Tuesday, August 28, 2012

So long, Farewell, Venado Tuerto

Hello!!  Today is a busy day.  I am saying goodbye to a lot of really special people, and I have less time than expected as I need to travel tonight instead of tomorrow morning.  It has been a wonderful five months here in Venado Tuerto.  It is interesting to think that I have only known these members, missionaries, and investigators for months but it feels like I have known them for years because of what we have experienced together.  

Changes are sometimes hard, but I know I am headed to a grand new adventure, in Santa Elena, La Paz, which is in a province named Entre Rios, north of the province Santa Fe which I have only known.  It is exciting yet a little bittersweet as I know without a doubt that there is no way I will be able to have another companion like Hermana Green.  She really knows how to enjoy every moment.  I felt like my days walking in the street were really listening to a stand up comedian, giving me free commentary on all the funny things that happen to us as missionaries.  I love her so much and I am anxious to see how she will grow, especially with her latina companion!!  

People come and go into our lives, and it´s amazing the impression they can leave on you.  I love how we come from so many different cultures and backgrounds, and yet we have one grand thing in common.. and that isn´t just that we know the gospel.. we are all in the race of life trying to find the best way to live it, and it´s been a privelige to be one of thousands of messangers who know holds the truth that can show these travelers where to go, how to get there, and how to keep living the best way we can. 

I love Venado Tuerto! I love the mission!  

xoxo hill 

Saying goodbye at the terminal as a zone to elder luna from mexico and elder artunduaga from colombia. the mission ends one day?  weird... 

Saying goodbye to the rivoira family, marcelo and his daughter florencia and son fede (he is our branch mission leader) and then maria and her kids (she is due in october)


Monday, August 20, 2012

Brilla Tu Luz

Hello friends and family!!  I hope you all are enjoying the end of your summer.  Here it has been very wonderful weather, it already feels like spring, which is starting to make everyone nervous about how hot the summer will be.  I am just grateful that the winter was not as bravo as everyone said it would.  I never bought a very heavy coat and we´ve only had a few cold fronts with a few cold days, so we´ve been pretty lucky. 
Right now a bunch of members from our branches are in Buenos Aires attending the temple open house.  They took a bus at 2am and arrived at around 7 and will be back this evening.  Yesterday I was so happy to hear our recent convert Isabel talk about how excited she was to go, it really is perfect timing after her baptism.  I told her it will past by fast, as all good things do, so she needs to just stop and look around and take it all in and remember the feeling forever, and then Hermana Solomon said ¨But it won´t be your only time you will go to the temple, you will go again one day!¨  And that made her even more excited.  I love that Isabel said she wanted to see the temple since the very first time she heard about it.  I am grateful that the members have been preparing for this special day and the following rededication which is to come, because I know it helped Isabel understand how essential it is in our lives as latter day saint families. 
Yesterday was the homecoming of a sister missionary, Aloe, the daughter of the other hermanas´ landlady.  She served in Mexico!  It was pretty cool to hear an Argentine speak with a slight Mexican accent and hear those great mexican phrases and words that I miss!!  Her mother told us that she is already missing the work and adjusting has been a little strange, and she said ¨One day you will know what that is like!¨ ha. 
The Branch President asked me to speak in sacrament meeting as well, and gave me the topic about shining our light.  Well that just so happens to me one of my favorite topics! : )   It was a beautiful Sunday, both the weather and the words that were expressed in the classes and meetings.  I am so fortunate to be part of this great work, to see the members work with us and share in the excitement of building up the Lord´s kingdom.
I hope you are all doing well!  Next week is transfers...  It may be the time for me to leave Venado Tuerto, I´ve been here for almost five months!  Crazy. 
Today is a holiday and we are going to an artesenal fair after this!  We´re stoked to say the least.  And it´s beautiful today as well.
I want to thank each of you for the impact you have made in my life.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends and family that I can have fun with, make memories with, learn with, grow with, and can rely on and admire.  I wish I could give some of the families here the friendships that I have at home.  Thank you for being a light in my life!  (cue corny music by lee ann rimes.. youuuuu light up myyyyy lifeeeee)
xoxo hermana hillmill

From zone conference this week.  We had an olympic activity, scripture chase!  Brought back good memories with Monrovia and Arcadia seminary : )

Monday, August 13, 2012

By Small and Simple Things

Hello!  Hope you all had a wonderful week, we sure did! 

Remember the family Hermana Green and I found two transfers ago?  Well Isabel, the mother, got baptized this weekend!!  When Hermana Solomon and Hermana Wilkinson came into the area we handed her off and they finished teaching her and helped her strengthen her testimony.  I have been so nostalgic and reflective this whole week, thinking of the progress Isabel has made, how she even before her baptism was attending all three hours of church and all the activities and already had formed some great friendships with the members, even though she was the only member in her family going.  She is a rock!!  I also kept thinking how we found her just by contacting, and from a small and simple act of work we were part of this woman´s journey in the gospel of Jesus Christ!  It was a really special chapter in our missions that all us four hermanas can share. It definitely pumped us up to full steam ahead with the hope that we can find more people who are ready, just like Isabel!!  

Our district is also going strong with lots of goals and challenges for each of the members to share a pass along card with one neighbor.  Every  branch has a referral box that a family is in charge of each week, inside ten candies are found and for every candy you take out you have to write down a referral and put it in the box.  I found it quite funny when the first family reported back that the father had to sit all the boys down and make them write down names after he discovered they had eaten all the candies.. maybe therin lies another lesson of discipline for the kids??  We were just happy with the results, referrals really is the key!  We love that more and more families are accompanying us to lessons.  The work is moving along!!  I love it even more when I can see the excitement coming from the members.  Once we can put aside our nerves of the thought of people rejecting or message or feeling we might me inadequate to talk about the gospel, we can remember that sometimes a small and simple invitation can lead to a life changed.You never know!! : ) 

By small and simple things, great things come to pass. 

I love you all.  Thank you for your letters!  Taylor Hoopes!!  Congrats on your engagement!! Holy cow your letter surpirsed me, I am way happy for you buddy!  

With love from Argentina 

xoxo hermana hillmill 

Monday, August 6, 2012

I love to see the Temple

Hello everyone!  My apologies for not writing lately... things have been moving along here and I had mostly been using my time on the computer to update my family.  We are fast approaching the day when the Buenos Aires temple will be rededicated, and everyone is getting very excited about it. It makes me so happy to see how the branch and district are full throttle in the goals to become a ward and a stake.  Our zone leaders have requested the branch presidents to call more branch missionaries and to have everyone give a pass along card to a friend or family this week.  My favorite challenge to youth is to have them publish a mormon message on their facebook... I think that is one of the best ways to grab our attention these days since we are always on the computer (well... YOU all are! ; )  I feel so out of touch with technology these days, you will definitely enjoy seeing my weak attempts try to text quickly again, HA! ) 

Well, I wish I could update you all on everything that is happening, but to make it short I will just say that the mission is like a mini-life . . . we are thrown into challenges that at first seem too big for us to handle, but when we take a moment to step back we remember that the Lord created us for greater things, and it is the trials that make us stronger.  I am blessed to have this knowledge, and it sometimes saddens me to watch others I come into contact with who do not understand this.  I am learning that the mission (and life) is full of surprises, to the point where if there isn´t some sort of challenge I am going through, I know I have been comfortable for too long and the Lord needs to shake things up!  (Hermana Gerratt taught me that : ) )  I definitely have grown to see the Lord´s hand guide me and comfort me when there have been discoveries of people we love choosing the wrong instead of choosing the right.  It is an interesting combination, feeling pain for someone but yet still holding onto the hope that ¨Sunday will always come.¨ 

 I am happier than ever here and I don´t want to leave this area, but one day that will have to happen!  It is such a privilege to be called a representative of Jesus Christ.  I know He lives and that this is His church, and that we have a living day prophet who can guide us and remind us that we are that we might have joy!  

I love you all so much.  I am sorry my letter writing has been a little delayed.. but I am working on it!  Thank you for thinking of me and spending the time to write.  FYI, there is a longer delay now in mail arriving as there was a long strike in the post offices this past month... so if you would like you can send me notes via dearelder , it´s free for you and free for the mission home to print them out, and there is no way they can get lost! 

dream big!  love you all! 

xoxo hermana miller 

Marissa and Anthony, congratulations on your wedding!!  My  mother sent me your photographs, you look shnazy!  Love you both and I am sorry I couldn´t be there!!

Hermana Giuliani included this in her weekly message today 

I Love It!!!