Monday, December 30, 2013

Week 34

Hello from Graham!
This week was really good! :)  We had a very successful week, and I would attribute that to when we were on exchanges!  Sister Parry and Sister Judd were here in our area and they were able to have 14 other lessons and set up 6 return appointments, which constitutes 6 new investigators!  It was great to come back to our area and hear what success they had as they worked together. :)  
We are even seeing a lot more progress with our investigator, Krista.  Right now, she is living with her boyfriend but we are starting to see a change in her as she learns more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She realizes that her boyfriend is not treating her the way that she feels like she needs to be treated and she is getting sick of it.  Sister Parry and I also feel like she is starting to gain a testimony of the things she is learning, so we are super excited to continue to teach her! :)  
We are also seeing a huge change with our investigator Amber.  Gina Vickers is her mom and we have been teaching her a little bit.  The first time that we went over there, Amber was really quiet and very rarely talked to us.  She seemed very shut off to us, but as we have been serving her and inviting her to ward activities, her heart is being softened and she is starting to change! She even asked us the other day about what time church starts because she wants to come!  It has been great to see how service and following the Spirit really help soften people's hearts.
So great story... We decided that we wanted to go visit one of our Less-active members that we didn't know on Thursday.  When we stopped by, a lady answered the door and just started chatting with us.  She ended up asking us if we could come by another time because she was busy.  We told her that we could come back the following day and we scheduled that appointment.  Her name is Shannon and when she told us her name, I knew it wasn't the less-active that we were trying to see.  When we went back the next day, we talked with her for about 1 hour and learned that she wasn't a member and that she wanted to learn more.  It was so cool to find an investigator when our intentions were to visit a less-active member.
Another cool story... We were planning one night and felt like we needed to go see Sister Ramirez.  She is a less-active member who is really struggling with family situations right now.  Well when we went over to see her, we were able to help her a ton.  She was really struggling and was really depressed but we were able to help her as we taught her about the Savior's Atonement.  It was such a neat experience to know that we were led by the Spirit to go see her.
Christmas was great!  I can't believe that it is already over and that I will be home for next Christmas.  It doesn't seem real to me that I only have that much left of my mission... It's going to fly by!
Pictures.... I am going to send them in a separate email but there's some of Christmas, our mission Christmas activity, a little skiff of snow that we got on the 19th, and a pretty sunset from about a week or so ago.
That's about it for the week!  Next week is transfers (again!) and I can't believe it! They just keep passing by way too fast!  Hope everyone has a Happy New Year and that you set some great New Year's resolutions!
Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, December 23, 2013

Week 33

Merry Christmas everyone!

This week was pretty good!  We worked really hard and were able to meet a bunch of Less-active members that we didn't know.  Friday, we also had a wonderful Christmas Activity with the mission.  We did a white elephant exchange (I ended up with sticky notes, colored pencils, and mechanical pencils (a great present I must say) by the end of the game), then we went into the chapel and listened to a bunch of musical numbers.  They all were so, so pretty!  I wasn't able to throw something together fast enough so I had the opportunity to just sit and listen... not always something I get to do. Then President and Sister Eaton spoke a little bit, we sang a bunch of Christmas hymns, and then we watched "The Nativity" with the volume off and "Breath of Heaven" by Amy Grant playing.  It was such a neat thing to watch!  The spirit was so strong and it was so peaceful.  By the way, if you want to watch it, you can find it on Youtube.  
President and Sister Eaton also gave all of us a little present with a Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD and they gave us a picture of the Savior.  Sister Eaton told us about this picture when she spoke and explained why they were giving it to us.  President and Sister Eaton were able to go to some training that was with Elder Ballard and this is what Elder Ballard said about the picture of the Savior, "I carry with me a picture of the Savior, and when I'm at the extremity and wonder if I'm going to get across the goal, I just look at Him.  And all of a sudden, I can do whatever I have to do.  Keep Him close."  I know that Elder Ballard's statement about that picture is true.  I have only had that picture for a couple of days but I have carried it everywhere and it truly has helped me when I don't feel like I can do what I have to do.  I am so thankful for this Christmas season and for the time that we have to celebrate our Savior's Birth.  I am so thankful that I am out here on my mission serving Jesus Christ at the time of His birth.  I can't wait to see what other special experiences I have on Christmas and I am so grateful for that.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!  I love each on of you and am so proud to have you as my family and friends!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 32

Hello from Graham, Washington!

This week was so good! :)  We were able to have a lot of lessons and have many miracles throughout the week!  Not a ton of note-worthy things happened but it still was amazing!  
We had some crazy experiences while we were tracting this week!  1) I hove now found a way to stay warm regardless of how many layers I put on in the morning... Hot Hands warmers in my shoes!  It has been awesoem especially when we have been knocking on doors because I stay warm and I don't freeze.  2)  We knocked on a couple doors that had Sister Parry and I laughing after we left.  One door we knocked on was opened by a Catholic lady.  She was kind of rude while we were talking to her and she wasn't interested.  When we were leaving, as she was shutting the door, I yelled "Merry Christmas!"  She had shut the door all the way but she quickly opened it back up and said, "Thanks for saying Merry Christmas.  I am so sick of all this 'Happy Holidays' crap!" and then she shut the door.  Both Sister Parry and I were laughing so hard because it was just so random and silly.  3) We then knocked on another door and we heard footsteps come to the door after we knocked.  All of the sudden, we heard from the other side of the door, "We're not interested."  I then asked, "Is there anything we can do for you?"  The female on the other side said, "We're not interested."  I then said, "Merry Christmas" and we were on our way to the next door.  It was so funny because that drives me nuts when they don't answer the door and just yell through it but it didn't bother me that day.
This week we were also privileged to have Elder Corbridge (from the Seventy) and his wife come speak to us on Tuesday.  It was so amazing!  I learned so many things and was so blessed to have been able to have that opportunity.  I will say that I have never felt so mentally and emotionally exhausted from being in a meeting all day before.  I was completely drained of energy the next couple days because there was such an amazing spiritual outpouring that day.  He truly is called of God.
One of the amazing miracles that we were blessed to have started out on Friday night while we were planning.  Sister Parry was looking through the area book and came across some old progress records that were dated back in August.  Sister Parry was looking at one of them and saw that a girl named Brittney was on that specific sheet.  I knew that she wasn't being taught by Sister Mosbrucker and Sister Gardner, so we text Elder Wilson and asked him about her.  He knew exactly who she was and where she lived.  We asked him if him and Elder Moody were teaching her and he told us no.  We decided to plan her in to go see her on Saturday.  Saturday afternoon came and we went to go see Brittney.  We decided to take her door as a door approach since she didn't know either of us.  When she answered the door, we started talking to her to get a feel of where she was at and what she believed.  She then mentioned that she had been meeting with the "boy missionaries" and then we started to ask her about what she had learned from them.  She had a lot of positive things to say about the Elders and about the Church.  We then asked her if we could share a message with her and she said that we could and invited us in.  Brittney has such a special spirit about her.  She is 20 and has Asbergers. She was so open and had so many wonderful questions.  She knows that she is loved by Heavenly Father but she doesn't understand why she deserves that love.  It was so rewarding to testify that He really does love her and to try and help her understand.  The Spirit was so strong as we were teaching her.  Once we got back in the car, Sister Parry and I talked about what happened while we were teaching Brittney.  We both felt like we weren't so much focused on helping her enter the waters of baptism, but that we were more focused on helping her make those steps to enter the temple and to receive eternal life.  It was such a neat experience and my feelings about it are so hard to explain.  I am so thankful for that opportunity to be there teaching Brittney and to feel our Savior's love so much more.
I am so thankful for the rewarding opportunity that I have to serve a mission and to testify of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  I know that through Him we can be cleansed from sin and that we can return to live with Him and Heavenly Father for eternity.
Thanks for everything you do for me!  I love and appreciate you all so much!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, December 9, 2013

Week 31! :)

Hello from FREEZING Washington!
This week was amazing!  We had so many miracles even when I was not super excited to be outside in this freezing weather!  It's been super cold here, like high's only in the 20's.  Not a fan.  We were able to find 4 new investigators this week by tracting and teaching formers!  It was such an awesome experience to see tracting actually work!  We talked to a bunch of really nice people this week, even if they ended up saying that they weren't interested in learning more.  We even have some really good laughs as we go tracting too!  One night, we were tracting and Sister Parry clothes-lined herself with a rope that was holding a tarp on a car!  It was so funny!  I didn't see the rope until right before she clothes-lined herself and I didn't get it out of my mouth fast enough.  It was so funny!  I love laughing! 
We also were able to stop by two of our former investigators (Krista and Melissa) and they were super nice as well!  We were able to set up return appointments with them for this week and we also committed Krista to baptism on January 4th! :)  I am so excited to see how she will progress.  She and her son seemed really involved with the Restoration when we taught them.  Her son was trying to understand why there are so many churches and it was fun to see Krista thinking and trying to help her son understand what we were teaching.  She was trying to explain it in a way that her son could understand and that really helped me know that she was understanding what we were teaching her.
We were able to have a lesson with one of our potential investigators.  Her name is Tanya and she is awesome!  Her husband is related to Joseph Smith!  It's so weird to think that they are not members!  They would be amazing in the Gospel!  We were able to talk to her a lot about the Priesthood because she had a ton of questions about it!  It was such an awesome lesson!
We also have been teaching Amelia.  Her family are members but she recently turned 8 and her parents asked us to make sure she is prepared for her baptism that is on Saturday.  I have to say, Amelia soaks everything up!  Sister Parry and I taught her the 10 Commandments last week, using our hands, and she loved it!  She always remembered them when I would quiz her as we were learning them.  She loves learning and I have enjoyed being able to teach her.  It's so fun to teach little kids!
Yesterday was awesome!  We were able to go watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional and enjoy the stake's activity that went with it.  We also were able to get one of our investigators, Amber, and her daughter, Madi, to come to it.  I think that Amber had a really good time but it will be interesting to ask her about it when we go teach her again this week. I really hope she had fun and that she felt the Spirit.
Also.... a little side note for those of you who have sent letters to me lately.... All of my letters have been being forwarded to the old house that I lived in so I just got a handful of them from the Sisters that took our spot in that house yesterday.  I will try to get replies sent out to everyone but if not, know that I will write you back next week.  Thank you so much for all of you love and prayers.
Pictures.... All of the Sisters at the Thanksgiving activity, my tree and cards, Sister Parry and I, and Mt. Rainier on a really clear day.
It's been great to really work on establishing stronger faith and to see the results from it this week!  I know that this Gospel is the restored truth on earth today.  I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love each one of us personally and that They want us to return to live with Them.  I know that this is where I am supposed to be at this time in my life and I am so thankful for this privilege that I have to serve Him.  I am so thankful for the things I am learning while I am on my mission and for the things that push me to become better!  Know that all of you are in my prayers and that I think of you often!
Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 30

This week has been really good!  I have really enjoyed Sister Catie Parry as my new companion! :D  She is from Oklahoma and she has been out for almost 5 months!  I have now moved up to Senior Companion status at my 7 month mark. :D  I am actually alright with that :)  She has been teaching me so much and I hope I have been teaching her something too.  I have really enjoyed being companions with her the last couple days.  I will be honest that I wasn't super thrilled to be companions with Sister Parry at first because her and I do missionary work so differently.  I have never really liked using tracting as a way to find new investigators (I haven't really seen it as been super successful) but that's one thing that Sister Parry really loves to do.  This week I definitely had to swallow my pride and do some tracting even though I didn't really want to.  This time, tracting actually worked!  It definitely has been a week of miracles!  We were able to find a new investigator on Thanksgiving.  Her name is Pat and she is a widow.  She grew up Presbyterian, joined the Catholic church and is now back as a Presbyterian.  She was so happy to talk to us and really enjoyed our visit.  We have a return appointment set up for December 11th with her! :)  She seems really open to learning more and I think she will be fun to teach!  I can't wait to see how she ends up progressing!  
We have also been able to find some really great potential investigators.  We found one lady last night who isn't a member and she is already using to work on her family history.  She wasn't super interested in learning more but we both felt like she will eventually join the church.  This lady even made us some hot chocolate to take on the road with us.  This week we have just been able to find a lot of people who are willing to talk with us and are super nice to us. :)  Definitely a week of miracles!
Thanksgiving was great!  In the morning we drove up to the Auburn Stake Center and we were able to play basketball, volleyball, and card games with some of the other missionaries and President and Sister Eaton.  It was super fun! :)  I went and played volleyball and I don't think my wrists have ever gotten as red as they did on Thanksgiving (they were red almost all the way up to my elbows).  It was great to be able to vary our schedule a little bit for the holidays :)  We then came home and did our weekly planning, went out for a couple hours, and then came home and had thanksgiving dinner with the Johnson's,  It was funny because the night before Thanksgiving, the Johnson's oven broke (the bottom heating unit went out) so we had turkey sandwiches for Thanksgiving dinner.  The Johnson's had gone over to their daughter's house for lunch and they brought home some turkey and rolls for us to have since their oven wasn't working.  It was super good!  Now we will get to have Thanksgiving with the Johnson's another time when we don't have a dinner appointment! :D 
I forgot my camera cord so I will have to attach a picture of Sister Parry and I next week (oops).  Nothing else to really report!  Things are going well here in Graham and I'm super excited to keep working here! :D
Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills