Saturday, January 24, 2015

"The mission has its ups and downs, but seeing people make changes in their lives and feeling the spirit makes it all worth it".

January 19, 2015
Dear family,
This week was good. But this letter might be short though. I really have been using my journal to write my letters, and we were just so busy this week I didn't write in my journal that much. It was a good week. It's all a blur though.
Really, the biggest thing that happened this week was that I got called as a trainer. A trainer is a new missionary's first companion who basically teaches him how to be a missionary. In this mission they call the trainers a week before the changes so that they can go to a training meeting. They called me Tuesday morning and told me I was going to train. But then they called again Thursday night and told me that two missionaries are going home from the MTC so I'm not going to train anymore. That was a little disappointing. I was pretty excited to train, excited for the challenge. But I guess not this time. Tomorrow night, we'll get a call telling us if we have changes. Then the next morning, if we have changes we all go to a big meeting in Ilopango where they tell us where we'll be going and who will be our new companion. So I guess we'll see what happens.
We've really started working with the members more this week. We're now teaching two of President M's sisters and his dad. Member missionary work really is so much better. They all came to church. His dad, R, is just a really nice man in his late 80s. He can barely see or hear, but he's very humble. I'm excited for the opportunity to work with the family of President M. The mission has its ups and downs, but seeing people make changes in their lives and feeling the spirit makes it all worth it.
I attached a picture of Elder G and I getting ice cream last P-day. Also, I somehow inserted 2 screen-shots of my computer monitor. I'm not really sure how that happened, and I don't know how to take them off. This computer is really old.

Well, I love you all! Thanks for all your letters and prayers! I'm praying for you guys too.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

His desire to help others to come unto Christ, both the living and the dead, is evidence of his conversion.

January 13, 2015

Dear family,

Thanks for all your letters guys. It's always good to hear from you.

Hermano M is doing really well. He's basically the most active member of the branch now. He said something pretty funny in one of our lessons the other day. He said he really like the idea of temple work for the dead because with the living, it's so much harder.  But notwithstanding that it's harder, he's really working hard as far missionary work goes. He's got his neighbors reading the Book of Mormon. He's inviting to church. He gives away all the pamflets and DVDs that we give him. His desire to help others to come unto Christ, both the living and the dead, is evidence of his conversion. 

Yesterday we talked to a man in the street that's called G. he said it would be fine for us to visit him. He then asked us where our church was. We told him, then asked if he wanted to come. He was just like, "I would like to," as if he just been waiting for us to ask. We passed by for him in the morning before church, and he was all ready, just waiting for us. He stayed all three hours, participated in the classes, and said he had a really good experience. He commited to come back the next Sunday and to come to the Elders quorum activity on Saturday. He actually commited to provide transportation.  He just seemed very natural there in the church. He just fit in. He seems very prepared. I've got high hopes for hims. We'll see what happens.

I'm getting more experience teaching in a class format here. I teach the Gospel Principles class here. Teaching in a class format doesn't seem to be one of my natural talents. But, each week, the class goes a little bit better. I'd like to stay here another change. I'm learning so much. We've got a week and a half left in this change. I guess just have to wait and see what the Lord has in store for me.

I love you all!

Elder Hilton 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I just felt happy. So happy.

January 6, 2015

Dear family,

This week was good. We had a really good experience in church yesterday. Yesterday we had our fast and testimony meeting, I could only describe it as "hermosa." That means beautiful or something like that, but "hermosa" seemed to fit bettter. Many members showed up. Many less active members. Many members, who I've come to love, desided to come. I just felt happy. So happy. It was so great to see them here.

It's really special working with less actives. Especially when they decide to come back, to find the joy they once had, and to change. This week we found a new less active family, family Hernandez. They've been members for about 15 years, but stopped coming about 7 years ago. We taught them twice this week, and each time the spirit was so strong. They came to church this week, for the first time in a long time. The hermana bore her testimony. In her testimony she said that during our second visit while we were praying she heard a voice that told her that she needed to make some changes in her life. And so that's what she's doing. I really know that after we do, it's the spirit that does the work. We can't do anything alone. I can think of so many examples of people like her, for whom the spirit really has made the difference, even if they were formerly opposed to it.

President L, the first counceler of President V came today. He is the one responsible of the branch. He told us of experiences he had on his mision. He served in a small branch like this one too. He said it was the most beautiful part of his mission. He said that whenever we talk about Nueva Concepcion after the mission we will cry. We'll see. It could be true. He also said we will learn more about leadership in the church here than in any other area of the mission. I really do belive that to be true.

We're not officially councilers to Pdte M. but we are acting as such. We help him with whatever he needs. If he needs something, we're the first he calls. We help him every week after church to put in the tithing. We have weekly presidency meetings with him. We take care of the members in a way that I haven't done in my other areas. I really do feel a greater love for them. I feel responsible for them, at least to a degree. I get happy when they come to church. I get sad when they don't. I'm just a missionary, but I am begining to see the love that a leader must have for his members. After church, we asked President Lopez if it was ok for us to be doing all of this. Preach My Gospel does talk about how to work with the ward leaders, and what we're doing is slightly different. He said that seeing as this is such a small branch, they need our strength, and we help where we're needed. I am learning so much.

As far as investigators go, we still are having trouble finding people who want to progress. It's an interesting cultural thing here. People are very religious. Everyone loves to talk about God. But a lot of people seem to see us as church "servicio a domicilio," or like church in fast food delivery form. But we'll figure this out. We're not currently teaching Carmen, the investigator I wrote about a while ago. But we're planning on going back in about a month.   

Thanks for all the letters and pictures. I love you all!

Elder Hilton