Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week #2

Dearest Familia,

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY WADE!!!! Sorry it's a day late. I hope you had a great day to celebrate your birth! Love you lots, and I thought about your special day the whole day. 

So after we got off the phone on Christmas, that night they brought it singers from a playhouse in Utah. At the playhouse, they usually perform A Christmas Carol, but that night they just sang the songs from it. It reminded me of you Dad. Please say that you watch that movie this year along with a Christmas Story?! After that, a lady told the story of Christ through the perspective of Mary. She did super great. The final was the song Divine Redeemer sung by a worker at the MTC. Not going to lie, Christmas night was a let down from that morning but not much can beat an Apostle. We could watch a film that night and we watched Ephraim's rescue, and Sister Jarnigan and I are cry babies. It was just so awesome to be in a room with missionaries watching the Priesthood bless lives. 

The day after Christmas was super sad. I loved Christmas!!! Our teacher Irmao Crestani went on a date (friday) with this girl to go sledding (she barely got off her mission) and he landed right on his face!  We all thought he broke it, anyway, turns our Anna (Irma De Campos) is now going to be a teacher for us! She called Sister Jarnigan and I out for our lessons though. She asked how we thought our Portuguese was and of course it's terrible. She then went on to say that when she was reviewing our lesson, she felt the Spirit the most in our lesson. I started to cry because I try so hard to know and understand what I'm suppose to say and do in lessons. Even though my Portuguese is bad, the Spirit can still work through me. I can say it's been a week of up's and down's.

OKAY! I have a new favorite song!!!! It's called "The Sisters of Zion" (As sisters in zion but for missionaries) written by Janice Kapp Perry. We sing it every Sunday for relief society It goes like this:

"The sisters of zion are called to God's labor.
We willingly serve Him with Spirit and might.
We go to the nations with trust everlasting.
We teach of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ."

"We thanks thee, oh God, for a prophet to guide us.
we trust in His words and our purpose is clear.
The angels of heaven are walking beside us,
We'll share our glad message with all who will hear"

"We go forth enlisted with Helaman's army,
In numbers much greater than ever before,
With power and spirit we'll faithfully witness,
The heavens have spoken and trust in restored."

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I'M A TOTAL FAN GIRL!!!!!! GUESS WHO CAME FOR  DEVOTIONAL SUNDAY NIGHT?!?! DAVID ARCHULETA AND RICHARD ELLIOTT!!! I got to usher for the night and David totally said Hi, waved, and looked at me!! Yay, I'm pretty cool. It's whatever. haha Oh and his favorite scripture and my favorite scripture are the same...just in case you guys were wondering. Ether 12:27 Favorite! Music just brings a spirit that you can't describe. 

They played/ sang:
We Thank Thee Oh Good for a Prophet- a tribute to President Hinckley
How Great Thou Art
Go Tell it on the Mountains
Good King Wenceslas (Elder Adams can't spell) and a Nut Cracker medley

French Christmas Song
Glorious (from Meet the Mormons)
If the Savior Stood Beside Me
Be Still My Soul
They both sang/played: Come, Come Ye Saints
 Hark All Ye Nations- the last verse we sang as missionaries, so great! 

I love music!!!

Irmao Crestani was explaining to us that on his mission he'd leave a blessing with his investigators and we wanted to do the same with us. We went around the room and said what we felt like we'd say to the Savior if we had the chance to be blessed by Him like from 3 Nephi when He visited the Nephites. I would ask Him to bless me with the language so that I could speak the words of my heart. I started crying and was super emotional. Irmao Crestani knelt down and prayed for each of us. It was a really powerful prayer and left all of our district in tears.

The work is going on. There are good days and there are bad days. I love you all so much. Your experiences of doing this before me gives me strength to know that I can do this. Time flies by so fast. It needs to slow down! It seems like yesterday that it was P-day. It's been such a great time with everyone, and we've grown so close. I leave in like 4 weeks.... yikes.

I feel Grandpa Hillam everyday right beside me. He truly is lifting me up when I want to break down.  I feel like I've grown close to him, even though I can't see him. We have a great legacy and I'm so blessed to have this opportunity to represent the family.

You're favorite daughter,
Sister Hillam
Tudo Bem, Tudo Bem.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Week #1

Hellooooo Familia (and friends)!!!!!

        Oh my goodness, I don't even know where to begin! As you all know, getting to the MTC was an adventure! Lucky we didn't go over much in class that day. My companion is Sister Kaia Jarnigan!!!! Who would have thought?! Mr. Jarnigan's daughter!! It's been pretty fun with her as a companion! haha The food is alright...I eat a lot but some of it is just nasty! We get fed well here for sure. Mom, you'd be happy to know that I work out so good!! Our zone and district are pretty much the best.

      So my usual schedule of the MTC: We wake up at 6:15 every morning to get ready for the day. We have personal class room study for 45 minutes and then breakfast. After every meal we have 3 hour class room blocks. In those blocks we can either have 1. personal/ companionship/ language study 2. our professor Irmao Crestani comes and teaches us Portuguese 3. We teach our investigator Anna. Yes, that's right, we teach lessons in Portuguese. After our first full day (Thursday) we were told that we needed to prepare a lesson for our new investigator Anna, in Portuguese. My goodness it was nuts.

      Anyway Thursday night we met with our branch and I met a Brother Coffman who was best friends with grandma's brother and served with grandpa in Brazil. He's awesome!! I seriously have the best branch. Friday came along and we taught Anna her first lesson. We basically read from Preach My Gospel and tried to teach her to have faith in Jesus Christ. It's hard to learn Portuguese.

      LOVE SUNDAYS!!!! Sunday's here at the MTC are the best! I was on a spiritual high all day! Sacrament meeting was at 8:15, and then right afterwards we were able to listen to music and the spoken word, and we sang As Sister in Zion but it was a missionary version. I balled like a baby! Guess who came to speak to us for relief society?!?!?! SISTER LINDA K. BURTON!!! AWESOME!! She talked about receiving gifts and our attitude about those gifts. She is such a powerful lady.We had some personal time and then Sister Jarnigan and I went to sing in the choir. We're singing "Our Shepherds Lately Knelt" or something like that. It's beautiful! Brother Richard I. Eaton talked to us for our Sunday night devotional about how much God loves us. It was pretty good. Sister Jarnigan and I decided to watch Elder Bednar's "Characters of Christ" message that he shared 3-4 years ago on Christmas to the missionaries. If you can, READ IT!!!! I loved it so much. I needed Sunday really badly. 

        We taught Anna again yesterday and it went soooo much better! We could only improve from the last time we taught her. We taught her how to find happiness and how to be happy. We only knew what scriptures we wanted to share with her and some of the things we wanted to say, other than that we relied on the spirit to help guide us. Even though our Portuguese was TERRIBLE, I felt so much better about it. 

      I love it here. I love being surrounded by so many missionaries. The spirit of the gospel is awesome, I almost don't want to leave, but at the same time I want to teach and understand better. I've seen a little bit of how much of a roller coaster the mission can be. I know it's true though. Teaching Anna is great!! Sister Jarnigan and I just get so happy after we teach, even if it wasn't our best lesson. I know Heavenly Father is blessing me. There will be times that random words will come into my head and I know what they mean. I know the spirit is working to help guide me. Even though the language is hard, I have such a peace about it. I love learning and and I'm trying to soak it in as much as I can. Portuguese is just beautiful!!! I can't wait to be able to carry on a conversation past "Hello, how are you? bye!" haha.

      I couldn't have asked for a better way to serve the Lord. I love Him so much, and even more now that I'm here. I can't wait to see what they have in store for us for Christmas. I love you all so much. I feel the support that you have for me. Thank you so much Mom and Crystal for your letters. I really needed that that day. Keep doing good things!!!

Sister Madison Hillam (Isn't that a great title?!?!)