Monday, February 16, 2015

#9 Think Happy Thoughts and They Will Lift You Into the Air

Dearest Family,

Every week is just full of miracles and people that we meet! Like we met this guy named Januario, who when they first met him, he was so closed to the gospel that he dismissed them. But now he said he would like to know more! It was awesome! That was the Monday night and every since then we’ve had people like that all week!
We had a district meeting Tuesday and I’m the one struggling in the whole zone. Elder Rich who came with me to Portugal spoke French so that was a little upsetting. But the language is coming! I can tell that I’m understanding so much more than before! I get so frustrated still but Sister Brundage is soooo awesome and supports me so much!!! I love her!! There was a specifically hard day and I was thinking about myself and we were walking down the road and I just asked to focus outward on others and we stopped to talk to this man named João. His wife Victoria had passed away and he was so sad, he cried a lot when we were talking. This was exactly what I needed. I testified of the plan of salvation and that he’d see her again. It refocused me on my purpose. Later that night we went to a dinner of the Elder’s investigators! I ATE SQUID AND LAMB!!! It was awesome!!! He was a chef. Then we had to quickly run to an English class that we started and our investigator João came! He’s doing so awesome!!! Also, I seriously pray every zone/district meeting! We had a zone conference call that night, and guess who said the closing prayer...yeah. ME! Every time! My prayers are becoming repetitive because I don’t know very many words. It’s a work in progress!

So we met with Natu and I’m not sure if I’ve told you about him but he’s the ward mission leader, the 2nd counselor in the bishopric and the Stake Young Men’s president! He is AWESOME!! We met with him on Wednesday and he is so inspired. We fasted that day for our goals and baptisms here in Olhao and that in and of itself is a miracle! I’ve been able to fast without headaches!!! João is progressing so well. He is elect and a golden person! That night we were trying hard to get our 20 contacts for the night and we found an investigator that fell off the face of the earth! Ana Baptista! It’s a miracle we found her. Sister Brundage told me this that night about a lesson we taught earlier this week. We were teaching this girl named Vanda. We had contacted her on the street and met her 2 days later. We were teaching the first lesson and Sister Brundage was teaching about prophets and she didn’t get it, so she turned to me and told me to teach her prophets. I basically said this, ``They are people who talk with God, and they teach us. ` Sister Brundage asked what prophets were and she knew! Truly the Spirit is the teacher in lessons.

Another miracle!! We found another one of the investigators that disappeared!! Her name is Carina and we also met her husband. Sadly we went to visit her on her scheduled time and she couldn’t. (P.S. it was carnival here! Not as crazy at Brazil!) But anyway, we found her! Then we were walking and we ran into this English couple that were members! That was cool to talk with them for a little bit. That happens so rarely and we actually ran into another guy that was a member this week too! Awesome! I was also told this week that I looked like an Irish/English woman! It was a great compliment! As we were trying to find this house we got lost and didn’t know where we were really. I said a prayer that we could find this house and 5 minutes later, we found it! They weren’t there but it was such a blessing to find this family. Then we headed back to the chapel and found our the chapel had been broken into! The computer is gone. It was so sad!! The members were so sad and one of our members had tears in his eyes. We continued on through the night and all of our appointments fell through but we went to our alternative plans and I testify that the Lord sees who we put on our schedules because we needed to go see Helder and Vera. They are prepared to hear our message. The Lord prepares those that you write on the planner. I saw this quote and I love it. `Faith in God includes faith in His timing. ` Sometimes I wonder why I’m here but our investigator João needed me. The work is going forward! So many people know about the church.

We went a visited this couple named Maria Clara and Patriacha. It didn’t register in my head that his name means Patriarch! He was a patriarch!! They both knew grandpa!! They lived in Porto and had meetings with him. Grandpa actually set him apart as a Patriarch! There was this one interview that he went to with grandpa and he was wearing rain boots because he had just gotten done working. He walked into the room and grandpa looked at his boots and said, You didn’t have any other shoes? `ha-ha he will never forget that. Also they have a plate that Aunt Linda gave them with cookies on it from her mission! They knew Bonnie and Linda really well! I love finding people that know Grandpa and Grandma. I asked for a blessing on Fridayby Natu. It was beautiful and ever since then I haven’t stressed about the language! Literally the first couple of weeks have been placed on the Lord because He has truly carried me through a lot. I can’t ever repay Him for what He’s done for me. I love Him with my whole heart.

Crazy story!!! Okay on Saturday it’s a miracle we got up because the day before we dropped the phone and every time we do that we have to reset the time. We forgot to so it messed up all of our alarms. We went to bed and at 12:30 in the morning, one of our past investigators called all drunk, we told him not to call back. Well he did at like 1:15. Sister Brundage was so mad. Then our afternoon alarm went off at 2:30. That’s when we got up and set the time right on the phone. It took 3 times before we got the hint that we needed to change the time on the phone! The day was really tiring but we got up on time! That night we taught João the Plan of Salvation. OH MY GOODNESS the spirit was sooo strong!!!! He’s getting baptized this Saturday for sure!!!!!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!!!! We were so elated!!!!! Still are!!!!! Then later that night we had a reference from the Elder’s so we went to visit this lady and met the husband instead! They are elect as well. We have lots of people that we need to baptize! It’s so awesome!!! Jose Carlos, a recent convert, called us and told us how he felt about joão. He was saying how special Joao is and how he feels this need to take him under his wing. Jose Carlos needs this because he’s struggled with his personal self worth. João truly is special. Jose wants to be the one to baptize him!

The work is going forward and me with it. I love being a missionary. Wearing Christ’s name everyday is an amazing opportunity. I can’t believe that He’s called me to do His work, there are days that I can’t believe how much He blesses us and trusts us to teach His children. I couldn’t be doing anything better. I love you all so much!!!

Sister Hillam

P.s. some funnies of this week: We have a lady named Leila (Like my goat) and I was telling Paulo Andre (Likes to do splits with us) about my goats and he said, I could sit and watch a goat all day! I just busted up laughing!!
We asked a couple of old men to sing the Portugal Anthem. That was pretty funny! They’d get quiet and then loud ha-ha

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