Monday, July 7, 2014

Peru, My Love.

Dear Sister Hill,

"Aaaah I'm so excited!"

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

You are assigned to labor in the PERU CUSCO MISSION!!
(caps and exclamation points added cause I'm so stinking excited.)

New Scriptures! 

It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Peru Missionary Training Center
(That's AWESOME! Am I right? Yes, yes I am. Promise.)
on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

I'm that head my dad is hugging.
You will prepare to preach the gospel in the Spanish language.

Peru, my love.


My goodness what a WONDERFUL day that was.

I loved opening my call.
I loved reading words straight from the First Presidency letting me know where Heavenly Father wants me to serve for a short (but ever so long) 18 months.

The rest of the letter was amazing too. 
Wow! I tell you what, wow!
(bonus points if you can name that movie)

I especially loved that I was surrounded by some of my closest family members and one of my best friends.
They all made the trip SUPER short notice to watch me open my call.
We were convinced it wasn't coming that week.
(problems with the online system, I guess.)
And SURPRISE, it came!

Best. Surprise. Ever.
I burst into tears in the middle of Walmart when I got my mom's text.
And I wasn't even embarrassed

So thanks, everyone who was able to make it!
And those of you who were on Skype and phones.

You're all amazing people and I love you and I'm so glad you were a part of that day!

Also, I can't stop quoting The Emperor's New Groove in my head.
You know. 
The name is Kuzco. Emperor Kuzco. 
He gets turned into a llama.
He's the kid emperor of the Incan Empire?

Think about it.

Guesses. Which were all wrong.

Love me some Landrum girls and Uncle Mike.
Callie Hansen.
(Also crying. So much crying.)

My Jacker Cracker.
He'll be bigger than me when I get back.

Our relationship in one picture.

Two of my cute step sibs.
 I can't wait to serve the people of Peru.
All that's been on my mind every minute since I opened my call is
"How can I adequately prepare to serve them?!"

From struggling to learn Spanish
buying cute mission clothing, 
studying, living, and breathing the scriptures and the gospel,
pinteresting what my beautiful Peru and its beautiful people look like,
to learning random facts like one American dollar is worth 2.77 Peruvian Sols.

I'm doing my best.
I know that Heavenly Father called me to Cusco for a reason.
The more I learn about Peru, the more I realize how perfect it seems to be for me.
I can't wait to share the most important thing in my life with the people in Cusco, Peru.

I can't wait.
And I'm in love with Peru already.

Love from,
The Llama Hermana

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day


Leaving for college.

LOVES the photobombing.

Tiny daddy!

Hahahaha. Oh, the 70's.

My first day at church.

My daddy :)

Here's some things you may or may not know about him.

He researches movies/tv shows - in great depth. Mostly on Wikipedia.
(They do fairly well on movies.)
He's a vegan and an avid cyclist - that's one you really should know if you've met my dad.
He's one of my very best friends.
His dad died when he was 13, and when I was that age I was absolutely terrified he would die as well.
He taught me to appreciate great music - our tastes are slightly different now.
He took his ten year old daughter to a Dave Matthews Band concert.
He basically replaced me with a yellow lab puppy (Aubree or The Yellow Menace) when I moved out.
He's a super big fan of super heroes.
see what I did there?
He researches them thoroughly as well.
And then teaches me everything he knows about them.
He's the king of dad jokes and puns.
He was my alarm clock basically until the day I moved out. Seriously.
He tucked me into bed every night until I was older than I care to admit.
Cough cough. Junior High.
I'm fairly certain he wishes he had a Scottish accent.
He'll eat just about ANYTHING.
You know. As long as it's vegan.
And before that, he'd actually eat anything.
He cooks well too.
He's incredibly smart.
He gets passionate about learning everything he can about his interests.
He raised me in the church. And I wouldn't be who I am without him.
He loves his family with everything he is.
He's an absolutely wonderful dad.
He's always been so great to me and my brothers, and now to the step-siblings.

I'm pretty much his biggest fan.

Grandpa Jim.
(Mum's dad.)

He genuinely loves people.
He loves meeting new people and having a million friends.
He's gifted me books MANY times over the years.
He taught me how to use a record player.
And gifted me 13 Elvis records.
Basically - he gets me.
He would reply and pay us a dollar for each letter we wrote him when we were kids.
He also has a tattoo of road runner.
You know, the one from that Coyote cartoon?
It's pretty awesome.
He's one cool cat.

Grandpa Dale.
(Mum's step-dad.)

He taught me how to make (freaking delicious) homemade bread.
He took me fishing when I was little.
He loves all of us step-grandkids like we're his own.
And we love him like he's ours too.
He sasses my mom all the time - something I totally approve of. It's hilarious.
He fed me my entire first week and a half of college with his homemade bread and homegrown vegetables.
He added some pretty awesome additions to my childhood rock collection, and told me amazing stories about the legends behind them.

yes i was one of those children to collect rocks.
what?? they were fascinating to me.

Grandpa Norton.
(Dad's dad.)

Grandpa and dad.

Grandpa and dad.

I honestly don't know too much about him.
Come on, family! Share more with me!
From what I do know, it sounds like we would have been best friends.
He made sandwiches with rolls out of basically every meal he was given.
He was actually pretty amazing at taking pictures. And he took a TON of them.
He also took pictures of the exact things that I would have in his situation.
(He took the picture that is currently my blog title. I love it.)
He liked peanut butter and cheese sandwiches.
He met my grandma during the summer in the middle of their high school career when he was working at the movie theater and she was working at a drive in restaurant named Fred & Kelly's.
Once he ACCIDENTALLY shot one of the windows in his high school.
And was never caught.
(Long and super funny story. But I swear he wasn't some juvenile delinquent.)
He served in both the Vietnam and Korea wars.
He loved his family.
He died from a heart attack when he was 48.

These fathers have shaped my life in so many different ways.
I love those men more than I can describe.
And I'm grateful every single day that they're a part of my life.
Happy Father's Day!
(Belated. I didn't want the post to get lost in all the Father's Day craziness.)

Happy Father's Day to all of the other fathers in my life as well!
Uncles, cousins, friends' dads, etc.
You're all amazing men as well and I'm grateful for you too!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

To: My Fellow Future Missionaries


I don't know which part of the process you're at.
I'm in the middle of the interviews part.

But I feel like I should share this with you.
My study sesh was pretty rewarding today :)

Growing up I never thought I'd serve a mission.
Then the momentous General Conference when President Monson announced the age change!

Still didn't think I was going.

For a while. 
I'm more stubborn than you could possibly believe.

Then I decided to go!
(More on that later. Be patient. That isn't today's story.)

As I'm sure you're aware...
People tell you/will tell you
how hard it's going to be. 

How hard EVERYTHING will be once you start your papers, 
once you are waiting for your call,
after you receive your call,
and up until the moment you leave,

Satan WILL work his very hardest on you because the work you are preparing for matters.
And if you continue to [insert standard Sunday School answers here] and always
have faith and trust in the Lord.
You'll be okay!

Sounds easy, yes?
You and I both know that it isn't quite as easy as it sounds.

But it works.
I promise.

Life is HARD for me right now.
My goodness, every little thing seems to be going wrong :)

I'm not complaining here, just stating the facts.
Yes, life is not easy right now.

But I wouldn't change it.

Satan working so hard against me is just further proof that I'm supposed to be serving a mission!
And what Satan isn't betting on is that I'm learning from these experiences,
rather than giving up.

Do me a favor, go study Joseph Smith - History 1:60.

Guys. There's SO MUCH we can learn from Joseph Smith - History. 
It's one of my favorite passages to study.

Here are some of the parts that stuck out to me - in just one verse of scripture.

"For no sooner was it known I had them, than the most strenuous exertions were used to get them from me."

No sooner than the moment I started my mission papers,
everything started going wrong. 
It's been hard to even put a smile on my face some days.

"The persecution became more bitter and severe than before"

Yes, of course there were challenges in my life before I started my papers.
But there has been a noticeable difference.
People always told me there would be, but honestly - I never believed them.

Well. They were totally right. 

Satan and his forces attacked Joseph Smith with every single thing they had.
But due to Joseph's overwhelming faith, hard work, and trust in the Lord and His plan,
He was able to translate the Book of Mormon.


He was able to bring the gospel back to the earth.
He was a prophet of God.

He did the most INCREDIBLE things.

And his life was hard.
It was, oh so very hard.
For him and his family.

But I'd wager that he was one of the happiest people, ever.
And he accomplished SO MUCH to bring the gospel back to the earth and the people in it.

I doubt any of you will have to go through the exact things Joseph Smith went through.
But your challenges will feel like Everest to you.
Mine sure do.
But you will be challenged and tested and have so many things thrown in your direction.

(Do me another favor. Go read Helaman 5:12. #scripturemastery)

Because Satan doesn't want you to be the incredibly powerful missionaries you can be.
You are going to make a difference. 
You're going to affect the world for good, and he knows it.

So yes, it will get harder.

Hard things make you grow.

But let's be honest,
sometimes they kinda suck.

So here's what I do to stay happy and positive through all the crap.

Surround yourselves with good, happy, uplifting friends.



Family time, kids. FAMILY. TIME.


Step-fam, Dad, brothers 

Brothers, Cousins

Grandma Myrn & Grandma Lolo

Grandma & Grandpa

Take the time every day to do something that you love.
Even if it's just surfing Instagram or Pinterest for 5 minutes, 
do something every day that makes you happy.

Taking pickshurrs 

Hanging out in da river.
Disneybounding with friends (Peter Pan, style! You know that's right.)

Read a book. Or LOTS of books.

Go outside. Trust me on this one.
Outside is gooood for you.

Standard Sunday School answers.
(They're standard for a reason, kids. They work.)

Attend all of your church meetings & pay attention.
Study your scriptures - actually STUDY. Don't just casually read.
Pray, with real intent. Fast when you need it.

Last, but not least.
Prepare for your mission every day.
Learn to love the people you'll be serving.
(I don't even know where I'm going yet, and I feel a love for those people that I can't describe.)
Study Preach My Gospel.
Learn the doctrines and teachings in it early, and you'll be better off in the MTC and in the field.
(So I've heard from my missionary friends. It makes sense.)
If you can, find someone to practice studying and teaching with like you will with your companions.

Make sure you're ready for your mission.
Don't let Satan get you down. We all know he's not going to win anyway.
I swear, doing all of those things I almost forget how hard everything has been.
And I'm so very happy.

This is going to be an amazing summer. 
I love where I am in life.