Monday, July 25, 2016
We want to thank all of the family and friends who have supported Sister Madison Hillam on her mission. She will be arriving home, in Idaho Falls, on August 3rd. She will report her mission on August 14th at the building on 65th South at 11 a.m. We love you all! Thank you so much!
Eu vos amo. Feliz aniversario EVA!!!!! Feliz aniversario PORTER!!!! Parabéns Eric e Noelle por 3 anos casados!!! Muitos pessoas estão a celebrar anos!! Amo a minha família :)
Well, this will be the last time I write home as a missionary. I am truly saddened by this fact. By this time next week I will be in President’s house and preparing to get on a plane. So these will be the last emails that I read and the last email I send.
The week was great! I will be really short on explaining the week. We started our week off with a barbecue at a member’s house on her birthday, which was super fun! That’s why I did email so early last week. Then we got a ride with Ana and her dad to visit a family. Super great family but aren’t ready to accept the message but we contacted them and left them with the spirit. On Tuesday we were with our cute little investigator Ana and our newest member Bea. They wanted to play Just Dance with a few people from the ward so we went with them. Super fun and Bea and Ana are really good friends now which will help with Ana integration in the future. On Wednesday we met with a less active for the last time for the summer, and then right after had a lesson with Ana. We then planned with Ana and her dad to go see Firmino and Monica, which was so perfect! We didn’t need to catch the bus and they could bring us back instead of having Firmino and Monica bringing us back. We did a lot of work in their village! Ana and José took us to a couple of family members and we taught a lesson with them and we also met our 10-member family. All that day we had planned a lesson to teach and it didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was good. On Thursday we had our Zone Conference with President, which went really well. It flew by! We talked about Christ’s attributes and had a few practices. It was unlike any other conference/meeting that I’d ever had. It was the best! On Friday we went out and worked with Bea for a little bit and found a man that accepted our message and come to find out with ex-wife and daughter are members in the states! His daughter plays soccer for a professional team! He ended up going to church on Sunday. We went to a baptism that night and Bea and Ana both went. I said goodbye to Ana and Jose because now that José is leaving, Ana’s mom won’t let us see her. Oh and we thought that I’d be saying goodbye to Bea before she left to Switzerland...so I thought I was saying goodbye to 3 of the most incredible people. But the baptism was great! Eduardo is so cool! Even though I didn’t teach him, still feel like he’s a part of me and my time here in Viseu. Saturday we were in the hospital again for Sister Hillam´s foot. It still gets swollen and she’s been having pains on the other side of the foot now. She’s on pills and a patch of icy hot stuff. I honestly feel so bad for her. But we’re still doing work! On that day we actually left the house to meet a less active and teach her 11-year-old son! They are so cool! She wants to come back to church and she wants her son to be baptized too! Sunday I said goodbye to Judite and Mario and their family because they won’t be here this next week. It was emotional for me on Sunday. I said goodbye to Bea because she left for Switzerland, and a few other moments were super sad. Bea was crying which made me cry. It was over all a really good week! :) This week we shall see what we can do. Sister Hillam was told not to walk much but we are thinking that we should for just a little bit. We shall see what our limits are and take care of her foot.
I have loved the mission. It is the best thing I could have done in my life. I love these people, and I know God has taken care of them. `Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen. `-Alma 26:37 He loves these people here in Portugal, and I was the one blessed to walk, talk, and teach among them. I was the one being blessed the entire time. I know that He was in every single minute of my mission. There was no way that I could have done this alone. `He hath given me much success, in which my joy is full. ` -Alma 29:13 I will take no credit for the mission I served. Every single one of the people I taught and baptized was because God wanted it. Everything was based on His timing and done in His way. He is my Savior and Redeemer and only through Him was I able to fulfill His work. `And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the last testimony, last of all, which we (I) give of him: That he lives! ` I know He lives and loves me and ever single one of us. How grateful I am for the knowledge of the Atonement. I have seen His hand in the work and seen His power in my life. The mission has taught me that the easiest way is through Him. One day we will have to come to the realization that true happiness only comes if we serve Him. I am both excited and sad for the future. I’m excited to start the next chapter in my life, but this past 19.5 month chapter has been so sweet. I will forever hold dear all the memories of the mission in my heart. I love this work. I love these people. I love Jesus Christ.
`I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.`-2 Tim. 4:7
RETURN WITH HONOR
Sister Madison Hillam
Monday, July 18, 2016
Well HAPPY BIRTHDAYS AND HAPPY ANIVERSARIES!!!!!! I’m really happy that everyone is growing up!! Year well done! :)
I don’t have much time today due to a birthday lunch for one of our members but just to recap our adventures this past week!
1. We visited our 10-member family and taught about faith and gave them seeds and right after the lesson they went a planted the seeds in a pot! It was the cutest thing ever! I’m in love with that family!
2. Sister Hillam´s foot was still pretty swollen so we were careful with it all week until the baptism day! She’s a trooper!
3. I went on a division with one of the Sisters to teach Paula and I’m pretty sure Paula scared the Sister...she said she was scared to say anything... so great! Paula is one of a kind. :)
4. Quinta-feira we had to do a few errands for the baptism and then get a ride to Bea´s interview, and it only took about 10 minutes, which freaked me out in the beginning! She passed and oh my goodness was she excited!! It made me so happy!
5. BEA WAS BAPTIZED!!!!! She showed up late to her own baptism! haha so great! Her stepfather actually went to the hospital due to kidney stones. So she walked into the church alone. Man did I feel like momma bear after that! She was so happy to be baptized though. We heard her pray about how thankful she was for the church and meeting the Sisters. I love her so much!!
6. Saturday was the first day that we actually left the house to go work and it was so good! We didn’t over due it but we got out and walked and talked to a few people. We both really needed to get out, not that we were mad at each other but more as in there was nothing more we could do in the house. We basically just sat and laughed in the house everyday we were together. Let’s just say the week passed by really fast just because there was never a moment that we weren’t telling stories.
7. Sunday Bea received the Holy Ghost! She was so happy and turned to us and said, `I now know that I have a father and a family that is going to help me. ` I asked, A father?` She turned to me and said `Yeah, a Heavenly Father and a family here at church.` I just wanted to cry and how simply she said it.
It was a great week. I can’t tell you how much I would love to stay one more transfer just to be a missionary. Christ is my best friend. One day this week I was feeling a lot of pain in my back that spread to my stomach and it hurt to bend or move. It was super strange so I remember praying for the strength to walk and then I just started to walk because I knew the only way to use my faith was by working. So I started walking and after 30 minutes I could barely feel the pain. He suffered for our pains so that we can be strengthened. How grateful I am for the knowledge of the atonement. I love the mission. Sister Hillam is the best and I couldn’t have been more blessed!! Love you all so much! Have a fantastic week!!!
p.s. Can you keep Sister Costa in your prayers? Her dad passed away this week. Please put her on the temple roll. Thank you so much.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
|Sister Brundage and Sister Hillam together again!|
|Surprised with Sister Hillam and animals?!|
|Thanks for the help in the move!|
|Portugal won the Euro Cup!|
|Elder Judd served on the Madeira like his Dad under Grandpa Hillam|
|Sister Hillams at the Hospital in Porto.|
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KALLIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Today is a big day!!!!! I hope it’s full of lots of slobbery kisses from Porter and Ivy :) You’re the best!!1 :)
Anyway so lets get going on our week! It seems like a long week but it seems like yesterday that i was emailing! Anyway, last Monday after we emailed we started off to working and you would not believe what happened! We were teaching Ana Sofia the 2nd lesson and we kept getting messages from a member of the ward asking where we were. So finally I answered and they said they were going to come and pick us up. So we asked why and she said 2 sisters were here visiting. We get to the chapel and guess who it was...SISTER BRUNDAGE!!!!!!! I haven’t seen or talked to her since my first transfer!!!!! SUCH A SURPRISE!!!! It was a super great day to end the P-day!
Then on Tuesday we played Just Dance with Bea and Ana. We actually didn’t play, we just watched and supported from the sideline. Man I love Ana and Bea. They are the cutest girls ever! Ana is 11 and Bea is 13, and they are elect! But sadly Ana´s mom had a flip out this week and won’t let her be baptized because Ana´s dad wants her to. So the mom said no. But she wants to and will be when she’s 18...it’s so sad. But now we are just waiting for the dad to leave to talk to the mom.
Normal day on quarta and quinta but then on sexta, we finally moved houses!! We’d been cleaning all week and organizing all the stuff to move out and finally the move happened! It took from 10 to 7 to move! You would not believe how wonderful it was so finally be out! So the rest of the week we were cleaning up and putting together the new house. I can’t tell you how glad I am to be in the new house, even if it is for just 3 weeks. We got everything new. New kitchen, washing machine, house, everything.
Sunday we went and got Bea and she pulled us aside and said she needed to be baptized this week so we should be having a baptism this week! She will be leaving to Porto next week so she wouldn’t have been able to be baptized. So we announced her baptism and now we need to rush to put a program together but she’s so excited! Also, PORTUGAL WON THE EURO CUP!!!!! Portugal exploded!!!! So we had pancake night with Ana and Bea with Miguel and his family and we were eating our pancakes and hearing gasps of those that were watching. Then we got home and outside of our house erupted! MY COUNTRY IS THE BEST!!!! Portugal!!!!!! So great!
Monday we got up early to go to the conference with Elder Kearon. It was only 3 hours. I love my mission. We have the best president who is just full of love and respect for every single one of us. Seeing the whole mission was great. It was a good way to say goodbye to past companions and to see those that I’ve served with. So great! Then we turned around ate food, and then went to the hospital. For the past few days Sister Hillam´s foot has been huge with water. So we took her to the hospital in Porto because they don’t have a good place in Viseu. So we went and come to find out she’s not allowed to walk for the week and she needs to ice every 2 hours. So that was exciting and we missed our bus back to Viseu so we stayed with Sisters in Porto and had nothing for the night! It was an adventurous day and Sister Hillam celebrated 2 months on the mission!!!! Such a great way to celebrate!
I love the mission. It’s the best one in the world. I love Sister Hillam and I’m excited for this next week! We will see our 10-member family tonight and have a baptism this Friday. I love the work and the stresses of the mission. I’m taking in every moment and doing my best to live as a missionary while I can. I love you all so much! Keep being examples to others; you never know when they are watching! Love you!
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!1: D :D I can remember exactly what I was doing 1 year ago; I was in Matosinhos with Sister Elliott! It was pretty fun! :)Here goes another one of my precious weeks that I have left and how great it was!!! We’re moving houses finally this week!!!! YAY!!!!! We’ll be moving on Tuesday and Wednesday, which is such a blessing! I’m starting to go crazy in our house and it is starting to smell: P It’s got character haha Anyway, on terça we spent pretty much the whole day with our best friend Beatriz :) She is actually marked for baptism for the 23rd of July! She is so excited! She even drew a picture of Christ giving the Priesthood to Peter. yeah. She’s incredible and she’s doing her personal progress!! Stellar! So terça she came to an activity and played just dance with a couple of women from the ward an then she stayed for Ward council and then we went back to her house and that’s when we decided on a date for baptism! Just to tell you more about how great she is, she memorized the 5 points of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, and endure to the end), and she turned around and started teaching her step dad about the priesthood, AND she wants to leave and teach with us and she’s not even a member!! She’s incredible! So all of terça we spent with Bea :)
On quarta we saw our family of 10 that we are teaching :) We finally met the dad and the oldest daughter! Vitor and Deolinda are the parents and the 8 kids are: Liliane, Bruno, Diogo, Mónica, Margarida, Catarina, Marco, e Pedro. They are the most incredible family. Love them. While we were waiting for Mónica and Firmino to go out with us we decided to go visit their neighbors and it went really well. The lesson with Vitor and Deoling went great and the only person that really has doubts is the mom. All the kids understood and accepted to read! We made them all personalized books of Mormons, and the oldest even asked how she would know when she got her answer! Such a good family. Love them!
The weather was a little hotter than I liked but we still met a lot of people! It was a good week to find and meet new investigators. We ended up spending a lot of the time getting the utilities on our new house done and planning for the next week. i couldn’t believe that the 3rd week of this transfer is starting. How crazy is that! CRAZY!
The best experience that happened this week actually happened on Sunday. We got to church with Bea and run into this man and his daughter. This man had been baptized a week ago on the 25th in the Caribbean and came back for a few weeks. So we got to talking and got their address and went to their house Sunday night. We taught the first lesson to his daughter and marked her for baptism as well! We gave her 2 dates to pick from and she chose the earlier date! She wants to be baptized before her dad goes back to the Caribbean! The best part is that at church Bea and Ana were best friends! They sat by each other the whole time and Bea even said they were friends already. :) It was the cutest!!
The work is going great! We are working super hard and loving every minute of it! It is the best. I love Sister Hillam! The Lord is just pouring out his blessings on us. I recently read a talk by Elder Bednar about the enabling powers of the atonement and it just hit me so hard how much the Lord has blessed me during my mission. There was no way in human eyes that I could have served a mission with how much pain I was feeling and at times feel. But the talk by Elder Bednar talked about the faith in the atonement and how it goes beyond just the sins, but pains and the weaknesses. How blessed I am by the atonement. I love my Savior so much. I love being a missionary and serving His children. There is no other work that is better than helping others enter the door to go home. I’m so excited for this extra time I have to serve, and the blessings that He’s giving us. I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Monday, June 27, 2016
HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVA!!!!!! Love that little girl so much!!! :)
Well as you all know I am privileged to announce that we had transfers this week and there was a Sister at the training meeting named Sister Hillam so President had the great idea to put us together! Just kidding, as you all know Sister Marlie Hillam is my companion!!!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS IT´S THE BEST!!!!!! (Just imagine this message in caps because that’s how excited I feel right now!!!!!!!!) I often ask myself why I am so blessed to have her in the mission with me!!! It’s great explaining who we are to people! Sister Hillam already explained our contacts but it goes a little bit like this:
`Hello, we’re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! My name is Sister Hillam`
The other looks at Sister Hillam, slightly confused and then says, `you have the same names. `
`Yeah we’re cousins! `
It’s the best and then we can talk about who we are as missionaries and people get really interested! So fun!!! A lot of members were really excited to meet us :)
We often sit and talk about the family as we are constantly reminded how a like we are... for example: we ate ice cream today and then we came to realize that we had chosen ice cream with chocolate and nuts!! Then we started laughing and saying how we are so Hillams. We often have these moments. I feel like I’m serving with myself. It’s the best!!!
Anyway, we got the transfer call on Tuesday and Sister Costa was really sad but also super excited! She’s in Braga right now! She took her skittles with her :) ha-ha we got those last week and it was a good way to say goodbye and celebrate a little :) So she left on Tuesday night and I stayed with the Sisters for the night. Then I got up and took a bus to Porto with the Elders who were also to be training at 6. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t stop smiling!! I was like a little kid on Christmas!! We got to Porto and we trainers were called to be in the meeting at 9:00 and they didn’t end up showing up until almost 11. You can imagine how I felt! I couldn’t sit down! I was so anxious! I have been talking and waiting for this transfer for 4 months! And then Sister Hillam walked in and I ran to her! It was a great moment!! Turns out we had everything secret until Sister Hillam got in the car with President and he spilt the beans!! And the Sister Amorim got a little upset and told her to pretend to be surprised! But she had no idea until she got here! So then we got to talking and everyone knew what was going on! Oh how great it was!
Then we left the meeting and got going to our area. It was a super strange week. The first day together (Qunita-feira) was a super great day! We got invited to eat lunch with Elder Judd (who recently ended his mission), his parents, and all the missionaries here in Viseu. It was really good and strange to see that I will soon not be a missionary...very strange. But then we got to working and we basically contacted all day because many of our investigators were out of town. We got to a time where nothing was really going our way so we said a prayer, asked for help and guidance, and after that, we ended up teaching 3 lessons, and finding 4 new people to teach! The power of prayer!
On sexta we did weekly planning which can I say, Sister Hillam came pre-trained! Literally she is so amazing! Speaks really well and is a super hard worker. tem que ser! ela é um Hillam!! During weekly planning we had to go see our new house, which we are so excited to move into!!! We met some spiritists. They were also talking about spiritismo with us that was so weird! We have plans to teach the first lesson with them.
We have TONS of potential; people just need to be home! Luckily this week everyone should be home so we can actually start teaching our families and progressing investigators. I love the work. You don’t understand how great this transfer is and how great it will be. I love Sister Hillam!!! I’m really excited to see her progress here in the mission and I’m so grateful for training her. I’m so blessed. My mission has been a HUGE blessing and the Lord has given me things that I don’t even deserve. Last transfer was amazing and now this one. I feel like the Lord has just put the cherry on top of my mission. I love Him so much and it’s a privilege to be His missionary. I can’t believe it most of the time. It went by so fast but never was I alone and now He’s just showing me how close He really is. I love you all so much!!!
Sister Madison Hillam (since these is now a Sister Marlie Hillam)