Monday, October 27, 2014

"We made a difference"

October 27, 2014

Dear family,

First of all, thanks for all the birthday wishes! Thanks for all your letters. It's always good to open my emails and see them.

Well, my time here in Ilopango is probably about to end. Elder S will be training this next change. They call the trainers early because they have to go to a special meeting. But I'll find out for sure if I'm leaving to tomorrow. I'm pretty sure that it's not normal to have changes this often, but so it is.

Ilopango has really nice weather. I'm not sure what temperature it actually is, but it feels amazing. It's a lot cooler than San Vicente and there's usually a really nice breeze. I'm predicting they'll send me somewhere really hot. It's just too nice here.

Missionary work can be hard. But it's worth it. I like looking back at the end of day, and thinking about the people we had visited that day. There are some days where I can just feel that, yes, we really helped those people; we made a difference - and that makes it all worth it. Yesterday we talked with one of our investigators and he told us, "I'm old enough to be your Grandfather, but I want what you have. I want to change my life and I need your help." It's weird to think that we're so young and helping people that are so much older than us. To me it's a testament that this is the true church and that we have been endowed with the power of God. There's no other explanation for it.

I love you all!

Elder Hilton

Monday, October 20, 2014

Earthquake and "The Book of Mormon has a power to change lives"

October 20, 2014
Dear family,
We've had a pretty good week. It feels really good to be working again.
I really like my new area. This area is in the city. San Vicente was more rural. One the pictures I sent was taken in San Vicente right before I left. It's a pretty good representation of what it looks like there. The biggest difference in this area is that there's more people. More people in the streets to talk to and more neighborhoods. That makes things easier. And here, I'm in a ward. With that comes a ward mission leader, coordination meetings, food from members, and a lot of other things. It's very different.
And as you've heard, we had an earthquake. It was pretty big but there was almost no damage. It was at about 10:00 last monday night. It really didn't even effect us. After hearing from members and investigators how much it scared them I'm a little surprised at how calm we were. I was unpacking at the time. I didn't even stop unpacking during the earthquake. I did pause to catch the mirror as it fell, but that's it. Looking back, I think I ought to have reacted or something. Everyone else apparently fled their houses or huddled under tables. Oh well. Todo bien.
I really think that being in the military and moving every few years really prepared me for the mission. Coming here from San Vicente really wasn't that hard. It's what I'm used to. Sure, I was sad to leave and I miss the people there, but you just keep going. I like it here too. I've really liked everywhere I've lived.
We've got an investigator here who's really cool. His name is M. He's already thinking about serving a mission. Elder S tells me that the Book of Mormon was key to his conversion. He says that once he seriously started reading that he automatically starting making the necessary changes in his life on his own. I really like that. I know that the Book of Mormon has a power to change lives that no other book has. It has changed mine, and will change those of all who sincerely read it.

Well, thanks for all your letters. I love you all.
Elder Hilton

Monday, October 13, 2014

Three baptisms!

October 13, 2014

Dear family,

Well this week was pretty crazy. First, Elder B left Tuesday. But instead of giving me a new companion they put me in a trio with the district leader. So I spent this week with Elder A and Elder Z. We thought we would stay together for the rest of the change, but this morning, the assistants called and I had emergency changes. So now I’m in Ilopango. My companion’s name is Elder S. 

So. In the midst of all that, I’ve got some good news. First of all, one of our investigators got baptised last Saturday. His name is S, and he has really made many remarkable changes in his life. He was invited to church by a member of the church, and this member was the person who baptised him. I’m really grateful to have been able to help him.

Other good news. A while ago, I wrote you about some investigators named P and A. Well, they’re getting baptised this Friday. Although I won’t be there for it, I’m really happy for them. I really, really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know them and to help them. They’re got 2 little kids and I can just imagine the significance of this in their lives. The Gospel really is about families. Even with family history, there’s something special about families. 

Elder S seems like a really good missionary. I don’t really know him yet, but I get that impression. He is from Draper, Utah. He’s been in the mission about 15 months. One the zone leaders here is Elder Andreasen, my trainer. It’s pretty cool to be with him again.

As far as my Spanish, my strength is grammar. I still lack vocab and fluidity (I’m not sure if that’s even a word) but what I can say, I can say correctly. I think learning Spanish is like building a building. Grammar is the structure, and then vocab and everything else comes last.

Well, I love you all.

Elder Hilton

Monday, October 6, 2014

"General conference was awesome."

October 6, 2014

Dear family,
Well, a lot happened this week. The biggest news is that I'm getting a new companion. Elder B most likely needs surgery and is going home tomorrow. He doesn't really want to go home, but he's taking it well. Depending on how well his back recovers there's a chance that he returns to the mission. Either way, I hope that he gets better. Thanks for all your prayers on our behalf.
Q/A: San Salvador is about an hour and a half bus ride. Transfers happen every 6 weeks; we have 3 weeks until the next one. I play the piano at church every now and then. I'm really doing ok without being able to play that much. And I still get to listen to music. I get it pretty lucky because pretty much all my favorite music is missionary appropriate.

General conference was awesome. I'd say that it was the best experience I have ever had. I really felt spiritually fed afterwards. It makes me really excited for the talks you guys sent me. One of the things that I took out of it was that I want to make my prayers more sincere. We as missionaries pray all the time, pretty much any time we do anything. But I think that we ought to focus more on the quality of our prayers, rather than how many times a day we pray.

Well, I know I said that a lot happened this week, but that's pretty much all. It seemed like more in my head. I love you all!

Elder Hilton