Monday, August 24, 2015

Carla and a Mission!

It was good to hear all the stories of this week!! Congrats Eric and Noelle for the baby!!!! Super excited to meet all the little ones! It’s weird to see pictures.... they grow up so fast! Ha-ha I love telling people about my family and showing them pictures and then they turned to me and say either `you’re going to be the ultimate lonely aunt` or `you better get married and have kids. ` Such a great future to look forward to! 
This next week is transfers. I have no idea what will happen. Part of me really wants to stay in Matosinhos and another part says that I’m leaving. If I stay it’ll be 6 months in this area. I wouldn’t mind but I could only stay here with Sister Elliott. With anyone else, it just would be weird. But one of us is leaving. Got to love transfers...(I actually don’t).
This week we did a lot of work with the less active members. The Elders and us have actually split the work in our area. We have over 300 less active members in one part of our area so we’ve been working really hard to get them to come to church. We could create 3 wards in just my area... It’s crazy!!! So for 2 days we went with the Elders to tackle some of them. We also had a few members give us address to a few more. It was quite the week of rescuing! It just made me realize how covenants and salvation aren’t something you should play with. It’s much harder to reactivate than it is to baptize and that’s the saddest part. They’ve forgotten.  But we’re going to save them!!! 
Also, we always go visit Familia Castro because she has to take care of 2 sick people. Brother Castro actually has ALS and Alzheimer’s. I know all to well what that is. It was a spiritual experience for me. I remember the room got really quite and grandpa was there. I felt him so close when she was talking about Brother Castro. I heard the words, `It’s over Sister Hillam. It passed and I’m okay. I’m here. ` He’s here in Portugal with me. He’s teaching and speaking to these people with me. It’s great knowing and feeling him here with me. So special. 
Oh so for the past 3 weeks I’ve had REALLY bad bug bites. Come to find out I had an allergic reaction to the mosquitoes here and my legs got really bad bubbles. Went to the hospital and got medication and creme that I have to put on them. Its pretty nasty stuff that happened to my legs. I’ll send some pics of it! Got to love diseases! 
The rest of the week our recent convert Carla walked with us!! She is so incredible!!! She wants to be a missionary so for the past week she’s met with us for 4 of the days. She wanted to teach and pray and do everything with us. She’s prepping to go on a mission and she even brought her non-member friend to teach with us. She’s already being a missionary with her family and her neighbors! This week she turned to me and said, `Sister Hillam, I want you here when I go through the temple, and when I buy my clothes, and when I’m about ready to leave. I want you to be here for all of it. ` I just wanted to cry!!! SHE`S AMAZING!!!!!!! I will be here when she get’s ready to go. No doubt about it. She already said that I’d stay in her house while I’m there. She’s so excited!! I`M SO EXCITED!!!! I think I’m more excited then she is. Every time we go out together she talks about her mission and where she wants to serve. So wonderful!!! If I get transferred, I’m going to miss her so much. 
I love the mission. I learned a lot about patience this week. We can’t control the outcome but we can control our attitudes about the situation. That’s what counts. On the outside looking in, the situation probably looks horrific but for me, it’s a comedy. All you can do is laugh and keep going! Time won’t stop so why should you stop and mope about it. Get up and Get at it! Work harder! Laugh more! Christ doesn’t like sad followers. He always tried to lift those around them. Don’t be stubborn and let Him lift you! Find the good in the situation. I love you family so much! You all mean the world to me. Keep safe and REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR!
Sister Hillam


August 24, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

We have force in our G's...G Forces!!!

Happy 8 months today Sister Hillam.... YIKES!!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING?!
 Quote on top- Jordan and I on the Everest Ride at Disney World! (Only the last half) and second off…CONGRATS!!!! Now the next question, Kallie and Crystal, will you be having any more babies before I get home?? Might as well :) Just keep them coming!!! I love showing everyone my nieces and nephews!!! Everyone is just so impressed! Well done brothers and sisters!
ha-ha all I can do is laugh about this week and how interesting it was...I don’t even know where to begin...that’s normal though.
We have an investigator that’s in the hospital in Porto who’s been there for 15 days. She had a baptismal date for this past weekend but because she had a fever after surgery she had to stay. We’d been trying to call her and talk to her for 2 weeks and she just disappeared. Literally we didn’t know what was happening to her. But this past week, we got a hold of her and visited her!!!! Such a miracle!!! We got to visit her 2 times and hopefully she’ll be out of the hospital today! Sadly her baptism didn’t happen because we haven’t been able to see her for 2 weeks but she still loves the church!! 
The next day was a slap to our face. We have a mad black Cape Verdian mad at us over a stupid cat. So Ildo has wanted to surprise his fiancĂ©e with a cat. His son is supposed to get here so he wanted his life to be like this: a house, wife, son, and a dog. But because of his apartment, he can’t have a dog, but he loves cats. We happened to know of a family that doesn’t want their cats anymore, so we thought, `perfect!! Vamos la!!` That didn’t work. We walked with this cat to his house in the pouring rain and got there and he was literally so ecstatic! Then she walked in. I thought I knew what screaming was but no. she knows how to scream. She was so close to hitting Ildo and she was speaking mad fast Creole. Yeah lets just say we aren’t allowed to see him or her anymore. I was shaking so hard after that but after that we went to a recent converts/ menos activos house and he ended up going to the conference for~the youth!!! That made us sooo happy because we’ve been trying to get him to go back to church for months!!!!! Such a miracle!! 
Also, WE FOUND WALDO!!! Remember Paulo and Beatriz that we had marked for baptism?? Well they disappeared and we had no idea where they went! Literally it was a mystery. We heard they were in Porto and then that they were in Matosinhos but then he lost work and she was staying with her grandma, it was just a mess. We had completely forgotten about him when HE STOPPED US ON THE STREET!!! HE FOUND US!!!! Such a great moment!!! We had no idea what else we could do to find him. He’s back in Matosinhos but still has to work things out with his family so he can’t see us right now, but at least we found him! 
More adventures to come this week. The Lord knows everything. I have been thinking a lot about areas that I can do better on the mission and the thought that keeps coming to my mind (Holy Ghost) is, `Just do the best and be the best that you can. The Lord knows what and who he needs. He will use you for you. ` This doesn’t mean that we stop progressing; if anything it’s the opposite. Be and DO the best that we can. This week I felt that I did my part. I couldn’t physically and mentally give anymore and He used it for His purpose. We don’t understand and we will never but that’s why we need faith. There are days that I want to throw in the towel and call it quits but then there is that one person or that one moment that just makes it so much better. I love the mission and the twist and turns of everyday! It’s just so exciting! Keep being great!!! 
Sister Hillam

Friday, August 14, 2015

We went to a Castle for P-day! Fun, Fun, Fun

Surprise! Baptism!

WOW! These 2 weeks flew by!!! I can’t believe it. SO much has happened and I don’t even know where to start!! We had a baptism this week!! Elisabete got baptized!!! She’s been investigating the church for 2 years but because of anxiety and smoking she hasn’t been able to stop. But finally she was baptized!! Such a miracle. She had a calendar to stop smoking but by the last week she hadn’t progressed very far and she was feeling really down. The problem was she just wanted the Lord to take away her habit instead of doing something about it. We did our part in the process and we literally couldn’t do anything more. Her baptism date fell so we decided to mark her for the next week and work harder than ever with her. 4 days before her baptism our ward mission leader wanted to move the day to Friday instead of Saturday and she said yes! She actually wondered why the calendar didn’t work and she finally told us that she would stop smoking in a day and be baptized and she did. We stayed with her all up until her baptism. You could literally see the difference in her countenance when she left the water. She was just shining so bright. All I could think was why am I so blessed to be apart of her conversion and she the difference? She is so amazing. I played the piano and gave a talk at her baptism. Such a memorable day. Faith is power and when things don’t work our the way we want, we need to redouble our faith and do it the LORD`S WAY. Testimony builder this week. So amazing. 
Okay s lots of funny things happened this week. First on P-day we went to the chapel to print some stuff off and while there I packed a small lunch of a sandwich and fruit. I was cutting the fruit and felt this sting on my finger. I looked and I had cut through my finger!! I pulled the knife out and it ~immediately started bleeding. I yelled for Sister Elliott and I thought she was going to pass out. It was pretty deep too...I was getting a little wheezy as well but now it’s almost completely healed! It was on my left hand, ring finger on the inside by my middle finger, on the bottom joint, but in the middle. IT was pretty narly! Going to be such a great scar! But also on the day we went to a medieval fair and took over 100 fotos!!! So fun!
So we started teaching Ildo again. 2 Sunday’s ago we called Ildo and Elizandra answered. She ripped on us and told us it’s not worth it to pass by or to call again. I was so sad! They are the cutest couple and his son was waiting on his papers, but we had to respect their wishes. So we didn’t see him for 4 days and he ended up calling us and saying he missed us!! He told us to come by and we did immediately. I can tell you that family has received so many blessings this week. We stopped by and he said he was going to come to church with his son when he got here. Then 2 days later he calls us and says that his son Marildo (he´s in Cape Verde) went to the consulate there and should get his visa soon! Then 2 days later, we stopped by and he told us that his son is coming tomorrow!!!!!! AND THEN!!!!! Elisandra said that they would visit the church together!!!!!!!!! Such miracles. The timing of the Lord is perfect. 
One day we were called to take care of an older couple and that tested my patience. He wouldn’t leave the kitchen! We were there to cook and feed them and he wouldn’t let us cook anything without him there!  He wouldn’t let us cook!! Then when we were done he ended up not eating it because there wasn’t enough salt. His wife was so funny! She can’t move at all so her face just went really red and she started saying stuff to him from her bedroom. So funny! And then as we were riding the metro back to our house Sister Elliott wanted a picture. The metro was at the end of the line so there weren’t people on the train. But then the doors started to beep so she left and slipped through the door. I GOT STUCK ON THE METRO!!! AND IT STARTED MOVING!!!!!!!! We both started to laugh!!! Luckily it was at the end and it was just switching lines but still...I GOT STUCK ON A METRO. The guy was nice and took me back to the stop. Such a weird day!!  .
So many things happen in a week and I can’t possible tell you everything that happens! The Lord just pours the blessings. I love the mission. It’s REALLY hard but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! We have so much fun everyday, even when our Portuguese is terrible. Got to love the language. I love President Amorim. He called us this week and he really changed my mission. He said that we can’t have doubts and I can’t tell you how many times I doubt a person but I can’t do that! Doubt is the opposite of faith. He said that and I feel my view on faith has changed. LOVE MY MISSION!!!!!! LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!
Sister Hillam