Saturday, July 28, 2012


Hola! I hope all is well! 

Everything still feels timeless to me here, I honestly can't tell you how many weeks I've been here. I am part of a trio companionship again--the original three are back together.  Our district has gone from nine people to five in the past few weeks.  Elder xxxxxx doesn't believe that Dad is almost a colonel because he thinks I'm too nice and not aggressive enough to be the son of a USAFA graduate haha. 

Teaching is still going well! I've become much more confident with speaking, even though I still make a lot of mistakes and I speak so slow compared to native speakers. One time this week when I was teaching one of our investigators, I was speaking to her and then I got to a point were I read something from Preach My Gospel to help me explain better. She started laughing because she said that once I started reading I was perfectly understandable and I sounded like a actually knew Spanish! At least I can read Spanish well haha. I'll just rely completely on the scriptures and Preach My Gospel and I'll be good. Last week at the TRC, My companion and I taught a 60ish year old man from Argentina and he said he was baptized only the week before! We were so excited to talk to him because he had such a strong testimony and was so sincere and patient with our Spanish. I love the TRC because everything is very genuine. The TRC is nice too because teaching my other investigators becomes routine somewhat. Variety is nice. :) I LOVED hearing from M and L! Thank you for your letters and for telling me about what you're doing! I hope camps have been good and I'm happy to hear EFY and Youth Conference were fantastic! K, how was Warped Tour?? I'm waiting for that autographed picture. ;) 
I received the package you sent! I love it! Be jealous K. ;) I think it'll last me the rest of the time here but we'll see haha. The socks are super comfortable! I liked the sticky notes too. :)
You are definitely not sending too many letters. I love to receive tons of letters and they don't take away from my other time. I promise. :) Keep them coming! I receive DearElders everyday Monday-Friday at four.
One of my companions mentioned today that in a couple weeks we will probably receive our travel itineraries. I'm excited to go to Chile, and I'm really really excited for that chemical reaction between my language and my testimony that Dad talked about. My teacher gave us an example of a discussion last night and he was incredible. He turned every question and doubt we had as investigators into something to help the Spirit be present and teach us. I can't wait to get to that point in my teaching!
The Provo temple was opened today after being cleaned and it was so nice to be there. I'm learning new things every time I go and they're helping me so much!
That's pretty much my week in a nutshell. I love you all so much and I think about you often, but I'm focused on the work so no worries about me being distracted. :) A little scripture to read and think about: Moroni 10: 32-33 is my favorite explanation of the Gospel and is such a powerful testimony of the Savior! Keep coming unto Christ everyone. :)
Con Amor,
Elder Hill
Que tengan una semana maravillosa!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Hey! How is everyone? This past week has been pretty uneventful. I'm just working very hard and continuing to make progress. The way the schedule should really be divided here is that the first three days are about a week each, then there's a week that's called week two through seven haha, and then the last one to two weeks is like limbo I've heard. Right now, time is suspended in a way. I can't believe I've been here a month. It will be even odder when I write home to say I've been in the mission field for a year. I'm applying Elder Uchtdorf's First Presidency message though: I'm always in the middle of my mission.

My discussions with investigators have improved ten fold from the first week here. I can convey my thoughts pretty well now. I am also reading Preach My Gospel and my scriptures in Spanish (Book of Mormon at least -- other books of scripture are still a little cryptic haha). I think I make Spanish sound easier than it really is (I'm working so hard), but honestly, I'm amazed by how far I've come.

Yesterday, my companion and I had a discussion with an investigator named Marisela. The Holy Ghost was so strong and He was inspiring our questions and was inspring how we applied scripture to her. It was a wonderful experience.

The MTC is like the mission field emotionally -- we get so bogged down sometimes and then we experience spiritual highs that re-inspire us haha. It's great here though, I'm in a really good groove, I absolutely love my teachers, I've gotten close to a lot of missionaries here, and I'm always feeling more and more prepared for Chile. My district has lost three members to foreign MTCs and the field, and it's about to lose one more within the week. It's odd to imagine how small the district will be, but there are some districts in my zone were there are only two Elders. 

I feel very prepared. I can tell though that the Lord is already putting me through spiritual, emotional, and mental boot camp haha. I welcome the stretching because I know the Lord has big plans for me, and even more so, for the people I will be teaching. I need to be prepared for them because they deserve to have the best possible missionaries to bring the truth of the Restored Gospel to them.

Elder Hill

Friday, July 13, 2012


Hey everybody! Everything is going great here at the MTC! I'm as busy as ever as a Zone Leader but it has been a great blessing! I've gotten to know everyone in my zone and become good friends with them.

My companion and I gave a tour on Wednesday and showed the new missionaries what its like being a missionary, and it was a really great opportunity to be the ones to welcome them here. I have ran into a lot of friends from BYU, which is always fun. I have pictures with them and everything so you'll see all those when I get to the field.

Spanish is coming along wonderfully! It's still really hard to teach great lessons but my companion and I are striving for excellence here. Yesterday, we were both struggling during our lesson with one of our teachers. My companion's style of teaching is planning pretty thoroughly while mine is to create a simple outline and just go by feel (in a perfect world, we agree that that would probably be the best way to teach, but he has to remind me that we're not perfect Spanish speakers yet haha). So, during our lessons, we have a great lesson plan, but I guess I vary from the plan too much than is desirable to achieving the goals we have for each lesson. So, our teacher calls a time out and asks us to teach in English, which we have never done since entering the MTC. The English discussion was one of the most powerful lessons I have experienced. It was like we lasered in on exactly what we wanted out of this lesson for our teacher. I always feel the Spirit when we teach, but in English, wow. It was a great experience for my companion and I just so that we can know that we can teach in perfect unity and have the Spirit there. You know how in Alma the younger's conversion, Mormon says he and the sons of Mosiah "fell to the earth, for great was their astonishment," and later, Mormon wrote that Alma and the sons of Mosiah taught dissenting Nephites to their astonishment? Well, I felt like the Spirit was powerful enough in our discussion to have that effect on an investigator. We can't wait until we can teach the way we did yesterday in Spanish. In other news, I have received a lot of letters this week. Thank you! Even though I can't respond like I would like to, I always appreciate receiving letters so much. Thank you :)

I love being at the MTC! I'm excited to go to the field, but I'm making the best of my time here. I'm grateful to be a missionary! I have already experienced some great miracles as a direct result of my desire to serve the Lord! I love you family!

Elder Hill

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Hola mi familia! Ojala que estan haciendo bien y que su semana es magnifico! This week has been crazy for me. Because of the 4th of July, the MTC made us stay up past 10:30 to watch fireworks, but they didn't change our wake-up time. Wasn't that nice of them? ;) haha. The devotional for the holiday was really great though and everyone got a little crazier than usual, which was fun. Also, my companion and I are Zone Leaders now so that has been taking up all my other free time. I'm excited though because the Zone Leaders we're replacing are such great examples of what missionaries should be, so I hope that my companion and I will be greatly improved by the experience.

Spanish is still coming along! In our role-playing investigator discussion with our teacher, we managed to get her to actually speak English, which is a huge deal. Before she was actually our teacher, she was an investigator named Mariana. And after a week of teaching Mariana, she started teaching our class. Then, we taught her as another investigator named Marisela (she must have a split personality disorder or something--haha). The whole time we've known her, she has only spoke Spanish to us besides the occasional English word. But yesterday, she asked in our discussion with her if the Great Apostasy meant that the Catholic church didn't have authority from God. I really couldn't figure out how to say anything else except for yes, which created a hilarious awkward moment where we all just cracked. My companion asked our teacher if she could just explain her thoughts to us in English because we've never had any feedback from her in a way we could truly internalize. Hearing her actually speak to us rather than at us was the most wonderful experience I've had so far at the MTC. It really got me feeling like I'm making so much progress with teaching with the Spirit and with Spanish, because I've improved SO much in speaking with people from even just one week ago. I'm taking less time to think about how I'm going to say something in Spanish and conjugations are starting to feel a little more natural. I have an insanely long way to go but it's exciting all the same.

Here's what happened when I met Elder Holland. My two companions and I were still in a trio companionship and we were going to dinner. Right before we step into the cafeteria, I saw an older couple walking down the hall and my brain must have made a connection I didn't understand yet because I kept watching them. Then it hit me that it was Elder Holland and his wife walking to a room nearby. No one else was in the hall so I figured that they maybe timed that moment so that they wouldn't be attacked by missionaries when the hall was more full. Because of that I didn't want to bother them, but one of my companions kind of freaked out and walked over to him haha. So my other comp and I followed and we shook his hand, told him we were going to Santiago, and Elder Holland replied that that was "the only true mission." We were pretty psyched about that one-on-one experience with him. Then, on Tuesday, I went to a devotional where there was 10 of the 12 Apostles! Elder Perry gave this presentation about what the next ad campaign thing for the Church will be. It is kind of like that paper in my room that has all those statistics about Mormons. It was a good presentation.

I have loved receiving letters from everybody! I'm sorry I haven't sent out letters, it's just so busy here. I'm working hard though so don't worry about me. I received the package you sent and I love it! Thank you so much! I'll let you know when I need something else okay? Also, I can't access my pictures from computers here so I can't send pictures until I'm in the mission field. Bummer! But you'll have a fun party when I send a ton home :)

A scripture I really like and might be good for my plaque is Mosiah 15:14-18, but if you have anything better, feel free to use your own! I have to go, but I love you all so much!
I'm glad you all are well.  I love you!!!!!!!

Elder Hill


Hey Family! Here's your weekly dose of Seth! Everything is going great! This week has been so much better just because I'm the rhythm of things now.

I loved the DearElder Mom sent me :) It might be easier if you guys just send me a DearElder on Thursday (or any other day!) so that I can read it and be ready to respond on preparation day.

Spanish is coming along; I can understand 80-90% of what my teacher says now, and that breakthrough happened a couple days ago. I'm praying for more of those breakthroughs. I also spoke to a native Spanish speaker last night! We had a good conversation, although he had to slow down a lot for me. Because my Spanish is progressively growing, I don't always realize how much better I'm getting, but I am really amazed how far I've come in a week.

My companionship was broken up because one of the Elders moved up to advanced. I'm really sad he's gone because we became good friends in only a week. I have just one companion now and it is honestly the best. My comp and I click really well and we have a lot of amazing experiences and conversations.

I went through the Provo Temple today! It was really nice to go through a second time because I was able to focus more on the Spirit than the first time -- it was really strong. :) Also, check my credit card history to see where I ate for breakfast this morning...the temple cafeteria! They had much better food there haha.   I'm happy to hear that Girls' Camp and Boys' State went well. I read Maddie's Email today about how she got a tick. Eww....

I'm really happy that people are thinking about me. It means a lot to have so many people care. Tell Ashton that I've been thinking about him. I even ran into his friend who went to Fiji with him! Tell him I ran into Andrew and we talked for awhile.

About the package you want to send me. I would love to have a few snacks because I get really tired of the MTC food (it's not as good as the Cannon Center haha), and anything else you might think I would like! Thank you so much!   I love you all and miss you. You're always in my prayers and I think about you a lot.   Until next week!

Elder Hill

FIRST LETTER!!!! 6-23-12

Hola! Como estan todo? Thank you so much for your emails! Friday will usually be my preparation day but for the first week it's today. I love the MTC. Although I was late, it wasn't a big deal. I'm glad Grandma and Grandpa dropped me off too. When I walked into the MTC, it was weird because I've been in some of these buildings before, yet they felt different. They gave me my name tags and key and stuff, then we had a meeting. We sang the EFY medley, but the words were a little different:

"We are as the army of Helaman
We have been taught in our youth
To bring the world His truth"

That caught me by surprise, but then I had a spiritual confirmation after we sang it.

I've been writing in my journal trying to record everything. I wish I could just send my journal instead because I feel so limited by the 30 minutes they give me to email. It's good though because like you said, we'll both appreciate communicating even more. I'm doing perfectly fine without my phone and facebook, in case anyone thinks I would have a problem with that. ;)

My companions are great! We're in a trio, at least for now. One of them I met at BYU. Mom has talked to one of my comp's mom before. My other companion just finished his first year at USAFA actually! They're both great guys and we get along great. The trio setup is odd just because I feel like if I need to go somewhere I'm dragging two people with me instead of just one haha. Honestly though, I have great companions right now, and my other two roommates are awesome too. I really lucked out to be here with the most amazing people!

I entered the MTC on a good week. This Tuesday, there will be over 90 General Authorities at the MTC and we will have a devotional from one of the Quorum of the Twelve. Tell Kurt and Ashton that it is worth missing the Legend of Korra for. ;)

Learning Spanish is quite a challenge! There's not too much we've gone over that I don't know (besides all the missionary vocabulary and all), but we immediately start using it in real-life applications, which is the very difficult. My companions and I taught our first investigator yesterday all in Spanish. Although I didn't understand much of what she said, I felt impressed to express God's love for her and everyone in the world. Afterwards, my more affluent Spanish-speaking friends told me that that was her biggest concern about the Church. I have experienced so many miracles so far. And I can't wait to improve my Spanish so that they'll happen even more often.

I've been told that after Sunday things start flowing and coming together, so I'm excited for that to happen.

Cool story: I just talked to an Elder who is the son of Simon Dewey, the artist who paints some of the best LDS paintings of Christ!

I'm sleeping fine. I've gone to bed on time every night and I've gotten up on time. So don't worry about that, Mom. ;)

Also, I've been assigned to be my district's District Leader. All the Elders have expressed a lot of support for my assignment, which means a lot to me.

If you feel fine with it, you can send this to anyone!

I love you guys. I miss you so much. You're always in my prayers. I know I'm engaged in the Lord's work and that makes all the difference for me being here.

Love your son,
Elder Hill