Monday, July 27, 2015

You can pick your nose, and they can pick their nose, but you can´t pick their nose...

First off, ERIC AND NOELLE....HAPPY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!! PORTER.....HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!! I’m glad that all of you could spend time with each other this past week! What fun! I hope that next time I will be there! We have transfers on Wednesday. We find out tomorrow. I really don’t think that I’ll leave Matosinhos but who knows what will happen. 

So this past week we had lunch with our recent convert Carla who basically told us she was leaving the church for a little while because of a boy...ya...drama. But it was really good that we talked to her and showed her that we loved her even if the boy at church was a jerk. But then yesterday she came to church!! Such a miracle!!!! We talked to her and she was completely different!!! She talked about going on a mission here in a year and that she wanted to talk to bishop about preparing to go!!! SUCH A 180-DEGREE TURN!!!! She is incredible!!! I couldn’t stop smiling for hours after that! 

An older couple celebrated 42 years together and they are my parents here in Matosinhos so to celebrate, we heart attacked their door and ran! They loved it so much!!!! No one has ever done something so nice before. They were so cute about it. We eat at their house probably twice a week because they love the sisters so much! But she was almost in tears because her husband has a weird disease where his brain and his body are breaking down at the same time. I don’t know what it is but she’s also taking care of her mother who has Alzheimer’s. We’re the only company that they ever receive so she loved seeing the hearts on here door. Such a memorable moment for me! 

We had interviews with president this week and OH MY GOODNESS. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!! He said exactly what I needed to hear. He asked me how the area was and how many lessons we teach a week and how many contacts we do, how many progressing investigators we have and so on. The past transfer we have done nothing but work so hard. What he said meant the world to me.

We have a baptism marked for this next weekend! Her name is Elisabete and she’s still smoking. She’s been investigating the church for 2 years now and she wants to be baptized on her 2 year mark which is Saturday! We’ve been doing everything we possible can to help her. She has such a great desire but we’ve tried and thought of everything to help her! That’s why I chose the quote on top because that’s the theme of our week. We did our part and we literally couldn’t do anymore. That’s what I learned this week is that we can only do so much without taking away their agency. It would make our work so much better. One of our baptisms fell through because he ended up being in Lisbon and obviously couldn’t make it, but for sure we will remark him for the end of this month so no worries! But we tried everything to meet with our people marked for baptism but the stars were just not aligned... We tried everything. But president challenged us to contact at least 40 people a day and that made the days pass by WAY TOO FAST!!! We were talking to everyone!! We met with lots of less-active members, and ran into people that were investigators and those that had already talked to the missionaries. Although the week was hard we also had so much fun meeting new people!!

Okay also this week we were suppose to meet with a lady and she ended up inviting us to an evangelical FHE! So funny!! haha TONS of shouting Hallelujah and amen’s and Jesus. You can imagine how awkward we felt. They had these songs that they were playing that were saying that we sing and dance for Jesus and they would start dancing. Then they would be praying and everyone would be saying amen and pray for himself or herself. I felt like they were all drugged and kind of Zombies...and they call us a cult...not even close. After wards we just busted up laughing! Also this week I had Arroz de marisco (seafood rice) and it was stellar!!!! I love this food so much!!!  

Family, I love the mission!! It seems like yesterday that I was in my 1st transfer but at the same time, it seems like forever ago. It’s really hard to remember before the mission because I just don’t have time to think about it. Life before the mission all seems like a dream that I had last night. I can’t wait for this next week to see what all the changes are going to be. The work is going forth and I’m going with it! What a great thought!! 

Love you all!

Sister Hillam

Monday, July 13, 2015

Happy Birthday Kallie

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KALLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know it was yesterday but I just wanted to let you know how much I love you! I hope your day was just full of love and fun times with your family :)
Transfers are postponed until after president does his interviews with us so that means I’m staying in Matosinhos for another couple of weeks!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!
Hello Família!!!!!
What a week!!!! So let’s start out by saying, I ate so much food this week it’s not even funny!! Our ward mission leader invited us over on Saturday to a churrasquearia and it was phenomenal!!!! They are from Brazil and we ate and then talked and then ate some more, and then had dessert. Sadly no pão de queijo but we had tons of meat, which was even better! And then yesterday we had bacalhua with a family right after church and that night was Elizabete´s (recent converts) birthday so we ate at her house and had so much food and sugar it was just amazing! Our members are just amazing and they love to feed us! So family, please say that you’re feeding the missionaries! 
We met with Ildo pretty much everyday and we taught the 10 commandments and he told us he wanted to memorize them! He wanted us to write them down and test him on them! How more elect can you get?! But yeah, he’s amazing! He’ll be baptized on the 8th of August!! He loves when we come by because he always feels so much better. He knows it’s true and he’s so excited to be baptized!! 
I love the mission so much!!!! I can’t wait for president to get here tomorrow!! We had zone meeting this week and they were talking all about him. They had a meeting with Elder Texeira and president and they all had positive things to say about him. I am so excited to have him come!! He has 3 things that he wants us to do 1. Be obedient with exactness. 2. Work hard. 3. Love the people. I started crying because those are the 3 things that I wrote down was my purpose for the mission. President is truly an inspired man. Those 3 points are some of the most important things to me on the mission. I’ve seen what happens when we are obedient, we work hard, and we love the people. The Lord trusts you to take care of the work. I see that in Matosinhos everyday. But anyway the zone meeting was amazing!! I actually met my 3rd cousin Elder Walker!! His great grandparents are the Rasmussen’s!!! So that was fun! Family reunion in PORTUGAL! It’s a small world after all! After zone meeting miracles literally poured on us.
We met a lady named Adelaide and we’ve seen her lots of times but this time was different. We got her to pray with us on the street and she started to cry. She felt the spirit so strong and then yesterday we passed by her house to give her the Book of Mormon and asked her to pray again. She was so eager to pray and in her prayer, she asked to know which church was true!! Yea, She’s going to be baptized for sure! I can’t tell you how perfect the timing of the Lord is. We have been trying all transfer to talk and see her and she was put into our path when she needed us the most. The Lord loves every single one of us. And after the first time we talked to her, I ran into a pole. Literally I started crying and all I could think of was how mom ran into a pole and then we both just started crying because of how funny it was! It was so embarrassing! We were on a spiritual high from Adelaide and then I ran into a pole! Solid work Sister Hillam!
I don’t even remember what day but we passed by this house of a person we contacted on the street. We’ve tried to see him for about a month now and instead of seeing him, we met his friend Beatriz! She was a Jehovah’s witness but doesn’t believe in that anymore, and she actually knows a lot about our doctrine!! But anyway we passed by Paulo´s house and HE WAS THERE!!!!! (And so was she but that’s normal). We had a quick lesson with them and during the lesson, he started to cry. His life has been nuts. He fell off the deep end because his wife divorced him and took the kids and his money and left him with nothing. He started getting into drugs and alcohol, and now he’s trying to turn his life around. He wanted to come to church so bad yesterday but he had work. He wants to come to church really bad because he felt the difference the spirit made that night. We marked to see him today! I’m so excited to see him!!!
Family I wish I could tell you all that happens during a week but there isn’t enough time to describe the blessings and miracles that the Lord gives us. I’m so humbled that He trusts me to do His work. He has placed these people in our path and I’m so grateful that He has the confidence in me. It says in my Patriarchal Blessing that `The Lord has full confidence in me. ` I never understood that phrase until now. He knew I could speak Portuguese and could fulfill my purpose. I can’t believe 7 months have already gone by. I have less than a year and I don’t want it to end. The mission is the humblest, and hardest thing ever but I love it so much!!!! I am truly humbled to be here in Matosihos helping His children. Family, I love this work. I can’t wait to get started with President Amorim. He says that we’re going to work harder than we’ve ever worked before...BRING IT ON!!!!! I’m stoked!!!! I love you all so much!!!

Sister Hillam

July 4th

Wow! Família!! You all sound awesome!!! Sounds like your 4th of July was a blast!! Sounds like all the traditions happened and ate lots of good things and saw everything like normal! I ´m really glad that everything worked out for you all! But I bet it can’t beat my week!
So on Tuesday we ate at a member’s house and come to find out as half of the food was gone, the meat wasn’t cooked...yikes. So we walked to the chapel and Sister Elliott threw up and we basically crashed in the chapel for some time before our next appointment showed up. You can imagine how the rest of our day went... by that night we were out flat on our beds but we were able to stay our all day! Such a blessing, and if we didn’t we couldn’t have talked to this lady named Manuela! She doesn’t understand why the Catholic Church worships the cross and all the sufferings of Christ. She said she’d like to focus on all the good that he did and all that he accomplished! She was super elect! She also has a family! So blessed to have met her.
So we’ve been teaching Ildo in English and may I just say, it’s super hard to teach in English!! We practiced Wednesday morning for 45 minutes. IT WAS SO HARD! We’d throw in some Portuguese and then try and explain in English and it just didn’t work, and what’s best, we taught the law of chastity. Oh my goodness Sister Elliott was so awkward about teaching in English! It was hilarious but during the lesson, it didn’t matter because the Spirit was there! 
The next day was the best and the worst at the same time. So we went and taught Ildo again and taught the Word of Wisdom and he accepted it! He understood completely the importance of the commandment and said he’d stop. Luckily he doesn’t have too much of a problem, just a little bit of coffee and only smokes 1 maybe 2 cigarettes every week. Then after that we went to Liliane´s house. She had a stroke so she can only use half of her body and she can’t talk very well, but the missionaries have taught her for a year now. We marked her for baptism and she never wanted to tell her family but when we stopped by she told us she wanted to talk to Lidia about baptism. So we started to talk to Lidia and she flipped. Also during this time I started to get the biggest headache. So she was yelling at us and I could feel the blood leaving my face. It was awful. I could tell it was getting bad when I just wanted to argue with her about why everything she was saying was wrong and I was losing my patience so basically we left her to think about baptism. I felt so bad for Liliane. But we left and continued on with our day. We climbed the small hill that’s in our area and we both got to the top and collapsed on a bench. We were both dying, it was AWEFUL! I’ve never had that much head pain before. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. So we both ended up going home and passing out on our beds. I woke up at midnight and just started crying because I was in so much pain. 
Luckily the next day was weekly planning so we could take it easy during the morning. It was very much needed time. We actually quickly got feeling better after the rest and the morning that we got. I’ve never been so grateful for weekly planning in my life (you will never hear me say that again!!) So we were really careful about how much we did on Friday until that night. Our ward had a ward party and oh my goodness it was so fun!! They had Just Dance there and they had Karaoke and lots of food! It was good to interact with everyone! Carla (our recent convert that is just so amazing!!!) asked us to dance Just Dance with her and guess what songs the ward danced to? Video Killed the Radio Star and The Final Countdown. The whole ward was just having a blast! Everyone was participating. It was so fun! 
The next day was 4th of July!!!! We basically had AMERICAN written across our forehead! We wore red, white and blue, and for our lunch, we invited the elders to eat hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and fruit salad. Happy Independence Day in Portugal!!! It was so fun! 
Yesterday was a great day as well. Carla got up to the pulpit and bore her testimony. I started to cry. She’s only been a member a week and she bore her testimony about the Book of Mormon. I can’t believe how much she’s changed. You could see the gospel in her life and how much it’s already changed. If I were to end the mission right now, I’d be so happy. Luckily, I still got a whole year!!!! LET`S GO!!!! :D 
Family, I love this gospel so much. I love the mission and I know that God answers our prayers. I’m so blessed to have Him with me during this work. Family, we can do anything In Christ. He is our Savior, and Redeemer. He knows our faults and our weakness but He’s overcome all of that for us. He is my strength and my reason for why I’m here. I am nothing without His help everyday. I love you all sooo very much!!!
Com Muito AMOR,

Sister Hillam