Thursday, May 21, 2015

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    

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