Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Week #6

One week more, another week another destiny. This never-ending road to Portugal!!! (Les Miserables, with some words changed) 

I GOT MY FLIGHT PLANS FOR PORTUGAL!!!!!! I'm so excited to finally go to my mission!! I leave next Tuesday at 4:30 in the morning. I'll be calling when I get to the airport :) We fly from SLC to Detroit, then to Paris to Portugal. I can't wait!!!!

Anyway, more on that later! This past week we had companionship exchanges so I was with Sister Savage for preparing and teaching lessons. Other than that we still had our old companionship. It was really interesting. We taught Paulo and I literally think we asked the same question 4 times in a different way. It was a good experience to see how different people teach, study, and plan for lessons.  I loved this experience!

We got a new district of 14 people all going to Brazil. 6 sister and 8 elders. We as STL's and ZL's had a meeting with them to which we introduced ourselves and took them on a tour. I love the sisters so much!!! They are a great group of girls! Found out yesterday that 2 of the sisters got their visas so they leave the same day as us! I was super happy for them!! So that was Thursday night that we had that meeting and then we go back to our room and were locked out. None of our keys worked, the door handle was jammed and it was time to be in our room. We called the front desk and they sent a security guard to try her keys, and they didn't work. So they ended up calling a locksmith to come. By the time we actually got into our room it was 10:40. We sat in the hallway for over an hour waiting for our room to unlock. It was an adventure for sure!! The door works now though :)

On Thursday we also had In-Field Orientation. It was a good experience but suuuuuper long!!! I got the "golden contact" (twix) in one of the breakout meetings and then I was also chosen to be an investigator in front of the whole group. That was exciting.

We Skyped with a Brazilian on Friday. This time was a MUCH better experience! I taught with Sister Savage and Fabio was so kind and spoke slow. I loved talking with him! He got back from his mission in October and is doing online college from BYU-I. I love the connections that you can make with people from all around the world! He's a really great guy! Also on Friday, we went to teach Devan (our real investigator) and come to find out she's a member and was just playing the part of a non-member!! It actually made me really happy because I loved teaching her and was going to ask her to get baptized. She's actually going on a mission to Nampa, Idaho in April!!! She's speaking Spanish! SO EXCITING!!! ----Sunday I played and sang in sacrament meeting! I played "I Need Thee Every Hour" with Sister Young who played the flute, and then we (Sis. Savage, Sis. J., and me with Elder Hunt at the piano) sang my mission farewell song "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" with "Called to Serve" medley. I sang the called to serve part but we changed it to Portuguese! We got lots of compliments and lots of people were crying. I was so scared that day! It was the first time I'd accompanied anyone. I loved being there and bringing the spirit.

Our teacher Irmao Crestani's last day to teach us was on Monday.
 I'm going to miss him for the last week that we're here. We get a new teacher name Irmao Belshore. He's from Mozambique and has some crazy stories. We're excited but we're going to miss Irmao Crestani. We also had to say goodbye to Elder Hunt and Elder Buhler that morning at 3:30. I can't believe how fast these 6 weeks have gone!!! It needs to slow down!!! I'm going to miss everyone so much. We found that class was extremely quiet without those two but I missed laughing with them and talking during lunch. They we excited to go and I'm happy for them to go! One week more and I'll be in the field too! Yesterday Sis. J and I taught Samuel, which was probably one of the best lessons we've had. The spirit was so strong, and we were all on the verge of tears. We taught about seeing God's hand in our lives and how we need to endure to the end through our trials and that God will never leave us during our times of need.  Even though we couldn't speak very well, the message was still the same. We were so excited!!
Our title of liberty scripture for our Zone is Alma 26:12. We are to memorize it in Portuguese. I love this gospel. 

Every day I just think of how I was able to be here on the mission and all the things that lead to this. I look back at all I did and I can only now see how the Lord was preparing me for this opportunity- Cedar Badge, Sports, Family, Music, experiences, etc. I'm reminded everyday of this when I speak and testify. They say the mission is hard, and I know it will be, but I've been so blessed to be here. I know the Lord helped me immensely before I came and I'm so humbled by the fact that I can be here. I want to make this mission the best experience I can. I'm scared out of my mind to go and speak to the Portuguese and be with a trainer, but I know the Lord will take care of me. "The Lord does not ask about our ability or inability, but rather our availability. And when we show our dependability, He will take care of our capability." -Neal A Maxwell (I think, I don't have my note book with me but I think that's how it goes and who it's by) I know this is true. I've been beyond blessed in life. I love my Savior, and I know he loves me and pours His blessings on us everyday if we just ask. I love you all so much. Thanks for your example in my life!

Sister Hillam


Elder Hunt and Elder Buhler and Elder Platts on the side

No matter how hard I tried...

Locked Out!!

Asleep at In-Field

The hills are alive with the sound of music!!!!

Temple Walk day!!!

Abby the MTC!

We loved this painting so we took a picture with it!

Flight Itinerary!!

Our last district foto before Elder Hunt and Elder Buhler left

Ran into Julie Pace outside the temple!! TENDER MERCY!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week #5

Ola minha Familia!!

This week was kind of nuts! We went to the temple last week and it was amazing!!
Temple Walk
Last temple walk with the old sisters
Temple Walk: ZL's and Sister Post
The Provo temple is so beautiful and I loved the session. Plus we got to eat in the cafeteria for lunch and it's probably the best meal I've had since being here. I love going to the temple, especially with the missionaries. I have a new and deeper respect for the Elder's in my zone. Tuesday night we had a devotional and Elder Nelson came again! He's so great and we were blessed to have him back again. I sang in the choir "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and it was amazing. The spirit was so strong. At our practice before, Brother Eggett (our conductor) asked individuals to raise their hands if they were from a different country and speak a different language. The first girl he called on was from Portugal and I did the little snappy thing with my fingers. I was sitting in the front row and he pointed and said, "and she's going to Idaho." I responded that I was from Idaho and he looked at me and said, "Seriously? I'm glad you're not going there then." It was just funny because he was so excited that he guessed where I lived. 

Wednesday we hosted again! Sadly we don't get to host this week. :( I got to help 3 sisters. Sister Coughanour from Oregon going to Japan, Sister Brown from Arizona going to Boise, and Sister Moore from St. Louis going to Salt Lake City. If you ever get the chance, look up the Mormon Message called "Our New Life". Sister Brown was dropped off by her Aunt and Uncle in that Mormon Message. It was amazing!! I see those sisters all the time, and I love talking with them! The only thing that bugs me is that they're here and gone before we leave. It's so annoying! I love getting new missionaries though.
Friday we skyped with a Brazilian. It was awful. We basically sat there and smiled. We nodded a couple of times and then just said yes. She talked for basically 25 of the 30 minutes which was great but we understood nothing.

We have a new MTC presidency! They all speak Portuguese!!!!!  President Burgess is our new president. He served in the Young Men's general presidency as 1st counselor, he and his wife served as mission presidents of the Brazil Belahorezante West Mission. President Bertasso and his wife served as mission presidents in the Brazil Sao Paulo North Mission!! And President and Sister Trost served as the Portugal Lisbon North mission presidents! I'm in love with the presidency!!! They are all great men and women! We got to hear from the women on Sunday for both Relief Society and the new Sister Training meeting for new sisters! They are just great people.

Monday morning bright and early Sister Post left for Manous (however you spell it) Brazil. We've gotten little sleep the past 2 days. She left and we were all so sad. She's a great example. She's been through a lot. She had to leave the MTC because she tore ligaments in her shoulder and had to go home to recover and then she came back 2 days before we got here. Then this morning Sister Overson left for her reassignment to Reno, Nevada. She wanted to get up to say goodbye to her district at 3:30 so we got up. And we've been pretty much awake since then. We're exhausted, but to be able to magnify our calling as STL is fulfilling. We will be blessed for it. 
Sister Post and I...last Sunday
Sister Overson and I.. last Sunday together
Besides Sister Post leaving yesterday, we helped Sister Overson pack. We had her packed and ready to go in about 45 minutes. Awesome!! We were in a trio and let me just say, trios are rough! But it all worked out. We went to bed late and got up super early. We miss her already. Now we're the old district in the zone now. Oh so Elder Wakeham yesterday thought it would be okay to free kick (soccer) a half full bottle of orange juice. Well it smashed against the window in our classroom and exploded! We had orange juice EVERYWHERE!! haha That kid is hilarious. He just looked so dumbfounded! And then a little bit later Elder Hunt put his pen into then fan and then white dust came out of it...pretty sure he busted the fan. We are gryffindor in the zone...I love them! We never seem to have a dull moment. 

The work is coming. I'm loving the MTC. I can tell I already love the language, and I'm starting to think of sentences in Portuguese rather than English. I still get frustrated but I love the work. To be able to testify of Christ and see my teachers eyes start to tear up makes me feel so much better. I can't talk very well but that doesn't matter because the Spirit is the teacher. I'm so blessed everyday. Everyday I see the Lord's hand in our work and the things that we do. I'm thankful for the opportunity I have to serve Him and am humbled by the fact that He's called me. I can't wait to go to Portugal and invite them to come unto Christ. 

I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and the support. It means the world to me to know that people pray for the missionaries. You will be blessed for the support that you give. I know this all to be true. I love Jesus Christ and this gospel. 
Sister Hillam

Tall Time!

Music  CD, Great!
Sis. J and I

Captain Moroni

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pictures from the MTC

Temple walk day

Look how natural we look!

Reminded me of home and our picture!!!

We all connect! We are all linked together with Christ.

We were Gryfindor... I'm Harry and she's Ron

Our ZL's, We're best friends!

Anna is getting baptized!!! Not really...but we were excited!

Merry Christmas from our district!

Best Friends! Doing Portuguese on Computer

Our District in Picture Form!

New ZL's and STL's

Jenny Baird and Brandon Eldridge
Chairman, Vice, Chairman

Sister Post, Sister Overson, Me and Sister Jarnagin! The Old to the New!

From back row to front, left to right:
Sister Savage, Sister Post, Sister Overson, Companion, Me, Sister Young(mad about move), Sister Cahill, Sister Jewel (new), Sister Bradley (new), Sister Adams (new), and Sister Lee (mad about move)

Happy New Years!! Thanks Mom!!

Before I start TALL, pictures of Portugal pop up and I was like, "I've been there!!"

We love being missionaries!

This is the new district in our zone! Minus 3 Girls.

Elder Buhler, Elder Darrington, Elder Wakeham, ElderPenner, Elder Hunter, Elder Platts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Week #4

Hello Family!

First off, Jordan, HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY! I know it's 5 days away but I just wanted to say that now :) Thanks family for the Dear Elder's, they truly make my days...CONGRADULATIONS WADE AND KALLIE!!!! New baby girl in the family :) That's just awesome!!! I was bragging about her to basically to everyone in the zone and anyone who could hear me. My family is just the best!!

I don't even know how to describe this week. There is so much that happens everyday and every week.

OH!!! We went to the temple for the first time last week! The Provo temple is gorgeous!! I can't wait to go again today! I've missed the temple a lot but I'm really glad we can go!
Last Wednesday we got to Host for the new missionaries! That was AWESOME! I got to experience the drop off without actually being dropped off. I got the best of 2 goodbyes!
The MTC presidency gets released I think today. We're suppose to have amazing/super important speakers today. It's rumored that President Monson will be here but we aren't for sure. Plus it's being broadcasted to all the MTC's!! I'll be in the choir again!! I'm pumped for that tonight!!!

The week was a much better week than the last one. Everyone in our district is sick except Sister Jarnagin and I. They’ve put out a new rule that we can't shake hands because of the flu. We do elbow bumps haha. I'm stoked to have the Porto Mission back!! We found out from another Sister going to Portugal from her friend who is there. I don't know much more than that. I guess whatever part of Portugal that we happen to be in when the split happens, is where we are going to stay. So who knows which part of the country I'll be in when it happens! SO STOKED THOUGH!!!!

I almost forgot!!!! I saw the Albaugh's!!!! They just got to the MTC yesterday! That was a way cool experience! I read the Albaugh's name tag and I was like,"Hey I know them!" I called out to them and he came and gave me a side hug. And then again later that day at dinner, Sister Albaugh was sitting talking to Kevin on the phone and thrust the phone into my hand so I could talk to him. I got to talk to him, and that was kind of cool!!

The work is rolling on! I have 3 more weeks and then we enter the field. There is so much to do and so little time to do it. I love the gospel and I can't wait to get to Portugal. I'm loving the missionary life and I can feel the Lord blessing me.

Sister Madison Hillam

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Week #3

Dearest Familia,

This week has been like the ride from Animal Kingdom, Everest. It was the highest of highs, and then it started to go backwards and it feels like the Yeti is going to jump down on us. Jordan...G-forces!!!!!

We got 10 new people in our zone!!! 7 Elders and 3 Sisters! They didn't get their visas so they had to come to Provo. We were so excited that they came!!! Love them! Sisters Brady, Jewel, and Adams.

This past week we taught our investigator Devan (in English) about the restoration of the gospel and then later this week we talked to her about prayer and how she will see her mom again. Her mom died 2 years ago, and all growing up she had to take care of her because she'd been in a wheel chair. She's had a rough time with it. So we all cried after the second lesson.

After getting back from Devan's the first time, we taught Anna (Irma De Campos) also about the restoration (it was a restoration kind of night), and the spirit was so strong that we were all in tears. I literally had the hardest time talking after we read Joseph Smith History and His account of the vision. All I could say was I knew it was true, and then the water works started. She told us that we are far superior about teaching than the others in the district because we rely 100% on the spirit, and that we didn't need to focus on Portuguese, and I can testify that letting go of the worry with the language, the Lord has poured His blessings on us. Sister Jarnagin and I are working together so well!!! I'm loving this!!!!

The MTC presidency is getting released next week I think. They spoke at the missionary conference for fast Sunday. So I'll have 4 mission presidents while on the mission! 2 MTC presidents, and 2 Mission presidents. That's kind of exciting. So.... I’m the new Sister Training Leader! SURPRISE!!!! Sisters Post and Overson were released and Brother Adolfson came and got us on Sunday like 2 minutes before the meeting started and told us. We had no clue it was coming. Elder Hardy and Elder Adams were released, and Elder Bullock (Canadian) and Elder Masubele (African) were called! I can't wait to work with them more! With great power comes great responsibility.... Sister Jarna
gin and I understand this principle.

I know the Lord is watching our for Sister Jarnagin and I right now. I feel his arms around me, especially this week. I love the gospel. I know it's true and I love that standard at which I am held. Even though the semester was hard, I'm really glad I went. It's taught me things that I've needed to know like waking up early, studying, preparing, and relying on the Savior. Although this week is a roller coaster, I'm really glad Sister Jarnagin and I have gotten so close, for truly I could not have done it without her. The Savior has helped us in ways that I can't even describe. The language is hard and we get frustrated but I'm meant to be where I am, and the Lord will help me in His time. I've learned this the most this past week. I'm loving it here and it seems like yesterday that I was emailing you. I can't believe that I leave in a month. Time needs to slow down because I'm so excited to bring others unto Christ. Thank you all for the prayers, and the letters. They really do make my day. I love our family!

Sister Madison Hillam

P.S. I think the mission is splitting in July!!!!!!!! PORTO IS COMING BACK!!! It's a rumor, but just check and see if it's true. The temple is starting too!!!! AHHH!!!!!! PORTUGAL!!!!! Which would mean that I could have 5 MTC/Mission presidents.