Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 17, 2017 - Alma, GA

Hey Y'all!

HAPPY EASTER!!! This week has been one of the most memorable weeks on my mission so I hope I'll be able to tell y'all about all that happened but it has been an eventful week to say the least. Holidays on your mission are quite unique and especially this one. This Easter will always be one to remember about how the Lord opened soo many doors this past week and I'm excited to tell y'all all about it.

As for me and my week.... Make sure you are sitting down for this one:) Also  to put a cherry on top of the cake, I emailed Elder Goodsell this past week and he sent an email back about how the area is. He told me that this lady named Razia is getting baptized this upcoming week!! Whats crazy about this is that I met her in Walmart on P-day and felt that I should talk to her and invite her to YSA. It turns out that she really believes in what we teach and she wants to get baptized. So out of one small contact she is going to receive the covenant of baptism!! How awesome is that!

On Monday, Elder McGee and I did a deep clean of our trailer after we emailed and really got the place looking good. We bleached the floors, and even lowered some shelves in the kitchen so that Elder McGee can reach the top shelf haha! We even went on a wild mouse chase around our trailer. We still have yet to catch it, but there is definitely more than one because I sometimes see them in my closet and underneath our fridge. So we are going to go get some mousetraps and GET IT!! Stay tuned:) Small story on that day... So amongst all the cleaning that happened I sat down and was trying to figure out where the phone went. I retraced my steps, checked every possible place, and still couldn't find it. I got kind of upset cause one thing I am good at is not losing stuff and I just got frustrated with myself, but I said a prayer and just calmed down and said I'll find it. The Lord answered my small prayer and right after the prayer I received this idea that it could be under the reclining chair. And it was!!! The thing is I would have never thought about that by myself, but the Lord helped me out!

On Tuesday, we started out by having companionship study and doing our studies! I have been going through the Teaching from the Presidents of the Church and writing down quotes throughout Preach My Gospel and it has been a revelatory experience for sure! We ate lunch with a less active from Douglas at a southern food buffet, I had to be careful in there, they had a lot of good food in there haha:) But that day we biked all over Alma trying to meet new people and try to figure out where the Lord wants us to be. We had a nice visit with a man named William Westley who thought the Book of Mormon was very intriguing and even though he didn't accept it to be the word of God quite yet he felt that it was something he should look into so we will look forward to meeting with him more and more. That night we met with the Jewells and had a great conversation about the Word of Wisdom. They accepted to live the commandment and the Spirit was very strong as Elder McGee and I bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Word of Wisdom. They are progressing well toward baptism the only thing that is holding them back is Sister Jewell is unable to come to church because of her work and so we are trying to help her overcome that stumbling block.

On Wednesday, our day started off being memorable at 5:30 a.m... After planning for a little bit I hear this knock on our door. I wasn't sure if it was just me going crazy cause my body was so tired or if it was actually someone at the door, but to my surprise there was a knock again.. And in my head I'm saying who knocks on a missionary apartments door at 5:45 a.m. But guess who it was... it was Austin Joyner... When I came to the door I wasn't sure what to think and we stared at each other for probably 30 seconds and we set up a time for us to come by and talk with him at the church. Austin definitely was an answer to a prayer! I'll tell y'all about what happened later in the week with him as well. But we waited at the church for Austin at 10:30 when our appointment was but he didn't show up and I thought to myself he probably just got busy so we went out and worked. Our day was kind of an interesting one with lots of changing of plans. Elder McGee was apart of 2 blessings for the 1st time on his mission and the Spirit was strong! We received this referral from Salt Lake City and we went to contact it. We set up a return appointment for this upcoming Saturday and she is going through a hard time overcoming some recent deaths in the family and her conversation in Salt Lake City with missionaries really helped her overcome some of her feelings. But we biked all over and I just remember coming back and my legs were destroyed haha:)

On Thursday, we headed up to Douglas for ZTM and it was a memorable experience! The mission has changed so much over the past year or so and President Grayson is receiving alot of revelation to help this mission become more organized and purposeful. A lot of weight for the success in the mission is being put upon the leaders and even though we are being asked to do a lot more we are seeing the benefits of doing small and simple things which excites us to do the work. In ZTM we talked alot about reading the Book of Mormon daily, and how we can change the mission to always be constantly finding, be prayerful, and obedient. The trainings given were very helpful and insightful. The AP's came down from Macon and it was fun seeing Elder Ballard and Elder Weston. That day we came back to Alma and help up "Honk if you love Jesus" signs and it was very successful. In fact we even gave away pass along cards and less active members who saw us came to church this past Sunday! Elder McGee and I talked with Micki Emory and her kids and had a great visit with them. I felt prompted to ask if she is interested in genealogy and she said that she was. I testified of families and the Spirit was very strong in the lesson.

On Friday, Right when I woke up I knew the day was going to be a great day. I always wake up feeling good about the day, but this one was very unique and I knew I'd remember this day forever. After weekly planning Elder McGee and I felt strongly that we should go and visit this less active named Jessie Holiday and he was in an area I had never worked in before way out in the sticks. We biked on dirt roads and arrived at this sketchy trailer park. We knocked on his trailer but he wasn't home. Even though he wasn't there I felt that there was someone there we needed to talk to. We came around the corner and asked the first people we met about the area and they told us of all the evil that was in this trailer park. After extending a card to them we left on our way to our next appointment when I saw this lady by a fire and felt prompted to speak to her. She didn't want to speak but a lady inside the home came outside and asked more about us. It turns out her name is Velvet and she is a member of the church. She had moved away for some time and with how crazy her life has been she hasn't felt the need to come to church. We invited her to our branch BBQ the next day and she said she would come and she said "Y'all don't know how much this visit meant to me, it was an answer to a prayer." I know the Lord wanted us to talk with them.

On Saturday, was an amazing day... We had the branch BBQ in the morning and we went over to the church to go prepare and help set up. The BBQ was at 12:00p.m and at 11:30 we already had 30 people show up and I was amazed at how many people were showing up. Not only that but Velvet brought her family and her sister to the church. We had t go pick up a member to bring to the BBQ and we asked Kollin to introduce them to the members. When we came back the whole parking lot was full and I couldn't believe how many people came. I talked with Katherine and Velvet and they both said that "I've never felt more comfortable in a church before than here." Katherine told me that she wants to become a member and know more about the church! The BBQ was an amazing sight to see and it made me sooo happy seeing so many people there. After the BBQ Elder McGee and I biked out yonder and we met this lady named Sue Evans and she had been looking for a church and after we explained the Book of Mormon she asked "Can I buy one?" And we said no they are free and she graciously accepted one. We are excited to work with her. We met her neighbor who was very welcoming and even though he has a church he had a lot of questions answered and he thought it was very admirable what we do as missionaries. It was just an amazing day and the Spirit in the BBQ was amazing and it was indeed an answer to a prayer.

On Sunday, so many people attended church and it was more people there than I had ever seen before in Alma. I wasn't sure if they just came cause it was Easter  or if they came because they felt they should. Less Actives who we had been working with for a long time finally came and it was great seeing them! In Sacrament I was asked to speak on the BBQ and I testified of how small events like that really help us fellowship one with another. I brought up the scripture Alma 37:7 and it really fit well with my talk. I got a call from Velvet saying that she would be late to church because of 4 deaths in her family  that happened that night. They said they would show up to church a bit later and it almost put me to tears that even after 4 of your family members were killed that you want to come to church cause thats where the Lord needs you. Not only that but imagine if we didn't meet them Friday imagine how much despair they would have in their life right now. But they came to church a bit later and received the help they needed. We gave them blessings and the Spirit was very strong in them! Christs Atonement is so available to all of us we just have to accept it and use it daily! Later that day, we had a prompting to go speak with Austin and because of the letter Elder Irons and I wrote for him after reading that it smoothed things over and helped him understand where we were coming from. We are looking forward to start teaching him again and hopefully baptize him in the coming weeks. That night it was almost time to go in when we biked past this house and this old lady was sitting on her porch, we talked with her and after explaining the Restoration she said she had been looking for a church and I asked if she wanted to be baptized by someone holding the Authority from God and she said yes! We set a date for her and it was amazing how many hearts were open this past week. The Baxley Elder had 13 new investigators this past week and we hit all our goals as a district!!!

LETS GOOOO!!! I Love Y'all and thank you for all you do! I know God sent his Son Jesus Christ to sacrifice himself for us and that he lives today!

-Elder Hill
#Easter2017  #Neverforget!

Ballin' - Alma, GA - April 2017

Dirt Road, Alma GA, April 2017

Easter BBQ, Alma, GA - April 2017

Happy Easter 2017!  Alma GA

Round 2!  Alma, GA - April 2017

ZTM April 2017, Alma, GA

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