Monday, April 30, 2012

Buen día!  Espero que todo esté bien en ¨Los Estados¨.  Hope everything is going well up there in ¨the states¨!
This week was pretty crazy...   Hermana Collins finished her mission and we were expected another hermana to fill her spot and serve with Hermana Velasco.  I told Hermana Green that it´s nice to not feel anxious during transfers because we knew we would be together for at least another transfer, but little did I know that this transfer would end up being different than we expected!!  Hermana Velasco was transferred to Cañada de Gomez where I served, and no hermanas came to fill the spots here, so now Hermana Green and I are now the only two hermanas working in our branch!  We think this might be because there are still a big group of missionaries in Mexico and the US that are waiting for their Visas, so areas are temporarily dissolved into other areas.  That doesn´t stop us!  The work continues!!
I am constantly reminded of so much support we have here.  We have two really strong fellowshippers who come with us to our lessons, one is a single mother Mariel who wishes she could have served a mission and so is helping us as much as she can.  She even says ``call me more often!  I can help you everyday after 6!``  wow, that is every missionary´s dream!  And our other helper is more like our best friend and sidekick, Iara.  She´s 19 and drives us to lessons and wants to serve a mini mission! (mini missions here are really helpful to the mission when we need a spot filled temporarily.  The mini missionaries haha serve for one transfer or a few weeks until a visa waiter comes).  These two fellowshippers were once inactive, and I love that the missionary work bug has bit them and it´s this great contagious thing that spreads like wildfire!  Mariel referred her aunt, cousin, and mother in law and they are all progressing and close to baptism!  References are golden.  What makes me so happy about seeing missionary work in action is when it comes from the members.  It keeps me thinking how I want to contribute to my ward when I return home.  President Hinckley said that every new member needs a friend, a calling, and the good word.  I believe that after being nourished by the good word they immediately need a good friend, because we missionaries won´t be here forever!  It breaks my heart to know there are some recent converts who are less active because they don´t feel comfortable in their ward.  I know have such a different perspective now, having heard countless stories of why people don´t want to go to church.  It isn´t because they no longer believe it´s true.  They woud have more desires to get themselves up in the morning and go if they felt like they had someone waiting for them, someone they can relate to, rely on, and grow with spiritually.  My mind is changed forever on visiting teaching... I am sad to say but when I had assignments before the mission to visit some girls, a lot of them were inactive, and I would send a facebook message, a text, and if I didn´t get a response I´d think ``well I don´t think they want to be bothered, the last thing I want is to be an annoying visiting teacher.``  But that´s not the right attitude.  Even if less active people never come back to church, they can at least know they have someone to go to because we constantly reach out and visit and serve them.  It needs to be more than just a little note or text.  When they feel forgotten then they lose that spark they once had, that testimony that burned within.  We have to reach out and put aside the reasons why they are inactive. 
Ok, I´ll get off my soap box now...  I just am constantly having more realizations of how people feel on the other side of the interactions between active and less active members.  I feel bad for my ignorance earlier, but I know I can take what I am learning here and apply it to my life when I return home.  : )
It is absolutely beautiful here in the fall!  This past week was freezing, but luckily it was just a cold front that passed through.  Hope you are all enjoying your spring!  I can´t believe it is almost May... in my mind everything is on pause at home, but then I get letters and updates from you and it´s as if only two wees have passed and a whole new chapter in your lives has begun and concluded.  Thank you for your letters, I have been so behind at responding, please forgive me!  Love you all.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Whistle While You Work

This past week was a really good one!  Man, Hermana Green and I are really finding some miracles here.  It´s amazing to see how the Lord requires our patience and faith, and if we are digilent and perservere and have hope (and especially have fun all the while) the sun breaks through the clouds and the miracles come through.  We have found two amazing families from contacting and we are really excited to watch them progress!  One lady we found has had a Book of Mormon for two years and is still reading it.  Another family that we contacted in front of their house has let us come by three times this week and they are reading the Book of Mormon as well!  We showed them the Restoration movie which talks about the story of Joseph Smith and how the Church of Jesus Christ was restored.  It meant so much to have both the husband and the wife watch it together!  Many times the men we find want nothing to do with religion, but this family holds a lot of attention to our words and testimony.  They can feel something , I just know it!! I wish I could give you all a play by play in detail..  but words cannot describe, especially my words right now especially as I feel a bit awkward with my English!  I feel like I have lost the color in my writing, forgive me if my letters are a little bland sounding!  I just hope you can at least feel something when you read a little bit of the wonderful things I am witnessing here.  I have a testimony of striving to word a little bit harder and moving forward with faith.  There were a few disappointing things that happened this week, and I know that at the beginning of my mission I probably would have taken them a lot harder, felt crushed, and would have needed something to cheer me up and help me focus on the other people.  But thanks to the other experiences I have had int he last seven and a half months, I know that the gospel is a message of happiness, and worrying and feeling sad about something we cannot change only stunts the work instead of helping it grow.  Thanks to my wonderful companion Hermana Green, we are on the same page with our goals and our attitude, which is so important in a companionship.  I am glad she and I have another transfer together! 
This is a lot of hard work, and I am loving it all.  Thanks to the other hermanas here (Velasco and Collins, Collins goes home next week!!  : ( )  we have been shaking things up and really having fun and being creative.  We might do a photo scavenger hunt today and we are going to practice for a song we´re singing in church. for COllins´last Sunday.... ok I just read what I typed and I realize that those two things are not what many would consider ¨shaking things up¨, but hey, cut us some slack, we are missionaries!  Anything different from our schedule is shakin it up.  You gotta whistle while you work.
Photos ,  the sunrise this morning.  I have become a morning person!  Every single day the sky has some sort of beautiful sight to look at

Me hard at look planning for the next day.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Pursuit of Happiness

Hello all!  I hope you had a wonderful Easter.  I know that the Atonement is the most wonderful gift we have ever received!  It is the only way we can return to our Heavenly Father and escape from our own sins.

We had a simple sacrament meeting with talks about the Atonement, and a beautiful piano number that gave me the chills!  ¨Tengo gozo en mi alma hoy¨ but completely improv.  It was so great.

My companion and the other hermanas here had a big lunch with some members yesterday and they gave us two huge chocolate eggs that the mom made!  There is something so great about immediately feeling at home with people you just barely meet.  The mother told me her family´s story of how they found the Church two years ago, her son first got baptized and he then baptized his parents and sisters, and last October they got sealed in the temple and now he is on a mission.  I couldn´t believe that all of this had happened in two years, and their home has such a feel of a life long member family.  I told the mother that and she got pretty teary eyed and said there was a lot of work that had to be done to get to this point, and she couldn´t be happier.

This ¨pursuit of happiness¨´ (love that I found this poster here in venado!)  is something everyone is trying to find.  Some believe that the true happiness lies in riches, in fame, or in worldly knowledge.  A lot of those things that bring great success and great experiences, but living in a place and in this spiritual state as a missionary where all of that is stripped away, you really get to watch people with different eyes as they take on their pursuit through life.  Sometimes it pains me to watch people who really think they know what true happiness is, when they are not following commandments, they are only meagerly believing in the gospel that they have been introduced to.

Yesterday while listening to different Easter messages, I kept hearing ¨Christ suffered so that we don´t have to¨.  He already went through all of the pain so that we don´t have to suffer during this journey we call life!  I will be hones, the mission is not easy and there are moments when the adversary tries to taint our minds and convince us missionaries into thinking that we are doing is not very successful.  He wants us to think that every little effort is a lost cause, and I remind myself that h e is wrong, oh he is SO wrong!  We have to write down all the good little things we see and do and remind ourselves that we 
are planting seeds ,we are helping people let the Savior change their lives, and the results come, slowly but surely.   It is the same for our lives outside of the mission.  Because the Lord suffered for us, we don´t have to feel down when a struggle comes.  We don´t have to think that there is no way out, because that is what the adversary wants!  We have more strength than we realize.  We have angels on our side cheering us on, and we have the Savior walking every footstep with us, sometimes he is even carrying us through our trials.

I know that Christ lives, and that the Atonement is real!  I love that I know the real pursuit of happiness is leading me back to my Heavenly Father.  Life is great!!  Love you all!

Hermana Hill Mill

PS thank you for the letters!  Congrats AE JONES on your wedding!  Your letter made my day.  G7, thank you for the fun photo for my birthday!  I show all the hermanas the photo to explain what the best looking singles ward in the states looks like.

I am blessed with such wonderful friends and family.  Thank you for your support, prayers and words!  You are also in my prayers!


my district in arroyo seco when I was waiting for hermana green.  I served with hermana rentfro for a week and a half, she was so great!!  These elders are really fun, we had great district meetings together. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Back In Venado Tuerto

Hello!!  Hope you all had a wonderful conference weekend.  I loved so many of the messages!! 
Sorry, this is going to be a quick note today.  I am with my new companion Hermana Green from Sandy Utah.  She is fresh out of the MTC and it is SO cool to see how well they prepared her!  She has a lot of spunk, I know her enthusiasm is going to help us have a lot of success here!  We are busy getting to know all of the people and have already seen a bunch of miracles.  It was pretty funny when we were walking around in the neighborhoods inviting people on the street to conference and people were stopping us! ¨Hermanas!  Are you new??¨  and we thought, are you serious??  How small is this town??  Apparently we were really inspired in choosing where we wanted to contact because we found old investigators, recent converts who are inactive, and even some members who didn´t know the schedule for conference.  I love being guided by the Lord.  Looking for His hand in all things really keeps me excited in this work!  And I love how the mission constantly gives me life analogies.  The mission really is like our lives, but it´s all accelerated.  We struggle, we learn, we start to build confidence, and before we know it we are showing someone else the ropes!  We can find the Lord´s hand in everyday of our lives, not just as missionaries.  It´s pretty breathtaking if you take the time to look carefully.  I wish I had more time to expound on that analogy... but take it and make it your own.  Life is beautiful!    ¨Give me my mountain.¨ 
xoxo hermana miller