Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"The gift of tongues is real"

Dear family,

Thanks for all your letters. I really enjoy reading them.

Some more answers to questions. Stomach problems - none. Blisters - none. Heat/humidity - yes and yes. But when you drink enough water you don't really notice it. We drink about 5 liters of water a day. That usually does the trick. Weird bugs - none that I've seen. We do have a mosquito problem, but we sleep with mosquito nets and they don't get to us.

Yesterday was the district conference. That was a was pretty cool. President Vasquez has the goal of forming a stake here. There's a lot of work that needs to be done though. And not just the missionaries. The branches and the missionaries need to work together, and that's something we're struggling with currently.

We had a really cool lesson this week with someone named Juan Carlos. He's been struggling to read the Book of Mormon and pray. So as we planned the lesson we decided that we needed to talk about faith, and that was about the extent of our plan. As we taught, we could really feel the power of God guiding us. We knew exactly what to say, and I was able to speak freely. That's my struggle right now. It was so cool. When we left the lesson, he know exactly what he needed to and why he needed to do it.

When the spirit is as strong as it was then, I have no problem speaking at all. Right now I'm at the point where I can understand pretty much everything without even thinking about it, so when Elder Andreasen and I are talking to people I feel like I should be able to participate in the conversation but I find myself without anything to say. It's a little bit frustrating but I really just need to be patient and keep trying. I know the gift of tongues is real. There's no way I could be at the point that I'm at now without His help.

Love you guys!

Elder Hilton 

"Soy un hijo de Dios"

Dear family,

It's been a good week here. Time seems to be going really fast now.
First some answers to some questions.
1. Allergies/asthma: Not been a problem. It seems like should because there's some much greenery here, but it's not a problem at all.
2. Food: We pretty much just cook our food. We eat a lot of pancakes, eggs, cereal, and other easy quick stuff. When members feeds us it's usually some combination of eggs, beans, and tortillas.
3.Transportation: We usually walk everywhere. A few times a week we take a bus to one of the outlying parts of areas, but for the most part just walking.
4. Spare glasses: I haven't gotten them yet. It's on the to-do list though.

One thing Elder Andeasen and I are working on is improving our first visit with members. We decided that one don't want to do is just go straight into the restauración. We've seen that that's not so effective. What we've decided to do is find out their needs, and then teach to their needs, from the Book of Mormon. This gets the Book of Mormon in their hands right from the beginning, and also gives them a desire to read it. This seems to work better, but it's much harder. We're getting it down though. One thing that we're finding that helps is to start with a hymn. This sets the tone and invites the spirit. One that we've been singing a lot is "Soy un hijo de Dios," or I am a Child of God. This really seems to have a powerful effect on those we teach, especially on children. One time, we were teaching a man and his little boy. We sang them this song, and by the end of it, the boy was in his dad's lap and they were hugging each other. The spirit was there, and now we could teach.
 Earlier this week the branch president and his wife invited us to teach one of the missionary lessons to them. As we planning, we decided to teach the restauración. We wanted to apply it to them though. As we were thinking in what their needs might be, we received the impression that they needed to know that the Lord was pleased with their service and all that they are doing. And they're doing a lot. There are all lot of important callings unfilled right now, so all the extra work falls to them. So after we taught them the lesson, we just told them about the impression we received that morning. The hermana, Hermana Flores, just started to cry. She said she hoped that it was true, that the Lord was pleased with them. She said that in her patriarchal blessing it says that they will have many opportunities to serve, and that the Lord would be pleased with them as they fulfilled those opportunities. She said she's been feeling stressed lately, because they are doing so much. We testified of what we had already said; that the Lord was pleased with was they were doing. The spirit was so strong. It was was a really cool experience.
I love you guys! Thanks for your emails.
Elder Hilton

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Revelation is the Key"

Dear family,
Ive really enjoyed my time here. I’m in San Vicente, El Salvador. It’s a really nice area. Outside of the city, it’s basically just jungle/mountains. It’s really hermoso. It’s pretty hot and humid, but as long as you drink lots of water you don’t notice.

 Our branch here is a nice little branch. I’ve met a lot of really good people here. There’s a lot work to do though.

 We got to meet our new president last Thursday. He’s really cool. One of the things he said that really inspired me and my companion was that we need to give our investigators a vision, a desire, to come unto Christ. That’s something that is hard to do. Here, almost anyone will be willing to listen to us. Some people will actually come to us and say, "Preach to me! It’s good to here the word of God." But it’s a very passive request. They just want to listen. They don’t want to do anything, Change is hard. So that’s what we’ve been working on this week.
We had one lesson where we got it. We were teaching two people, Patricia y Alcides. We had already taught about the restauracion, but we hadn’t talked about the Book of Mormon. We decided that instead of just presenting the Book of Mormon like normal, we tried to focus on how it can help them. So we asked them what about the purpose of life, and then we taught them doctrine from the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong in that lesson. When we asked them to read the Book of Mormon, Alcides said, "Me entrego completamente" or algo así, which means, "I give myself completely." They both committed to be baptized, and they both came to church yesterday. We’ve been talking about that lesson pretty much everyday sense then, trying to figure out what made it such a good lesson. We think that one of the keys is that we received revelation to know what they needed to know, and then taught them that from the Book of Mormon.
I am attaching some photos. One of me and my MTC companion, one of the view from our window in the MTC, one of the El Salvador temple that I took as we drove here, and one of me and my current companion.
Love you guys!
Elder Hilton


"Hello from El Salvador!"

Dear Family,
Hello from El Salvador!
So early Tuesday morning last week all the people in the CCM going to El Salvador got on a van and we drove to here. The drive here was a nice chance to see the country. The entry into El Salvador was by far the easiest entry I've experienced. All they did was look at our pass-ports. Easy.
We arrived in San Salvador late afternoon and a few hours with Presidente and Hermana Glazier. We stayed the night in the office missionaries apartment. Wednesday morning we went to the change meeting we were all assigned our trainers and Pres y Hna Glazier said their farewells. That was their last day as mission president. Our new President, Presidente Vasquez, arrived Thursday.
My new companion is Elder Andreason. Hes from California. I really like him. We going to work well together.  He's been in the mission for 16 months now. Our house is actually pretty nice. We cant drink the water because we'd get sick, but that's not much of a problem. They have water in little bags and that's what we drink.
El Salvador reminds me a lot of Korea. The way people drive, the way it smells, and the weather make me think of Korea. Its really hot and humid here. But because we don't have air conditioning, no one has air conditioning, you get used to it fast. I don't even notice it anymore. 
The way they talk here has been a bit of a challenge. With some people, I can understand casi todo, but other people speak with this crazy mumble where I cant understand a single word. Either way, my level of understanding is really disproportionate to my level of speaking. In our first lesson, I said almost nothing. Now, my companion and I are alternating doctrinal points, but he's still talking way more than me.
I wish I could say more, but I'm almost out of time. I love you guys! Ill try to send some pictures next week.

Elder Hilton