Tuesday, April 26, 2016

We will Press Forward, Together!!

So today is actually a holiday so I can’t use the computer very much because we have to divide the time between 6 missionaries. The library is closed...Happy Holidays!! haha 
Pretty much we were running all day everyday! As for the mother’s day call, I believe it’ll be after the baptism of Odilia! So it’ll be about 7 ish here and like 12 there!  I will make sure this week! So Odilia is progressing a lot so that’s great! She’s SO EXCITED!!!  They are so excited to talk to you!
We had problems with Rafael this week and he wasn’t baptized but we’re going to work on it! We met a lot of potential people though so that was good!
We had an activity at the church this past week and we made popcorn, pizza, and drank some pop, while watching the Joseph Smith movie! It was super good. I have so much respect for that man. I don’t think I’ve defended a name so much in my life, other than Jesus Christ. I cried a few times just to see what he went through. No good man would do what he did and no bad man would start. He was a prophet of God. ~
We met two women this week Rosa and Carina who are related to the bishop in Gaia 2. So we are helping them get baptized here soon!!! It’ll be awesome to help them enter the water!! :) 
I love you so much!! I don’t have anymore time. I love this work. I’m exhausted everyday and basically only have energy to get myself ready for bed every night. It’s a great feeling. This week will be a good week! We have an activity on Sunday that’ll be super fun and lots of other activities too :) this transfer ends here soon and it seems like it went by so fast!!! Love the work!
Sister Hillam

Monday, April 18, 2016


If there are birthdays or anniversaries, I do apologize, I forgot to see the calendar this morning! 
So I had this song come to my head just now, `Everyday I’m shuffling. ` I couldn’t help to think about missionary work, of course! I can’t describe this week other than it was good! Lots of blessings and we had to slow down a little and focus on the little things. It was quite fun!
So last p-day we went to the Harry Potter Library where it is said to be the inspiration for the books. I have no doubt! The staircase is incredible! We thoroughly enjoyed it! 
We had district meeting, which is always good. We are planning 2 activities in the ward and the stake, which should be good! We have one coming up this Friday and the next one on Mother’s day, Odilia´s baptism day, and stake conference, oh and the day we talk! So that’ll be a great, tiring day!! Oh as well it went from thundering and lightning, to sunshine too and we still had success! And we ended up meeting 2 investigators of the Elders twice that they had lost contact with so miracles were just being poured out everywhere!
On Wednesday we did a lot of searching, 1. For this lady that we met on the bus who said we could come by and 2. For new investigators. And we happened to find both! Fernanda said we could come by and she wasn’t home but we left her a heart on her door and she ended up calling us that night saying that she would come to church! Super elect! Then we went to an old investigators house and she was so happy to see us! She couldn’t help but smile and laugh to see us! Literally made my day! On top of that we took a quick break to eat something at a café in our area, and we just happen to be really good friends with the owners, and they gave us a loaf of bread! We usually leave there with the food that they were going to throw away but never that big! It was awesome! And on top of all that, we contacted a lot of people that already knew the church. Can I just say that I am so grateful for examples of good missionaries before me who were happy and talked to people! 
On Thursday we had Zone Conference with 2 zones and president. It was shortened because one of the missionary couples had to immediately fly home because their grandson was hit by a car after a scouting event and was only expected to live till the next day. So President wanted to take them to the airport. President shared with us his love for us and I felt it. He was in tears as he was telling us what happened. The conference was good though. He basically reiterated all the things we had heard in zone meeting. I saw Elder Zwalhen again, which was super fun! Good to talk to old friends face to face :) We got home, changed and went to Odilia´s house to clean out her garage. We lifted some pretty heavy things which wasn’t the smartest on my part but we got the job done and I was satisfied! Then we had another ward meeting that night. There are so many meetings to go to as missionaries. I don’t think I’ve been to so many in the 19 years before my mission! I love it though!
On Friday Sister Phipps went to the hospital because she’s been having these weird bumps on her hands and bad circulation. So we went to get it checked out and the doctor didn’t even know what was wrong. I was the translator, which was super fun! She was really nervous, it was super cute! ha-ha I just love her to pieces! I often wonder if we were meant to be in the same family...we are basically the same person! Match made in heaven for sure!! Then we get back from the hospital and meet Rafael...he was drunk. I tried my hardest not to laugh the whole time. He was saying some of the craziest things. He would go from being super happy to super sad and depressed. There were like 20 people in the chapel and all of them were concerned but couldn’t help but laugh. He only drinks once in a while, and this time, he forgot to take his medication so he drank...and he’s supposed to be baptized this weekend. Pray for him! 
I’m not doing a great job of explaining all the miracles but we really focused this week on finding new investigators and the Lord heard our prayers. He put elect people in our path. Our district leader Elder Valentine sent a message saying we needed to get 5 more new investigators to reach our goal as a district, and right before we saw the message we were in a lesson with a new investigator and then right after we read the message we went back to Carlos´s house. We hadn’t seen him in about 2 months and it was such a miracle that we went back. He was a mess. He’s digressed a lot since we were teaching him and he could tell the difference now. We’re going to try to get him back to church again and back on the path to baptism. So by the end of the day, we had met out goal of 5 new investigators for the day. Miracles do happen when we are on the Lord’s side. 
Along with that, after church we went to find a recent convert that moved in that didn’t go to church and we weren’t even focused on finding new investigators when a lady stopped us and asked to know more. So we had a lesson, right there on the street about the restoration of the gospel. It was incredible! We met our goals for the week and the Lord just put a little cherry on top. He is so good to us and really does put the people we need in our path. I loved seeing the hand of the Lord in the work. 
I love the gospel. I love reading the Book of Mormon, especially in Portuguese! I’m almost to Alma in Portuguese and when I start, I just don’t want to stop. I passed my 16th month mark yesterday and I just cried to Sister Phipps. I love the mission and I just want to stay here forever. I know I’m here to make a difference in the lives of other people but I feel like they’ve changed mine more than theirs. I love these people, this country, this ward, the area, my mission president, my companion, my house, my family, the gospel, and most importantly Jesus Christ. 
Love you all!
Sister Hillam

P.S. I need you to invite the neighbors that aren’t members to my homecoming talk, and get a list of all the less actives in our ward. Mom, be ready to be my comp when I get home. We must baptize and help those that aren’t members, be members! I don’t want to wait to get the missionary work going in our ward! How is Mariana with the Book of Mormon? I just had so many ideas come to my head this week about the Ugaki family and Mariana and how we can share the gospel with them. Be prepared Mom and Dad! I only have a month or so to get these families to church! Please, do invite them to my homecoming :) Love you!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"She is Athen, I am Sparta, and together we are Ninjormans"

FELIZ ANIVERSARIO JORDAN E CRYSTAL!!!!!! You’ve been married for so long!!! Congratulations!!! Man, I just love you 2 and your large family that you’ve already created! Love you guys!! :) 
Don’t ask about the title...we made it up on the street. haha Pretty much she’s the lovely, artistic, singer, artsy person, and I’m the athletic, go beat up the bad habits of people, and running all over the place kind of person and together we are Ninja Mormons...Yeah...we hit our breaking points this week...haha 
So let me try to explain a week full of some of the most exhausting days that I’ve had, and the effects are still in play. 
The week started out pretty great! We got all pumped for the week when we showed up to Graciete´s house and she was singing `Go the Distance. ` Which couldn’t have been a better song to start the week! We sang with her and just got us stoked to go and baptize! 
Then I had to go to Mission Council, which was great!! This past month we baptized 35 people and this month our goal is 45!! So we had really great discussions about some of the things we can improve and the things we should continue doing. It was truly inspiring! So I was feeling great! I was going to `Go the Distance, ` and baptize 45 people...and then it all went bizerk! We had 3 people marked for baptism for this past Saturday and may I just say...Satan is really good at his job. I got back from Porto and Rafael couldn’t see us so we had to call our member to cancel and she didn’t like that, but then we went on the `Walda Search` again for Fátima...AND WE FOUND HER!!! And of top of that, it was her BIRTHDAY!!!! She was super happy to see us! Such a miracle!
On Wednesday we taught Graciete and Odilia about profetas using an obstacle course and showing them the importance of profetas. They liked it and come to find out Graciete is starting a crochet figure of the Salt Lake Temple!! HOW ELECT CAN YOU GET?!?!?! 1 month after baptism and she’s making the temple. Yay. I love her. Then we went to Augusta´s house and I don’t remember what I’ve told you about her but basically her boyfriend is cheating on her with pornografia and talking to other women. And she’s still with him. It’s such a sad situation, but she’s strong and really likes the church so we visited with her and she’s getting things figured out. Went to Maria José´s house to talk with our investigator Maria José who was suppose to be baptized this weekend (she’s 83 years old and stubborn as can be) she’s sick and really just doesn’t want to be baptized! Challenge accepted! So she refused even after testifying and even taking the Elders over to interview her. She’ll get there!! From this day on, we basically ran everywhere just to get these people to be baptized! So we ran back to the chapel to teach Rafael before his interview with Elder Valentine. Come to find out, he’s had a problem with the law so now he has to be interviewed by president. So my heart was really heavy after Wednesday because 2 of our marks couldn´t/wouldn´t be baptized. 
Thursday we had zone conference, which is always good. This day was just a weird day...like we went and sat outside of Fátima´s house (Walda) so that we could mark a time for her interview, and she wasn’t there. Then we ran to visit the Elders recent convert Fatima and ran to a meeting at the church. We get there for only 10 minutes and in those 10 minutes we had the Elders and the ward mission leader doubting because they said we didn’t have faith. Yeah, if anything the barriers of faith this week were with the missionaries themselves. We went back to Fátima´s house and found her home!!
I feel like I’ve become quite the fighter of the person named Satan. He truly loves to make my mission difficult. Fighting with Rafael´s paper for the judicial stuff, trying to make an appointment for his interview was rough. So the final outcome was just to postpone the baptism till we can get his papers to be interviewed. Maria José wouldn’t accept our visits and Fatima disappeared again. It was quite the fight this week but we didn’t win sadly. We did see the Elders baptism and I played the piano and we sang (with me on the piano. singing and playing) as well at the baptism. It was really good and I was super happy to see his smile. Odilia went to the baptism and she just got so much more excited to be baptized. 
Sunday it started hailing and raining like none other! It was really cool actually! It was actually a really chill day, just calm with spiritual classes. Loved Sunday. Graciete received her first calling and even said the opening prayer for Relief Society. Odilia admitted to being a member of the church and those two will even  help the orphanage because of what they heard at conference. Such stellar women. 
The lesson I learned is that even heroes and great nations need to be brought down to be built back up even greater. Christ was bought lower than low and then brought higher than high. We do this. We were running all week long. I wake up and it feels like I just put my head on my pillow, the days go by way fast and then by the end of the day, you feel the miles and the contacts. I would get home and not have enough energy to eat or even talk. But my conscience is clear because I know I did everything I knew to help these people. There were days we didn’t get home till 10:20 trying to help these people. We fasted and prayed. `My tears did wet my pillow because of them. ` I love the work. I love these people and want nothing more than them to be members of the church. I love Christ and the example that He is. I love this work so much and thank you all for the prayers on my behalf. I love you all so much!

Sister Hillam

"Call unpon me while I am Near"

WHAT GREAT CONFERENCES!!!!! That is the highlight of the week for sure!! The week was fine, nothing too special happened, just a quick update on investigators and a few other fun things!
1- Odilia is still SUPER excited to be baptized! She came to 3 conferences. Oh how I love that woman. She is just incredible and even stayed to sing in the ward choir with Graciete and the members. She LOVES the gospel and was just soaking in the words of the prophets. I will seriously miss her. (Tears are flowing at this point) 
2- Raphael was lazy this week because of the rain and we didn’t get to see him but his friend is helping him stay excited. We will see him this week and help him out a little more.
3- Maria José is progressing! She loves the sisters and loves Irmã Maria José. She’s pretty excited to be baptized finally as well!! She came to the women’s conference and stayed for the first session of Conference. She’s a sweet little old lady :)
4- Fatima disappeared again. ha-ha surprise there! We’ll go on a search for her again this week! The Lord always helps us find her again!
5- Augusta came to the Sunday morning session of conference. She loves church as well but found out yesterday that her companion/boyfriend is talking with other women and looking at pornagrafia. She listened to the talk by Elder Christofferson about fathers and was more determined to help him be a better father. She’s just incredible.
That’s just the quick update of the week we had! Now on to conference!!!
I really needed conference this time. I don’t know why but it’s the time that I can let go of the missionary worries and really just take council rather than give it. It was such a good time to take notes and feel the spirit and strength of the church. I love the gospel so much. I feel so much rejuvenated to help others! We were able to watch the women’s conference and I felt like the theme of all of it was reaching out to others and rescuing those around us. We can help those in our circle. I felt that prayer was another aspect, praying to know who needs our help and support for the day. Loved the women’s conference!!
CONFERENCE!!!!! LOVE IT!!!!! Surprise that Aunt Bonnie was called to be 2nd counselor in the Primary Presidency! That took me by complete surprise!!!! We had gotten to the chapel late and so we thought we would just jump ahead and then go back if we had time, we jumped right to the part where she was walking to the stand and I gasped. I think I scared Sister Phipps! Then we had to go back and watch from the beginning. Incredible. She will do absolutely amazing!!! So many thoughts and spiritual promptings but I will put down a few of the things that I found cool and that I liked! 
I just wanted to talk about all the talks!! I felt really sad to see President Monson only talk for a few minutes. I dearly love that man. He is a prophet of God and leads and guides us. Even though his talk was short, it was full of power. Decisions determine destiny. We know where we want to go and we’ve been given the path to get there, we just need to take it. Love that phrase, decisions determine destiny.
Elder Eyrings talk was great!!! Doctrine and Covenants 88:62-64. Thus the heading for my letter. Calling us to listen to the talks and call upon the Lord. 
Donald L. Hallstrom quoted Elder Holland, ` You can have what you want, or have something better, ` referring to following our ways or the Lords ways. When suffering come, remember that we are God’s children and that He loves us.
Elder Stevensen was great! I loved the story about the keys and how we can use these keys to bless our lives. 1-SERVE A MISSION!!! HURRAH! 2- Attend the temple 3- go forward with faith, pray everyday, scripture study, and being obedient.
Elder Bednar is always a powerful speaker. I want to give this talk to all of my investigators. He taught the importance of baptism, the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end with the sacrament. Incredible. 
THANK YOU PARENTS FOR THE MANY COUNSELS!!! I really like Elder Ballards talk on counsels and the many difference types. I feel like growing up we always did our best to counsel with one another. Thank you so much! I will carry on with that after the mission! 
Elder Christoffersen. YES. Dad, there is your answer after years of saying how men are being looked down upon. All I could think was that many times at home when the media or society would make men look dumb. NO. Men are much needed are HUGE examples in everything. I will reread this one because I saw it in Portuguese. 
Elder Uchtdorf´s talk was amazing too. Augusta really liked this talk as well. No one is too lost that can’t be rescued by Christ. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR. He knows everything about us...everything. He will always be there to help in times of need. 
Elder Kearon´s. wow. I love him so much! I was so excited to hear him talk!! Refugees are a huge problem here. I really do want to help these people. They deserve it. Put yourselves in their shoes. Would it be easy to lose a house or a loved one? Be kicked from your home to a strange place? 
Elder Oaks, Always powerful about opposition. I will be studying this talk in more detail. Opposition is key to the plan. It was never meant to be easy, but worth it. 
Paul V Johnson- wow. Resurrection. I really connected with this talk. So great!! Life through His name.
And the powerhouse Elder Holland- God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength and that is the foundation of eternity. Heaven is cheering us on. We receive credit for trying even if we don’t succeed. Just incredible the love the God has for every one of us. 
I took pages of notes because all of it was amazing!! I love conference and want to watch it all again! I love these men that spoke to us. The words of the Lord are clear. Follow the counsels and all will be well with us. I’m excited to study all the talks again. I love you all so much. I love the mission and most importantly my savior, Jesus Christ.

Sister Hillam