Monday, April 27, 2015

Week 10: Fasting, Pig Skin, Lamb of God and Guitars

Yet another amazing week here in Oklahoma. Every day here is different and crazy and a complete joy. I want to start of by saying that I love my mission. A lot of people that we talk to out here are blown away that we would leave behind everything to come out and teach people about Christ. Then they ask us if we get paid. Of course we say nope! And then we tell them that we pay to be out here! And for everyone who wants to know, it is worth every single penny!!!! There is no where else I would rather be than right where I am. So some cool/fun things that happened this week.

This is Isabella

So this week Hermana Snowden and I decided to turn our investigators over to the Lord.. By this, I mean that we fasted for our investigators and then went and visited all of them and talked to them about the importance of church. We taught and testified and invited every one of out investigators to come to church this Sunday.  This was a huge test of my faith. I really had to trust the Lord that he would have the people who were ready to progress would come to church.  MARIA MENDEZ CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!!! Man when she walked in my heart literally jumped out of my chest!!! Maria is this sweet lady in her mid to late 20s. She is from Guatemala. She has two little boys and is one of the sweetest ladies ever. She can't read which makes things a little difficult, but she was at church! She loved it too! .

We are teachinh Geniva too! and I am so excited! We had an awesome lesson with her and we are hoping that not this Saturday, but the next she will be baptized!

Fun food story. At Hermana Campos' house she fed us these delicious beans and rice and then on the side there was this weird hot sauce thing called chicharon. I wasn't quite sure what it was, but I ate it anyways. It actually wasn't too bad! It was really spicy so I had to mix it into my beans. But afterwards Elder Steed asked me if I liked it and I said yes. and then he told me that it was fried pig skin in hot sauce...... Yup I ate fried pig skin and liked it!

The local diner "The Hungry Frog"

This is what humidity does to my hair!

We went to Jose Garcia's house this week. We couldn't go into his apartment because we didn't have another female, so we just talked on the doorstep. We got talking about music and he pulls out his guitar... And he sang to us right there on the doorstep!! haha it was hilarious! he sang us songs about Jesus that he had written. All the neighborhood kids gathered around and we were all dancing and singing as Jose played his guitar. That was so much fun.

Another crazy story.... Tuesday we went to visit Maria Sanchez. She had a friend over, so we started talking to her. She was suuuuper religious. We were talking about the bible and she (Maria's friend) kept talking about a prayer in your heart. We were like! Yeah! we always have a prayer in our heart! But the lady was like no, no, no... We could not understand what she was saying to us. Then all of a sudden she said that she was going to give us a blessing... One of the weirdest experiences of my life. She put one hand on my head and one on my back and then started chanting these words in Spanish that I didn't understand. Then she started getting louder and louder until she was yelling and at the same time was shaking me back and forth. Yup. So I received a Pentecostal blessing this week. Pretty crazy!

We helped at the Red Cross Carnival and it was so much fun!!

Last night we got to go to a Lamb of God production at the church. It was so amazing. It was a full orchestra and a choir who sang about the life of Christ. It was ... I don't even know what words to use to describe it. Number one, it was so amazing to hear a full orchestra sound. My Zone Leader, Elder Duffin, was playing the cello in it. (Jealous!) and so for a couple moments I was vicariously playing the cello through him. haha The songs were all so amazing and the spirit was so strong. One thing that I learned/realized from the performance was that Christ had the choice to not be crucified. He could have saved his own life. But because he loves us, because he loves me, he voluntarily chose to suffer and die for me. That is so amazing. We owe Christ everything that we have and are. I am so grateful for him. i know that he lives and I am so grateful to have this time in my life to serve him 24/7.

Thanks to everyone for their support! I love you all so much!!!!!

Hermana Hilton

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Week 9: A week of Miracles

We have seen so many miracles this week! it is so amazing!

Monday: P-day! which is always amazing. As a zone we played volleyball and it was crazy intense! All the Sisters and Elders here are so much fun. Later in the evening we planned to go through the ward list and go meet everyone in our area that we didn't know. We found this name on there and we decided to go visit them. This was the DeLeon familia. We went to their house and they let us in! (Miracle!) We talked to them for a little while, and we mentioned church. They said that they moved here and couldn't find the church, so they have been going to a family members church. Then they pretty much asked us for the address of the church!!! and on top of that they asked us if they could have some Book of Mormons!! They are a super cool family of 6 and I am so excited to get to know them a more.

Tuesday: We taught Jose Garcia at his doorstep the entire restoration. We went to Lydia's apartment and she had a bunch of people over, so we got to talk to a ton of people about our message.

Wednesday: Happy Birthday Grandma Teresa!!!! I had a meeting with my mission president and the APs today and it was awesome. The spirit was so strong and I heard so many good words and learned so much. Miracle of the day, I got my Spanish set of scriptures back!!! We went to the lady that I went out with last Sunday's house and she had gone back and gotten my scriptures from the family. So all is well with that and I am so thankful to have those back!

Thursday: We found Ever Escobar today! He is a referral that we had and it was a process trying to find him, but we did it! We couldn't have done it without the help of the Lord. We also taught Geniva today. She is still the same old Geniva. A wiggly crazy 9-year-old girl

Friday: We were walking around Lydia's apartment complex today, when a guy who was looking out of his window hollered at us and was like, "Hey do you guys have a bible?" We of course said yes. We walked over to his apartment and had an awesome conversation with him and made a follow up appointment. This is the pretty cool part. He told us that he did roofing for work and when he said that Hermana Snowden and I both looked at each other and said "Edgardo!" Edgardo does roofing too which means that he would be home. We have been trying to see him since i got here and haven't been able to because he has been working. So we book it over to his place and he was home! He let us in! We had an amazing lesson about the importance of church and the sacrament. That was an awesome experience.

Saturday: We helped clean the church today. I got a package from my family!! We did all of our 5-minute visits. That is when we go around to all of our investigators and less actives and invite them to church the next day. it was a busy, awesome day!

Sunday: Margarita came to church!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When I saw her walk in my heart skipped a beat and I was so happy!!  It wasn't the investigator we were planning on coming, but it was still amazing. We went and visited Lydia and Geniva. And then we went to visit  Hermana Olea and we chased down one of her kittens that got loose.

Overall this week has been full of miracles. I have grown so much this week. and I am continually seeing the Lord's hand in everything that we do. I love the scriptures and I love reading in them. There are so many wise words in there. I love this work and am so excited to see the miracles that are going to come this next week!

I love you all!
Hermana Hilton

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 8: Tornados, Book of Mormons, and Cow Intestine

Well this week has been a crazy amazing one! The people here are absolutely amazing. I love every single one of them. So I have a couple crazy stories for this week!

Story 1: The Tornado
This Wednesday there was a huge tornado warning. We went to a members house for dinner and the weather channel was on and they were all freaking out telling people to be ready for a tornado. They said it was going to be really bad! So in my head I'm thinking sweet!!! I'm going to see a tornado!!! but on the other hand I am kinda freaked out because I had seen a little bit of the damage the last tornado did and I didn't want that to happen to us. So all day the weather is crazy and we are just waiting for the tornado sirens to go off. Yeah! they have sirens for this stuff, so it's pretty serious. If the siren is getting louder and softer that means a tornado has touched down in a neighboring county, and if it is a solid loud siren, it means one has touched down in your county. So all day we are waiting for this siren to go off. And it never comes.... Then people start telling us that it is going to come during the night! freaky!!! Pretty much the whole day I am pumped for this tornado. Nothing happened that night. So the next day we asked around to see what happened with the tornado, and we find out that it never actually touched down anywhere! I had gotten all excited for nothing.

Story 2: Book Of Mormon
Yesterday two ladies from the branch came up to us after church and told us that they wanted to go on splits with us and visit the less active sisters in the branch. Of course we were so excited to do this! So I went out with Hermana Alba Lopez. Hermana Alba is absolutely amazing. She feeds us every Wednesday and she is always willing to go out with us to appointments. Anyways so I hopped into the car with her and off we went. As we were driving she suddenly pulls over and is like, "I know these people! Let's go say hi to them!" I was just like ok.. So in we went. Before we went in she asked me if I had any Book of Mormons on me. I told her I didn't (Remember, this is all in Spanish, so there is a pretty big language barrier). I then tried to explain that I could let them read out of mine. She agreed and in we went. Everything was going amazing and then Alba asked me to get me scriptures out. So I did. And she handed them to the family and said that they were a gift!!!!!!! Waaahhhhh?? I then realized that she thought I said that I could GIVE them my scriptures, not let them read out of them...... I didn't know what to do, so I gave away my nice set of scriptures and now I don't have any. Haha but hopefully they will read out of them! Because the scriptures have power! I am hoping that we will be able to find that family again and get them back!!

Story 3: Cow Intestine
ugh..... I don't even know where to start with this one. Well we had a lunch appointment. We thought we didn't so we had already eaten a makeshift lunch at our house when we get a call saying that she had lunch ready for us. So we booked it over to her house. We got there and she plopped in front of us some crazy soup stuff. I asked what it was and she said it was menudo.  And guess what it was.. yup... cow intestine.... It was slimy and crazy chewy. I tried to chew it and you literally can't! Trying made me gag hard core. So I ended up just swallowing the pieces whole with a big old glass of diet coke. EWWWWW!!!! It was sooo nasty!! I never ever ever ever ever wanna experience that again. It was so hard for me to eat it.

So yep those were my main things that happened this week. The work here in the OKC 4th branch is going amazing. We had to push Geniva's baptism date back a couple of weeks because she doesn't quite understand everything that we are teaching her quite yet. I still have high hopes for that girl and I know that everything will work out in the Lord's due time. We didn't get to see Nena this week, but I still can't wait to see her again! She is such an awesome woman. Everyone here is so amazing and it doesn't quite make sense how you could love people so much even though you don't know them all that well, but the love is real! I love the Gospel and I know it is real. I see the hand of the Lord in my life everyday. He really does care about each and every one of us and he wants to help us. I am so blessed to be serving in a Spanish branch and to speak spanish! I love is so much! I invite you all to take a moment and pray to the Lord and tell him thanks for everything that he has given you. Don't ask for a single thing, just think about everything that the Lord has done for you and thank him for it. I know that the Lord is blessing my life now and that he will continue. I am so thankful for him! I love you all and love to hear from you!!! It makes my week each week!
Stay beautiful everyone!!!
Hermana Hilton

How could I forget this!! I have officially mastered the Rubix Cube!! On the mission the rubix cube is like your iPhone 6+ with all the apps!! haha #lifeofamissionary





Monday, April 6, 2015

Oklahoma here I am!!!! (week 7)

Holy cow!!!
Let me just start by saying, I love missionary work!!! It is so amazing!!!

Well I got up at 1am last Tuesday morning and packed up the rest of my stuff, said goodbye to the casa and headed out to the airport! I was so tired that it all kind of seems like a dream. We got to the airport and had about an hour wait to board the plane. During that we went around and looked at all the random shops around. Then we loaded onto the plane, and I literally slept pretty much the whole way over. I was so tired. We landed in Atlanta. Oh I forgot to mention that this whole time Hermana Limb was with me, so we didn't have to say goodbye yet. So we got to Atlanta and go figures, I lost my boarding pass.... We finally found a place that could print another one out for me. So we headed to our gates. Hermana Limb walked me to my gate and that's when we had to say goodbye.... Man that was so hard.. I felt like I was watching part of my heart walk away. I love that girl so much and I know that she is going to change so many lives in Virginia. I feel so lucky and blessed that I got to be her companion. So with a tear running down my face I boarded the plane to Oklahoma. Crazy story! as we were getting ready to go and the crew was doing the safety instructions, the lady talking over the intercom system passed out! So everyone was kinda freaking out. They took her off of the plane. They then told us that we were going to have to all get off the plane because they didn't have a full crew. So off we went. We waited for about two hours to reload the plane. During that time, I met Elder Barry. He was going to the Oklahoma mission too! he was at the Provo MTC. When they finally loaded us back onto the plane, I was telling the man I was sitting next to about what I do as a missionary. We then got talking about family and I told him that I only got to email my family once a week and call on rare occasions. His face was priceless!!! We had a really good conversation about the gospel and about his life. He was awesome!

Then I landed in Oklahoma! AHHH!!! I was so pumped!! President Walkenhorst and his wife were right there to welcome us with open arms and huge smiles! I instantly felt loved and welcomed.

We headed out to the church for dinner. They fed us the  best sandwiches I have ever had because I was sooo starving! We then had a training about the mission and about some of the rules and expectations. Fun fact: Only three missionaries came in this transfer! Me, Elder Barry, and another Elder whose name I don't even know how to pronounce... haha I got my bike there! It is so beautiful!! I love the color and everything about it! The APs then drove us back to the Mission president's house and that's where we slept that night.

We got up the next morning and went to transfer meeting! And that's where I met my trainer!!!! Her name is Hermana Snowden! She is from Utah. She is a dancer and was in a company before coming out on her mission. She is so amazing! We get along super well and she teaches me so much! Her testimony is so strong, and she LOVES missionary work!! I am so blessed to have a trainer that loves what she does and wants to do the best that she can. I could talk about Hermana Snowden forever, but I won't bore you and I want to tell you some other crazy stuff! So after meeting her we went outside and all the missionaries in the mission were there switching around stuff and saying hi to each other. There were soo many missionaries! I met a lot of really cool people. So after we loaded all of my stuff into the car we headed to our house. We life in this super cute, really tiny little house in Bethany. We unloaded my stuff and then hit the road and started working!

All the days kind of blur together. here is some of the stuff we have done. I have been meeting people like crazy! they are all so amazing! There is a really large Spanish population here, so we speak spanish all the time. It is amazing because I get to hear people speak it and use it all the time. the people here talk soooooooo fast!!! A lot of the time I have no idea what they are saying so sometimes I just smile when everyone is smiling and laugh when everyone else is laughing! haha It is getting better and I can understand more now, but every once in a while there will be those gem people who I literally have no idea what they are saying.  Everyone is super nice though! They feed us sooo much food! No matter what we are eating, everyone always serves tortillas. I have mastered the art of rolling my tortillas too! They use their tortillas as like a spoon. The food has been alright. Some nights it is delicious and other nights I have no idea what I am eating. It is always and adventure! No matter where we go or who we talk to though, the people are so kind and so loving. For the most part we work in apartments that honestly are pretty sketchy. Some of them are better than others, but for the most part I am glad that I am on the Lord's errand because if I wasn't I wouldn't ever go into those places. All the people are really kind though, which makes it a bit less scary. haha

Miracle story telling time! Even though I have only been out in the field for not even a full week, I am already seeing the hand of the Lord in my life. Here is just one example. So yesterday (Easter!!!) we went out in the morning to invite everyone to conference and try to get as many people as could come to come. We went to one of our investigators house, Lidia and Geniva. We invited them to come and they did!!! So they were there at conference with us! (random side note, we watched conference in English. Hallelujah. and we watched it in the chapel of our building) Conference itself was a miracle. I love General Conference so much! The messages were so good and the spirit was so strong! I can't wait to get to read all of them when they come out! anyways so after both sessions of conference we planned to go see a referral that we had. Her name is Nena. We went to her house and knocked on her door. She let us in!! and we taught her the first lesson! She was so open to what we had to teach her! I could really tell that the Lord had been preparing her to hear his gospel. We are going back next week and I can't wait! Nena is so amazing!!!!!! So after that we had about 30 minutes before we had to go back to the house, so we decided to do some knocking. We picked an apartment complex, and started. Right before we got out of the car, I had the thought to use specific prayer. So we did! We asked Heavenly Father to keep us safe and to help us place 3 book of mormons and also read the introduction with each of them. With the time that we had and the hour of the night, we knew that we would need the Lord's help to finish this. With excitement and faith in the Lord's power we headed out! And guess what happened! We only had to knock on five doors! in those five doors, three people opened and all three gladly accepted a book of mormon and we were able to read the introduction with all of them!! It was so crazy!! I know that we couldn't have done it without the Lords help. I know that He is with us always and that he is helping his work progress. I am so grateful for him and for every thing that he does for me.

I love Oklahoma and I love all of you!!!!!

Hermana Hilton

Here is my address.
3803 N Central Rd
Bethany, OK 73008