Monday, November 24, 2014

"So we ended up teaching the plan of salvation to all the neighborhood kids."

November 24, 2014

Dear family,

Happy Thanksgiving! To be honest, I had kind of forgoten about Thanksgiving. I know it's this month, but we don't really think much about it. The lack of season change really makes a difference. We keep seeing Christmas lights, and it just seems weird to us. I guess it is that time of year though.

So. We're doing well. We still have about the same number of investigators but we found a ton of new one and dropped the ones that weren't progresing. So thing are improving.

The church is very young here. We just meet in a small building that wasn't really designed to be a chapel. It's similar to the building you guys use in Japan. There's a posibility that we'll be called as councilers to the branch president. But that's still not for sure, so we'll see what happens.

Elder G is a good missionary. He is a very hard worker and very obedient, two qualities I very much admire in a companion.

So we had the opportunity to use the Plan of Salvation cards that Aimee make for me.  We're teaching una hermana who's name is Carmen. She has 3 kids. At the end of a lesson with them, they asked us to bring a game the next time. We told them we would. So we desided to teach them the plan of salvation using Aimee's demonstration and have them move from place to place as we taught. We we came back, they had all invited their friends. So we ended up teaching the plan of salvation to all the neighborhood kids. They loved it. It was one of the best lessons we've had with them. And I gave them some of the stickers you guys sent me. 

And we found a less active member the other day. He's been in-active for a very long time. The last profet that he remembered was David O McKay. But he's coming back. He's come to church two times now and he's reading the Book of Mormon a ton. It really makes me happy when people read the Book of Mormon. 

Well, I love you all!

Elder Hilton

Monday, November 17, 2014

"It was another good week."

November 17, 2014

Dear family,

Ok, this letter's going to be short. I had almost finished my letter and then my computor died. So I've only got a few minutes to write it again.

Another week here in El Salvador has gone by. It was a good week. I'll realized that I haven't been so good about answering questions lately so I'll try to do that today.

Weather. There really isn't much seasonal change here in El Salvador. Some seasons it rains more often. They describe Guatemala as an eternal spring. I'd describe El Salvador as an eternal summer. But it's fine. Once you're used to it you don't even notice it.

The area. Our area is actually huge. We've got Nueva Concepcion and a bunch of other small towns. We just stay in Nueva Concepcion. The part in which we work is about a mile in radius. Nueva Concepcion had some really good city planning. It's a grid. The streets all have names. The houses have numbers. That's kind of rare for El Salvador. Nomally people just have to say something like, "We live by the Catholic Church in a green house by a mango tree." But unfortunately, not haveing addresses has been too deeply ingrained into the culture. No one knows the street names. Or their house number. It's an adventure. We end up walking a lot.

The house. We actually live in a full size house. In Salvadoreñan houses are usually just solid concrete. Our house is like that. We've got running water and electricity. In poorer parts they don't have that. And it some parts that houses are just sheets of metal held together with barbed wire.

We still have a member wash our laundry. Washing machines are not that popular here. A lot of times we have to wash clothes by hand.
I'm pretty sure we'll be able to skype. Not exactly sure how, but I've heard from other missionaries that they always skype.

Number of investiagators. The goal is to have about 30. We have about 15. Our problem right now is finding investagors who keep their commitments.
Thanks for all the talks you sent me! We really enjoy them.
I love you guys!

Elder Hilton

Monday, November 10, 2014

"We are working hard. And the work is hard."

November 8, 2014

Dear family,

It has been a good week here in Nueva Concepcion. 

We are working hard. And the work is hard. A little clarification about opening an area, there were missionaries here before us, but both of them left at the same time that Elder Giles and I came in. So there already were investigators here, but we had to find them all again. But we're basically starting from scratch. We do a lot of walking.

A little bit more about Nueva Conception. It is a completely flat city, which isn't bad, just a different. It's less rural than San Vicente but less city-like than Ilopango. It's also less hot than San Vicente but less cool than Ilopango. It's pretty moderate in all aspects. 

The branch is very small and not yet self-sufficient. The missionaries teach the classes, give talks, I play the piano, and we also help in other interesting ways. No one in the branch presidency has computer skills, so we started with teaching them the difference between zero and the letter "o" on the keyboard. But it's all good. I've thinking a lot about callings lately. We could easily do everything. But that's not the Lord's way. God, being all powerful, could do everything, and much better that us. He doesn't need Bishops, branch presidents, missionaries, etc.. But he still calls bishops, branch presidents, and missionaries. He calls all of us. Why would he entrust his most sacred work to us? It's because he wants us to learn and grow. We are his children, and he wants us to become like him. So he gives us responsibilities and opportunities to grow. We want to help  these members learn to do these things themselves. Not really sure how yet, but we'll get there.

I love you guys!

Elder Hilton

Monday, November 3, 2014

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to help this branch."

November 3, 2014

Dear family, 

Thanks for all your letters! And thanks for the package! I really enjoyed it all. I'm still going through all the talks, and I've enjoyed them all so far. And the ties were all really good. My new companion thanks you for his tie, and I ate all the fruit snacks in about 2 days. They were really good. I hadn't realized I missed them.

So yes. New companion. I am now in Nueva Concepción with Elder G. Nueva Concepción is a pretty secluded area. We have to travel about an hour and a half to get to our district meetings. Elder G is a good misionary. He's 19 and has about 9 months in the mission. He's from Oregon. It's a little weird being with someone the same age as me. Ever since BYU I've been used to being with people much older than me. But he's a good missionary and we're going to work well together. 

We are opening the area. That is to say, both Elder G and I are new here. They just gave us our luggage, our house keys, and told us which bus to get on. Eventually we found to house. It was an adventure. It also made for some interesting street contacts. 
      -Hello, do you know where our church is?
      -Yes, so you don't need to tell me.
      -That's ok, we don't know. Could you tell us how to get there? 
It was pretty fun. We got a few references that way.

Nueva Concepción is a very small branch. It has about 30 active members. The branch president has only been a member for about a year. He's a really great guy, very humble, and very hard working. I'm excited to have the oportunity to help this branch.

Well, that's about it. I send pictures next week, for some reason it wouldn't let me send them today.

I love you guys!

Elder Hilton