Sunday, July 31, 2011

We Didn't Start The Fire!


So there I was, slumbering peacefully, having some sort of weird dream, when I was suddenly and unexpectedly awoken by the loudest buzzing noise I had ever laid ears upon. In confusion, I asked the other Hermanas what was happening. Except I knew the whole time--fire alarm. I put on my shoes and started to go out the door. Hermana Binks was in front of me, looked out, confirmed it was a fire alarm and came quickly back to grab something. I frantically and impatienly asked her what she was getting in a haze of sleepy, out-of-it-ness. She said it was her shoes. Oh. We, along with the rest of the sisters of building 17M, paraded out of the building. (Good thing I had read the emergency exit plan on our door the first week we were here.) We all waited outside for several minutes. I had checked my clock before we left our room. 2:13 AM. Was it a real fire? I didn't think they would be cruel enough to do a drill at such an hour. They let us inside after a while and we were all grateful to go back to sleep. The mystery of the fire alarm still remains.
How was that for an over-dramatic introduction? Well life here is just fab like always. We just got back from the temple. It was so good to be able to go because it had been closed for the past two weeks. It was definitely a boost for me and was so glad we could go this week. After the temple, Hna Shelley and I sat on a bench by the fountains and studied the Plan of Salvation, which we will be teaching one of our investigators this week. The weather was perfect and we had a nice view of Utah lake. It really doesn't get much better than that!
Some highlights of the week....A girl was wearing the same dress as me and it was very obvious that she was avoiding me at all costs. We taught a lesson in the Teaching Resource Center to a lady from Chile. I noticed how she didn't say the s's at the end of her words, mom. It's a lot of fun teaching real people, but I also get way nervous because of my lack of Spanish. A lot of the times I just have to smile and nod my head. One of the teachers here sat by us at lunch and said he was from Bozeman, Montana. I asked if he knew the Kent and Linda Hill family and he got all excited and said Brad is a way good friend of his! I forgot to ask his name, but you should pass the message along. We got some new roommates this week, which makes for a very crowded room, but it's also fun to have new faces.
This week has been my favorite so far. Sunday was just PACKED with so much spirituality and goodness. I'll try to tell you some of my thoughts without being jumbled. On Sunday (the 24th), after we had an amazing speaker, our closing hymn was "Come, Come Ye Saints." At the end of the last verse, all of the missionaries started standing up. By the end of the song, everyone was standing together singing "Oh how we'll make this chorus swell, all is well, all is well." It was so powerful. The words of that song are so applicable to everyone. Go read them, okay? We talked a lot about how we are all pioneers...we are all paving the way for our families, or people in Argentina, or maybe some of us are converts ourselves. No matter who we are we can spread the gospel!
That night, we watched a replay of a talk by Elder Holland. He really put missionary work in perspective for me. I learned a lot this week how we should give our whole selves to the Lord. We must be willing to change and not just sacrifice our will, but surrender it. It takes a lot of work, but it is so worth it. The Lord can do so much with us that we never thought possible.
I will end this little email with a quote by Elder Dennis M. Simmons, "A mission is the most wonderful, awful thing in the world." To be honest, I haven't felt the awful part yet. But I know it will come. The MTC is preparation for me to go out and teach others and gain lots and lots of experience. I know there will be times that are so discouraging, as well as times of so much happiness. I know that the time here is for me to prepare for that roller coaster and know how I can pull through with the help of the Lord. I want to destify to you that He is guiding your life! He really, really is. Look for His hand and you will find it. Yo sé que el Evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero <----I will be saying that a lot on my mission.
Have a great day. I love you all! Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, letters, etc. Oh, and send me pictures from the cruise, okay familia?
Hermana Hill

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Awkward Squad

Hey hey heyyyyy!
First off, HAPPY ANNEVERSARY CADE AND KAYLEE!!!! Sorry it´s late but I hope it was fabulous. It sounds like everyone had a grand old time at the family reuinion. Be sure to thank all of the extended family for their awesome letters. I wish I could write everyone back butttt.....that´s just not going to happen. You should have sent all those letters in separate envelopes. Then I would have looked really cool and all the other missionaries would be jealous :)
Things as of late:
-Our district decided to make a goal to speak in only Spanish for four hours. It was hard and my head was hurting by the end, but it was good practice
-I decided to look up the word "awkward" in the dictionary because I felt it would come in handy. Right underneath the word awkward was "awkward squad." What the? It made me laugh. Hna Shelley and I now call ourselves the "peletón de los torpes."
-We play a fun game that I think you should all play. It's called "me gusta comer." It's kind of like big booty. You each pick a fruit to be in spanish. Let's say I'm mango (which is conveniently the same in english and spanish). I would start by saying "mango, mango, me gusta comer (other person's fruit)" as you shake your hands in front of you to the beat. Then that person says their fruit and me gusta comer someone else's fruit. Comprendan? Anyway, it's fun. Sooooo....yeah.
-I had a dream that Fui Vakapuna (sp?) was in the MTC and he got my number and said he was going to take me to Hawaii for his prom. But that didn't work out for some reason so we went to a soccer game between Argentina and the Czech Republic instead. Mission dreams are weird.....
-I heard that normal sized people in the United States are fat in Argentina and the people there will always call you fat as a term of endearment. So that will be fun.
-I am determined to break the record for the most dips in MTC gym. Wish me luck.
-Will you send me the music and lyrics to "Come Thou Fount" perchance? It's a favorite here at the MTC and it's stuck in my head a lot so I would like to know the words.
Now to the good stuff. One of our teachers pointed out something in Preach My Gospel that I hadn't heard before. He said the things which we should be doing as missionaries are "study, believe, love, live and teach" the the that order. I really love that because before we can teach people the gospel, it first has to be a way of life for us. I've been working on really understanding and loving the gospel. I know it is true and that it has blessed my life, but I want to be able to teach people with sincere enthusiasm for the gospel.
Another thing our teacher said that stuck out to me was "make your sacrifices worth it." I never really thought of being here as that much of a sacrifice, but when I really think about it, there are a lot of other things I could be doing for the next 18 months. I want to make the best of every second I have hear and not just go through the motions. This is such an important work and no time can be wasted!
I want you all to know that I love you a ton and am grateful for all the support I have! I hope you're all enjoying your summer. It's sooo nice to be here in the summer at the MTC. We've been able to study and write letters outside as the sun is shining and the birds are chirping...mmmm. Will you all do something? Count your blessings. There are a whole ton of things to be grateful for. Ew I'm starting to sound like one of those super happy sister missionaries...yuck. But it's true, there is so much to be happy about! And all of it is because we have a loving Heavenly Father who is so willing to bless us.
Over and out.
~Hermana Hill

Friday, July 15, 2011

We Eat a Prayer?

Buenas Tardes!

I feel like I have a lot to say and not very long to say it, so we'll see how this goes. First off, to answer some of your questions: Hermana Shelley is serving in the same mission as me. Woo! There are four sisters in our district and all but one are going to Buenos Aires North. The other sister is going to the same place as all of the Elders in my district...Blanco de something.... I read and send emails once a week (Thursdays) but I receive mail everyday. So keep it comin! And mom, my outfits are just fine :)

Today was a wonderful P-day. I wrote lots of letters, took a small nap, went for a run, did laundry. Usually I won't have so much time on P-days but the temple is closed for a couple weeks for cleaning and that's what we usually do in the morning. It's nice to have the extra time but I'm excited for it to open again. If you're wondering what my subject is all about....well let's just say sometimes we struggle with our Spanish. Hermana Binks is the best. Once in her lessons with José, she was trying to say, "can we say a prayer?" but she accidentally said "we eat a prayer?" Another time, he asked her what he should wear to church and she told him to wear his scriptures. And today when Hermana Shelley tried to say "the sun is very hot" she said "my heart is very hot." We are smrt. I´m glad missions can be fun :) Oh and people weren't lying when they said four square is pretty intense. It's my gym activity of choice.

The devotionals and firesides here are really awesome spiritual boosts. On Tuesday, President Richard Winkel (what a sweet last name), and his wife spoke to us about the Atonement. I had been praying that I would be able to learn more about the Atonement so I would be better able to testify to the people I would be teaching. At the beginning of the fireside I have to admit I was a little sleepy and bored, but as I listened, they went into great detail about the Atonement and what Christ went through. I felt so much love for the Savior at that moment. I couldn't believe that He would do so much for us...and for me personally. The things they talked about weren't necessarily things that I had never heard before, but I definitely felt something I had never felt before and was so grateful that Heavenly Father answers prayers.

Another highlight of the week was last night. An Elder from my zone, Elder Cagle (not related to Chris Cagle the country singer, but he has a brother named Chris Cagle...just a fun fact), anyway, he told his conversion story. He is about 24 and has a really cool story about how he joined the church in college and how he was taught by sister missionaries. He has such a strong testimony and he knows that the Lord is there for him. He is from Texas and has a very thick accent so it's been hard for him to learn spanish (picture him saying por que in a Texas accent, it's way funny). But he's not worried at all because he knows he was called to speak Spanish and the Lord will help him.

Missions are great.

I love you all.


Hermana Rach

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Numero Uno

We have received Rachel's first official e-mail! She is doing very well as you can see. Here it is:

Hola Dearest Familia y Amigos!
How are you all? I am just sitting here in the laundry room on my first (half) P-day. Usually my P days will be on Thursdays just fyi. Well so far the MTC has been fantastico. I have felt very content since I have been here. When all the new missionaries first gathered together, we sang Army of Helaman which is one of my FAV songs! I loved it. My companion is just wonderful. Her name is Hermana Shelley and she is from Mesa, AZ. We work very well together and have not had any problems. She's very determined and we work hard to learn this crazy new language. My district is awesome as well. On the first day of class, our teacher didn't show up because of some miscommunication but I think it actually strengthened us as a district because we had three hours to try to help and teach each other. (We had another teacher come in every once in a while to give us ideas of what to study).
Oh man, yesterday we had to teach our first real lesson---in Spanish--for 30 minutes!! And it was like a pop quiz. We had no idea we were going to do it until we got to class. We had an investigator, Jose Rosales, we had to go meet and teach him the best we could. It was scary and I was sweating like a mad know me. As awkward as it was, I can see how it will help us to lean Spanish quickly. We will be meeting with him multiple times--our next meeting is on Monday. Ah! Wish us luck. Oh, the best part was at the end of our lesson, Hermana Shelley and I asked if he would read El Libro de Mormon. He replied "por que no" but for some reason, both of us thought he was saying "no"...not "why not?" So we got all sad and just bore our testimony to him again. It wasn't until the end of the lesson that we realized he was saying he would read it. Did that make sense? Anyway, we laughed at ourselves afterward.
Today we learned how to pray and wrote our own prayers. That was pretty cool. It was hard not being able to communicate everything I wanted to, though. I have SOOOOO much to learn and it is very intimidating. But I just gotta keep pluggin along!
If you are wondering about how I like the food, it is good! I don't know why people don't like it. I'm even staying healthy and eating all my fruits and veggies. Heck, I even had a salad for lunch once. Hermana Shelley and I have the same goal not to gain weight. We are so vain. Oh! I have seen Hermana Hunt a few times and a bunch of other random people I know. It's so crazy how it seems like everyone here knows someone or is related to someone you know. It's fun.
Well, I feel like I don't know what else to tell you all. Just know I'm doing great and I'm learning stuff. :)
The church is true. I'm grateful that it brings so much happiness. I can't believe I get to go to Argentina and teach people about Spanish! I'm grateful the Lord trusts me enough to do something so important. Spread HIS word. I am reminded so much that it is not about me. It is about bringing the people we teach unto Jesus Christ, which will bring them so much joy. When I think of that, it gets me so motiviated to learn all that I can and strenthen my testimony so I will be able to teach them to the best of my ability, but most of all, have the spirit work through me to teach what so desperately needs to be taught in this world.
I love you guys! Thanks for the letters, I really appreciate all the support I have had. I hope you had a great family reunion! Tell me all about it mmmk? K. ADIOS!
Herrrrmana Hill (Roll your r's when you say this. Gracias.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Testing 1, 2, 3

Hey Everyone! Rachel here. My family will be posting my emails and pictures from my mission in the Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my awesome friends and family for all your support. You are the best! I can't wait to serve my mission the best way I know how. Love you all!

-Hermana Hill