Missionary buddies

Missionary buddies

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

From Brazil

Hello from the beautiful metropolis of Brazil!
This has quite possibly been the best week I've had so far in Brazil! It was exhausting and busy, but that's why it was so good! We taught the most lessons we have this week and we've seen a lot of our investigators begin to progress!
Brenda has been doing great! I can't remember if I've talked about her before, but she's our investigator with a  baptismal date. She came to church yesterday with two of her grandsons! We're teaching her son's family too who lives next door, but the parents haven't seemed really excited to come to church or keep any commitments, but their kids wanted to come. I heard from the sister missionaries that Brenda even stood up in Relief Society and bore her testimony. Woohoo! We're shooting to have her baptized in the middle of December, but depending on how the next few lessons go we could move it up. Next week, we're going to teach the Word of Wisdom and help her stop smoking. If any of you have experiences from your mission that helped people stop smoking, I'd love to hear them, because I haven't done this yet as a missionary.
Elder Wallace and I have been getting along really well here. We have a lot of laughs and a lot of fun, while still working hard, so that's nice. One of our best laughs this week happened on Friday. The Sisters in Terre Haute found a headquarters referral hidden in their area book and texted it to us on Thursday night, so Friday morning we decided to go visit it. We were really excited and hurried over there to talk to this referral. While we were walking down the road we saw a burned down house, and I said, "Oh no..." Sure shootin', the house number, 31 south, was still visible on the house. It must have been a pretty old referral.... We had a good laugh about that one.

We had one disappointment this week with an investigator named Joey. We went to teach him on Thursday and he didn't answer the door. We visited him again on Saturday and he came and talked to us. He says he's not sure if he still wants to meet with us because the church he goes to told him that the Mormons take him away from the truth and all sorts of things. To add to that, they told him to rip up the Book of Mormon they gave him because they said it was a bad book. This church gives us a lot of grief because they are very anti. Another one of our investigators goes to that church and she has heard all sorts of weird rumors about us. It's kind of crazy to me that we would get so much opposition from some people when we're two guys that aren't even 20! Anyway he said he'd pray about it and let us know if he still wants to meet with us, so I hope it all works out.
The members here are very supportive like I said before. Our washing machine broke down on Monday, and we were told it would be fixed pretty quickly, but it still hasn't. Brother Spencer let us come and do our wash, so that sure helped. To add to that, he gave me a cake, card, and a box of pop-tarts. He's a super cool guy! The members here are the best, and they're all very close to each other and the missionaries. There's not a lot of members here in Brazil and the surrounding areas, and all of them except one are converts, so they love missionaries.
My birthday was great. Thank you so much to everyone for the things that were sent this week. I couldn't do this without all of the support back home.
Well it's been a great week and I hope it's been a good week for everyone back home! Love you all! :)
Elder Tom Hill
P.S. I added some of you to my weekly email group because I thought some of you might want to get this each week. If you don't, just let me know. Adios!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hello from Brazil

Greetings Earthlings!

I say that because this week one of our investigators told us that she
had heard Mormons believe that we were aliens before we came to Earth!
I hear some crazy stuff out here! Anyway, hello family! :) This has
been an awesome week here. We got lots of work done and we had some
great experiences!

Tuesday night I got a call from my pops (Elder Ernest) and he told me
Ben was going to be baptized on the 26th and so that was awesome! And
then Saturday morning he called again and said he decided to move it
up a week! So we had a late night expedition to Avon to see Ben get
baptized!! Elder Ernest baptized him and it was easily the best
experience of my mission. The last lesson I had with Ben, I bore my
testimony and also sang hymn 136, I Know That My Redeemer Lives. When
Elder Ernest left Avon two weeks ago, he did the same thing but sang
Lord, I Would Follow Thee. Those were the two songs Ben chose for the
service. It was a great night and it was so cool to be a part of that!
When I was in Avon, Ben told Elder Ernest and I that he would keep in
touch with us, and I hope that's true.

This week we had quite a few lessons. We meet the most interesting
characters in Brazil. It always keeps us entertained. We taught two
guys yesterday that kept saying I looked like Eli Manning and Elder
Wallace had nice eyes. I would rather be Peyton Manning, but that
works too I guess. There's actually some potential with those guys
though, they were saying that we were different than what they had
heard about Mormon missionaries. And that's a good thing, because they
hadn't heard too good of things about us. They were excited when we
gave them each a Book of Mormon to read. We're meeting with them again
on Tuesday, so hopefully that works out.

Brenda, our investigator with a baptismal date of December 21st, has
been doing pretty well. We are starting to meet with her twice a week
now and she's already started to make changes in her life to prepare
for baptism. She didn't come to church on Sunday, but we will talk to
her tonight and see what kept her from coming.

One really cool experience this week that I know lots of people back
home will be jealous of is, is that I volunteered at the NCAA Cross
Country Pre-National meet. It would've been cooler if I was with my
running buddies, because the other elders didn't see the big
excitement was about a bunch of people running, but I still had fun!
We saw Utah State there, but they only had their top-7 with them. I
looked for people I knew, like Austin Costley, but he must not be in
their top-7 or wasn't able to make it or something.

After the Cross Country meet, we went to a pig roast that our Bishop
has every year. He's a judge in town and he seriously knows just about
everyone who lives in Terre Haute. So there were a lot of people
there, and it was a good experience. Our Bishop is an awesome guy
along with the other members. They're very supportive of us and I hope
I don't leave here anytime soon, because I'm starting to get attached
to them.

It's been a great week here. Thanks for the support! I love all of you
and I'm grateful for all you do for me! I hope you have a great week!


Elder Tom Hill
Elder Hill, Ben, and Elder Ernest

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Conference and Transfers

Hello family!

This has been an awesome week! Conference was the perfect way to end
it! Maybe it's just because I'm a missionary, but I think it was the
best conference I've ever heard. Anyway, I'll talk about that more in
a bit!

I'll start with the biggest news! We got transfer calls last night and
I am staying here in Brazil. That made me happy because I feel like
there is a lot of work I can do here, and I'm excited to see it
progress. (It also made me happy because NCAA Cross Country Nationals
and Pre-Nationals are in East Terre Haute in November and December and
our Bishop said he could get us in to volunteer there. Awesome,
right??) Elder Easter is leaving and both of us are training new
missionaries. So on Wednesday we will go to transfer meetings and I
will meet my first born in the wilderness. I'm excited to train, but
also nervous. It's a lot of responsibility, but I know the Lord will
help me out!

Conference was incredible! I feel like Saturday's sessions were
focused on missionary work! I loved Elder Perry's talk about members
being key to the work. Something we've been trying to do with members
is to help them create their own family mission plans with specific
goals of people they will talk to, numbers of people they want to
invite to church and activities, and gospel discussions they will have
with coworkers, friends and family. I'd invite you to do the same
thing! If there is a plan, we can accomplish so much more than if we
just go into something blindly. This is especially true with
missionary work! President Monson announced that there are 15 million
members in the world now and 80,000 missionaries. I want to change
that a little bit. There are 15 million missionaries in the world now
and 80,000 of us are focusing on it 24/7. That changes perspective a
little bit. Imagine how much missionary work could be done with 15
million people all trying to share the gospel! Pretty incredible.

Just like any week there were some set backs and frustrations. We
invited three people to come watch General Conference with us, and
they were all pretty excited to come, but none of them came and didn't
answer our calls when we tried to call them. It was a little
frustrating, but that's just a minor setback. The work is starting to
get rolling here in this area, and good things will start happening
these next few months.

I hope everything's going well back home! I've heard some people tell
me things about conference already, but I'd love to hear everyone's
insights. I know the men and women that addressed were inspired and
that those messages can greatly bless our lives and the whole world. I
know President Monson's our prophet upon the earth today, and that the
other apostles really are the Lord's apostles and are guided and
inspired by Him.

I love you all, and I hope you have a great week! Being a missionary
rocks! (<--- exclamation point!) :)

Elder Tom Hill

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


This has been a pretty good week here in Brazil. It was definitely
better than last week, but that wasn't really hard to beat. We got 5
new investigators this week, and I think the work is really starting
to get rolling here in Brazil.One of our new investigators is named
Reni and she seems really solid! We taught her about the first vision
and the Spirit was so strong as we were talking about it. We asked her
what her thoughts were on it and she said, "I could see how that could
really happen." It was awesome! She's so cool. She told us the reason
she wanted to meet with us is that she wanted to know why Mormons are
so happy. She was committed to come to church yesterday, but it rained
like crazy yesterday morning! She called us about 10 minutes before
church started and told us that she wouldn't be able to make it
because of the rain and she was worried about driving because her eyes
aren't very good. I couldn't blame her! My eyes are pretty good with
my contacts and I was kind of sketched out driving! We'll meet with
her again sometime this next week and I'm really excited for that,
because she is definitely our most solid investigator in this area.

Speaking of this area, I got some bad news about my last area from
Elder Ernest. He sent me an email today and told me Ben hasn't met
with them since we met with him last. He also told me the momentum
that started to get going in Avon has kind of died off, but hopefully
it will start going again. It made me sad to hear that, but he says
Ben is still coming to church at least, he's just not progressing past

Last night we had a fireside with the members that just live
specifically here in Brazil. It was great. They had Elder Easter and I
give a message on missionary work, and it was probably the best we
have taught together while we've been here in Brazil. The Spirit was
really strong. The members here are very supportive and they are
excited to have missionaries again. I wouldn't be surprised if in less
than a year, Brazil has a branch again. The work is definitely
starting to hasten in this area, and the members can tell too. I just
hope I can stay here a little bit longer so I can see this area start
to have some success. I'll find out on Sunday what's happening.

I can't wait for conference! I think it will have a totally different
meaning to me now that I'm a missionary. My testimony of the
Restoration, prophets, the church organization, and Heavenly Father
have sky rocketed these last 3 months! Which reminds me, my three
month mark is a few days away. Crazy right? It's an eighth of the way
done, so it's like the first lap in a 3200m. That's kind of crazy to
think about.

Thank you all for the emails and letters. I've received a lot this
week! I love all of you! :) Have a great week!!

Elder Tom Hill