Monday, June 27, 2016

Sister Madison Hillam, Sister Marlie Hillam and President and Sister Amorim
Sister Madison Hillam will spend her last transfer training her cousin!

Sister of Viseu! 

A Hillam and Ice Cream?

Can we get a Sister Hillam!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVA!!!!!! Love that little girl so much!!! :)
Well as you all know I am privileged to announce that we had transfers this week and there was a Sister at the training meeting named Sister Hillam so President had the great idea to put us together! Just kidding, as you all know Sister Marlie Hillam is my companion!!!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS IT´S THE BEST!!!!!! (Just imagine this message in caps because that’s how excited I feel right now!!!!!!!!) I often ask myself why I am so blessed to have her in the mission with me!!! It’s great explaining who we are to people! Sister Hillam already explained our contacts but it goes a little bit like this:
`Hello, we’re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! My name is Sister Hillam`
The other looks at Sister Hillam, slightly confused and then says, `you have the same names. `
`Yeah we’re cousins! `
It’s the best and then we can talk about who we are as missionaries and people get really interested! So fun!!! A lot of members were really excited to meet us :)
We often sit and talk about the family as we are constantly reminded how a like we are... for example: we ate ice cream today and then we came to realize that we had chosen ice cream with chocolate and nuts!! Then we started laughing and saying how we are so Hillams. We often have these moments. I feel like I’m serving with myself. It’s the best!!!
Anyway, we got the transfer call on Tuesday and Sister Costa was really sad but also super excited! She’s in Braga right now! She took her skittles with her :) ha-ha we got those last week and it was a good way to say goodbye and celebrate a little :) So she left on Tuesday night and I stayed with the Sisters for the night. Then I got up and took a bus to Porto with the Elders who were also to be training at 6. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t stop smiling!! I was like a little kid on Christmas!! We got to Porto and we trainers were called to be in the meeting at 9:00 and they didn’t end up showing up until almost 11. You can imagine how I felt! I couldn’t sit down! I was so anxious! I have been talking and waiting for this transfer for 4 months! And then Sister Hillam walked in and I ran to her! It was a great moment!! Turns out we had everything secret until Sister Hillam got in the car with President and he spilt the beans!! And the Sister Amorim got a little upset and told her to pretend to be surprised! But she had no idea until she got here! So then we got to talking and everyone knew what was going on! Oh how great it was!
Then we left the meeting and got going to our area. It was a super strange week. The first day together (Qunita-feira) was a super great day! We got invited to eat lunch with Elder Judd (who recently ended his mission), his parents, and all the missionaries here in Viseu. It was really good and strange to see that I will soon not be a missionary...very strange. But then we got to working and we basically contacted all day because many of our investigators were out of town. We got to a time where nothing was really going our way so we said a prayer, asked for help and guidance, and after that, we ended up teaching 3 lessons, and finding 4 new people to teach! The power of prayer!
On sexta we did weekly planning which can I say, Sister Hillam came pre-trained! Literally she is so amazing! Speaks really well and is a super hard worker. tem que ser! ela é um Hillam!! During weekly planning we had to go see our new house, which we are so excited to move into!!! We met some spiritists. They were also talking about spiritismo with us that was so weird! We have plans to teach the first lesson with them.
We have TONS of potential; people just need to be home! Luckily this week everyone should be home so we can actually start teaching our families and progressing investigators. I love the work. You don’t understand how great this transfer is and how great it will be. I love Sister Hillam!!! I’m really excited to see her progress here in the mission and I’m so grateful for training her. I’m so blessed. My mission has been a HUGE blessing and the Lord has given me things that I don’t even deserve. Last transfer was amazing and now this one. I feel like the Lord has just put the cherry on top of my mission. I love Him so much and it’s a privilege to be His missionary. I can’t believe it most of the time. It went by so fast but never was I alone and now He’s just showing me how close He really is. I love you all so much!!!
Sister Madison Hillam (since these is now a Sister Marlie Hillam)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Look at the house we found! Cool!

Irma Costa and Irma Hillam decided to do a cream rinse treatment for their hair.  No color change! 

Só alcança quem não cansa - Translated is "Only Achieve for those who don't tire"

Don’t know if there are birthdays or anything sorry! I forgot to look today! But another week went by!
I feel like I need to apologize, I feel like my emails have gotten smaller and smaller just because so many miracles happen and I don’t know how to explain all the people we meet and how they all happen.
This week we went on divisions and I was with an English sister that is cape verdian, born in Lisbon, moved to London, and goes to church in a Spanish ward...crazy sister but I love her! It was a really good division. She was sister training leader in the area before me and Sister Waddell and apparently a division she had went really bad and the sister she did it with is here. And that sister said something that really made her upset and Sister Fernandes told me of this story. I don’t even remember what I said to her, but the words seemed to just flow from my mouth. I know it was the spirit telling her that everything is okay. She started crying and it just felt so good to be an instrument to help her at that moment. I love her so much. She was a great leader!
This week we met a lady named Carla and she has 2 kids under the age of 4. Well we got there to teach a lesson and the boyfriend came in and they started fighting. It was so awkward! We just sat there and tried to help but we couldn’t do much. They’re a cute family and really need the gospel!! We also met this lady on the street that actually wanted us to pass by her house the next day, which was a super awesome contact! We went and she is super elect! Her name is Luisa and she has a son that’s named Carlos. I feel like Viseu has so many families ready for the gospel!!! 
I don’t do a great job at explaining all the miracles but one of the best experiences that I’ve had in a lesson happened on Sunday. We were missing 2 new investigators for the week so we decided Sunday to go and find those people. We ended the day with 3 new investigators but let me explain a little more of what went down. We left the house and felt we needed to go to a specific road and thus we did. We ended up spending 3 hours on this one road and found 3 new investigators. The first lady was Fernanda who is reading the BofM without the first lesson. We explained a little more about the book and she told us that everything she is reading can be found in the bible. She believes that the BofM is true! So cool!! She won’t be here this week to be taught but she wants us to come back when she gets back. Then we go a few more doors down and knock at an outside door. It didn’t have a doorbell or a bell so we just went by faith that they would hear our knocking. Well a lady shows up and she’s Brazilian!! Like the story with Sister Fernandes, we taught the first lesson and during the part of the first vision, it was the spirit taking the lesson away. The words were just flowing and after she said, ` wow what a beautiful message. It really touched me. I want you guys to come back and meet my husband! Oh and where is the church? ` You can imagine the joy that we felt!! Oh and by the way, it was fast Sunday for us so fasting does work!!! Just look at the miracles that happened! Then we went 2 more doors down and found a girl, she didn’t want anything to do with us. The first thing she said was `I don’t believe in God.` We asked her what she believed and she said science. I told her that I did too but that Science answers only a few questions and religion explains the Why. She then opened up a little and we asked to go back and she said yes. Then we went a few more doors down and found Jorge. Jorge is really cool. He’s super catholic but when he listened to the first lesson he agreed with everything that we taught! So we have some really elect people that we want to continue working with. So many miracles. I wish that all of you could have been in the lessons with us. It was incredible. 
Manuel (Paula, recent converts, husband) got up in church and said how grateful he was for Paula and the gospel. It was very touching because we had fought non-stop to help them. We helped them get married and baptized and even after we’ve had to do a little bit of marriage counseling. It’s been a roller coaster, but everything we do as missionaries is worth it. 
The mission is the best. I love it so much. This week we will have divisions so again; the week will go by really fast! And then next terça we find out about transfers. Hopefully by the end of this week or the beginning of next we can get into the new house. Everything is going great! The title for this week is only achieve for those who don’t tire. We must continue working tirelessly for the cause of truth. I love you all so much! 

Sister Hillam

Monday, June 6, 2016

Beautiful Viseu!

A wedding....

This family was baptized on Madeira and played and sang at the baptism!

...and a Baptism!

I played volleyball today!

A wedding, weddings remind me of meetings, meetings remind me of baptisms!!

That pretty much sums up the week! It was such a rush! Like I said last week, this week would pass by and it did. We had one maybe two solid days to work in our area. On Tuesday we got up and went to Porto for Mission Counsel, which was super great!! President was all alone because his oldest son got married so Sister Amorim was in the states and lots of stuff was going on with sicknesses and deaths and stuff that he was super busy. But every time I talk to him, I can feel his love more and more. I just love him! Then Sister Costa stayed in Porto to get her residency card and I came back with Sister Christensen who has been here for 2 months and did a division. This week we met 2 families with HUGE potencial and we’re working with another family. 2 of the 3 are family to Mónica and Firmino. Man they are just incredible! We went and saw our new house that we should be in here soon! Hopefully by the end of this week we will be in our new house!! So all of Wednesday we were out with Mónica and seeing the house. Paula also was interviewed for her baptism and passed! So that was a relief! We worked so hard to teach her all she needed to know and have her understand. The spirit helped LOADS!!!
Here gets the good day! We get up on Thursday and we were asked to do a musical number at Paula´s baptism. Well, up until Tuesday we had no idea if the baptism would actually happen because they still needed to get married. As soon as we knew we told everyone! So Bispo asked us to sing so we got the Elders from our ward on Thursday morning and practiced. Then we had to run off to the wedding at 10! When we got there they had forgotten their identification cards so I almost had to be a witness at their wedding! Luckily bispo walked around the corner about 10 minutes late! Such a blessings because come to find out, my residency card expired! So they got married and then we had to sprint out of the building to go to our zone conference at 11. I ended up giving the demonstration practice because I gave the practice at Mission council. It went pretty good! Everyone liked it. Not going to lie, it felt good to be in front, teaching again. I like teaching people but in a big group, it was fun to guide the practice and what not. The cedar Badger in me! It was great! Then we went home for lunch at 3ish and then had to go back to the chapel to finish everything up for the baptism! We ending meeting up with a family that our bishop baptized on the Madeira! I will send you a picture but this family is so incredible! The daughters sang and played the piano at the baptism. Such a blessing and I really needed to hear it. The baptism went great! Her husband Manuel could baptize her so that was super special :) And we needed Elder Judd to help her because she’s scared of water but everything went great and then we had a huge party afterwards. But I would just like to brag about our members here. This was the first baptism that this ward has had for a little over a year now. I can’t tell you how much these members helped. Paula and Manuel had nothing. No clothing, no rings, and we didn’t have clothes big enough for the baptism. But come to find out, Maria Jesus and Emilia bought Paula an outfit for her wedding, and made her baptismal clothing, and bought Manuel a suit, and then they also had a huge party after their special day. They were answers to our prayers. There was no way we could have provided for everything and the members just wanted to do everything to help. It was incredible. I saw the Lord’s hand so clearly. It was incredible! Mostly this was the best day! It was one of those days you will never forget because of how much you see the Lord’s hand in the work. Love the mission for these exact moments!
Sadly we had to stop teaching one of our investigators. She didn’t want to go to church so we had our last lesson and told her if she wants us to help her she needs to go to church and she said not yesterday but next week. So we hope she comes this Sunday. We met some of the most elect people at the end of the week (with the 2 days we had to work) I know the Lord puts the people in our path. We worked hard with the time that we had and he blessed us with the people we needed. I just want to baptize the whole world! I love the mission so much. It feels like this has been my life, my whole life. I love the feeling of being a missionary, just everything that comes with it. Even the bad times because I know that good times come. It’s so beautiful here in Viseu with TONS of potential! that’s what I love, everything has potential, we just need to search and know that God is in charge. I love it so much. Love you family, thank you for your support and prayers. Fiquem bem!!!
beijinhos, braços,
Sister Hillam
Boy Scouts at the Church in Viseu

Irma Hillam and Irma Costa

Can we have this dog now Mom and Dad?

How about this dog?

Church out back of our new apartment!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I can't tell if I'm Dreaming or if this is real Life!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIC!!!!!!!!! I hope everything goes well for you this birthday week!!! :) Love you lots!!!
Oh goodness gracious another week has gone and another one of the last precious weeks that I have has come! I can’t handle it sometimes!
This week was really good!! So we’ve been teaching Paula to prepare her for her wedding this week and her baptism this week and we made real progress!!! We have to teach in a very simple way so that she understands and this week we were asking her what we had already taught and she responded and remembered everything! Incredible! Manuel was so excited! I love when you can see on the faces of people the change that the gospel can have in their life. I really found peace knowing that you can literally tell. You don’t have to guess, it shows. I see it every time I go to Paula and Manuel´s house. Love them so much! Anyway, we still had a few problems because she doesn’t want to get married without a dress and rings...we’ve kept these financial problems on the down low from the members but because we brought members to teach with us, they discovered and now they want to pay for everything. I love these members so much! They are paying for the dress (only a cheep, Chinese one), and the rings! They want to even do a party after her baptism to celebrate the wedding and baptism!! I just love these people. We were praying so hard to know what to do. They didn’t have money for food and we couldn’t do anything. The members are now taking control and I know they were our answer. So she is progressing really well!
We are planning an activity here in Viseu to watch Meet the Mormons so people have a better idea of us because surprisingly, not many people know who we are here! So we’re planning a movie night at the church. (This was all my idea and now it’s catching fire!!) The members all want to help and the missionary are all helping which really helps!
We’ve been working a lot with the members and this week we went to Monica and Firmino´s house to visit their family. They all live in that area. Sadly we couldn’t see all of the family members but the work is now rolling there!
We also spent a day in another village in our area. Carla served here in Portugal when it was 3 missions! So we went and worked with her in her village and met all of her family there. One day these family members will accept! It was super fun to meet the families of the members! It made the work really easy when the members were giving the people to teach!
So this week we found out that we’re moving houses! Our house that we have now is bad...really bad. Sister Waddell has been in a hotel because of a reaction she had. So they decided to start house searching for us as well! It was last minute too. We got a call that said, `hey, we’re looking for a house for you and need your boundaries. ` The next day `hey we found a house, go check it out.` we went and oh my goodness it’s the cutest thing ever! It’s small but has 2 floors! It’s perfect for missionaries. We really liked it and it’s right by the cathedral. Jordan those catholic churches that you woke up to every morning are my back yard! It’s stellar!!
Tomorrow I have mission counsel and then this week we have zone conference. So this week will fly by. (As if the other don’t too) I wish you could all see the miracles that happen here in the mission. I only can write the general stuff but there is so much more that I want to share. So many miracles happen. You all know, but I wish you could all be here to witness the beauty of it all. I love the mission. We’re working hard and doing all we can to find those that need to hear the message. I’ve written little messages to myself during studies and it comforts me to know that this work is not my work. I love that I can go and do my best and the Lord makes up the rest. I see that with the investigators that when I don’t have the words to speak, the Spirit teaches for me. All I have to do is open my mouth and start and then the Spirit does the rest. Man, I love mission! Love you all lots! Pray for Paula and Manuel, also Sister Costa and her family, they really need it.:) Thank you all so much for all you do! Love you all!

Sister Hillam