President James E. Faust once said, “The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation” (“Fathers, Mothers, Marriage,” Ensign, August 2004). This statement rings true in the Hill family, who live in Missouri. You may be familiar with the story of PathwayConnect graduate Elizabeth Hill, as she was featured in the article “Finishing Her Degree” in the January 2020 BYU-Pathway Worldwide President’s Report. Liz completed the PathwayConnect program while the Hill family was living in Istanbul, Turkey. Her experience with the program was life-changing, not only for her but for her family, specifically for her son Gabriel.
Upon graduating from high school, Gabriel was ready to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Due to some challenges Gabriel had with anxiety, it was advised that he wait 9 to 12 months to submit his papers and serve. Despite the initial disappointment, he looked at the time as an opportunity to further prepare for when he could serve, especially to further his education. He remembered his mother’s example. “I remembered her working on her degree,” he says. “She helped me prepare for my time in BYU-Pathway.”
Not only has Gabriel enjoyed his studies academically, he feels that he is progressing spiritually as well. He says, “The lessons are infused with the gospel, and it helps me to understand the gospel more. It has given me a great advantage.”
Liz sees the progress Gabriel is making. “BYU-Pathway Worldwide is helping him to feel important, recognized, loved, and that he is not forgotten,” she says. “He is developing and becoming who he can be.”
Additionally, Gabriel is progressing toward being an effective missionary, and he gives credit to the structure of the BYU-Pathway Worldwide program for helping him grow closer to the Savior. “The classes help me understand the Spirit,” he says. “The daily study and integration help me. I have learned to put my faith and trust in [God].”