Thursday, July 28, 2016

Week 75: habenro pepper........ aka death!!!!

Monday! We taught the Gomez family the Law of Chastity. They were so down! the loved the lesson and were like,"of course we should have a commandment like that. It just makes scene." Yessica, the mom said the closing prayer for the lesson and she prayed that her whole family would be able to be baptized. She asked God that Satan would stay away from them so that they could keep learning. I can't explain how much faith this woman has. She wants her family to be happy and to be forever and she is making it happen. Aldolfo, the dad, has been reading like crazy in the book of mormon too! I'm blown away by how much he understands and remembers too. The Gomez family is so awesome. they are working to be baptized the 6th of August.

Tuesday. We got to go to the temple as a zone and it was so good to be back in the temple. We got to meet with Maria Parra and Arturo. Our goal was to get arturo to pray, so we talked about how God wants to hear from us and how it is a commandment to pray. Then at the end of the lesson we invited Arturo to pray and after about ten minutes of silence......... go got up and walked out!!!!! I was shocked! I've never had anyone do that before..... none of us knew what to do. His wife, maria, just apologized and apologized and we apologized too. She then told us about a lot of hard stuff that is going on right now in his life. I hope that we can find a way to help him talk to his father in Heaven because he is the one that can help us! We just have to first open our mouths and share our hearts with Him. We talked to Arturo again on Wednesday and he was so excited to see us. so luckily I don't think he got offended. He was just having a hard day.

Wednesday: We had an awesome lesson with Ashley and Irvin and Axel about fasting. They thought it was the coolest thing ever and we all decided to fast together on Sunday. Ashley was super excited. After the lesson we said goodbye to Reymundo and then had dinner/played volleyball with the branch! It was so much fun. All the little kids and adults were playing together and everyone is so LOUD which makes it way fun. We also helped with Young Womens which was really fun as well.

Thursday: we went over to Reyna's house to have a lesson with her when the cable guys showed up. Thank goodness we were their because the cable guys didn't speak a lick of spanish and reyna doesn't speak a lick of english. So we helped her with the language and rearranged her room to accommodate a TV. It was so funny. At one point we were trying to move the bed and her roommate luli got squished between the bed post and the dresser. Her eyes got really big and she started laughing so hard! oh man. We all were rolling on the floor laughing together. :)

Friday: Well bike day! We were on bikes and it was sooooooooooooo hot. Like 107, super humid, and we were out in the heat of the day. Man. I've never been so sweaty in my life. Its gross. We needed to get out of the sun so we stopped by the Ordonez's house. They let us in and gave us water and we ended up talking for a long while. They pulled out their old photos and Hermano told us his conversion story. It is so amazing to see how the spirit works in peoples live, and more than anything how he can change lives. I was blown away by his story. They bought us burritos and we ate and chatted for a while and then we headed back out into the heat. We had a very sweaty hot productive rest of the day.

Saturday: Do yall remember Rosa De La Cruz?? she is from the dominican republic. We were teaching her a while back and then stopped. But we found her again and had a lesson with her. We were so bold and the spirit was so strong! We talked to her about baptism and she said that she wants to be baptized. Excpet she told us, "Hermanas, this time I want to do it right. I am going to do my part, I'm going to do it." I believe her. She is so determined. you can see in her eyes that she is tired of the life she is living and wants to change it. She want's to be happy and feel the peace that only the spirit can bring. We set a baptismal date for September 3rd. I am really sad that I won't be there for hat, but I have no doubt that she will get baptized that day.

Sunday: we had a full house. The Gomez family game! woohoo! and Rosa came!!! and the Rodriguez family and so many other people. It was so good to see them. so story from Sunday..... I ate a habenero pepper. for any of you who haven't yet had the experience of eating a really hot pepper without anything else. DONT DO IT! It was death. I thought I was going to die. We were at a members house and I told Elder Barry that if he ate one, I would too. So Elder Barry ate one which meant that I had to too. I thought I was going to die.... after about 3 glasses of milk and a whole lot of chocolate I was able to feel my mouth again. Man. the things we do on the mission.

Well fam and friends. Its been fun and I am so grateful that I have another week to go out and serve the lord. I want to share what my dad shared with me as my, "last two weeks tip" he said:
"Just savor the time you have left and let yourself feel the peace and reassurance of the Spirit that all is well.  You fought the good fight and you are returning with honour.  Put a smile on your face and know that you are loved...  by all of us and especially by the Lord."
I think this goes for all of us. We all need to live like it is the last two weeks that we have to love the people around us. I love you all so much and I hope that you are all doing well.
Love you!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 74: Trios, Transfers, and Tr......the Priesthood!

So some miracles form the week! Buckle up because there are a lot.

Monday: We had dinner with the Vargas family and the whole time hermana was telling us how much she wants to go to the temple. She is so motivated! it was so cool. And then the second huge miracle. we decided to go try this unknown member and see if she was home. Guys, I have knocked this door probably about 20 to 25 times and no one has ever answered. But this time she answered! and she let us in! She was super nice and really wants us to teach her the lessons again. She told us that it had been about 5 years since she had seen missionaries and that it meant a ton to her that we decided to stop by. We got her phone number and everything and now are working with her. It has been amazing.

Tuesday: Oh man. Such a good day. We got to go to the temple again with Reyna. After about 2 months of not going, it was so good to go back with her. We had a lot of fun and took a lot of pictures. We introduced the churches 12-step program to her. It is so good. I have been doing it with her and I have learned so much about myself and about my Heavenly Father. I can't tell you how much I pray that this program will help Reyna gain the spiritual and physical strength to go the temple. I told her that if she goes through, I will come back because I wouldn't miss that for the world! so I tell people that I am from Aguas Calientes Mexico right? so Reyna said, "Hey! There is a restaurant called AguasCalientes. Do you want to go?" I of course said yes, so now I can say that I've been to Aguascalientes!!! woop woop!

Wednesday: We had transfers!!! We got put in a trio with Hermana Hernandez (who is absolutely amazing!) and I got to see all my mission friends for the last time. I saw Hermana Medeiros and I just wanted to cry. I love her so much and miss her even more!!!! That was probably the last time I will get to see her until she comes home from her mission. We peaced out with Hermana Hernandez and did service for Adriana. We helped her clean up her kids room. I've never seen a messier room.... it was bad.... but we had fun cleaning it and even played a little baseball haha.

Thursday: Huge miracle status ready???? After a full day of working we had about 15 minutes left before we could go home. I had this weird gut feeling that we should go see if Rosa De La Cruz was home (we stopped visiting her about 2 months ago) So I just drove over there and we knocked the door. And she was home!!! she was so excited to see us and told us that she has been wanting to come to church, but that she lost our number and hasn't been able to get a hold of us. She asked if we could find her a ride to church and told us to call her at 8am to wake her up for church. It was sooooo good to see her and to know that she still wants to learn about the church. We will see what happens with her :)

Friday: I've been thinking a lot about desires this week. At district meeting on Friday we talked about OYMing and I was just super confused the whole time. where is the balance? I'll admit it, I don't OYM everyone I see. And I can improve on it. But I could spend alllllll day everyday oyming people and not get anywhere. Where is the balance? I talked to Elder Butterfeild about it and he helped a bit. He said it's about our desires. If you don't oym someone because you are too lazy, scared, or simply don't want to. You need to repent. If you don't oym someone because you are headed to an apt or have something better to be doing, then it's ok. It all comes back to desire just like you are saying. It's been interesting trying to figure out the balance. but hey it's a never ending battle right? So I'm trying to keep my desires and motives in check with Heavenly Fathers. So that's what I learned of Friday. We got to visit the gomez family, but the parents weren't there. We just talked to Irvin about the priesthood and he is super pumped to get it on Sunday! We are all so excited for him.

Saturday: We stopped by the Gomez's house again and yet again just Ashley and Irvin were home we focused on Ashley this time and had a really powerful lesson. In the middle of it I remember thinking. hey.. Hermana Hernandez is a convert and I think she was about Ashley's age when she got baptized.... and then I asked Hna Hernandez to share how she decided to get baptized. It was exactly what Ashley needed to hear!!!! You could see the desire to be baptize grow in Ashley's eyes. I wish you all could have seen it. In the past whenever we had asked Ashley if she wanted to get baptized she was hesitant, but this time, we asked her and she quickly said yes and we set a goal for August 6th. It is amazing to see the determination grow in her. We are all so excited for her!!!!

Sunday! On man, one of the most stressful Sunday's ever! the whole Gomez family came and stayed for all three hours. So all three of us divided and conquered to get each member of the family where they needed to be. The third hour of church Irvin got the priesthood and was ordained to the office of a priest. He is on fire! His whole family was there and they were all so happy. What i think is really cool is that now Irvin will be able to baptize his family on August 6th! That family is on fire and they are doing so well. I am praying so hard that they can all get baptized on the 6th so that I can be there to see it :) I love them so much. The rest of the day I spent sleeping.... I had a really really really bad migraine headache. So when I got back from church I went straight to my bed. I couldn't move because it hurt so bad. That was about 1:30 at 5:30 the mission presidents wife, Sister Mansell, came over and made me eat some saltine crackers and drink some water and Dr. Pepper. I tried super hard to keep it down since I was also super nauseous. She stayed at the house with me while my companions went to dinner. I just tried to go back to sleep. At about 7:30 I came out of the room and drank a little bit more. I was up for about an hour an then at 8:30 I laid back down. I was out until 5:30 this morning. so after 15 hours of sleeping yesterday I am feeling a lot better and ready to go and conquer this next week!

well fam bam and friends. that was this week. Each week has new adventures and new miralces. It is so fun to see. I love each of you so much and I love my Heavenly Father. I love this work and I know it is the work of the Lord! Let's keep fighting for right!!

Hermana Hilton

Going to the temple with Reyna!! we are crazy 

Some more fun pictures from the temple. Reyna thought the pictures with the tree as "crowns" were pretty cool.  she was so proud of these pictures 

AGUAS CALIENTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is what we call a posterity picture! My two mission daughters and my new mission granddaughter! I'm such a proud mom

Yup That's President Mansell wearing a baseball cap at transfers. Haha he is pretty cool 


before and after cleaning the room! it was pretty nasty

playing a little game of room baseball haha

Hide away pizza with our homie Reymundo!! he came back to visit for the week and we got to say hi. 

WE oymed this guy rocking this ride and snagged a picture. Sadly he didn't want to learn about Jesus :(

Biking with the new crew!!!!!

The Rodriguez family! They brought us back stuff from Arizona!! It was really weird to see my first name again.... hahaha the things the mission does to do. 

uh oh..... I forgot my nametag and was Hna Hernandez for a day. haha

when you tell a member that your favorite fruit is watermelon and then they give you a whole watermelon on a plate to eat............ Yup I got it all down. 

we found a weave in the middle of the street and had a little too much fun! haha 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Week 73: A week in pictures :)

Ok I am going to try to do something a little bit different and tell yall about my week using pictures. We will see how it goes.  But first we got Transfer Doctrine this week! There is a lot of changes happening in the mission with the new mission president. But as far as me. I am staying here in the South to finish up my mission! I am so happy. Hermana Applegate will also be staying with me BUT Hermana Hernandez is going to join the crew and we are going to be in a trio! I've got a lot of mixed feelings about it, but I'm sure it will be a lot of fun. I don't know where she is going to sleep or study or put her clothes in our tiny apartment (I'm 99% sure we have the smallest apartment in the mission) but we will figure it all out. Elder Barry and Elder Barrett are staying together. So we are just adding Hermana Hernandez to the branch. It will be good. Some other transfer news. Hermana Medeiros is training! She she is getting a brand new missionary in Texas! I am so excited for her. that means I am going to be a "grandma". I'm so pumped for her. Elder Moe got the boot and is heading up to the North. After about 10 and a half months serving together it will be sad to say bye, but he will do amazing in the North.

So Monday! We had a lot of fun on P-day and went shopping. I can't remember if I don't you but our district all got matching shirts and we went crazy at sports! It was tons and tons of fun. elder barry got so sweaty and he started scooting around on the floor. If you look carefully you can see the sweat trail on the floor. His new nickname is Garry from Sponge bob.

On Tuesday we met our new mission president. President Mansell. He is a great man. We each got to meet him individually and then he talked to us. He has a lot of high expectations for this mission. He shared something that really hit me hard. He told us about the process that it takes to be called as a mission president. He said he was called into an interview with an apostale and he was asked three questions 
1. are you worthy?
2. are you able?
3. are you willing?
I think those are all questions that we should ask ourselves daily. Especially when we get callings in the church. If we can answer possitivly to each of those, the Lord will bless us immensely. 
something else he said was "If you don't think God is in the details of your life, YOUR CRAZY!"
We spent most of our day with President Mansell and his family. It was a really neat experience. I have so much to learn from him. 

On a random side note, he played tennis for BYU and so I am trying to play a match with him! 

 Wednesday was a blast! We had service at food bank and I helped this super duper nice guatamalen family. If felt like we had been life-long friends, but it was the first time that I met them. Then we taught Ashley and Irvin the plan of salvation. Irvin is so funny the whole time he just asked, "then why do we have ghosts?? I know ghosts are real because I watch Ghost Adventures, so where are they in the plan?" Oh man I died. this kid. We tried our best to help him understand. Then after the lesson we went to the farwell party for Johnathan Espinosa. He is going into the marines. It was so much fun. We got to socialize with a lot of people and take all kinds of pictures will all kinds of little kids! here are the Ochoa's two kids :) 

Thursday we helped Yesika Cordier set up a yard sale. I didn't know people could have so much stuff..... It was crazy..... But we had a lot of fun going through all of their clothes and setting out kids toys. We had dinner with Rosa and Miguel like we do every thursday, except for this time Miguel tried to help cook the food. He cooked us corn on the cob smothered in mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. he was sooooo proud of is crazy corn. To end off the day we had a lesson with the Garcia family. They are a less active family that we have been working with for a while. Their son, Alex is 9 and isn't baptized. So we decided to set a baptismal date with him. After a super powerful lesson on the plan of salvation Alex said he wanted to be baptized and we set the goal for August 6th! We also talked to his dad Cesar about renewing his priesthood power so that he can do the baptism. Cesar got really excited and the family is on fire! we are praying so hard that they will be able to keep up the progression. I love them so much! 

Friday!!! I'm running out of time but I will get in as much as I can! Elder Barry's mom send us these super sick shirts!!! I love it so much!!!! We got in with Reyna and we had a heart to heart with her. She admitted to drinking and smoking again and broke down into tears. She said that when she isn't at church that she really just wants to go but that it is super hard for her to come. She told us that for the past little bit she has been really really angry with God. She realized though that distancing herself from Him wasn't solving any of her problems. She asked us if we could go visit the temple again. She said, I need to feel peace again. It's awesome to know that we have somewhere we can go when we need to feel peace. keep Reyna in your prayers. I love her so much it hurts. 

oh and this is a random guy we saw..... okalhomians are so weird. haha 

Saturday we spend a big chunck of our day helping out at Hermana Escobar's house again! It was so much fun I got to know Paola her granddaughter pretty well. We had a lot of fun picking up a bunch of trash out of the lawn while everyone else was inside tearing down more drywall. At one point Elder Barrett and I were dragging a big tree we had chopped down from the front yard to the back yard. We were getting pretty close when Elder Barrett dropped the tree which caused the whole thing to land on my ankle! My foot was stuck under the tree and I couldn't get it out for a while. I have a pretty good battle wound from it. After service I went on exchanges with Sister Call. We had a lot of fun talking to everyone we saw! 

and last but not least, Sunday! We had quite a few people at church. Reyna came for sacrament, so I was super duper happy about that! So ready for a major fail. I am sitting behind the piano playing prelude and looking at everyone when one of the members tells Irvin to go sit with the people that pass the sacrament so that he can pass the sacrament. And I'm thinking in my head, "wait what?? Irvin can't pass the sacrament because he doesn't have the priesthood yet... or does he have it... no I don't think he does... Do I stop playing the piano and go talk to someone...... uh oh....." As I was thinking Uh oh the meeting started. We sang the first hymn and then during the prayer I scooted over to the first counciler and asked quickly if Irvin had the priesthood. He said yup, so Irvin passed the sacrament. We talked to Irvin afterwards and asked when he got the priesthood. He had no idea what we were talking about. We said, you know when they put their hands on your head for the second time. he gave us a strange look and then said.... they never did that.  Uh oh.... So we ran off to the branch presidents office and asked him about it again and we looked on the church website to be sure and it turns out that Irvin doesn't have the priesthood yet! woops!!! It was super funny. The good thing is that it was an honest mistake and Irvin had no idea that he shouldn't have done it. On the bright side Irvin really enjoyed passing the sacrament to everyone so maybe it will motivate him to get the priesthood so that he can actually do it. haha  

This is Hermano Cabello and his mom!

When you can't wake up your companion and decide to use a boat horn

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Week 72: Merry 4th of July!!

Monday: (like June 27th) for p-day we went to the zoo. It was fun minus the fact that it was soooooooo hot!!! Hot enough that most of the animals were inside, or hiding in the shade or water. You know that when it is too hot for the elephants to be outside, it's HOT!  We had a family night with the DeLeon's. little Adriana, who is 11 gave the lesson on Obedience. She did way good. Then we had dinner at a members home. I will leave out the name, but family, friends, I have never been more angry at ***** my entire life. I wanted to reach over and rip her head off. I won't bore yall with details, but that night I came home and I was so angry that I had a hard time praying. I just lashed out to the Lord and told him everything. Then I felt the Lord's hand on my shoulder telling me everything was going to be ok. That's when the tears started coming. I knew that this anger wasn't good. It wasn't Christ-like at all. But as I was praying I knew that Christ understood exactly what I was feeling. After finishing my prayer and not being able to sleep and not knowing what else to do I decided to open up the Book of Mormon. I just flipped open and Helaman 10:3-5 opened up.

3 And it came to pass as he was thus pondering -- being much cast down because of the wickedness of the people of the Nephites, their secret works of darkness, and their murderings, and their plunderings, and all manner of iniquities -- and it came to pas as he was thus pondering in his heart, behold, a voice came unto him saying:
4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, (Hna Hilton) for those things which thou hast done; for I have behold how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but has sought my will, and to keep my commandments.
5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to the word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.

This was an answer to my prayers. It was what I needed to hear at that time. Thanks to a loving Heavenly Father we can receive answers to our prayers and comfort to our souls.

Tuesday: We got to see a loooooot of less active members. That is what we are focused on right now. The members that need a little bit of help and love. We visited Hermana Escobar and then were biking over to our dinner appointment with Hermana Applegate's tire popped!!! Yup.... so we walked the rests of the way. Luckily the elders had Nerry coming out with them so they gave us the car, otherwise we would have spent the rest of the evening walking home about 8 miles. woop woop! thanks elderen!

Wednesday: We had our first lesson with Irvin since he got back from Mexico. It was really good. We talked to him about reading. He told us that he hasn't been doing it, but that he would start reading again. We had Junior come and Irvin was sooo happy to see him. It was a sweet reunion.

Thursday: We got a new mission President. As of Thursday President Walkenhorst was released and Presient Mansell got here. We got to briefly meet President Mansell as he walked into the mission office while we were there. They are big tennis fans, so I think we will get along :) We taught Ashley and Irvin at their house that evening and we talked about the Doctrine of Christ. Ashley said she doesn't know if she is sure about baptism. I think her hold us is that she doesn't want to give up the coffee. Their parents came in the last five minutes of the lesson but we had to head out.

Friday: So In my studies Friday morning I found a bunch of really really good quotes. I want to share them with yall.
"Every man eventually is backed up to the wall of faith, and there he must make his stand."
"I am enough because I am His."
Both very very true points that I have come to learn this week. With what happened on Monday and other things that have happened this week with members and investigators and other missionaries I have had to look at that wall of faith and decide what to do. It has been a really trying experience all week and honestly it is still going. It is something that is always going. I am daily facing that wall of faith and deciding to give my will over to the Lord. I found a quote in the 12-step book it says, "This submission to the Lord is hard doctrine. It requires us to rededicate ourselves to His will at the start of each day and sometimes every hour or even from moment to moment. As we are willing to do so, we find the grace, or enabling power, to do what we could not do for ourselves."

Saturday: We spent 4 hours of our morning doing service for Hermana Escobar. Her daughter bought a house, but the house was in a fire. So the kitchen and the front room were burnt. They bought the house and are remodeling in little by little. We went over and helped her. Our job was to knock down a wall and strip all the walls and ceiling of everything. Man was it an adventure! we had a lot of fun :) There were a couple times when someone should have gotten seriously hurt, but thankfully we all made it out alive. Saul at one point was trying to cut a floorboard with a machete knife!!! We were pulling off burnt sheet rock and burnt insulation out of everywhere!

Sunday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY IRVIN!!! Irvin turned 16 today. The sad thing is that I forgot.... I did remember on monday though, so we went over and told him Happy birthday. Everyone was on vacations, so a lot of people didn't come to church, but guess who did???? THE GOMEZ FAMILY!!! the whole family came. Even with the holiday weekend and even with Irvin's birthday. They loved testimony meeting. When they all walked in my heart jumped. I was so excited!

Monday: MERRY 4TH OF JULY AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASHLEY GOMEZ!!! So yup today was the 4th of July it was pretty uneventful this year. President Mansell told us we have to be home at normal times, so 9pm We had p-day which was a blast! We couldn't email so us and the elders and two other sisters went to old-navy! we had waaaay to much fun. We all bought matching shirts and rolled up to sports all wearing them. It was way funny. They were super cheap too! we had dinner at a members house and it was one of the fanciest dinners of my life. Then we taught the Gomez's the word of wisdom. It went well. They are so prepared. The kids are still trying to figure out if they want to get baptized but the parents are all in! Then we headed home. We planned for the next day and decided to go on a night stroll to see if we could see any fireworks. We saw a total of 3! woop woop! but yup that was our 4th.

Well yall. I just want to say that I know this church is true. I love the gospel and more than anything I love living it. It has brought me so much joy.

Last monday we went to the zoo. It was a blast! 

We aer still biking every other day! I think this day it was about 100 degrees outside with crazy crazy crazy crazy humidity. I've never been so sweaty in my entire life!

On Saturday we did service for hermana Escobar. This is the house that was burnt that they are trying to save. And yes that is saul in the ceiling 

For the 4th we went to old navy as a district and all got matching t-shirts! we rocked p-day sports!!! #datcrew

The Chavez family prepared us a super fancy 4th of July dinner. We had a lot of fun spending a little bit of time with them 

An adventure trying to find the fireworks!! We say a total of three! woop woop happy fourth of July!