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 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

too much fun

Too much fun...  

This Christmas was a blast!  

Nativity Branch Activity
Christmas Conference... missionaries surprised us with spray cans of snow
Singing in the terminal in ParanĂ¡

Christmas Eve in La Paz:
Singing on the Radio! 
Singing in the Plaza
Eating Asado (bbq) , and we are toasting with sparkling cider fyi.... 
Watched the Princess and the Frog and ate homemade cinnamon rolls Christmas morning!

I love our zone and our mission.  

Other news, this week is transfers and my mini missionary Hermana Franco goes home to her family on Wednesday, and I just found out that I am staying here in Santa Elena and will be with Hermana Flack!  I´ve met her a handful of times, she was trained by Hermana Tourtillot, so I am pretty excited!  I have a feeling I will be ending my mission here in Santa Elena!  This transfer is 8 weeks long instead of 6 weeks, so I have 14 weeks left.  Crazy.  Gotta make the most of it!