Monday, February 9, 2015

#8 The Best 2 Years

I finally made it to Portugal!!!!!!! I LOVE IT HERE!!!!!!!!! 

So flying was good. We would literally get off one flight and walk onto the other one. There was little time to stop, which was exactly how I wanted it. Sadly I didn’t get to eat anything in Holland (Sorry Dad). I got to talk to this lady that was Buddhist and I think she was scared of me because she didn’t want to talk but oh well! She put her headphones in so...but what was awesome was that the long flight to Amsterdam, I got 2 seats next to the window to sleep in!! I slept for a solid 3 maybe 4 hours! It was awesome!! Not much when you’re up for like 30 hours ha-ha and what’s even better was I wasn’t too tired! I transitioned into missionary work really easily! 
We landed in Portugal and the mission president and his wife with all the office Elders met us by the doors. It was all a blur! Literally it was so good to be there that I’m really not sure what happened till I got to the mission office. We met our companions there and my trainer is Sister Brundage!!! SHE´S AMAZING!!!! Literally, I had so many people tell me she is the best trainer. I’m so blessed to have her. We had a really quick meeting with President Fluckiger and the office missionaries. I saw Elder Zwahlen!!!! He’s training Elder Ward from my zone in the MTC! He’ll do such a great job!!! It was good to see someone from home! After that, we were quickly sent to the bus station where we caught a bus to my new area! You’ll never believe where I am... the ALGARVE!!! More specifically in Olhão!!! This place is booming with missionary work!! 

We didn’t actually get to Olhão till the next day because we had Zone conference, which I had no idea what was going on the entire time. I met with President Fluckiger and we talked for like 5 minutes so it wasn’t much, just getting to know me. I talked with Sister Fluckiger for a little bit in a meeting as well. I just love them so much!! They are inspired people. We got to Olhão that night and got right to work. We visited the chapel and taught a recent convert named Ana. I testified to her of the importance of Sunday’s, which is hard here because everyone works on Sunday. She’s been baptized for a week and she got a calling to be the primary president! She’s amazing. The Lord is preparing Portugal. We found a woman named Pité on the street, who is super religious and is just awesome. We want to visit her soon!

1st full day in Olhão on the 7th!! Muito Milagres!!! This is where my mission is like the Best 2 Years!! That day I just couldn’t help but think that this language is not what they taught me in the MTC! I could barely follow any conversation. It was nuts!! So we studied all morning and hit the streets. We ran into a guy that Sister Brundage knew before I came and they’d only talked to him once before. My first time teaching a non-member and it’s in English!!!!! Who would have thought? Ha-ha it was kind of awesome!!! His name is Nuno and he believes everything we taught and right then and there, we invited him to be baptized!! HE SAID YES!!!! HUZZAH!! It was awesome!! We needed to visit this lady named Maria who can’t read very well. She wasn’t there so we prayed and waited for quite awhile. Then I had this feeling that either way we went to get back to our apartment, we would meet someone. We ran into Francisca! She’s kind of been M.I.A there for awhile. No one could find her and we marked to go see her again! Milagre! Later that day, Sister Brundage needed to use the bathroom so we stopped in at the little cafe, and I had the strongest impression to talk to this lady named Jessica. I was so scared but I got up and talked to her in broken Portuguese. I left her with a pass along card and invited her to church!!! It was a really good experience! That night we went and visited Antonia. She has crazy kids that hit her and do not respect her at all. It’s a super sad story. Anyway we went there and her friend was there. We invited them both to church. Marta was her friend and I think she’s really interested in the Gospel because she lost a baby and I know this church can help her. AND THEN! Sister Brundage gave me the opportunity to find the last contact of the night. After she said that literally the road was clear of all people. I just thought, ´´great...last contact and no one...´ I had this super strong feeling that the next person I would see would be the one I needed to talk to. Of course this person couldn’t be walking but rather riding his bike! We stopped him and he is a miracle!!! His name is João and he is elect!!! He’s been searching for the truth and I know he’s been prepared for us to teach him. Oh and He’s getting baptized!! He went to church and after church we asked him to get baptized!!!!!!! HUZZAH!!!
Yesterday at church, I had no idea what was going on. It was really rough because I love church and I could feel the spirit but I didn’t know what was going on. But it’s all good because we have 2 marked for baptism!! We went to visit Maria (who can’t read) and found Sulizita. She is amazing!! She was so close to baptism. 2 of her 3 kids are baptized and her ex husband is as well! She knows songs in the hymnbook too ha-ha! She’ll probably get baptized! 

The work is going so well!! Literally I’m loving this! I can’t speak but it’s so wonderful here! The weather is a little chilly but it’s all good. Sister Brundage has served in Porto and the Madeira!!!! She tells me all about them all the time. She’s the best. I love her so much. She has too much faith in me and is super patient. She leaves after this transfer to go home and I just want to soak in all her knowledge. I love you all so much!! Thanks so much for the prayers and all the love!!

Sister Hillam

P.S. I haven’t eaten anything out of the ordinary but it’s all super good. SUCH GOOD CHEESE!!!!!! 
Leaving the MTC

Long Flight Pictures

Long Flight

I haven't worn these in a while!

Companion Sister BethanyBrundage

First Meal. MD's is really fancy here!

This is the Sunrise every morning here in Olhão

Our Study Area


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