28 May 2010

"Foto" Friday (Yes, I can spell - just play along)

Beautiful companions - Sister Anderson, Sister Hill, Sister Houston - All going to the Kirtland Mission

Nicole's District - 5 Elders and 3 Sisters

Look at the flowers that bloom in the MTC!


Sad Day - Silly Sister

Ooops? or Is there a "sign" theme going!?

Living the "high" life

Can we stop taking pictures now?

25 May 2010

MTC gravy...CNBC...learning Russian...

Note from Momma: Nicole is now on her 2nd P-day and here is our 2nd email (I'm thankful for technology!).  She still has her sense of humor.  Enjoy...

Hello again!!! P-day came so quickly this week that I can barely believe it. I'm going to a specialist today in an hour. The doctor is in American Fork so my companions will stay here and I'll go with a service missionary. I'll write you a letter after the appointment to let you know how everything goes! I really blame the roast beef and gravy, though. TO ALL FUTURE MISSIONARIES: DO NOT PARTAKE OF THE GRAVY AT THE PROVO MTC.

It snowed yesterday. Gross. Oh, I just remembered, Mother, I need short sleeve shirts for Proselyting. And I don't want white ones. Maybe floral or I don't know. Just cute. I only have this one pink, short sleeve shirt and my companions are starting to judge me.

I leave for Ohio on June 8th! And I don't have the address yet. But hopefully next week we'll get our travel plans and I'll get my address. This reminds me of a story...

So I went to the health clinic on Friday because I was having diarrhea (SIDE NOTE- I am so sorry they called you, Mom. I was sitting right across from Maria when she called you. I was freaking out. I thought you probably freaked out when you first got the call. Ha. Sorrryyy.) So the doctor learns that I have a family history of colitis and tells me I need to go see a specialist. But the soonest I could get in was June 4th. So the doctor said I would probably have to stay an extra week in the MTC. Well, I went back yesterday and Maria, the scheduling lady, tried one more time to see if they had any appointments available sooner. AND they had one for today!!! What a blessing. I just want to get to Ohio.

Last Wednesday my companions and I were teaching "investigators" in the Teaching Resource Center. The investigators are members of the church, usually converts, who volunteer to help the missionaries practice the lessons. Well, this was our first TRC visit and in the middle of teaching the Black's, there is a knock on the door and in walks a man from CNBC with a huge camera asking if it would be okay if he filmed us for a little while. Luckily I was so into the discussion that I didn't even notice him. Anyways, look for my companions and I on TV. We're a big deal.

Sunday was a much needed, uplifting Sabbath day. My spirits were low in the morning and I felt a great wave of unhappiness/frustration with life. Then I met with our branch president, President Creer, and he reminded me that the Savior knows exactly what I am going through because He is the one directing it to strengthen our faith. This principe is taught in 3 Nephi 26:9 where we learn that first our faith is tried and then will the greater things be made manifest. President Creer offered a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to bless my momma that she would be able to sleep at night knowing the Lord was in charge. He always says to me, "Sister Hill, who's in charge?" (SIDE NOTE- Look up Grace in the Bible Dictionary.) Ether 12:6 teaches us that no witness can come until after a trial of our faith. I am entering into my trial of faith and I am so excited for what is yet to come! Faith is for the future!

In Relief Society on Sunday, Ann Madsen (wife of the late Truman G. Madsen), spoke to us about being women of God. She quoted Eliza R. Snow in saying, "We have greater and higher privileges than any other woman in the world."

In Sacrament meeting, the principle of faith was again addressed. I learned to not just face the future, but embrace it, shape it. Heavenly Father will answer our prayers in the way that brings the most learning and growth. After Sacrament, my companions and I took a walk up to the temple where I was proposed to by an elder. I laughed nervously and ran. That night we had a fireside from Brother Allen. My companion, Sister Houston, gave the closing prayer so we sat on the stand and got to meet the MTC President, his wife, and counselors afterwards. I learned at the fireside that if you're going to be a successful missionary, the adversary is going to work on you. He stressed to missionaries and I would say future missionaries, that you cannot let Satan convince you to give up on one of the greatest experiences of your life. Amen to that.

Father [Chris] asked what we're learning the MTC right now. What are we not learning? It's like 12 hours of nonstop studying. I'm learning about listening. Right now we're focusing on lesson 2 in Preach My Gospel on the Plan of Salvation. We get to teach the Black's again tomorrow. The Plan of Salvation is great because they had a son die and the pastor at their church told them that their son was damned. So we get to teach them the truth. Even if they really already know it. But even so, everyone needs to be reminded.

I only have 8 minutes left but I want to tell you about this Russian sister. She doesn't speak any english. She's here in the MTC, from Russia, going to Russia on her mission. I feel like we could be best friends if we could only communicate. I try to talk to her and she tries to understand. She looks like me, but Russian. She's the only member in her family and just went through the temple for the first time last week. She has tattoos, so I guess she looks like me besides being Russian and having tattoos. Anyways, she always draws me the funniest pictures and hands them to me in passing. She's so great. I want to learn Russian just so we can be friends.

Mom! I want to hear how all your goals are going! How are my little girls doing? Christina! THE PEARS AND APPLES WERE DELICIOUS!!! That was such a brilliant idea. I loved it. My companions loved it. I need to cut sugar out of my diet. It's not helping my tummy issues. Also, I'm so glad you're communicating with Jenny, Momma! I miss her so much. I was actually just talking about Jenny the other night to the one other sister (besides my companions) in our district about her. I don't remember why. But I was.
Well, my darlings, my e-mailing time is yet again over. I'm glad to know that Hattie is still alive. I have to go see the poop doctor in 30 minutes. BAAAARF. I love you all and am praying for each one of you!!! Remember that the Savior is in charge and knows exactly what we're going through. Life is good. This man told me the other day, at the entrance of the MTC, the Jesus really loves me. And I know He loves you to. Jesus, not this man. But maybe. He was kind of crazy. Anyways, until next week, I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU.

especially you pops, momma, trev, stinka [her sister Christina], squat [her brother Scott], amy, madison, and sadie!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love forever,
Sister Hill

21 May 2010

Ouchies and Mustaches

Phone rings…caller ID says Brigham Young MTC…heart flutters. The sweet voice on the other end unfolds a story of Sister Nicole Hill being treated at the clinic for severe stomach pains (& some other less pleasant symptoms). The doctor wants her to see a GI Specialist and needs insurance information. I briefly hear Nicole’s voice in the background. Tears sting my eyes but the mother in me stays composed. Sweet voice assures me I will know how Nicole is doing when she can email or write on P-Day. I ask her if she could give Sister Hill a hug from her mom and she replies…”My pleasure.” Thank you, sweet voice for that kind moment. Phone call ends and tears begin…again!

Now for the “Mustache Mystery”…
As you may have read in Nicole’s email (last post), she told us she found Trevor’s mustache on the bottom of her makeup bag. Lest you think my newly 18 year old son grew a mustache and then somehow ripped it from his face to leave Nicole a reminder of her brother, let me set the record straight. Trevor’s birthday, planned by his cousins, involved a fake mustache. After enduring this itchy, sticky thing on his face for longer than he wanted it was quickly removed. In usual Trevor fashion it was dropped somewhere and forgotten until the email. Now Nicole really does have a reminder of her brother that will follow her wherever her makeup goes.

18 May 2010

We Just Got A Letter! We Just Got A Letter! Actually...We Just Got An Email! (Ode to Blue's Clues)

Here is the email from Nicole...edited by me due to the speed at which a missionary is required to produce a document for sending (errors aplenty):

HELLLOOOOO!!!!!!!!! I thought this day would never come. Now let's begin.

I have two wonderful companions, Sister Andersen (from Brigham City, UT) and Sister Houston (from Mesa, AZ. She's also the cousin to Jamie Mundall, Bethany's former roommate). We live in a dorm with two other sisters that are going to the Phillipines. Both Sister Houston and Sister Andersen arrived on the same day as me and will leave with me to Cleveland. They will be serving at the Kirtland Visitor's Center as well.

A typical day @ the MTC goes a little like this-
-Arise at 6 a.m. (Side note: My companions & I had been waking up at 5:45 a.m. and were so exhausted during the day. Then we found out that it's disobedient to arise before 6 a.m. Ever since we started waking up 6, I have been so awake and alert. Blessings come from being obedient, I'll tell you that.)
-Gym (My companions & I walk around that missionary field for 30 minutes because all three of us hate sports. It's perfect.)
-Class (Same classroom for like eight hours every day. Heavenly, I know.)
-Eat lunch at cafeteria. Today's food was crunchy mac n cheese and I almost puked. But it's usually pretty good.
-Dinner at 4:30 pm
-Class/Companion study/Personal study
-Plan for the next day at 9 pm
-Go back to the residence hall. Write in my journal. Lights out. Try to sleep.

Sunday's in the MTC are basically like every other day. But sisters and senior missionaries get to watch the broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word. Then we have Relief Society. This last Sunday we had the 1st and 2nd counselor from the General Young Women's Presidency speak to us. It was amazing. Sister Dibb, the 2nd counselor is President Monson's daughter. Then we have a fireside at night. After the fireside we can choose from 4 different church videos to watch. My companions and I watched a video on The Legacy of Kirtland this last Sunday. I love Kirtland already!

My District Leader just handed me a letter from Nana and it reminded me that the Elder's in my district call me "Sister Popular" because of all the letters and packages I receive. I am SOOO grateful to have such loving family and friends!! Thank you for the letters and treats. Christina sent this really yummy dessert popcorn yesterday. Letters brighten my life. Ugh, seriously. Speaking of which...

We went to the temple this morning and I started to cry because I wanted my mom and dad there with me so bad. But then Heavenly Father comforted me with the assurance that we can be together for eternity so I shouldn't worry. With that being said, I never want to live more than three minutes from home ever again. OH! Guess what!

My district consists of 5 elders and 3 sisters. We had 6 elders, but the one elder go really depressed and had to go home. Our zone has, like, 20 elders and 4 sisters. Our Branch President is SO wonderful. My first few days here were really trying and I started to doubt being here. But he kindly explained to me the importance of the work I have to do. I saw this quote in one of the buildings here that said, "Missionaries are those that leave their families for a short time so that other families can be together forever." I was so strengthened by the temple this morning and am so grateful that I have parents attending every week, too! I have more courage now.

There's an Elder Hill here from South Africa who is in my zone and classroom right next to mine. We pretend we're cousins. There's another example of how I think I'm so funny, but no one else does.

I have a few teachers here who are really helping me grow. One just got home from his mission to Ohio 11 months ago.

The say that a mission is supposed to stretch you, and let me tell you, I've never felt so stretched in my life.

It's pouring rain right now. Thank goodness I got that rain jacket! We were walking back to the MTC from the temple in the rain. It was good though. I need to be a woman. Speaking of things that make me a woman, every week every one of us have to prepare a talk for Sacrament and then the Branch President calls on someone to give the talk after Sacrament. If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.

Thank you so much for your letters/e-mails of encouragement! They really keep me going. Tell Madison and Sadie they’re my sweetie pies. Also, if you would talk about me A LOT so the girls don't forget me that would be great. And then when baby boy is born, make sure you tell him about his super cool aunt.

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, MOM AND DAD!!!!!!! Thank you for your examples. OH! One last thing, I found Trevor's moustache stuck to the bottom of my makeup case the other day. Made me really homesick. I miss that boy. So awesome that Ryan gets to come live with you though! Tell him I'm jealous. I love the Hill house and miss it more than I ever thought possible.

The church is true. Stay strong. Keep fighting. Read the Book of Mormon. Pray to know that it's true. Jesus loves you.

17 May 2010

It's Good To Be Green

My sweet sister, Kim, and her adorable children (pictured - Shelby, Lyndsey, & Ryan) created a “Greenie” box to send to Nicole. For those who are new to our missionary lingo, “greenie” means a brand new missionary.
These are the items in the box (all green packaging or green items):
• Cute mini notebook with green binding
• Sticky notes
• Large package of spearmint Trident gum
• Junior Mints
• Green pen
• Green hi-lighter
• Little green scissors
• Little tissue packs
• Mint dental flossers
• Large package of Wint-O-Green Lifesaver Mints
• Pencils with “Peace” and “Faith” printed on them

Everything was packaged in green tissue paper with a big green and white polka-dotted ribbon on top!

Here's the poem they enclosed with the box:

Dear “Greenie”,

You may be young,
you may be new,

But you're ready to show
what you can do.

Countless experiences
are just around the bend.

The shepherd's lost sheep
you are called to tend.

So enjoy this box,
every last green treat.

Now get excited -
you have lost souls to meet!

16 May 2010

Laughter through the Tears

When Nicole was preparing to enter the MTC (Missionary Training Center) she noticed all the other new missionaries had black luggage and were wearing dark clothing. As you can see by the picture Nicole stood out. In spite of the tears being shed laughter broke through at the sight of our daughter with her Jessica Simpson luggage and adorable pink cardigan. I wondered what the Elder pulling the paisley print suitcase is thinking? Could he be trying to hide his face out of embarrasment? Nicole has always been a bright spot of color and light wherever she goes. That's my girl!

15 May 2010

Miracles and Challenges

Sister Nicole Hill entered the MTC 05/12/2010

I have so much I want to share but only have time for a quick post. I returned home to a dying computer and will put it out of it's misery as I transition to the new one over the next few days.

Preparing to leave for Provo, Utah proved to be a day we felt unprepared for. I couldn't find Nicole's much-needed Social Security card so a trip to the Social Security Office was added to our ever growing list of things to do. That trip was followed by a mad dash to our church building to search for Nicole's lost scriptures. Heartfelt prayers were offered knowing that Chris (Nicole's dad) did not have the keys to the library where the lost and found is located. On a second visit to the chapel by Nicole the scriptures were located on the front pew...we still wonder how they got there. The horrible storms that hit Donner and much of Nevada the night before had disappeared by the time we got on the road, proving the weather forecasts for that day false (at least for us).

Beautiful trip, safe arrival, good nights sleep, more to follow...

11 May 2010

Looking Forward to Letters

For the next few weeks letters/cards/packages can be mailed to the following address:

Sister Nicole Marie Hill
MTC Mailbox # 165
OH-CLE 0608
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Sister Hill LOVES mail!!