Hello from Brazil! I didn't think I'd be serving foreign! Just kidding..... kind of. Wednesday I found out that I would be transferred to the Honey Creek ward, which is a ward in Terre Haute. The ward covers 2 counties though, and our proselyting area is Clay County which is where we live; Brazil, Indiana. The reason I said I was just kind of kidding about serving foreign, is that Brazil is quite the place. It's a really old city, and the people are pretty poor, but it's a really cool place. There used to be a branch out here in Brazil, but it didn't end up working out, so it just became part of the Honey Creek ward. We are the second set of missionaries to be here, and before us there haven't been missionaries here in Brazil and Clay County for over 10 years! The other Honey Creek missionaries wouldn't go out that direction very often, because it's about 30 minutes out of Terre Haute, so there's a lot of work for us to do here.
My new companion's name is Elder Easter. He's been out 3 and a half months (and I've only been out 2, crazy I know!) and we got double-transferred in. Which means neither of us were in this area. So last week was a little stressful to figure out where we were, and how to get around, and who people to visit were. To add on to that, the last Elders didn't leave very good records, so we basically had to start out fresh. We're starting to figure out why it is that we got double-transferred in; we've heard and realized some interesting things about the last Elders.
Last week, we met with the Honey Creek Bishop. He is a really nice guy. He's a judge here in Terre Haute, and pretty much everyone in town knows who he is. He's very missionary minded, and he put us right to work, visiting lots of people out our direction. He invited us over to dinner on Sunday for a fish fry. There we ate fried catfish, snapping turtle, and a raw fish salad. The people out here are definitely what we like to call "true hoosiers".
I'm going to rewind a little bit. On Tuesday, before I got transferred, we had a lesson with Ben. He told us that he felt like we were pushing him to be baptized, and that he didn't feel quite ready to be baptized on the 7th of September. We had a really spiritual lesson and told him that this was all about him and if it felt like we were dragging him to be baptized on the 7th, than we were doing our job as missionaries poorly. He said he'd keep reading and praying to find answers. I'm sure he will be baptized, it's just a matter of time. At the end of the lesson, I sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and bore my testimony to him for one last time. It's been really cool to teach him and to share my testimony with him, and he know he was one of the reasons I needed to serve in Avon those short 6 weeks. It was hard to leave just a few weeks before he'll be baptized, but I know I'll keep in touch with him for a long time. (The first picture is me with him. The picture was kind of taken at a weird time, so we look like we're fake smiling, but the other one was blurry, so I guess I'll go with this one. And the other picture is Elder Ernest and I with a Muslim guy we were teaching named Feroze Ohab who was really cool.)
Well things are going great out here. Change is hard, but it's also exciting. I'm excited for this new challenge, and Elder Easter and I have already seen miracles.
I love all of you!
Elder Tom Hill
P.S. I'm emailing today instead of yesterday because of Labor Day....but you probably figured that out. Just thought I'd let you know! Love you!
Elder Hill and Ben
Elder Hill, Feroze Ohab, and Elder Ernest