Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sometimes you just have to take a Step Back!

Again is seems like yesterday that I was writing! Time goes by way too fast. January is already gone and February starts today. That’s just plain weird. But this week I had the greatest opportunity to think about everything in my mission, the area, people, everything. We only really have about 3 days to work because we had a huge Mission Counsel for 2 days straight! From 9 in the morning to about 7 at night, with only about 1 hour for a break. It was amazing!! The spirit was so strong and having the district leaders, zone leaders, and sister training leaders there was awesome! We really had some good discussions on how we can help the mission grow. Loved it!! I will share what I learned the most during those 2 days and then I will explain Carlos!
On Wednesday:
We talked a lot about our purpose as leaders in the mission, as well as our purpose in Portugal. Something that really touched me was this question, ` How do we want to be remembered? ` The first thought was about leadership but then I thought more about my areas and the people I want to touch. It’s beyond just the missionaries but everyone that we talk to. I had a very humbling experience with this; I was feeling really down this past week about the work and about my success. I was feeling like I was helping more with my companions than with the work. At the conference, one of my old companions came up to me and thanked me for the influence I had on her. She didn’t know the responsibilities that I had when I served with her. She apologized and hugged me. It really helped me understand that the work we touched the lives of others. When she told me that, I felt like a rock was taken out of my heart. 2 of my companions now have told me that I’ve changed their lives. I couldn’t be more grateful for those words this week. I’m so grateful that they opened their mouths to say that. The role of a leader goes farther than we think. 
`Those that don’t know how to be leader, can’t be a leader.` How true this is! Just a cool thought I had...We have to humble ourselves and represent. Show that we can be leaders! We talked a lot about obedience and the role of obedience in the work. I never want to do anything bad. I’ve already seen the blessings of obedience and I never want to lose them! 
`If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. ` Benjamin Franklin. We need to plan out everything we do! That’s how we help others come unto Christ. How are we going to use the members? How do we want them to progress? What lesson will benefit them most? Planning is key in life! We have to learn how to plan well. I thought I knew how to plan pretty well before the mission but now I’ve learned that there are 2 types of planning, the spiritual planning and the physical creation. It all starts as ideas first and then we put them into practice. Like the scriptures say that there was a spiritual creation before the earth was actually created. Same with us. We need to plan everything out before! In the end it all comes down to our PREPARATION. If we are prepared, we need not fear. 
There were so many things said that I learned but that was the biggest thing that took the most time.
Again they focused a lot on preparation. We have a new teaching method! President made a packet of the entire lessons in Preach My Gospel and put them into a plastic covering and into a book. Like the lessons from Cedar Badge with all the slides. It’s awesome!!! It reminds me so much of the lessons from Cedar Badge and I’m really excited to use them! So we did a lot of practices with them. It’ll be good to help us teach simply and directly! 
The greatest thing that happened during this whole time was that Elder Moreira came to visit us. This is the 3 time that I’ve heard him in the mission and every time I learn so much. This time his talk was on Prayer. Wow. It was amazing. He actually talk to us about when Grandpa was his mission president and how he was one of the first people that changed his life. After that President blurted out that I was there which then caused my face to go bright red and all eyes on me. But what he said was very profound. He explained about Christ’s prayer in the Garden and how he was prostrate on the ground. He humbled himself so much that he was lying with his face on the ground. He was the greatest servant to every walk this earth and how many times do we always say the same, quick prayers? There is a prayer for every moment and for every place. He focused a lot on where our minds are during the mission. Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength. We can give 3 of these things but our minds are one of the hardest to give. We much conquer the natural man and focus on the objective. If we learn how to pray with the spirit, receiving an answer is much easier. We need to learn how to speak with the spirit so that God can easily answer our prayers. The Spirit won’t be with us if we don’t humble ourselves and do HIS will. One thing he pointed out was the story of Christ with the disciples on the seashore after His resurrection, `Peter, do you love me? Feed my sheep. ` `Sister Hillam, do you love me? Teach, Invite, and baptize my sheep. ` I need to do better about preparing, studying, and praying for my investigators. I need to do it His way and humble myself in prayer to know His will. We can know His will if we but do what He asks. Humility and obedience are some of the most important aspects of the gospel to me. It’s for His honor and His glory that I am here. Not for me, not for the family, but for Him. I am His servant. I learned so much from Elder Moreira! I took 4 pages of notes on just his talk alone. 
So we had an investigator go to church last week and we never could go and actually teach Carlos. But on Saturday we actually were able to go and teach him and his mom! We got there and taught the first lesson, invited him to be baptized and invited him to stop smoking and drinking. It was really powerful and we also invited him to go to a baptism that the elders had this weekend! Well when we got there to pick him up, he came out in a suit, tie, and a sweater vest! I was smiling all the way to the church! He truly wants to change his life. Then when we went to his house to pick him up for church he walked out with suit pants, sweater vest and tie again! But then he said he’s going to use the buses! He’s already self- sufficient!! It’s people like this that really want to change. This week was awesome! Full of the spirit! I loved every minute of it. 
I love the mission. I love my Savior. I was reading Jesus the Christ and about the atonement. I want to read that whole book! But I had many thoughts about it. The atonement was needed to save man from the fall of Adam. I thought a lot about the spiritual and physical death. There are 3 deaths that I can think of:
1. When we left the presence of our Heavenly Father. In a sense, it was a death and a birth into this mortal life.
2. When we are baptized, we kill the person we were, and become a disciple of Christ.
3. Death on this life, and birth into the spirit world. 
Every time there is a death and rebirth is like climbing into a new plane of knowledge and understanding. 1. We are natural men. 2. We strive to become like Christ on our preparation to become gods. 3. We become Gods. We are to continually be growing and developing unto the 3 deaths and birth. All through this, Christ is central in ALL. It’s only through Him that we can accomplish is all. I love Him so much. I love the mission. This week we will have zone meeting tomorrow and then I will be doing a division with the sisters on Wednesday! It’ll be awesome!!
I love you all so much! Keep up the great work!

STESister Hillam

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