Wednesday, April 3, 2013

mixed emotions

Hello!  I hope you are all doing well and enjoyed a beautiful Easter weekend.  I had the opportunity to share my testimony yesterday during Church, as it was my last sacrament meeting in Santa Elena.  I shared my thoughts on the nature of God the Almighty and our divine nature... although God is all seeing and all knowing and we can only capture what has happened and what is going on in the moment, God has given us a divine potential to have so much power.  Because He loves us, He created all the beauty that lies around us, and He sent His Son to die and to LIVE for us.  I know that if we can apply the blessings of the Atonement daily, the Lord can help us live NOW.  The Atonement isn{t just for us to be able to pass death, it{s to pass through life and struggles with a strength that cannot come from any other source. 

 I am so thankful I had the opportunity to celebrate Easter here in Argentina.  Hermana Flack and I spent the night in our apartment watching The Testmants and Finding Faith in Christ. Although it was a very simple and unimpressive way to remember our Lord and Savior, it is something I will always cherish. 

Well, the beginning of the [lasts[ has begun. Yesterday evening I was a little sad when I realized that it was my last Sunday in Santa Elena  (Next Sunday I travel to Rosario to the mission home.  Monday I will have my last P Day with the missionaries who are also going home.  We will go downtown to buy souveneirs, maybe see the Flag Monument, and then have dinner with President Giuliani and his wife... and then Tuesday I fly... so weird. )  

The weather has been so lovely lately that it has made me feel like I am at the beach (less humidity, constant breeze, beautiful skies)  which naturally misses my family.  I feel like I am torn between two families!  Yesterday was a little complicated because my last testimony made people think I was leaving yesterday... but when I explained I am leaving during general conference next week, many people said Oh good!  We still have time!   One of the fathers who recently was sealed to his family in the temple came up to me and said [we will be really sad when you leave[  ahh!  so heart wrenching!  and [but you are going to come back, right?  You can save up and come visit us! [  Oh why are these people so amazing?  

I am very excited to see you all!  Hope you have a great week!  I don{t think I will email on Monday.. so the next time you will hear from me will be after I am released.  Ha, that{s strange. 

Love you all!  Hermana Miller 

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Yesterday our branch took two buses to La Paz for a district conference, and we were surprised to see that it was a satellite conference for all of Argentina!  We heard very inspiring messages from Elders Bowen and Clayton who are members of the Quorum of the Seventy, Sister Stevens who is in the General Primary Presidency, and Elder Nelson, an apostle of the Lord.   I was so elated to see Elder Nelson´s face and hear his sweet voice.  He chose to speak in ¨castellano!¨  I loved hearing him speak the Argentine way, and to me it was a sweet demonstration of his love for the members in this country.  The last time I heard him as the main speaker of a meeting was when I was a newbie in the Missionary Training Center.  It was an especially unique experience for me for certain reasons that helped me have a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon; a devotional I will never forget!  And now, here I am at the end of my mission, hearing the same apostle speaking in the language I have learned!  I was so happy to see that a very large number of our branch were able to travel and hear these great leaders speak to us. 

Hermana Flack and I are on a roll finding really amazing people who sincerely want to read the Book of Mormon!  I am so glad that they have such an excitement and desire, and they only have a small sight of what´s in store for them if they continue on this path.  That is one of the perks of being a missionary; being able to see ever so slightly more of how the Lord sees our lives... what lies in store.   We are helping a 22 year old girl learn about her decision to be baptized, and she is going through some hard times with her health.  When she shared her concerns about her situation, I was so grateful that I could share how I am a witness of how the gospel can help someone in her situation be healed and be stronger.  Her eyes grew wide and she said ¨That´s exactly what is happening to me!  Wow, and this person you know is better?¨  She has a faith that is going because she is reading and contemplating and asking, and I think her own growth of faith is surprising her!  

I love seeing changes in the people.  Sometimes I say to Hermana Flack ¨Why am I serving in an area with people that are so amazing?  It will be so much harder for me to leave them!¨  I remember thinking before starting the mission ¨What a shame that I won´t be around to witness certain milestones in my little cousins´ lives.. or my friends´ weddings, etc¨  and now I am thinking ¨What a shame that I won´t be around to witness Familia Artigas be sealed in the temple, or see this person be baptized, etc¨  and I realize that there is never an ideal moment to leave one place and not miss something, because lives are conitnually changing, we are continually growing, and there is always something to enjoy no matter where we are.  So instead  of being bummed that I can be physically present for milestones in my Argentine families´ lives, I need to just soak it up and know that wherever the Lord sends me in life, there are people who will cross my path that will help me immensely, and I hope I can offer them help in turn.  

I am sorry my English is funny and comes out a little corny or overly poetic.. but yes, I am a little sentimental right now!  

Love you all!  Have a wonderful Easter!! 

Love Hermana Hill Mill 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

the last four weeks of miracles

Don´t you just love when people are ¨coincidentally¨ on the same page as you?  It´s all inspiration.  Every month our zone (12 missionaries, 2 in Feliciano, 6 in La Paz, and us 4 in Santa Elena) gets together to talk about what we did well, how we can improve, and what goals we can set and other creative things we can do to help us refine our abilities and remember our purpose in this wonderful work.  When we went to Feliciano for our special Pday, we had a meeting and the zone leaders presented our Plan of Action for the month, and man, did they hit the nail on the head.  This past week we had ¨día de milagro¨ or, day of miracles.  I was so excited when they told us that every Wednesday until the end of the transfer would be a day of miracles, and every monday we would write to our zone leaders what miracles we saw.  I have been recording miracles my whole mission, so this was a perfect way to end with a bang!!  And at the end of the transfer they are going to compile all of our entries and we will have a book of miracles to remember. !!  

We fasted that we would have the faith to help miracles happen, studied the Atonement as companions, served a member, wrote our testimonies in two books of mormon that we had to give to new investigators, had a member accompany us and taught our investigators who have the most potencial. 

I won´t share with you  the miracles at this time, but I will say that this was a very wonderful idea to help us do our very best!  There were even simple things that took place that we had been praying for for a while...  there is one lady we have been teaching for months that would progress off and on, but we always kept in touch because her son is a new member in La Paz... I had a feeling we should stop by Wednesday night, and it turns out she has much more interest and is now reading the Book of Mormon and was asking us dozens of questions!  woot!!!  And this Sunday we saw a handful of less active families who haven´t been coming in a while!!  The members are visiting them more often, and we can see more unity. 

I know that we don´t need to wait to have a special day called A day of miracles to see the hand of the Lord.  It starts with our faith and hope!  I have a testimony of this work.  We are all part of something glorious and beautiful, this thing called life that has its surprises and tough times.  (thanks Liz for your letter!  your words helped me so much!)

love you all! xoxo hermana hill mill 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

crazy week

This week was crazy!!  On Wednesday we traveled to Parana for my last zone conference (ahhh).  It was really great for several reasons: I was asked to bare my testimony, which all leaving missionaries are asked to do at their last conference.  The assistants asked me to accompany the hymns, and our closing hymn was ¨We´ll Bring the World His Truth¨ and it made me do a double take.  I had a sudden flash back of the last time I accompanied the EFY Medly in Bell Choir years ago, and I thought ¨Wow, years later I am a missionary and I am singing about what I am doing!  I am pretty sure I never seriously considered being a missionary when I would sing this as a youth.  Crazy!¨

On Friday we had a special PDay with our zone!  We traveled up to Feliciano which is a small pueblo in our zone.  We had an asado (bbq), played games, and went to an artesenal festival.  We had fun : )

Things are moving along!  We are finding more people while contacting houses and in the streets, which is a little tough sometimes, but we always feel like we struck gold after finding people that are sincerely listening and we can see in their eyes that they are being touched by the Spirit.  I am feeling more eager than ever to invite all of them to be baptized!  We are very fortunate to have a new mission leader who is fresh off the mission.  He understands how to help us meet our goals and gave us great advice so we can help our investigators improve.  We are planning on doing a family history
workshop so we can help the members prepare names to do temple work for their families.  We are also working with Familia Artigas to prepare to be sealed in August!  Woot!!  I love this work!!  We are seeing miracles every day : )

Thank you for your prayers and letters.  I have a funny situation going on with cash and I can´t send my letters to you at the moment, so you might be getting them after I get home!  So sorry!  Please know that MANY of your letters have come at the perfect moment, many mention things that I needed to hear (read?).  I am so thankful for you all.  Some of you may know that the end of a mission hits you with constant little obstacles that try to convince you to take a break and not endure to the end.  I can feel so much strength from the Lord helping me to work my hardest during these last weeks.  I know I am nothing without Him, and that all these great things He has given me to experience are blessings, even the hard stuff.  : )

xoxo hermana hill mill

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

the happiest place on earth

Thanks for all the birthday wishes!  Even though I couldn´t be with my family, I am very happy to have had two birthdays now here in Argentina with these wonderful people.

I unfortunately do not have a lot of time to write out all of my feelings right now, but I would like for all of you to know how important the temple is to me.

We were able to help a few members be able to go to the temple this weekend, and being able to hear their testimonies yesterday was a beautiful birthday present. I was a little sad that I could not see these three families be sealed for time and all eternity, or see one of the future missionaries receive her endowments.  But I am forever grateful that I could hear their words and feel the joy in their hearts when they expressed what it was like to feel the presence of the Lord in His holy house. One of the mothers who was sealed to her family said ¨Hermana, I am so grateful that the elders found our family and brought the gospel to our lives.  Keep looking for more families so they can enjoy these beautiful blessings!!¨  I know that the temple is the most holy place on this earth.  I have a testimony of the Restoration of the gospel that brought us the priesthood and these saving ordinances.  I miss the temple terribly and can´t wait to go in April... but in the meantime I will be here working hard to find more families that are ready to live the gospel and slowly but surely take those steps to one day be sealed as a family for time and all eternity.

Love hermana hill mill

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

homemade empanadas

This Saturday we learned how to make homemade empanadas.  I had never made the [tapas[, or shells before.  It was a lot of fun!   

We probably see about 10 horses out in the fields every day, loose or tied.  It{s nice to see that people trust each other and can leave their horses where they please, while I try not to daydream about jumping on one and taking off to the river{s shores... sigh....

***Hillary's birthday is this coming Friday...well kind of!!  LOL!!  She is a Leap Year baby, so she doesn't really have an official birthday for another three years!!  Leave her a Happy Birthday comment here and it will be sent to her!!!!   :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stepping Stones

Hello my dear loved ones!  I don´t have a lot of time today, but I couldn´t pass up another week without giving you a little update on this wonderful work here in Santa Elena. 

We missionaries were pretty stoked when we saw the list of interviews our mission president held with our members here on Saturday.  There are 8 members who will be receiving their endowments, and 3 families are being sealed!!!  Also, we have a fresh return missionary who is a CAPO and one YSA who received her mission call to Bahía Blanca!  We are waiting for two more youth to receive their callings.  I am a witness of the movement of so many families progressing further in the gospel, and it is pretty beautiful.  I think of where these families were at six months ago when I came here, and there is a significant evidence that they had been moving forward, taking little steps forward... which may not appear noticeable to the outside world.  Steps like receiving callings, staying for the full three hours of church, starting habit of weekly family home evening, children being baptized, serving more, sacrificing more, loving more, and feeling more.  My companion said, ¨Just think of how happy our Heavenly Father is.  He is celebrating right now with us!¨  I don´t know if he was dancing around like I was in the apartment, but I know he is happy.  : ) 

It´s a common thing for the younger missionaries to tease the ¨dying¨ missionaries with how much time they have left... and all I can say is that I am alive as ever and when they remind me of the time that´s ticking, I just use it to remind myself to take advantage of every day.  I have never had so much more understanding of the meaning and importance of enduring to the end, and never before hae I seen such little clever temptations from the adversary to do otherwise.  Believe it or not, the adversary is constantly around the corner from us missionaries, looking for little ways to make us trip up.... your prayers and thoughts and letters are SO helpful.  I can feel your support and love, of which I am very grateful. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine´s Day!  Love you all 

xoxo hermana miller