Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Don't Be Sad that it's Over, Be Happy that it Happened!

This title is how I feel about all my weeks here! They go by so fast that I just have to be happy that they happened. Family, if you could please, pray that these weeks slow down. I can’t believe October is already over. Literally where did the time go?! 
This week was nuts. Literally we planned to do a lot of what we needed to do but it turned out to be full of service for our branch. It was super great!! I realized this week that when we put our whole heart into whatever we are called to do the Lord will literally put people in our paths. This week, basically everyday, we went over to a member’s house to help her put together the Relief Society training meeting. She was so stressed with everything that she had to do. Literally she did everything, she did the packets of information, she made the food, she made the art activity, she gave the presentation, and on top of that, her and her husband are the couple here on the Madeira. She had a lot on her plate. Graça is just amazing and I was so happy to help her pull together the training.  She called us the day of the training and asked us to make the burritos and help her get the room ready. She called us crying, and I felt so bad. Everyday we went over there to help. Through all of this the Lord literally put new people in our path to teach. 
We didn’t have much time for working in our area, but the Lord works with the time that we give. We made all of our goals and the people we met were not coincidences. We bought some ice cream right before we got on a bus and had to shove it in our mouths because we couldn’t get on the bus with them. We ended up meeting one of our investigators and got invited to make Belgium bread! We were pretty excited about that! And right after our meeting there we met this guy who said that the first thing that set us apart from any one else was our willingness to help him. He said that he noticed the difference in us when we said that. I was so grateful that this week we were focused on service that serving others was our top priority. I love it!!! 
So our zone leader, Elder Roberts, went to Porto this week to do his residency and come to find out, he had to leave. Man I was so sad. President told my companion, the zone leaders, and me that we needed to change Madeira. So the Zone Leaders and us were best friends. We all came to the Island not knowing anything. Madeira is now the Zone leading the mission and right as we are growing and become better, Elder Roberts had to go help Coimbra. Coimbra has 32 missionaries and Madeira has 14. We are doing better than them, and that’s why president took him away. I was so sad. I felt like I came here to be lead by him. So we threw a go away party in which we cooked (Sister Miller and I). He was super sad and we all were really sad to say goodbye. We were all so close. His recent convert was just crying in my arms that night before he left. It’s amazing what one person can do in an area. I’m so grateful that I’m still here!!! We have a solid 4 weeks till transfers and Laura will be baptized in 2 weeks!!!! SO EXCITED!!!!!!! 
Laura tells all of you that after the mission, ALL of the family will come to Madeira and visit her. She won’t accept just half of the family. So you all better make time to come in like August! She loves you all so much. Oh and THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE!!!!!!!! Yes, I did open it early because my birthday isn’t for another 2 weeks and I couldn’t wait. Laura will love the necklace!!! The clothes were great and the FOOD! OH MY GOODNESS!!! POTATOES!!! And MUFFINS!!!! SKITTLES!!! I was in heaven!!!! Oh best part...GARMENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really needed some new ones! Thank you so much!!!!!!!! Best birthday ever!!!!!!!!!! Loved it!!! Thank you so much. It really did mean a lot to get everything. I will now use that box to fill it of things from Madeira, and then I will send it to you all. 
I watched Finding Faith in Christ as a movie night here and I started to cry. Christ is in every part of our lives. He knows us so perfectly. There is so much work to be done and so little time! I love the mission; yes there are days that are tough but I’m so grateful for the things that I’ve learned. I love you all so much! 
Sister Hillam
P.s. Dad, could you send me your talk about the Burying our Weapons of war? I’m about to read about that story here soon and I wanted to read your talk again. Love you dad! 


Monday, October 19, 2015

Ice Cream and Cakey cake!!

Okay wow this week went by SO fast!! We were literally running everyday to get where we needed to go! Every night we had an activity either choir or meetings with the branch or a party. It was nuts! On Tuesday we had choir, Wednesday we met with the district president, choir on Thursday and then we threw a huge party for Laura that was SO FUN!!! We then had the district of Madeira conference on Saturday and Sunday. We also happened to have president here as well. Talk about a full week! 
Tuesday we went to a new area and we happened to walk past this field and we saw goats!! It made me so happy, but then Sister Miller says, `Wow, that’s an ugly animal. ` My jaw dropped! My jaw dropped!!!!! SHUN THE NON-BELIEVER!!! We both just busted up laughing because she’d totally forgotten about the goats! Precious moments! In that time too we met a lady and she said she hadn’t spoken to the missionaries in 8-9 years and talked about a really tall elder and that’s when we made the connection that if could have been Jordan! Talk about a weird family day and lots of family connections to goats and Jordan! So cool! 
On Wednesday one of our members called and said he had a friend that he wanted us to teach well we got there and the first thing he says was that he believes that the Book or Mormon is true and that he believes all the words that are in it...You can imagine how we felt!! ELECT!!!! So we taught him a little and it was just so cool to see the desire that comes when you feel the lack of the gospel. He’s honestly searching. After that lesson the whole rest of the day was late. I have to just love the bus system. Right when you need a bus there isn’t one or it just past. Love it! But really the buses help so much! We teach with a member that helps us with the buses all the time. 
Thursday we did a lot of house keeping. I don’t know if I’ve told you what president has started here but we are to go to the members’ house and make a huge list of all the people that aren’t members and help them be the missionaries. Well after we make the list we need to go thank them for doing the work so we make hearts and put them on their doors with a treat. It was SUPER fun!!! Then we had Choir that night (Did I tell you all that I had a solo in the choir?? Yeah...Soloist right here. But ended up singing with another lady that sang like 2 octaves lower than me...stressed me out!!!)
Friday we had a party for Laura and oh my gosh was it fun!!! We had milkshakes and her cake and we had games and I think over 25 people were there! It was so fun! We sang twice! Funchal 2 made food and we had dessert! Played the game `Do you love your neighbor` we invited her mom but she didn’t want to go. If you all could pray for her mom, that would be great. Her mom doesn’t want anything to do with the church. We need a miracle! But with the party we spent all day prepping for the party! We bought balloons and picked up stuff for the party! Loved every moment!! She was so happy and it was good to see the branch support her so much! I just love her! She ended up singing in the choir with us and so when President came he talked a lot about her and talked to her!
Saturday we had interviews with President and it went really good! I felt a huge weight on my shoulders but it was really good to hear what I need to do to get better. I love the fact that all of us can improve everyday. Okay and the reason why the title for this letter is that we ended up making 6 cakes in 2 days. We made 2 for Laura’s birthday, 2 for a baptism that the Elders had and 2 more for the other Elders that they gave to 2 families. Talk about baking!!! Let’s just say that we were pretty tired this weekend. We also had district conference. Elder Moreira of the seventy came and President Amorim was here and they both talked to Laura!! She sang in the Choir and she’s basically already a member. I LOVE HER!!!!!!! 
I love the mission. I don’t think that I’ve gotten home with any energy at night. The promise that we’ve received that we would walk and not faint is true. I know that the Lord has given me the strength everyday to do what He needs. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here and to serve these people. I feel so good when I can testify and it’s exactly what they need. I love the mission!!!! I never want to come home. I miss you all but this mission is the best. It’s hard all right but every moment is so precious. I can’t believe how fast it’s all gone. We’re on the downhill slope and I hate that idea. I love the mission so much!!! Pray for missionary opportunities, and FEED THE MISSIONARIES!! Love you all!
Sister Hillam
Luis Carlos says hello to Uncle Glenn

Love you!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Another week older and wiser too!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CRYSTAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you get lots of hugs and kisses from those kiddos! They are so stinking cute!!!!
Okay. What a week!! They just keep getting faster! Oh by the way transfers happened last night and I stayed in Funchal!! Surprise!! Sister Miller and I are staying together!! YAY!!!! LOVE HER!!!! 
Okay so we had zone conference this week and interviews and oh my goodness President is powerful. I felt a huge weight on my shoulders. He has a really big vision for Madeira. He gave us a new program he calls 100 names and we are to pick 2-3 families and write down as many people that they know that aren’t members. It’s so that it gets the members excited about missionary work! It will work really well here! Sadly president didn’t have time to interview Sister Miller and I so we have to wait till he comes at the end of this week. He felt really bad about it. I would have loved to talk to him because after that conference I was shaking. It was a lot to take in and a lot of pressure for us here. The Zone Leaders expect a lot from Sister Miller and I. We’ll get there. 
Found out this week that Didi (the family that you all have been praying about) left for Porto and won’t be back till December. We were super sad when he called and told us this. We went to see Sofia and she was really sad. We will see what happens with that family. I love them so much!!
We did a lot of service this week. We helped a lady in our ward get a medical paper sent for Sister de Luz this week. She has a lump on her chest. It’s not a good situation. I love playing doctor though!!! Yep...definitely going medical! Anyway we also helped Irmã Graca with her invites to the district relief society training. Love her so much!! We call each other basically everyday because she is a missionary for Funchal and she needs our help. It’s just wonderful to have her and help her in the work!!! 
Okay so this week went by way to fast! Lots of miracles that happen and lots of funny and exciting things happen. Just a few scrambles thoughts going around in my head. I heard Eye of the Tiger on the street and we busted out in singing. Super fun! We accidently knocked on a predio full of nuns...oops! ha-ha we stood there really awkward for probably 5-10 seconds in silence. Super funny. I’m playing for the primary and during the practice, I slaughtered the songs. It was super hard and then I got told I needed to practice a whole lot more. That was really rough. I’m practicing 4 for the primary and 4 for the ward every week. It’s a lot but great opportunity to play! 
We finished teaching Clara Reis. She was excommunicated 6 years ago and a few months ago she said she wanted to come back. We finished teaching her last week and yesterday she was interviewed!! What a great opportunity that we had to teach her! We get to plan her baptism and everything! Super excited for her to come back. I don’t know if Jordan and Crystal know her? She would have had a little girl in their time.
Okay best story for this week. Laura! As always! On Sunday she received a blessing by President Ornelas and afterwards we stopped and talked to her. We had no idea what we were going to talk about, mostly just about the blessing and her thoughts about it. Well it ended up being more than that. She is going to be baptized! I couldn’t tell you or describe the joy that I felt when she marked her day. The joy and love that I felt for her was just overwhelming. We sat and talked about it and then we all knelt down and prayed. She offered the prayer and asked what the Lord’s will was and what day she should be baptized. Well we looked at the calendar and she chose the 7th of November. But what we all didn’t realize was that we all felt the same date. After she said that Sister Miller´s mouth dropped and so did mine. We all felt the same day. The Spirit was so strong and I’m so excited for this next step in her life!!! She talks a lot about the happiness she wants to feel and all I could think was about how much happiness I feel because of the gospel. I love this work so much. I love the opportunity that I have to meet with people like Laura. She’s incredible and I’m so blessed to be here with her. I love this work so much. I know the Lord answers our prayers and that he loves us so much! I love you all so much!!! 
Sister Hillam

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Mary Poppins!

Jordan and friend in Funchal!


 I am proud to announce that I actually understood conference!! Such a miracle! I also got to watch all of the sessions too! Man I just feel so spiritually reborn right now! I actually only really watched 1 in Portuguese. We watched the first 2 at 5 and 9 on Saturday night and then they replayed the Saturday afternoon on Sunday. Laura came and it was amazing to write more notes about different things I learned. A testimony to all is that you can always learn something new from the same thing. But then Sunday morning session I watched it all in Portuguese and it was in Portugal Portuguese!! It was amazing! Just a few of my favorite quotes, thoughts, ideas, etc.:
`Exaltation is our goal and discipleship is our journey`
`Thou art the potter and I am the clay.`
I thought the first session they talk a lot about grace and over all about the simplicity of the gospel and the teachings. All of it was basically taken from Preach my Gospel.
Exaltation is our goal! -Lots of the talks talked about exaltation
Dating is the Marriage terrain...ha-ha super funny!
`You don’t marry perfection, but potential`
I loved the idea of having our own personal council and really taking the time to find what we lack. I loved that and that the Spirit gives specialized answers.
HIGHLIGHT- Elder Holland’s talk about Moms. MOM I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!! You are doing better than you think you are. 
Also that talk about women by Elder Nelson hit me really hard too. Lots of things about moms and women this conference. 
`Don’t be too critical of the barrier; it’s the only thing that’s keeping you from being devoured. Keep the commandments, especially today, if we do, we won’t be eaten up by the things of the world.
Ha-ha `Boys dig Holes` I died laughing at that one. 
Elder Clark- We need to be good at getting better.
`When you can’t do what you’ve always done, you only do what matters most.`
I could go on for days about conference! I took 14 pages of notes! It was incredible! 
Conference just made everything so much better! I got sick earlier this week with hot and cold flashes and then getting a really bad cold in which I started coughing up stuff. It was pretty nasty. I couldn’t keep the right temperature. Well Sister Miller got sick too towards the end of the week. It was so annoying. We actually left the house everyday for our set appointments and everything. Oh how annoying sickness is when there are things to get done! But it was all good. We went and saw that family and taught them, Didi didn’t end up leaving to Porto so he’s probably staying another week!!! Sofia received a blessing and it was so powerful! We had no idea what to do with them. Literally that blessing was an answer to our prayers. In the blessing she was promised that if they did all the things that we taught them (read the scriptures, pray constantly, and go to church) that they would receive their marriage paper and that they would be blessed with many blessings. She changed right then. It was incredible!! So powerful! I can testify that the Lord knows His children and that He knows what to do when we don’t. 

This week was filled with the Lord’s hands. I have a strong testimony that the Lord will work with what we have to give. This week I really didn’t know how we were going to do what we needed to do. Missionary work gets so much harder when you’re sick. But the Lord helped us teach and testify to these people. The Lord knows us so perfectly.

This week we read Alma 5 with Laura and the spirit was so strong! We were all crying. I love that scripture so much. She’s learning so fast. I can’t even believe how much she’s changed. You can see her countenance is different like Alma 5. She went to conference for 2 different sessions and she really liked them! Man I just love her so much!!! She stayed with the missionaries after conference till her bus came and it was hilarious! I can’t wait for the day that she is a member and can feel the spirit and the peace that comes from the gospel. I don’t think I’ve seen so much desire in a person to know if this is true. We dropped off cookies at her house while she was at school! I would do anything for that girl. 

I love the mission so much. I can’t believe it’s already October. We have zone conference tomorrow and interviews with President tomorrow. It should be super fun! I’m excited for what President is going to say. It’ll be super good! I love you all so much!! Thanks for your letters and support. It really helps. Love you!

Sister Hillam