Monday, November 26, 2012


An American Thanksgiving dinner in Chile!
Showing off the turkey.

Doing weekly planning in style ... with cookies!

¡Buenas tardes!

To start off, you asked about the earthquake.  What earthquake? We've had a few temblores [tremors] this week but nothing big. I heard that there was a fairly good sized temblor a few days ago but I think Elder Smith and I slept through it haha. Typical me huh? Temblores are definitely a new thing for me. I feel like the whole earth is on a waterbed actually, but whenever it has happened I have gotten pretty excited. One of them this week happened while we were teaching a lesson. Elder Smith noticed it first, and then we all stopped talking for a moment to feel it. Speaking of sleeping through stuff, there was a shooting in the Santa Julia Saturday night. A lot of people were talking about it because it woke everyone up. Well, everyone except for Elder Smith and I haha. We must be dead when we sleep! Mom, no worries, because we live in a gated apartment complex and we're completely safe. Besides, no one has ever given the missionaries a problem in the Santa Julia. What's ridiculous though is that at least three members' houses are right next to where the shooting happened. The Santa Julia is a bad place to live in my opinion. A lot of drug dealing goes down there. One time, when we were visiting Hermana "S," this random guy runs into her house because he was running from the cops for marijuana possession. Another day, Elder Smith and I were walking through the street where all the drug deals go down (the same street where the shooting was--go figure) and we saw the main drug dealer take out this shoe box filled with substances that I couldn't even guess were in there, and sold some to this girl. Crazy stuff crazy stuff. But we've never had a problem. The people just want their drugs that's all--it's an awfully sad way to live, but they don't want anything else.

Elder Smith and I have been getting some new investigators and losing others. We lost "D,",the Evangelical one. He first told us his minister told him to tell us to not visit him but to visit other people who don't "know God." But, his aunt offered us soda, so we said yes and entered their house. Then, we managed to teach him the Restoration. It was okay at first, but then he started getting defensive and asked us questions that he thought would poke holes in out doctrine. When we easily handled his questions, he got offended and a little upset. Elder Smith was very, very good with speaking to him as a person and spoke very understandingly and with testimony, but David told us that he preferred it if we don't go back. So, he's gone. It's too bad that he wouldn't hear "sound doctrine" to put it in the words of Paul.

We taught a woman named "S" for the first time this week. We actually visited a less-active who is returning to activity first, and then we asked him if he could accompany us to see her.  It was in her visit that we felt the temblor haha. She's from the South so she actually let us in.  People from Santiago aren't always very nice and often reject us, so when she let us in, I figured she was from the South, and she was! Elder Smith visited her a second time this week while we did divisions [splits], and in that visit her 15 year old daughter was there and she was interested too! I hope something really good comes from them.

"J" (the gringo from Washington) came to church again! I don't know what's going to happen with him but I think it's awesome that he comes to church every once in awhile. I asked him if he was thinking about coming again and he said he probably will. I don't think he has a spiritual experience when he comes because he doesn't understand much of anything, but you never know. In Gospel Principles, we talked about the scriptures, and afterwards asked us how we justify the scriptures in Revelation and Deuteronomy that say not to add anymore to the Bible. Instead of trying to answer his question right there, I'm just going to print out Elder Holland's talk from 2008 and let him read that haha.

Thanksgiving went very well! It was really fun to have Thanksgiving with the Saldañas, because they are some of the best people I know here. Everything tasted really good, and then afterwards, we gave thanks, which was a spiritual experience in itself.

I hope you all are well! Kurt looks great. I'm also very happy that you all had a great Thanksgiving! I definitely miss Mom's food haha. I'm definitely enjoying the weather here! Although it's so weird to listen to Christmas music because when I do, I feel like it should be cold and snowy outside! [Chile's seasons are opposite of ours in the U.S.]

Tell Micah I say hi! I hope he's doing well and is enjoying work and college. I miss Sawyer and Beckett too!

Just so you know, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be able to skype on Christmas. :)

I love you and miss you! ¡Que estén bien!

Elder Hill


You don't knock on doors in Chile.  You say "Alo!" at the gate.

I think I just blinked, because another week just flew by from last time I was at this same computer haha. It is so ridiculous how quickly the time flies.

I'm now officially a missionary because I am no longer on the 12 week program that missionaries take after leaving the MTC. They say that after the program you should be ready to train another missionary, but I don't know if I'm at that point yet haha. I had a really good week! Elder Smith had to go to a leadership meeting one day so Elder Bills and I worked in my sector for the morning. I was able to talk to people and handle everything on my own, which was a good feeling. :) I still understand more than I can speak, but it's coming along. Plus, once I get put with a Latino compañero, I'll be golden with speaking.

We had a lesson with one of the investigators we found two weeks ago. I don't think he'll go anywhere because he is heavily Evangelical and Elder Smith and I saw him preaching on a corner the other day. The Evangelical churches here make missionary work so hard. They basically teach that you can worship God in your own way and you'll be good. Some get really involved because they're meetings are mostly big singing and dancing parties. The music they play is really good too, and I think people take that to be the Spirit.  We found a few more possible investigators, but we haven't been able to talk with them besides at the door. I'm just trying to be patient and diligent, but not so diligent that I pass by their house everyday and scare them away. There's a difference between being diligent and too insistent with people.

We've been developing good relationships with people. I'm happy about that because my love for them grows and our relationship isn't completely driven by the desire to baptize them. We passed by "A's" house this week to see how he was doing and we were able to set up an appointment with him. We showed him the Restoration video, which I think really got him thinking. We found out afterwards that he and his friends created their own church! It's called "Reset Church." So, now, I think that if he doesn't progress it's because he's afraid of upsetting his friends, because he obviously has to know that his church isn't the Lord's church. We'll see what happens. The three of us have a very good relationship. He always has us do a group hug when we say goodbye. It's funny because his head is at Elder Smith's and my chest height haha. He's a good kid. I really like him.

I probably won't ever see "I" again. He came to church after second hour and told us that someone in the ward told him that he's not welcome there anymore. We couldn't stop him from leaving, so we gave him a hug and told him that we care about him a lot. Then he left. BUT, there's a lot more to the story. Remember how I said that he had that dream about the Church not being true and he was going to take people from the ward to his church? Well he apparently had that conversation with the bishop three times, and said that he was going to take "X" (the woman who's renting from him right now and first introduced him to the Church). "X" said that "I" began crossing some boundaries with her and even got violent once. She told him that the Church isn't a game and that he can't waste our time just to find things out about the church even though he already believes it to be wrong. So, she told him to stop playing with people, and I guess he did. "X" said that she had a companion on her mission that was schizophrenic, and she said that he was showing signs of schizophrenia. She said she's moving out after the month haha. Why do I keep finding investigators with mental problems?? Haha. I hope that the Lord will bless us with a really awesome investigator because we had to go through all that.

On the bright side, we had a great lesson with a less-active's son, who has potential. We also had another lesson with a less-active and his girlfriend. Both lessons went very well and were very sincere. We're becoming great friends with people and being firm in our teaching of the Gospel. Hopefully all this bears fruit soon in the form of a baptism, but I'm being patient and making sure it is a quality baptism--not a "as quick as we can get them in the water" baptism. In God's time.

I got flooded with birthday stuff in the mail this week! Actually, Grandma and Grandpa Mick sent me a very nice card the week before and I forgot to thank them. ¡Gracias abuelos! !Les amo muchisimo! I also got a bunch of letters from the Price family! Thank you guys! I LOVED hearing from you all. Yes Eden, I'm still nice. Haha. I hope Halloween was fun for all you guys! I miss you all! Tell Sawyer and Becket that I miss them and jumping on the trampoline and playing Halo with them. :) I also got a PACKAGE from Blake and Emily, which was awesome! It definitely surprised me haha. I decided to open it at the church with some of the missionaries still there. The other missionaries gathered around and looked at everything you sent me. They all said that they wished they had friends like you guys haha. I'm definitely glad I have you guys as my friends. :) I'll get that picture to you too! I hope you're both well!

For Thanksgiving, we are going to eat with the Saldaña family, who are incredible. They said that they are going to give us a full-out turkey dinner with some of the American things they bought when they went to Utah for General Conference. I'm excited! :)

We have appointments made for this week, I'm starting to really dig my feet in with this work, and, most importantly, I'm doing the Lord's work with love. It's a good life.

I think I'm going to try to make frog-eye for Christmas because I think I've seen all the ingredients here haha. Go ahead and send me some recipes for things if you can! Elder Smith and I are going to make some super good pancakes that his mom has. And we got our oven fixed!

I love you all and I'm so grateful for the Gospel. It is true, it is real, and it is powerful. Being called as a missionary means so much to me and I see how the Lord is blessing us for our desire to repay Him for all that He has given us. Sé que Jesús es el Cristo y que La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días es Su iglesia en cada aspecto. Él nos ama y siempre nos guia si Le dejamos. Le amo con todo mi corazón.

Until next week family! I love you!!!

Elder Hill

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Santiago East missionaries!

Ni hao! (in honor of a certain future missionary)

It was so great to hear about the mission calls! Copeland will do great things in Provo that's for sure. I'm sure it's a great mission. I can't believe Mikaela is going to Manchester England to speak Chinese!! Actually I can; the Lord needs the best there so it makes sense. :)

I'm still in Los Plátanos with Elder Smith for another change! I'm really happy about that because I love this ward and Elder Smith. This change will only last five weeks though so that the missionaries that get transfered aren't transfered on Christmas Eve haha.

About my plan to use less-actives. Let's just say that we found 4 (almost 5) new investigators this week because of that plan. :) I'm happy about that. We went to one house and asked for the woman on our list. She said she didn't know who that was, so then we said her last name and the woman came to the gate to talk to us. She said that that woman was her grandmother who died in 2003! She was the only member in her family, but an extended family of 18 people live in that house! So, we plan to find at least a few people in that family that are ready for the Gospel. :) We have already taught some (the children were the only ones who wanted to listen to us) but the woman who we talked to before wasn't there so I hope she'll be there next time. We also have a bunch of appointments made from contacting less-actives with part member families that I plan on finding investigators with. Our sector also had a Sector Slam, where all the missionaries in the zone come to a sector to work. We got a ton of references from that. Elder Hart and I talked to a few people that appeared prepared for the Gospel. It was a testimony builder of how the Lord prepares people. :)

On Friday, I took out my Carnét, which is my Chilean identity that everyone, Chilean or not, needs to have. I met up with Elder Cadden, Elder Measom, and a handful of other missionaries and we waited in lines, lines, and more lines haha. Elder Cadden started a conversation with a man who used to live in Salt Lake City and work for Deseret Industries but isn't a member. Example right there of how the Lord prepares people. :) Later that day, when it was just Elder Bills and I (I went on a division with Elder Bills while Elder Smith worked in our sector), I started and had a really good conversation with a woman while we were waiting for the Micro (Chilean public transportation). I didn't struggle at all to talk to her! Our conversation was very interesting too; it was about a cultural, musical event that's coming to Santiago. I'm used to Elder Smith speaking in most conversations with people, since he speaks better Spanish, but Elder Bills has the same amount of time that I have and I was the one that actually lead the conversation. I felt so good afterwards! Granted, she spoke clearly compared to others that live in my sector, but it's the beginning of me being a powerful missionary. :)

I love you all and I think about you all individually everyday! I feel like these days are golden moments in our lives, because despite the difficulties, we have everything to be grateful for. May the Lord bless you all!

Con amor,
Elder Hill

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Getting into the spirit of the election!

Playing around with special effects on the camera for Halloween!
¡Hola familia!

This week has been a week of holidays. We had Halloween on Wednesday -- It was funny to see how an American holiday finds its place in a foreign country. All the little kids were out trick or treating, and when they went up to a house, they would yell, "¡dulce travesura!" Elder Smith and I realized that it was too late by the evening to go buy candy to help us talk to people haha so we just tracted a little and rained on some people's holiday. At least I learned; next year's Halloween is going to be sweet (no pun intended). There were holidays on Thursday and Friday too, so it was hard to meet with anyone and even harder to get into houses. We basically spent the second half of the week walking and walking and walking some more. I'm definitely learning patience. :)

We met with "I" on Tuesday, and the lesson went well, although he's not gaining a testimony because he's too busy analyzing everything so I don't know how much longer he'll last. Elder Smith and I can't do much for him because he's actually outside of our sector and he isn't progressing so there isn't much we can help him with.

Elder Smith and I are always seeking new investigators. Unfortunately, we don't find many, and the few that we do find don't last long. Thankfully, we now have a system that is golden. We ordered a huge map from the mission office that covers an entire wall. We've been spending the past couple weeks marking where all the less-active members live and now we are executing a Blitzkrieg with the less actives. There are 500 members in our sector, but only 100 are active, so the odds of finding a part-member family are really good, and we will also find some people that we can help come back to activity! At least that is my hope. This system very well might be a system that I will use for my whole mission. It definitely appears to be the most effective method. Elder Smith says that every baptism that he has gotten has been triggered by a less-active one way or another. I'm excited to see the fruits that follow, especially now that I'm becoming a more self-capable missionary every day. :)

Yesterday, two of the Sisters in our zone had a surprise baptism and we had to rush over to their capilla [chapel] right after lunch. It was so good to see the woman that was going to get baptized and her family and to see how happy they all were. Elder Smith told me after that during the interview, she told Elder Smith that she used to be wary of the missionaries, but her friend (who was a less-active) introduced her and all her doubts disappeared after meeting with them. She has actually had a few sets of missionaries over the course of a few months, so all the missionaries that helped and taught her came to her baptism. Even Presidente and Hermana Wright came! It was really good. :)

That's all for this week. I love you all SO much. Thank you for your prayers and I'm glad my prayers are reaching you too. The Lord lives! It's a great blessing to be able to say that. It's also so great to say with full confidence that we are His disciples. I love you family!

- Elder Hill

P.S. Hey I have a few things I would really like in the next package you send me. Don't worry about sending me food because I'm discovering that I can basically get any food I need here. But, I would like: a few Zebra pens (the pens with the metal casing if you know what I'm talking about and maybe in blue, red, and green too if possible), a pocket-sized Spanish to English dictionary, a regular English dictionary/thesaurus, and a nice dog whistle (it is so hard to yell across a gate and a yard to a disinterested Chilean while a dog is barking its head off haha--I've really been wanting to zap it with a dog whistle haha).

P.P.S. Transfers are at the end of this week so I might have a different companion next week. We'll see! Elder Smith is such a great companion though. I've grown to love him a lot. :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Hey everyone!
Before anything else...HAPPY BIRTHDAY KURT!
Kurt, Maddie, and Lindsey all look so much more mature every week. It's always exciting and fun to see little ratitos (I can't think of an English word for it) through videos and photos. I probably say all that in every email but that's because it's true. I hope you're having a great birthday, Kurt. I hope you're all well in Hurricane Sandy right now; Elder Smith has friends on the East Coast who are bracing for the storm too. I remember Hurricane Ivan and how fun it was just to hang out in the house together without power, all while missing school haha. Let me know how it all went in next week's email!
A few interesting things have happened this week:
Our investigator, "I," has been investigating "too much" haha. He reminds me of Jacob 4:14 where Jacob says that the Jews "procuraron coasas que no podían entender. Por tanto, a causa de su ceguedad, la cual vino por traspasar lo señalado, es menester que caigan; porque Dios les ha quitado su claridad y les ha entregado muchas cosas que no pueden entender, porque así lo desearon; y porque así lo desearon, Dios lo ha hecho, a fin de que tropiecen." (seeked things that they could not understand. Behold, because of their stiffneckedness, which came by looking beyond the mark, it is necessary that they fall; because God has taken away his clarity and has delivered unto them many things that they cannot understand, because they desired it; and because they desired it, God has done it, so that they stumble. -- rough translation). That is basically what has happened to him. He comes every Sunday and likes meeting with us, but he usually points out points where our doctrine doesn't meet what he thinks it should be based on his studies. Also, he apparently had a dream where he said that a person came to him and told him the Church isn't true but that he will become a great leader in another church and that he should continue to come to our ward to bring people from the Church to his church. Sounds similar to Korihor's story in my opinion haha. For the moment, Elder Smith and I are being very loving to him, because he's still a really nice guy and I care about him a lot. But we'll see what happens to him. We'll try to steer him back to the path, but right now it looks like he doesn't want to be guided by anything except his studies of the scriptures.
Our other good investigator, "A," has definitely felt the Spirit, and he is an honest seeker of truth. But, the reality that the Church is true has scared him because he said that he had to change his beliefs from the Catholic faith to the Evangelical, and now he's afraid because if the Church is true, some of the things he has deeply believed from the Evangelical church are wrong. We're simply giving him a little space but staying in contact to make sure he knows that we're first and foremost his friends and we want what's best for him. Hopefully he'll come around.
We have been contacting more lately, especially since my Spanish has improved. I'll often go up and start talking to people first now. The Lord has been blessing us with new investigators and we'll see what happens this week. Inner city missionary work is tough! Unfortunately, not many people have been accepting us or they have not been staying with us very long. But, it's all part of the Lord's plan and it's all in His hands. It comforts me to know that.
So much is always happening here but, regrettably, I can't share it all. I hope that that is good enough for this week.
Thank you for your prayers and for the support you're always giving me. I wish I could do more for you but I'm assuming that in all your eyes, I'm doing a lot for you. I hope that's the case! I'm happy that I can be doing a lot for the people here. :)

          Kurt, know that I'm praying for you very hard and I've been conversing with the Lord a                         lot about you. There is a quote from President Monson that I was recently reminded of.  It is, "Your future is as bright as your faith." So have faith to be happy, to always look forward with clean hands and a pure heart, and to receive all things with thankfulness. You're super bakan, Kurt. I'm grateful for your example and your faith.
I love you all so much. Maddie and Lindsey, you both are so beautiful and shining lights to everyone around you. I miss you both so much.
I love and miss you Mom and Dad!!!
Mucho mucho amor,
Elder Hill
Whatta man.

Uhm.. haha