Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas with pictures

Hi family and friends,

Belated Merry Christmas!!! I hope everybody's holidays were fantastic. I hope they were filled with the Savior just as much as--hopefully more than--with Santa and presents.

Our Christmas was nice and peaceful. Pretty much every single member in our ward went out of town for the holidays, so we were here! Skyped our families on Christmas day, taught and visited until the end of the day, and then went home.

We had a nice breakfast Christmas morning that our trainers made, that was sweet :) they're darling.
A member gave us 2 Pannetones (sweet bread... so good.) and a jug of grape juice. We feasted. :)

Here's a picture of our Christmas breakfast. And a mug that Sister Alvez gave me for Christmas:) it's a picture of us at this place we once went to where there was FREE FOOD. What started with a contact led to that... memories.

BTW... sorry I'm super awful at writing these things. I get writer's block. #1hourprobs

Muito amor,

Sister Hill

Oh yeah, and we got electricity back Christmas Eve morning. #bestChristmaspresentever

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Conference, pictures and no electricity

Dearest family and friends!

Hope everybody is well. This week was a little different since we went to BRASÍLIA for our Christmas Conference!! It was so exhausting but still great. We literally (and anybody who knows me knows that I only use this word when I really mean it) spent more time on the ônibus than in Brasília. With 27 hours on the bus, and 12 hours in Brasília. But I got to see the wonderful missionaries from my MTC district!! SISTER HECK! I've missed those people. It was super fun to hear their stories, catch up since we hadn't seen each other since October... and I know that I probably won't see them for a while. It was super good to see them.

And we watched Frozen!!!! in Portuguese. Honestly I missed hearing the music in English because I love it so much... but it was still great. Olaf is still hysterical, even in português. "só coisas boas, só coisas boas." (all good things, all good things)... <3 #iloveOlaf
We watched Ephraim's Rescue too! I loved it, I had never seen that movie before...such a powerful movie about faith and our spiritual gifts. And that we can be tools in the Lord's hand to minister as the Savior would minister if He were here today.

Us and the 2 sisters in our house went street contacting for an entire day on Saturday, since we didn't have any commitments... we sang Christmas hymns for the entire world!! It was seriously the best thing ever. There was this one lady who when we started singing for her and her daughter, started filming us with her smartphone. It was so hilarious hahaha. Afterwards she was hugging all of us, so grateful for the present we gave her... interesting how some people just need that little reminder <3 I loved it so much, it was fantastic and we had a ton more contacts.

Dreams in portuguese have started. Had a dream the other night that my portuguese scriptures had magically turned into english scriptures... and weird stuff like that. It's all part of the experience:)

We had the ward Christmas party the other day. Papai Noel (Santa Claus) was definitely the highlight, walking in and giving Bis (chocolate wafer candy, sooo good) to the kids... Santa was a member from the ward. I loved how everybody freaked out;) it was so fantastic. The food was great. I could seriously go on for hours about the food.

We're still without electricity and energy in the house. #coldshowersfordayzz #stillusingtheheadlamp #reusingclothesbecausewecantusetheiron
Exciting adventures here without light and electricity. :) #missionarylife

Lovin' it here. Hope everybody has a super great Christmas!!! And don't forget the real meaning <3 That through Jesus Christ, we can change!!!!

Feliz Natal, Boas Festas para todos!
Muito amor,

Sister Hill

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Our First Baptism!!! with pictures

Oi família e amigos,

This week was great. We had the baptism of Rodrygo yesterday!! My first baptism, it was awesome. He's great. Andreia is travelling for Christmas but when she gets back we're hoping that she can finally find a time to be baptized. Pictures attached of the happy day. :)

The past few days have been super interesting...something happened with the electricity bill, and for the past 4 days we've been without electricity. No hot water, no ironing, no light, and no refridgerator. Dad, you know that headlamp you made me bring that I didn't want to but brought anyway? Ummm I've never been more grateful for that silly contraption than now. #iuseittoreadmyscriptures #itsamazingwhatyoucandowhenyoudonthavetoholdaflashlight #whoknew #ohyeahthatsrightmyDaddid

t is way strange to not have snow. Honestly, it doesn't feel like Christmas. Irmã Giann (i think i mentioned her last week?), her mom made dresses for Christmas for the four of us missionary sisters!!! And they're amazing. I get mine tomorrow, I'll take a picture of it and send it:) tomorrow we take the 13-hour bus ride to Brasilia for the Christmas Conference with the mission!! I'm excited to see Sister Heck, I miss her soo much haha.

We had Stake Conference yesterday, Sister Marriott spoke in portuguese! I didn't know that she knew any portuguese! She has a very, very strong accent but I could understand everything she said. Larry W. Wilson also spoke, his was about the iron rod. Loved it. And Elder Cook spoke too. It was so fantastic. The members here cry when they get to hear the words of representatives of the Lord <3 Makes me cry.

The baptism of Rodrygo was amazing. When I saw him go under the water I almost just broke in tears...ugh it's so amazing to see somebody change their life for the better. And baptism is just the beginning! There is so much more that will happen.

I got your first letter this week, postmarked November 7th. Haven't had time to open it yet. Sooo takes about a month and 10 days to get from UT to Brasil to Palmas. Hmm. Not too shabby. ;)

Thank you for the FHE ideas. Thank you for the prayers. I've passed the homesickness phase. I've realized I don't want to be anywhere else but here, because now I have relationships with these people and I want to be around them!!!!!!!! Now that I can finally communicate... Mom I think I had a tiny "click" the other day. On the 13th. And I just started talking with people... it's amazing, the day when you finally don't have to translate everything you hear into english before you can speak. You just know what they're saying. It's the most incredible thing. the gift of tongues is so real.

The scriptures are amazing. I finished the Book of Mormon, starting over... can I just say Nephi is so incredible?
I had a little revelation about the story of Lehi and Nephi the other day...
When the Lord commands for Lehi's family to depart into the wilderness, they depart.
But the Lord didn't tell them at this point in time where they were going. He hadn't told them yet about the promised land.
But they left.
They had so much faith in the Lord that they just left without knowing where they were going.
I want to be like that!!

Thank you for the support, thank you for everything.
More pictures to come.
Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Muito amor,
Sister Hill

p.s. don't take electricity for granted
p.p.s. getting devoured by mosquitoes here but it's all good ;)
p.p.p.s. you forget sunscreen ONE DAY and you're fried.
p.p.p.p.s. pamonia is amazing. so is panatone. google them ;)

Also attached a picture of me and Sarah, a primary girl in the ward. We drew pictures while waiting for Almoço. <3

Hope everybody is well, keep sharing that awesome video Ele É O Presente!!! (He is the Gift.) Share it share it share itttttttt. I love the campaigns that the church does. So good.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Oi gente :)

This week we marked a wedding & baptismal date with Erica and Irismar!! So, their story... their son, Willyam, was baptized last year at the age of 9. He's 10 now and hasn't been going to church because he was the only person baptized in his family. But this week we marked January 17th as this date for them, we're sooo excited!!! Willyam is my reason for being here in Tocantins<3 he's such an amazing little guy, he loves the gospel<3

Rodrigo's baptism is this upcoming Sunday, the 14th! He and Andreia came to church yesterday, she is so amazing to me. He's the one getting baptized and she reads the Book of Mormon more consistently than he does. We want to invite her to be baptized tonight after we have FHE with them, we're praying she accepts so that they can be baptized together this week:)

Besides that, all is well... Christmas is coming!! It's only 18 days away, in fact! What are you all doing to prepare? I heard about the campaign that the church is doing, so cool!!

Hope you have a great week, don't forget the gospel is true<3

Muito amor,
Sister Hill

Monday, December 1, 2014

Transfer was yesterday...and I'm staying here in Palmas with Sister Alves! And Sister Costancio and Sister Soares are staying too, I love the four of us. Our district is tiny, just the 4 of us plus 2 more Elders.
This week we visited Rodrigo and Andreia to teach the Plan of Salvation, we asked if they had any questions before we begin...and Rodrigo asked (this is translated from português, mind you) "If one of us wants to be baptized, does the spouse have to be baptized as well?" Was SUCH a surprise to the two of us, we had no idea he wanted to be baptized since he had only been to church once. But he really wants to be baptized!! He wanted to be baptized this Sunday, because his cousin Iyarle leaves for his mission to Brasil, Santa Maria this Wednesday and he was hoping that maybe he would be able to be baptized the Sunday before his cousin left...but we talked about it and set a date for December 14th. Andreia is Catholic and she isn't sure about the church yet, since she worked 3 years to be baptized into the Catholic church...but she knows that the Book of Mormon is true!! I talked with her yesterday, her and Rodrigo read one chapter of the Book of Mormon every day, they're already in 1 Néfi 17. They're both amazing, and Rodrigo is excited for his baptism!!

We visited Francisca and Jorge yesterday, Sister Alves and I believe that they're no longer progressing investigators. They aren't keeping their commitments and haven't been in church for a couple weeks. We're going to fast for just them this Sunday! Jorge is an elect, he loves the gospel so much, he is so intelligent and willing to share his testimony, he's going to help us visit other investigators this week. But Francisca isn't very open, she doesn't like a whole bunch of attention pointed directly at her...she was reading the Book of Mormon a few weeks ago, but now neither of them are. We're praying for them hard these days.

Super cool experience this week:
We returned to the house of Dena, we had visited her one time previously, just to introduce the gospel, give her a pamphlet and mark a date to return. So we returned on Saturday, and to our surprise she had read and marked the entire pamphlet, and had questions about everything. Which means she actually read. And then she surprised us again with a story about how she already had the Book of Mormon in her house, it had been sitting there for years when her son gave it to her, telling her about a "different Bible". She loves the Book of Mormon!! She's going to pray about it, we're feeling like she is an elect <3

Our zone in Palmas is going to Brasília for Natal (Christmas)!! It will be a 13-hour bus ride there...but who cares, it will be an adventure. And I have Sister Alves so it's all good :) 

Boa semana por vocês, gente... the gospel is true!! <3
Até logo,
Sister Hill

Monday, November 24, 2014

Olá, família e amigos!

This week was good. Sister Alves and I really concentrated on finding new people to teach, because the majority of our investigators were not progressing, and many investigators with baptismal dates fell through. So we did a lot of finding! A lot of clapping in front of the gates of peoples' homes.

We have a new investigator, Helica! We met her husband on the street, he said he wasn't interested in the church but that his wife was searching for a church. So she's our new investigator! She's an elect. She came to church this week, stayed for the whole 3 hours. We gave her a Book of Mormon after teaching the Restoration, I'm excited to see how she's been doing with that.

Rodrigo and Andreia told us that they read the Book of Mormon together every night.

There's been lots of random rain and thunderstorms here in Tocantins..and when it rains here it POURS. Like flooding. The last time there was super huge lightning and thunder, me and the 3 sisters in my house heard the light crack super close to our house, we could FEEL it. When we got on the bus we passed maybe 10 trees that had been hit by lightning and broken in the road. I think it's awesome, lightning is super cool :)

Nothing super exciting this week, besides our new investigators we're working with.

Até mais,
Sister Hill

Monday, November 17, 2014

Amigos é família,
Esta semana foi bem! Não facil...mas bem. My portuguese improves every day. Every day I improve just a little bit. It's the most amazing thing. The sisters in my house are so patient with me. I remember the first day that I was in the field, the first week, I could barely converse with my companion, and couldn't converse at ALL with the other girls in my house, Sister Constancio and Sister Soares (whom I love a LOT, btw). And now we all talk and laugh throughout the entire day. I love them.
We taught Jorge and Francisca the commandments yesterday, Jorge is INCREDIBLE in that he is definitely um eleto, one of our elects... he's so receptive of the gospel, I know that he was prepared to receive it. But Francisca, his soon-to-be wife, we don't know. She hasn't been progressing, she hasn't been keeping her commitments, she hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon and she doesn't come to church...we're trying really hard to help her. And she loves her coffee, her café, and I know the Word of Wisdom is going to be a hard thing for her. But we have faith in her still!! We just reeeeally want her to understand the importance of them getting married to be baptized, not the action but the principle, the doctrine...there's meaning behind this!! Her salvação...I have to always remind myself that people have agency. Sigh. Still getting used to that.

It's a nice balmy 110degrees Fahrenheit here in Palmas, Tocantins!! Wow! Gotta love that sun!! I got my first real sun today as I only put sunscreen on my arms and feet today, figuring that would be
Today for P-day we went to "Taguarusul" and climbed this huge mountain, the view was BEAUTIFUL. Pictures for you of that. :) And also we saw some macaws on our way to the ônibus the other day!!! There were like four in the tree! Some pictures of that as well.
Hope you are all well. I love and miss you!!!
I love 1 Nephi 3:7 because the Lord is going to ask us to do some hard things...but we CAN do them! He will never ask us to do something without knowing that we can do it. It just takes trust. <3
Com amor,
Sister Hill

Thanks for the update!! It's always nice to hear about what's happening there at home. :)
P-day we wake up and clean the house, but this morning was a little different because we had to wake up at about 5h30 to get on the bus by 7 to head to that city (i can never say or spell the name of it, Sister Soares had to help me type it last time hahaha.) And we climbed that cool mountain!! The view was INCREDIBLE, It was about 35 minutes of hiking straight uphill, I thought I was going to die. But we made it! And had an awesome time just talking with our district. Attached is a picture of our district at the top of the mountain:)

Elder Chamberlain (from Blanding, Utah) was taking the picture, get this: his uncle is Grant Christian, the man who gave me my patriarchal blessing!!!!! How crazy is that!!!!!!

I got super burnt today. I put sunscreen on my arms and my feet, and I put foundation on this morning and figured I was good for the neck got suuuuper burned. BUT it's okay, I know it will go away eventually. And I'm confident enough that I don't let it bother me.
The zone conference is TOMORROW, that's when somebody is going to go pick up my package and hopefully bring it back in time for me to receive it next week!
I haven't heard anything about the second package. So the thing is is that 1) it's hard to mail things to Brasil, 2) it's even harder to mail things to Brasília once you get it in Brasil, and 3) it's ridiculously hard to get packages here in Palmas. I'm not expecting any Christmas package from you guys, if you already sent one haha I'll probably get it in January or February. :) It just takes so long to get it to my area.

It's been about 110, 115 degrees F here... YEAH it's toasty. I thought St. George was hot! Ha! We take our shower in the morning, and then I'm already super sweaty by the time we've been proseliting for about an hour. Mm love that #missionarylife

In the picture with my district Sister Soares is the sister I'm sitting next to, she arrived with me so we're the "babies" of the house, both our first area and our first everything...I love her! Mom she's like a Brasilian Alexandra!!!!!! To me she looks like Alexandra, I love her to death. Their personalities are different but I remember the first time I saw Sister Soares from a distance I tooootally thought of Alexandra<3

I'm so pleased to hear that the Primary program went well! I know you're such a good primary president<3 I wish I could have been there to see it.
You remember those family pictures that we took together before I left? Do you have them? I want to see them!! :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Oi de Brasil!

This week was good! Lots of searching for new people to teach, lots of walking...don't worry, not nearly as exciting as last week! The remains of the bite are almost all the way gone, yay!! And my foot is about back to normal size, woohoo:)

Right now we are teaching Jorge and Francisca who have 2 children, Lara (9) and Jorginho (2). Jorge and Francisca have a wedding date for December 13th and a baptismal date for the same day, but Jorge progresses spiritually waaay faster than Francisca. He loves coming to church and just eating a spiritual feast in classes and sacrament meeting, Francisca wasn't in church yesterday. But Lara told us in sacrament meeting yesterday that she thinks she wants to be baptized in this church...she's awesome. Jorge told us yesterday that he thinks that him and Francisca should be taught separately since they're on different levels with their testimonies right now. We'll see how this works out!

The language gets better every day. I'm finally past that little bump of "UGH I CAN'T DO THIS". Every day I improve a little-tiny-eensy-weensy bit, and I know that in 6 months I'm going to look back and laugh at all of the things I said wrong. :) Thank goodness Heavenly Father lets us learn through processes and doesn't expect us to know everything in a day or two, eh?

Our new house came through!! I think we're moving this week. It has a bright pink gate and a bright green seriously looks like a watermelon. Our watermelon house. Or our Natal Casa. I'm excited:) Our house now is puny.

We have a friend, Mirian. Missionaries, Elders, came to her door about 8 years ago and introduced the gospel to her. She loves the missionaries. But she isn't baptized because she isn't married to her spouse, and he isn't at all interested in the gospel. Until this weekend!! We fasted with Mirian on Saturday that her family would be united. She also has a 17-year-old son, Jonas, who normally just locks himself in his room and never says hi to us when we come unless Mirian makes him.
But Saturday night, it was 4 sister missiories, 2 members, Mirian, her spouse and Jonas!!!!!!!! And her spouse even started to cry while we were teaching. I have such a testimony of fasting!!!!! All these years and he will finally let us teach him. I get butterflies just thinking about it :) they agreed to let us come for Reunião Familiar (FHE) Wednesday night. I can't wait!!!!

Still eating rice and beans and meat every day and loving it!!! The food here is so incredible. Sorvete, chocolate, carne... it's fantastic. Haven't gotten sick yet. Yet. And still drinking 3 liters of water a day!

Até mais,
Sister Hill

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pictures from the mission

Olá família e amigos!

Esta semana foi...interesante!
Sunday (I think?) I got a mosquito bite on my left leg. And I didn't think anything of it...until a couple days later when I would feel pain shoot up my leg when I stepped down on it. I wish I could attach a picture!! It was this little ball of a bite, with a fist-sized dark red oval-shape around the bite, and then about halfway up my leg it was super red and hot. Yeah it was bad. So I refused to go to the hospital, but Sister Alvez and Irmão Itamar (a member in my ward) didn't give me a choice and drove me to the hospital. I couldn't understand ANYTHING that was going on. All I could tell the doctor was that it hurt, and it happened "dois dias atrás" (2 days ago). He gave me a prescription through Irmão, and the amazing Irmão Itamar spent about 20 minutes driving me and Sister Alvez halfway across town and back to pick me up medication.
I'm all good now!! The bite has gone down day by day. It just made for an interesting week when on Wednesday it hurt so badly to walk, that I slept at a member's house for 5 hours while Sister Alvez taught lessons with Rita, a ward missionary in our ward. So yeah, it was just a super weird week.

Besides that interesting part of my week, all is well. Tudo bom. :) I still get frustrated with the language, but at this point I've just accepted that I don't know it yet. Blah. Which is frustrating. But I know it will come someday!! I have tried to remember HOPE, ESPERANÇA this week.
One of my favorite things about the português language:
In inglês, we have the word HOPE. To HOPE for something is to trust in Heavenly Father that He will fulfill His promises to you. That is literally what HOPE is.
In português, the verb "ESPERAR" means three different things:
1. to hope for
2. to expect
3. to wait for

When we hope for something, when we trust in our Heavenly Father that He will fulfill His promises to us, we EXPECT that He will fulfill His promises, and then we WAIT. How cool is that! We can actually know with a surety, a perfect hope that our Father in Heaven will keep His word. "I, the Lord, am bound when you do what I say..." D&C 82:10.

The work is good. It's hard, but it's simple. Simple doesn't mean easy! Cause the mission isn't easy. But it's simple. Be obedient, and work hard. <3

Boa semana por todo o mundo!
Muito amor,

Sister Hill

hashtags for the week:
#justsmileandwaveboys (from Madagascar, anybody?)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Querido família e amigos,

Olá de Palmas, Tocantins!! The past 5 days have been roooough. Learning a language is hard. HARD. I think one of the hardest things for me has been being in a group of people, and the brasilieros assuming I´m stupid or have no thoughts or emotions because I am not able to express them through their language. Being the foreigner is definitely different from anything I´ve ever experienced. It´s one of the hardest, humbling experiences I have ever had. It´s hard to see small children that can speak português better than I can. BUT, I will get it eventually. I know that. Everybody has to do the first couple months of the mission some time, right?

Now for some GOOD things that happened this week!!
The ward is awesome. The members here in Brasil are INCREDIBLE. They are so loving, so strong in their faith...I love it so much. I really love eating in the houses of members por almoço cada día. The spirit there is amazing. I love that the church here is the same as in any other country in the world. It´s the same! The Restoration is the same, O Livro de Mórmon is the same, the message is the´s the SAME gospel! I am here in the Brasil to preach the same gospel that I learned in primary when I was a little girl. That is such an amazing thing to me.
All of our progressing pesquisadores came to church yesterday, that was awesome!! Here in Brasil, we call members and pesquisadores by their primeiro nomes, their first names. Por exemplo, the wife of the bishop is Irma Bianca. Our pesquisadores right now are Irmão Nilo, we taught him the first lesson last week and he came to church! We also have a family, Irmão Jorge and Irma Francisca. They have a son and a daughter from Irma Francisca´s first marriage. They came to church yesterday too. They have a marriage and baptismal date for December 13th!! Taylor Swift´s birthday;) (not that i know that...)

Today me, Sister Alvez (minha companheira), Sister Constancio (de Argentina) and Sister Soares (de São Paulo) went to the governor´s palace!! In the palace there is the CENTER of Brasil. YES you read that right, THE CENTER OF BRASIL. The center of the country!! The exact center! Cool, right? Eh I think it´s cool. We took a group photo with O Livro de Mórmon cause it´s like quadruple power when you´re standing in the very center of Brasil. :) 

Tocantins is HOT. Way hot. It´s at the very edge of our mission. Every day is pretty much either pouring rain and we´re swimming through the streets (not really...but it´s a lot of rain) or it´s BLAZING hot and one hour after getting outside I´m already gross. Love the mission life, ya??? Our mission president requires us to take 2 showers a day because of how hot it is. #amoserummissionário #ilovetobeamissionary 
We walk. A lot. Last night we walked 45 minutes in the rain to get to an appointment. And we didn´t even end up teaching that person. (When I say these things please don´t think I´m complaining, I LOVE IT. Just trying to describe.:) Sister Alvez and I sing hymns as we walk. I´ll teach her songs in inglês, she´ll teach me songs in português. We´ve been teaching each other A Primeira Visão (the first vision) in our native languages. I love it when Sister Alvez talks in inglês!!! She knows quite a bit for a brasilian. It´s so weird to imagine that I have an american accent...I know I do, but it´s weird to think about.
If we´re not walking, we´re taking the ônibus! I love the bus. It feels like the Indiana Jones ride how crazy the buses are. I LOVE IT. Cause it will start and go super super fast, like the IJ ride, and then it will stop suddenly right before crashing into another vehicle. Awesome, right? ;)

There is a quote that I remember out here often:
"If things are going perfectly, treasure it because it won´t last forever. If things are awful, be patient because it won´t last forever." I´ve learned to treasure those really special moments, like listening to the primary program that was yesterday in Church, or laughing with one of the members that I feel is my soul sister from the have to love those moments!! Because they won´t last forever!! And if things are tough, if I can´t explain what´s on my mind or if I´m having a rough won´t last forever either. :) 
When things are hard, I just remember that this is NOT a sacrifice. At all. I´m on the Lord´s errand, it is a PRIVILEGE to be out here, literally representing Jesus Christ. 

Never forget that Brasil is the best!! Don´t worry, USA is still my home country ;) #lovethismissionlife #MissãoBrasilBrasília #minhaprimeiraárea #Palmas #Tocantins #euamoBrasil #SisterAlvezisthebesttrainerIcouldeverhave

Boa semana, todo! Muito amor,
Sister Hill

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Olá, família e amigos!!

Eu estou no CAMPO!!! Finalmente!
I´ve been assigned to serve in Tocantins, in Palmas. My trainer is Sister Alvez, in the mission home all of the secretary elders were telling me how awesome she is and that I was getting the best sister in the mission! President Lundgren said how she is the kindest sister in the mission.
Im pretty positive that Palmas is the farthest area away from the mission home. Yesterday was the longest day of my LIFE...I got up at 3:30am to get on a bus to the airport, our flight landed at 10:30am, and after meeting the Mission pres and wife and aps and stuff I got on a bus at 6pm...a 13-HOUR BUS RIDE.  I thought the plane ride to Brasil was long. O.o Yeah. 13 hours. And when did we get to Palmas? Oh yeah, 7am this morning. Today has been long too. We had lunch in a member´s home today, it´s really frustrating for me not to be able to communicate or contribute at all...because I feel such love for the people already but I can´t tell them what I want to! Its frustrating. but I know the language will come eventually. :)
Today is poouuurrreeeddd rain. Poured. started when we were in the member´s house, we practically swam home to get our raincoats. Im wet lol.

I don´t really know what else to say! Im in the mish! Lovin it so far. I know ill get the language. I have an AWESOME trainer, shes patient with me and knows a little english, helps when she is trying to explain things to me.

Boa semana! <3
Sister Hill

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oi, minha familia e amigos!!
Sister Heck and I performed in the devotional yesterday! I played flute, she played violin. And Elder Johnston in our district accompanied us on the piano. We've been practicing fo 2 weeks now, it was nice to finally get it over with. It went great! This cute sister from South Africa, Sister Percence, came up to me after and told me how she LOVES flutes...we talked about it for a little while. Made my day!! I love any opportunity to play music. I love playing in church. let's say I've gotten reeeeeally good at the hymns;) (this computer is super slow, i promise i'm not trying to be horrible with punctuation-_-)

Last day at the temple was this morning. Super bittersweet for that. I tried my best to cherish every second in there. Sao Paolo temple today. I'm going to miss going!!!! <3 <3 :'(

So me and Sister Heck became best friends with like 5 brasilian sisters this past week. They were in our room every night partying it up with us. talking about who knows before the mission...yaddah yaddah. :) And then they LEFT US yesterday :'( Saddest day of my LIFE. I'm going to miss them soooooooooo much. I already miss them. It's crazy how fast you grow close to people in the CTM.

So! My last week in the CTM! Pretty crazy, huh? Now our district is the district that has been in the CTM the longest (Americans.) Super weird how that happened so fast!! Time seriously just flies by here!! There's no stopping it!!

Spiritual thought for the week:
The power of prayer!! Prayer is SO real!!!!!! I love it!!!! And even more than just prayer...KNEELING prayer. It's real. So real. Heavenly Father DOES hear our prayers, and He will answer them!!!! When Christ visited the Nephites, He said a kneeling prayer to His Father. CHRIST did. If Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer and the Son of God, can KNEEL to talk to His Father... oh how much more WE need to kneel!!! I truly believe there is so much power in prayer. I wish I could describe it better...but there really is just something so amazing about being able to converse with God, the Father of heaven and earth, whenever we need to. Pretty incredible.

Not too much time today...last P-Day for a little bit!! Next time I'll write, I'll be in O CAMPO (the field)!!!!!!! Crazyyyy!!!!!

Muito amor,

Sister Hill

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Oi, familia e amigos!!
This week was great and full of lots of stuff. Always too much to stuff to write about! But here are some highlights:
WE GOT TO GO PROSELYTING THIS WEEK. Yeah. Me and Sister Heck and the other missionaries got to talk to REAL PEOPLE. And give away 4 BOMs!! We had so many great experiences in those three hours, but let me just share a couple that really struck me while we were proselyting.

1. We were speaking with this man who had no teeth (he said he had gotten in a fight), and we couldn't really understand anything he was saying to us. But we knew he loved God and the Bible...after speaking with him for about 20, 25 minutes...I just felt impressed to bear my testimony. I told him how much his Heavenly Father loves and cares about him, and that he is also loved by his Savior!! I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon. He was tearing up a little bit...he asked how much to pay for the book. Such an amazing thing to tell him that it's FREE, a gift for him. <3

2. On the bus back to the CTM, me and Sister Heck sat on opposite sides of the bus because it was so full. I sat down by this gentleman who seemed kind of quiet. I felt impressed to talk to I started making small talk, in my oh-so-horrible Portuguese...we got some communication going, he works in downtown Sao Paulo, was just heading home. I told him that we're missionaries for the Church, a great way to start convo about religion is to ask them if they're ever heard about the church. Anyway, I learn about this man that he believes in God, Christ, the Bible, everything...but doesn't belong to any specific religion because there is much confusion, so many different churches...sound like anybody familiar? (hint: Joseph Smith!!) I loved this man, I felt such love for him. I talked with him about the church, how we believe God is our loving Heavenly Father who loves him and knows him personally...I talked about he restoration with him for a little bit. He asked if we worship Joseph Smith or Jesus Christ (this is a common belief in Brasil), I told him Jesus Christ. I loved saying that!! We believe in JESUS CHRIST! It's funny, so many things we share out here are in the Articles of the AOF!! They're so true, they're so simple like our gospel is!! But I loved talking with him about what we believe, why we're different...I gave him a Restoration pamphlet and a card to get a Book of Mormon (we had given all of our BOMs away, I bought some passalong cards at the Distribution Center).

It's so hard for me to plant these seeds and not see where any of them's hard!! But I know that's how a looooot of my mission is going to be. So I gotta get used to it, right?
Here at the CTM I'm now known as the Sister who can play piano...seriously, people have come up to me and are like "Oh, so-and-so told me you play the piano amazingly!!!" So Sister Heck asked if I knew how to play a specific song, the topic came up that I can play any song by ear if I know it, and just improvise to make it sound good...long story short, one song turned into 45 minutes of taking requests from 30 different Elders from three different districts. Music is definitely one of the hugest things from home I miss every day, so playing the piano for me is the highlight of my day. <3 <3 <3 I love it.
I'm also practicing the flute to play for a devotional coming up!! Sister Hale had one and asked if I'd play it. I'm grateful for my talents here:)
Have a wonderful week!! Muito amor de Brasil!
Sister Hill

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bom dia!
This week has been good. The days go by faster and faster as you learn more about your surroundings. I finally know where I'm going and what I'm doing (for the most part anyway), so I can focus on studying instead of what's next, etc. It's great.
This week wasn't too exciting or and Sister Heck taught THREE LESSONS on Monday. I know to you missionaries it doesn't seem like a ton, but it was a ton for us since we've only been here for three weeks!! We taught two pesquisadores (investigators) and a member. (of course none of these people are real pesquisadores or anything...but in the MTC things seem real. it's true.) As our Portuguese gets better and better, we can start focusing on the DOCTRINE of the lesson and less about having to communicate our thoughts and feelings. O Dom do Linguas (the gift of tongues) is seriouslyso real. I truly believe it!! There is NO way I would be able to learn all of this in this short amount of time. I have truly witnessed that the only way I would be--and have been--able to do this is through the Spirit!!
Sunday was Fast & Testimony meeting. We fasted starting lunch Saturday afternoon, until lunch Sunday afternoon. It was great. I love fasting because after a while you're not physically hungry I sat in sacrament meeting I just felt sospiritually fed that I didn't need literal food! It's the coolest thing ever, I love it.
I actually shared my testimony in Portuguese in sacrament meeting in my branch! I didn't expect to, I wasn't planning on it...but it's amazing how the Spirit will assist you to say what you need to say when you need to say it. I love that.
On Sunday night devotional, a former member of the Quorum of the 70 came to speak to us. I believe his name is Elder Reis? Not sure how you spell it, since his name was pronounced in Portuguese...but for every devotional, the missionaries learn a choral number and perform it for the speakers of the devotional along with the MTC President and his wife. That night we sand 'Chamada a Servir', Called to Serve. It was the most incredible thing to witness, seeing and hearing 300 missionaries, most of them brasilieros, singing in Portuguese for their Savior before we embark on our individual missions! It was truly amazing, I don't think I'll forget that feeling for a while.
Today's P-Day, so we get to go explore the streets after emailing!! Irmao Hyrum (our instrutor) is taking our district to go get some awesome Brazilian hot dogs, I'm sooo excited. I've heard awesome things about these hot dogs. Mm.
I hope you all have an awesome week!! Remember that God loves you and has a plan for you!! <3
Muito amor,
Sister M. Hill

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Oi, minha familia e amigos!!
This week has been really quite fantastic!! I LOVE the CTM. The Spirit is so strong here!! Every meeting we have, every devotional and church meeting...the Spirit is amazing! There really is something so different about being with a group of people who are all focused on the same thing, at the same time. It's incredible.
Last week Elder Scott spoke at the Provo MTC, we got to watch it here in the CTM on Sunday for devotional! I loved it so much and took TONS of notes. He spoke about prayer and how Heavenly Father put us on earth to SUCCEED!! He talked a lot about asking the right questions. Something he said that really struck me hard was: "A withheld answer [to a prayer] is evidence of His trust in you." I love that!! Just because we don't get an immediate answer, it doesn't mean He's not listening--He trusts us to make the right decision!!!!
P-Days here in the CTM are the BEST. We get to go to the Sao Paulo temple in the morning, then we can head over to the Distrubition Center (so far I've gotten nice Portuguese scriptures there, Pregar Meu Evangelho, and a pic of the temple)...things in the DC here are SO much cheaper than in the states, btw. The temple is SO beautiful, I wish I could send pictures!! But no sending pictures in the CTM. :P
My Portuguese is getting so much better!! I can actually complete sentences. I love talking to everyone I see. I feel like a little kid who is just learning to talk and read, so I talk to everybody and then read every Portuguese word we pass by on the bus to the temple...I love it. :)
Fun fact: It takes about an hour and a half for us to drive to the temple in the mornings (rush hour traffic)... that's the farthest I've ever had to drive to get to a temple!! Ever!! I've been blessed, that's for sure!!
I love teaching lessons. I am getting better and better at teaching with every lesson that I give and every pesquisador (investigator) that I speak with...The Spirit is so real, I know that I could not do any of this on my own. There's no way I would be learning Portuguese this fast, and there's no way I would be teaching people about the gospel in Portuguese by myself. I know that Heavenly Father will use me as an instrument if I am willing and ready!!!
My favorite scripture this week is in Helaman chapter 10. Verses 4-5 hit me!! Nefi got down too, which showed me that even the best missionaries aren't happy all the time. But I love the counsel that the Lord gives him in these verses. So inspiring to me.
I hope you are all doing well! Muito amor de Brasil!! <3
Sister Hill

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Querido familia e amigos,
Ola from Sao Paulo, Brazil! I made it!!
This week has been hard but good, as missions are. :) The CTM is so much fun, I do love it here. The food here is fantastic, I love eating lots of funny things Brazil has...rice and beans every meal but breakfast, all the elders in my district drink 'guarana' (yes they have it here in the CTM--Google it), and meat. Mm.
Brasil is such an incredible country, I've only been here for one week and I love seeing how amazing it is!! The people are so beautiful, and so kind. I love talking with the Brasilians here at the CTM--we have to work hard to communicate but they're hilarious, I love getting to know the other missionaries here from other countries. My favorites are the Argentines. They're hysterical.
My district is me, Sister Heck, (minha companheira), and 8 18-year-old boys fresh out of high school. Yippee. Haha, they're not too bad. Kinda crazy, but I know that they will grow out of it eventually.
My companion Sister Heck is from Idaho! She's a cutie. We're very different but we can work together when we have the Spirit and put our minds into it.
I've always read from my friends in the MTC that the days go by veeeery slowly...THEY, WEREN'T, LYING. I've only been here 7 days and it feels like I've been here for a month. That's what 16-hour-days do to you. You wake up at 6:30 and by the time you're in bed at 10:30 you've accomplished more than you ever thought you could. That's how it is for me, anyway...I'm accomplishing more by noon than I did at home in an entire day. (haha.)
The language is not hard!!!!!!!!!! I'm picking it up really fast...people are always asking me about words and how to say things, they assume I know but really I just seem smart in class. Lol. Portuguese is an amazing language, yes it's a little similar to Spanish but if you say something in Spanish to a Brasilian they very well could be offedned. It's funny. You gotta make sure you separate your Portuguese and your Spanish. :) I get frustrated when I can't understand th Brasilians because I really really really want to talk to them, but I know that I will get this language eventually!! A goal of mine is to know more Portuguese today than I did yesterday. And so far, I've been doing great at that!! Love learning the language.
And it's a toooon easier to learn Portuguese when you're immersed in it. I really only speak English to my companion and my district. Love it.
We got to go to the Sao Paulo temple this morning!!! That was such an amazing experience, the temple is BEAUTIFUL!! Much smaller than any other temple I've ever been in, all of the ordinance rooms are on one floor...but I love that the Spirit is the same all around the world!! The gospel in Brazil is the SAME gospel in Utah! I love that!!!!!!
Have a wonderful week!!
Muito amor,
Sister Hill <3
P.S. If you thought I was attached to my phone before, I'm more attached to my watch now. #alwayshavetoknowwhattimeitis
Tweet of the week: 
If one more person asks me what time 15h00 is I might poke them. With a really pointy pencil. #sorryyoudontknowmilitarytime #sorrynotsorry

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

They're letting us email family right now:) thank you for the emails. I got here safely! Brazil is SO beautiful, I love it already. I didn't really know what to expect here at the MTC, but it is good so far. The people are nice, I'm fine with the fact that I can't understand anything yet. I'm grateful for the promise from the Lord when I was set apart that I will not have difficulties learning the language. That has given me much hope.
My cold actually got worse today. It was pretty bad on the 9-hour flight to Sao Paolo...that wasn't fun. Scratchy throat and kind of runny nose right now. But I've been pounding Vitamin C and just took a Zinc lozenge, praying hard that it will not last too long. :)
I will let you know as soon as I find out about mailing. It sounds like you can mail letters to the MTC...I don't think you can mail packages? Not sure yet. I've only been at the MTC for about 2 1/2 hours now. Not very long.
Sister Heck from Idaho is my first MTC companion! We are the only 2 sisters that got here today that are brand new to the mission!! All of the other sisters have been waiting for their visa for months and months, a couple sisters have been waiting 14 MONTHS. Lots of elders who have been waiting long times, too. Sister Heck and I are grateful we have been blessed to come here. The other sisters/elders that have been waiting for visas will only be here in the Brazil MTC for 12 days, I'm here for 6 weeks.
The rooms are nicer than I thought! Not too small. We have a shower in our room, had a hot shower after breakfast this morning which was SO nice after traveling for 24 hours. I smelled pretty awful. O.o
I know that I will be okay here! Heavenly Father is looking out for me. I can't understand Portuguese right now, and I know that I am not a perfect teacher, but I pray that the Spirit will guide my thoughts and my words as I prepare to teach that I can know how to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.
Weird thing: No clothing hangers. -_- Guess I'm folding up all of my shirts and skirts for now. Sigh. #shouldvepackedhangers
I love you and miss you already!!! But I'm happy here, not too homesick. I know that the Lord will protect me. He has plans for me after this mission, this is just a little break that I am devoting to Him. He'll keep me safe. Tell the family I say hello!! Please pray that my mind will be open and that I will be able to focus even though I am not feeling too well.
Much love!!! xoxoxoxoxo <3 <3 <3
Sister Hill

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hello! McKenna (soon-to-be Sister) Hill here. I will be dropped off at the airport next Tuesday (IN ONE WEEK!) to head to the Brazil Missionary Training Center! This blog will be updated with weekly emails I send home to my family! My mom will keep it updated. It is very difficult to mail things to Brazil, so if you would like to keep in touch, email would be best! I'm excited to serve the Lord--the gospel is true!!