Monday, March 30, 2015

#14 New Week!

What a week!!! I’m definitely glad I have this day to relax and take a break. We’ve been working like crazy and finding and doing so many great things. Leading the area was a lot on my head but it’s also been a great experience for me!
 Last Monday I received my new companion at 6:00 p.m.!! Her name is Sister Bryner!! She came from the Azores and wow is she amazing!!!! Literally she’s exactly what these people in Olhao need! She’s from St. George Utah and has 2 younger sisters. She’s super cute and works really hard. She has 9 months on the mission and helps me a ton! Before she arrived I hung out with Elder and Sister Crossman. We went and played volleyball on the pier with the Elders and it was so good to touch a ball again! That night we went to McDonald’s (classic haha) because we didn’t have time to cook before we had to work. Also, Elder Rich got a new companion and he also locked the keys in their apartment...we had to help them as well! haha it was a great day! New companion, lost keys, and McDonalds, all in one day!

Tuesday we had our district meeting and half of us got new companions! Elder Brown is our district leader and it just happened to be St. Patrick’s Day! I had no idea...time like doesn’t exist here for me... anyway today we needed to have lessons with a member present and we called so many members and nothing. I was praying so hard for help. We were looking at our planners when I felt this tug on my coat. I turned and the Elder’s recent convert Guida was there! The Lord knew I needed help and sent her to us. We taught a few lessons with her and that night we went to our investigators house. It was amazing!!! His name is Jose Carlos (we have a recent convert jose carlos too) and while we were there we marked his girlfriend to be baptized with him. We also made a calendar for them to follow to stop smoking and everything they needed to do before baptism! We also told him he needed to get married to her and then we planned their engagement for the next day!!! He wants to be baptized so badly!

Wednesday every single one of our appointments feel through till 7:30. It was annoying but we prayed to find someone who would let us teach and the Lord blessed us with Luis! He asked us to stop by...HE ASKED US!!! We didn’t need to ask! It was amazing!! Then right after that we got a call from Jose Carlos that he needed to meet earlier so we ran to the chapel to get the engagement all ready to go for 7:30 instead of 8. He was so nervous, it was so cute!! She was all red in the face. 

Thursday we went to the chapel to teach this guy the piano and teach the Plan of Salvation but he didn’t show up so we taught Guida how to play the piano and while we were doing that our Brazilian friend, Roberto, came! I had totally forgot about him! He was so elect and I couldn’t believe I forgot him. We had a short lesson with him and marked to see him the next day. This day we contacted so many elect people. The members were so willing to help us this day. ~

Friday we found this guy named Paulo. His dad is about ready to die and the missionaries have already taught him. He told us he’s now ready for a change in his life and he wants us to come and teach him. Sadly he lives in the Elder’s area. We just needed to be in the right place and at the right time. We met with Roberto again and it was incredible! We had the Crossman´s with us and I thought for sure he was going to be baptized and tell us when. It was incredible. 

Saturday we taught Roberto again and it was not too great. We had 2 of our recent converts and it didn’t go the right way. We’re working and getting him to warm back up to the church and such. He’ll need some work but we know he’s ready even if he doesn’t yet. He’s been searching for happiness and understanding. He’s so elect.

Sunday we were exhausted! It was a litter strange not having Sister Brundage with me! But Sister Bryner got along with the members so great!! I love her so death!!! There is always something funny that happens everyday! We marked someone for baptism and we are going to see him today! He’s really elect! I’d met him one time before and that lesson he heard was the law of chastity, so I’m really surprised that he wants to know more! Right after him we went to Luis´s house and come to find out they are apart of this huge family of less active members! Familia Gloria is a crazy story. Fatima Glory was a stalwart member of the church and all of her kids are baptized. The spouses and kids are not though. We’re working on them to get baptized and this was my first encounter with Luis and Paula! They are so elect. She is the sweetest lady and just thanked us for being missionaries and leaving our families. I love them so much. 

This work is a work of miracles. I love it. It’s so tiring but I love the people so much. I love my family. Literally I miss you all so much. Today I woke up thinking about all of you and your lives. I wish I could share in your lives everyday. I know you guys are doing great. I see these families here and long for them to feel how I feel about mine for eternity. I miss you guys so much. I love you all with my whole heart. I look back on the years and there are things I wish I would have said or done differently to show how much you all mean to me. I love my Savior with my whole heart. This life is a miracle. He has done so much for us and we will never be able to repay him. I love this work so much!!!! Check out the new video for easter! #BecauseHeLives 

Sister Hillam

Friday, March 20, 2015

#13 WOW

Wow... what a week it has been!!! It's been a week of high high's and low low's for sure! I literally don't know how to describe this week without telling you about all of it!

Monday we went to help the new couple missionaries here in Olhao and oh my goodness I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!! They are so great! Elder and Sister Crossman! Our whole district welcomed them to their new home and we talked for a little bit. As we were leaving our apartment later that night we ran into this guy that was originally marked for baptism!!! We lost him because we had his wrong number an then we found him again. We're going to see if we can't teach him more and baptize him this transfer. His name is Nuno Francisco and what a miracle he is!
Tuesday we had district meeting and I had to give a story of inspiration from our week that we had and of course it wasn't the best but I liked speaking. Then we ate brownies and started a mission fast to bless President and Sister Fluckiger in these next couple of transfers because he decides where everyone is going to be serving. I know were I want to serve and go but wherever the Lord puts me, there are people for me to teach. I can't wait to know!!! ALSO, CONGRATS DALLIN!!!! THAT'S SO COOOOOOL!!!! He will do such a great job!!! I was actually thinking about it this week and it'd be so funny if he ended up being my district leader or zone leader! I LOVE PORTUGAL!!!! PORTUGAL PORTUGAL PORTUGAL!!!!! Anyway we started a fast for that. After the meeting, we went to teach A Delia. She was basically teaching us about the Plan of Salvation. She read the pamphlet and the scriptures. She's golden, except for smoking and drinking, and marriage too. All minor details because she knows it true! During the lesson one of our recent converts prayed and he prayed to bless all the obese people in the world... hahaha so funny!!

Wednesday was Elder Rich's birthday and also the meeting with NATO! It was a blast! I have some pretty good quotes from the meeting "I need to make awkward normal." "It's not how you do it, it's the way you do it that matters." "Be the missionary that makes things happen." Such a great last meeting with Sister Brundage. We have so many great meetings with NATO and he's such a spiritual giant. I just love working with him.
Thursday we went to Loule to help the district president with his bees!!! Dad this reminded me so much of you!!! I got to wear a bee suit and everything!!! It was awesome! I got a jar of honey that I want to send home, but I'm not sure if I should... But anyway, we spent more of the morning and afternoon there with a few of the zone missionaries. It was so fun!

Friday was Sister Brundage's last weekly planning. It was bitter sweet. But more on that later, Friday night was amazing!!!! We were walking to a family's house when we stopped this guy named Roberto. He's Brazilian and he was talking about how he doesn't like the Portuguese because they're not partiers and they're not as fun. We've heard this a lot from Brazilians but anyway, we were talking to him when our recent convert Joao showed up! It was literally perfect timing. Joao started to teach about the church and about the Book of Mormon and he's only been exposed to the church for 5 weeks! I had a BoM in my bag so I pulled it out and handed it to Joao. I asked if he wanted to give it to him and he said yes. He wrote this phrase in the book," We always arrive at the site where they wait for us." Roberto read that and looked at Joao and asked how he knew this Poet and how he knew that it was one of his favorite poets. The Lord puts people in our path and that Lord's way it so perfect. That moment was a miracle and I got to see it first hand. What a privilege I have to see this gospel change these people. 
Saturday was a party!! We got to visit with the members and party it up for Sister Brundage's going away. We had so much food and fun!! And then we went to this other family’s house and had dinner again. It was so awesome!!! Also Roberto came to the church along with another one of our investigators Eduardo! IT WAS AMAZING!! I talked with Roberto for probably 20 minutes by myself. I spoke terrible but I still talked to him!!!
Sunday was Sister Brundage's last day. We met with all the members, both at church, and then again at their houses. She made a scrapbook for the Branch here. They loved it.  I cried because I knew how much she loved them and how much they loved her. I was hurting for them and for her. I just love Sister Brundage so much. I can't believe how fast this transfer has been. It seems like yesterday that I was entering the field. Anyway Sunday night we got the call for transfers. I'M STAYING IN OLHAO!!!!!! YAAAAAY!!!!! So Sister Brundage leaves and I'll stay to take over the area. My new companion is Sister Bryner. She's flying from the Azores and then coming to Faro. Her companion on the Azores was actually trained by Sister Brundage. Sister Weaver and Sister Bryner both know Sister Brundage so it's really exciting to know that she's still in Olhao with me. We packed up Sister Brundage and didn't get to bed till 2:45 and then we woke up around 6 to get ready to go. The Crossman's came and picked us up from our apartment and we drove to Faro where she got on a bus with another Sister that's leaving. It was really hard to say goodbye. She's literally changed my life. I can't wait to get my new companion and get to work! This week was really a great week!! I love this work. Language is rough but I love the people so much. These next few weeks will be rough trying to lead the area and also be trained at the same time. I love you all so much, SOOO MUCH!!!
Sister Hillam

Friday, March 13, 2015

#12 First Divisions

WOW!!!! This week has been crazy!! I wish I could tell you all about the miracles that we’ve had this week. Literally every week is full of miracles and people that are so elect!!

Last P-day after I wrote, Sister Ward from the littler town of Rexburg Idaho came to Olhao! It made me soooo happy to see her. I was having a really hard day the day before and the Lord answered my prayers with Sister Ward. I love her so much! I cried so much when I saw her. I love her and you all so much!!

Tuesday we had district meeting and it was so awesome!!! Elder Casey had been dying the milk green for the past 5 weeks for his trainee Elder Rich! Elder Rich believed that the milk here was green!!! HAHA! Sister Brundage and I made a green cake and we broke the news to him that the milk was dyed for the past 5 weeks...SO HILARIOUS!!! It was way hard to keep the joke inside this whole time. We found this gypsy family a week ago and we went to visit them. We weren’t sure if we can teach them but we left a pamphlet with Cremilde (the mother) and testified with her. I can tell you it was the weirdest feeling to be constrained to teach someone. I just wanted to start teaching about the Plan of Salvation but we weren’t sure we we’re allowed to teach gypsies.

Wednesday/Thursday I had my first division with Sister Jumua in Faro!!!! I was so scared but it was so fun!!! I had a blast!! The afternoon I got there we went to eat at this member house to which I ate soup with rabbit foot in it, turkey spine, bolo, and a very nice banana (wade...) haha the ZLs kept telling me that I was eating frog. I was pretty grossed out till they told me it was turkey after the lunch. I was so embarrassed!! The day was like a blur; I was trying to take it all in all day! The next day we had lunch with Sister Ward. Oh my gosh I just love that family so much!!! It was so fun to do divisions! Someday when I can speak Portuguese I will be such a better companion! Then I came back to Olhao and I’m not going to lie, I missed Olhao so much. I love this city!! We got to work and found so many people and had so many miracles. It’s probably because we fasted when I got back. Man, this mission is just full of people ready to be baptized!!!

Friday We went to visit Adelia and we marked her for baptism! She’s been reading the Book of Mormon faithfully and she’s so happy. I knew this gospel would help her. She kept saying how she could apply the stories in the book to her own life, and I just kept thinking, `Yeah, You’re receiving revelation and you don’t even know it...`she´s so elect! That night the district leaders came and interviewed Alexandre for baptism!!! He passed!!!
Saturday was baptism day!!! We had a relief society activity with bags of clothes that we needed to get out of our apartment from past missionaries. It was fun to see all the ladies go through the clothes and pick new stuff. I love these women so much!! Right after that everyone gathered for 3 baptisms in our Branch. 3 baptisms in Olaho this week!!! HOW AWESOME!!! We drove to Faro, had the baptism, and went back to the church. I had my first taste of Baccalhao!!! SO GOOD! The food here is just amazing!! I’m so humbled every time I see someone enter into the gate of baptism. I’m so blessed to have the opportunity to be able to change someone’s life. People sacrifice so much for this gospel.

Sunday was nuts!! We got to church and Guida and Joaquim (newly baptized as of Friday) brought food to celebrate with after church...well the fire alarm went off while it was cooking during sacrament meeting. It was all crazy! So funny though!! They were embarrassed...I felt bad for them but on the bright side, the food was great!! It was all seafood, so what could be better?? We came back to church that night and Ana Alzira, one of our recent converts, was with her friend’s son. She wanted us to teach this guy named Eduardo. Oh my goodness it was the most powerful lesson. Ana testified and then we taught and then we marked him and he said yes and we were all crying and the Spirit was so strong and I was so happy!!! In one sentence, that’s what happened in an hour! And then we have a new investigator that wants to get baptized so badly! His name is José Carlos and he’s one of the people that is willing to do anything to get baptized. We told him straight up that he needed to marry his girlfriend of like 10 years before he gets baptized. He said he would. We already marked him but it might take a little longer than we think but he’s ready!!

I love Portugal. Next week are transfers and Sister Brundage leaves. I’m going to seriously miss her so much. She’s taught me sooo much and it’s hard to imagine Olhao without her here. The work is moving forward so rapidly. The weeks and days are starting to blend together and are going by so fast! I have so much work to do here and in Portugal. I can’t wait to speak better than right now and actually understand the people. I love these people and I don’t know how they got into my heart so fast!!! I love the work, I love the Lord, I love this language (even though I get frustrated), I love the people. I’m working so hard everyday so I can earn my pillow at night.

Sister Hillam

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

#11 Brie Cheese and Pears YUM!!

Oh my goodness, I LOVE CHEESE!!! I thought I loved cheese before the mission but oooohhhh no! It’s been taken to a whole new level!!! The cheese is soooo good!!! Oh and fresh bread everyday...yum!!!!!! I love it so much!!! The only downside is that Olhao smells funny...But the food is so good!! This week I had my first Jeijoada!! SUPER GOOD!!!!! Love Portugal!!!!

So last P-day we went to Tavira to have a district p-day and we went and ate at a Mexican restaurant. That was interesting to be eating in a Mexican restaurant in Portugal...but it was good! That night we had a family night with Nato´s family and Alexandre. Alexandre is José Carlos’s brothers. He fell away there for a while but now he wants to get baptized!!! Such miracles every week!!! 

Tuesday we had our reunion with Nato and I love this quote he said. `Now is not preparation time, it’s about doing. He challenged us to have baptisms every week. Later that day we ran into this Brazilian and he is hilarious!!!!! He’s a Zumba teacher here and he was just so fun to listen to! They talk really slow and I loved it because I could understand! Gosh the Portuguese people speak so fast! It was great to talk to him and leave our card with him. We met with Alexandre again and he wants to get baptized on the 15th. We don’t want him to but that’s when he wants to. I’ve decided that there is so much to do and not enough time to do it in! We have so many people that I want to teach and we need more hours in the day.

Wednesday we had zone meeting! SOO FUN!!! This was Sister Brundage´s last zone meeting and like 7 others and one of the Elder’s made a cake with cross bones on it to represent their deaths. Haha It was pretty funny. That meeting our district sang Israel God is calling and we made a few people cry. We had all the parts, and guess who had to sing! I think my voice has gotten higher...yikes! Anyway, We got nutter butters for baptizing and peanuts because we’re nuts! I was pretty proud of our hard work! That meeting was SO fun!! Our District leaders in Tavira got suckers and Elder Bowden said, `Is it because we suck? `Haha the whole room was laughing! They have a rough area. Elder Bowden is the branch president and Elder Boyd is the DL. Rough stuff! They’re awesome though!! Also, Elder Halliman from our zone is from Pocatello and He might stop by the house. I gave him our address and stuff so yeah! He’s a cool guy! Also that day, I met this guy named Phil from Canada. He doesn’t believe in God or anything but just this life. I felt a little bit of the pain that the Savior feels when people reject Him. I felt so hurt that he wouldn’t listen to me. It put things into perspective for me. 

Thursday I had my first feijoada!!! SO GOOD!!! Love it!!! We also met this guy named Abdule that wants to find the true church. All I could think was, `welcome to the >church of Jesus Christ of later day saints, would you like to get baptized?? ` Sadly I think we’ll need permission to teach him so nothing serious happens to him or the church. Also we taught Alexandre again and confirmed the 15th as his baptism date. We still aren’t too happy about it but todo bem. I love this quote that I found which really helped me this day. `This is the time, it is the right place, and I’m the right person.` 

Friday we taught this lady named Adelia and she is so elect!!! She believes everything we tell her. Later that day we went to Familia Santos house and we saw and talked to the mom and then she didn’t answer the door!! It was so rude!!! We made an appointment with her the day before. It was nuts...and then we tried to call this family that we want to baptize and we couldn’t go there becaue they´re in a fight. That was so frustrating!! It made us really sad because we have a calendar of all the lessons we want to teach and we have a day for their baptisms. Helder is a member and Vera isn’t neither are their daughters. We’re working and trying to get them to come to Christ. 
Saturday was full of miracles! We ran into the Sister of Helder who is also a member, and we taught her daughter Mara. She wants to be baptized too! And then we went to visit Adelia´s husband Vitor who basically told us that he wants to change religions but it’s going to be hard to tell his family about it. SUCH A MIRACLE! And then we got a call from José Carlos telling us the Alexandre wants to get baptized this weekend!!!! AWESOME!!!! And then we ran into Adelia who said she’s going to church and she read the Book of Mormon to her family!! Literally this all happened within 30 minutes of each other. I have a testimony of Fasting!! Miracles happen when we fast! 

Sunday we ended the fast and right after we ended, Vera called and said that they are okay and they made up! This whole weekend was full of miracles. Adelia ended up going to church and she had a great experience and José Carlos called and told us that his mom wants to get baptized too!!! The work it moving forward so fast! We love it here and I love the people. So much to do and such little time to do it. I wish I could write all the things I see and do everyday and every week. I wish I could record the things that happen. I love Portugal so much!!! I can’t wait to see what else is in store for this week.

 I love you all so much. Keep being awesome!!! LOVE YOU!! 
Jose Carlos with an Idaho T-Shirt on!!!

We made cookies and she got the spoon

Joao Baptism!

Baptism of Joao!


Algarve Zone!

Freire Fam!