Sunday, March 19, 2017

March 13, 2017 - Alma, Ga

Hey Y'all!

Its cool on a mission how every week is special in its own way and there were lots of memorable moments from this past week! First off the weather here has been pretty crazy like yesterday it was mid 60's and today it plummeted to mid 30's! It was bitter cold walking to the library today and so I'm glad I didn't send home my winter clothing quite yet haha. But yeah Elder Irons and I have worked and tracted out a good portion of Alma at l;east the main city, but there are many houses way out yonder that we are making plans to work on. But we have been staying WAY busy which is always a good thing.Its cool to hear it looks like a past area from Dad's mission, but missions sure are great!

There was so much that happened from this past week and I hope that I can remember everything that happened because there were some pretty awesome memories.

On Monday, we drove up to Douglas, GA for P-day because I was going to get a free teeth cleaning from a member of our mission presidency who owns his own dental practice. It was one of the most memorable P-days I've had on my mission. I got to play basketball in a church that was built back in the 50's and the court felt really rustic and authentic and I loved shooting there. We also had the fun opportunity to go to a junkyard that a member in Douglas owns and he let us destroy cars with baseball bats and sledgehammers!! It was so much fun and it was the first time I destroyed anything with a bat and it got addicting after a while haha. Like the next day we would walk by a parked car and desire a baseball bat to destroy the windows and mirrors. Haha it was quite a good time and Im sure you'll like the pictures we took and hopefully you can see a video we took. But we came back and we were able to play basketball together and it sure brought back a lot of fun memories for me, because our mission is so spread out we cant get together for zone P-days and so I haven't had many times on my mission playing basketball against missionaries but last P-day I was able to and it sure made me happy! Having good fun P-days like that just make your week go a lot better and it takes your mind of the stressors of being a missionary! 

On Tuesday, I had a really memorable study where I read a talk from David E. Sorenson and a quote from the talk says... "The reason our Heavenly Father asks us to pray cannot be that we are able to tell Him something He does not already know. Rather, the reason He asks us to pray is that the process of learning to communicate effectively with Him will shape and change our lives as much as we are changed by learning to communicate as children." I think that quote is really powerful because just like when a son needs something from his dad, more than likely the dad already knows what the son needs but unless the child asks the son may never receive. It is our part to communicate with God so they we can feel of his love in our daily walk of life. One of the highlights of the day was going over to Brother Taylor's home and we had a great visit with him. Sister Taylor has mid evil looking swords that her husband had when he was in the Navy. We took some good pictures with them and they were pretty cool. Brother Taylor also introduced us to his daughter who isn't currently active but we hope to start a youth night going on Wednesdays where we can get the youth involved. I was asked to give a training in ZTM about the importance of investigators coming to church and so I brainstormed what I wanted to do for my training. I love giving training's in ZTM and it didn't used to be that way but now I'm just comfortable being in front people talking about the gospel and I know that it is a blessing that God has helped me with.

On Wednesday, Elder Irons started off the day by tracting an area either of us have never been to before and literally the first door we knocked on was Brother Taylor's brother who isn't a member but it was crazy that we literally had dinner with him the night before and then the next day we knocked into his brothers door. As we kept on knocking we met this lady named Teresa who definitely made our day. The conversation started out in a somewhat normal way and she expressed how proud she was of us sharing our beliefs with so much enthusiasm and she sees us ride our bikes everyday and she really appreciates how much effort we put into the work here. After we got acquainted we offered and explained the Book of Mormon to her and she had always wondered why so many people persecute the book before they have even read it. Elder Irons and I immediately looked at each other and was like "she's awesome" After explaining how the Book of Mormon came to be we testified of it and prayed with her. She promised that she would read it and when we would come back next week we would talk about it which was an amazing way to start off the day. We then went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders in Douglas. I went with Elder Hansen to Douglas and we had a pretty memorable exchange. We biked up and down sandy dirt roads surrounded by pine trees as tall as skyscrapers. We were out in the boonies and we tried a few potentials and then we tracted a bit out there. We met this man who had met with missionaries before in Atlanta and after sharing the Book of Mormon and the Restoration, people started cussing, screaming and yelling inside of the trailer. There were so many cussing words being screamed that if you had Morse code overplaying the cussing it would bleep out the cuss words haha. But we had a memorable southern dinner with a member in Douglas where we had collard greens, cornbread, ribs, and carrots and it was sooo good! It was fun being with a zone leader again and it brought back a lot of memories.

On Thursday, we had ZTM and interviews with President Grayson all in the same day. ZTM was really powerful and we learned a lot about how to begin teaching and planning. My training went really well as I talked about the importance of investigators coming to church. I shared these videos from Jeffrey R Holland that I wanted to share with ya...  and this video as well but I talked about how important it is for us to understand how important sacrament meeting is and that we love the Sabbath day before our investigators can love it. I also talked about how important it is for us to prepare for the Sabbath day and help our investigators keep the Sabbath day Holy. It went really well! Later that day after exchanging back Elder Irons and I were riding our bikes by one of our investigators homes and we saw Roger who was a man we met with Sister Wolfe a few weeks back. We got to talk about a wide variety of topics ranging from Faith all the way to temples. They asked lots of questions and I feel we answered them in a really good way. We hope that we can start working with them and that they are able to come to church with us one of these Sundays, but it was a good talk with them. The District is having lots of miracles in all the areas and its really exciting to see all your devotion paying off!

On Friday, we did lots of planning and calling members and setting up appointments for the upcoming week. That night we were trying to find the address to a referral we had but we couldn't find the street. We used that as an opening remark to start talking with people and we ended up meeting a lot of devout Baptists including someone who wants to know more about the church and she had met with missionaries in the past. We ended up finding the referral and the referral was sent out 2 days ago but when we asked Johnie he said he asked to see missionaries a month ago and in that amount of time he had another church. Right before he was about to close the door I asked if we could share a 5 minute message with him and we introduced the Book of Mormon and the Spirit was so strong and we asked him if he recognized it and he said yes and accepted a book and promised to read 3 Nephi 11. LETS GOO BABY! We were walking back to our trailer and we heard this guy yell "Aye,y'all come on in and pray for me."  So we go on in and we offered to give him a blessing, well as Elder Irons was about halfway through the blessing this lady yelled "Y"ALL ARE TAKING TOO DANG LONG!!" She cut him off and gave a quick Hallelujah, praise Jesus pray and so many people were yelling and screaming, it was super weird. I was kind of offended that a lady who interrupt a blessing in which they invited us into their home. But it turned out alright and we talked about it on the walk home. 

On Saturday, Elder Irons had a physically laboring day for sure! We started out by doing the hardest P-90x3 workout that is in the program cause we didn't know how much physical labor we would be doing that day. But after working out and playing basketball we biked over to the nursing home to play bingo with the old folk and they always appreciate when we come by. Elder Irons and I needed some things at the store before going to the apartment for lunch so we stopped by Harvey's and we ended up see Brother Flowers who was having a baby shower for his triplets that are due in three weeks. He invited us to come and we decided that it would be a good way to bond with him and show how much we care for him. We decided to make some brownies and cookies for the event so we got back to the apartment and made cookies and brownies for the baby shower. The Flowers live about 10 miles away so with groceries and cookies on our handlebars we biked to their home and they were really shocked that we biked all the way out there. We talked with Brother Flowers outside because inside there were about 25 women and it was quite intimidating haha. But then they drove us home and Elder Irons and I walked to Sister Mitchell's home and tore up her back porch and she was grateful for the service. We then went to the Jones' home so that they could give us a ride home but they had lots of things around the house needing done and so we helped them make dinner, clean, mop and do laundry. It was definitely a service filled day!! And you bet we slept good that night:)

On Sunday, we had really powerful Sacrament meeting on Fast Sunday and its amazing how much love there is in Alma that every member truly loves each other and we all feel edified before we leave church. Everyone testified of the Saviors love and Jesus Christ and it was very powerful! We talked to lots of people who really appreciated what we do and even though they may not accept everything we teach they are always grateful for a prayer. Serving in the South has really shown me what a belief in Jesus Christ can do and when we are founded upon Christ when those hard times come we will overcome but if we are founded upon other worldly things those storms with probably prevail over the shifty foundation.

I LOVE Y"ALL and the church is TRUE!!!

-Elder Hill
Removing Sister Mitchell's Porch!  March 2017, Alma, GA

Ripping up Sister Mitchell's Porch!  March 2017, Alma GA
Elder Hill Relaxing!  March 2017, Alma Ga

Demolition Crew!  March 2017, Alma GA

We Won!  Alma GA, March 2017

ZTM - March 2017, Alma GA

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