Monday, September 29, 2014

"We went to the temple this week!"

September 29, 2014

We went to the temple this week! It was really nice to go there. It just feels good to go the temple. And I did one of the names I brought from home. Family history is something I really miss. But I suppose that what I'm doing now is worthwhile too.

Well, we're still resting for Elder B's back. We went down to San Salvador to get an MRI for his back. We should find out the results today.

Now for some Q/A.My favorite SalvadoreƱo food would probably be pupusas. They're pretty good. Members usually give us about 4 meals a week. On P-day, we normally drop off our laundry, go grocery shopping, clean the house, cut our hair if we need to, and study. And usually we'll do something as a district, like get popsicles or something. As for rain, we never had a typical monsoon season, but it does rain several times a week.

Well, since we didn't work much this week, that's pretty much all that happened this week. And since I still have a bunch of time, I'll write about something I noticed while studying.

So, Mosiah 5:1-5. This scripture talks about the mighty change of heart the people of Mosiah had, such that they no longer had desire to do evil, but to serve God, and even wanted to witness this to God by making a covenant. Now, until recently, I had never paid attention to verse 1. In verse 1, King Benjamin asks his people if they believed in what he had taught them. Just a very simple question, but what would have happened if he hadn't asked it? The people would not have realized their grand change of heart, and they wouldn't have had the desire to make covenants with God. This chapter really wants to be much more direct when I teach. Questions like that, really make all the difference. They invite the Spirit to teach. I really like this chapter now.

Anyways, I love you all!

Elder Hilton 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"The spirit is the most important part of this work."

September 22, 2014

Dear family,

First of all, we didn’t have changes. As for health, I wish I could say that we’re all better, but we’re not. Elder B came to the mission with pre-existing back problems, and he’s taken a turn for the worse. He’s got to get some examines, and in the meantime, we have to rest. At least another week. 

So I guess you could say that these weeks have been a lesson in patience. The Lord has his purposes and we just need to trust him. Maybe the Lord wants us to have all this time to study. Maybe there’s something he wants us to learn from this. Or maybe he just wants us to be patient.

Well, apart from that, this week we really focused on teaching by the spirit. We have some investigators who have been having trouble keeping their commitment to read the Book of Mormon. We decided that we needed to help them feel the spirit in the lessons. So we had them turn off all their phones, the TV, and them we sang "I Stand all Amazed." It really brought the spirit. We then taught one of our best lessons. And ever since then, they haven’t been the same. They’ve changed. Now they read. Now they turn off all their phones without us asking. It just feels different. The Spirit is really the one that changes hearts and lives. I’d say the spirit is the most important part of this work.

Well, I love you guys!

Elder Hilton 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"As your own understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase."

September 17, 2014

Dear family,

First of all, sorry this is a day late. Yesterday was a big holiday of some sort so they moved our P-day to today.

Health-wise, we've almost completely recovered. Elder B still feels a little weak, especially in the mornings, but things are almost back to normal. When I was sick, we did go down to San Salvador, really just so that they could confirm what I had. But then the doctor declared me too sick to travel, so we ended up staying the night in the house of the office Elders.

So you guys are going to move! That's big news. I vote you guys go state-side (as if you had some kind of control).

So this week we really focused on the members. Elder B and I both gave talks in Sacrament meeting. And being completely honest, I think that the talk I gave was the best I've given, which is kind of ironic, because it was in Spanish. The theme was missionary work. I focused my talk on increasing our desires to share the Gospel. My basis for the talk was a quote from Preach My Gospel chapter 1. I only have it memorized in Spanish, but it says some like "as your own understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase:" It's a really interesting thought, and I know it to be true. Some examples of this principle are those of Enos, Lehi in the vision of the tree of life, and the converted lamanites in Helaman 6:3-4. The desire to share the gospel comes through conversion. 

Well, we have changes tomorrow. We find out who is going to go tonight. Everything thinks that I'm going to leave. We'll see. I'll let you all know next week. 

I love you all,
Elder Hilton 

"I'm all better!"

September 9, 2014

Dear family,

Well, first some good news. I'm all better! And Elder B's back is much better too. But...chikungunya is going around. It seems like everyone is getting it. About all of our investigators have had it. And now Elder B has it.

Ok, here's how this week went. I spent the first half recovering, just leaving for little visits. Thursday, we resumed work. But we did divisions because the area of our district leader is more flat. So I went to the area of our district leader (Elder A).Then while we were in divisions, both of our companions got food-poisoning, so we stayed in divisions. Friday and Saturday, no improvement. Sunday, they started showing symptoms of chikungunya. So today, Elder B, the companion of my district leader, and one of the zone leaders all went down to San Salvador together to see the doctor.

So today, I'm in a trio with Elder A and Elder C (the other zone leader) until our companions get back. We decided to make something special for breakfast. We made waffles with oreos mixed in and ice cream on top. Attached is a photo. Elder A thinks we're going to get diabetes. I say it was worth it either way.

So that's where we are. I think things will go back to normal soon. 

I love you all. Thanks for your emails and for your prayers.

Elder Hilton

Displaying SAM_3599.JPG

Chikungunya and "I finished reading The Book of Mormon in Spanish!"

September 2, 2014

Dear family, 

This week was...different. Basically,  we didn't get to work at all. Elder B has some back problems, and lately it's been hurting him a lot. So at the beginning of the week, he called the President and he told us not to work until he called back. He called back Wednesday and told us that we had a doctor's appointment the next day. The doctor did some examines and gave him some medicine and that was that. But leading up to that appointment I started feeling really sick. So while we were there I took advantage of the opportunity and told the doctor how I was feeling. They did some blood tests, and I have a virus called chin-chin-cunya, or something like that. It's disease spread by mosquitoes, like unto malaria, but apparently worse. To me it seems to be a combination of malaria and chicken pox, but I'm not sure, because I've never had either. But I'm already getting better. I was bed-bound for three days, but I'm already up and about again, which is a much faster recovery than normal. 

But apart from that, I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish! That's something I've been working on for a while, but just haven't had time. But we had plenty of time this week. Now I'm reading it again, but looking up every work that I don't know, and analyzing the grammer in depth and researching everything that I don't understand. I think this will help a lot.

Well, some questions/anwers. Are people nice during street contacts - yes. Too nice. We end up`with tons of references that don't result in anything. It would be easier if they were just honest. But still nice. Temple attendance - right now, we go to the temple every 6 months, but Pdte Vasquez is thinking of having attend more often. Exercize - I do push-up and curl-ups every morning, but apart from that, not really.

I love you guys! Try not to worry too much for me, I'm doing all right. And thanks for your support.

Elder Hilton

"You can accomplish whatever you focus on."

August 26, 2014

Dear family,

So. I got your package this week! It was like Christmas. Thanks for everything you sent me. It was a very special Christmas.

Question/Answers: Tracting - We don't tract, at least in the sense of going door to door. Our main source of investigators is talking to people in the street. Service - We don't have any regular opportunities to offer service, but we always ask people if there's anything we can do to help them, and we get a few service oportunities that way every now and then. Onions - I eat whatever I'm given. And for the "nagging mom's question" about spare glasses, I only have a somewhat sheepish son's responce: not yet. But I'll do something about that. Today.

Recently, we've been focusing on getting investigators to Sacrament Meeting. And it's been working. Already we've had more investigators in church this change than the last one. I guess the moral of the story is that you can accomplish whatever you focus on. But the problem is that you can't focus on everything, just one thing at a time.

I feel like I've made a lot of progress with Spanish this week. Speaking Spanish more than English will do that. I really do enjoy Spanish. I wish I had more time to study it.

This week we had a multi-zone conference with Elder Ochoa, the first counciler of the area precidency. I learned a lot. About faith. I think that's really cool. Even in a big conference of missionaries, we talk about faith. We have a family of recent converts who wants to know everything and search for deep doctrine that really just hasn't been revieled. But we always need to remember the basics.

I love you guys! Thanks for your support!

Elder Hilton

"Be still, and know that I am God"

August 19, 2014

Dear family,
The weeks are going by fast. Like really really fast. We're already almost halfway through this change.

This week's questions/answers: How many missionaries in our apartment - just Elder B and I. Last week's picture was taken in the district center, not our apartment. What's the branch like - we have an attendance of about 90 people. It's a good branch. There's a lot of really good people here, really strong members. But it is still just a branch, and they're still trying hard to find more people to fill all the leadership positions. There are two sets of misionaries in it.
More about Elder B. He's a good guy. We work well together. He's willing to work hard, and we're are both learing together. That's the way it needs to be.

So I'm discovering that I want to be the best missionary I can be - now. It's not a bad thing to desire per say, and it really does motivate you to work hard. But you also need to have pacience. There's a scripture that really helped me, that says, "Be still, and know that I am God." (Pslams 46:10). I really like this scripture. So now, I'm still working as hard as I can, and striving to be the best missionary I can be, but I'm also "still." It's hard to describe exactly that means. It's like an inward peace, a knowledge that, yes, we need to work as hard as we can, but God is always there for us, and that this is his work and his glory, and knows how to do his work. And so it's all ok somehow.

P and A continue to progress. Last Friday we comited them to live the word of wisdom, and honestly, I have rarely seen people as happy as they were when commited to live it. They were practicaly overflowing with joy. We always feel really uplifted after the lessons with them. I guess it should be the other way around, but you really can't uplift others without being uplifted yourself.

Thanks for your letters, you're all in my prayers, and I love you all.

Elder Hilton