Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 77: my last email!

So it's finally come to this.....The last email..... I don't know how I feel about it. At the same time I am super excited, I am nervous, and sad, and scared, and pumped and pretty much just pooping my pants. Everything is happening really fast and it has been a roller coaster of emotions. This last full week has been amazing though. We have seen so many miracles and had soooo much fun. And I have taken soooooooo many pictures!!!!!!!!!!

Monday: Hermana Applegate was still sick, so we found someone to come watch her and Hermana Hernandez and I went out and worked. We got in with Maria and Arturo Parra. We have been working with them for a while and we decided that it was time that we figured out what was going on with Arturo. he had been there in the lessons, but he doesn't participate much. Hermana Hernadnez and I really focused the lesson on him and at the end of it he agreed to be baptized on September 17th!! That was a huge miracle. Then at the end of the lesson we invited him to say the prayer. It was like pulling teeth trying to get his confidence high enough to say the prayer, but he did it!!! It might sound like something really small to someone, but for Arturo praying was like climbing mount Everest when we first started meeting with him. And he did it! He made it up! now he has been praying with us since. It's so cool to see him gain more and more confidence as he keeps learning and practicing.

Tuesday: I went on splits with Hermana Romero because Hermana Applegate was still sick and in the house. It was weird to just be with a member and not a another misisonary with me. We had a lot of fun and got a lot of good work done together though. Hermana Ordonez took us to the Gomez's new house in the evening. It is really nice for a hispanic living in Oklahoma. I was really impressed. They are now officially moved. and they moved into the elders area. We decided that when I leave the elders will take over teaching them. Tear. I'm sad about that, but so grateful I got to teach them while I did!

Wednesday: Ashley Gomez had her baptismal interview and passed!!!!!!! wooohooo!!!!! she passed it with flying colors and was so excited! She tried on baptismal clothes on afterwards and then we went and played volleyball with the branch! It was so much fun. We had some pretty good competion going and everyone was soooo loud! which makes it twice as fun. I had a small sad moment when I realized that it would be my last Wednesday night with the 6th branch. :( We sure went out with a bang though!!!

Thursday: Weekly planning was weird when we got to next Thursday. I went to go write down dinner with Rosa and Miguel at 5 when Hermana Applegate said.... ummm hermana.... you will be eating dinner with your family that night, not Rosa... I shed a silent tear. So weird. especially since the whole going home thing still doesn't feel real. 5pm rolled around and we went to Rosa and Miguels house. They prepared an outstanding meal for us for my despidida. They were so nice. We had tamales, my favorite food that Rosa makes!, crazy corn on the cob, rice, and beans. Then Miguel got up and gave a little "speech" thanking me for all I have done and then pulled out a cake...... uh oh........... when you are in a Hispanics home and they pull out a cake, that means that the cake us usually going to end up all over your face..... I was smart and pulled up my hair though!! haha after finally getting up enough courage to try and take a bite of the cake Elder Barry slammed my face into the cake!!!!!!! Rosa was laughing so hard that she was crying. literally my entire face was in the cake!!! there wasn't much of a cake left. haha Elder Barry ran off like a scared goose and I tried to breathe! haha I had so much cake in my eyes and about a quarter of the cake went up my nose!!! two days later I still had cake in my nose! It was a lot of fun and I am really going to miss Rosa and Miguel. They are two people that I will never ever forget.

Friday: Last District meeting! most missionaries that I have seen have cried at their last district meeting, but I stayed strong and held back the tears!!! woop woop! so many emotions. After district meeting we all went out to eat as a district. We went to the one and only Cici's pizza. it's this all you can eat pizza place. yup. we had a lot of fun. That evening we had dinner with the Ramirez family. Jorge was wearing my favorite hat and I stole/borrowed it for the dinner :) I don't know why I love that hat so much, but I do. We invited Ashley to come over to dinner with us. It was fun to hear Jorge and Yolanda share their conversion stories with Ashley and then to see Ashley get super excited for her baptism. She is on fire. I love her so much. She said this at dinner and I thought it was amazing, "That's what I want, an eternal family and a clean page. A new start."

Saturday: Baptism day!!!!!!!! After a mad chase to find the right key to fill the font we finally got the water in and ashley baptized. It was a beautiful service. Ashley was so nervous. I can imagine why! but everything went so smoothly. After she was baptized I ran into the bathroom where she was changing to make sure everything was ok. I went back there and asked and Ashley says, "Hermana! My brother didn't bring me a towel!" I laughed and ran to try and find something she could dry off with! The only thing I could find was a dry baptismal suit, so that's what she used to dry off haha. Pobrecita. But we were talking and I told her, "Ashley, guess what? you are the most perfect person in the world right now." she looked at me for a while and said "really?" I told her yes and her face lit up and she smiled and siad "that's cool" it was a tender moment, I gave her a big hug and held back tears. I am so proud of her. there aren't very many 14 year olds who care enough about having an eternal family and wanting a clean slate to start on.
Before the baptism we had dinner with the Yanez family! I love them sooooo much!!!!!!!!!! like life goals in that family. They made us carne asada and I died and went to heaven because it was so good. We had a lot of fun with them.

Sunday: Oh man.... my last Sunday as a missionary. At the end of sacrament meeting Presidente Martinez invited me up to bare my testimony. I broke down. all the emotions hit me like a brick wall and I just cried. I got some words out, but the tears outnumbered the words. I just remember looking out over everyone and feeling this crazy overwhelming feeling of love. I remember thinking, these people have changed me, and now I have to say goodbye. Man. It hurt. bad. But I did it. I hugged everyone and their mom and shed so many tears and took a million pictures. The one that hurt the most was when Reyna walked up to me with tears in her eyes. We fell into each others arms and just wept. We had a tender moment that I will never forget.

Yall...... I can't believe the time to go is here. It's insane. It has come so fast and I have been trying to think of a sentence, a way to express what I have learned, something to share with you and I cant. There is too much. I have learned so much and more than anythign I have changed. I am a different person. I guess if I had to say the biggest thing that I have learned this whole time I've been here in Oklahoma, it's that GOD LOVES ME. He loves me. He loves you. I am a daughter of god. He will help me and through everything,. He has helped me through the good, the bad and they ugly of the mission and he isn't going to stop. I love Him too. I love him more than I have ever loved anyone and they way I have learned how to love him, is by learning to love the people in Oklahoma. I love you Okies!!! even though most of the people I love aren't even from Oklahoma! haha

I love you all too and will see you soon!
Love, Hermana Hilton

This is the Solis family. so many cute little girls :)

Getting bored in the house with sick Hermana Applegate, so we tried on pants!!!!
Dinner on thursday when I got my face smashed in a cake!
a quick pick with Rosa and Miguel!

cici's pizza
that is my favorite hat

dinner on Friday at the ramirez house with Ashley!
filling up the font!!!
and being crazies in the car!
got to see Hermana Medeiros one last time! it was such a bittersweet thing. I love that girl more that anything!
More baptism pictures!
ASHLEY"S BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
and This is the gomez family. 
hugs and tears for dayz!!!!
Gabriela and Reyna.
The Yanez family
hugs and tears for dayz!!!!
saying bye to the Deleons 
and the Guerreros.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Week 76: blessings, drugs, great danes, and hospital visits.

Well fam bam and friends. after this email there will only be one more left and I will be home with yall!! it's crazy. I still don't feel like it is going to really happen. In hard times of your mission, going home is something you want to come so quickly, but when you get the the point when you can count how many days you have left on two hands, you wish they were months and not days. I can't explain it. It just sneaks up on you so quick!!!

This week was a good one. Buckle up because it is kind of a wild ride!

Tuesday the 26th: We went over to Reyna's house with the elders to give her house a blessing. She said that they (Reyna and her roommate Luli) have been seeing weird things and that they wanted the house to be blessed. So that's what we did. Elder Barry said an amazingly powerful prayer to bless the house. The spirit was so strong you guys. I almost felt like if I would have opened my eyes there would have been the spirit as a person standing there in front of us. Elder Barry finished and no one said anything. It was silent for a good long while. Finally we asked Reyna and Luli how they felt. (background on Luli: she isn't a member and has been friends with Reyna forever. She has slowly warmed up to the missionaries and this was the first "experience" with us she has had) Luli started crying and opened her heart to us. This was a lady that 6 months ago was calling us children of the devil. she told us that she was feeling the spirit and she told us about her life. She told me about her daughter that got killed a couple years back. She opened up to us about her worries and her questions. It was so cool to see a woman feel the spirit and realize what it is.

Wednesday the 27th: We had exchanges so sister Washburn joined Hna Applegate and I. Itwas really fun. we went throughout our day and nothing too crazy happened. We had an appointment with Rosa at 8pm. So we head over there and Rosa's friend is standing at the door and she looks really scared. She waved for us to come in but I had the feeling, stay outside. So I didn't go in. She started telling us that her exboyfriend had been calling her and telling her that he was going to come with his "friends" and kidnap her. She was so scared. We didn't know what to do.... so we talked with her for a little bit and then called the elders. They told us to get out of there! man I was so freaked out! This lady was shaking because she was so scared and she kept looking out the door every two seconds to see if he was coming. Thankfully rosa's daughter showed up so we were able to leave. As we were walking out we asked Rosa's daugher if this lady did drugs and she said yes. so lesson learned. DONT DO DRUGS! It was crazy to feel the difference when the spirit wasn't there in the house. It made me determined to live my life in a way that I can always feel the spirit.

Thursday the 28th: Hermano Cabello came out teaching with us and we drove out to Mustang to go visit a member there. We got there and thank goodness they were home! We visited the family Chavez. They are super cool. As we are talking with Hermano Chavez he tells us that he has a Great Dane. I didn't believe him. So he goes out to the garage and brings in his huge Great Dane! that dog wasn't a dog! it was a horse!!!! I was blown away by how huge it was. So as some of you know I am allergic to fur, so you can imagine that I walked out of that home with Great Dane slobber and fur alllll over me and two swollen, itchy eyes! Haha it was way worth it though :) On the way back home Hermano Cabello bought us pizza and we sang hymns in the car with him while we waited fore the pizza.

Friday the 29th: Nothing too crazy. Hermana Applegate stayed home with a sick sister and Hermana Hernandez and I went out and worked. We attempted to have an English class, but no one showed up... fail. We had a lot of fun at dinner with the Ramirez family though!!!

Saturday the 30th: Hermana Applegate didn't feel too good, so we took it easy. In the morning we helped Hermana Escobar with her yard. We took apart a tree and there were sooooo many spiders!!! it was gross. The tree had been on the ground and had black mold all over it, so we were super careful! It was pretty nasty though. Then we went out with Nery and visited a bunch of people. Nery dropped us off at our dinner apointment with the Rodriguez family. We had a lot of fun at their house! their son Adrian is in a band and he busted out the guitar and played my favorite song in the world!!! Bubble toes!! we jammed and then read in the book of mormon with them. They are very sad that I am leaving because we have gotten really close with that family. Adrian gave me his guitar pic! That was huge. I will miss them.

Sunday the 31st: the the craziness begin. Hermana Applegate didn't feel good at all, so we called Sister Mansell and she told us to go to the doctor. So at 8 am we loaded up into the car and headed to the Urgent care. The urgent care doctor said that he was worried that she had a blood clot in her lung, so he sent us to the ER! we called sister mansell and told her what was going on and she referred us to a different office. We went and as we pulled up there wasn't a single car in the parking lot. We figured we would try it anyways. So we walk up to the door and it is unlocked. We walk in and the alarm system goes off!!! someone forgot to lock the front door and we had just "broken into" a hospital!!!! Oh man I was dying of laughter! I couldn't believe that three missionaries had just broken into a hospital on a Sunday! What the!? so we waited for the police to show up and we explained to them what had happened. Luckily they believed the three girls in skirts carrying bibles. haha So we head to a different ER and Hermana Applegate is admitted. Then start the blood test and the x-rays and the cat scans. We were at the ER from about 10 am to 2 pm. When all the tests came back we found out that Herman Applegate has pneumonia and not a blood clot in her lungs, so that was good news. All the members were freaking out and calling and texting us the entire day. It was good to know that the cared so much about us and about Hermana Applegate, they were really sweet. I was on the phone the whole day talking to members. after they released her from the hospital we headed home and Hermana Applegate got a blessing. we let her rest for the rest of the day and Hermana Hernandez and I found ways to entertain ourselves.

So after a week of crazy experiences I am so grateful for this life. I am so grateful that we have technology to help us! I am especially so grateful that Hermana Applegate is ok. Yes she is sick, but it isn't something deadly. It is times like these that we really grow together and help each other. I love my Savior who understands everything that we feel. I know he is real. He loves me and he loves you.

Until next week :)
Hermana Hilton

This is jose martinez aka Ricky martin. 

Reyna made us food after we gave her house a blessing!!! love this lady!!

The cavez family and their humungo dog!

Hno Cabello
And Reymundo. This kid headed out to Hawaii!! have fun!
service at Hermana Escobar's house. So many spiders. 
I thought this one was going to eat me.... 

Breaking into a hospital!!!
And finally finding the ER
wanna trade hair?
This is what I mean by Hermana Hernadez and I found ways to entertain ourselves haha

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Week 75: habenro pepper........ aka death!!!!

Monday! We taught the Gomez family the Law of Chastity. They were so down! the loved the lesson and were like,"of course we should have a commandment like that. It just makes scene." Yessica, the mom said the closing prayer for the lesson and she prayed that her whole family would be able to be baptized. She asked God that Satan would stay away from them so that they could keep learning. I can't explain how much faith this woman has. She wants her family to be happy and to be forever and she is making it happen. Aldolfo, the dad, has been reading like crazy in the book of mormon too! I'm blown away by how much he understands and remembers too. The Gomez family is so awesome. they are working to be baptized the 6th of August.

Tuesday. We got to go to the temple as a zone and it was so good to be back in the temple. We got to meet with Maria Parra and Arturo. Our goal was to get arturo to pray, so we talked about how God wants to hear from us and how it is a commandment to pray. Then at the end of the lesson we invited Arturo to pray and after about ten minutes of silence......... go got up and walked out!!!!! I was shocked! I've never had anyone do that before..... none of us knew what to do. His wife, maria, just apologized and apologized and we apologized too. She then told us about a lot of hard stuff that is going on right now in his life. I hope that we can find a way to help him talk to his father in Heaven because he is the one that can help us! We just have to first open our mouths and share our hearts with Him. We talked to Arturo again on Wednesday and he was so excited to see us. so luckily I don't think he got offended. He was just having a hard day.

Wednesday: We had an awesome lesson with Ashley and Irvin and Axel about fasting. They thought it was the coolest thing ever and we all decided to fast together on Sunday. Ashley was super excited. After the lesson we said goodbye to Reymundo and then had dinner/played volleyball with the branch! It was so much fun. All the little kids and adults were playing together and everyone is so LOUD which makes it way fun. We also helped with Young Womens which was really fun as well.

Thursday: we went over to Reyna's house to have a lesson with her when the cable guys showed up. Thank goodness we were their because the cable guys didn't speak a lick of spanish and reyna doesn't speak a lick of english. So we helped her with the language and rearranged her room to accommodate a TV. It was so funny. At one point we were trying to move the bed and her roommate luli got squished between the bed post and the dresser. Her eyes got really big and she started laughing so hard! oh man. We all were rolling on the floor laughing together. :)

Friday: Well bike day! We were on bikes and it was sooooooooooooo hot. Like 107, super humid, and we were out in the heat of the day. Man. I've never been so sweaty in my life. Its gross. We needed to get out of the sun so we stopped by the Ordonez's house. They let us in and gave us water and we ended up talking for a long while. They pulled out their old photos and Hermano told us his conversion story. It is so amazing to see how the spirit works in peoples live, and more than anything how he can change lives. I was blown away by his story. They bought us burritos and we ate and chatted for a while and then we headed back out into the heat. We had a very sweaty hot productive rest of the day.

Saturday: Do yall remember Rosa De La Cruz?? she is from the dominican republic. We were teaching her a while back and then stopped. But we found her again and had a lesson with her. We were so bold and the spirit was so strong! We talked to her about baptism and she said that she wants to be baptized. Excpet she told us, "Hermanas, this time I want to do it right. I am going to do my part, I'm going to do it." I believe her. She is so determined. you can see in her eyes that she is tired of the life she is living and wants to change it. She want's to be happy and feel the peace that only the spirit can bring. We set a baptismal date for September 3rd. I am really sad that I won't be there for hat, but I have no doubt that she will get baptized that day.

Sunday: we had a full house. The Gomez family game! woohoo! and Rosa came!!! and the Rodriguez family and so many other people. It was so good to see them. so story from Sunday..... I ate a habenero pepper. for any of you who haven't yet had the experience of eating a really hot pepper without anything else. DONT DO IT! It was death. I thought I was going to die. We were at a members house and I told Elder Barry that if he ate one, I would too. So Elder Barry ate one which meant that I had to too. I thought I was going to die.... after about 3 glasses of milk and a whole lot of chocolate I was able to feel my mouth again. Man. the things we do on the mission.

Well fam and friends. Its been fun and I am so grateful that I have another week to go out and serve the lord. I want to share what my dad shared with me as my, "last two weeks tip" he said:
"Just savor the time you have left and let yourself feel the peace and reassurance of the Spirit that all is well.  You fought the good fight and you are returning with honour.  Put a smile on your face and know that you are loved...  by all of us and especially by the Lord."
I think this goes for all of us. We all need to live like it is the last two weeks that we have to love the people around us. I love you all so much and I hope that you are all doing well.
Love you!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 74: Trios, Transfers, and Tr......the Priesthood!

So some miracles form the week! Buckle up because there are a lot.

Monday: We had dinner with the Vargas family and the whole time hermana was telling us how much she wants to go to the temple. She is so motivated! it was so cool. And then the second huge miracle. we decided to go try this unknown member and see if she was home. Guys, I have knocked this door probably about 20 to 25 times and no one has ever answered. But this time she answered! and she let us in! She was super nice and really wants us to teach her the lessons again. She told us that it had been about 5 years since she had seen missionaries and that it meant a ton to her that we decided to stop by. We got her phone number and everything and now are working with her. It has been amazing.

Tuesday: Oh man. Such a good day. We got to go to the temple again with Reyna. After about 2 months of not going, it was so good to go back with her. We had a lot of fun and took a lot of pictures. We introduced the churches 12-step program to her. It is so good. I have been doing it with her and I have learned so much about myself and about my Heavenly Father. I can't tell you how much I pray that this program will help Reyna gain the spiritual and physical strength to go the temple. I told her that if she goes through, I will come back because I wouldn't miss that for the world! so I tell people that I am from Aguas Calientes Mexico right? so Reyna said, "Hey! There is a restaurant called AguasCalientes. Do you want to go?" I of course said yes, so now I can say that I've been to Aguascalientes!!! woop woop!

Wednesday: We had transfers!!! We got put in a trio with Hermana Hernandez (who is absolutely amazing!) and I got to see all my mission friends for the last time. I saw Hermana Medeiros and I just wanted to cry. I love her so much and miss her even more!!!! That was probably the last time I will get to see her until she comes home from her mission. We peaced out with Hermana Hernandez and did service for Adriana. We helped her clean up her kids room. I've never seen a messier room.... it was bad.... but we had fun cleaning it and even played a little baseball haha.

Thursday: Huge miracle status ready???? After a full day of working we had about 15 minutes left before we could go home. I had this weird gut feeling that we should go see if Rosa De La Cruz was home (we stopped visiting her about 2 months ago) So I just drove over there and we knocked the door. And she was home!!! she was so excited to see us and told us that she has been wanting to come to church, but that she lost our number and hasn't been able to get a hold of us. She asked if we could find her a ride to church and told us to call her at 8am to wake her up for church. It was sooooo good to see her and to know that she still wants to learn about the church. We will see what happens with her :)

Friday: I've been thinking a lot about desires this week. At district meeting on Friday we talked about OYMing and I was just super confused the whole time. where is the balance? I'll admit it, I don't OYM everyone I see. And I can improve on it. But I could spend alllllll day everyday oyming people and not get anywhere. Where is the balance? I talked to Elder Butterfeild about it and he helped a bit. He said it's about our desires. If you don't oym someone because you are too lazy, scared, or simply don't want to. You need to repent. If you don't oym someone because you are headed to an apt or have something better to be doing, then it's ok. It all comes back to desire just like you are saying. It's been interesting trying to figure out the balance. but hey it's a never ending battle right? So I'm trying to keep my desires and motives in check with Heavenly Fathers. So that's what I learned of Friday. We got to visit the gomez family, but the parents weren't there. We just talked to Irvin about the priesthood and he is super pumped to get it on Sunday! We are all so excited for him.

Saturday: We stopped by the Gomez's house again and yet again just Ashley and Irvin were home we focused on Ashley this time and had a really powerful lesson. In the middle of it I remember thinking. hey.. Hermana Hernandez is a convert and I think she was about Ashley's age when she got baptized.... and then I asked Hna Hernandez to share how she decided to get baptized. It was exactly what Ashley needed to hear!!!! You could see the desire to be baptize grow in Ashley's eyes. I wish you all could have seen it. In the past whenever we had asked Ashley if she wanted to get baptized she was hesitant, but this time, we asked her and she quickly said yes and we set a goal for August 6th. It is amazing to see the determination grow in her. We are all so excited for her!!!!

Sunday! On man, one of the most stressful Sunday's ever! the whole Gomez family came and stayed for all three hours. So all three of us divided and conquered to get each member of the family where they needed to be. The third hour of church Irvin got the priesthood and was ordained to the office of a priest. He is on fire! His whole family was there and they were all so happy. What i think is really cool is that now Irvin will be able to baptize his family on August 6th! That family is on fire and they are doing so well. I am praying so hard that they can all get baptized on the 6th so that I can be there to see it :) I love them so much. The rest of the day I spent sleeping.... I had a really really really bad migraine headache. So when I got back from church I went straight to my bed. I couldn't move because it hurt so bad. That was about 1:30 at 5:30 the mission presidents wife, Sister Mansell, came over and made me eat some saltine crackers and drink some water and Dr. Pepper. I tried super hard to keep it down since I was also super nauseous. She stayed at the house with me while my companions went to dinner. I just tried to go back to sleep. At about 7:30 I came out of the room and drank a little bit more. I was up for about an hour an then at 8:30 I laid back down. I was out until 5:30 this morning. so after 15 hours of sleeping yesterday I am feeling a lot better and ready to go and conquer this next week!

well fam bam and friends. that was this week. Each week has new adventures and new miralces. It is so fun to see. I love each of you so much and I love my Heavenly Father. I love this work and I know it is the work of the Lord! Let's keep fighting for right!!

Hermana Hilton

Going to the temple with Reyna!! we are crazy 

Some more fun pictures from the temple. Reyna thought the pictures with the tree as "crowns" were pretty cool.  she was so proud of these pictures 

AGUAS CALIENTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is what we call a posterity picture! My two mission daughters and my new mission granddaughter! I'm such a proud mom

Yup That's President Mansell wearing a baseball cap at transfers. Haha he is pretty cool 


before and after cleaning the room! it was pretty nasty

playing a little game of room baseball haha

Hide away pizza with our homie Reymundo!! he came back to visit for the week and we got to say hi. 

WE oymed this guy rocking this ride and snagged a picture. Sadly he didn't want to learn about Jesus :(

Biking with the new crew!!!!!

The Rodriguez family! They brought us back stuff from Arizona!! It was really weird to see my first name again.... hahaha the things the mission does to do. 

uh oh..... I forgot my nametag and was Hna Hernandez for a day. haha

when you tell a member that your favorite fruit is watermelon and then they give you a whole watermelon on a plate to eat............ Yup I got it all down. 

we found a weave in the middle of the street and had a little too much fun! haha