Monday, March 7, 2016

Where To Begin....

Where to begin!!! Sorry if there is a birthday or anniversario that I forgot about...time doesn’t exist and the days just blur together. It’s hard to remember what day of the week it is sometimes! But holy cow what a week!!! Last P-day we went with the Sisters in the zone to Porto and climbed the tower connected to the Catholic Church and saw all of Porto. What a BEAUTIFUL city!!! I’m in love! So we ended p-day and started the week! 
On Tuesday we ended up having dinner with our Brazilian investigator and her two little boys, which is awesome! So fun! She’s incredible! Every time we go over we eat and talk about life. It’s really hard to teach because of the kids but we teach as we go. We’re working on finding her desire, if that makes sense. She hasn’t felt that click yet for the gospel. But we’re working on it! So on Tuesday she called and we had dinner and talked with her. Super fun! We also met this Muslim guy!!! So cool! It was a great opportunity to talk to him a little about Muslim stuff and we even ended up giving him a book of Mormon to read. We weren’t sure if we were allowed to but he accepted! We want to go back and teach soon!
On Wednesday we had mission council so I went to Porto without Sister Phipps and guess who her comp was...SISTER MILLER!!!!! I was so jealous!! They had the best time! It made me so happy to see them together and to have some of my most favorite comps together. It just made me so happy! Mission council was great! We talked a lot about our example and we did a lot of practices. We have a big goal in the mission to baptize we have 4 people that are looking really good for baptism. We met them a little bit ago but now we just have to get them to go to church! I love this area though!! Miracles happened. So mission council went really late and we also have Correleção de obra missionaria (no idea what that is in English. English is so hard!) So we really only had 1 solid hour in our area. So we left the meeting at 8 and by 8:15 we were walking back to the chapel with a lady that wanted to see the chapel. It was a complete miracle. We said a prayer before asking for help to find those that are ready for us and then we met Fatima. She said she felt she needed to talk to us and we ended up talking to her and inviting her to see the church. Miracles happen if you have the faith and work hard!
Thursday was our Zone Meeting, which ran really well! I love our zone leaders! We have an incredible zone. We are one of the best zones in the mission and our district I think is the second best. We are powerhouses here. It’s because the Lord knows he can trust these wards and branches here to take care of his children. We saw all the numbers and everything. This zone is incredible. Lots of faith and hard working here and it made me so excited!!!! I had already heard everything from mission council but the zone leaders showed a movie at the end of Elder Holland talking about missionary work and the difficulties that come. Salvation is not easy so why should missionary work be easy?? It wasn’t easy for Him so why should it be easy for us? It really touched me. We are to do our best and to go through the trials with the end sight in goal. It was excruciatingly painful for Christ but He knew what He was doing would benefit all mankind. I know what I’m doing will benefit people here in Portugal. It was incredible! 
On Friday we got invited to dinner again by Cristiana and ate and talked with her. It was super awesome! But what was more incredible was that we went to Carlos´ house and had a lesson. I was really upset by what had happened. He didn’t want to talk to us anymore and said the Catholic Church is his church. It really hurt but I didn’t want to give up so we went back and his real fear is Alcohol. He can’t give it up and he was worried about being forced to be baptized. He said he has to go to a place to stop drinking and then to rehab for a year. He said it’ll help a lot but something that brought peace to my soul was that he said he misses the church and feels a lack of prayer and the spirit. He stopped praying, reading, and going to church and he felt the difference. He wants to come back. It was like the scriptures said, `and my soul delighteth. ` I felt so much joy when I heard that. I needed to hear that! 
Saturday we taught Carlos , Graciete, and finally had a lesson with a lady that has been so stubborn for 3 weeks. Finally got to teach about the Book of Mormon and she accepted to read! It was a really good day but what was the best day of the week was Sunday. We got to church and Graciete and Odilia show up. Graciete is marked for baptism for the 20th of this month and she is so excited. She came to church and listened to the testimonies, and it felt like every class during church was for her. We talked about the spirit and how we can know it’s the spirit and then we talked about the importance of the Sabbath Day and it just hit them and us so big. On top of that we had 3 families ask us to eat with them, which hasn’t happened since I’ve been here. I can tell you we had some really rough times this week and Sunday was the perfect day. I was struggling to keep myself above water with everything that we needed to do but Sunday was awesome. We were running to a lunch appointment with Bishop and his family, then a lesson with Cristiana (with dessert at the end), then to dinner with another family, and then to end the day with Graciete and Odilia. I love these 2 women so much. We got there and come to find out Graciete had downloaded all the church apps onto her phone and her tablet. She started talking about church and you could see the excitement on her face while talking. We had a lesson about eternal marriages and we asked her how she decided to be baptized. She explained that while reading the Book of Mormon and going to church, she just felt that this is what Christ wants her to do. She said she wants to turn a new page in her life and wants to learn more about the gospel. You couldn’t help but feel the spirit during her testimony. Her mom Odilia also said she loved church and gave a really good closing prayer. She hasn’t accepted baptism but still wants us to come by and teach her. 
Family. I am so blessed. I am so grateful for the members and their help with our investigators and inviting us to eat. I’m so grateful for an amazing companion who loves the work and the Lord. And I’m so blessed to be able to teach these 2 incredible women. I love the work and I love the Savior. He carries me through the rough times. I love this work so much! I can’t wait to start another week!! I love you all so much!!! 
Com AMOR! 

Sister Hillam 

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