Sunday, February 12, 2017

February 6, 2017 - Alma, GA

Hey Y'all!

Wow what a week!

This past week had many spiritual moments and lots of learning experiences!

On Monday, after we emailed we went fishing with Chico Juarez and his friend Mike. We went to Mike's pond and it was a very pretty piece of land. It was fun being able to fish again and we only caught one fish in our hour there but it was still really fun to cast a rod again! While we were fishing our landlord was able to get us a new fridge that was a little bit bigger than the one we before and we now can get milk and eggs again! You never appreciate something til its gone and when you don't have a fridge it makes life a little bit harder haha. That night we had a very busy night biking all over the city of Alma. We first had a lesson with Austin and he told us of his recent experiences in the Book of Mormon and he told us that he has been spending all night watching Mormon Messages and learning from the prophet and his apostles! Austin is truly amazing and continue to pray for him, he is really quite a blessing to the church! We went to Sister Joyners home that night and talked to her about her situation in life and helped comfort her. The Joyners breed huskies and sell the puppies  and so we were able to hold husky puppies and they are probably the cutest dog in the world not gonna lie haha:)

On Tuesday, we had district meeting in Hazlehurst and we talked about how we can recognize the Spirit and help our investigators recognize it as well. Elder Showers gave that training and he really invited the Spirit by talking about times in each of our lives that we felt the spirit like our own baptism, getting set apart, or patriarchal blessing. It was cool reflecting on those moments and remembering the Spirit that you felt at each point in your life. We also talked about attitude and how sometimes its easy to focus on the bad things going on instead of focusing on the positive things. Satan wants us to focus on the bad things and not find joy in our trials but the more we look at the glass half full the more we will learn from our trials. That afternoon we had a lesson with Lisa and her husband. It was kind of an interesting lesson just because Lisa started talking to Elder Irons while her husband started to talk to me and we ended up having different lessons at the same house. Lisa is still struggling with the cancer she has and her husband had a hard time moving on and forgetting the past and the bad decisions he made back then. I offered my thoughts to him and talked about the hope that Jesus Christ gives and also how guilt isn't necessarily a bad thing because when we make mistakes the guilt feeling helps initiate us to repent cause we don't want that feeling anymore. That night we had dinner with the Taylor's and talked about how education in the country has changed because the education in the home isn't like what it used to be. It just really made me grateful for parents and a family that helped me through my trials and supported me and that's not something all kids are able to enjoy. It opened my eyes to the importance of making sure your home is grounded in Jesus Christ and not on the things of the world.

On Wednesday, we had another really good lesson with Austin and we went over the stop smoking program with him and he will be starting to quit smoking starting on Sunday. Please pray for him this week as he tries to stop the habit. Austin committed to come to Mutual that night and help us make posters to put up in the high school. He was planning on walking to the church but that night he was able to get a ride from his grandma. When Austin showed up at the church he told us that his grandma was open for us to talk with her next time we come by which was something she was against the first time we came over. It was definitely a cool experience and prayers are being answered for sure!

On Thursday, we went on an exchange with the Baxley Elder in the morning and we would exchange back that night. There apartment wasn't the cleanest place in the world and they were trying to figure out how to maximize the space they had. For the first couple hours of the exchange Elder Wilde and I CLEANED the apartment and rearranged the furniture and opened up the apartment. Even a small thing like tidying up the apartment made such a big difference in the spirit of the area. It sure did feel a lot better after the apartment was clean! Elder Wilde and I biked and walked throughout the whole day talking to as many people as week could. There was one lady named Felis who we had a good conversation with about Adam and Eve and agency. She looked at the fall of Adam and Eve as being a bad thing and because of them sin was in the world, while that is true if they hadn't partook of the tree of good and evil we wouldn't be here. So it was all part of Gods plan for them to partake of the tree. I made the analogy with a heart rate monitor and how if you're flat lining that it means you're dead but when its going up and down that means you're alive. So it is with life that our purpose in this life is to experience ups and downs. If we didn't know sadness we wouldn't understand joy. That night we went out yonder to go contact  a referral and they had planned to contact with the cra but they had it planned for that time and so we decided to go and contact it. I had a GPS in my left and hand and we biked up 5-7 miles to go contact this referral. We arrived at this country house with lights on and talked with a man named Patrick. He was a Methodist pastor and he was very welcoming to us sharing his beliefs. He was very encouraged to know that there are young people wanting to share this great gospel. He gave us a ride in his 1970 ford and it was a wonderful experience talking with him.

On Friday, we drove to Macon for MLC! I was shocked to be called to come to MLC because since I'm not a zone leader anymore I thought last transfer was my last one but they wanted district leaders to be there too and so I was invited to come with Elder Irons. It was awesome being able to see old friends and catch up with all the good friends in Evans. I was told that 3 of our investigators in Evans are looking to get baptized really soon. Larry will is getting baptized on the 18th of February and that Corey is going to get baptized on the 25th! It is amazing that he is getting baptized from going from being atheist to recognizing there is a God to following Jesus Christ and being baptized. It was wonderful to hear that news! The meeting was very spiritual and Brother Steineger from Salt Lake came and gave us training on the recent changes in the missionary schedule. His training changed my mission and it really opened my eyes to the good things to come. Focusing more on teaching people not the lesson is a important aspect of this change. I'm really excited for all the good miracles that will come from this change!

On Saturday, we did a service project for Sister Wolfe! We went out to her trailer and helped her put up a fence in her field for her horses. It ok a good majority of the day and Austin came and helped us put up the fence. Sister wolfe was very appreciative and you could see the joy and happiness in her life. It was fun being in the country and seeing the open fields that ended with tons of trees lining the fields. Georgia is sooo pretty!

On Sunday, we had a really good Sunday! Fast and Testimony meetings are often my favorite meeting because you feel edified by everyone there! Austin came to church and it was awesome seeing him there as well! Kollin Peterson came out teaching with us that after noon and it made for a memorable time haha. We first went to a home where the man we visited had poop in the basket of his scooter and it was hard keeping your eyes focused on him when the stench of poop is right in front of you. We went finding for about an hour with him and after sharing the restoration with an Indian family they rejected us coming back and Kollin said" Man I didn't think it would be this hard..." We then went up to a fence with a no trespassing sign on it and decided not to knock on his home and as we were walking away he called us to his porch to come and visit with him. The visit was very pleasant at first but we come to learn he was a pastor and in a sense wanted to "bash" with us. He believed in the trinity and we discussed various scriptures both trying to prove our point but before it got heated we felt it best to leave. We then went and taught Austin and started his week of not smoking which will lead to a smokeless life!

Miracles are happening down here in Alma,GA! I know this church is true and the gospel really blesses the human race. I know Christ lives and that he loves us! without Jesus Christ this life wouldn't have purpose and I'm grateful for his example always!

-Elder Hill

MLC February 2017

Puttin' up a fence!

Warehouse BBQ in Alma, GA!

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