Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Week 14: Lightning and fire, rain and Amparo!

So a couple of stories this week!

Lightning and fire: Tuesday we we eating lunch with this super cute old couple, the Gomez family, sooooo sweet. I love them so much! Hermano Gomez always says that Hermana Snowden and I are angels! and he always bows when we walk by. Anyways we were sharing our lunch message there was a lightning and thunder strike that happened. It was soooooo loud! I thought that the lightning that we heard last week was loud, but this was 10 times louder! When it hit the lights (which were off) flickered on and one of them blew out. We kept going with our message and Hermano Gomez kept talking. About 10 minutes later 5 fire trucks showed up!!!!! The lightning had hit the house four doors down! The firemen were crawling all over the place. They started knocking down walls and then busted down the front and garage door. It was insane! You could see flames coming out of the top of the house. Man it was crazy. The chances that lightning hits a house is so tiny and then the chance that we would get to see it is even smaller! About 10-15 minutes later a lady pulls up behind us, jumps out of her car, and starts running to the house yelling/crying, "That's my house!!! That's my house!!!" man.... Then I saw her run into her husbands arms. In that moment I was so grateful for my family and I realized how blessed I am to have the gospel. Specifically the knowledge that if something were to happen, it isn't the end. I can be with my family forever. Death has no sting. I love this gospel so much!!!!

Rain: It willlll noooottttt stttoooopppppp rrrraaaaaiiiiiiinnnnnnnngggggg!!!!!!!!!!!! The rain here is never ending! And when it rains it pours! The ground is soo saturated that whenever it rains at all everything floods. I found out that this month has been the wettest month in Oklahoma ever. And I also have heard that next month is going to be even wetter! It should be super fun! Thanks mom for my new rainboots!!!! They are the best thing ever! They are so cute and such a life saver!!!!!

Amparo: Saturday night we were driving the Elders back to their apartment and we get a random call from our investigator Amparo. This is pretty much how it went, just in spanish: "Hermanas, I want to go to church tomorrow with yall. Can you find me a ride?" AHHHHHHHHH Heck yeah we can!!!! When we hung up the phone we all started screaming for joy!! (Elders included) I was sooooo excited for her! So we found her a ride and when we went to introduce her to her ride I felt so happy. As we were following them to the church, I was so happy. Honestly I don't think I have ever felt so happy in my life. It was a kind of joy and happiness that only comes from the gospel. This feeling of helping other people come closer to Christ is why missionaries do what they do. Love is such a driving force. I love the people here! I love being a missionary!!!

Love yall!
Hermana Hilton

PS. Geniva is getting baptized on saturday!!!!!!! I am so excited! She is such a crazy and cute little girl! oh... and Thursday Hermana Snowden and I are picking the lice out of her hair... keep us in your prayers!

Lunch at the church....yum yum

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 13: Let the transfers begin!

This week has been amazing! (como siempre!) Here's a quick run down of what I did.

Monday: Super P-day! Pretty much a bunch of missionaries from three zones got together and we played ultimate Frisbee and had a lot of fun. I got to meet a lot of super cool people.

Tuesday: So the highlight of Tuesday was getting to smash Elder Steed's face in a cake. Twice! His birthday is next week, so since he was going to be leaving the area before his birthday, we decided to get him a cake. The spanish tradition for birthdays and cake, is that the person having the birthday has to take a bite of the cake (without silverware). And so that always turns into someone smashing your face into the cake! It was so funny! Then later that night we went to a members house, the Oroxoms, and they had made him a cake too. So I got to watch Elder Steed's face get smashed into a cake once again.

Wednesday: Transfer day! We said goodbye to Elder Steed today..... :( I will miss that weird kid so much! I get to stay here in the OCK 4th Spanish Branch with Hermana Snowden! I am so grateful! Hermana Snowden is an amazing missionary and I love her so much!
We had a huge miracle today. We had a lesson with Maria Mendez. She is a super sweet lady. The lesson was awesome! And at the end of it we asked her if she would say the closing prayer. She said "....ummm.... next time" She has said this every time since I have been here, so we decided to be persistent. After about 15 minutes of encouraging and testifying, she finally said the prayer! This was the first time I have witnessed and been a part of an investigators first prayer. It was amazing. The Spirit was so strong and I was so happy for her. I felt real joy and love in this moment. The joy and love that comes with missionary service.  She also agreed to pray about baptism! And specifically about the date of June 27th!!! I have to say that that was the crowning moment of the week.

Thursday: We had service at the Red Cross. Hermana Snowden and I, with the help of a couple other people, stuffed 625 pillow cases full of supplies for tornado precautions.

Friday: I'm pretty positive that our house got struck by lightning... We were sleeping and bamb! Lightning and thunder all at the same time! The thunder was so loud that it hurt my ears. My ears were ringing afterwards! So yup. we got hit by lightning.

Saturday: We had a mothers day breakfast with the branch in the morning. There was a huge turnout!!! All the men in the branch made breakfast and they put together a slideshow and it was super cute. I love the Hispanic people here. They know how to party.

Sunday: GEVOVEVA CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!! Man I was so happy! It has been quite the adventure to try to get this silly, fun 9 year old to church, but she came this week and that is all that matters! She loved it so much. And since she came this week she can get baptized! We have a date set for the 30th of this month. I really hope that it works out! Please please please keep her in your prayers.

Just another day knocking on doors.  Living the dream!!

Thank you so much for all of your support and love and prayers for me. I know that this work is the work of the Lord and that through the atonement we can all be healed. There is nothing more precious than the gift of the atonement. Please don't take it for granted. Get to know your Savior. Know how much he loves you. He died for you. He knows you. He knows your pains and your sorrows. He is our Savior. He is our Redeemer. He is our Friend.

I love you all so much!!
Hermana Hilton

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 12: Rain, Rain, and More Rain!

What a crazy week with the weather! I honestly can say that I have never seen so much rain in my whole entire life. It was insane!! When the crazy rain started Tuesday night/ Wednesday and it didn't stop until today. Today is the first day that we have seen sun! Crazy! So Wednesday was actually pretty scary. The tornado sirens were going off like crazy starting at about 6 and went all night. When the tornado sirens go off as missionaries we have to go to our shelters right away. Our tornado shelter is the church, so off we went. We didn't leave the church until 10:30 that night. And even then, we had to go to the OKC 1st sisters apartment because our casa was too far away and the roads were so flooded that we couldn't drive home. Crazy! We got to come home Thursday and the rain just kept coming and coming. There would be times when it would lighten up for just enough time to let the drains catch up with all the water that was on the roads and then it would start up again. For about four days straight this was how it went. Go out and get soaked!!! woohoo!!! Oklahoma is da bomb!

 This is all of us misisonaries at our storm shelter on wednesday 

very rarely will Oklahoma actually be pretty!

As far as tornadoes go, none of the area super close to me got hit, but there are some areas that are really bad. We will most likely be doing some disaster clean up this week. I am so grateful for the safety that I have had and that I have been safe. Here an idea of how much water we are talking about. At some points when we were driving down the road, the roads were so flooded that if we would have opened the car door buckets of water would have flooded into the car.

Miracle for the week! So a couple weeks ago we had an old old investigator come to church. Her name is Diana Garcia. We have been planning to go visit her as soon as we can..... but... the Lord decided to try our patience. We had a number for her, and... it never worked... We found an old teaching record and her address was on there! We were so excited! so we went to go find her house and..... it was non existent. There was no house or apartment at the address that we had. Ugh. So we were stuck. We didn't know what to do. But the work goes on! so Sunday rolls around and guess who walks into Relief Society!! DIANA GARCIA!!!! That was such an awesome moment! I couldn't believe how excited I was! So of course we went and talked to her and we got her address and number and we are going to go visit her tomorrow! That was such an amazing learning experience for me. It really taught me to trust in the Lord's timing. He as a plan for all of us and we just need to learn to trust him.

Mother's Day was yesterday!!! It was so amazing to get to talk to them and hear how they are doing! and actually see them! I have never been so grateful for technology! I love my family and I am so grateful for everything that they do. I am especially grateful for my mom, Ashley. She is an angel sent to earth to help me learn and grow as a person and take care of me. She helps me with everything! She is amazing! Mother's are amazing!!! Especially mine!!!!

Love you soooo much Mom!!
Hermana Hilton

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Week 11: Exchanges, Fiestas, and General Authorities

This week has been a week of learning and stretching for me. I want to start this email off by telling you that I love you all and I love my Savior. I am so grateful for his sacrifice for me. He gave his life so that I can be with my family forever. I am eternally grateful for that one specific event. There is an Elder here who's father passed away unexpectedly three days ago. I was able to talk to him for a little bit this week and his testimony of the temple and eternal marriages and eternal families was so strong! After I talked with him and thought about what he said, I had this overwhelming sense of peace that I will see all the people I love, especially my family, after this life. And this is possible because Christ was willing to die for me. For my family. For you. Without this act of love, we would have no hope. Life would be so difficult. But because Christ loves me, he died for me. This week I am especially grateful for this knowledge that I have.

So onto this week! Highlights. I went on my first exchange this week! (for those of you who don't know, this is when we switch companions for 24 hours.) So I went to an English area and was with Sister Young. We went and helped this lady, Cassie, pack because she is moving. She was a super sweet, fun lady! I instantly felt a connection with her. She has had a rough life, but is pushing onward and keeping her head high. Hearing her stories really strengthened my testimony. So we helped pack up her house and then she feed us good old american tacos! They were so good! Ground beef, taco seasoning, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, and fried tortillas. Doesn't get much more Americanized than that. We shared a little message with her and her family, and then headed back to the apartment to exchange back. It was a super fun day!

So I believe I have told you guys about Amparo. She is this super awesome lady from Aguascalientes, Mexico. We found her while we were knocking some houses one day. We have had two lessons with her and she has loved everything that we have talked about. Sunday was her husbands birthday so we decided to make brownies and take them over. We went over and she invited us back to eat and get to know her family! Ahh!!! I was so excited! So we came back after we finished up with an appointment. Her family is so awesome! They were all super duper nice and had a ton of questions for us. We taught them a mini restoration lesson. The coolest part was that Amparo was teaching and testifying to her family! I really got to see her testimony grow in that moment. And we got to get to know her awesome family!!! With eveything that happened on Sunday, I have to say that it was one of the best days of my mission so far! I am so excited to see what happens with this family and continue to get to know them.

On Monday, so yesterday, we had a general authority come visit the mission! Elder Corbridge. We met with him pretty much all day. We had a lot of training and I learned so much from him. He talked/trained a lot on how to have power teaching.  One thing that I really liked that he talked about was how in the scriptures it says that when Christ taught people, they were astonished. He read to us multiple scriptures about how Christ's teachings astonished people. He then told us, "You can astonish people. You can have the same power in your teaching as Christ did. You can astonish people." wow..... I want to have that power to astonish people. I know that this is what I am going to be working on this coming week. I am so grateful for the leadership that we have in this gospel. I know that the prophets are called of God.

That's all for now folks!

Hermana Hilton

She was so excited to FINALLY play a cello!  She has been going to withdrawals.
PURE JOY!!! Her hair is all wavy from the humidity in OK.

Amparo and her awesome family.  She is the one second from the left.