Monday, November 3, 2014

Thoughts on sending a daughter on a mission

People have ask me about my thoughts on sending a daughter on a mission and I've given this some thought while Megan has been gone. The answer I give to those who ask and often remind myself is the BEST decision a son or daughter can make. This is a "no brainer". As parents, we try to teach our children to learn to rely on Heavenly Father and this is the perfect way for them to experience that while they are far, far away from home. Even though knowing it is the best decision for them, it is still hard. I was so happy that Megan had decided to serve a mission but I realized real quick that I could either chose to dwell on the good parts of having a daughter out serving a mission or I could focus on that she was gone and I wouldn't see her for a long time. I chose to focus on the good and didn't allow myself to get down. For me that really made the difference.

One day, shortly after Megan had been gone, I was in the car out running errands and my thoughts were on her and how she was doing and I was a bit blue. At that moment, I realized the car in front of me had Washington license plates and in my heart I knew this was Heavenly Father's way of letting me know he was aware of me and how I was feeling. I knew He knew Megan and was taking care of her. It sounds funny, but it was like having a witness that He acknowledged our sacrifice of sending her. After that day, every time I was in the car I would see several Washington license plates out on the road. Some days I would see one and other days I would see many. During the entire 18 months, there were only a couple days that I didn't see any. To me, it was a tender mercy that I needed and it would stir my heart whenever I spotted another Washington license plate. The rest of my family thought I was nuts but it is what got me by. :)

Other thoughts about serving:
So many people have been asked to do some really hard things for the church and for the gospel. ie: pioneers, Joseph Smith, Emma Smith, Jesus Christ (not that I compare myself to any of those listed or others who have given so much), but sending a missionary out for 18 months-2 years really isn't that big of a sacrifice. Sure, they are gone for a period of time and you miss them but that's just it, it's a short amount of time and then they are back and life moves on with them home. Sending Megan really made me think and consider my covenants of standing as a witness of Christ and what that means and what I would do to help the gospel spread and reach people's lives who so desperately need the peace the gospel brings. If I want to keep my covenants, I need to do what is asked of me regardless of how hard it is.

I knew it would absolutely be the BEST $400 a month I could spend on Megan's behalf. I knew there would be so many things she would learn about herself while she was out serving that she could never get another way or so quickly. You name it...spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically. Those life lessons and the deepening and strengthening of her testimony are really invaluable! Such big dividends on so little money spent.

And my last thought:
On the day Megan left for her mission, I gave her a necklace with the word "love" stamped on a square piece of silver. I told her that I wanted her to remember that love is what it is really all about. Because of our love for the Savior and Heavenly Father and also the love we had for her, we could send her on a mission. Because of the love Megan had for the Savior and Heavenly Father, she chose to serve a mission. And it would be the love for those who she came in contact with and taught that would soften hearts and make people want to investigate the church. Also, I really wanted her to have something tangible so when she was feeling a bit down and blue, she could touch that necklace and know we were with her and that she wasn’t alone. She could feel our love and be reminded of why she was out serving a mission. I really believe missionary work is all about love.

These are a few of my feelings about sending Megan on a mission. I know it is different for everyone who sends a son or daughter on a mission and each of us have to look deep inside to see what it is that allows us to give them to the Lord. Some days that is easy and some days that is hard. I've come to realize my kids aren't really "mine". They are on loan to me. I've just been given the chance to teach them and influence them and then I have to learn to let them fly. Some days that is easy and some days that is hard.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Memories of the BIG DAY!!!

As our extended family assembled at the airport to welcome her home it was a great feeling. Waiting for her to come down the escalator was a bit difficult especially when several of the Elders had already come down the escalator and was enjoying catching up with their families. But when I first saw Megan at the top of the escalator, my heart was over joyed for what we had experienced together. There was nothing like it. We had done something that was hard and we had been successful. Megan was home again and our family was complete. 

Minutes later, while watching her interact with our family and extended family, I realized the "old Meg" was back. Her happy, laughing, smiling self was back home and she was the same Meg I'd sent off 18 months before. All of the worry and longing to talk to her and hug her was gone and things were back to how they were before she'd left. It was funny how quickly things fell into place again. It had indeed been a great ride. One I am so thankful I got to be apart of and to take with her. I am so proud of all she's accomplished and all she has learned. I will forever be grateful that she chose to serve! It really is the best 18 months/2 years of their life!

And just like that...she's home!!!

The calendar says it's October 27th, 2014 but my head is having a hard time believing that Megan is really coming home today at 4:08pm. In all actuality, it feels like it has been a while since I've seen and hugged Megan but at the same time, I wonder how can her 18 month mission really be over today? It has gone SO FAST! When she left for the MTC back in April 2013, October 2014 seemed to be SO. FAR. AWAY. but today is the day! It's here and I am so, so, so excited to see and hug her and know that she and we all survived! Our family has been blessed while she has been out serving our Heavenly Father and the people of Washington state and I know she has been blessed for her willingness to serve. For this, I am most grateful.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 76...."I'll be home for Christ......HALLOWEEN!!!"

Hey Everyone!
This week was pretty good :)  Busy :) At least I felt really busy :) We were able to help Sister Johnson, a less-active in our ward, move and that went well :)  This week we are going to go see how they are doing and see if there's anything else we can do for them :)
We were able to go on a Blitz this week with our Sister Training Leaders, since we weren't able to do it when we went on Exchanges.  That was pretty good :)  We found a couple really cool people and found a service opportunity for next month.
I also went to my last Missionary Devotional last night! :(  That was kind of sad but it's really hard to not be excited about seeing my family again :)  I also got to see the Higgins' family (Lake Sawyer Ward) one last time before I leave!  It was so great to see them! 
I am so thankful for this opportunity that I have had to serve a mission and to serve under President Eaton's stewardship.  I have learned so much about the gospel, about myself, and about how to be a better disciple of Christ.  I am so sad to see this part of my life go, but I know that there are a lot of great things in store for me once I get home.  I can't wait to apply the things that I have learned here once I am back home.  It's so surreal to me that I really am almost done with my mission but it just motivates me to work as hard as I possibly can this final week as a full-time missionary.  I am going to talk with everyone I see this week and that goal isn't going to budge.  I have to finish out strong and do the best work I can this week.
I hope everyone has a great week!  I will see you all in a week or so!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 75

Hey Everyone!
This week was great!  Really interesting but it was awesome because the Spirit was so strong :)  I attribute that strong spirit to us really talking with everyone that we saw :)  Even though it wasn't a whole lot of people, we worked really hard at talking with everyone and it was awesome!  I will just go through the week and give you an update :)
Monday:  We were able to bring the Epperson's with us to our lesson with Shakita and it was awesome!  We helped answer Shakita's son's question by using the Book of Mormon.  The Spirit was super strong and the Epperson's added just the right stuff to the lesson :)
Tuesday:  We had Zone Meeting all about Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.  It was really good :)  Courtney had her baby early Tuesday morning :)  I haven't seen her yet because I have been sick but hopefully sometime this week!  I've heard she's really cute though!
Wednesday:  Had a really good lesson with Shakita and her family again :)  We also found a new investigator Wednesday afternoon :)  Her name is Monique and she seems pretty cool!  We taught the Restoration and then invited her to be baptized and she said she would think/pray about it and we would talk about it when we meet with her this week :)  I am excited to meet with her tomorrow and help her feel the spirit :)
Thursday:  This is where the week got really interesting.  So that afternoon, the Elders needed our car to go on exchanges so we said we would walk all afternoon :)  When we got home and went and grabbed the key, we decided that we would leave the car where it was at while we went and ate dinner (the Elders had parked the car in their assigned spot: 295).  One hour later,  we went back to the car and it was GONE!  We were so confused... Long story short, the Elders had accidentally parked the car in 294, not 295 so our car got towed.... can I just say headache.  We called Elder Bryant (he's over all the cars in the mission) and he said we would deal with it in the morning because it cost less to get it out in the morning.  We ended up walking around for about 1 hour before we had to go inside and on the way home, we were stopped by Brother and Sister Bustemonte.  They asked us if we wanted to come to their apartment and have some hot cocoa :)  We ended up having a great member lesson with them and were able to help them with some of their own missionary work.
Friday:  We drove up to Kent with Sister Bustemonte and picked up our car.  
Saturday:  I woke up super tired because I had taken some NyQuil before I went to bed because I have had a stuffy nose and a cough for the last few days.  The medicine totally hadn't worn off so Sister Eaton let me sleep a little longer to have it get out of my system.  Later that morning, we received a text message from someone in our ward about a member.  They had been in a car accident Friday night and they had passed away.  Both Sister Evans-Bottoms and I were shocked!  When we went out to work, we felt like we needed to share a message on the Atonement with someone but we had no clue who that was going to be.  We were then led to the family in our ward that needed us as we drove around and tried to figure out where we needed to be.  We arrived at this family's house at the perfect time because the parents were getting a blessing and they needed the kids to be busy with something else so we were able to share a message with the kids.  It was awesome!  Such a Spirit-filled morning!
Sunday:  Church and normal missionary work.  Mom, Brooke and Everleigh came to church today with their bags and they were so excited that they had them :)
I hope everyone had a great week and had some awesome things happen this week!  I love and appreciate all of you!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 74

Hey Everyone!

This week was awesome :)
Tuesday:  We had our scripture study training :) It was so good :)  I learned so much about techniques for studying (like patterns, symbolism, ect.)  I am excited to apply them as I study!  We also got to watch "Meet the Mormons!"  Can I just say, it is SO good!  I want to watch it again and it hasn't even been a week yet!  I am so excited for everyone to see it :)  I would take some tissues because my companion and I were crying during it and my companion doesn't cry.  I won't ruin it for you but you will have to go see it :)
***Not really sure who she is talking about in this next part since she left out some of that information. From what she's wrote, it looks like Jarvin is married to two ladies and I'm sure that isn't correct. :) ***
Wednesday:  We watched the Restoration DVD and made sure that they understood the Apostasy and how God's authority was lost. That was something that they didn't completely understand so we helped them understand better :) It was also good that we watched the DVD because Shakita's husband, Jarvin, wasn't there when we first taught the Restoration. We then extended the baptismal invitation to them and Shakita said that if she knew it was true, she would get baptized but she didn't commit to a specific date yet. Jarvin and Chaaka weren't sure. We were excited though for Shakita because she is willing to follow Christ when she knows that it's true. We have an appointment with them tonight which will be really good :)
Friday:  Mom, I got your package :)  Brooke and Everleigh LOVED the bags :)  They were super cute too :)  Courtney was so happy and so grateful :)  This is going to be a fun week for them too because baby Lily is going to be here today which will be super fun! BTW thanks for the peaches :)  They were so good :)  I finished the entire bottlethat night! :)  It will be nice to have some more in a couple weeks :)
Saturday and Sunday:  I think the only word to describe these two days is AWESOME!  Conference was amazing!  I loved how they talked a lot about improving yourself and make sure that you are converted :)  I hope everyone has set some goals on how they are going to apply what they learned from conference :)

I hope everyone has a great week this week and that you have lots of success in whatever you do :)
Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 73 {Part 1 and 2}

Hey Everyone!
This week was pretty good :)  We had a couple really good lessons with Shakita and her family!  Last Monday, we taught them the Plan of Salvation and the Spirit was SO strong!  It was awesome!  They seemed to really understand what was being taught.  They still haven't come to church yet which is a little bit frustrating but we are trying.
Women's Conference was awesome!  I loved that it was all about covenants and being prepared to enter the Temple.  I learned so much and can't wait for the talks to come out in print :)

I am SO excited for tomorrow!  We are having a specialized training on scripture study!  It is going to be awesome!  We are apparently going to talk about everything from the Bible Dictionary to symbolism in the scriptures :)  I am going to learn so much and I can't wait!  We also are going to get a sneak preview of Meet the Mormons

Week 73...{Part 2}
Oops!  Pushed some buttons on the keyboard and my message sent before I was done.

Like I was saying, we get to watch Meet the Mormons which is going to be great!  It's a new movie that the Church put out and it sounds really good :)  if you go to, you can watch a trailer for the new movie :)  I would really encourage you to all go see it :)  I will let you know next week how it was :)

That's about it for the week though.  I am so excited for General Conference and the chance that we have to hear from President Monson. :)  Who are you going to invite to watch it? :)  Hope this email finds everyone well!

Picture:  We found this postcard at Wal-mart last week and thought it was awesome!  It's totally how we both thought Washington was :)  Hope you enjoy!
Sister Megan Hills

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 72

Hey Everyone!
This week was pretty good :) It was nice because we had back to back appointments Wednesday-Friday so it was actually a pretty fun week! It's been cool this week, especially on those days when we didn't have a lot of appointments to receive promptings from the Spirit and to follow them! Saturday was one of our slower days so we set aside a lot of time to do some contacting. When we have been contacting, we have been doing a TON of walking!  From Friday-Saturday, we walked 10.5 miles :)  It was awesome but now I am so sore!  On Saturday, we were over by a less-active's home so we went to see how she was doing. We talked with her for a minute and then left because it wasn't a good time for them. Well, next to her house is a park and there were a couple families there. We walked back to our car and Sister Evans-Bottoms was debating whether to go talk to them or not. I told her that it must have been a prompting from the Holy Ghost so we should. We went over and started to talk with them. We found out that one family were members and the other family was not. We were able to talk to them for a little bit and share how the Gospel blesses families. It was really cool to see how acting on a prompting from the Spirit really helps the work move forward :)
Something that Sister Evans-Bottoms and I talked about after that experience is how the promptings that we receive from the Spirit seem to not be as strong as they have before. We talked about why that could be and what we could do to change it. We decided that we are going to study Chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel this week personally and as a companionship. I can't wait to study that chapter and be able to recognize those promptings even better.
We also were able to have a good lesson with Shakita and her family!  We talked with them about prayer and it ended up being a good lesson.  We have a lesson with them tonight so we are going to hopefully commit her to be baptized :)  Can't wait to see how it goes :)  We also had a really good lesson with our investigator Stephanie.  I don't remember if I have talked about Stephanie and Ryan or not but they are awesome!  We watched "The Hope of God's Light" with her and it was awesome!  The Spirit was so strong and it was fun to teach her :)
I have also set a goal to work as hard as I can in the last 5 weeks and make them count! I am going to talk to everyone that I see and invite investigators to make changes in their lives. I am also going to prioritize my time so that I am spending my time in a way that I can bring as many people as I can to the Gospel and closer to the Savior. I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to serve here in the Federal Way Mission and to make my 18 months count!

Picture:  So we were driving to an appointment and saw this house!  It's huge!!!  Then we saw it was for sale so we grabbed a paper to see how much it was going to cost and realized it's not a house.... It's a 4-plex!!!  It was so big and it totally looks like a huge house since it's painted all the same color.  Crazy things you see in Federal Way :)

Hope everyone has a great week!  Keep up the good work and remember Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ LOVE you!

Sister Megan Hills

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week 71...Transfer Calls!

Hey Everyone!

Transfer calls!!!!  I am staying with Sister Evans-Bottoms here in Lakota Creek!  I will finish my mission up here (weird!) and I am so excited to be staying here!  This transfer is going to be amazing!  We have a lot of awesome people we are starting to teach and things seem to be going great!  We had an awesome church tour with Shakita and her family on Wednesday!  They thought it was really cool what we do at church so now all they have to do is come and experience it first hand :)

I hope everyone's week goes well and that you all can feel the love of the Savior!

Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 70

This week was awesome! :)  It was a busy week but it was so good :)  We will start with Wednesday...
Wednesday:  We had a lesson with Shakita and Jarvin and their family :)  So cool!  That morning we were talking about what we wanted to teach them and we had determined that we wanted to read the Book of Mormon with them.  As we were trying to decide what to read with them, I asked Sister Evans-Bottoms, "How about Alma 32 and talk about faith?"  She then asked me "Why do you think we need to read Alma 32 with them?"  I just told her that I didn't know.  We talked about it a little bit more and decided that we needed to read that with them.  Skip to that night.  We go to their house and start the lesson.  Before we started reading, I told Shakita and Jarvin that they were in charge of how quickly we read this chapter.  If they had questions or comments, we could stop reading and talk about it for a minute.  Que reading... Sister Evans-Bottoms and I together read probably 5 verses out of the entire chapter, Shakita and her family read most of the verses.  Then we started talking about how to apply it in their life and it was SO cool to see them learn by faith and figure out how to apply Alma 32 to their lives.  They would ask us a question and before we could even answer it, they were already working on a solution to their questions.  It was SO COOL!  Can't wait for Wednesday to give them a church tour and help them feel the Spirit more!
Thursday:  We taught Inga on Thursday... quickest lesson I have ever had!  We taught her about the Book of Mormon so we read the Introduction with her but she pretty much took control of the lesson and had concluded by the end that she needed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  Also, every Thursday morning, we do Weekly Planning, which is where we plan for the upcoming week and for our investigators (pretty self-explanatory, right?)  So after we get done planning, we get a text from Sister Eaton explaining that Sister Evans-Bottoms' less-active sister, Tamara, was going to be attending our ward on Sunday!  What the Heck!  Both of us were shocked because Sister Evans-Bottoms hasn't seen her for 11 years and it's very rare for President Eaton to allow us to see family members while we are serving.  It was even crazier because we were allowed to teach Tamara and her kids for one hour.
Friday:  We taught Courtney another one of her new member lessons and that was great!  Then we went over to Brother Jarstad's house to have him look at Sister Evans-Bottoms knee.  Brother Jarstad is an eye surgeon but is willing to help with any medical needs we might have.  While we were over there, we talked with them about a time for dinner on Sunday (they signed up to feed us Sunday) and explained about Tamara coming to see Sister Evans-Bottoms.  And what did they Jarstad's say... "Oh you should invite Tamara to come to dinner!"  We were shocked and then we were even more shocked once we asked for permission and that permission was granted for Tamara to come to dinner!  It was SO crazy!
Saturday:  We stopped at Dumas Bay to see if there were lots of people down at the beach to contact but it was high tide there so there wasn't   very many people but we took the opportunity to take pictures :)  There was a paddle boat floating out in the water too :)
Sunday:  Tamara showed up to our ward and it was such an awesome day! :)  I can't really explain in words how cool it was to be the "third wheel" and just watch Tamara and Sister Evans-Bottoms interact.  Tamara's kids were awesome too and super cute!  It was an honor to be present for that!

So with all of that, this week should be a breeze!  Nothing is supposed to be crazy busy or stressful this week which is great!

Megan's answer to a question I asked her last week:
By the end of tonight, I should be through Alma 22 to be on schedule so I am doing pretty well :)  I am a little bit behind but not by much :)

And there's one random picture that doesn't apply to anything I have been talking about but I ate a YELLOW watermelon on Friday :)  It was super good and tastes just like a normal watermelon!

Hope everyone has a great week!  Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 69.... September already???!!

Hey Everyone!
This email is going to be kind of short because I am pressed for time :)  We went to Mount Rainier this morning and only have 1 1/2 hours to finish emailing and shopping :) This week was really good :)  It started a week ago this past Saturday with President Eaton calling us.... UH OH!  He just wanted to talk with us about our contacting because we weren't getting a very good average (not like it's about the numbers but...).  We keep track of how many people we talk to throughout the week and then average that total at the end of the week and ours hasn't been very good lately.  President invited us to set goals to talk to more people this week and we did it!  It was cool to see how I had changed just from trying to contact more people. 

We also had a couple awesome lessons with a family that we met, Shakita and Harvin, and their 6 kids!  They are super fun to teach because they have lots of questions and seem to understand and like everything we teach :)  We have another lesson with them tomorrow night so we will see what happens. :)

We also had a miracle happen this week!  I think it was a blessing that came because we were striving to talk with more people!  So we have an older couple, the Foleys, in our ward serving as Full-time missionaries in the stake.  They live in the Dolloff Lake ward but they pretty much do everything in our ward.  So sister Foley called us and told us that she had someone who was ready to take the missionary lessons! :)  It was awesome to talk with her about Inga and to meet with her yesterday!  Inga is amazing!  She enjoys learning all about the different religions but she really loves everything that the church is about.  We taught her the Restoration yesterday and all she kept saying about the First Vision was "WOW!"  She also committed to be baptized on September 27th!!!!  We are so excited! :)

Mount Rainier was AWESOME!  We just drove up to Paradise and hung out there for a couple hours but it was super cool!  Mount Rainier was covered by clouds so we didn't get to see it from the base of the mountain but it was still super pretty!  There were some amazing sights to see and it was a nice stress-free activity compared to this last week. :)  Dad, we definitely have to go hiking at Mount Rainier when we come back up here after I get home :)

Hope everyone's week went well!  Glad it's a new week..... Having a little bit of a cold is not fun on a mission but I am on the mend now, thank goodness!  Hope everyone has a great week!  Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 68

This week was pretty good :)  Nothing super exciting happened this week though.  It was just a normal missionary week :) Hopefully this week will be better :)  We did get the opportunity to ride bikes for a few hours so I had to include a picture.  And Sister Evans-Bottoms and I made cake pops that were super good :)
This week, Sister Evans-Bottoms and I have made a goal to talk to 100% of the people that we see.  That's going to be difficult but we are going to work hard at it :)
My plan for the Elder Ballard Challenge:
* Sister Evans-Bottoms and I are going to each set a personal minimal goal every day for how many people we each individually want to talk to. This goal will be bumped up as we accomplish that specific goal.
* We also thought about how much time we spend specifically contacting and decided that we need to set aside time each day that we will contact only.
* I am going to also pray for more charity and love for the people, as well as pray to see them as Heavenly Father sees them. A return missionary spoke in church yesterday and he said a great quote that explains this thought so much better, "Whatever is holding you back, love the Savior more to get over it." The Savior is truly the way that we can overcome the things that we need to so we can become more like Him. I am going to apply the Atonement more in my life, especially this week as I work at talking with everyone.
Mom, Grandma Hills sent me a letter and if you could just let her know that I got it.  Also, Sister Condie (up here in Lakota Creek) is the Young Women's president and is looking for fun activities/advice for that calling.  I thought I would ask you about ideas and such if you have any.  Also, someone I was talking with this week asked me about what I am going to do for school once I get home and they mentioned that sometimes there are scholarships for return missionaries.  I was wondering if you could check that out for me if you have time.  Thanks!

Hope this email finds everyone well :)  Love you all and have a great week!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, August 18, 2014

Week 67

Hey Everyone!
This week was a great one when it came to teaching lessons :)  We were able to have a few great lessons with a couple of our investigators :) 
We had a pretty good lesson with our investigator, Carey, on Wednesday.  We taught her the Restoration.  We found that she might have issues with understanding authority.  Apparently, the church she attends does blessings by the laying on of hands and so she doesn't quite understand authority yet, but we are going to help her understand this week!
We also had a great lesson with Kristen on Wednesday night.  We were able to see where she is at right now and commit her to pray about a specific date for baptism.  I can't wait to follow up with her on Wednesday to see if she has picked a date and prayed about it :)  I think we are making some headway with her :)
Sunday morning, we had a lesson with one of our former investigators.  Her name is Tracey and she is golden :)  I am so excited to continue to teach her and to help her make and keep commitments.  We taught the Plan of Salvation and the Spirit was really strong :)
Zone conference is this week.... and it's my last one before I go home..... WEIRD!  I have to give my departing testimony which is super weird.... Zone conference is going to be great though!  It's all going to be on how to help our investigators act in the learning process and to help them exercise their faith.
Check out these couple videos on  Mormon Channel!

Hope everyone's week is great!  Love you all!
Sister Megan Hills


* A coke that we found and it had my name on it :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 66

Hey Everyone!
This week was pretty good :)  It was a little bit of a slower week but it still was pretty good :) We were able to talk to quite a few people and were able to have a few lessons.  All I can really say about this week is I am SO excited that I am companions with Sister Evans-Bottoms!  She is an amazing missionary and just in the last week, we have found that we have so many things in common.  It is super fun to be her companion.  She has been out for 13 months and is from Oklahoma City.  Sister Evans-Bottoms and I served around each other while we were down in Graham so it's still a shock to be put with her as my new companion.  This is going to be a great transfer!  Can't wait to see where it goes!  Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Week 65

Hey Everyone!
So this week wasn't super eventful but it was still good :) Transfers are today! I am staying in Lakota Creek again and Sister Rachel Evans-Bottoms is my new companion!  I am excited to serve with her :)  I went on exchanges with her a couple times down in Graham and she's a great missionary :)  I am sad to see Sister Swapp and Elder Dawson go but that's what Heavenly Father needs them to do so oh well.
We went on exchanges this week with Sister Wolfe and Sister Alder.  They are some great sisters!  For the first 2 hours of the exchange, we all stayed in Lakota Creek and did what is called a "blitz."  We went and visited Former Investigators and Potential Investigators to see if any of them are interested in learning more.  It was a huge success!  We were able to get some return appointments with some of those that we talked with!  While we were on exchanges, Sister Alder and I talked to one of our neighbors, Amber, and she was interested in learning more :)  We had a great lesson with her on Wednesday and can't wait to keep teaching her!
I think other than that, nothing much happened this week.  We did talk to TONS of people this week which was great!  Hope this email finds everyone well!  Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, July 28, 2014

Week 64

Hey Everyone!
This week was pretty uneventful.... Sister Swapp was sick for most of the week so we didn't really get to go out and work at all :(  But she's feeling better now so that is super good :)
Yesterday was probably the most eventful day of the week.  We sang in church yesterday which went really well!  We had just got done practicing before church and Brother Woods (our ward mission leader) texted us and asked us if we could teach the Gospel Principles class.... we hadn't even looked at what the lesson was going to be on..... So that was pretty eventful!  Shelia came to church again yesterday which was great!  I feel like we are making some great progress with her and hopefully that continues to happen :)
That's about it for the week..... sorry it's a super short email!  I hope that this email finds everyone healthy and doing well.  Love you all!
Sister Megan Hills

P.S. Mom, I'm reading the Book of Mormon again in 96 days!  I started on Thursday and I will finish on the day that I come home :)  If any of you want to join me, feel free to! :)  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Week 63

This week was great! :)  There were lots of highlights so hopefully I can get them all in here and say everything I want to say about them :)

Monday: Nothing super exciting happened :)  It was just a normal P-day :)

Tuesday:  We had Zone Meeting and it was great!  It was all on Family History and how to help investigators, members, and less-active members get into doing family history :)  I learned so much about how to use Family History better and how to apply it in my own life.  One thing that was super cool was at the end of the meeting, the Zone Leaders had us write down our own individual plans on how to further the Work of Salvation once we get home.  We could write down anything from keeping a journal to doing temple work for our ancestors.  It was super cool to decide what I could do to further the work even though I won't be a missionary.  I also got your package Mom, and I LOVED the shirt! :)  Thanks so much! :)

Wednesday:  We were able to have an awesome lesson with our investigator, Kristen.  Kristen has been meeting with missionaries for a really long time and hasn't gotten baptized yet.  We had a mini testimony meeting and really got a feel for what is holding her back and what we can do to help her understand the importance of being baptized.  I can't wait to see what is going to happen with her :)

Thursday:  Nothing to report here except we were able to do some service for a non-member who is friends with our ward mission leader's family.  Super fun!  Oh and I also finished Jesus the Christ!  It was such a good book and I can't wait to read it again!

Friday:  We had interviews with President Eaton and it was great!  I learned a lot from him in a very short amount of time.  He also told Sister Swapp that one of us is getting transferred in just about 2 weeks.  It will be interesting to see what happens at transfers.  

Saturday:  Best day of the week!  Courtney was baptized!  It was such an amazing day!  Courtney's husband was able to baptize her and her In-Laws came up from Logan to be there for them.  It was super cute because Brooke (6) and Everleigh (3), Courtney's two cute girls, sang "Follow the Prophet" as the special musical number.  The Spirit was super strong and I am so glad that Heavenly Father allowed Sister Swapp and I to teach Courtney and prepare her for baptism. 

Sunday:  Courtney was confirmed in church today!  We had a great lesson on fasting in Gospel Principles and one on the Holy Ghost in Relief Society!  One thing that happened at church that was a shocker to us was.... SHELIA came to church!  Shelia's our investigator that had the issues with the Priesthood but she came to church  yesterday and we had no clue that she was planning on coming.  A couple former sister missionaries came up to visit this weekend and were able to talk Shelia into coming to church.  From the few things that Shelia said about church, she really enjoyed it!  We have an appointment with her tonight so we will get to talk to her about it :)  

This week should be super great too!  Next Sunday is going to be great because Sister Swapp and I get to sing in church :)  It's going to be great!  Hope everyone's week goes well!  Thanks for everything!  Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, July 14, 2014

Week 62

This week was good :)  Sort of a blur but it still was a good one.
We had some great lessons with Courtney and were able to help her prepare even more for her baptism :)  She is getting baptized on SATURDAY!!!!  I am so excited for her :) She is so excited and can see how the gospel has influenced and changed her life for the better :) She had her baptismal interview yesterday and passed with flying colors :)  She is even recognizing that Satan is working on her this week already which I feel solidifies her testimony even more :) Apparently she got kind of emotional during her baptismal interview as she was talking about how her search for truth started.  Their family had someone really close to them (like an aunt or cousin, can't remember which) pass away, and while Courtney was talking to her girls about it, her oldest daughter, Brooke, said, "I don't want to be a person anymore because we just die."  Courtney couldn't provide answers or comfort to Brooke and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was the only church that could provide those answers.  Courtney was truly prepared for us to come and teach her and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father trusted me to be the one to teach her.
My birthday was good :)  We celebrated with free slurpees at 711 :)  Best thing ever!  It's weird to think that I am 21 :) definitely don't feel that old :D
I think that's about it for the week :)  I can't wait for this week!  It's going to be great!
Love you all!
Sister Megan Hills

P.S. Look at this HUGE spider that was in our bathroom sink one morning.... GROSS!!!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Week 61

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July week!  I know I did!  A member in our ward was having a party from 12-6pm and we got to go for an hour which was awesome!  Brother Jarstad is an eye doctor so he has a huge house and they had a live band at their party.  I think the lead singer of Kiss was in the band so Brother Jarstad had Brother Shaffer paint his face like the lead singer of Kiss and ended up dressing up like Kiss :)  It was so funny!  That's the pic of the week :D
I think the highlight of this week was our lesson with our new investigator, Carey!  Carey is awesome!  She grew up Catholic but is now attending a Christian church.  She lives with her in-laws, who are ordained ministers for the church that she attends.  She decided that she wants to pursue her own path so that's how we ended up teaching her.  We were able to have a lesson with her and it was awesome! She is such a great lady! She had a few questions which we answered but we taught her most of the Restoration while we were there :) We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon too and she asked if she could keep the copy that we had given her to look at :) We have another appointment with her on Tuesday and we can't wait!
We also were able to swing by Shelia's to see how she was doing and to help her understand the Priesthood a little bit better and that went well. It definitely went better than I thought it was going to.  She said that she understood it better especially how we explained it.  Hopefully her heart will continue to be softened and she will be more willing to follow the Savior.
So HUGE news this week!  Officially in the fall we will be getting IPads :)  It's going to be so exciting!  But of course, it's right before I go home :D  Oh well :D  Here's the link:
So this week, I have been thinking a lot about the Priesthood, especially because of what happened last week with our investigator.  I was reading "Continue in Patience"  by President Uchtdorf and had a cool thought :)  President Uchtdorf said, "Let us always remember that one of the reasons God has entrusted the priesthood to us is to help prepare us for eternal blessings by refining our natures through the patience which priesthood service requires."  I thought about how females learn patience (as well as other attributes) as we raise our children and nurture them, but how men aren't normally home raising the kids to learn those attributes.  Heavenly Father gave the men the priesthood so that they have the opportunity to develop those attributes so they can become more like the Savior.
Mom, sleeping has been better this week :)  Thank goodness!  I hopefully will continue to sleep well :)  One other thing, there is a lady in my ward whose name is Christine Evans and she is related to Bishop David Evans :)  I can't remember which wife she is related to but I'm pretty sure it's not Mary Beck.  It was so cool to talk to her about it and to see some of the books that she has about Bishop David Evans.
Dad, random thought but we were going to an appointment for Sister Swapp up in Renton and there is an iFly on our way up there :)  I remember when you went there and I think about you every time I see that place :)
I hope everyone has a fantastic week!  Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 60

This week was an interesting one.  It was pretty rough, filled with some disappointment, but we did have some good things happen still.   A couple of our investigators dropped us this week and told us that they didn't want to be taught anymore... Shelia was a big blow to us.  Shelia had committed to come to church a week ago Sunday but she never showed up.  When we went to see why she didn't come, she went off about the lady who was excommunicated recently.  Shelia is very passionate about women having equal opportunities to do things and that totally rubbed her the wrong way.  My heart sunk when she told us that but I am trying to not let it bug me.  Our other investigator, Terri, was sad too but not as sad as Shelia.  We found that Terri responded really well to music and so we had decided to sing "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and teach the Restoration.  The lesson started out really well... until we started to use the pamphlet to teach the Restoration.  We had left a pamphlet with Terri on a previous lesson and after we sang, Terri started to nit-pick everything in the pamphlet, wording and all.  Terri wasn't willing to listen or learn about anything new.  It's always sad when that happens but it happens on a mission, unfortunately. 
On the plus side, we had our Community BBQ and it was a big success :)  There were lots of people there and we managed to run out of food in an hour and a half, with 1 1/2 hours still to go.  There were a lot of nice people there and we were able to talk with some people who seemed pretty interested :)
I think that's about it for the week.  Can't believe that it's already the end of June!  Time is flying!
Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Week 59

This week was great! Some exciting things happened! 
Transfers..... I am STAYING in Lakota Creek with Sister Swapp!  This is going to be a great transfer! :)  I can't wait! Elder Dawson is staying but Elder Nguyen is leaving.... sad day but he will do great wherever Heavenly Father needs him!

We met with our investigator Shelia and she committed to come to church on Sunday (which is huge for her)! Unfortunately, she didn't show for some reason, but she was really committed to come so we will help her get there this Sunday! Courtney is committed to baptism on July 19th! We ended up pushing her baptism back because her In-laws want to come and that is the earliest they are able to come. We received some direction today from the First Presidency to teach lesson 5 before baptism as well as after (normally we teach it after baptism).  I thought it was really cool how Heavenly Father really does have a plan for our lives and He prepares us, and the people that we work with, in ways that will bless us for eternity!

We were able to do service on Friday for Steel Lake Park and then we did an entire zone service yesterday pulling weeds at a baseball diamond! :)  It was super fun!  I got super sunburned yesterday but it was great anyway!  I just am really sore now so hopefully it won't last too long!

That's about it for the week!  Hope everyone has a great one and finds many opportunities to serve Heavenly Father this week!
Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 58

Hey hey!
So this email is going to pretty short because I don't have a lot of time.  This week was pretty good :)  I was exhausted all week from not sleeping super well but it still was good :)
Life still continues with talking with everyone.... I am continuing to work really hard at it and I am slowly growing but I am going to work even harder at talking with everyone this week.  I have seen some cool blessings and experiences from doing it, I just have to make it a habit now :)
Our investigator, Courtney, is still committed to baptism on July 5th and she is doing SO good! :)  We taught the Word of Wisdom to her this week and was totally fine with not drinking coffee anymore :) I really feel like she knows that the church is true and she knows how much just meeting with us has changed her life and influenced her family! :)  I love her and her family so much and am so happy for them! :)
We had zone meeting this past week and it was so good!  We talked about families and how we can connect that to the gospel and help others realize how the family is central to the gospel and the Plan of Salvation.  I learned so much!
Mom, Sister Russell (the one you texted for a few hours) is moving to Utah this weekend and she said she is willing to take a package of stuff for me.  I am sending all my winter stuff home since I won't need it, and a bunch of other stuff that I am just lugging around/not using.  She probably won't get it to you until next week but it will be coming :)
Dad (and everyone else out there), I hope you had a happy Father's Day :)  
Well, hope all is well at home or wherever you are :)  Keep up the great work with everything you are doing :)  Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 57

This week was great!  Honestly, I don't remember too much of what happened... just busy and quick.  We had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon with Courtney last Monday and she is progressing well!  She is still coming to church and has been reading the Book of Mormon too!  We were also able to have a lot of opportunities for service this week :)  I loved being out in the sun and helping others :) This next week should be great as well!  We have a lot going on, which is awesome!

I am still working hard at talking with everyone but it is slowly getting better :)  I was able to have 1 conversation a day with someone which is better than what it has been :)  I will definitely continue to work up to 10 conversations a day as I replace my fear with faith :)

This morning was interesting..... It started off with me waking up at 4:00am, wide awake and ready to start the day.  I fell asleep until 6:30 and the day continued as normal.  10:00 rolls around and we are waiting for the Federal Way Sisters to come pick us up.  We text them and get no response from them... so we text our District Leader because we start to worry that something happened to them.  Finally at 12:00pm, the Zone Leaders call and ask, "What would it take for us to be forgiven? We rearranged P-day rides and sort of forgot about the two of you."  Such a funny experience.... This week is going to be interesting if it's starting out like this....

Thanks for everything!  Love you all!
Sister Megan Hills

P.S. Mom, the camera cards are fine to be sent whenever you can :)  I should be fine if it's not for a couple weeks :)  Another question, in the next package you send, could you send my graduation dress, cream shoes, and cream belt?  The belt should be in one of the drawers of my dresser.  I don't know why I didn't bring them with me but if you can get them to fit that would be great!  If not, don't worry about it :) Love you!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 56

Hey everyone!
This week was great!  We saw so many miracles as we really made the effort of talking with everyone! :)  We had some great lessons with investigators and less-active members this week but I really saw the miracles start on Friday while we were on exchanges with Sister Wolfe!  It was so great!  While we were on exchanges, I noticed that I was compelled to go and talk with everyone, which I haven't been super great at (as far as transitioning to a gospel message).  When we were talking with someone and other people passed by, I was thinking to myself "wow, there's tons of people to talk with and some of them we don't get to because we are in other conversations."  It was amazing to see how the Lord really places people in our path or He places us in their path.  We were able to find a bunch a great potential investigators and even set up some appointments with them for this week!  I am so excited to continue to talk with everyone now! :)
On Friday, we were pulling into an apartment complex and noticed a girl sitting on the curb and she looked like she was or had been crying.  As we drove past, Sister Swapp and I both felt like we needed to go talk to her.  We parked the car and then walked back to where she was sitting.  Her name is Holly, she's 20, and she is having a tough life right now.  Her boyfriend just passed away, she's homeless, and she has a rough family situation.  We just started to talk to her and testified to her about how the Savior truly knows how she felt and about the Plan of Salvation.  It was cool to see how her countenance changed while we were talking to her.  By the time we finished talking to her, she looked happier and was excited to read the Book of Mormon.  I hope we will be able to meet up with her again so we can keep teaching her.  I think this made more of an impact on me because of seeing the miracles that come from talking with everyone on exchanges.  I think if this had happened before exchanges, i don't know if I would have gone up and talked to her about the gospel.
Other big news this week..... COURTNEY IS COMMITTED TO BAPTISM ON JULY 5th! :)  We had a fantastic lesson with her on Friday.  We taught the Restoration and all of us could feel the Spirit so strongly!  She had no hesitation when she said that she would get baptized which was awesome!  She's been to church 3 times, occasionally drinks coffee (don't know when her last cup was) and is reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it and Joseph Smith!  She is GOLDEN!  Sister Swapp and I are super excited and so is Courtney.  Miracle!
That's about it for the week! :)  I can't wait to see what miracles come to us this week!
Love you all!
Sister Megan Hills

P.S. Look up Genesis 49:22-- Elder Dawson found this during the week.  It's a prophecy about the Book of Mormon :)  Apparently, a long time ago, people would call the ocean a "wall" because they couldn't cross it.  Such a cool thing to think about!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 55

This week was pretty good :)  It was definitely a very spiritual week, with Zone Conference and Stake Conference.  I learned so much at Zone Conference that I am excited to work into the work here in Lakota Creek :)
* Monday:  We had a great preparation day and then we also had a great lesson with Joy, a less-active in our ward.  The Spirit was SO strong in our lesson.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and how it blesses our lives.  It was sad to see how she wouldn't commit to read the Book of Mormon every day, just because she likes to read other things.  I know that she felt the Spirit though, because we felt it.  I know that all of us will find strength and power in the Book of Mormon as we read it everyday. 
* Tuesday:  Zone Conference!  I love Zone Conferences!  They are always so powerful and amazing!  This Zone Conference, we talked a bunch about the Atonement and how to apply it into our lives.  2 things that I learned:
1) D&C 84: 19-21
    This scripture says that in order to fully access the power of the Atonement of Christ in our lives, we have to partake of the ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I love that it teaches us that.  We truly have to partake of all the ordinances of the gospel (baptism, endowment, sealings, etc.) in order to have full access to the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
2) Sister Eaton told this story of a little boy that was playing a game or sport with other kids.  This little boy wasn't doing great but at the end of the game, he told his parents, "I won because I never gave up!"  I think that this is such a great thing to remember, especially when you don't think that you are being successful.  As long as we are trying to do our best, we will always succeed :)
* Wednesday:  Normal missionary work... Talking with everyone that we saw and taught a few really great lessons.
* Thursday:  We met with our investigator Courtney.  It was a super good lesson :)  We taught her and her family the Plan of Salvation and it went super well :)  You could really feel the Spirit in the lesson and I can't wait to go teach her again tonight :)
* Friday:  More service at Steel Lake Park :)  It was so fun! :)  We were laying sod and finishing up the last little things before the park opens again in 3 weeks :)  They are almost done and it is looking great! :)  I got super soaked this time around because it was raining again and the sprinklers came on while we were working but it was fun all the same! :)
* Saturday:  Normal everyday missionary work again :) We were able to go to the Adult Session of Stake Conference, which was something new for us as missionaries :)  They talked about hastening the work and it was so good! :)  One of the speakers was a recent convert of 2 months but he sounded like he had been a member his entire life!  He did such a great job and he talked about the Holy Ghost and how that is how he knew that the Gospel was true.  It was so powerful!  The Stake President also spoke and his talk was awesome too!  Something he said that I really liked was "the Gospel is like music.  it doesn't need to always be defended but it does need to be played."  We just need to "play" the gospel and get it out into the world, regardless of what results come from it.
* Sunday:  We had the General Session of Stake Conference.  It was so good! :)  Such an uplifting conference :)  One of the Counselors in the Stake Presidency spoke and he talked about coal fires that happen in the mines.  He talked about 2 types of fires that could be burning within us, 1) the fire of pride, and 2) the fire of murmuring.  While he was taking about the fire of murmuring, he told the parable that is in D&C 101: 43-64.  He talked about how the Lord of the vineyard wanted his servants to build a tower for a watchman.  He then talked about how we need to build towers in times of peace so that we can be prepared.  The Seattle Temple President and his wife was at Stake conference as well and they talked a lot about the temple and how we are blessed as we serve in the temple :)  Then the Stake President, President Nicholls, talked about having hope in the Atonement.  He talked a lot about how perfection is not the standard to enter the temple, and how it isn't a standard to even to enter the Celestial Kingdom.  He also talked about how we can receive Christ's grace:  1) we have to believe that Christ can save us, 2) We need to make and keep the covenants of the gospel, 3) we need to pursue virtue.  He also made some great promises to us as we have hope in the Atonement.
This week was such a great one, one definitely filled with the Spirit!  I am so thankful for this time that I have to feel and recognize the Spirit in my life and that I have this opportunity to help others feel and recognize those promptings that they receive :)
Thanks for everything :)  Hope everyone has a great week! Love you all!

Sister Megan Hills

Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 54

First week of the transfers and it was good :)  Nothing super exciting happened this week but it still was good :) We were able to find a couple really great potential investigators.  I am super excited to see what is going to happen to them :)  They will totally make some great members :)  
Yesterday we also had our second Missionary Devotional and it was super good :)  There was one recent convert that bore her testimony about the Holy Ghost and receiving forgiveness that was super good :) 
Hopefully next week I will have a little bit more to talk about :)  I am so thankful for this opportunity that I have to serve a mission and for the things I am learning and doing :)  It truly is a great blessing :)
Love you all! :)

Sister Megan Hills

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week 53.... Lost tract of the week last week

Whew!  This week has been an interesting one.... and a quick one at that.  I don't really even remember what happened.  I know Sister Swapp and I have been working really hard this week but it also was a tough week.  We had to work so hard at having the motivation to go out and actually work.  It definitely has been an interesting one.  

We did have some great experiences though!  
Monday, we celebrated Cinco De Mayo by eating tacos :)  They were yummy! :)

Tuesday, last district meeting of the transfer :)  Took some fun pictures :)

Wednesday, was on exchanges with Sister Sharp.  Super fun!

Thursday, we found a new investigator!  Her name is Courtney and she's from a Part-Member family!  Her husband is Less-Active so we are working with them to get them to come back to church.  She is such a wonderful person!  Her girls wanted to start going to church so they have come to church for the past 2 weeks!  They lived in Logan for a while so she knows quite a bit about the church but she is really wanting to learn.  We are so excited to teach them and help them come closer to the Savior.

Friday...... Service at the park...... in a torrential rainstorm!!!! That was an interesting experience :)  But it was so fun all the same!  All the missionaries were soaked to the bone when we were done but it was totally worth it :) 

Saturday..... was AWESOME!  The Elder's investigator Nick was baptized and so was our investigator Rob! :)  It was such a blessing to attend both baptisms and to feel the Spirit so strongly!  Both Rob and Nick will do wonderful things in the church as they continue to grow closer to the Savior! :)

Sunday was such a beautiful Mother's Day!  Sister Swapp and I did something super fun too!  We bought a little bunch of 10 flowers and delivered them to our "mothers" in the ward that we really appreciated.  It was so cool to see how much that touched those that we gave them too.  I would do that everyday if there were a reason to give out flowers :)

Yesterday was such a great day too!  Sometimes I totally dread the Monday before transfers because it always seems like the day goes super, super slow but this Monday was great!  We were able to see a lot of people and we definitely were led by the Spirit.  We were supposed to have a lesson with our investigator, Shelia, at 2:00 and when we got there, she was just leaving to go somewhere.  We decided that we would come back in a little bit and have a lesson.  Well, because of things that were going on yesterday afternoon, we weren't able to go back to Shelia's until around 7:00 that night.  Let me just say though, that was EXACTLY when we were supposed to go back though.  Sister Swapp and I talked about how if we had come back in the afternoon, we probably wouldn't have had the same conversation that we ended up having.  Shelia really opened up about her family and what happened with her daughter over the weekend.  It was such a great experience to be there to listen and to strengthen her faith that the Savior really knows her and knows what she is going through.  We gave her "You Matter to Him" by President Uchtdorf for her to read.  She skimmed over the first page and a half and then told us, "This is exactly what I need right now."  It was such a testimony-builder to me to know that we were following the Spirit and that we were where we were supposed to be.

Last but not least..... TRANSFERS!  I am staying put in Federal Way for another 6 weeks! :)  I am so excited!  I love this area and this ward!  Elder Dawson (from my MTC district) is going to be our new District Leader.  He is going to do a great job!  Can't wait to see what this new transfer will bring!

Love you all!
Sister Megan Hills