"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." 3 Nephi 5:13

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ocean Baptisms!

 Things here in Tobago are looking up....After 7 months, finally a baptism! Elder Linton had to pull her back because the first time she didn't go all the way under. She came out of the water screaming, 'Mommy'.

Elder Peterson and Elder Hill


Our evening baptism was scheduled for about the same time as the sunset. I was asked to do the baptism...I was very excited and pretty nervous. It was a great experience. I felt the spirit really strong all day and it was just great to feel Heavenly Fathers love for me for so long. I know I am in the right place at the right time doing what God has intended for me to do...finding my buddies and bringing them in to the fold.

The less active family I have been praying and fasting for came to church! The mom asked for some scriptures so they can start having daily scripture reading. Another member I was fasting for came to church and stayed for the whole block; he also wanted some scriptures. My testimony of fasting has definitely changed and will never be the same again. I love fasting and I can't wait till next month. We also had 48 at church and 18 Priesthood holders - 6 Melchizedek! That's really good for this area.

I'm pretty excited for
General Conference this Saturday and Sunday! We get to watch it live here and so that makes it even better!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Studying On The Beach

We have a car! It really helps a lot because most of the members live outside of our walking distance and so it will boost some rcla (recent convert/less active) lessons. Having a car it makes our job so much easier and we don't have to stand and wait for a taxi for 2 hours.

This morning we woke up and went and did studying on the beach in a secluded area where we do baptisms (Back Bay - by Mt. Irving). It was a lot of fun and it was really beautiful. It was a lot of fun to see all the crabs and 'ting'... haha. It is actually a Leather Back Turtle egg laying ground in July when all the turtles are laying their eggs. Pretty sweet! 

We had a cool story with a member that hadn't been to church in a few months. He served in this mission a few years ago and then went less active when he got home. We shared the john tanner story with him about tithes. It really touched his heart and he opened up to us. He told us that he thought the missionaries hated him because they weren't coming by...Elder Petersen got the prompting to do service a few times last week and he didn't know we were the ones doing it. He started to get really emotional when I told him we were the ones helping him with building his addition to his home. After the lesson he told us he was going to come to church and that he wants to be a member missionary. Really neat story about reactivation. He has come to church 3 weeks in a row now and he went up to Branch President Linton and told him that he wanted a calling in the church... Now he is the new Branch Clerk... And to think if Elder Petersen and I wouldn't have done service, he would still be having a grudge against us and we wouldn't have a clerk now.

We have really been working hard here in Tobago and can actually see the miracles that are happening here! I love the people so so much here and I have only met just a few in a three week period. I feel my Heavenly Father's love so much every time I talk to someone... I just feel that need of being kind and gentle to everyone. I am really going to miss the people here when it's my time to leave. I'm going to cry when I leave this place... for some reason I've bonded here better with the members and the people... I know that this is where God wants me. 

I'm going to finish with my testimony...I have really received a personal witness of these things. I know that God lives and that he is watching over us every second of every day. I know that love is a major part of what kept Jesus Christ going. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that as we read it, it will help us gain that testimony that we so desire or want to have. I know that this Gospel is the only way we can find our true self and make it back to live with our Eternal Heavenly Father. I know that this work at my fingertips is so, so important and that making it to the Temple is super important. You don't really miss something until it's gone...and i can tell you I miss the Temple so badly! I know that God knows us personally and that if we just ask for his help we shall receive it. I know these things to be true..This is my personal witness.

Love you all!

Elder Hill

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pruning The Lord's Vineyard in Tobago

    I  just want to tell everyone that I am very grateful for all of your support in helping me to decide to go on a mission. I really wasn't wanting to and didn't see the point of going. I hope that I can change into the man that God has intended me to be and I am truly grateful for the decision i was encouraged to make. I love the people i'm serving... The love i'm talking about is the type of love God has for everyone of his children. Charity. I have been doing a lot of study on Charity and how we can increase it. There are lots of different ways we can and it is a life long process. 

    I feel that i have been blessed as a person, because now that i'm in Tobago and i see white people everyday, i'm almost scared to be around them... i know, who would have thought! But Overall I'm truly grateful for the decision i made to turn my papers in and have enough faith to go on a mission for the Lord... pruning his vineyard and putting new grafts into the limbs of the fruitful trees. (Jacob 5) I really love that story and i hope you all can go read it and tell me what you think. I promise you that as you do the Lord will teach you and you will be able to relate it to something in your life.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Beautiful Island of Tobago

Well Everyone, I landed safely on the small island off of Trinidad, called Tobago....We were flying in a big twin prop and it was really awesome! It was only a 20 min flight and i talked to a really neat lady on the plane. She was on a connecting flight to Manchester England and so she had a Trini/British accent and it was actually pretty fun to listen to her talk. I taught her the restoration and she was like that was so wonderful. I invited her to pray about what i shared when she got a moment and to also read about the Restoration booklet i was going to leave with her..she flat out told me no... because she's Roman Catholic. (What a stonch ol' lady! haha)  Didn't talk much after that.

Tobago Church
Well E. and S. Linton picked me up from the Airport and i love them to death. They were actually in Chaguanas for a time just when i got there, then they traded places with the Blacks, another senior couple that was in Tobago for a time but then came to Trinidad. I loved the Lintons so much in Chaguanas, they were like my 'you guys' only real far away from home. They dropped me off at the Apartment and I met Elder Peterson. The apt. is right on the mountain side of Scarborough, overlooking the Atlantic ocean. It is absolutely breath taking. The Water is Beautiful. O yeah, it's got A/C baby! It's way nice and really cool. No fans needed.

Nice Apartment (sunny and no window bars)

We will be getting a car on Friday. And so it will help a lot because most of the members live outside of our walking distance. We had a branch party on Friday and it went well. Thirty members showed up and it was tons of fun.. I participated in the pudding eating contest with Sister Linton. I pretty much won hands down... two gulps and it was gone. She got it all on her face - i got it all in my mouth... ;)  

Sister Linton and Elder Hill

Egg Toss Game

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Snapshot of Trinidad and Tobago

English is the official language of this island nation, however Trinidadian creole and Tobagonian creole (both English-based creoles) are commonly spoken on the two islands. Most of the population lives on the island of Trinidad. While the majority of the population is Christian (around 60%), there are also significant populations of Hindus (about 18% of the population) and Muslims (about 5% of the population). Calypso, rapso, steelpan, soca, chutney, and parang music all originated in Trinidad and Tobago. Carnival is an important cultural event in Trinidad and Tobago, accompanied by parades, floats, live music, and elaborate costumes (though missionaries should stay probably stay away from the festivities)! Competitions between different musical groups also form part of the celebrations. Cricket and soccer are the two most popular sports, though rugby and basketball are also somewhat popular. Fried bake is a popular type of dumpling that is served with fish and steamed vegetables. Callaloo, a spicy vegetable stew, is commonly served with starchy foods such as cassava or plantains. Macaroni pie, a baked macaroni, egg, and cheese dish, is also popular. A wide variety of seafood, including shark, is also eaten. Several types of tropical fruits, as well as ice cream and sno-cones are also popular snack items.

More about Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies Mission