Thursday, June 28, 2012

"What Does Your Heart Tell You?"

Hey hey!  Hope you are all enjoying the end of june!  This month is going by sooo fast!!  Next week we have interviews with the mission president, and I can´t believe that it has already been three months since our last!  So much has happened within that time, and yet this time has felt like it is going by three times as fast. 
This week Hermana Green and I have had a lot of success finding new people who want to hear about the gospel.  I know the Lord is guiding is to find them, and it is pretty cool to see how He works with us.  Sometimes Hermana Green, well, sometimes is an understatement, ok, everyday she comes up with some crazy idea we know we can´t do as missionaries and she jokes and says, ¨But what does your heart tell you?!¨ like Amanda Bynes in She´s the Man...   she knows she´s hit my weak spot when she says ¨but I´m sure President would understand if we told him you had to ride the horse in order to save someone´s life and the world was ending and there was no other way to leave the city in times of peril and...¨  haha this girl has quite the imagination.  This phrase ¨what does your heart tell you¨ actually has some substance to it, especially after thinking about all the great people the Lord helped us find this week.  (and no, I didn´t find them while riding horseback... but for the record an elder told me there are missionaries somewhere he can´t remember where who use horses while proselyting! and I sure hope he is pulling my leg or I might write a letter to president asking him to transfer me to that mission... kidding!)
Ok, in all seriousness now...
A few days ago we had some plans fall through, so our back up plan was to trek out to the campo and look for a good contact we found working in another part of town.  We were contacting on our way over and we heard a gun shot!  I looked at the dogs in the street and they had all frozen and had their ears perked and their tails straight out.... but I felt okay, so we kept walking in our direction.  A few minutes later we heard more shots, and then a HUGE BANG like a canon... which we actually hear all the time (strange how normal that sounds? I´ll explain)  because seniors in the high schools here shoot canons all the time at the school when they receive their letterman jackets, have patriotic parades, etc.  But this was abnormal because it was a Saturday and we heard more and more shots and canons closer together!  In the middle of chatting with a man I stopped and said ¨Do you know what is going on?¨ and he said ¨Oh yea, there´s a game going on.¨  ahahaa of course!  Crazy futbol fans!!  Apparently the runt of the league won the game and bumped up a rank, and everyone was freaking out.  I was worried that the bullets could fall/sometimes there are intoxicated fans with guns (I´m sure my mother is loving reading this right now!!)  and so I said to Hermana Green ¨let´s get out of here¨ and started walking out of the campo.. but not even five steps toward home we felt we needed to turn around and keep going further out.  I laughed to myself, then laughed aloud and said ¨Are you feeling what I´m feeling?¨ and she said ¨yea, I feel better going the way we were going before!¨ and so we kept going and the gunshots stopped and nothing bad happened.  We actually found a really cool family!  We taught them and sang hymns to them in front of their yard, and they want to come to see what our church is like! 
We as missionaries have the guidance of the Spirit to protect us, to be present in our lessons when we teach so people can feel that it is true, and to help us find the people who are ready to hear it.  You too have the abilty to feel the spirit´s whisiperings, if you listen to your heart. Sometimes it is as clear as day. It can be a simple thought,¨I feel like I need to apply for this job¨ or ¨this place feels sketch, I´m outta here.¨ Or sometimes it requires more thought... and  sometimes it tells you something different than what your logic in your mind is telling, such as what happened to me.  Logically it would be wise for us to walk away from gun shots, that´s a given!!  But when you have the Spirit as your guide, you need to listen to your heart over everything else, because you never know what is waiting for you when you follow that voice. 
here are some photos of us in Iara´s car after church on our way to eat lunch with her family.
Me and Hermana Wilkinson. 
p.s.  Forgive me mother for the panic I might have caused when you read the words ¨gunshot¨.  Oh the adventures of a missionary! 
Love you all!
Hermana Hill Mill

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

In The Lord's Hand

Hi friends and family!! I hope you all had a wonderful father´s day weekend.  I am so grateful that my Dad is my Dad.  If you know the great Mike Miller then you too can say that he is a great man!  Full of optomism, love, fun, spontaneity, creativity, faith, and magic.  Yes, magic.  

This week there were a few surprises, but that´s nothing too new (sounds ironic, no?) on the mission.  I can almost feel something in the air before a hiccup arises, because I know that if it´s smooth sailing for too long, you don´t push yourself as much.  The Lord gives us trials and surprises and hiccups so don´t get too comfortable and we can work a little harder.  

We had a really great activity on Friday!  We had different workshops that focused on different things we can do to strengthen the traditions of latter day saint families.  Two less active families came!  And the mother of the amazing family we have been teaching came as well!!!  We asked a couple in the branch to do a family home evening workshop, and it turned out perfectly.  It almost gave me the chills how exactly it fit with the image I had in my head!  We didn´t have time to share lots of thoughts of what we were thinking before the activity started, but I remember having this image of handing out an outline of ideas, photos of their family, and and emphasis of how simple family home evening can be more than anything.  And they did just that!   when I watched them explaining the book they use that has lots of ideas for the fhe, I thought ¨man I wish I had thought to find some copies for these families and our investigator, dang it!¨  and I saw the father walk out for a bit while the wife kept speaking, and before I knew it he was right next to me and whispered, these are for the families!¨¨ and handed me new copies of the books.  Wow! He read my mind! (The lord inspired him, for sure)  I was absolutely elated to see these families and our investigator in church on Sunday, and even more happy to visit the less active family later last night and hear their plans to read the Book of Mormon and have family home evenings every week. The miracles don´t stop. Things are happening!  We are finding more families, where the husband and the wife both want to listen.  It´s a dream come true.  I am loving this and I don´t want it to stop!! 

Here are some photos, we have some buddies in the neighborhood who have a little horse and I luckily had my camera with me this time!  And Hermana Wilkinson had her birthday this weekend so we celebrated during our Sunday dinner at a member´s house. 

I love you all!  Thanks for your love prayers and letters.  I sent a bunch of letters last week so hopefully you will get yours soon!  Love Hermana HillMill 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hey friends and family!  Hope you are all doing well : )  Things are great here, especially now that we have two other hermanas working in our rama again!  I don´t have any photos this week, next time.  We are just getting past a really cold front that came through, and apparently there are some huge snow storms on the southern part of Argentina right now.  Crazy!!  I never thought I would be this cold here, and it´s the kind of cold that goes straight to your bones!  

We are working hard to reactivate some family members who were baptized a long time ago and come to Church every once in a while.  I love this family with all my heart and we are seeing some progress.  We are especially determined to help them because they are Mariel´s family, our branch missionary who is working so hard for us and is such a great example of being a member missionary.  I still can´t believe that just two years ago she was completely inactive, and now she has two callings, is saving up to take her family to see the Buenos Aires temple rededication, and just received her temple reccommend a few weeks ago.  

Yesterday we taught the Gospel Principles class and Mariel´s aunt came who is really close to being baptized.  At the end of the lesson the cute little old people in the back of the class shared their conversion stories, and we just let them go and it really excited Cristina to hear how people really can change. There really is something special about watching someone who is inches from overcoming personal struggles hearing testimonies of others who were able to do the same.  Members really are the secret ingredient to helping investigators be more committed to doing what is right.  

We are still teaching the wonderful family and one of the daughters came with the mother to church yesterday!  Poco a poco. : )  

Every day we see miracles.  This branch is growing stronger, people are reaching out more and less actives are receiving callings and coming back.  I am seeing the Lord´s hand right before my eyes.  I love this work! 

I love you all!  I miss you all a lot, and it always makes me happy to hear about what you are doing.  I am sorry if my letters get to you so far after you have written me!  At least I can somewhat communicate to you all through this blog.  Thanks Cara for always posting every week and helping me keep everyone up to date! 

xoxo hermana hill mill 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"familia, el hogar debe ser el refugio de la vida"

Family:  The home should be refuge from life. 

This past week was a wonderful one.  We are really seeing a lot of miracles with this beautiful family we are teaching.  They mean so much to me and I was quite concerned about what would happen come transfers. Well, turns out Hermana Green and I are staying here (woot!) and the Visa´s pulled through!  Hermana Wilkinson who has been in Pergamino is coming with a brand new missionary!!  SO excited.  I met her at a zone conference recently and I was hoping I would be able to work with her!!  We are very grateful to have more help here in the ward.  

I know the Lord is looking out for our investigators and I know that this upcoming transfer will bring good experiences.  There are always suprises in life, no matter who you are or how good you are.  The trick is to look at your life through heaven´s eyes (yes that is a direct quote from a song from Prince of Egypt. Sometimes I can´t help but use corny phrases).  If you just put all of your faith in trust in the Lord, even when you don´t know why things are happening or what will happen, you will feel alright.  Actually, you will feel more than alright, you will feel peace and joy! 

Last night we had a ¨just in case goodbye party¨ with some families that we teach, the elders, and Iara.  We took some pretty funny pictures, and it felt so good to laugh so hard with some people we only met a few weeks ago.  The mother of our golden family that we are teaching really didn´t want to say goodbye to us!  I am glad we are sticking around, but I don´t want to think about the day when I will have to eventually leave.  

This week we made homemade pasta (fideos caseros) with Isabel and her daughter Belen.  They have this cool little machine that presses the dough and cuts the individual noodles!  We had a lot of fun.  Hermana Green and I also cooked lunch for Hermana Mesquita who lives two houses down from us and lives in front of the other sister missionaries´ apt.  We made fajitas!!  We made them twice this week, and I think I am definitely getting an Argentine stomach,  seasonings and spices are starting to be a little strong for me!  My immunity to spicy food that I gained in Provo thanks to my mexican companion has left me! noooo!  It will interesting adjusting to lots of flavor after the mission. 

Our last pday we had a lot of fun with the elders in the park after eating lunch at the food truck.  YES, you read correctly, FOOD TRUCK!! It´s the only one here, and it technically is just a stand, but I like to imagine it´s a food truck.  It´s called Glup!  (castellano for gulp) and they have great burgers and quesadillas.  There is a cool wall painted as the argentina flag, and hermana green and I thought to take a ¨sassy sister missionary foto¨, so there you go, rawr.  

I hope you are all doing well.  Thank you for your letters and photos.  I love to see what you are all up to.  shout out to Mr. Jake Melton who just got married!!  Congrats buddy, I can´t wait to meet your wife, she looks perfect for you.  Best wishes and good luck!! 

xoxo hermana hill 

p.s.  in a few days I hit my half way mark.  I don´t believe it.  I hope it doesn´t move too fast, I am loving this too much.