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

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