Monday, October 28, 2013

¡¡Felíz cumpleaños 21 mi hijo!! Happy Birthday 21st Elder Hill, Listen to your Inner Voice, Holy Ghost, Intuition OR ELSE!

I got transferred again. I´m in Tepotzotlan with E. Sandoval from Veracruz. He´s a cool missionary and I feel like I´ll learn a lot from him. He´s been a zone leader for 6 months so he knows his stuff. He wants to study mecatronica, whatever that is in English.
 My time in Lomas Lindas was short, but I got to know some of the investigators and that was good. Mario is super ready to be baptized and that will take place next Saturday. Vianey is happy that she was able to be baptized. Her sister is also interested in hearing more about the gospel.

We had stake conference, actually the first stake conference for the Alamedas stake, since it was divided just a few months ago. It was great. I felt the Spirit a lot and it was what I needed this week. There were talks about service, MISSIONARY WORK, love, and many other things that came up. It was great to be able to be inspired and uplifted from my leaders here in Mexico. During one of the hymns, the thought came to mind that maybe I wasn´t in Utah where the Church has years and years and years of experience and pretty much everything gets done right. However, Zion is in all the church, no matter the country. The Mexican people might still have a lot to go before they arrive to having stake centers on every other corner and temples all over the place, but they are doing the best they can with what they know right now. It has been great to be able to labor among them and to get to know them better.
Today I received an email from a friend who was telling me of an experience that she had a while back and how she didn´t know what WOULD HAVE happened if she WOULD HAVE listened and acted upon what she felt. I had a similar experience that I would like to share:
A few months ago we walked into our neighborhood and I saw a police car with lights and sirens going down a street where some members live. I thought we should go see if all was well, but I didn´t want to be a gossipy person and see what was going on. We stopped by the house for a few things and as we were leaving I heard an ambulance and I thought the same thing again as we were leaving the house (we lived one street behind them). My companion at the time had called me chismoso or gossipy once when we looked at an accident so I thought that I was just being my normal EMT self wanting to see what was going on. We didn´t go. Turns out that a neighbor had just hung herself and her husband found her moments after she had done it. She was still blue and warm. Since that day I can´t help to think "What WOULD HAVE happened had I listened?" Was it just me? Did I just want to be an EMT again? Was I scared of what my companion would say instead of what I felt? I have read many times of miracles wrought by missionaries who arrived in the right moment. Would we have been instruments in God´s hands to save this daughter of His?  I don´t know what WOULD HAVE happened, because I didn´t do it. The only way I can restore the damage now, is to listen and hearken the next time.
I´m trying to live my live with WHAT DID HAPPEN because I acted, instead of WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED because I didn´t. I think we´ve all had experiences in this.
I hope that we can all endure to the end and keep an eternal perspective. That we may stand up for the right even when we might stand alone. It´s easier to disobey when someone else does it, too. Why do you think peer pressure to do something wrong is so hard? Because they need someone to do it too, so that they can justify their actions. I love President Monson´s conference talk "Dare to Stand Alone" and the story he tells. Believe it or not, the same thing happens here in the mission, even among the missionaries. We are all here to improve. Let´s do it together.
Love you all. Have a fabulous week. And don´t forget to set the clocks back an hour. Or maybe leave them so that you can all get to church on time, and not on Mormon Standard Time. ;)
Elder Hill
Claudia and Toño, members from Lomas lindas and Pedro the taxista from Lomas Lindas who gave us a ride to the offices.
The last district meeting.
Sisters Ibaven and Perez.
Elders Hill Piotroski Lamping Valdez Chandler and Bautista. Not in order....
Oh Matthew, that IS GUT WRENCHING. I feel impressed to share with you a story...It happens to the best of people..
Twenty-three-year-old Tom Monson, relatively new bishop of the Sixth-Seventh Ward in the Temple View Stake, was uncharacteristically restless as the stake priesthood leadership meeting progressed. He had the distinct impression that he should leave the meeting immediately and drive to the Veterans’ Hospital high up on the Avenues of Salt Lake City. Before leaving home that night he had received a telephone call informing him that an older member of his ward was ill and had been admitted to the hospital for care. Could the bishop, the caller wondered, find a moment to go by the hospital sometime and give a blessing? The busy young leader explained that he was just on his way to a stake meeting but that he certainly would be pleased to go by the hospital as soon as the meeting was concluded.
Now the prompting was stronger than ever: “Leave the meeting and proceed to the hospital at once.” But the stake president himself was speaking at the pulpit! It would be most discourteous to stand in the middle of the presiding officer’s message, make one’s way over an entire row of brethren, and then exit the building altogether. Painfully he waited out the final moments of the stake president’s message, then bolted for the door even before the benediction had been pronounced.
Running the full length of the corridor on the fourth floor of the hospital, the young bishop saw a flurry of activity outside the designated room. A nurse stopped him and said, “Are you Bishop Monson?”
“Yes,” was the anxious reply.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “The patient was calling your name just before he passed away.”
Fighting back the tears, Thomas S. Monson turned and walked back into the night. He vowed then and there that he would never again fail to act upon a prompting from the Lord. He would acknowledge the impressions of the Spirit when they came, and he would follow wherever they led him, ever to be “on the Lord’s errand.”
You cannot understand President Thomas S. Monson, newly called Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, without understanding the repetition of such promptings in his life and the absolute loyalty with which he has kept that early promise to obey them. Indeed, his life seems something of a sacred manuscript upon which the Holy Ghost has written—and is still writing—one remarkable spiritual message after another. In this and so many other ways he is much like Nephi of old. He is “exceedingly young”—called as a bishop at twenty-two, a counselor in a stake presidency at twenty-seven, a mission president at thirty-one, an Apostle at thirty-six (the youngest in fifty-three years), and a counselor in the First Presidency at fifty-eight (the youngest in this century). He is also “large in stature,” a robust, buoyant, whirlwind of a man who might have been a superb basketball player in his youth had it not been required of him (as it was of so many others in the Great Depression and its aftermath) that from his twelfth year on he forgo the pleasure of extracurricular school activities in order to work at his father’s side in the printing trade.
But President Monson is most like young Nephi in his humility and in his faith. In all that he has so successfully accomplished, he has been resolute in his commitment to “go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” (1 Ne. 3:7) regardless of the obstacles in the path. Furthermore, he has done it as Nephi himself did it—“led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.” (1 Ne. 4:6.) Little wonder that such men as these are enlisted to “bring forth my Zion … for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost.” (1 Ne. 13:37.) In light of that promise, surely no stake patriarch has been more prophetic than was Brother Frank B. Woodbury that fifteenth day of March, 1944, when he placed his hands on 16-year-old Tom Monson’s head and began to speak:
“The Holy Ghost has been conferred upon you to be your inspiration and your guide, to direct you in your labors, and to bring to your mind the things that have passed and to show unto you things to come. …
“You shall be indeed a leader among your fellows. … You shall have the privilege of going into the world to proclaim the message of the gospel … and you shall have the spirit of discernment. …
“Seek the Lord in humility to guide and direct you, that you might know the proper course to pursue … in the high and holy callings unto which you shall be called. … ”
This was a talk Elder Holland gave when I was 21.
Te amo

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Hey Loma Linda!" Vianey, Missionary Badge, & Article of Faith #11 applies to everyone, even members of the church.


There are people who come up to me in church and they make a joke in English like, "Hey, you´re beautiful hills (lomas lindas)" or "Hey loma linda!" etc. Yesterday was my first meeting here and it was pretty good. It´s kind of ironic that we hear a talk about keeping the Sabbath day holy and 20 minutes later the family that we were going to eat with gives us money so that we could go buy food because she wasn´t able to make anything.... :) Article of Faith #11 applies to everyone, even members of the church. :) 
I met Mario this week. He´s a 29 year old lawyer and pretty much the future bishop, he just needs to find a good member and get married. He´s super cool and reads a lot about the church so he already knows everything to be baptized. He was going to get baptized this weekend, but he went out of town for a training meeting for work and his baptism will be the 9th of November. 
Vianey was baptized yesterday. Even though there were screaming, fighting, crying kids all during the baptismal service, the Spirit was strong and when she shared her testimony at the end it was really powerful. In the mission I´ve been able to see why some members of the Church wish they would be baptized again as an adult because it really does wash away all of our sins and there is a huge relief for all that we might have done being taken away. It´s beautiful.
Tuesday we had money to go buy food and since my companion had one of his wisdom teeth pulled a week and a half ago, we went to the store to buy something instead of eating on the street. I bought chicken nuggets and barbeque sauce. It´s been a while. Also, Sunday morning we went to go pick someone up to go to church and we saw a mini van on rocks (they don´t use blocks here to steal tires) and a group of people just looking at their car like, "I never thought it would happen to me." I would have taken a picture but that might have made them more upset. God is great, the food is good, and people really are crazy.
Marco Antonio, or "Polo" as everyone calls him, is a clown of some sort. He wears some sort of outfit (like Barney, Ronald McDonald or something like that) and films commercials or movies. I´m not really sure. Anyway, he´s doing well. He´s stopped doing all sorts of drugs and now he´s just left on the smoking part. He´s programmed to be baptized on the 17th of November, but, he didn´t go to church yesterday so we need to go see him. 
Oh, something kind of funny that happened was Saturday night. I dreamed a very strange dream in the which were several returned missionaries- from this mission, friends, family, etc-- and nobody had their name tag on. Everyone was telling me to take mine off and that I couldn´t wear it anymore. I looked at my name tag and told them that if I had it on then I must have been a missionary still. ... and then I woke up. So, at least for a little while more I´m still a missionary! It´s an honor and privilege to still be here and wear the little black badge. And it will be a privilege later to have it still painted on my heart. 

Well, that´s about all I can remember for now. It´s been a little more relaxed being a zone leader because I don´t have to spend so much time on the phone at night and I´ve been able to write in my journal a little more. 
I hope that y'all have a fabulous week! 
con cariño, 
Elder Hill 
Hola mi hijo...LDS médico
Why so high of blood pressure? And why was your spo2 at 88? I gotta go. Loves. Hope you feel better and tell everyone hey for me. 
Elder Hill
Thanks! Love you Sweetie! Say a prayer for Mama! Te amo!
Mamá because mama is breast. 
 Smarty pants! I am not on the Mac, so don't know how to do accents on regular  pc. Then say a prayer for mamá and that her mama’s are both w/o problems!

Fotos ~ Pix: Piotroski and I and the baptism pix
we went to a Chinese buffet today. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Zone Leader, Tranfers to Loma Lindas, Cucarachas, y The Lord Works In Mysterious Ways!

Hey, so it turns out that poor Elder Lamping just can´t seem to hold on to his companions! On Tuesday Elder Garcia left to Argentina because his visa came so we were in trio-- Lamping, Valdez, and me-- until Friday in zone conference President Call told us that one of the three would be leaving but that he still didn´t have the decision made. He called us Saturday night and let us know that I would be leaving Valle de Tules and I would be going to Lomas Lindas as a Zone Leader. I was pretty sure that I was going to stay in Valle de Tules but then again ever since Tuesday I had been feeling like I was going to be leaving soon. I just felt like my connection with the area just wasn´t happening like it should be and I thought that I would be leaving. My new companion, Elder Ali Piotroski from Argentina, told me that when we had a conference a few weeks ago, he knew that I would be his next companion. The Lord works in mysterious ways. This should be exciting because it´s a big area and has really good members. The stake was just divided almost a year ago and the stake presidency is working hard in the area of the Work of Salvation. We have a meeting with President Call and the stake president tomorrow. 

Yesterday I was able to see Yenny Montaño again and I also bore my testimony in La Quebrada (we went to both wards with the whole trio thing), too. It was cool because when I was there Gabi left on her mission and I saw her leave. She has also returned and she´s so much more refined than when she left. I say refined because we don´t "change" as missionaries. We are still the same people, same name, same background, same stone in the river. What happens with time is the experiences that we have challenge us and we chip off the sharp edges and become smoother and more refined, but we´re still the same stones. The Gospel of Jesus Christ really changes lives, but only when we do what is required. It´s been great to reflect on all that I´ve been able to improve thanks to the mission, and even better things are to come. 

Going a little off topic.... we were in the house one morning and Elder Valdez says, "Hill! Hay cucarachas en el microondas!" I knew that there were cockroaches crawling around the microwave and one time I saw them inside, but there was one right in the number screen! Those things are seriously so hard to kill. It´s been a good few hours to be in a house that doesn´t have cockroaches. 

I´ll let you know how the area and all that is next week. Don´t really know anything right now. Good times ahead! 

Be good and don´t forget Whose you are! 

Elder Hill 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conferencia General ~ General Conference y President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

General Conference was pretty much just amazing, as always. I can´t believe that it´s the last conference for me as a full time Elder, until maybe the mission with the wife. Elder Lamping had his first experience with the Spanish translators and it was pretty hard for him to be able to understand everything. It´s hard the first time but then you just get used to it. I feel kind of bad because he was super pumped up and then nobody we are teaching went, and it was hard to understand and to stay awake. :) 

On Sunday morning we went to pick up a few people and we ended up running into a few members who were helping a sick sister. We ended up helping her and then the people that we went to go pick up didn´t want to go or weren´t home and we went with a member in their VW bug. We were six adults and one little kid in the car and we drove what would probable be the equivalent from Bountiful to SLC. There is no front seat so my companion was just sitting on the floor board. That was pretty fun. 

It was just a great time to be with the District and with the rest of the members. It was really what I needed to be able to feed my spirit so that I can help everyone else. I can´t wait for the Liahona! 

I can´t really sum up 10 hours of conference. I hope that you all watched it and took notes. Remember, It´s the will of the Lord for us in these next 6 months. I loved what was said in all aspects. About the Priesthood, missionary/member work, visiting teaching, families, temples, etc. For 3 of the next six months I will be on the missionary end; the following three it will be my turn to apply all that I have learned here in the mission to continue helping everyone else I know to hear about the Restored Gospel. We are living in great times! 

One thing that I loved was something that President Uchtdorf said about doubting our doubts but never doubting our faith nor our testimony. I hope that it will be true to us all. Love you all. Keep up the fabulous work of being Saints or future Saints! 

Elder Hill 

my district during conference 

Sisters Ibaven, Rosa, and Perez. Elders Valdez, Garcia, Chandler, Bautista, Lamping, and Hill. Also, the picture that I sent a while back with Zeagler, me, and another elder is Elder Shumway from AZ. he goes home in 3 weeks.  

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