Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 28: Exchanges, The ER, and BAPTISM!!!

As you may or may not be able to tell, this week has been yet another fun and crazy adventure. Every day in the mission is such an adventure and you really never have any idea what to expect. I think that is what makes it more fun and NEVER boring! So here are three stories that sum up this week.

1. Exchanges
We had exchanges this week, which is when you switch companions with your leaders for a day. It is so much fun! I was with Hna Belteton in my area this time. We had dinner with a member who had just moved into the ward. She lives in El Reno and I have never been to El Reno before. So off we went to try and find this lady's house. We drove... and drove.... and drove... and drove and there was nothing..... Then I looked down and the dashboard and the gas light was on!!! and we were in the middle of nowhere. And when I mean the middle of nowhere, I mean the middle of nowhere. So not knowing what else to do, we quickly said a prayer that we would be able to make it to a gas station where we could get gas and get directions. And no joke, 2 seconds after we said the prayer we drove over this hill and there was a random gas station out in the middle of nowhere. A direct and imidiate answer to our prayer! It was so cool! We eventually made it to the lady's house and had an awesome time there. It was a lot of fun. We also were able to teach Roberto at a members house on exchanges!!! it was so so so so amazing! there is nothing better than having a lesson with an investigator at a members house! Super awesome lesson! I always love exchanges and I love how it gives me the opportunity to reflect on how far I have come and make goals to improve.

2. The ER
So to start off, yalls need to know that Hna Ryan gets really bad migraines and they last a long time. She finally gave in and decided to go see a doctor on Friday. We went to an urgent care center and this old doctor with an accent (my guess is that he is from Ukraine but really we have no idea) started asking her questions. As he was asking her symptoms something stood out to him... That sometimes her hands will go numb. He said that could be pretty bad... so he had her move her face a bit and then said, "Do you know the left side of your face droops a little?" And then very calmly said, "I think you need to go to the ER right now." We started freaking out!!!!! So we go to the ER and they ask why we were sent there and we tell them what the Doctor at the urgent care told us. The girl behind the desk then starts freaking out and calling people with 'code something' (I don't remember). They were freaking out a little. We are pretty alarmed at this point and ask what's going on and the woman behind the desk says, "They think you're having a stroke." (Spoiler! She was not having a stroke.) So they got her prepped and sent her to a room very quickly. they hooked her up with an IV and a doctor rushed in with a nurse to start asking me questions. This whole time I know that Hna Ryan is freaking out and pooping her pants because she could be dying, so I did the only thing that I know how to do in a situation like that and I tried to make her laugh and keep her hopes up. We took a whole bunch of crazy pictures. Fun fun. The doctor came back and said they needed to do some tests just in case but if she were actually having a stroke he would 'eat his boot'. Pretty funny! The bad news, he said, was that she might have a brain tumor. GAH! Then they sent her up for an MRI. When she came back we waited for results and good news!!! She just had a migraine. This whole adventure started because a crazy urgent care doctor thought that Hna Ryan was having a stroke! Ugh, so crazy. So... That was our adventure for this week, haha! woohooo!!! I am so happy that everything is good and there are no strokes happening or brain tumors , just good old missionary work!!

3. Baptism
I saved the best story for last! ROBERTO GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and it was glorious. Man I don't even know where to start... It was so amazing. The spirit was so strong and he was literally glowing. I don't know how else to explain it. We got to the church about an hour early and there was another baptism going on, so we couldn't really prep the room or anything, so we just hung out for a little bit and the whole time I was going over the list of things to do in my head. over and over and over. A baptism is so amazing, but it is super stressful at the same time. Once we got started everything went so smoothly! Roberto was so excited! In the font Elder Hernandez (Elder Hernandez baptized him) had to literally push his body under the water. It was really funny. But the most important part is that Roberto is baptized and is completely clean of all his sins and can start living his life the way he wants to! So cool. Then on Sunday he received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Man I don't think I realized before how cool it is that we can have this gift and that in reality it is the most precious gift that our father in heaven can give us. As Roberto was walking down from the stand after receiving this gift. He was wiping the tears off of his face. To see a man like Roberto cry is a testimony in itself. We were able to meet with him Sunday night and talk to him. Holy cow. He is on FIRE! He loves it and he is a whole different person. I don't know how to explain it. He is still Roberto, but he is 10 times more happy and he glows and he is always always smiling!!! He is on top of the world right now, and in his words, "nothing can bring me down!!" I am so grateful that I have been able to see this man's journey to baptism and I can't wait to see all the amazing things that he does in the church. I can't wait to come back in a year and get to witness him going through the temple!!!

I love being a missionary!!!!!!!

Hermana Hilton

Exchanges with the lovely Hna Belteton! We went out to lunch with Alba Lopez (she is the one in the middle)

I also forgot to mention that we got to go to the temple this week as a mission!!!!! Here is a pic of my district

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Week 27: "Satan can't knock you down if you are already on your knees."

So we found this saying on a random church one day. I love it so much because prayer really is so powerful. Keep up those prayers! Well here is a quick run down of the week.
Monday: P-day. We played this super crazy game called scatterball with all of the missionaries. It was loco!  We watched the Restoration video with a 16 year old girl named Mariana and she loved it! I am super excited to teach her more.
Tuesday: Free towel tuesday again!!! Got the car washed and got a free towel! We had an amazing lesson with Roberto this day. We brought the Elders recent convert Cesar with us to the lesson. Holy Cow... Talk about a spirit guided lesson! We went in with the intent of talking about the Word of Wisdom. Right off the bat I could tell that something was up with Roberto. He has something on his mind that he wanted to talk about but was scared to. So we started the lesson. I don't know how to explain it, but I knew that I had to ask Roberto what was up. By asking that inspired question he was able to open up to us so much! We were able to help him figure out all of his concerns. But the way that happened wasn't through us, it was through our member, Cesar, who was there with us. When members go out with the missionaries, the lessons are 100 times more powerful and the investigator learns so much more! It was such an amazing lesson!

Wednesday: Met with Roberto again and all he could talk about is how excited he is for his baptism! We also had lunch with one of my favorite members. Hna Olea! Her granddaughter lives with her and holy cow!!! she reminds me soooo much of Raimie when she was younger!!! It is nuts! I love that family.
Thursday: Found an awesome scripture! 2 Nefi 2:10. It's a good one! The atonement makes us happy!
Friday: We have been meeting with Roberto every day this week and every day I learn so much from him. Funny story. We taught him the Law of Chastity today. We asked him if he knew what chastity meant. He said no, so we explained it to him. His face was so funny! I have never seen his eyes get so big! hahahaha! But the funniest part is that afterwards he told us that he already knew what chastity was, but that he just wanted to see if we would say it. That stinker!!! haha We are such good friends and as well as all of the super spiritual experiences that we have together, we also have a lot of fun "normal" experiences. For example one time he answered the phone and said (in english) "Marco's Pizza! What would you like?" so so so so funny!
Saturday: We went to the temple!!!! A less active couple that Hna. Ryan worked with in her last area when through the temple and got sealed! it was such a tender moment. Man. The temple is so cool and it is such a blessing that we have the opportunity and blessing to be sealed to our families forever. Family, I love you so much!!! I am so grateful that I am sealed to my parents and my siblings! There is nothing better.
Sunday: Sundays are always crazy crazy crazy busy and stressful. There is so much to do and so much to remember!!! Roberto came to church again! this is his 4th time at church and he loves it. He always tells us how he feels so happy and "full" after church. It is so so so cool!
I am so excited for Roberto. The changes that  he has made in his life are outstanding and this Gospel really is the thing that brings us happiness. And not just happiness right now, but happiness forever.
One more thing! I got an email from Hope (Genoveva's mom!) and she told me that she is reading the Book of Mormon every day and night and she loves it! this is HUGE!! It makes me so happy to know that!
I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week!!!!!
Hna Hilton
Awesome day at the temple!!!!
Thanks for the awesome stuff Julie!!!! I love it!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Week 26: Even with cabin fever, the church is true and the book is blue!

This week has been an adventure.... And I have never been so happy as I am right now!!!!

Monday: pday! we had a zone p-day and we played water kickball. They had kiddie pools for the bases and a slip-n-slide for home plate. super fun! I got really wet. Then that whole evening we had a zone training. So pretty much a whole bunch of missionaries get together and our leaders help us become better missionaries . It was super spiritual. We talked about setting expectations. Something that I learned that really stuck out to me was this: If the Lord didn't have expectations for us (or commandments) Then he would cease to be God. If we didn't have commandments, there wouldn't be a God. But there is a God and He loves us, so he gives us His expectations (the commandments) so that we can be happy! It was a pretty cool thing to think about.

Tuesday: I entered prison today..... ok. not really, but at times it felt like it! Hna Ryan got super duper sick. She had a really bad migraine headache and was super duper nauseous. So we stayed home. I felt super bad for her. We had her in our bedroom with blankets over the windows so the light couldn't come in. I tried to be as quiet as I possibly could. Trying to stay entertained when you have to be silent is really hard to try to do. haha This was day one of my sentence....

Wednesday: Day two... I haven't seen the outside of the four walls of our house for over 30 hours now.... That's when your brain starts playing tricks on you and you find really weird things to do to entertain yourself. I may or may not have made some music videos.... umm... called the elders and talked to them to try to get some sort of human interaction. umm... made some scripture cases. cleaned the house.... really really weird selfies......  and yeah. It was an adventure!  

Thursday: Day three..... I should have carved tally marks into the wall or something. Same thing today. Trying to entertain a very bored person who feels like the walls are slowly closing in on her..... AHHH!!! haha On a more spiritual note, It was an awesome time to learn about the scriptures. My testimony of the Book of Mormon grew so much in these three days because I have had so much time to dive into them. To read with intent and question them. The words in the Book of Mormon are so powerful. They are here for us. The book of mormon is true!!!!! I challenge you all to read it every day! Just do it!

Friday: Hna Ryan was feeling better so we went out and did a little bit of work today! I realized going out and working after 3 and a half days of being inside how much I really love this work. And also how much it is really changing me. It was so exciting to go outside and talk to people about this gospel that brings me so much joy and happiness!

Saturday: Because of this day, I know that you never really get lost on your mission. The Lord just confuses your mind so that you can be led to the people who are ready for your message. We were in the wrong area, an area that we weren't planning on being, but we were there so we decided to knock some doors. We were able to get in with this family the Salzar's and talk to all of them! it was super cool!

Sunday: One of the best days of my mission so far.
We have been teaching Roberto, who is going to be baptized the 29th of August!!! woop woop! Y'all, it has been truly a privilege and a blessing to be able to witness his conversion. He has such a strong desire to change, to be better. Last week when we talked with him, he was a really nervous about his baptismal date. He said he felt that it was too early and that he wasn't ready. So this week we talked with him about the doctrine of Christ and what it means to be freed from sin and to truly change, or repent. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!! Talk about the SPIRIT in a lesson! Seriously, the change that visibly came over him with that lesson was so powerful to see. He testified of each and every point and he just loves God and the gospel. To see someone tell you that they know that God is real and to have someone tell you that they know that this is the church of God is so cool. It was so emotional! This big burly guy teared up and everything! We asked him again, at the end of the lesson, if he was ready and looking forward to his baptismal date. This time he said that he was still nervous but super excited!!!!!!!! He wants to change his life, he wants more, he wants to do all that God asks him. He wants it so much! It's incredible!!! I don't know how to tell you guys. The Gospel changes lives. It does. There is no other explanation. I love this work so much!

I love you all!!!!
Hna Hilton

Hna Ryan and I being super super super duper excited and on spiritual cloud nine sunday night!!

bored, so we gave Jullian clothes!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 25: tender chicken

This week has been one full of ups and downs. Man I don't even know where to start, so I am just going to type as fast as I can. I hope that this gibberish makes some sort of sense when it all comes out.

We had transfers this week! I said goodbye to my "mom", Hna Snowsen and said hola to my new companion Hna Ryan! Man she is so cool! She is a convert of 3 years. The thing that is most amazing to me is her testimony. It is so strong and she has such a desire to share the gospel with everyone! Her mom and grandparents are straight from Spain. She is the middle of three chilren. She doesn't really have any support at home. Very very little. So all the love that can go to her would be amazing! She is 23 and she has almost graduated from college. She is studying art! So she does movie stuff, like animation and everything. super duper cool! She has been out on the mission the same amount of time that I have, so we go home together! We are a super young companionship, but it is so much fun! Hna Ryan is the bomb! And she always says "tender chicken!" hahahaha it is so so so funny!

Big event number two..... I hope you all remember Genoveva. She is the light and life of my world right now. Before Hna Snowden left we taught her about the Holy Ghost again and it was amazing! Genoveva knows what the spirit is and recognizes it more that a lot of other people and she is only 9! So for those of you who don't know, Genoveva's mom, Hope, had a court trial for the custody of her kids this week. Long story short. Hope lost all of her kids. Genoveva is gone. I'm not going to lie to you all. This absolutely broke my heart. I have never felt more heartbroken. Talking to Hope about everything that happened was one of the hardest things I have done. Knowing that I wont get to see Genoveva's face light up when we go see her and teach her. I won't get to see her run up to me and give me a hug and tell me that she loves me. Man.... It is hard. But when hard things happen, God is always right there and he finds ways to open doors that you never thought could ever be opened. As I was talking to Hope about everything that happened, and as I was completely heartbroken, this overwhelming love for Hope filled me from head to toe and I knew at that point exactly what could heal her broken heart. The Book of Mormon. I quickly acted on this prompting of the spirit and explained and testified of the power of the Book of Mormon. I asked her to read it. We also asked her if she would like a blessing. She agreed, so the next day we came back with the elders and they gave her a priesthood blessing. I don't think yall realize how huge this is. When I first met Hope she straight up told us that we could teach Genoveva, but that she didn't want anything to do with us. She loved her daughter, but didn't have any desire to learn about the church at all. As time went on, she slowly warmed up to us. But this was a crowning moment. For her to confide in us and love us and let the elders give her a blessing was a miracle. A tender mercy of the Lord. She also told us that she read the Book of Mormon all night! The Lord has his way of helping people. Hope left for Texas on Sunday to go fight for her kids back.

I am still super heartbroken, but I know without a doubt that the Lord has a plan for this family. I know that someday I will get to see Genoveva again and get to teach by her side. I testify to yall that the Lord is real. He loves us. He has a plan. There is no way we can know that plan, but we can trust him. He knows all and he loves unconditionally. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what brings real and lasting happiness to our lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that miracles happen today. I know that I will get to hug Genoveva again, and I look forward to that day.

Well.... now I have to wipe all the tears off my face, but I love you all so much!

Hna Hilton

My favorite person in the whole stinking wide world!

I love this family so much. 
(these pictures are old, but I feel that it is appropriate to send them again :) )

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Week 24: Transfers: Adios Hermana Snowden :(

I found out Saturday night that Hna Snowden is finally leaving me. I love that girl so much and I am going to miss her so much, but she is going to do amazing in her new area! Hna Ryan is going to be joining me here in the OKC 4th Spanish Branch! woop woop! I am excited to get to work with her, but here is a quick overview of the week we had :)

Monday: We had another huge water fight with all of the missonaries! It was a ton of fun. I got SOAKED!

Tuesday: We went and visited Amparo. Sad news..... She is moving back to Mexico. so that was the last time we were able to see her. We made her promise that she would find the missionaries down in Mexico and she told us that she wanted to come to our weddings! haha (That won't happen for a while...... marriage? what's marriage?) but it was pretty sad to have to say goodbye to her.

Wednesday: Biking day! We decided to venture out of the nice comfort of the air conditioned Corolla and ride our bikes! It was hot and fun! It is such a struggle to ride a bike in a skirt! But it is so much fun! We get so many funny looks.

Thursday: Red Cross! We took pictures with our main man Uncle Roy! He is from England and we work with him every week at red cross. he is a lot of fun and has the funniest laugh ever!

Friday: We got to teach Genoveva today. We taught her about the Holy Ghost. As we were talking about it ,she told us, "The Holy Ghost makes me feel happy!" With this big huge grin on her face. She knows what's up. The Holy Ghost really is the thing that makes us the happiest. Genoveva doesn't have the best life at all... But she knows that the church and the spirit make her happy. I love that girl so much. She is the best.

Saturday: The Elder's investigator, Cesar, got baptized! It was such a happy day! After the baptism was done and Cesar came out from changing, he walked out in a white shirt and tie and he looked so good! The light of Christ literally was shining off of him and man it was just super cool, beyond description. That was such a cool experience.
That night we also knocked into the Salzar family! There are so cool! the Husband just went through a lot of health stuff and lost his leg because of it. The mom is super cool and they have 5 kids all between 18 and 11. We are going back to teach them this next week and I am super excited! It is going to be an awesome experience!

Sunday: Angelica and Roberto came to church!!! woop woop! Roberto has been participating in classes and loves everything about church. He told us the other night that he wishes that he could get baptized sooner! We taught him the plan of salvation and he loved it. He is on fire right now and we meet with him and teach him almost every night! He came to Cesar's baptism and absolutely loved it! AHHH!!!! Roberto is so sick!!!!!!!

Well that was this past week. It was a lot of fun. There are going to be a lot of changes this coming week, but I am super excited. I found a new favorite scripture! Alma 37: 44-45 Read it! its really good.

Have a wonderful week!
Hna. Hilton

Ps. I got a wonderful box in the mail from my family! Thanks so much family! Thanks Susan for the waterbottles!!! I love them so much! And Hna Snowden loves her's too! We use them everyday! Thanks for the 13-page letter Mckay! and I loved all the Norwegian food Mom and Dad!!  thank you so so so so so much!!! I love you all so much!!!!