Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It wants to bite me!


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Love these kids!

Another week in PARADISE!

First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!!!!!!! I hope its just a great day for you!!!!!!!!!
So Sofia and Didi, that family that I had you all pray for, well I feel emotionally drained. We had an FHE with them after P-day and it was incredible! But then we went over on Thursday and he told us that he was leaving on Sunday to go back to Porto to work. I was so crushed. Literally they were so sad. So they invited us over the next day for lunch. We were all just a wreck. The whole `fake it till you make it` rule applies here. That day was so hard. But then we went over on Friday and while we were there he got a phone call and they said HE WASN`T GOING!!! He had a little more time to stay! The Lord answered prayers!! They were so happy!!!! They then invited us over again for dinner on Sunday and it was a blast! They had family there and they were so happy! The kids were so stinking cute and we played futbol, basketball, and a little bit of volleyball with the kiddos! The parents liked the break for a little bit! So keep them in your prayers! 
This week we also had divisions which are always fun!! That day was nuts! The day before, our phone broke and we thought we’d have to wait till tomorrow for a new phone. The screen was broken, everything else worked, we could call and text but we just couldn’t see to who. So we had to call the office and it was such a blessing that we’d be having divisions. But then we went to change the SIM card and all the numbers were saved to the old phone. It was so annoying. So we had no numbers. But then I was able to save all the numbers to the Sim card doing it all blind. MIRACLE!!! We saved our numbers so we didn’t have to start over!!! Blessings! So blessed everyday!!! Divisions were good! We contacted lots of people, ate garlic bread, and brisa and had Italian ice cream. (don’t be jealous of anything ;)) Let’s just say, it was incredible!! 
P.S. I play the piano at everything. We’ve had 2 baptisms in Funchal 2 and I’ve played and both of them, and at church. Also, I’ll be playing the songs for the primary program! It puts into perspective about my talents and taking every opportunity to develop them. I love the piano more and more every time. Someday I’ll be better! It’s super fun when you don’t know the songs too! ha-ha Love it!! 
We had lots of lunches and dinners with people. Literally, I’m in love with these people. I can’t get over it! I started crying the other day at the thought that some day I’m going to have to leave. We’re starting week 5 of this transfers and it’s gone by WAY too fast. I’m obsessed with these people. I can only imagine how much more the Savior and our Father in Heaven loves us. 
Now to the best part of the week...LAURA!! SHE`S INCREDIBLE!!!! I just love her to death. Literally she’s the best. She’s 16 and she honestly wants to know her purpose here. We’ve been teaching her for about 2 weeks now and everyday she just blows my mind. The spirit has been so strong when we teach her. We’ve had some of the most personal conversations, and I actually felt this week that I knew her before this life. That I already knew that we’d met and we were friends before this life. She really wants to know if God loves her and if He’s there. She’s been reading the Book of Mormon and praying. She’s the most spiritual person and has with real desire. I told stories of my life and we both just broke down in tears. She was sitting by herself while we were at the youth activity and I went and sat by her. She truly was pondering about who she is and what is life. That’s when I told her about my back and about those 3 months. It was so powerful and then we read the footprints in the sand story and then we all just felt the spirit. I want you all to meet her. I can’t even begin to describe her and this process. After the mission we’ll come back and you will all meet her! 
Family, the weeks just keep getting faster and faster! I love the mission. It’s always full of new surprises and miracles that I can’t even believe. LOVE IT!! Thank you all so much for your prayers and love. I love you all so much. I pray for you and the kiddos, and for all of your successes! Love you all so much!!!
Sister Hillam

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hi Everyone.  I Love  Brisa!

The Week Went By Way To Fast!

If there is something that is happening this week with the family, birthday, anniversary, etc. I’m so sorry I don’t remember anything that will happen but PARABEMS if I forgot!! 
THIS WEEK WENT BY WAY TO FAST!!!! They always say the last 9 months just fly by but I never thought that it would be this fast...YIKES!!! 
So on Tuesday we have district meeting and as usually always super good! This day was just a miracle in and of itself! After lunch Sister Miller turned to me and asked who ran this town and I said WE DO! But then I turned and said, `Actually, God runs this town. ` She turns to me with the weirdest look, so now, Goblins run this town...and we saw that that day! We left from lunch and at 3 in the afternoon our phone died. There was no way we could take an hour out of the day to charge it so we had to do without. The Goblins run this town! Luckily we had a member with us and we used his phone to call people but still! After he left we were left helpless. We had a dinner appointment and we couldn’t find their apartment (goblins) but then the first door we knocked on was there’s!! God runs this town! Such a miracle. 
So here on the Madeira we meet people from all over the world but this week was focused on Dutch people and Canadians. HOW COOL IS THAT??? We got into some good discussions and not only were they from Canada but they were from Edmonton!! So cool. I love talking to everyone. Not going to lie it is really hard to teach the gospel in English!! We meet people from all over the world; it’s incredible and they know who we are! The Gospel is rolling forth like the scriptures say and it will fill the whole earth till everyone knows! Incredible!
This week the Elders gave us an investigator named Laura. She lives in our area and they didn’t know but she is incredible. I think she’s 16 and she is trying to find her way in life. Her family is against the church but she asked in a prayer of hers to know if Jesus Christ is her Savior and if the church was true. We then started to teach her after that lesson she had with the Elders. One Elder started crying because he’s never seen an investigator like her. She truly is elect. She started reading the Book of Mormon by herself. The Zone Leaders had a baptism this weekend and her name is Vitoria and her and Laura are friends. We explained about baptism a little and the Holy Ghost and she almost cried. I almost started crying because she’s so ready to know. We read about faith and after our lesson she said she needed more faith and that she wanted to believe. She’s amazing. We had a branch activity and she stayed there for 6 hours!!!! She loves it! The next day she came to sacrament meeting and stayed another 4 hours to see the baptism and talk with the members! She’ll be baptized here soon!
I celebrated 9 months this week and just so you call know, in 9 months from today, I will be home...I’m crying right now because it’s gone by WAY too fast. I look back on the past 9 months and what I’ve done and I can’t believe it. I couldn’t have even imagined doing everything that I’m doing. I love every minute of it. To celebrate 9 months, my comp, the other sisters and the zone leaders threw me a party with brownies and chocolate! It was so fun and I’m really glad that I could spend it with them :) My family of Missionaries on the Island!! 
That family that I always talked about well...we marked them this week!!! They still are waiting for one paper to get married but we had the strongest impression to mark them this week. During weekly planning we were talking about out baptismal goal and they kept coming to mind. Well we decided on a date and felt that we need to take the baptismal clothes there and dress them in them. It was incredible. He came out and told us that seeing them in white was a dream. He wanted to make that dream a reality. I was SO happy!!! He said that we just knew it was time!! We talked about faith with them and the story about Peter on the water. The reason why he fell was because he took his eyes off Christ. IF he would have focused on Christ the whole time he could have walked the whole way. EYES OF FAITH! Literally they saw with their eyes the white clothing and they just have to keep focused on it! We can’t do anything for there paper but put out faith on the Lord. It was incredible. 
I love this island. I can’t even believe how much it’s already changed me! I LOVE THESE MEMBERS!!!!!!!!! They love us so much and I can’t even begin to describe how much they mean to me. Just thinking about one day leaving makes me cry. They’ve already gotten so close to my heart. Every person here is incredible. The members will do anything for us. They tell us everyday to call for ANYTHING, and more! They are already giving us things! Food, trinkets, etc! I’m really grateful for all of your examples. You’ve already seen the miracles of a mission and I wish we could do this all together someday. I wish I could stay here forever! I don’t think I’ve laughed or smiled so much in my life!! This is the best thing in the WORLD!!! I love you all so much! I read Alma 5 recently. ` Have you been spiritually been born of God? ` `Can you feel the song of His redeeming love? ` I can’t remember exactly the verses but family, the question is, Have we been? Can we feel His influence and see His hand in our lives everyday? I love that chapter. It really makes us look at our lives and evaluate what we can do to be better. LOVE THE MISSION!!!! I love you all so much. Thank you for the prayers and the letters. They really do help me more than you know. Love you!
Sister Hillam

Saturday, September 19, 2015

WO-OH Livin' on a Prayer

All right...just a few quotes for this week...`BOOKS of Mormon, ` `Love makes the world go round` `No Shame` and `Nunca mais. `  
So on Tuesday we did A TON of contacting, and house contacts as well. ha-ha one house we contacted we asked if José was there and obviously not everyone is named José but a good part are. Well we got to talking about the gospel and what this guy believed and all he said was, I believe in Love.` well we all know that love makes the world go round but that it all starts with cheese. After that contact, I just busted up laughing. The joy that comes when your mind mixes cedar badge and the mission together! It was super funny! He said we could go back so that was nice! We ate at Irmã Regina´s house this week and it was great!!! She is so kind and always calls us beautiful. The ladies in the branch just love us so much! They haven’t had sisters for a little bit so every week the ladies just want to talk to us! Irmã Amelia loves us to death and loves talking to us! I just love our branch!!! Oh and Aceção is alive! But she’s super sick! I just remembered all the storied that Jordan use to tell us about that lady. Someday I want to go meet her! Still don’t know very many people but we’re getting a list today! So many legacies are here and I love hearing all the stories.
This week was actually one of the hardest on the mission. I felt really overwhelmed with everything. It was so hard. I give every moment every thought to the work. I usually never even have time to write in my journal and at sometimes to eat. It’s always really fast and I’m back to looking at the area book or getting familiar with everything. I don’t want to sound like a complainer but it was super hard. I remember sitting is Regina´s house and talking about a scripture and all the sudden the topic switched to patience and in the very moment, I just felt an overwhelming sense of love. All week I’d needed to feel that and at that very moment I felt what I needed. After that I just felt the work just got so much easier! We saw so many miracles. We passed by this old couples house that we’d knocked on a few days earlier and they let us into the house and right as I walked in, I saw the stitched picture of the girl dressed in red sitting on a chair. I remembered this picture from grandma’s house!  I am so blessed. That time we had with them was perfect. She needed us (he has Alzheimer’s) and I needed them. It was incredible!! 
Dad, I met a couple that can be us!!! He’s from the Netherlands and she’s from Portugal!! They were super cool!! They both speak Portuguese and Dutch. Again the Lord just blessed me so much this week. Everything was just a blessing!! 
Our president challenged us to do something bold this week so we decided to walk around with a gain BOM!! That was so fun! We walked around the center of Funchal and we got some of the weirdest looks and thus our quote for that day was `No Shame` I loved every minute! So fun to talk to people and spread the work about the Book of Mormon! That morning Sister Miller and I re-enacted the Best Two Years. I said Book of Mormons ad she turns to me and says `they aren’t Book of Mormon’s, they’re BOOKS of Mormon. ` Died laughing!
Found out also as we were riding the bus to the top of our area, that I don’t fit on the bus. I sit as far back as I can and my knees are jammed in front of me. ha-ha Tall people problems!! Jordan, I don’t know how you survived...
That family (Sofia, Didi, Wilson, Bernardo, and the little one) is going to find out about there paper tomorrow. Didi just got back from Porto yesterday so we’re hoping and praying that the paper get here soon!! Thank you for your prayers!!!
On Sunday we made brownies to give to all the women in our branch. It was so good to show them that we are there to serve. But what was even better was that a family from Matosinhos came to visit! They were visiting their son who just happens to be the district president! So incredible! They walked in and I couldn’t believe it!! The Lord was just blessing me so much!! I almost started crying. It was so good to see them. 
The Lord knows all. If we just look closely we can see the miracles and blessings everyday. I write them all down when I see them and there is no way to deny that He loves us and He is with us everyday. I love the work!! I’ll be celebrating 9 months on the 17th. Weird...Doesn’t feel like it. Also, we have divisions this week and conference with president next week! These next 2 weeks are going to go by so fast!!! I love you all so much!!! I’m happy to hear that everyone is doing well :) 
Sister Hillam

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Last pictures from Matos and New ones on the Island

Sister Cavanaugh Hillam in Maderia

Wade's Banana Restaurant


Family to Pray for!

Sister Hillam and Sister Miller

Funchal with "Somewhere over the Rainbow"

The Transfer Happened! A New Address For Sister Hillam

So it’s finally happened. After 4 and a half months of Matosinhos, I was transferred. Let me tell you what I’m doing. I’ve opened an area, that is located...FUNCHAL MADEIRA!!!!!! YES I’m on the island!!!!!!! There are 14 of us on the island. 8 of us are new!! I`M ON THE ISLAND!!! I looked in the fridge and there was Brisa so you can imagine what I did!!! My companion is Sister Miller. She is just like Sister Elliott. They came into the mission together! So we have tons to talk about and we get along GREAT!!! I love Sister Miller!! So basically we’ve started from scratch! This area is huge!!! I actually replaced Elder Zwhalen who is from Idaho Falls! So let me tell you. The week leading up to transfers I couldn’t stop thinking about Madeira. For some reason every time I had a free minute to think, Madeira kept coming to my mind. Well I prayed and said, `All right, I want to go to the Madeira, I can’t stop thinking about it and if I went I’d do whatever you wanted. If I don’t go, whatever, I will still do what you want and work my hardest.” Well I still kept thinking about it! We got the call Tuesday and that’s when I knew. I had the biggest feeling that I was going and now I’m here, opening Funchal 1. He took that prayer seriously and now I’m working harder than ever before. There isn’t one moment that goes by that I’m not thinking about the area or people we can contact or of what we need to do. There is no time for Sister Hillam. Even right now I’m thinking of who we’re going to see. My brain never stops. Oh and I happen to live by the restaurant that Wade got the `very nice banana`haha!! I’m having flashbacks to when we were here!! (Jordan: Ricardo says hello! and remembers your back flip off the chapel wall.) It’s all a lot to take in right now. The language isn’t really that different. If anything, I like it more than before!! I LOVE THIS ISLAND!!!! It still hasn’t completely hit me yet. I’m still so awed that I’m here. So our area goes all the way up the mountain and the very top is Monte. Well we went there trying to find this house and we walked ALL THE WAY DOWN. We walked for 2 hours. It was like going straight down face of Table Rock! MY LEGS ARE KILLING ME!!! But by the end, I’m going to have some of the best-toned legs!  I’m very lucky to be here. President told us we needed to turn the Madeira around and make it the biggest baptizing zone in the mission. He told me to bring fire to the island. I’m so humbled to be here. President did lots of white washes and took a lot of missionaries out of areas but I am so grateful to come here. I’m so grateful for our family. The members call us sisters the angels. They haven’t had sisters for a really long time. I met the oldest member on the Madeira and she just loves us!! She bore her testimony about grandpa and me. I just happened to be sitting on the stand when she said that and everyone just looked at me. I’m pretty sure I’m here so that the members can start working with the missionaries. We’ve already had a lot of invites to homes and everything. LOVE THE WORK!! Our family is truly incredible. I’m so grateful to be here. I don’t know how long I will stay but I know it will be for at least 3 months, right before Christmas. But who knows! I want you to know that we will come visit Madeira when we come visit Portugal!!! I love you all so much!!! Pray for my area so that we can find families. We are working really hard to help this branch grow. Thank you all so much for your faith and prayers. We will need them these next few weeks. I love you all so much!!! I love the Savior more and more everyday. He knows me all too perfectly and knows exactly what I’m capable of. I’m not scared or worried at all. He knows I’m going to work hard everyday and do my best to contact people. I’ve already seen Him help us. My language has gotten so much better just in a few days. He is blessing me more than you can imagine. This is not my work, it is His. I love him with my whole heart and I can’t believe how much He’s blessed me. The Church is true, and the book is blue. It’s all worth it and I will give every ounce of energy that I have so that we can find families and find those elects. I love this work so much. LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Sister Hillam
My address is:
Sister Madison Hillam
Rua Casa Branca N 33 Cave A
Funchal Madeira 9000-113


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Maybe My last week in Matoshinhos!

FELIZ ANIVERSARIO WADE AND KALLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow! Time has flown by! I remember the wedding! Look at how fast time just goes! 
Alight first off, transfers won’t be till Wednesday. I think president likes having transfers in the middle of the week. So I will find out what happens tomorrow night. I will let you all know what happens next week :) It’ll be exciting!!! :) I would love to stay in Matosinhos for my whole mission if I could. Love these people. I started crying when we were talking to some of the members. I don’t know how you can get better than the members here in Matosinhos. 
This week was interesting...So Sister Elliott had really bad back pain. She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t sit up, and she could barely roll out of bed. On Tuesday we went to the hospital and got it looked out. She said she only felt pain on her left side. You can imagine how I was feeling. I had some serious flashbacks to senior year. I got super scared when she was saying her symptoms and I felt like I was reliving my pain. She had it x-rayed and it came back normal so that was a HUGE relief. She was put on some muscle relaxants and a light dose of painkiller. Let’s just say she was super tired and her body was feeling pretty lax! I was so proud of her though!! She got up everyday and we could go out and work for a few hours. She needed to rest a few times during the day, which of course we did. I knew exactly the kind of pain she was probably experiencing. 
This week we met with one of the recent convert/less active members and he was sooo cool!!!! He’s 16 and he’s been working 2 jobs, soccer, school, driving school, and something else that I don’t remember. Such a miracle that we could meet with him! He loves the gospel he just can’t make it to church with his job schedule. It’s the first time I’ve met him since I’ve been here and that’s been a long time! 
This week we spent a whole afternoon with Carla making and cutting out hearts. She wanted to go heart attack a family in our ward! SHE IS THE CUTEST!!! I love her so much!!!!!! We made so many cute hearts and flowers and clouds and went and heart attacked this family that she loves. She turned to both Sister Elliott and I and said that she doesn’t want us to get transferred. A lot of the members asked us to ask president if we could stay in the area. I was so happy and sad at the same time. I love these people so much!!! These members are the best! Nazaré and Carla both said that they were going to send a letter to president to have me stay. I was very honored that they said that about me. Man, I LOVE THIS WARD!!! Carla made us a lot of cute notes and sayings for us to always remember her. We made her some too. It was adorable!!
On Saturday I’m pretty sure I received the best rejection I’ve had so far! In the moment it was horrible but after wards we couldn’t help but laugh! So we’ve been trying to see this lady named Tina that we met like 3 months ago, we would pass by and call but nothing. So we passed by one more time and ended up meeting her on the street. She told us she didn’t have the courage to tell us that she wasn’t interested and didn’t really want to talk to us but that we could still be friends, while she was denying us this other guy came storming by and totally started yelling at us. He’d said he’d go to church but didn’t but that we could see him on Monday. We didn’t respond so when he saw us talking to Tina he flipped. He got super close to my face and started poking us. And then Tina tried to calm him down and they got in a little fight and then he stormed off and Tina said goodbye. Wow was it dramatic! 
WE FOUND WALDA!!! We’ve been trying to get a hold of Beatriz and we finally found her!!!! We can finally start talking and teacher her now!!! STOKED!!!!! 
And yesterday...I got told that I was going to be playing the piano 5 minutes before sacrament meeting...Without any practice. I was shaking so hard!!!! But it turned out surprisingly good! I am I so grateful for piano!!! In the Portuguese himnos they were 66, 115, 153, and 74. WOW. Love my talents :) 
I love you all so much!! I can’t believe its already September!! Seems like it should be May. I love this work. I can’t wait to see what this next transfer has in store!!! I know the Lord knows me and what I am capable of. He knows me perfectly and He knows my struggles. I love Him so much and couldn’t be more honored to be His missionary. I love the work; the people and I love my companion. To me, my mission has been a success. The experiences that I’ve had are just incredible and I wish I could record everyday and do everyday over again, even in the rain. I love it so much!!!
I love you all!!
Sister Hillam