Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 36: OSU Homecoming week!

This week was OSU's homecoming week and holy cow it was crazy!!! I have never seen so many cars here! The traffic was insane and there were people everywhere. 

 I don't know if yall heard about the tragedy that happened this weekend though. For those of you who don't know during the OSU homecoming parade a woman lost control of the wheel and drove straight through the parade. Many many people were seriously injured and some were killed because of the accident. My heart and prayers really go out to all of the families and friends that have been effected by this tragedy. All the missionaries were safe, thanks to the protecting hand of the Lord, but I know several people who have been affected by this. It just really shows us that we never know when our time to leave this earth will be. We have to prepare and get ready for whatever comes our way. 

This week, Tuesday, we had exchanges, so I went with Sister Young to an english area for a day. We taught this Chinese lady named Sun and it was crazy. She has never heard of God or Jesus Christ before. It helped me realize how really blessed we are to have the knowledge of our savior Jesus Christ. 

We are still working hard with Bartolo and he is so excited for his baptism on December 5th. He gets super excited every time we talk to him about it!!! that man has such an amazing testimony and I learn so much from him everyday. 

This week we started and completed Project Cookie Monster!!! We pretty much made cookies and wrote notes to everyone in our group and some of the English members and took them to everyone. We made 103 cookies!! (yes we counted :) ) It was really fun to express our love and apreciation for everyone in that way. 

I want to tell you all a little bit about Hno Cortez. He was the first Hispanic who was baptized here in Stillwater. I believe it was about 12 years ago. He really helped the Spanish group here grow a lot. He came to church on Sunday for the first time since I have been here and man! He was like a little kid! He could not sit still and was making silly remarks the whole time. In the middle of sunday school he pulled out a penny and was doing magic tricks. (Grandpa Tim and Grandpa Dude, that reminded me of you guys :) ) He is such a funny guy and the past week I have gotten really close to him. It has been a blast. I love the people here so much. 

My testimony has grown this week that the Lord watches over his missionaries and that he loves us. He is there for us when we need him and we are never too far off the path to look to Him for help. 

One last thing. This transfer is coming to and end and we got Transfer Doctrine last night. I am staying here in Stillwater, but Hna Bryant is leaving me and Hna James is coming in! so on Wednesday I get a new companion. I am super excited! 

Advice of the week: It doesn't matter where you are on the road to perfection, it only matters which way your feet are going. 

I love you all so much!!! 
Hermana Hilton

Project cookie monster!

It is going to be sad to say goodbye to this girl!!!! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week 35: "be of good cheer and do not fear"

It has been another super amazing week. I know I say this almost every week, but I have no idea where to start. And I know that I say this every week also, but this was the best week ever! Seriously. Every week as a missionary is amazing and full of so many tender mercies of the Lord. I love it.

Well here is the miracle rundown of the week :)

Monday: We were out knocking doors at about 8 pm and we found Nidia! We talked to her for about 30 minutes at the doorstep and she finally let us it! She is pentacostal and she invited us to her church (reversed roles for a second there haha) We said we would love to come, but that she should try out our church too! So we are going to do church exchanges! I am so excited. Nidia is 23 and super super nice and cool. We all got along super well and I am super pumped to go to pentacostal church this week!

Tuesday: After a crazy afternoon of service at Habitat for Humanity, we had a miracle filled night! The biggest miracle I would have to say was the lesson that we had with Bartolo. We taught him about Joseph Smith and the priesthood (the Restoration of the church) He love love loved it! We had a member with us, Hna Fox, and she was so perfect. The spirit was so strong and by the end of the lesson Bartolo was testifying to us that the church is true. so so cool. Before this lesson we had a dinner with a recent convert, Luis, and all of his nonmember friends (all crazy hispanic guys) holy cow it was a blast!!! These four guys cooked for all of us and holy cow! I have never had such amazing food! It was crazy spicy, but crazy good! halfway through the meal we started talking about all of the crazy things we have eaten. They then tried to convince me that I was eating lengua... (cow tongue) I freaked out for a second and then figured out that they were joking haha .....but they said that next time there were really going to make it and that I had to try it... poo... I am scared. But it was so much fun to joke around and have a great time with Luis and all of his friends

Wednesday: Pretty normal day. Biggest miracle. English class!! We havce so many people coming to english class and it is awesome! A huge huge success. It is also super fun and funny to watch all these people try to learn English. I have realized that English is the dumbest language ever and I am so glad that I don't have to try to learn it!

Thursday: Chocolate-chip waffles with strawberries and powdered sugar and syrup for dinner...... oh goodness can I say, instant stomach ache!!! After this crazy dinner we headed over to our Spanish Group Leader's house, Bro Johnson and his family. Man it was such an awesome experience! To get to know this awesome family and connect with all of them on a more personal basis was really awesome. I love them all so much and they are all freaking gorgeous!!

Friday: Double dinner..... oh man. I am talking a lot about food this week, but hey food is important right! We went to a less actives house to do some service. She has the two craziest girls I have ever met! Genesis and Belle. oh man, it was nuts, but we did some service and then she fed us. We had tacos and dang they were sooo good. then we headed straight over to El Vaquero (a mexican restaurant) for our planned dinner with a member. I ordered Carne Asada and man it was sooo good! I have never been soo full in my live though! The plate was huge! After dinner we had a lesson with Bartolo. We taught him the plan of salvation. wow... I don't even know how to express what went down in that lesson. I can honestly say that because of that lesson with Bartolo, I know that the Plan of Salvation is real. I think that lesson is my favorite one to teach. I love it so much.

Saturday: We taught one of our other investigators Carmela. It was super crazy. We walked in and sat down to start and she pretty much taught us the whole lesson!!! We taught....well she taught us the law of chastity and the 10 commandments! super duper cool. Then after that we headed over for the baptism of one of the Elders investigators. Wow. It was so good. Baptisms are so cool and I love going to them so much. To watch people make these changes in their lives is something really awesome and special. and guess what else.... Bartolo showed up!!! he was about 40 minutes late, so he pretty much missed all of it, but he came! That is huge people!

Sunday : And guess what else happened today! Chruch... and guess who came!! Bartolo!!!!! and he love love loved it! it was super duper awesome. When you go to church and try to look at it from the eyes of an investigator, everything takes on a new light. I was able to do that for a second. and it was awesome.

As you can see this week has been amazing. My testimony is growing so much. I want to share with you guys lastly the amazing experience that I had Wednesday night / Thursday morning. As amazing as this week has been, sometimes you get pretty discouraged as a missionary. I know I might make it sound like everything is pretty much all butterflies, rainbows, and pink ponies, but there are definitely many many thunderstorms, ravens and flat tires. Wednesday night I was definitely feeling those thunderstorms and flat tires. So without knowing what else to do I knelt down to pray to my Father in Heaven. As I prayed I poured out my soul to Him. Tears were shed, but because God loves me he quickly wiped them off of my face. I don't know how else to put the things that I felt and learned better than that. He was there with me. He knows me. In this time of prayer and pondering I realized that the reason the hard times, the thunderstorms, come is because I let fear control me. I let the fears that I have dominate. When I realized that, I promised the Lord right then and there that I would turn all of my fears over to Him. I am human, I have a lot of faults and a lot of things that I need to turn over to him. My fears is what the Lord told me I needed to give up that night. So I promised the Lord that I would do it. But I also told Him that I would need his help. I can't do it without him. The next morning in my studies I came across Doctrine and Covenants 86:6 It says:

"Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come."

A direct answer to my prayers. The Lord is going to be with me. I can do this. I know that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ. He leads this church. He love us. I know it and I love sharing it with others. Now if you have read to the end of this, I am pretty proud! That is a lot of reading :) Now go do something good for someone else!!!

I love you all!
Hermana Hilton

These are the two crazy little girls that we did service for! Genesis and Belle! Super cute!

My companion Hermana Bryant

 I got to play tennis this morning!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
It was so amazing! I had a blast! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 34 #ThugMormon

I have absolutely no idea what ##ThugMormon is, but we went over to a members house for dinner and that was all that they talked about! haha I offically don't know what all the "awesome" kids are doing these days. Haha  Minus finding out that I am getting way behind the times, this week was a blast. A few highlights.

At this same members house, after dinner we played the paper bag game. Holy cow it was sooo much fun. It sounds really weird, but this is how it goes. There is a brown paper sack in the middle and you all take turns picking it up with your mouth. After you pick it up with your mouth you rip the part that you touched off and then the next person goes. Here is the catch. Only your feet can touch the ground. As you get further into it, it gets super hard because the bag gets really close to the ground. It was a blast.

We did a lot of service this week. We dusted doors and Habitat for Humanity. We helped Hno Gonzales put up a fence around his house. That was a blast. Digging holes and measuring things and eating a lot of watermelon. We also helped Adriana (a less active member) strip her whole house out so that she can remodel it. So pulling out all the flooring and baseboards and everything!  Super super fun.

We got to meet with Bortolo. And OMGosh!!! It was amazing. We weren't planning on having a lesson with him, but he called us up and asked if we could meet. We didn't have anything specific going on, so we said "Claro que si!" (For sure!) So we met him at the church that night. We had come straight from dinner with the Gonzales family and on the spur of the moment we asked their daughter Karen if she wanted to come with us. (later we find out that this spontaneous act was inspired) We get to the church and decided to do a little church tour. Man. It was so amazing. Bartolo loved the whole building. We ended in the chapel and before we entered we explained to him that this the most sacred room in the building and that when he walked in he would feel the spirit. Then we walked in. The spirit hit us all like a brick wall. Like a punch in the face that felt like a warm hug. I don't know how else to explain it. It was SO strong. When Bartolo walked in he literally let out an audible gasp. He didn't know what to do. We sat down and talked about the sacrament and baptism. Karen was with us and she was baptized about 3 years ago. We asked her to bare her testimony about her baptism and the church. Holy powerful. Bortolo cried and cried. We committed him right then and there to be baptized. And he told us, "Hermanas, este es todo que quiero, SI!!" (Sisters, this is everything that I want, YES!) We committed him to be baptized on the 5th of December. He was so excited for this and told us that he would do everything possible to make it happen. Guys. if this isn't proof enough that Christ is real and that God has restored His church, I don't know what is. You can not deny the spirit once you have felt it. It is a sin. I have felt that spirit. I felt it stronger that I ever have there in the chapel in Stillwater Oklahoma with my companion, a young girl and a man who has been looking for the truth his whole life and is now finally finding it. For my whole life I have taken for granted the truthfulness of this gospel. For my whole life I have take for granted the power of the Spirit. No more. I will no more take this gospel for granted. No more will I take the Spirit and its power for granted. I cannot because if I do I will deny God himself. I know that God is real. He is my Father. He loves me. He loves Bartolo. He loves you. Alma 29:1

O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people  

This is the wish of mine heart also.I love you all, but more importantly God loves you. Never forget it.
Hermana Hilton

 Out knocking doors in Cushing!!! I love El Libro De Mormon!

Halloween is officially here! Knocking doors just got a little bit scarier.... haha

Early morning run!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week 33: General confercia

Where do I start. Conference was so good. I really hope everyone got to listen to all of the talks and enjoyed them as much as I did. They were amazing. I have been asked a ton of times what my favorite talk was, and honestly I can not tell you. They were all so good. I am super excited to apply what I have learned though! For example, simplifying life, and ponderizing! It am so pumped! woohhoo! and on top of that it was an awesome week!

Monday: we had an FHE with a member and an investigator. It was really fun to connect with the member family (familia Fox) and also see the members help and support our investigator. Super super awesome

Tuesday: We met with our Group Relief Society president and had a "vision" meeting which pretty much means that we talked about our goals for the relief society. It was so so good! Our relief society president is so amazing. She was called about 3 months ago and is doing awesome.  Fun fact. I was looking at when everyone in the group was baptized, and there are only 3 people who have been baptized longer than 3 years.

Wednesday: So miracle time. On Tuesday the English elders found this man named Bartolo. They don't speak spanish, so they invited him to the Book of Mormon class that they have on wednesday and explained that there would be some there to translate. (This is a cool part) HE CAME! He showed up on wednesday night for book of mormon class!! We pulled him aside and he just started breaking down talking about all of his difficulties right now and how he needs God. He told us how a while ago he decided he needed a church, any church, so he went out looking for one. He looked and looked and couldn't find anything not a single church. (which is really really surprising here in Oklahoma because there is literally a church on every corner!) But he came home after this search and saw two elders walking around in his apartment complex. He told us that in that moment, he knew that whatever church those two young men went to was the one he needed to join. He didn't talk to the elders that day and he said he couldn't find any. UNTIL!! He ran into our english elders on tuesday! How crazy is that! Man. I was blown away, literally left speechless after he told us that. After talking to him and helping him through some tough stuff that he has going on, we gave him a Book of Mormon and he promised he would read it every day. He told us that he wants to be baptized. He had to leave for Kansas this weekend so sadly we haven't been able to meet with him again, but we have been talking every day and he loves the gospel. He tells us every day how his prayers are being answered. It is so cool. His name is Bartolo. I don't know if is mentioned that.. haha

Thursday: Merry Octubre! Man I can't believe it is already here. Today we had Zone Conference. Which is when all the missionaries (I think there were about 50) get together and we are trained by the Mission President and his APs. It was waaaayyyy good!  We also got to teach Jossie and her mom about the plan of salvacion. It was so so powerful. They loved everything about it. The spirit is such an amazing teacher.

Friday: Another miracle! so Javier. He is a member of about 1 and a half years and he is our group mission leader. He is preparing to go on a mission. We went over there to talk to him and have a lesson. We started talking and he opened up a ton. He  told us about how a couple nights ago he was debating not going on a mission (His papers are allllmost done) And he didn't know what to do, but he said he was doubting going on a mission. So he decided to pray to try to figure out what to do. That next morning Hna Bryant (my comp) and I got up and sent out our daily scripture text. We decided to add some random people and Javier was one of them. I don't remember picking the scripture or sending it to him, but he got it and read it. He told us that it was a direct answer to what he had been praying for. It was so cool to see immediately the blessings of following the spirit. Even when you didn't know it was a prompting of the spirit! It might seem kinda small, but it was really really cool.

Saturday: GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! enough said!!! In between for lunch all of us missionaries made crapes at the church. It was a blast.

Sunday: CONFERENCIA GENERAL ROUND 2!!!!! Man I love conference so so so much. It was so good. We are so blessed to have living prophets that we can listen to every six months. That really love us and care for us.

Ok. Now thinking about what talk was my favorite I have to say hands down the one by Elder Holland. I am so very grateful first for my Savior, and Second form my mother. Mom you are such a strength to me. You really are like a Savior here on this world for me. Without you I would be nothing. Your support and loves pulls me through some of the hardest times. In the darkest of times your light mom, is what keeps me going. I love you so much and am forever indebted to you and also to my Savior I love you so much.

I hope we all take the time and effort to reread or relisten to all of the wonderful words we have heard this weekend. I love you all so much! And I love my Savior and my mom more than anything!!!

These are all the crazies that I live with! They are the best!

Zone conference!!! This is Elder Balch. He has changed my life!

yup.... we are weird!

Another day out knocking doors in a trailer park!

Sometimes you have to make knocking on doors fun :) I now have a weird obsession with motorcyles parked in crazy places! haha