Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Week #7

It's official!!! I'm going to Portugal!!! 

Before I get started on that crazy story let's review this past week...

After I wrote my big email last week, we had the opportunity to go to the temple. I love the temple!!! Guess who I ran into?!?! JULIE PACE!!! It was so good to see here!! I'm seriously going to miss it so much when I get to Portugal. "Return with Honor" has a whole new meaning to me after my temple visit. Not only does it mean returning home from the mission with honor, it means to our Heavenly Father as well. I had deeper thoughts than that in the temple but that's the main idea. The outlook on the mission is different now. What's even better is that Elder Katcher in the second quorum of the seventy came for devotional. He talked about our missions and what manner of missionaries we ought to be. That was awesome!! 

Irmao Belchior is our new teacher, replacing Irmao Crestani. He's a great teacher! He has tons of stories about his mission and just life in general. A story that Belchior told us was about charity. He related it to a beggar and 2 guys walking past, one giving the beggar $1000 and the other handing him a business card and telling him to call him for his job. He said, "the $1000 guy is a democrat always handing out money, and the other guy is a republican, telling him to work for his money." he then related it to the scripture about giving a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but teach a man how to fish, feed with for life. I died with laughter. Both however show acts of charity because we don't actually know what the guy needed. We just need to help in anyway that we can. That same day we got a new district of missionaries. 4 new sisters and 8 elders, all going to Brazil. They are super awkward. We had a meeting with them and they were completely silent, you could touch the awkwardness in the air. 

Thursday...wow...emotional roller coaster for sure!!! We went on through the day is if nothing had changed but let me tell you, my mission flipped upside down. So we'd been concerned about our visas because we hadn't heard anything about them. We were told that if we didn't hear about our visas that it was a good thing. Apparently not. At lunch one of the districts went and got mail and inside the mailbox were yellow packets...Our reassignments. All those who were going to Portugal got re-assigned. Our district didn't get our till dinner but everyone else had theirs at lunch. I had been reassigned to Tucson Arizona. I'm not going to lie I was super excited! I was still bummed that I couldn't go to Portugal but I was so ready to get out into the field. Sister Jarnagin and I were one of the only companionship's that were staying together. So the rest of that day everyone was pretty upset and sad about everything. 

Friday, everyone was still pretty glum about life. I kept thinking about Cedar Badge and the Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing. Anyway, Sister Jarnagin and I were supposed to leave Monday so we needed to start packing so we left before lunch to start. We got to lunch and someone runs up to me and tells me that the visas are on their way!!! I was no longer reassigned!! I'M GOING TO PORTUGAL!!!! Sadly 5 people did not get their visas, Sister Jarnagin being one of them. I was really sad. I was so emotionally shot after 2 days. Our visas aren't actually here, but they're on their way. So they're going to keep us here until they get them...who knows how long I'll be here for but I'm so excited to be going!!! AHHHH!!!!!! :D :D 
Saturday was our last day with Irmao Staples. :( It's so sad!! Sister Jarnagin had to say goodbye to him and she started crying and then I started crying because I was sad for her. We'd been packing, shopping, getting people's emails, etc. It was so sad. I'm going to miss her. Saturday was super depressing for that reason, and I could tell she was on the verge of tears all day. 

Sunday was full of tons of meetings and it was fast Sunday. It was a miracle for me!!! I was able to fast for almost a full 24 hours without getting a headache. It was the most amazing experience to be able to fast that long. Miracle. Sister Jarnagin and I were released on Sunday and the new sister training leaders are awesome! I bore my testimony in English for the last time for 18 months in church. Oh my goodness, I just love the gospel. Then we had mission conference and I got this out of it, "Faith is not about everything turning out okay, but rather it is about being okay when everything doesn't turn out." and also the song "Mercy's Arms." It was just a really good conference. After which we had our final zone interview with those that were leaving this week. I bore my testimony again and had the opportunity to play "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." I'm in love with music. It brings the spirit in a very special way! It was the final temple walk and we finally got a zone picture and an all sister picture. I can't believe how fast the time has gone! We were attending the departure devotional and it hit me. This is real life. I'm leaving to go to Portugal and teach the gospel. There was this guy that they called from the audience that was the first missionary from Syria!!! He found the gospel in Romania, and his dad was a prisoner of war the whole time. He told this story about his mom's mouth and I thought it was applicable to my family, seeing how everyone works with the mouth. :) Her mom fell into a manhole at night and shattered her whole upper jaw. The dentist (he meant oral surgeon) was reconstructing her upper jaw for 2 hours, after which he came out and said that she had a 5% chance of returning back to normal. The spirit told him, "Have faith. Everything will work out." He was able to give his mom his first blessing ever. They took her back to get checked and the doctor was dumbfounded. He asked if this was the same lady. Her recovery was 90% chance of going back to normal. Awesome story! Sister Jarnagin left Monday morning. So sad. I never thought you could love someone so much and be so sad when they're gone. I feel so weird without my companion!!! I'm in a trio, and it's so weird. 

I found something that relates to Cedar Badge. Instead of Can do- Will do- Have done, in the song "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go," it has these lines: I will go- I will say- I will be. I think those 2 things are so applicable. I like them both a lot!!! Also, "what e're thou art, act well thy part." I'll try and make you all proud :) I met with President and Sister Trost and I just love them! They told me stories of Grandpa and Grandma. They were mission presidents in Lisbon North and said that they would come visit all the time and visit the Madeira Island. We have a good 10-minute chat. I love hearing stories about my family!

Also, check out this scripture in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. All I could think of was Lord of the Rings "I can't carry the ring, but I can carry you!!!" Sam is the man. Also it references Gollum. Kind of cool!!
I love you family so much!!! I can't wait to meet my trainer and start teaching the people of Portugal! I'm going on an adventure!! :) I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!!!!

Sister Hillam

Our faces are on the board!

Tucson Arizona!

District Treats!

The girls in the zone

Our Harry Potter zone

Our District President, President Jackson

Gotta love Elder Merkley in the back, Elder Burr walking, Elder Burnham tying his shoe in front and I'm not sure who's fingers those are...

New STL"s Sister Jacobson and Anderson

The one next to me was on staff with me my vice president year!!! Gabe Wilson!!!

Last day with Irmao Staples

Last picture with the Zone Leaders!

Flight plans... to Portugal or Arizona?!?!

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