and want to come closer to him even if they don't accept all of what we say, its great serving in a place where people believe in Jesus Christ.

On Wednesday, we exchanged back with each other and Elder Irons and I had a really good day.  As we walk into Alma we walk for probably a mile on this 4 lane highway and there are semi-trucks and cars that wiz past you and Elder Irons have had fun waving at all the cars and trucks. You get a mixture of waves, cars/trucks honking their horn and other hand signals haha. But to be honest we are becoming quite well known in the small town of Alma because in small towns no secret is kept secret and a lot of people share what they saw with each other and we have been a reoccurring topic in peoples conversations which is cool. We went to the Alma Times (Our news paper company) and we are putting an entry in the newspaper for this upcoming and hopefully it will gain traction and people will see it and come and visit the church and see how it is. That night we went to go finish Sister Wole's fence and it ended up turning out pretty good and now I know how to put up a fence, not the hardest thing in the world but haha still a good thing to know.

On Thursday, it was perfect weather outside and a lot of people were outside walking around. One thing I love about Alma is that since its a really small town it feels like you're living in the 60's. Not that I know how that time period felt but because its a smaller town they dont have all the flashy new stores, clothes, or electronics but its just simple living. So its really helped me slow down and appreciate the small things in life. We were trying to see alot of potential investigators this day and we started off by trying to see Melinda. We knocked on the home and this guy named Tyler came outside and with a cigarrette in his hand he expressed that he feels like he doesn't really have a purpose and he doesn't know why he's here on earth. That is everything that the gospel brings and we shared with him our testimonies and told him that this is what he has been looking for. He happens to know Austin and they are actually pretty good friends. We told him that Austin had been learning about the church and is looking forward to getting baptized and Tyler was more than happy to meet with us and it just a small miracle where God led us to someone who had been searching or answers. Then right after that house we felt prompted to take a right on this street instead of going to back to the main road and then we were literally led right to a lady who we had been trying to find over the past month and we had a really good conversation about the Book of Mormon and she said she hasn't felt this much joy in a while and she was really happy that God led us to her that day. That always makes you feel good as a missionary haha! I'm really glad that we were able to brighten her day and help her strengthen her testimony.

On Friday, we had a really spiritual law of Chastity lesson with Austin, normally that lesson is a more difficult one to teach but because we prepared the spirit was there and it testified that what were teaching was how God would have it. We planned for majority of the day but we saw Lisa that afternoon and she has had a really hard time battling cancer as well as coping with some recent changes in her life. As we testified of the Plan of Salvation it was really neat how the spirit answered many of her questions even though we didn't saw the exact words she needed but because we created a climate for teaching to occur the Holy Ghost taught her everything that she should do in her life. The spirit was really strong and she told us that she loves when we come by and bring that "good feeling" around in my life which was really good to hear. As we left her home we realized that we were going to run late to our next appointment in which we were getting picked up and after we turned around the corner his car pulled around the corner and we ran after it and he saw us and it saved us from being late. We hopped in the bed of his truck and rode to his home for a really powerful Restoration lesson. They both told us that they would love to be baptized, and that the goal of this life is to be united with loved ones for time and all eternity in the temple and they thought it was a very intriguing belief and one they wanted. We are excited to work more with them for sure!

On Saturday, we went to the Nursing home for a fun time with the "oldies" and played Bingo with them. Its funny because when we walk in the elderly people always want us to help them play because we "always win" but its probably just because we pay attention and dont fall asleep but its really funny they always say "I wish you played with me I would've won, but Bingo is the luck of the draw so its kind of funny how they take it seriously. That after noon we had a cool experience where we walked to a less active members home and on the way there this lady stopped and thanked us for sending an invitation to come back to church. We helped her answer some concerns and she said she would love to come back to church, then we walked by this Mexican lady and its cool how I have used Spanish a lot on my mission and I know that I was supposed to have taken that in high school. But we were able to set up service with her and I was really amazed at how much spanish I retained when put into the moment.

On Sunday, we had a lower attendance at church but even though there weren't a ton of people at church the spirit was really strong. We talked about the sacrifices the Saints had as they crossed the plains and went through so much suffering to build a foundation for Christs church back on the earth. It's our job now to build on it and build our own testimonies upon theirs. Elder Showers came to Baxley because Elder Wilde went home and we met a lot of great people. We were walking back to our apartment that night and this lady pulled over and asked if we would like a ride. We said sure and we talked about her church and our church. She said its really admirable that young men like you go and serve when alot of young people these days wouldn't do that. At the end of the conversation she had questions on the plan of Salvation. After explaining what we believe happens after we die, I felt prompted to ask her about family history and she was very interested in learning more about that. She was a very sweet lady who loved the simple life and treating her family well. It was great talking to someone focused on whats important and not focus on the worldly things as much.

I LOVE Y'ALL and I hope you have a great week! There are good things to come and in the Lords time they will come through!

-Elder Hill
Elder Shower's should be a future photographer!

Kids are da bomb!

Another good picture by Elder Showers!

Sunrise, Alma GA!

Walkin' in the rain!  Alma, GA

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