Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 61: 2 Tamales and a Book of Mormon Play!

Merry Abril 18th!

THE BOOK OF MORMON ACTIVITY WAS A SUCCESSSSSS!!!!!!!!! Thanks to the help of sooooo many people. Members, missionaries, family back home, and random citizen's trash, we were able to pull it off. This whole week was devoted to the activity. It was crazy. Man. It is a miracle that we were able to pull it all off. Miracle after miracle after miracle happened to help it happen, but en el fin de cuentas it happened!!!! The actual activity was Friday the 15th. Including actors we had a total of about 70 people show up. Which we were all very happy with. Preparations to make it happen included: running to stores, setting up lights, making a fog machine, decorating rooms, painting cardboard, making desert, cooking food, assigning costumes, making palm trees, setting everything up, making pillars, rehearsing with members, setting up chairs, building a boat, and so much more. Here is mas o menos what the week looked like:

Monday: We got to relax a little bit for our preparation day and we went to the zoo with our zone! It was a lot of fun. We watched the elephants eat, the bears fight, the lions roar, and a hippo poop. Hermana Medeiros and I found the cutest rings I have ever seen and we bought the same one! so now we have companionship unity rings! They are super cute. The weather was perfect for pictures because it was overcast so we took advantage of that  :) We had dinner with the Ordonez and we had papusas!! And they were sooo good! Her family is literally the best! They're so fun! And she taught us how to make them too so now I know how to make papusas. woop woop! all of our appointments fell through, so we went and invited some less actives to the activity.

Tuesday: We stopped by radio shack to get the right cords for the projectors and a music store to get adapters for the mics. pretty much a bunch of errands. We sorted through the costumes and painted cardboard to make pillars for Lehi's house. The whole building smelt like paint. We made more palm tree leaves. Hermano Pimentel took us to taste of china.... again!!! the buffet he takes us to every time he feeds us haha. After dinner we went back to the church and had practice. Miguel was hilarious! he has a one sentence line and he couldn't remember it so we wrote it on his scroll that he holds up for his part. The entire night he was pacing around the church practicing his one line. He is so funny. He was so nervous for his part!

Wednesday: we started off with errands again in the morning. We went to buy for less and bought Hermana Quiroz ingredients for beans. We couldn't find the meat that she wanted, so we went on a mad chase to find longanisa. We also had to open up the church for a funeral. It was for a 19 year old guy named Emilio. He committed suicide. Going to that funeral was super hard for me for reasons I won't go into. I watched the mom walk in and see her son in his casket. She broke down. I couldn't hold back my tears either. I watched so many people come in and cry. People I know and love and people I haven't ever met. It was really hard. It made me even more grateful for the plan of salvation. It was also a bit of a reality check for me. I am thankful for eternal families. We made a quick run to the mission office and I got to see Hermana James! She is training again in Stillwater. She will do good. We went back to the church and kept working on the play.  the YW helped us cut palm tree leaves and we took our dinner hour at 8. We ate super quickly so we could play volleyball the rest of our dinner hour. It was a blast to play with all the members! So much fun!

Thursday: Last day prepartions!!!!!!!!!!. President walkenhorst stopped by and dropped off the mission's mics and told us to guard them with our lives haha, no worries we didn't break any of them. Rosa and Miguel brought us flautas to the church since we didn't have time to leave. They are so nice. The ZL's were there helping us so Miguel went home and came back with more flautas for everyone. We had our last dress rehersel with everyone and barely made it home at 9:58 a full day of preparations. I have never been more tired.

Friday: SHOW TIME!!!! We ran some super last minute errands and had to return and get different cords, we tried to finish setting up for the activity and Hermana Medeiros and I made some dessert we had at a members house one time. She told us it was fruit (strawberries, apples, and grapes) mixed into sour cream and powdered sugar. it definitely didn't quite taste like hers but we had no other choice. and we were suppose to make enough for 100, but we miscalculated our ingredients and only made about 55.... so we spread them over the tables which helped our decorating... haha From about 4 to 10 I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off! I was trying to make sure everything was in order and ready to go. The activity started an hour late, but it was really good! Everyone loved it and the food was soooo good! Rosa and Reyna both made 100 tamales so 200 total and we were able to give everyone 2. We had about 70 people there so there were extra tamales for people to take home and it was just a super fun night! Everyone who came loved it and they were all praising us afterwards. I didn't think we were going to be able to pull it off, but somehow we did! The Lord definitely had his hand in it all!

Saturday: It took us all day to clean up. We folded everything and organized all the members things that they let us borrow into piles and helped take down lights and roll extension cords, i never knew it was possible to have so many extension cords with so few outlets. Miracle of the night was that we didn't blow a fuse and the gym didn't catch on fire.... but really. Hermano Garcia took us out to dinner.... where??? Taste of china round 2. Man. We finished up and headed home.

Sunday: we had a huge thunder storm. It kept us up all night and in the middle of it all I'm pretty sure we had an earthquake. crazy Oklahoma. We met the stake clerk at the church and updated the ward roster. That took a while, but we got it done. Hermano Romero (the mission leader) got called as the new 2nd councilor! he will be really good. Team fuego is baccckkk! I am so ready to put my feet on the pavement and start doing missionary work again! After dinner with the Guerreros, we went to try a referral, didn't answer so we decided to knock 2 doors and we ended up oyming a 3rd. We were able to give away 2 book of Mormons and get 2 return appointments!! It felt so good go be meeting new people and talking to people again. Missionary work is the best!!!

So transfers are this week and I have news............ Hermana Medeiros and I are staying together!!!! woooohooo!!! I am so happy. It will be a good transfer and we are going to work so hard. I am ready for the miracles to come. Elder Schwartz sadly is leaving. He will be dearly missed her in this area. He has done so much good here. Guess who is taking his spot..... .ELDER BARRY!!!!!! AHHH!!!!! when I found out I seriously was soooo excited!!! He is my mission brother! It is going to be really fun. I am pumped!  It will be so good for me and for the branch. There were so many changes this transfer. Hermana Medeiros and I are the only companionship who aren't changing. Everyone else in our zone is changing. So that will be fun.

Sorry there isn't much spiritual stuff in this email. I have learned more than anything that teamwork is so important. if you and your companion don't work as a team, nothing is going to get done. In everything that we do we need a team. The best team that we are always  a part of is, you, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. They are team mates that will never let us down.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Hermana Hilton

Our zone at the Zoo!!!!

Trying on hats in the gift shop :)

THis is Hermana Ordonez. She taught me how to make papusas! soooo good.

So I forgot to put this in the big email. On Monday I bought a ring from the zoo right? Tuesday I lost it!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had looked everywhere I could think of and nothing.... On Wednesday morning we went to a members house to try and find it. No luck. Then we tried Subway. again no luck. Then Hermana Medeiros goes. maybe you threw it away with your sandwich... So dumpster diving we went! I had thrown my sandwich away at the church and when we went back and looked in the subway bag there it was all nice and safe!! woohoo!!!!!  

This is Melissa from the north! She came down for the funeral and we got to go to the mission office with her. I love her so much! It was good to see you Melissa!

now that what I call a full trunk.

The beginning stages of setting up.

hahaha this is Elder Thomas. He got pretty tired and decided to take a quick power nap. So funny!!!!

Practicing one last time before the big performance

making our desert in my makeshift apron! haha

Performance night! this is all the stage crew waiting backstage for our entrance

Say hi to King Noah! He did an amazing job!

One of my all time favorite families!! the Yanez family.

its a miracle we didnt' start a fire...... gotcords?

Us and the zone leaders after a long day of take down!

Yup I got pretty pooped after taking everything down!

before taste of china..... round 2

setting up lights for the play! go Elder Schwartz!

do you think we have enough Tamales?? Thank goodness we did!!!

Shout out to Grandma Teresa. I miss you grandma and I think about you always. I can't wait until the day I can give you a big hug and know that we will never be separated again. I love you Grandma :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Week 60: Crunch Time!!!

Good morning!!! So this week has been so busy. We are going 120 miles per hour to get this Book of Mormon activity to work. This Friday the 15th we are having a HUGE branch activity. I believe I have talked about it before, but if I haven't here is a little bit about it. It is called A Journey to the Promised Land. It will be a play. like actors and costumes and memorized lines and lights and even a fog machine! so like super legit. The members of the branch are going to be Book of Mormon characters like Lehi, Nephi, Samuel the Lamanite, King Noah, Abinadi, King Benjamin, Moroni, and I might be forgetting some people. We are going to get to know their stories and "live" a little bit in the life that they lived. I am super excited! as exciting as it is, it has also been super stressful because we are the ones (us and the elders) that have to make it happen. We are coordinating practices, finding and making decorations, recording music, cooking food, passing the word, and much much much more. It will all be worth it when this activity is a huge success though! So pretty much that has been the focus of everything this week. Luckily the Lord has been very merciful and has placed little miracles here and there that have helped me get through the week. Here are a few of them.

So last Monday the 4th we were sitting in the Walmart parking lot after shopping, waiting for the Elders to get finished. This lady pushing a cart walks by and looks at us. She keeps walking and then all of a sudden stopped. She back tracked a little and looked at us again. Hermana Medeiros and I are a little weirded out by this point, but the lady proceeds to walk up to our car. I rolled down the window and she quickly said, "I want you to come to my house!" then us, "uhhh ok." She said after that, "I have been thinking a lot about religion and I just get so frustrated! There are so many denominations but only one Jesus! I just want to know which one is the right one." A little shocked and super excited I said, "Well I think we can help you! :)" She gave us her information and we sent it to the missionaries who cover where she lives. They went and taught her on Saturday and said she is doing really well. That was such a mind-blowing miracle.

Wednesday we had the opportunity to serve Yessica. It was a crazy crazy adventure! She wanted us to help her clean out her house and her backyard so that she could have a yard sale. Oh man. Going through other people's stuff is not my thing. (especially if I can't throw things away!) We moved a lot of stuff to the front of their house and got it all set up for a yard sale. The whole time Yessica's little girl Mila was helping us out. She is soooo stinking cute! After service on Wednesday we went around the northern part of South OKC and invited all of our less actives to the activity. and a miracle happened!!!! EVERYONE ANSWERED!!! I have knocked these doors a million times before and no one had answered. But this time literally every single door we knocked opened. It was amazing to finally get to meet the people and get to know them a little bit.

Friday we had a BIG rehersal with all the cast members for our activity. Elder Schwartz's family sent all his costumes to him, so we also had a lot of fun trying on all the costumes. I was blown away by how much he has and how much his family sent him.

Trying on costumes with all the kidlets!

Saturday we were able to go teach a lesson to the De La Cruz family. Rafael and Rosa and their mom was there. The mom told us that she is going back to the Dominican Republic on Friday (so like last Friday) So she wanted us to come over and have one last lesson with her and with her kids. We talked about the Doctrine of Christ. It was so cool to see her bear her testimony to her kids about how this gospel has changed her life. She wants so bad for her children to have the peace and knowledge that she has found. I think that all of our parents want that for us. I know I am so grateful for parents that taught me. It was a bittersweet goodbye.

This is the De La Cruz family!! Rafael, Mama, and Rosa!  They are awesome!

Another fun thing we did on Saturday. In the morning we helped with the Elemetary School track meet! So much fun! we helped all the little 5th and 6th graders in the long jump. way fun.

Sunday evening we went over to the Ordonez's home. We went over there to coordinate some things for the activity. We ended up talking with them for a little bit and I have never laughed so hard. I love this family soooo much! Hermano Ordonez asked us "wait... what happens if you are on your bikes and a tornado comes?" (he was so worried) and I said, "well we better pedal realllllllly fast!" he laughed and laughed and laughed. We joked around about that for a while. Then when he asked Hermana Medeiros to say the prayer before we left he asked where she was from. She said Ukatan (a state in Mexico) and he goes "oh... for real! how much time do you have here?" hahaha we laughed and laughed and laughed again. He totally believed her and the whole time his wife was laughing because she knows that we aren't from Mexico. Hermana Ordonez laughed so hard that she was crying. To be able to laugh with them that night really was a miracle. It was a well needed relief. I love the Ordonez family so much.

Well I think that just about sums up everything that I want to tell you guys. I have studied a ton about prayer this week. We had a district meeting on it. I have been studying it and then after that church was all about prayer. I know that it is the way that we can communicate with our father in heaven. He wants to pour blessings out on us. We just have to ask him in prayer. I am really working on having more sincere prayers and I know it has already begun to help. I know that our Heavenly Father listens to our prayers because we are literally children of Him.. He loves us so much. I hope and pray that you all had a wonderful week and we will see you next week!!!

Les quiero!
Hermana Hilton

This is the Romero family! brother romero is our branch mission leader and sister romero is the relief society president.

 This is cute little Mila!!!! we did service at her house :)

#teamfuego with the bomoberos!

 Just the girls

 I love this guy! Jorge Ramirez! we were having too much fun with our crowns :)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Week 59: La Conferencia General

Oh family and friends. I love you.

I am so grateful for this weekend that we have had to listen to our church leaders. I learned so many amazing things from general conference this time around. Here are some of my all time favorite quotes!

May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. -President Thomas S Monson

To believe, we need to get the gospel from our heads into our hearts!  -Bonnie L Oscarson

If you cannot say you know God is there, you can hope that He is. You can desire to believe. That is enough to start. -Dieter F Uchtdorf

There is no life so shattered that it cannot be restored. -Deiter F Uchtdorf

In today’s world, no matter where we live and no matter what our circumstances are, it is essential that our preeminent identity is as a child of God. -Donald L Hallstrom

These are just a few of the many many many wonderful things that we said in General Conference. I know that these men are called of God. They lead and guide us. We can be happy and have joy in this life as we head to the things the Spirit teaches us when we listen to their words. I know it. I am so grateful that twice a year we get to hear from them and set aside a weekend to be edified. There are many things that I discovered that I need to work on. One of them being forgiving others and most importantly forgiving myself. There are so many discouragements and doubts in this life, but if we have Christ as our rock, we won't fall. He won't let us. This doesn't mean that the hard times one come. It means we will be able to get through them. There is a Mormon message about a man who battled with a drug addiction. He said he finally decided to go to his knees and pray to the Lord. He states, "I didn't know what I was expecting to happen. So I though if he were right here in from of me, what would I want him to say? I thought, well I just want him to take this and say ," thanks, I got this." and instead at that moment I heard a question. "Will you let me take this?""  We must let Christ take our burdens. We must turn to him. It is the only way. I am beginning to see that this isn't just a once and your done thing. It is a daily plead we must do. We must give our will to Christ. Then He can heal us. 3 Nephi 9:13  "will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal‍ you?" Once we let go and let him heal us we find joy, we feel the love of our Savior. One of my favorite songs ever is "Multiplied" It expresses exactly how I feel about this love of our Savior.

Your love is like radiant diamonds
Bursting inside us we cannot contain
Your love will surely come find us
Like blazing wildfires singing Your name

God of mercy sweet love of mine
I have surrendered to Your design
May this offering stretch across the skies
These Hallelujahs be multiplied

Well I guess yall probably want to know how the week went, so we will get to that a bit.
Monday was awesome it was Hermana Medeiros' birthday and we had a fiesta!!!!! It included a lot of basketball, a piƱata, a cake, and a whole lot of laughing. FELIZ CUMPLEANOS MIJA!!!!!! TE QUIERO TAN MUCHO!!! We had a lot of fun.

Tuesday was pretty crazy too. we went on another temple trip with Reyna. She is really preoccupied with a lot of stuff going on with her family right now and isn't really sure where to go. She is in a lot of need of direction from God. The best part is that she is looking in the right places for that help that she needs. I love her so much and she reminds me so much of you mom. I don't know why, but you two have a lot in common. :) She came to conference on sunday and it was perfect for all of her worries and questions. I am so proud of her that she continues onward even when so many things aren't going her way. She is a saint and I love her so much.

Wednesday we worked a toooooooon on the Book of Mormon activity that we have quickly approaching the 15th of April. Elder Schwartz has written out a full play and we are practicing with members and making decoration and recording music and working like crazy to figure it all out! It is going to be soo legit when it all comes together!!! I wish you could all be there. We are even going to have a smoke machine!!!! A lot of our time and energy has been going to that and I pray that everything will go well.

Thursday we had exchanges which means that I was with Hermana Johnson for a day. IT was way fun. We went and taught Erik. He read!!!!!!!!! #miracle I can't tell you how amazing that is. He said he would be baptized too! woohoo! He really has a sincere heart and real intent. THe only thing is.... He is more comfortable in English so I think we are going to have to pass him over to the English missionaries since we work strictly with Spanish speakers.

Friday we went over with the elders to give Reyna a blessing of strength and guidance. It was amazing to see her resolve change and be strengthened through the power of the priesthood. They change that came about her was physical. you could see the determination, the peace, the confidence of the Lord on her face. The priesthood is real.

Saturday was the start of conference! In between the two sessions Hna Medeiros and I went to Texas Roadhouse to celebrate her birthday and also my late birthday. Them back to the church for conference. We had dinner at the Vargas home and we had a barbeque outside. Way good hamburgers!!! then back the church to do more Book of Mormon activity preparations #palmtrees

Sunday we again watched General Conference. In the evening we took Hermana Quiroz to go visit Rosa. We taught the Plan of Salvation and man. You can see that Rosa is really beginning to become interested in all of this "Mormon stuff" haha She is starting to feel that hunger and starting to get fed by the spirit. It is a wonderful process to see. She also said that if she finds that it is true she will be baptized! She has a sincere desire to learn. Rosa and Hermana Quiroz get along sooooo well! I love it!

The work is moving along here in the Hispanic population of south Oklahoma City. It is a privilege and a joy to get to serve the Lord here. To end I want to end with one more quote from General Conference.

Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever. -Jeffery R Holland

It's true. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are cheering us on. I love you all so much and hope that you have a wonderful week!!!!

Hermana Hilton

Family Night with the Deleon Family and their brand new puppies!!!

hehehehe Hermana Medeiros' birthday party at Rosa's house! the good old Mordida!

Exchanges with Hermana Johnson!

Some of the palm trees that we are working on for the activity

late birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse with my favorite mija ever!!!!

barbeque at the Vargas' house! With good old dad fixing the car in the background haha.

Conference weekend woop woop!!!!!!