Monday, February 27, 2012

El Campo Blanco Está YA‏

Hello hello hello helloooo!
Well I survived my first week in the concrete jungle! So different but I love it. Although I do kind of miss my helmet. It´s a lot different walking instead of biking. For example, the first two days we ran down the sidewalk full speed, dodging pedestrians to arrive safely in our apartment on time. But let me tell you that my companion is a champ. She has a hip replacement and still walks faster than I do! We always say hi to everyone who passes by. It´s funny because in Zárate, almost everyone said hi back. Here, the people don´t have a lot of confidence in other people and most of the time ignore us or are really surprised and ask where they know us from. The pre existence, of course! But our ward is so so great. It is a lot bigger, that´s for sure. And the members help us a lot. We had to give talks this Sunday....kind of short notice. It was a sacrament meeting of missionary work. I´m really excited to work here and find and help new people! I know that the field is ready for the....siega? Shoot I can´t remember the word but you know what I mean. There are soooo many people prepared here! I can just feel it. We recently started teaching a bunch of families that all live in this one big place. It´s hard to explain, but it´s like a building with a big gate, and inside are all these rooms with different families. Last week, Hna Peralta and her companion were looking for a reference and ended up talking to a girl named Ailen and her friends. This week we went back to talk to them and their families and are now teaching a bunch of people all in this little space. (Oh and we got locked in on Sunday for about 1 1/2 hours because the door got stuck...long story). It´s so fun because there are so many kids. They are the best to teach. Five of them went to church on this Sunday and we are going to continue working with them all and their families! We have also started teaching a woman named Estela, who was a referral from one of the less active members in our ward. She is in a wheelchair, so on Sunday we wheeled her to church. We got there about a half hour late (other long story), but she loved church and is preparing to be baptized. There are so many people to teach and so little time! Three members also brought their non member friends to church. Members are so important in missionary work!
About the train wreck, it was in our area. President Gulbrandsen called us to make sure we were alright and that there wasn´t any possibility that any other missionaries were on the train. It happened at about 8 in the morning, so we were all inside studying. One of the members has a friend whose sister was killed and whose brother was in the hospital in critical condition and they are also members. So we have been praying for that family and everyone else involved. It was a really unfortunate accident and I´m sure all your prayers would be appreciated! Don´t worry, we hardly ever take trains, and will never have a need to take that train. I know that we are always protected!
I don´t have a lot of time but I would like to leave you with a scripture. Today I was reading 1 Nefi 17:50-51 and contemplating how cool Nephi is. I know that when the Lord commands us, we need to do it, no más. There is ALWAYS a way to follow the commandments. It requires faith and work, but it CAN be done and it WILL bring blessings. Exact obedience is so important and gives us so much strength. 
Okay I really have to go. 
I love you lots!
Nos vemos
Hermana Hill 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hasta ve-e-er!

We had transfers today! Drumrolllllllllllll
Chao, Zárate....Hola Almagro!!!!!!!! It´s a small area in capital. Like 1/17 the size of Zárate. Okay not really, but it´s super small in comparison. And it´s all city-like. So definitely a change, but I´m really excited for this new experience! Also, in our zone is "la boca", where all those crazy colorful houses are. And the staduim of the soccer team Boca. (Sorry, Hna Jones, but I think I´m going to become a Boca fan...)Wow, I can´t believe I am leaving my home in Zárate. I have really come to love that place and the people, Hermana Vargas, and bike (which didn´t have breaks for the past few days. FUN!). But the time has come for me to move on and I know that the Lord knows exactly where I need to be. I am serving now with Hermana Peralta! She is from Cordoba, Argentina and arrived in the mission the same day as me. She is super happy all the time and I am very excited to be her companion! It was funny because I had a feeling that I was going to leave Zárate, but then our district leader called us about a week ago and said that we will not be seeing many changes because 15 missionaries from the states would not be able to enter because they don´t have their visas. So then I had in my mind that I was staying. But the other day I said to Hermana Vargas that I think I´m gonig to leave because I am starting to feel really comfortable in Zárate. You know what that means...change! But I am grateful that we are constantly being molded and put in situations of growth.
Walter is continuing to progress and this Sunday we were able to find a new investigator, Joana, who is 17. She says she has never had a belief in anything but as we were talking to her, she was very interested. We ended up reading a scripture with her--Alma 37:37 (my fav) and she was enthralled and read it over again. We left her with a chapter to  I am excited to her from Hna Vargas what happens!
Thank you for letting me know about Boone, he will be in my prayers! I can´t believe Grandpa is in Guatemala, and Hna Vargas isn´t her for me to tell her about it. Wow, dad, you´re famous! Pretty soon you´re going to be one of those scary G.A.´s haha. I can´t believe you´re going to go to Nauvoo! You´re going to love it! There is definitely a strong spirit there, especially in Carthage Jail. Oh my goodness, you need to go visit Kenzie on her mission! I think right now she´s in Liberty Jail, but who knows where she´ll be when you go.
Okay I have to go but I love you all a ton! Keep enduring to the end and never let trials get you down. Press forward and learn and always think toward the future. (All these thoughts came to my mind in Spanish, and I had to translate them into English. Weird.) Love you a ton. Okay. Bye.
Hermanita Hill

We ate some asado in our last district meeting. Yummm.

Maxi y Joaquin

Chao distrito!

La sociedad de socorro

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

¡Feliz día de Cariño!


Hope you all have a lovely Valentine´s day!  I don´t have a lot of time so this week´s email is going to be....the week in fotos! But first I have to announce that Maxi passed the sacrament this Sunday!! I couldn´t stop smiling. He had on his white shirt and tie and jeans because he doesn´t have suit pants. He was so nervous but it was awesome. I´m like a proud mother. Speaking of being a proud mother.....congrats CAM CAM! First chair??? En serio. No puedo creerlo! And HANNERS BANANERS! State swim champpp! Please send me your autographs.

Walter and his girlfriend Katy. He is 18 and his parents kicked him out of his house. One day he found an article of faith card on the ground and knew it was a sign that he needs to look for Christ. Katy is a less active member and is helping him and she is returning to church! Wow it´s amazing how the Lord prepares people.

Hna Coronel. We eat lunch with her every Thursday. Her husband isn´t a member which is really hard for her but she has always been super active in the church

On Saturday we went to an area in our Zone, Lima, to help invite people to church because they only have like 8 people in the chapel every week. It was a stake activity and small groups were assigned members to visit. I was with two girls from Zárate I. We went and visited one family, but were only able to talk to the daughter because the parents were sleeping. We headed back to meet up with everyone at the church but were the first ones. So we decided to talk to the people next door. It was a woman who we found out was a less active member. We invited her to go and she was really excited and has a daughter and granddaughter who aren´t members who are excited to go as well. It was a small miracle!

Hna Alfaro took me for a spin in Lima. Ouch..... 

Flia Lopez. The hermano is blind and has an artificial leg. But they are at church almost every week and his sweet wife always helps him get around.

Every morning a lady passes on our street on her bike blowing a whistle and yelling "Pan CASEROOOO!!!!!!" So the other day we decided to buy some. Best decision ever.

Well there you have it! My life in a nutshell. I love the gospel. Every single answer to life´s questions and every single trial is solved through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Don´t ever lose faith! This morning I was reading in 1 Nefi 5 when Saríah was going through a really hard time when she thought her sons would never come back. Instead of looking to the Lord, she began to doubt. She didn´t realize that it was a trial of her faith. In verse 8 is when her sons came back and she looked back and realized that she had nothing to worry about. Her testimony was strengthened through this hard time. There are so many times when I look back on my life during a time I thought was hard and can only laugh because I realize that it wasn´t life ending at all. That if we stay strong and continue keeping the commandments and trying our best we have the Lord´s promise that He will guide us in the right direction. 

I love you!

La Hermanita

P.S. We have transfers next week! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Soul Delighteth

Hi family!
First off, so sorry that I didn´t write until Tuesday. We had interviews with the President that we didn´t know about until after I had written you the week earlier. In the future I´ll try to let you know ahead of time :) Wow, Hannah, you are on fire! Keep it up gurrrl. Did I mention I feel in a sanja? And, dad, the spider was my loving companion.....Oh and a shout out to Hna Jones: Hi, and do you have the PME DVDs?
So our Mission President and Stake President have this awesome goal for our stake: that every person help to baptize someone and reactivate someone in the church. Whoa, do you know how many souls that would bring into the Celestial Kingdom?! Here in the mission we are working on something called "Creecemiento Real" or "Real Growth." There are so many people baptized every month, and still there are few in the chapel every week. But the ones who are enduring to the end are the ones who have support from there family and friends in the church. So I am extending this challenge of our stake all the way over here in Zárate to every one of you! YOU can be the means of bringing someone back to the presence of their Heavenly Father. Not only will they receive blessings in this life, but think about eternity. Wow. It´s a vision that I am just starting to grasp. Will you do it? Lo hará? Something I wish I would have done more before the mission is...missionary work. I´m realizing just how important the members are. So help those missionaries out and spread these good tidings! :)
The following is an excerpt from my study journal.
Feb. 3, 2012
Today I finished reading the Book of Mormon. I´m not sure how many times I have read it cover to cover, but this is the first time I have read it with the English and Spanish version side by side. I started in the MTC and read about one chapter per day. I´m grateful for the things I have been able to learn from this sacred book. I´m grateful for the spirit that it brings and that I can feel the same spirit whether I am reading it in English or Spanish. I am grateful for the desire that it gives me to share this truth with others, to be a missionary of power, to have more faith, hope, and especially-charity, to develop my talents, to really come to know Christ and use His grace to become perfected in Him. When I first started reading the last chapter, there seemed to be a lot of distractions-the fan was rocking back and forth, making a loud noise, Hna Vargas´ speakers fell off her desk, my mind was wandering, the rooster across the street was cock-a-doodle-ing...But when I was really able to pay attention to the words, and thought about how Moroni was writing directly to me on this day, February 12, 2012, it amazed me. I love the promise he makes in verses 3-5. But I also love the shortened, direct version in verse 29: "Y Dios os mostrará que lo que he escrito es verdadero." After reading his final words, I went into the bedroom and prayed. In my prayer, I found myself simply thanking God for this book and the things I have learned and the spirit and comfort and direction I have felt through searching its pages. I asked Him to help me to testify to others with power that this book is true. I felt good. I KNOW THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE! How could it not be? My testimony is strengthened even more by writing it and sharing it. Wow. My Heavenly Father has blessed me so much.
Hermana Hill

Thursday, February 2, 2012

¿Qué sé yo?

Dear family,
Wow, congrats to April on her mission call! Russia! Wow. I knew it would be some place crazy. Her and Kyle will be able to speak in Russian together. How cute. Tutuca is a snack Hna Vargas and I eat a lot. It´s like popcorn but all puffed up...can´t really explain it haha. I´m glad Hannah is learning more Spanish! She better be fluent the next time we skype on Mother´s day. Mom, good luck with your skit! I´m sure it will be a hoot. Please film it :) And thank you very much for the brownie recipe, I am very excited to share this gift with the people of Argentina!
Let me tell you about some experiences we had this week. We went to an appointment with a less active member, Adriana, who lives super far away. She wasn´t there. So we decided to contact a referral we had from the mission offices. We started heading back the opposite direction up a nice big incline, looking for the street of the referral. We asked someone where it was and she pointed us in the direction that we came. So we went back down the big hill again to where we just were. We found the house and realized it was only one block from Adriana. And guess what? The guy didn´t even live there anymore. So we went all that way for....nothing? I think not! As we were leaving the neighborhood thinking we had gone all that way for nothing, Adriana had just gotten off a bus and was walking in our direction. Wow. We were able to have a great talk with her. She cried and told us she was grateful that she was able to talk to us in that moment.
Experience number two: We had a few minutes to spare before we had to go to our house for the night, so we decided to visit a less active member who we didn´t know on our list of members, Estela. We went to her house and she told us that she hasn´t been able to go to church for a long time because she takes care of little old ladies and is not able to leave them. She asked us if we would say a prayer with her. When we went in, she (Teresa), was in her wheelchair and wouldn´t talk or move. Estela said that usually she talks and everything so she was really nervous. We were able to help her move her to the bed and Estela called an ambulence. We read a scripture with her and said a prayer. Before we left, Estela thanked us and told us that she knew we were sent in that moment from Heavenly Father. We talked to her today and she told us that Teresa has an infection and is in the hospital being treated.
Something I have been learning is that Heavenly Father really is guiding our lives. It is by the slightest thoughts and feelings that we are able to listen to and follow the spirit, and most of the time we don´t even realize that we are being guided until something happens that helps us to recognize that He is there every step of our lives. If we are living righteously, we won´t be lead in the wrong direction. It gives me a lot of comfort to know that we literally have angels helping us (DyC 84:88).
Thank you for your love and support!
Love, Hermanita Heeeel
El Rio

A member gave us a kilo of ice cream for Hna Vargas'
8 month mark and we ate it 43 minutes :S

Dad is going to call me a wimp, but it was scary, okay?