Monday, May 9, 2016

The Mission, a Preparation for...

Where does time go?! Really though...I’m starting to freak out a little. It seems like yesterday that I was writing on the 25th of Abril and now it’s Maio...yikes. Quick responses to questions, Transfers will happen next Tuesday. I’m pretty sure that I’m leaving to my final area, which makes me really sad. But who knows! That’s just what I think. As for flight plans about the end of the mission...I have no clue. I have an interview with Presidente this Tuesday so I will ask him about it. He’s been really busy with zone conferences and interviews with the missionaries so I haven’t wanted to ask him. Yes we will have the baptism of Odilia this Sunday so I don’t know what you want to send her but she’s SUPER EXCITED!!! Everyday she talks about her baptism and how excited she is! She’s already a little missionary! I will go on to explain the Hand of God this week. Incredible, just incredible. Oh and she’s really excited to talk to you all on Mother’s Day! As for the time I will call, I will call between 7-8. I honestly can’t give an exact time because we don’t know how long this baptism will take on Sunday. We have Odilia´s and the Elders are also baptizing a man as well. So between 7-8:15ish is when I will call. But I’ll be able to get on my email and send a message before I call. It’ll all work out! So excited to talk to you mom!!! :D seems like yesterday that I was calling from Matosinhos! 
Now we start this week!! What a week!!
Tuesday we had district meeting which was great but what was really cool and this has never happened on my mission, we get a call from one of our members who was in the chapel saying that a women was there wanting to know more about the church! Kelly is from Cabo Verde and wanted to know more about the church! So we taught her and invited her and she loved it! Sadly she moved to Holland (great place but sad for us!) this week too. But she sent me an email with her address so she can find the church there! It was a super powerful lesson! Then that day we met another lady who really listened to our message as well. Her name is Irmalinda or Linda. She’s a sweet heart and she accepted the BOM and our invite to baptism. Sadly she had problems with her boyfriend this week so we couldn’t teach her more but she’s super sweet! 
On Wednesday, it was a little rough for me. We got a call from Rafael saying he wanted to meet up with us that night so we did. Presidente told us that we needed to give him to the Elders so we marked with them as well. Not going to lie I was really sad afterwards but I knew it had to be this way because I would feel worse if he were baptized for the wrong reasons. He’s a good kid and the Elders are going to help him a lot! We also had our meeting with the ward mission leader which is always fun! I’m going to miss this ward a lot!!! They all just want to help the ward grow! After our meeting we started decorating the chapel for the wedding, which was fun because the Irmas in the ward were all over it! They loved it!
On Thursday was the wedding so we sisters got up and went right to the church to finish up the decorating of the chapel. Did our studies, went back to the chapel to practice, `You Raise Me Up` OH and on top of that, I was asked to give a 5-minute talk on the meaning of the song and Christ at the wedding. haha that was fun!! (P.S. we call Fatima, mom and she calls us her angels. I don’t know what to do, I have lots of Irmas that I call mom here...) So We did some more song prepping and then went to get the brownies we made for the wedding and then came back to the chapel. So I need to do a little bit of background on Fatima and José. A few months ago the Elders started teaching Fatima, and we ran into the member named José Neves, who will be called Neves. So right when I got here we had heard that these 2 knew each other and were actually helping each other out. Fatima was living with this man named José Jesus. She didn’t really like him and Neves really like Fatima so he purposed to her and she said that maybe it would work out. Well at this same time the elders wanted her to be baptized. One day she called up Neves and said she wanted to be baptized and she wanted to marry him. They did a little trade of houses so Neves went to live with José and Fatima went to live in Neves house. So she was baptized and now José, the Ex, is taking the lessons and is to be baptized this Sunday as well! What’s interesting is that José is still really good friends with Fatima and they usually eat dinner together and he basically lives with Neves and Fatima. It’s all a really weird situation. You can imagine how José must feel...ouch. But It went beautifully and it was just fabulous! We had to stay almost until 11 because people were still at the chapel and we had to close up, but it was good! We met a lot of people who are interested so great missionary opportunity!
On Friday we finished cleaning up the wedding and just had a good day talk to everyone. As we were walking to our appointments we stopped and talk to this lady and she told us that she was going to church with one of her best friends Maria Jesus. So what do we do, we taught her before she went! It was such a `in the moment` lesson and was it great! She just smiled at us the whole time. I’m pretty sure she didn’t understand very much, but she likes us and called Maria Jesus after we left. Cutest old ladies :) haha I have a knack with old people. Then we had to run off to meet up with the Elders and Odilia. Man she is a tough cookie! She gave us missionaries a reference of this guy and she went with us to meet him, let’s just say she told him to listen to us. It was awesome! She just laid it on him that he needed us! Stellar missionary! And then after that we went and ate at the newlywed’s house and what did we eat...Sardinhas!!!! SO GOOD!! We ate all of the fish, bones and head included! I enjoyed it. My comp...not too much haha so fun!!!
Saturday we went to Porto because Sister Phipps and me were asked to sing at the activity on Sunday. We went to practice and guess what song we say...`I Often go Walking` your favorite song mom :) I cried of course because Sunday was mother’s day here and I got to sing in to all the mom’s here and I get to remember these moms. I have and the most incredible one in the world, My mom. The practice went great and then we came back to work in our area. 
Sunday was Mother’s Day here so the kids did a little Mother’s Day song and it was super cute! Love when the kids do programs! It’s the best, haha you always have the one kid... :) Then we had choir in the afternoon and had to run off to Porto for the activity. We were the first musical number, we didn’t sing as great as before but everyone said it was the best one, so well done for only one practice! It was a really good program and Odilia and Graciete loved being surrounded by so many members and being there. They are really putting themselves into the church. They sing in the choir and go to all the activities that they can. I just love them!! The program went great and in the end they sang We’ll Bring the World His Truth. Just overall a good activity to remember moms :)
As for the hand of God this week. Because of the wedding and what not, José needed/needs to leave the house that Fatima owns because he can’t pay anymore so he was going to have to live on the street. Well Odilia stepped in and found him a place to live. I got to thinking about the plan that God has in our lives. If it had not been for Neves and Fatima getting married and what not, José wouldn’t want to be baptized and if it weren’t for us finding Graciete, Odilia wouldn’t have been able to help José find a house. God uses His children to build His kingdom. If one of these things didn’t happen, I don’t know what would have happened but the situation is all too perfect to deny that God designed it. Now 2 more children will return home. I love the gospel, and I love my Father in Heaven.
I put this as the topic because we had a wedding and then we got to remember the importance of motherhood. It was a really good week full of blessings to see the happiness of a couple just starting on eternity together. On top of that we get to remember the importance of mom.
Mom, I know I’ll get to talk to you on Sunday but I want you to know that I love you. You are my best friend. Sister Phipps and I do little flashback moments and most of the stories are of you and I. All the habits that we created little things that you did for me. I will name a couple that came to mind: The chick-flick shelf and ironing while watching them, our picnics watching Pocahontas when I was little, and our taco Tuesdays, pancakes, basketball games, etc. I’m a little prideful when I say I had my mom for 5 years all to myself. :) I just remember so many days when your smile meant the world to me, or when it was a rough day you always knew. Some how you always knew what to do. You gave up everything and put your wants and desires aside to make me who I am. I honestly can say, I want to be just like you. I love you so much. As for the brothers, hey, we have the best mom in the world! And dad, you got lucky! I love being the baby girl because then I don’t have to share my mom with another sister :) Love you mom!!

Sister Hillam 

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