Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A bunch of small tasks that all together represent a big work.

May 22, 2015

Hola familia!

Well another week has gone by. Time's going by fast. I can sincerely say that I am enjoying the work. 

The best days go like this: I accomplish everything that I want to in the office, we leave the office at a decent time, then we go home and we find and teach. The days are full. It's better that way.

My biggest accomplishment in the office this week was figuring out how to import contacts onto an iphone. We don't have iphones, we just have very cheap, basic phones. It was for President V. Because of transfers, where everyone is and what phone number they have is constantly changing. And there are over 200 missionaries in the mission. Because of that, you can't really just put all of that into you phone; it would be to hard to keep up to day. So what has been done up until now is print an excel sheet with all the up to date info and then laminate it. Not too practical. But now I'll be able to import the info from that excel sheet onto President's phone. Then each change I can just import them again. So now it will be so much easier (at least for President and his wife). We (the secretaries) will have to keep using the laminated excel  sheets.

Most of what do in the office is things like that. A bunch of small tasks that all together represent a big work.

Yesterday we found a really interesting new investigator. His name is H. He approached us in the street, wanting to know if we could help him find information about his ancestors. He's Jewish and he wants to know more about his roots. I showed him a pamphlet called My Family that I filled out. My Family is designed to help people get started with family history. You can put in your information, the information of your parents, siblings, grandparents, and great-grandparents. You can put in their stories and photos too. Anyways I showed him that and he got pretty excited. He wants to come to church this Sunday. I guess we'll see what happens.

O's Dad still has O grounded, which is a bit of a problem. But hopefully that will get better soon.

Well, I love you all!
Elder Hilton 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I remember some days finishing feeling so worn out, but at the same time so good and satisfied.

May 15, 2015

Hola family,

It was good to see you all last week!

This week was good. Time really goes by fast here. Much faster than in other areas.

O is good. His entire family is recieving us, but he is by far the most positive. So far his biggest chalenge is that he liked church and the activities last week so much that he neglected his schoolwork because he was spending all of him time at church. So he got grounded. He can't go to any activities this week until Sunday. But other than that, all is well.

I was thinking how when you guys asked me why I missed Nueva Concepión and I couldn't really tell you guys why. I think I miss la Nueva because there I got the opportinity to serve everyone, especially the members so deeply and personally. I knew each member at a very personal level. I loved them, each and every one. I knew their needs. And I knew how to help them. And I miss working with President M watching him learn and grow. I miss working so closely with President L and learning so much from him. Serving in La Nueva truely required everything I had, everything I was. I remember some days finishing feeling so worn out, but at the same time so good and satisfied. Here it's different. Actually Nueva Concepción is kind of one of kind.  There's not any other area like it, at least in our mission. 

I love it here too though. It's a different type of chalenge, but it's still a chalenge, and I like a good chalenge. And I still talk to President L every now and then because I'm a secretary, but not as much as I did in La Nueva.

 I love you all! Hope everything works out fine with the move.

Elder Hilton

God truly is preparing people to receive the gospel.

May 8, 2015

Dear family,

Todo bien por aquí. We went to temple yesterday. That was very nice. I attached a few photos of that.

Excited to skype you guys this weekend.

This week we found a new investigator who is so prepared. His name is O. He's 16 years old. He's just a young man with very sincere desires to change his life. He came to church last Sunday and he loved it. He went to Seminary on Tuesday and to mutual yesterday. He's basically devouring the Book of Mormon. When we invited him to be baptised he said that he wanted to do it and that he felt ready. He's planning to get baptized at the end of this month.

God truly is preparing people to receive the gospel. This week he blessed us to be able to find one person so prepared.  

I'm getting the hang of this whole office thing. I really do like it here. We keep busy. 

Well, that's about all that happened this week. Talk to you guys on Sunday!

Elder Hilton

The bishop found out that I've got experience with family history, and they want help!

May 1, 2015

Hola familia!

First of all, before I forget - skype. For Christmas I was in Nueva Concepción, talking on a little tablet. This time, I'm in the office. I will be skyping on the one of the nicest computers I've seen. So yes, I should be using skpye not facetime. As far as when goes, Dad suggested the time block within 3-4:30 PM, my time. That works for me. For now, let's plan on 4:00.  I'll be able to write you one more time before I call so we can confirm next week. 

Well, it was a good week. It went fast. We keep busy here in the office. As general secretary, I basically just a problem solver.  The mission calls me with their problems, and I fix them for them. Among my duties include doing reports for the mission, making sure President has an up-to-date list of where all the missionaries are and their contact information, ordering supplies for the mission, distributing those supplies, managing media referrals and other references for the mission, getting hold of birth certificates, marriage certificates needed for baptisms, mail, etc. A bunch of little things. Long story short, I just make sure that everything runs smoothly.

We don't actually use the car that much. It turns out that it's more like the assistants' car that they sometimes lend to us. But as far for what it's like to drive here, it's basically a free for all. Driving laws are not very strictly enforced here.

As far as the ward/our area goes, the bishop found out that I've got experience with family history, and they want help! We're planning to meet with some of the recent converts tomorrow to help them get started. I'm excited for that.

Other good news, this week we're going to go to the temple! I'm very excited for that too.

Well, I'm excited to be able to talk to you guys soon. I love you all!

Elder Hilton  

Being a secretary for a small little branch is apparently more stressful than being a secretary for an entire mission.

April 24, 2015

Dear family,

Well, it's been a good week here in the office. It actually has been hard at all to adjust to being here. I've got plenty of experience adjusting to new places. The hardest thing to adjust to is being in a ward. A bishop. Elders quorum president. Ward mission leader. All that stuff. It's different.

So as far as the office goes. There are 4 secretaries: general secretary, financial secretary, migration secretary, and records secretary. The general secretary pretty much does everything that's not covered by the other secretaries.

We're in the office Monday through Friday. We're normally here from about 10 in the morning until 4 or 5 in the afternoon. As soon as we get home from the office we go out and proselyte until 9.

Monday is still technically our P-day. But we write on Friday because we're too busy on Monday. On Sunday I said that I wanted to clean the house during our P-day and they just kind of laughed and said that it was a good goal. At first I didn't really understand why they were like that, but I saw why on Monday. We were in the office almost the whole day. We got back to the house at almost 6, and then it was already time to proselyte. But it's all good.

As far as stress level goes, I'm doing just fine. I definitely felt more stressed in la Nueva. Being a secretary for a small little branch is apparently more stressful than being a secretary for an entire mission.

I've attached a picture of my companions. When we're in the office we're all together, but we're still paired off in companionship. Right now we're in a trio because I'm being trained by the old general secretary. Elder C (the one without glasses) is the old general secretary. The other guy is Elder L, that migration secretary.

This change was actually part of the normal transfers. I knew they were coming but I forgot to say anything about it. I didn't really think I would get transferred. But when I leave the office it won't be a surprise. I have a change to train the new general secretary. This is Elder C's 6th change here, so I may be here for a while.

I drove a car for the first time this week. This mission only has a few cars. We share one with the assistants. I've now got a Salvadoreñan drivers licence.

The office is fairly close to the temple. The ward I'm in is called Los Lencas.

Well, I love you all!
Elder Hilton   

I've learned to love more deeply and serve more fully.

April 24, 2015

Dear family,

Surprise! I'm writing on Friday this week. Why? Because I got transferred. I'm now in the office. I'm the new general secretary for the mission. I'm happy to be here. I definitely did not want to leave Nueva Concepion, but I am happy to be here.

So today I'm going to write about Nueva Concepion. I'll have plenty of time to write about the office, so I'd like to write one last time about la Nueva.

They told me I had changes on Tuesday. Earlier in the day I felt the impression that I should write down everything I knew about the history of the branch. So I started to do that. They called us right as I was finishing it. 

The branch started about 20 years ago, around the year 1995. For years it was just led by missionaries but at one point there was a member-branch president (not sure at what point he comes into the scene.) His name was President H. He apparently was a very good branch president but some problems came up and he moved to the US. 

After President H came President F. President F joined the church in San Miguel where the church is actually fairly strong. When he was the branch president apparently the average sacrament meeting attendance was 60 and there were many active Melchizedek priesthood holders. Then something happened and he was released. He stayed active for a few months then got a job that required him to work Sundays and went completely inactive. This happened about 7 years ago. 

A senior missionary couple, Hermano and Hermana O replace him as branch president. At this point there was also a senior companionship of hermanas, Hermana O and Hermana S. From this point on the missionaries were the branch presidents.

A little under 2 years ago, Mario M got baptized. When he had been for almost a year he got called to be the branch president. 6 months ago Elder G and I re-opened the area. When we got there the average attendance was about 20. There were only 3 active Melchizedek priesthood holders. Shortly after arriving we realized how much President M needed us. We started meeting with him regularly - tithing, planning sacrament meetings, presidency meetings, etc. 

After a few months of being here, President L, the first councilor of the mission was assigned to the branch. Now things really started moving. Weekly presidency meetings with him though Skpye. Baptisms. Members with new callings. A mission call. Priesthood ordinations. 

During our time here, we re-found Hermano F. Elder G and I were trying to call his wife, who is the first and only councilor in the relief society, but we called him on accident. He told us that he would be happy to help us whenever we needed anything. We took him up on it. He started to visit and teach with us. He started coming to church again after years of not doing so. He provided the projector for general conference. Last week, President L interviewed him and called him to be the Elders quorum president, and he accepted the calling. Nueva Concepcion will have an Elders quorum president for, as far as know, the first time.

On my last Sunday there we had an attendance of 50. Now there are 6 active Melchizedek priesthood holders. And the branch will soon became a part of the Apopa Stake. Nueva Concepcion is going up. That branch changed me. I'm a better person for having been there. I've learned to love more deeply and serve more fully. May God bless this branch and all the members in it. I love them all.

I love you guys! Thanks for sending the family newsletter. I sent some pictures of my new companions in the office of the M family. From this point on I will be writing on Fridays.

Elder Hilton    

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yesterday 50 people came to church.

April 13, 2015

So...we had problems with internet. So this email will be short.

Yesterday President L came with the Stake Presidency from Apopa. Right now, we are not part of a Stake or a district. Just the mission. But we are going to become a part of the stake of Apopa. That does not mean that we're going to become a ward. But that does mean that we'll start having stake conferences and training from the stake for every branch organization. That's a very good thing. But it does mean that President L with start to slip out of the scene. No more skyping him weekly, no more calling him when we need his help, etc. I'll miss that. We've learned a lot from him. We'll make the transition in about a month. 

The branch is growing.Yesterday 50 people came to church. We've never had that in all my time here. And two people were ordained Elders yesterday. We now have 6 active priesthood holders. We only had 3 when I first got here. 

Last Saturday we had a service project. We helped make a street. That was pretty fun.

The DJ provided all the cables we needed for the conference.

Well, I love you all!

Elder Hilton