Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 41: MERRY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I want to start off today by saying HHAAAPPPPYYYY THHHANNKKKSSGGIVVVIINGGGG!!!!! :) :) :) :) :)

 I have so many things to be thankful for this holiday season! I don't even know where to start. It is amazing to take a second, sit back, and think of all the countless blessings that each of us have. I hope each of you got the chance to take a moment to think about all the many things the Lord has blessed us with.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving here in Stillwater! It consisted of: Turkey bowl sports, mud face masks, ballet, food, food, food, food and a lot of pie! We had 4 thanksgiving dinners! It was a whole lot of really good food. We were able to have a thanksgiving meal with the Gonzales family from the Spanish Group. That was SO much fun! Hispanics know how to throw a party! We were in this little tiny tiny trailer, with tons of hispanics and tons of food and tons of loud music. There were kids running around everywhere and so many welcoming faces. I wish you all could have been there to experience it. I ate my whole meal the only way any one should ever eat, with tortillas!!! Only in Hispanic homes! What was crazy to me is that I felt way more comfortable with the Gonzales' and their family than I did anywhere else. I love their culture! I love the people! I also would like to give a big huge thank you to Sister Buckner also. We went over to her house and she had a delicious meal all prepared, she opened her home to all of the missionaries here in this area and made sure that we all felt like we were home. She is an angel and I love her so much! We got to play heads up there and man, that was a blast!!  My Thanksgiving this year was wonderful and I want to quickly say thank you to all of those who helped it happen!!

The day after Thanksgiving the mission threw us straight into the Christmas bus! We are going Christmas full speed! Yesterday (Sunday) the church released their new Christmas video. It is called, "A Savior is Born" WATCH IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is so good! You can't help but feel the spirit when you watch it. It fills you from head to toe with happiness. You can find it on watch it.  It is so good! And share it with everyone!!! This Christmas season is the perfect time to show people that you love them. To share with them the things that you cherish. I challenge each of you this week, to share this video with at least one person. The joy of living the gospel is amazing, and the joy of sharing it with someone else is even more wonderful. Words can't express the feelings that come when you are able to help someone else feel the love of their Father.

Bartolo is still pushing forward to his baptism. It is this coming Saturday!! I am soooooo excited for him! and he is soooo excited for his baptism too! We talk to him everyday and everyday he tells us how excited he is to be clean. The fact that we have a way to be clean in this world full of sin is a marvelous blessing that I am so thankful for. Cool miracle! So Bartolo went to Kansas this weekend to be with his children for Thanksgiving. He was so sad that he was going to miss church. After a few calls, Bartolo was able to go to church in Kansas this Sunday! Another blessing of the Lord! We can go to church no matter where we are in the world! He called us afterwards and told us how happy he was that he was able to go to church.  We are planning on meeting with him every day this week so that he can be 100% ready to go for Saturday. I don't have any worries, and I can't wait till that day is here!

One more event from this week that is worth mentioning :) We had exchanges!!! (when we switch companions with the Sister Trainer Leaders/STLS for a day) and guess who my STL is??!! Yup! you guessed it! Hna Snowden!!!! We had so much fun being together again. We went out to Cushing and met so many cool people over there! Hna Snowden is one of my best friends ever here on the mission. I love her so much.

Well, yup that was pretty much this week. I am so thankful for my parents. Mom. Dad. you two are such a strength to me. I know that you are right there behind me supporting me every step of this crazy journey. I love you so much. The unity that you two have as a couple helps me know that
I can do it to!  Mom. Your constant love for me helps me love the people of Oklahoma that much more.  Dad. Your example of selfless service and forgetting yourself completely to serve others is something that helps me remember that I am here to help others. I am here to do the Saviors work, not mine.  Mckay. Your example of relying and trusting in the Lord no matter the circumstance or situation pushes me through so many difficult days here in the mission.  Zach. Your hard work ethic is an example to me and drives me to keep working as hard as I can no matter how many people shut me down.  Roz. Your simple testimony reminds me every day that when it comes down to it, all I need is a testimony. Your testimony has touched my life so I know that I can help others.  Raimie. Your smile and laugh remind me to keep laughing and smiling everyday. Your example of forgiving and forgetting push me to be better and more Christlike. I can't say thank you to my Heavenly Father enough for the wonderful family that I have. They are my strength.

I love each of you so much and I know that Heavenly Father loves you too. Lets share this love this Christmas season!!!

Hermana Hilton

Thanksgiving dinner number 1 with The Murray family. This is Grandma Murray! She had 4 generations of her family there for thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving dinner number 3 with Jenny and John Gerrero!!! These two have my heart <3

Hispanic Thanksgiving!! you can't eat anything without tortillas!!!

Exchanges with my favorite missionary ever!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 40: If you are not happy where you are, MOVE. You are not a tree :)

Monday: We had an awesome p-day! Sister James and I shopped all day! (well from about 2-4) then we had a family night with a member of our Spanish group. It was a blast! we are going to start doing family night with them every week, so this was the first of many to come. We talked about eternal families. It was fun to see what family meant to all the little kids.

Tuesday: Service day. We were doing service at Habitat for Humanity. We stocked all of the shelves fulllll of Christmas stuff! It made me super excited for the Christmas season. We had a lesson with Bartolo at the Johnson's. We taught him about tithing. He loved it! He told us that he was excited to follow this commandment because he knows that more blessings are going to come from keeping the commandments of God. Bartolo gets that and I love that. He understands that if he does what the Lord asks, the Lord will help him out with everything else. It was a super spiritual lesson. Bartolo testified of the gospel and the blessings it brings more that we did!

Wednesday: We met with our Group Relief Society President and talked about what we can do to strengthen the sisters in Relief Society. Man We have an awesome president. We talked about how we can help visiting teaching increase in the group. On my mission I have really come to realize how important it is for us as members to help strengthen other members. It is so essential!!!

Thursday: I got to make peppernuts!!! for those of you who don't know what those are, they are the most delicious things ever!!! granted they do look like dog treats, they are the best. We went over to a members house to make them and it was a blast. We turned on Christmas music and just had  an awesome time making a family tradition. They all loved them so much. The rest of the day was hard with cancelled appointments and doors closed in our faces, so the joy of making peppernuts was wonderful!!!

Friday: We had a Visiting Teaching Conference! And we got put in charge of whatching the kidlets. There were only 2, and we had a blast. Trying to entertain kids without being able to interact much with them is pretty darn hard!

Saturday: we set 2 baptismal dates for Rosi and her son John! Rosi's husband Juan said he didn't feel ready to accept one yet, but I know he will come along! Their 9 year old daughter got baptized a while back and she is such a strength  to that family. I love them so much! We have been going over there about 3 times a week in the evening and reading the Book Of Mormon with them. The change in their home from doing that has been crazy. I couldn't believe it. I have gained a testimony that reading the Book of Mormon really does make you happier. You can see the happiness that it brings on other peoples faces.

Sunday: Bartolo brought one of his best friends to church! It was so cool to see them both sitting there enjoying church. We went about the rest of our day and at about 8 o'clock we got a call from Bartolo. He told us that he was in the ER. So of course we dropped everything and went straight to the ER to be with him. We translated for the doctor and found out that he was having an allergic reaction to some medication they had given him a couple weeks ago for something else. Bartolo had bad hiccups that hurt really bad and were making it so he couldn't breathe. They got him the stuff that he needed. We got some priesthood leaders to come over and give him a blessing. I know he will be alright.

I know that this gospel brings us happiness. It helps us through the good and the bad. Living the gospel changes people for the better. I have seen it in my life and I have seen it in other people's lives. I love being His servant. There is nothing better. I found this scripture this week and have fallen in love with it. I personalized it to me and I love it.

1 Nephi 21:3-4

3 And said unto me: Thou art my servant, [Haley Hilton], in whom I will be glorified.

 4 Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught and in vain; surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.

 5 And now, saith the Lord—that formed me from the womb that I should be his servant, to bring [Bartolo] again to him—though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.

I pray that you guys will all continue to search for Christ in your lives and strive to share that with others. This is the beginning of the Christmas season and lets make it all about Christ! I love you all so much. Especially my family.
Dios le bendiga,
Hermana Hilton

This is Bartolo!!! We finally got a picture with him!

This is our crazy little friend Ashley. She is a hoot!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 39: Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10

Another week. On the mission the days are really long, but the weeks are oh so short. A couple highlights from this week.

Interviews! We had interviews with our mission president, President Walkenhorst, on Friday. It sounds like this scary thing, but really it is just a one on one conversation with Pres. W and a little bit of time to ask him any questions that we have. We talked a lot about what it means to be bold. As missionaries we are supposed to be bold with these people. But what does that mean? President and I talked about it for a while. We decided that it means that we love the person enough to ask them to change because we know that it will help them be happier in this life. I really liked that. I love the people here so much, so why wouldn't I want to help them be happier by being bold and invite them to come unto Christ? It is always super amazing to have interviews with president.

Bartolo! We have been meeting with him a lot! His baptism is coming up so soon and he is so excited. The 5th of December. In church our group leader, Bro Johnson asked Bartolo to share his testimony on his baptism. Wow. It was so powerful. I couldn't believe it. He is so amazing. We met with him Tuesday, Thursday and  Saturday for lessons and he came to church on Sunday, so we see him a lot. He is doing amazing. On Saturday I was sick during our lesson with just the usual head cold. Bartolo noticed. On Sunday during our Sunday School class he pulled me aside and said hta the bought me medicine. How sweet of him! Then he said, "Oh don't worry, I bought it last night, so I didn't break the Sabbath." (we taught him about the Sabbath day on Tuesday). To know that there are people here who are watching out for me was awesome. Bartolo is teaching me every day. I swear, he teaches me more that I teach him!

I want to share with you all something that President Walkenhorst shared with us. Here it is:
"At the last zone conference I spoke a little on the phrase "baptized unto repentance." Recently I have focused on the phrase "faith unto repentance." Alma 34:15-17 uses this phrase several times. The first principle of the gospel is faith. Not simply faith, but faith in Jesus Christ. For us to participate in the gospel, we must have enough faith  that we can change, the He will help us, and that He will forgive us and allow us to become clean. As missionaries we must have enough faith in Jesus Christ that He will give us success and that we can become clean from the blood and sins of this generation. This is His work. His work is not only to take the gospel to all the world, it is to plant the principle of repentance deep in our hearts to the point that we will repent. His work is to help us repent and change. He can do His work. D&C 60:7 states, "for I am able to make you Holy." He can and will if we will just exercise faith in Him and allow Him to work in our lives. He said in Jeremiah 18:6 "Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house if Israel" (see Jeremiah 18:1-6)

I love these words so much. I love this work and I love being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know it is true and I love it.

Hna James and I being loca!

We got all the ornaments on the Christmas tree!!! woohoo! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Week 38: The Refiners Fire and Manna

Hello everyone. This week has been crazy. Um. I don't really know what to say. the refiners fire is real. It has been a really hard week this week, but I have learned and I am still learning how important it is to rely on the Lord daily.

I am sure you all know the story of Moses and the manna. I have come to a greater understanding of what it means to rely on the Lord. The work here is slowing down while the winter quickly approaches. It is kind of frustrating to be 100% honest because I want to help these people so bad. In Exodus 16 the story of Moses and the manna is told. it says in verse 21 that the people gathered the manna every morning. Every morning they went out and worked to gather this food. and In verse 35 it tells us that they did it for 40 years. Every day for 40 years these people relied 100% on the Lord. They trusted that when they woke up in the morning there would be manna for them to eat. They couldn't save up the manna either. They had to go out every day to get it. That is what sustained them in their 40 of trails in the wilderness. This morning I was able to look back and see the "manna" that the Lord has put in front of me every day this week. As I looked back here is what I saw:

Monday through Wednesday: these days were pretty normal. They were good and things when pretty much as planned. Thursday is when things got interesting. So I am going to go straight into Thursday.

Thursday the 5th: Another hard day. My wonderful companion and I talked about everything going on and she shared with me 2 Nephi 33:3-4 it says, "I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, an mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry. And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people." Exactly what I needed to hear. The Lord and I are on the same team, so he will help me.

Friday the 6th:
Everything fell through this day. We planned for a whole day of good activities and everyone cancelled. No one was home. Literally everything fell through. I was done. I was so frustrated. So we decided to go knocking in a trailer park. We got a very cold welcome when we came in. All the people that were outside ran inside and said some choice words to us. So as we were driving out of the park, I recognized a little girl jumping on a trampoline. We pulled over and talked to her. She ended up being the daughter of Deysi! A lady who has been coming to our English classes! She let us in and we had a wonderful lesson with her. Man. That was a tender mercy and a huge humbling learning experience for me. The Lord sent us there at that time for a reason. To find Deysi. And the only way that that would have happened was if everything else fell through.

Saturday the 7th:
I woke up again pretty discouraged. In my studies I found Alma 32:42. It says, "And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure about all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst." for me this was a promise straight from God, that even though it is rough right now, if I am diligent and keep going, I will see success. That definitely got me through that day!
Something else that got me through Saturday. The other sisters in this area had a baptism and we were able to go to it with Bartolo! He absolutely love it. he leaned over to me and told me, "Hermana, I feel like a changed man. Being here has changed me." I told him, "Bartolo, imagine the change that you are going to feel when you are baptized on the 5th." He gave me the biggest smile and you could see the joy radiating from his eyes. And he said, "I know." Bartolo understands that this gospel, this church and it's teachings changes people. He has seen it and he knows it. To be part of this change in his life right now is a huge blessing to me. I am so blessed. For me this was quite a large chunk of "manna" that helped me a ton.

Sunday the 8th:
I was studying in the morning in Matthew and I came across Matthew 11:28-30 it says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." That was exactly what I needed to hear to get up and go work that day. Then we had a lesson with Rosi and Juan. We talked about how the Book of Mormon answers questions of the soul. I think I needed this lesson more than they did. We made if fun and the spirit was so strong.

It is so true that the Lord really does help us through everything. He will help us if we go out of our way and look for the daily bread. John 6:31-35
 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

The Lord is there and he is helping us. He is helping me and I am so grateful for him and for his help. I love you all so much and hope you have the best week ever!!!

Hermana Hilton

Yup! I am still living with these two crazies! sister Young and Hermana Snowden!! I love them so much!!
Well November is here, so we set up our Christmas tree!!! woohoo!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 37: Halloween!!!!! BOO!

Monday: We got to play tennis again this morning! Then a less active from the English ward took us to Mexico Joes. It is a restaurant here that is only in Stillwater OK. They are super famous. It was a lot of fun. Then we tried a bunch of people and no one was home.

Tuesday: Today was Hna Bryant's last day in Stillwater. So we went around to everyone and let her say goodbye. It is always so hard to watch people say goodbye. They are no fun. Sometimes you don't realize how much you love someone until you have to say goodbye. That night we helped Hna Bryant pack and get all ready to go.

Wednesday: TRANSFERS!!! oh man..... soooo..... We headed out at 8:30 to head to Moore OK for transfers. we were planning to get there at 10 but............. we got lost. We drove way out of the way! Any of you who know Oklahoma geography, we were supposed to go from Stillwater to moore, but we ended up going almost to Weatherford!!! way the heck in the wrong direction. So we totally  missed transfers. we got there at 12. we quickly switched companions and then headed out to go eat food cuz we were hungry!!!!  man. So I spent about 5 hours driving!!! It was nuts. We went to eat in Oklahoma City and I got to say hi to Hna Ryan! It was fun.

Thursday:  We had Lunch with Joyce and Arnez and it was a blast. Super fancy yummy southern meal.  and then the rest of the day Hna James and I weekly planned.. all..... day.....looooong.... man it was so tiring.

Friday: We had a relief society activity for the Day of the Dead. We decorated cookies and it was a blast. earlier that day we walked out in the pouring rain!! Since I got us lost on the way to transfers we had no miles, so we had the pleasure of walking in the rain!!! It was actually way fun.

Saturday: Hna James is awesome. She is teaching me so much and we get along so well. We had a really awesome lesson with Carmela. The spirit was strong and we got her thinking about baptism. So cool!!!! So Saturday was Halloween right.... guess what all the missionaries in our area did.... we got together at the Buckners house, ate dinner and watched Saratov Approach!!! man it was nuts! I can't believe that I got to watch a movie on my mission! Halloween was a blast though.

Sunday: Main miracle of the week happened here. ROSI AND JUAN CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh man! The missionaries have been trying for eeevvveeeerrrrr to get them to church, and this week, all on their own, they came! It was amazing.

Well this week has been awesome and I love it. I am so excited for this transfer. For everything that we are going to get done this transfer and for all of the miracles that we are going to see. I love you all so much and hope that everything is just dandy :)

Con amor,
Hermana Hilton

Hermana James and I's first day together!!!!! 

saying hi to Hna Ryan in OKC!!

decorating cookies at the relief society party!

Me and Jenny having a good time on Halloween. 

Us trying to get to transfers.....