Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year! War 2016 (Fireworks)

(Again sorry if I forgot birthdays or anniversaries!)
So starting this week out I was a little stressed because we had a baptism planned but we hadn’t been able to talk to her for a week because she was in and out with family for Christmas, and then we were to have transfers and that’s always a stress to see what happens. So it was just a week full of emotions!! But it was an awesome week!!! 
So we met this lady names Luisa the week before Christmas and she was super nice and invited us to come back this past week. Wow is she elect. We taught the first lesson and she was super open! We gave her the Book of Mormon but she said she wouldn’t promise baptism till she felt which was all to perfect! She’s a sweet heart! She started our week off awesome!
Then we were able to have an appointment with Oneida and we ended up meeting her daughter!! We taught reading the scriptures, praying, and going to church with cups and knives. So you teach it like this: each cup and knife is one of the 3 principles (read, pray, or church). You situate the cups about a knife’s distance away and then you tell the investigators to create something with the knife’s that a book can stay above the ground and on top of the knives that are on top of the cups...if that makes sense. In the end the knifes need to make a triangle in the middle where they are all interlocked and then you place a book (our spirituality) on top. We taught this and Oneida´s daughter was crying. She had prayed earlier this week to know what her foundation should be. She is so elect!!! We ended up talking a lot about the church and we even got her contact information so that she could be taught in England!!! She’s incredible! 
This story has so much meaning and I don’t know how to tell you this story without making you all confused...But here we go. Sister Miller and I made a list of all the things that we wanted to accomplish this transfer: 3 baptisms, and 1 family to teach. These just being a few. Well we wrote down everything that we would do and our goals to accomplish this and we wrote down everything the Lord would do. We saw the Lord’s part in all of this past week. We didn’t reach our goals of 3 baptisms but at the same time we did. We didn’t reach our goal of a family but at the same time we did. Oneida was baptized and we ended up meeting her daughter and her family. Catarina (Oneida´s daughter) wants the missionaries at her house and her husband, Miguel, is one of the coolest men I’ve met. They are so ready for the gospel. At this time in their life they have been prepared for the gospel. So we met them and here soon they should be baptized. So Oneida was baptized and Catarina and Miguel should be soon as well so 3 baptisms and we found a family. Yes we won’t teach them and baptize them but that’s not what matters. They will help to strengthen the church in England. The Lord does his part when we do our part! It was one of the best experiences that I have had on this mission. I will NEVER forget it!
Anyway continuing on! We had divisions this week and I went with Sister Bryant to my area and it was awesome!! I love new missionaries!!! They teach so simply and with such power. She’s incredible! We talked a lot about the importance of listening to the investigators and then teaching to their needs. She has a gift for it! I wish I had it but I saw how the gospel is SIMPLE, we just over complicate it. It’s so simple a child can understand it so why do we always have to complicate the simple things? I’ve had a lot of thoughts of this. With Oneida it was very difficult because we didn’t understand every Spanish word so we taught very simply and look, we had success. Don’t over complicate things! Love the division I had with her to learn that! 
May I just say the New Years was nuts!! It was like a war was happening! Our President actually told us we were not allowed to leave to see it. Sad. We couldn’t sleep though because we live right by a club so everything was just so loud. So we just went to the roof of the apartment and WOW!!!!! THE FIREWORKS WERE INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! Mom, I’m bringing you back next year! You would have loved it!!! It was a circle around Funchal and then it made it seem like daytime! Then the last 20 seconds or so feels like you jumping off the ground! Everything was just shaking and so bright! Take the fireworks of the 4th of July and times that by 10 and that was Funchal. They had like 14 shoot off points in a circle around Funchal! I’ve never see anything like it!!! LOVED IT!!!! 
We woke up the next day and everyone was still partying! It still really hasn’t died down! Everyone is still drinking quite a bit! So we spent Friday planning Oneida´s baptism and then we had a dinner appointment with Sofia and Didi. I bawled because we don’t know who will leave so it was our last goodbye (or so we thought)! 
On Saturday Oneida passed her interview, and we went to a lot of people’s houses to say goodbye. It was a happy and also sad day. Catarina told us that she hopes we find more people like her and her family (hint to baptism!! Those missionaries in England are SO LUCKY!!!) Which made us really sad because I LOVE ONEIDA!! She’s so amazing. Then we went to Chris from Belgium and she gave us a necklace and bracelets from Belgium as a good-bye present and asked if she could say goodbye at the airport. Which was really sad and we cried when we left. It was brutal on the feelings that day!
On Sunday it was awesome but so stressful! We went to get Bernardo and Wilson to go to church with us and we had the baptism on Sunday! Man was I tired. I ended up making zucchini cake in the morning and having it bake before church. Then we get to the church and the water hadn’t been turned on and then President Ornelas didn’t like the program and then the computer didn’t end up working, oh and the musical number was a fail haha. So many problems! But she got baptized and she was SO HAPPY!! She was crying before hand and after, her smile went from ear to ear. She was so happy and all the ladies in the ward are like her best friends. It was incredible to see the difference. Everything bad that happened all went away after I saw her face. It’s always so much work with baptism and food, along with clean up. Such a great experience. Loved it so much. 
As of right now, I’m still on the Madeira and we won’t know what happens till tonight or tomorrow morning. I love this work so much. These past 3 transfers couldn’t have been better. We ended our transfer by meeting a family and baptizing. Love this work with my whole heart. Whatever is in store, I can’t wait!! It’ll bring a lot of new experiences. I will miss Sister Miller so much. She is my best friend and like a twin to me. (she’s the better half) I’m going to miss her like none other. I feel like we just do and think the same! You make the best of friends on the mission and to leave in the worst. I love the friendships I’ve made and the lives I’ve touched and the people who have touched mine. More importantly, I love my Savior who has changed me more than I can tell. I love being His missionary :)
Love you all so much!! Ficam bem!!! :)

Sister Hillam

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