Monday, March 30, 2015

Conference Is Coming!!!

This week was long but good :)

These past days we've been visiting references from members, it's awesome when the members really get involved.
We visited the friends of a member of the ward, she went with went super well! We know that this friend is really important to Patricia, so I was a little nervous... but it's really an incredible thing how the Spirit just takes over. I'm so grateful I don't ever have to be concerned about what to say. Because the Spirit does all the teaching. Really takes the pressure off sometimes. :) The Spirit is incredible.

We also went to Élida's house to meet with her friend that we met, Taynna. Taynna had started a WhatsApp conversation with some friends about who is God/Jesus Christ, if they're the same person... we happened to be at Èlida's house during this conversation, and Elida asked us if she should respond with what she believes! So of course we said UH YEAH YOU SHOULD, and she did!
This comment turned into a visit at Élida's house with Taynna! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she picked it up SO FAST, I was absolutely amazed. For a girl who hasn't ever gone to a church frequently, I was so impressed with how quickly she learned the lesson and the doctrine. We set a baptismal date with her for April 26th, we're excited to see her progress! She committed to come to General Conference, we really are hoping she'll come!

We're still working with David and Rosilda. He says that he doesn't want to be baptized "out of respect for the Church"... nobody understands what he means by that. He really wants to know everything before he's baptized, he wants to be close to perfect... we're praying really hard for him. He's already been to church 5 times, knows just about everything... he loves the Book of Mormon. And he loves listening to the Primary Music, he's even learning some of the songs on his clarinet.
We know he's going to be a stake president or something someday. All in the Lord's time. <3 #imlearningpatience

We love the Ganbold family, the family from Mongolia! They invited us to dinner yesterday... Sister Oyunaa made us dumplings, they were sooooo good. <3 #ilovemongolianfood

I've been reviewing October General Conference, I love it. Such good messages in that conference. I hope everybody is excited for Conference this Sunday :)
I also remembered that this week is EASTER. Here in Brasil it's 'Semana Santa', Holy Week. I don't think it's as huge of a festival/party as it is in other countries, but I do know that on Friday, nobody eats meat... everybody eats fish instead. Interesting tradition. It'll be interesting to see that this week. I'm excited to see how it will be :)

I really do love Brazil. Love the people. Love the culture. These days it's raaaaainy, cold rain. But then a few hours after, it's nice and sunny again if not really hot. Gotta love crazy Brasília.

But really, the patience I'm learning here is fantastic. No, it's not fun... and sometimes I get super frustrated when people know that the gospel is true but they still don't want to act on it. Sigh. All in the Lord's time. I keep having to tell myself that hehe.

If you haven't seen the Easter video yet, watch it:

Hope everybody has a great General Conference weekend, share it with everybody you know! We have a living prophet who speaks to us today... how cool is that?

I love you all, have a great week!

Muito amor,
Sister Hill

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ate Mongolian food... I love this ward! Angels love helping ward members

Dear family and friends,

This week was full of so many adventures! I'll try to hit the highlights.

Friday we received a call from our Zone Leader that they found a family in the Rodoviária... a family of members, from MONGOLIA!! But they don't speak any portuguese! Only English. He passed the phone number/address as they are in our area.
I called up Brother Gambold, we marked to meet with them on Saturday to get to know them and help them find a ward to attend.
Sister Alvarez and I went to their place on Saturday... they're living in this suuuuuuuper nice hotel, I felt unholy just walking in this place. o.O But we went to their house, this family is suuuuuuuper sweet!
Brother Gambold and his wife, with their 25-year-old daughter Emmy! Brother Gambold is here on work for the Embassy of Mongolia (yeah, he's all official), and he learned a liiiiittle bit of English from the missionaries in Mongolia. We were able to communicate. The mother and daughter don't speak hardly anything, but they are so sweet!
Sister Gambold made us Mongolian lunch, it was officially the best Asian food I've ever had IN MY LIFE. So, so, so so good. Then we ate Mongolian ice cream. And she gave us Mongolian ice cream to take home. #lovethesepeople

Then they were all excited when we started understanding that Emmy (she is legally deaf) was Miss Asia in a pageant!! (Miss and Mister Deaf International Pageant)... and she was MISS ASIA. She dances amazingly, she was even in a music video for some famous Mongolian singer. What is this?! Who are these people?! Um, FAMOUS?! And their family owns a Mongolian TV station!!
They put us in Mongolian queen clothing... we felt like princesses :3

Brother Gambold started showing us pictures of people he's meet when he was in Mongolia working for the government there... he showed us ap icture of when he met JACKIE CHAN. This man met Jackie Chan!! So I almost shook Jackie Chan's hand, because I shook the hand of a man who has met Jackie Chan... it's kind of the same thing, right?! :)

So we had to get them a ward to go to! They told us they had been to an other ward here but they didn't like it because the people weren't friendly... so we arranged for them to come to our ward on Sunday.
They came... and they LOVED IT! They couldn't talk with almost anybody, there's probably 6 members in the ward that speak English, they were fantastic. But they loved it! The members totally embraced them, even though they didn't speak anything. It was the most amazing thing to see. This ward is amazing.

The ward is really trusting us with references!! Coolest thing ever. I am loving this ward so much! Yesterday was Ward Conference, and I played the piano for "Master the Tempest is Raging" for the Ward Choir... they sounded fantastic!! There were definitely angels ;) Loved the Spirit in the meetings. Super grateful for the gift of tongues. I love portuguese so so much. <3

That was my adventure this week! Loving the ward here, the members are super super awesome. Love this area. <3

I've been reflecting a lot on the story of Lehi's dream. We had an activity in a FHE last night where we had a cord that was "the iron rod", and the family closed their eyes to arrive at another point in the room. Other family members had to arrive at the other point in the room without holding on to the rod, but with their eyes still closed. They almost ran into some things haha:) was such a great reminder on how we NEED the word of God in our lives. We need it! There is no way to arrive at the love of God, the Atonement, without holding onto the words of the prophets, the Gospel, everything. The Iron Rod is so necessary!

Hope everybody is getting ready for Conference that's coming up:) I'm excited <3

Espero que tenham uma boa semana, amo muito vocês!

Até a semana que vem,
Sister Hill 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Chicken Feet

Dear family and friends,

Oi! Hope everybody had a fantastic week. This week was full of sooo many things, I'm going to try to share as much as I can in this one email! :) Vamos ver como vai ser... (desculpa, eu amo português, eu vou colocar português nos meus emails, se você quer saber o que falam, tem que colocar em Google Tradutor ;)

First off... spoke in Sacrament Meeting yesterday! Was my first time speaking in Church since my farewell talk... so that was definitely weird. But it went great! I have a cold, so I was a little worried that the cold was going to throw me off and I wouldn't be able to communicate my thoughts as well as I wanted to... but it was awesome. I'm so grateful that the Spirit helped me through that <3 at the beginning of my talk I made a comment that "I pray that the Spirit will help you be able to understand what I want to say, I know my português isn't perfect." After the meeting everybody that complimented me was all "What?? How could you even say that? You practically speak better than I do!" It was hilarious kkk :) Miracles are so real. <3
My talk was based on a devotional given by Brad Wilcox titled "His Grace is Sufficient." I shared the story about the piano lessons and a couple of quotes from his talk... it was weird translating things haha but I managed, everything made sense in the end :) I love love love this talk. If you haven't watched it or read it, WATCH IT RIGHT NOW. It's honestly lifechanging.
It gives you a completely different perspective on how we use the Atonement in our lives and why we actually live the gospel.

More stuff...
As of last Tuesday, I officially have 6 months in the mission! People say "Wow, that probably passed by way fast..." Ummm no it actually passed by really slowly haha. But, the day that I arrived in the CTM feels like it was yesterday... #CTMmemories

There's another video that I and Sister Alvarez have been sharing lately.
I could introduce the video, but he says things much better than I ever could.
Just watch it. It's a Mormon Message so it has to be good, right?
We have to make the decision to forgive before the moment arrives that it will be necessary.

We're going to start teaching Cadu (Carlos Eduardo), the boyfriend of a member in the ward. We weren't thinking that he really wanted his own testimony... but the last time we went there, he told us all about how he really wants to work to have his own testimony. Surprised us both. He's already been to church 2 times, we set a baptismal date with him for the 28th of March... #prayforhim

Jemilhe is an 8-year-old girl that inspires me every time we go to see her. She has the goal to be baptized, but she's been wanting to wait until her grandma comes to town... and who knows when that will be. Could be in Septemer. So, we had a good conversation with her the other day about baptism and the Holy Ghost. She said she wants to be baptized because she wants the Holy Ghost with her always, because she knows that means she will be happy!! That was amazing to me. We talked about how she wants to be happy now instead of having to wait until her grandma comes to have the Spirit with her all the time!! We're hoping that she can baptize on the 26th, a day that she felt impressed she needed to baptize a while ago :) #prayforhertoo

We were getting off the bus the other day and a girl was like "Sister!" and tapped me on the shoulder. I looked to see who it was, it was a girl I did not recognize... we got off the bus and got talking, her name is Marcella, she's 17, and she's been going to church frequently for the past YEAR. Already has a testimony, already knows the Church is true... And she's not baptized!! We're hoping that she can be baptized this weekend <3 #prayforhertoo

Things are going great her. I love this ward, I feel like I'm home in this ward. <3
Thank you for the support that I receive from you! I love you all.

Sister Hill

P.S. ate chicken feet this week. #yuck #doesntevenhaveanymeatonit #notevenflavorful #iwillneverunderstandwhypeopleeatit

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Fantastic Week!

Família e amigos,

Olá! Hope everyone had a fantastic week. Here in Brasília it's raining a ton, and it's even a little cold!! Grateful for the sweaters I brought!

David, Rosilda and fam are amazing. They came to church again this week... for the 3rd time. The lesson in Gospel Principles was perfect for David (father). It was about the scriptures and how we can search our own answers. A member of the stake was present, and he bore his testimony of the end of how grateful he is for the choice he made to be baptized! It was so inspiring to me, and a complete miracle for me and Sister Alvarez.
They left sacrament meeting super fast, we didn't get a chance to say bye to them before they took off. But when we were in a less-active's house a few hours later, we received a text from Rosilda saying that they were sorry they didn't get a chance to say bye, that they loved us and they sent "beijos"... it was the cutest thing we had seen all day, we just died <3

Maria is the mother of 2 girls, Alanessa and Àlane, who are both baptized. Maria is already a member... just that she's not baptized because she's not married. She even pays her tithing. She's absolutely incredible. But we set a baptismal date forApril 4th, and tomorrow--by miracle--we're going to see about a wedding date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We're so so so so so so excited. Miracles truly happen.

I've been doing my best to read the Conference talks when I can as we're preparing for conference that's coming up next month!
I love Carlos A. Godoy's talk titled 'The Lord Has A Plan For Us', has such great principles.
But I especially love this part in the end:
"Just because things are going well does not mean that we should not from time to time consider whether there might be something better."

Sometimes our lives are just coasting. We're living everything right, things are going great, we're comfortable!
But the Lord knows better, and He has a plan for us.
Don't be afraid to make life-changing decisions... sometimes our life needs a little bit of change. <3

All is well here in Núcleo Bandeirante, the Lord is in control, and I'm grateful every day for the things I'm learning.
I'm grateful for those of you who keep me in your prayers <3

Muito amor,
Sister Hill :*

Monday, March 2, 2015

I'm a Giant, Elsa and Super Happy!

Olá, family and friends!

New area means a lot of new changes... this area is awesome! But I'm still adjusting to all of the things that are super different.

First off... I feel like Dorothy when she says "Todo... we're not in Kansas anymore." Umm because I'm thinking to myself "Sister Hill... you're not in Palmas, Tocantins anymore." I've had to say that to myself a couple times. Brasília is super different. But I'm already learning to love it!!

It's a huge change going from 13 hours away from the mission home... to the zone that have the APS, the secretaries, everything. Our mission president comes to see some of the baptisms here in these wards. It's so amazing. And the plus is that the APS are in my zone, so they can bring me packages and letters and stuff to zone meetings :) it's pretty fantastically awesome. Already loving these things. We're never gonna be short on Books of Mormon or Planners like Palmas is all the time :/

This ward, Núcleo Bandeirante, is absolutely incredible. Yesterday was my first Sunday there, and sitting there in sacrament meeting made me feel like I was home in the Moss Hill ward. It was the best feeling ever. Such an amazing ward... and they are suuuuuper good with missionary work. They really understand the magnitude of being a missionary!! They offer to go out with the missionaries. In Palmas that is absolutely insane, I felt like asking members to go teach with us was like pulling teeth haha. Here the members are incredible. I'm so excited to work with them!!

We're already working with a family: David (dad, doctor, really really really smart, non-member), Rosilda (inactive since 18 years old, stay-at-home mom), David (12 years old, super chill non-member), and Lucas (5 years old, the cutest most adorable little boy i've ever met in my life). This family is amazing. Being in their home I felt like I was in my own house because there are airplanes and scout-like stuff everywhere (haha dad and jack:). Rosilda is coming back to church... and we're going to teach her husband and son!! He broke his arm, was resting from work... and he started thinking about religion. They went to church the Sunday before I came here, and now he's super interested. We went to their house, he was asking us a bunch of questions... know how much time we spent there teaching him? 4 HOURS. 4 hours. Teaching pretty much EVERYTHING. Me and Sister Alvarez talking after was funny... "Sister... we just taught a DOCTOR for 4 HOURS." A very humbling experience to feel the Spirit speaking through you. Especially to a man of this intelligence. We gave them one of those Book of Mormons for kids with the pictures, he (David, the dad) was reading it all sacrament meeting.
Only the gospel can bring a doctor to read a picture book. :) The most humbling thing I've seen in a long time. <3

Living here in an apartment is fun, it's just me and Sister Alvarez. I love playing the guitar after we finish planning these days. We have lots of fun with that. :) 

If you or anybody in the family ever have an opportunity to go visit somebody with the missionaries... go!! They need it!! And the investigators need it and members need visits and everybody needs it.
A member that offers to help the missionaries... is such a blessing. Here in the mission we recognize that. We really recognize the members that are there to help, and the members that say they're there... but really aren't.
The members that really do help us, that really are there for us... I try to pray individually for them because we're just sograteful for the help that they give us.
I know that being in lessons and visiting people with the missionaries will be a blessing in your lives. <3

Oh yeah, and I'm pretty much the tallest person in this city hahahaha. Everybody here is short. And I'm ridiculously tall. So that's a fun thing.
Everybody here things I speak the language super well!! Super different, cause nobody in Tocantins ever told me I speak well normally... but here, it goes like this. Every time. Without fail:

"Where are you from?"
"United States!"
"Wow! How long have you been here in Brazil?"
"5 months! Almost 6."
*here they turn to my companion and say* "And she already speaks like this?"


There's this little 6-year-old girl named Sara. The first time I met her, she said:
"You look EXACTLY like Elsa!"
"Elsa? Is Elsa your friend?"
"No! Elsa from Frozen!"

I almost cried of happiness because thats only my favorite movie in the world... *tear*
She said the same thing to me yesterday. "You're Elsa!" I just want to hug her every time she says that. She's too adorable.

Oh, and everybody here is saying that I'm blonde!!!!! The Tocantins sun really bleached my hair. It's way lighter than when I got here, for sure... interesting. I've never been blonde. O.o

Besides that, life is good here. Just knowing the area and getting used to all of the new perks! We ate at McDonald's today. Oh yeah, there's tons of them here. #Brasíliaperks
And there's a Subway close to our house. #thatwillbenext

Loving this Brasil life. Thank you for everybody that keeps me in your prayers :) Pray for a missionary experience!! I know you'll feel the blessings of that!!  

And if you can, go to the temple for me? I've been feeling so much homesickness for the temple lately <3

Muito amor,
Sister (Bras)Hill