Sunday, March 26, 2017

March 20, 2017 - Alma, GA

Hey Y'all!

This past week was definitely an interesting one with ups and downs. We have been praying and overcoming obstacles that have been put before us but without challenge you'll never grow. I've definitely learned how valuable the gospel is in my life and I'm grateful for how I was brought up. March flew by so fast and I can believe April is right around the corner. By the way you know how I told you about how bad my watch was falling apart and that it was being held together by tape, staples and glue? Well I'll tell the full story when I go through the week, but in short I played basketball with my watch on and I dunked with it on and the band snapped off, but thankfully we went to a pawn shop today and they had a band that fit perfectly with my watch! So even though it doesn't look as rustic, the band works better than the one before! so that is pretty cool.

As for me and my week there were ups and downs but through hard times we are made strong and with Christ on your side, you can do all things! 

On Monday, I had a really growing experience when we went to the church to play basketball. I did this drill where I went to 25 different spots spread out through the gym and the goal was to make all 25 shots without a single miss and if I missed a shot then I would do 10 pushups and restart from the beginning. Before my mission I was very quick to get upset with myself if I messed up and I expected perfection and if I didn't get it I would beat myself up. Through serving a mission I've learned that we aren't all perfect but we are made perfect through Christ. As I did the drill and I would get halfway through the drill and miss, thoughts of discouragement and doubt with come to my head, but I knew this is something I needed to work on. After 1 hour of trying to complete this drill, I probably did close to 500 push-ups. It could have been very easy for me to say no one saw me miss that shot I'll just keep going and I'll "say" I'll made that shot, but even if I did complete it after that shot I'd still remember that one miss. It was important for me to not be quick to anger but to make every shot and trust that if I work through my shortcomings I'll accomplish my goal in the end and wouldn't you know that after 1 hour of the same drill I went 25/25. It was a lot harder to make shots when your body is fatigued but I learned a very valuable lesson that day and I know I became a better man after completing that drill! After P-day was over it was really weird how it got blistering cold for a few days this week and to top it all off it started to drizzle rain. Our plans for that night all fell through and we wound up walking in frigid rain throughout the night. It was nearly 8:00 p.m and almost time to return home but we felt that before we made our way back on the highway we should stop into Dairy Queen to warm up a bit before heading out. Well it turned out that when we walked in it was a slower day for the workers and three of the workers saw how cold and tired we looked and they asked what we did as missionaries. We bore testimony of the Restoration and they took interest in a pamphlet and they asked if they could buy us something. We accepted and we both got a smoothie that they paid for. It made our night and on the way back this lady pulled over and while we were walking on the highway a lady gave us an umbrella to keep and it made us feel like God was looking out for us.

On Tuesday, we had a very spiritual district meeting and following district meeting we did something that was really memorable. The Baxley Elders made "Honk if you love Jesus signs" and "Matthew 22:37" signs. We held them up in a very busy part of Baxley and the small quiet country town of Baxley turned into loud New York city!! So many people were honking their horns and taking pictures of us for Facebook and many people opened up and respected that we were doing that!We then went on exchanges with Baxley and I went with Elder Showers. Alot of our appointments fell through as people said they were too busy too talk and so the scheduled lessons we had planned fell through but in turn we met this man named Tyle who had been going through financial problems/ family problems. He asked many questions about the Book of Mormon and what makes our church different than all the other churches. WE explained the Priesthood and the divinity of the Book of Mormon and he became interested in what we had to say. Following the prayer I had a war feeling come over me and I'm glad we stopped and talked with him. That night we had a great dinner with Brother Taylor who invited a less active friend to the home for dinner and the conversation was great and I really feel like we bonded well with her. We shared a message about David and Goliath and she seemed to really enjoy it and help her give new insight to the story and how we should look at trials.

On Wednesday, Elder Showers and I walked along the highway to go visit Teresa, but after a long, cold, windy walk there she ended up not being home even though we confirmed with her that morning. I wasn't sure why she didn't answer but please pray that we can talk with her soon. We decided to tract a little bit in the area and we only had one door open. We greeted the man and after we introduced ourselves he says..."I'm Christian soo...leave" I've got that alot of times before but for some reason Elder Showers and I just talked about why a Christian wouldn't want to know about Jesus Christ? We probably know its just first judgement that when we come to the door the automatic answer is no but I just wish everyone would give us 5 minutes to hear what we have to say. We made the long walk back and exchanged back. The Baxley Elders had many miracles that they told us all about and it rejuvenated my Spirits. Later that day we went out teaching with Brother Taylor and had nice visits with some of his home teaching families. One of the goals we had for the week was to have a good youth event for the youth and we haven't really had youth come to mutual until this past week. We played soccer and had really fun activity!

On Thursday, we got a call from Brother Morris who wanted to take us out to eat and show us around his modular company. It was cool to meet a lot of people there and get to know Brother Morris a little bit better. When we came back Elder Irons and I walked toward the South side to have a lesson with our investigator Maria, but when we got there we recognized a stolen bike at their house that is a members bike they had been looking for. Brother Taylor was meeting us in about 10 minutes across town and we asked our investigator that we recognize the bike and that the owner had been looking for it and we asked if we could take it back to him. They agreed but now the problem is there are two Elders and 1 bike and we have to be on the other side of Alma in 5 minutes...What d you do? You put two Elder on one bike! I took both our shoulder bags and pedaled while Elder Irons sat on the handlebars and you bet that we got a lot of looks from the good people of Alma haha. It was a pretty awesome moment! We then had dinner with the Jewells and helped him move one of his cupboards in his trailer and they were grateful.

On Friday,we had been trying to meet with Austin for his last lesson before his baptism but after trying multiple times at his home he wasn't home and we aren't sure where he is and his baptism was supposed to be March 25 and we will now have to move the date back but we are trying to do the right thing and help him fulfill the commandment to be baptized. We planned for a good majority of the day and in the end of the day. Eva (an investigator) and Brother Taylor invited us to go watch the Bacon County high school baseball game. It was a pretty good time and it cleared my mind of all the stressors I had weighed in my mind.

On Saturday, we went and played Bingo at the Nursing Home with the Elderly. The lady I was playing for nearly cried when I told her that she had one and she was so grateful that I played for her. People take Bingo seriously down here haha. We tried seeing Austin multiple times in the day but he wasn't home, so please pray that we can see him sometime soon to talk about his baptism. We had 3-4 appointments cancel that day that were set and we were kind of down in the dumps.. Normally when Im down, the thing that relieves my stress is basketball. Wouldn't you know there were high school kids playing basketball in the area haha! Except this game was a little different than the rest. This game was very physical and the guys we were playing against took it personally when we put them and started to shove us and knock us around. It was kind of dumb cause they were being hypocrites and saying we were doing things that we weren't. We beat them in all three games and many people in nearby projects came to watch this intense game. The game point of the last game I drove down the middle and there were two kids in the way of the hoop and I decided to try to dunk on them. They caught me in the neck and shoulder as I dunked over the top of them. My watch snapped off from the rim and if there was highlight play of my life that would be it. Before y'all get freaked out I'm okay and even though it was a heated game it brought me back to some good times haha.

On Sunday, we had a real spiritual Sunday and we talked a lot about the Atonement and the branch is becoming stronger and stronger. I know the Lord will bless this area. That night we met with the Jewells again and I cooked hamburgers and hotdogs for them. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and after they expressed they wanted to be baptized we were able to set a date for baptism on May 6th for both of them!! It was a great moment!

I LOVE Y'ALL and I KNOW the church is true!
-Elder Hill
Ayden, Elder Irons and Elder Hill, oh and there is a bike in there too!  Alma, Ga, March 2017

Elder Irons and Elder Hill chillin', Alma GA, March 2017

Farmer Mitch!  March 2017, Alma GA

Honk if you Love Jesus!  March 2017, Alma, GA

I wish I was a kid again!  Alma Ga, March 2017

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