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 

Monday, February 4, 2013

perserve until the end

¿Qué inspiración, no?

Did you know?  In spanish, ¨Endure to the end¨ is ¨peseverar hasta el fin¨, which I perfer.  

Let´s persevere until the end!  (The trick is, there really is no end... wooaaah, didn´t think of that before, did ya?)

Hello!  Here are some photos of the last two weeks.  

Last Monday the elders and two hermanos from the rama helped clear out our back yard.  The Elders also moved our fridge from the living room where it was hooked up for a few days... and today Hermano Caceres and another hermano are working on replacing wires that connect our electricity to the box outside... it´s been quite the adventure with our electricity.  I will save the details for later.  

This week we ended up stopping by the Artigas family (the hermano whom we taught how to conduct and teach a family home evening) and he happened to be making homemade bread!!  He was a baker back in the day.. so I luckily had my camera and filmed and took some photos of the process!  They are so great.  I love watching them work as a team.  

I am making bon o bons, and we have this huge pumpking/squash that a member gave us that I use as a grinder to crush the cookies into powder. Then we mix in butter and dulce to leche and roll the mix into balls.  Us hermana misioneras in the mission call them baptism bon bons, and we always make them for baptisms (the elders had 3 baptisms on Saturday).

Sunday, February 3, 2013

lasting impressions

Wow, this past week passed by way too fast.  I can´t believe we are almost in February.  I have a lot of mixed emotions about my time left in the mission... 

So we are finding more people that are SO ready to live the gospel!  My favorite experience this week was when we went to a neighborhood where recently we haven´t been finding people at home, but my companion Hermana Flack felt we should stop by just in case and contact the homes where I didn´t find people previously with my last comp.  Well, there just happened to be a little lady outside a house I hadn´t contacted sweeping the sidewalk, and she immediately let us come in (score!) And to our surprise her husband and daughter who were already in the side patio rushed inside to grab more chairs.... LDS CHURCH chairs!!  ?!?!  We didn´t say anything, but I was dying to know how the heck they had the same chairs that are found in all of our churches here.  Turns out the father works in construction and worked on one of our chapels in Cordoba, and his employer had extra chairs that were discarded due to rips in the leather, so all over Argentina there are dozens of church chairs in non member family homes!  Sweet!  The father told us that he learned a lot about our beliefs and is very grateful for the help and love the members gave him and his family.  Because of the good impression these members left on this family, we were easily invited into this home and saw a great need in their eyes to learn more about the Book of Mormon and how the gospel blesses families! 

Favorite experience No 2: On Tuesday a man stopped us in the street ¨Hey, are you from the Church of the... M...Mmmm ?¨ ¨Mormónes?¨ I said, and he said his friend in Paraná (the capital of EntreRios, about 3 hours from us) suggested he find the mormon missionaries because they could help him.  His friend and co-worker is a member (actually someone that Hermana Flack knows from her last area!) and introduced him to some principles of the gospel, and he was just coming from our church in search for us. ¨I have passed by two times and it always seems to be closed!¨  haha, I am very glad we found him in the street.  We have taught him twice already and he wants to be baptized!  Holy moly batman.  I know that his friend was inspired to show him how Heavenly Father´s plan is for all of us, and his friend gets bonus points for already having given him a Book of Mormon and some pamphlets.  

Now I see on the flip side of the connection between a member helping a friend and being lead to the missionaries.  As members when we are not full time missionaries, the Lord is waiting to give us opportunities to help our friends find the right path to eternal happiness, but it depends on us to start the conversation, be aware, and honestly not over think it.. The power of a simple invitation and leaving a good impression on our acquaintances and friends, as you can see by these examples, is very powerful.  I hope I can remember this after I am no longer wearing my name tag everyday (tear : ( ) and can simply invite more of my friends not of my faith to know more about what makes me so eternally happy.  

p.s.  I just read what I wrote and my wording is strange, forgive me, I don´t know how to fix it except to start typing in spanish!  HA! 

Que tenga una buena semana.  Les quiero mucho, y siempre acuérdense que son instrumentos en las manos del Señor, si lo permiten.  (I hope you have a good week!  I love you all a lot, and always remember that you are instruments in the Lord´s hands, if you permit it.)

xoxo hermana miller 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

one more thing...

ok ok I had to mention just a little bit more, I can´t hold in my excitement! 

From the church news room  Response to Mormon Missionary Age Announcement Remains Enthusiastic and Unprecedented : ¨In the weeks following the missionary age announcement, the Church reported that missionary applications had increased dramatically (from 700 applications per week to 4,000), with women comprising more than half of the applicants. While the number of post-announcement applications is still double what it has been in the past, the total number of men and women who have applied since October is now about equal. Prior to the announcement, approximately 15 percent of missionaries were young women.¨ 

In our mission, we also have two new sister missionary ¨assistants¨ who will be traveling constantly to do divisions with us so that we are all on the same page in how we teach and work, so we can all more effectively train the next generation of sister missionaries! 



There´s been a lot of talk and excitement going on lately about the mission.  As you probably have heard, there are thousands of more young missionaries who are now entering the field, thanks to the First Presidency´s inspired decision to lower the age from 21 to 19 for women, and 19 to 18 for men.  Our mission is going to expand, and in the last couple of months President Giuliani has been asking our zone leaders about where he can place sister missionaries.  We´ve heard that by april we will have 50 more! And that almost every sister missionary will be training next transfer (we are 24 right now)!  I was thinking that I wasn´t going to witness part of this new revolution, but it looks like I might be part of passing the baton to these youngin´s, who will be expected to train immediately after their training to help out the NEXT slew of the Lord´s angels!  Woot!!!  I honor these young men and young women who jumped to the call to serve.  They really are the chosen generation, and I feel like their big sister, preparing the way for them.  We are in the middle of some exciting times people... just think about all the changes that have taken place in just the past three or four years, with mormon messages and the increase of website use to spread the gospel, among many other things. 

 I could go on and on about this, but we have an apartment to clean, oh and wonderful people to teach!  : )  

 Love you!  Love the work!  Thank you for your Christmas cards!  I got them all on Friday!  

xoxo Hermana Hill Mill 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

knowledge is power

Hey hey!  Hope you are all happy and well!  Things are moving along here!  We are working with a lot of the recent converts and helping them grow stronger in there testimonies.  I am especially excited for one family, Family Artigas.  They are a husband and wife in their sixties, and they haven´t been able to progress as much as they´d like to with their knowledge of the gospel because they have health complications every once in a while.  I have been visiting them constantly since I arrived in August, and I think we are getting closer to having them help us teach their children, who are not members of the Church. 

We taught them the what why and how of a Family Home Evening the other day, and I was very taken aback by the father´s reaction.  He took in everything very attentively, and after we finished showing him the FHE Manual, he paused and thanked us for bringing this to his attention.  He said he never knew this was something that the prophets ask us to have, and that he will learn how to do this and help his family because he knows this is important.  I was so touched by how touched he was.  And then on Sunday when we asked him how his lesson prep was going, he seemed very concerned and wanted to make sure he was preparing right and asked us to stop by.  When we arrived we saw him sitting in his chair outside in the back with his nose deep in the pages of the FHE Manual.  He said ¨I now know how to prepare a lesson for family home evening.  You need a photograph of a baby, a dog, and a plant.¨  ???  He later explained what each represents, things that need nuture and care... he was explaining an object lesson that comes from Lesson One in the book that explains to the families the purpose of FHE. It was great!  He was trying to remember every point he possibly could, and said he still hadn´t picked a topic because he has spent his weekend reading the introduction that explains what is a family home evening. We reassured him that what he was doing would be a perfect lesson to explain to his children and grandchildren who do not go to our Church.  He was satisfied and determined to read more the following day.  

I love seeing people´s hunger for knowledge! I am so happy that this hermano understands the need to bless his family, and I wish all people we teach could be moved by the things our prophet and apostles ask us to do. 

Knowledge is power.  And the best knowledge is the knowledge that comes from what edifies and strengthens the soul, the kind of knowledge that helps us remember our divine nature and our divine duty here in this life. 

xoxo hermana hill mill 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

ch ch ch changes

Hello all!  I hope you all had a wonderful New Year{s!  I can{t believe that it is 2013.  I remember when I recently received my mission call and my mother and I were chatting with people about when I would return and whenever we said [spring 2013[ it sounded like ages!!  And now it is here!  I hope this year brings you all lots of great adventures : )

Well we had a few changes here in our zone... I am with Hermana Flack who is from Orem Utah and she just recently completed nine months in the mission.  We also have a new district leader, Elder Goodman from Arizona.  My companion is very relaxed and always happy, which makes me happy.  We are excited for this week, we are going to teach some new people and she{s going to show me some tasty dishes she{s made here on the mission. 

Before transfers Hermana Franco and I went down to the river with Elders Vergara and Groberg during a huge storm to take pictures.... yup we are crazy, and it made for a good memory! 

I am so grateful that these past few weeks we have been getting a lot of rain.  This weather has been quite enjoyable, and I don{t mind when the heat and humidty returns temporarily because I know it{s a sign that another storm is coming. 

I am loving more and more this area.  I love seeing the help and care from the members regarding fellowshipping our investigator and her children.  We watched The Testaments in the church this weekend with her (a film depicting Christ{s visitation to the Americas after his resurrection), and when we finished the girls said [Can we watch another movie next week?[ and the mother has lots of questions about how the Book of Mormon was translated, so we are going to watch more about Joseph Smith.  It brings me such joy to see the hunger in their eyes for the gospel.  I love looking up scriptures and answering their questions.  They want to know not just to know, they want to know because they are feeling the truth and things are starting to fit in piece by piece of how the gospel works in their lives, and I feel so privileged to watch the process!  It also helps me recognize how my hunger for knowledge has grown, how I understand more fully how the Atonement works in my life daily.  

I hope you are all well.  Thank you for your letters, you may or may not have an idea of how happy a missionary feels when they get a letter from a dear friend or relative.  You help me keep up my energy and focus, even though I miss you all, I sometimes have moments where I think [but... what if I refuse to leave?  Can{t I just be a missionary forever?[  Forgive me, but that{s how I feel sometimes!  I love this work!  It may move slower than we want at times, but nothing can frustrate the work of the Lord... we are part of something so grand! 

p.s. yes, that is a carpincho/capybera/ROUS/rodent of unusal size.  They are apparently very tasty...

xoxo hermana hillmill