Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Address!!

Hilary leaves for Tampa early on Monday, September 28th! You can write to her at the following address:

Hermana Hilary Vaughan-Schultz
Florida Tampa Mission
13153 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. Suite 109
Tampa, FL 33618

Last Week in the MTC - September 25 e-mail

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oh my, I don't even know where to start!

I am going to miss the MTC SSSOOOOOO much! The MTC is definitely hard, but I have met so many amazing people. It is the perfect environment to engulf yourself in the gospel. The amount of learning is unbelievable. I cannot wait to return when my husband and I serve a mission.

More thoughts on the MTC... Anyone who reads this and is thinking about going on a mission, GO! That is the leap of faith Heavenly Father wants you to take. As I have talked to so many people, they all came for different reasons. Whether it be, “it is what we're supposed to do”, or “my family wants me to”... even, “a girl won't marry me unless I go.” But I can guarantee you that everyone leaves the MTC and goes into the field with the same reason; to serve Jesus Christ. It is amazing. The MTC is a refiner’s fire. You are tired all of the time, don't really get any personal time... you totally submit your will to the LORD and truly forget yourself. Once you find this, then you feel happiness you have never felt before. It is sooo true! Ahh, I’m going to miss it terribly; but, now it is on to the real reason I came on a mission, to serve the Lord and loose myself in the service of the people in Tampa.

Any takers on where my first area is?! I was excited to hear the President Southworth’s son and wife are in Tampa. I’ll definitely have to make a dinner appointment if I’m in their area. :-)

We were in a large group meeting and the speaker was talking about the time when he got back from his mission and how sad he felt when he took his name tag off. I started to cry. President Southworth, I am not looking forward to that day. I will proudly accept it, and I hope I can look back and say I did a good job. But honestly, I’m going to cry like a little baby. I just know. So, I am apologizing in advanced.

Doris is doing amazing! Well on her way into reactivation! :-) Yay!!!! It makes me so happy. I was really amazed on all the feedback I got from people for singing to her on the phone. I think, just like how in John14:26-27, every person has the light of Christ, and their testimony is brought back to their remembrance. This last week I have done a great deal of pondering on my conversion with the opportunity to address the sisters at the MTC and some of the area leaders and share my conversion. I really noticed how influential the Light of Christ really is. That is what I saw in the people in the Gospel. That is what I wanted but I didn't know where to find it. Through some rather unusual circumstances, and for that I am eternally grateful, I came to the knowledge of these wonderful things. I know that God has a plan for me personally, and every one of his children. My brothers and sisters, isn't that soooo amazing! I know that everything in this life that seems unfair can be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that I would have never been healed from the struggles that I have had, both done to me and mistakes that I have made, without this knowledge. I want soooo badly for people to know this. I want so badly to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands so the spirit can touch people the same way it did me when I sat across the table from the missionaries. I know when you have a witness like this (as an investigator) and it may seem impossible to make the commitment to be baptized... maybe because of family or an addiction... but I know the promise in 1 Nephi 7 is so true, more now than ever. I clung to these verses, v.8 that I might be an example, v.12 that I might have this faith to have v.17, my bands broken. I know this can be true for everyone. I want to share this with the people in Tampa. I shared these scriptures when I spoke in relief society. I told the sisters that they could promise this to the investigators. If they submit their will to the Lord’s and have faith in Him, then He WILL break their bands. I look at my life now, and I feel so amazingly blessed!!! Heavenly Father really does take care of you.

Something that struck me today in the temple as I was sitting in the Celestial Room, is how important it is to preach the gospel 2 by 2. I think that is the biggest mistake Adam and Eve made, was to not be 2 by 2 and it allowed Satan to tempt them. It is sooo important. If anyone thinks that because they are a missionary that Satan won't tempt them, or that their struggles from before will go away, it is wrong. Satan does everything he can to make a missionary not feel good enough or tries to falter a missionary’s testimony. The first week here I was numb, I didn't know what was going on... the second week, I think I was shown my weaknesses. I think Heavenly Father wants us to know our weaknesses, so we can recognize His help in all things and that we cannot do it alone without Him. I know it is Satan that makes a person not feel good enough for something or someone. We need to know our weaknesses so we can make them stronger. I am not good at learning languages. If you put a physiology book in front of me and I am all good and loving it. So, I fully know that every bit of Spanish I can speak is because it is given to me from God. There is absolutely no way I could do it on my own. I reached my goal. I can teach every lesson in Spanish. I tried to exercise as much faith as I could. A week ago I would have said it was impossible. I just know now that Heavenly Father will have me teach the law of chastity first week or something. :-) Fun-fun!

Love you all!!!

Hermana Vaughan-Schultz

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week 8 - MTC e-mail September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009

So we had a (un dia en el campo) yesterday. We taught 14 lessons in Spanish, and contacted a bunch! It was awesome. My tongue was sore just from speaking Spanish for so long. Weird, I know, but I think I’m getting the rolling rrrrrr down. That was 7 hours of teaching in one day... it is exciting.

We got our flight plans yesterday! :-) I jumped up and down. It is sad though, I have built so many relationships with the sisters here. My roommates are my best friends now. We’re planning on rooming together at Utah State when we get back. They are serving in New York, New York South.

Two nights ago was really neat. We taught the second lesson for the first time as a companionship. The second lesson is pretty hard in English, let alone Spanish. But, we did it. The spirit was there and it was strong. I’m sure I didn't speak very good Spanish, but I was able to share things that I have never before said. I was able to share experiences about family, and form sentences that I never had before. It was soooo neat. The spirit helps you so much when it comes to speaking Spanish. After, I could hardly speak English. For the first time, I had to think of how to say things in English. I’m afraid by the time I get home I won’t know how to speak any English :-)

The swine flu has invaded our zone... some of the Elders have been quarantined. No bueno! pero, esta bien. Just pray that no one in our district gets it... if we do our departure is delayed.

I think there was confusion in my last letter... I actually speak this Sunday, not the last Sunday. But, thank you for all of the wonderful comments and support. I’ll let you know how it goes...

I had a wonderful time in the temple this week... of last week in the temple, I was standing at the top of the stairs waiting for another group to come up, and I was just leaning over to my companion saying, "Sometimes I secretly wish I could see someone I know here." Not even two seconds later, there’s Joe Edmonds. It was really nice to see someone that I knew from home. But today, while sitting in the celestial room, I said a prayer, wanting to be led to a scripture that heavenly father wants me to understand. It was so cool, because after, I opened right to DC 84. So amazing. I felt like I was being told by the spirit how I could be a better missionary, and what I need to focus on.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Week 7 - MTC e-mail September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009


Another great and wonderful time at the MTC! Gotta love it here!

I have a really bum thumb, so all that get a letter this week, I’m sorry but my handwriting is worse than it usually is, which was bad in the first place...

I just want to thank everyone for their support. You have no idea how much a letter in the mail, can cheer you up and lift your spirits. So I wanted to thank everyone... (I'm asking for mailing addresses because I don't have time to e-mail everyone, but I want to write)

Spanish is coming along pretty well. Each day I add more and more to the lessons. I decided to push myself a little bit harder and try to work on the last 3 lessons. We never get to those in the MTC. But I have a goal of being able to teach ALL of the lessons before I leave. We teach the first lesson for the last time tonight.

Whew, time is flying by. Next week we get our flight plans. It is like better than Christmas day when the flight plans come in the mail room. Generally we hear shouting and lots of excitement. Even crying. I have found that God doesn't want you to get comfortable. I think I wrote about that last time, but after this week I have found that to be true even more. If we get comfortable, then we are not stretched. If we don't get put in situations where we can grow, then the Lord can't polish us into what he wants. IT IS SOOO TRUE! Here at the MTC, as soon as I would get comfortable, even the slightest, with a principle or speaking... something would come up... last week I got a letter in my mail box from the Mission President’s wife asking me to speak in Relief Society. I was like, “what? Not me. They don't want me to speak in there. It is special and only general authorities speak there.” Well, yesterday I met with the Mission President’s wife for what was supposed to be a 30 min interview, and it turned into being an hour and 10 minutes. The Primary General President is coming to speak and she wanted a conversion story to be shared and somehow they picked me... soooo... we spent that time going into vivid detail of my conversion. It was so wonderful. We cried together, laughed together, and bore strong testimony to each other. She is an amazing woman and I want to be like her someday. If I could be half the person she is I would be happy. So, wish me luck! I’m really nervous and Heavenly Father is certainly stretching me with this one! I’ll let you know how it goes. I know this is a blessing from Heavenly Father. I know that I will gain something form it, and I hope the sisters at the MTC will gain something from it.

In Preach my Gospel, it says that great spiritual experiences are rare and they are usually calm tender feelings... well, to be honest. I feel so blessed right now, because when I "count my many blessings" every night when I pray, I feel like I have super amazing spiritual experiences pretty much every day, sometimes more than once a day...

Most notably this week was talking with a wonderful woman from Ohio. Her name is Doris. I would ask all that reads this to keep her in your prayers. She is 61, inactive since she was 14. I talked to her for and hour and 10 minutes on Monday. I have never been directed by the spirit in this way before in my life. I have the very words that I should say to her come to my mind. I felt like I could see her sitting on the end of her bed talking to me. I connected to this woman. She was watching TV, and she saw a "Mormon" commercial, and she felt different when she saw it. So after so many years of seeing them she decided that this was the time that she would call in... so she did. First time… busy. Second and third… busy. But she tried one more time, and she got my phone. And I am so blessed that she did. The first words out of her mouth were, "so if Joseph Smith is a prophet, why isn't he in the Bible?" I was like, oh great. Someone is calling, and wanting to Bible bash. I hate Bible bashing. So I answered her question, and said, "Joseph Smith is a prophet of God... I explained what the bible teachings are, compared to the Book of Mormon and told her how we received the Book of Mormon. I could tell her voice softened. And I felt the spirit was definitely there... I said to her, “Do you feel different?” She said, “Yes, I feel calm.” I testified to her that that was the Holy Ghost testifying to her that the things that I had told her were true. This was a different situation for me teaching an inactive person. They have the gift of the Holy Ghost already. I felt distinctly prompted to remind her of that... I asked her what she remembered from church. She said she sings "count your many blessings all the time" and she remembered Primary songs. So, we sang them together over the phone. My entire district sitting in the Referral Center just smiled at me :-) This was so awesome! I felt so strongly that she needed to partake of the Sacrament. So I taught her about it... she hasn't been to church since she was 14, but she is going this Sunday... Contacting her Relief Society President and everything so they know she is coming... this is sooooo wonderful! awww... I love missionary work! So, please pray for her... I told her I was serving in Tampa Florida. She got really excited and she started to choke up and said some very special things that I will never forget. I know without a doubt in my heart that I am where God wants me to be. I know that all things that are good in my life are a gift from Him. I will serve Him with all my heart! I love it!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Week 6 - MTC e-mail September 4, 2009

So, really cool! This morning, I taught the entire first lesson on my own. In quite a bit of detail. 40 mins worth of doctrine and sharing scriptures. It was so exciting! I owe it all to the Lord, because I know that I would not be able to do that on my own. The first day they told us not to compare ourselves to others, and judge on progress on Wednesdays. Well, last Wednesday I was still having a lot of trouble with cong., and sentence structures. This week sentences are flying out of my mouth. I set a very high goal for myself to do this and tried to put as much faith in that the Lord would help me accomplish it, and He did!

We teach our first official Spanish lesson tonight in the TE. I am super excited!!! We’ve taught at least one Spanish lesson a day since last Saturday.

People have asked what studying Spanish at the MTC is like, so I thought I would talk about that a little bit. A day in the life of Hermana Vaughan-Schultz... I wake up at 5:45 every morning and run 2-3 miles… stairs. I read Predicad mi evangelio y el Libro De Mormon for 30 minutes in the morning before breakfast. I always carry flash cards with me whenever I am walking so I am always speaking or reading Spanish... this week it has been memorizing the first vision en espanol. That was hard but I finally have it down. 30 minutes for breakfast. Our Thursday schedule is at 8 a.m. one hour personal study, 1 hour of companion study, 2 hours Spanish study, lunch, class for 3 hours, dinner, 1 hour language study, 3hours of class, plan for 30 minutes at 9, write in my journal 20 minutes, brush my teeth :-) read el libro de Mormon before I fall asleep… and repeat.

It really is a lot… a lot of hours of intense study. I make sure that I never go without Spanish in my hands. It has made a huge difference. I have not taken a nap since being here because i always want to be studying. My companions and some Elders said, I don’t know who you are not burnt out yet. I just don't see any other option, This is the Lord’s time, and I don't expect to change for my entire mission. We have a computer software program called TALL that we can use, but I have found I do best just by translating preach my gospel and reading the book of Mormon in Spanish and English right next to each other.

This week has definitely been a refiners fire for me. I have learned a lot as I have worked out differences in my companionship. Sometimes it feels lonely, but I know I have never been alone. I love the MTC and this work so much! I love Spanish and I can't wait to be able to teach in Tampa. Soooo excited.

This Sunday I had the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting in espanol. It was great. I was the first for our district to give a talk in Spanish. Now we are the oldest. And I have to set the example. We are a really young zone. But it is so exciting to finally be the ones getting asked all the questions about Spanish instead of the ones always asking. It definitely has made me step it up a notch.

We had a great message this Tuesday from E. Sybrowski from the second quorum. He and his wife are just amazing. Earlier Tuesday, he was eating lunch with E. Oaks and E. nelson. He asked them what he would like him to talk to us (missionaries) about. E. oaks said, "Teach them how to follow the spirit." and E. nelson added, "Tell them why." I know this work is impossible without the Holy Ghost. I think back to the time when I was converted. It really was the Holy Ghost that converted me. As a missionary now, I know how important it is to have to Holy Ghost with you. In DC 50 it gives an amazing example and necessity for this. If I don't study personally for 60 minutes, companion for 60 minutes and at least 60 minutes for language, then Holy Ghost isn't with me as strong. I can't testify with as much enthusiasm. This week I got on my knees, and promised Heavenly Father that I would do all I could to have the Holy Ghost with me. By being obedient to all mission rules, but also, following every prompting that I get. When we let prompting go by, with no action to follow them, Heavenly Father will not be as likely to keeping guiding you. Like in Moroni 10:3-5. For the rest of our lives we have to have "real intent." I also promised in my prayer to give my heart to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, never expecting to get it back. I hope my future husband knows that, I’ve given my heart away to this work and to my Heavenly Father... I hope he is ok with that ;-)

Love you all soooo much!

Remember mas cartes!!!!!!

Hermana Vaughan-Schultz