Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"People are out there, we just need to have the faith to find them"

Dear family,

This week I've felt a lot in common with Aaron when the Lamanite king asked him where Ammon was and he said, "Behold, the Spirit of the Lord has called him another way." I haven't actually said that to anyone, but I do have a new companion. His name is Elder Bustillo. He's from Honduras. Elder Andreasen is now a zone leader in Ilopango. Elder Bustillo doesn't speak English, but that's what I wanted. My first few days with him felt like a weird dream where everyone was speaking Spanish. Including me, somehow. My Spanish has drastically improved. I've still got a ton of work ahead of me, but for now I'd describe my Spanish ability as adequate - for now. I can function as a missionary with what I have. But I want to master Spanish, every little aspect of it. I want it to be just as easy, if not more, to talk in Spanish than English. I guess I need to remember that I've only been here a few months, but that's where I want to be someday.

Men's chorus! Thanks for sending the mp3 of Nearer My God to Thee. I really enjoyed listening to it. I'm sure I'll enjoy watching it too when that time comes.

So a while ago I told you guys about Patricia and Alcides. They came to church about a month ago but then we lost track of them for a while. We visited them a few days ago and learned about their experience in the church. It was a fast and testimony meeting. Alcides told us that he was really touched by all the testimonies and that he really felt the spirit of them. He also said that he had the desire to go up and share his testimony too, but he wasn't sure if he was allowed to because it was only his first time at church, so he didn't. When I heard that, I was amazed. It was really a testimony to me that God has prepared people to receive us. Not everyone is like them, but people like them are out there, we just need to have the faith to find them.

I love you all!

Elder Hilton

Note from Aimee: this is the song that Alden is talking about, Nearer My God to Thee by Vocal Point, featuring BYU Men's Chorus.

"Through Him, all things are possible"

Dear family,
This week was a good one. I attached some pictures this time. One with us and the family of the branch president. As it so happens, the branch president isn't actually in the picture, but oh well. I also attached some pictures from the bus ride from when we just got to the country.

Q/A: Laundry - we give our clothes to a member who washes them for us, unless we're out and can't wait, in which case we wash them by hand. Shoe problems - not really. I haven't had any blisters. Emails - to email, we all go down to the family history center in the district center. The printer doesn't work.

 Well changes are coming up. We should find out tomorrow what's happening. It's highly likely that I'll get a new companion. We had an investigator who needed a baptism interview with the president, and as he left, Elder Andreasen said, "Maybe we'll see you at the changes meeting" and Pdte Vasquez said "Es muy probable que sí!" (It's very probable. It sounds better in Spanish) and then just walked off.

So the BYU Mens Chorus/Vocal Point video is coming out! I can't see it, even though it's a hymn, but I can listen to an mp3.
Well I've gotten much better at Spanish and missionary stuff in general. My challenge is confidence. When I'm confident, I can do it. But other times, I struggle more. But I know that God is helping me. And I know that through Him, all things are possible. I just need to be pacient and keep going.
I love you guys! Thanks for all your emails.
Elder Hilton


"In the end, an instrument that's not in the hands of a master is no good"

Dear family,

This week was a good one. I probably say that every week, but it´s true.

Questions/answers: Am I taking malaria medicine? - No. I'm pretty sure that's not a problem here. Do I sleep on a hammock or bed? - Bed. We do see lots of hammocks here though, especially in the poorer areas. Is it rain season? - Technically yes, but it hasn't rained much. Do I miss piano? - No, not too much. There's not really time to think about that.

Well, this week we really learned the importance of prayer. We've been working so hard, but haven't had much to show for it lately. But we could feel the confirmation of the spririt, and we knew that our efforts were acceptable to the Lord. When ever we leave a lesson, we always ask, what went well and what didn't go well. We study and practice and strive to improve things that we identify as ineffective. We've gotten so, so much better but still didn't have anything to show for it. But this week, we realized something. Our prayers have not been that meaningful. They've been fairly repetitious and we've haven't been asking for specific blessings. So then we thought, "Maybe we just need to ask." So that's what we've been doing. I studied what Preach My Gospel saws in chapter 4 about praying in faith and what a missionary's prayer should be like. I also studied the Book of Mormon and saw how missionaries like Alma prayed. So we've been really striving to make our prayers more meaningful, faithful, and personal. And we've really seen a difference. We found more new investigators this week than we have found the entire time I've been here. The Lord truly showered blessings upon us this week.

I really can tell now who is really doing this work. Any success we have, the Lord gives us. That being said, we still need to be doing the other things, like studying, improving our teaching skills, and working as hard as we can, but we need to remember that this is the Lord's work, and that he is the one that performs that work. I think of how the sons of Mosiah say that they had been made instruments in the hands of God. I really like to think about it that way. I need to strive to be the very best instrument I can by, but in the end, an instrument that's not in the hands of a master is no good.

I love you guys!

Elder HIlton