Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Can you believe they have Dunkin Donuts!!

Hola mi familia
This week was a great week. I think the first week was so hard because I didn´t really have a p day and much time to talk to everyone so it was really nice when i got to email. After emailing last week we had a zone activity which was so great. We spent time reading and praying about our patriarchal blessings. They really are constant revelation with god. I hope everyone takes time to read and pray about yours because it is amazing the things you can learn each time you read it. I cant believe I have been in chile for 2 weeks now. it has flown by so fast. I feel like time is moving faster here than it did in the ccm. I had two days this week where we had intercambios, I dont remember what they are called in english probably just interchanges. I had one with my district leaders companion and one with my zone leader. Both were in their areas so that was nice to get out of my area for two days and see other places. I learned a lot. My zone leader is american so it was good to ask him about how he studied the language and other things. Everyday we have been talking to a lot of people and contacting old contacts. Most people dont want to listen but there are those that do. We have been able to find some people to start teaching so we will see what happens with those. I can definately tell my spanish is improving. I am able to read something and understand most of it, unless it is in the bible that is more difficult. Also I am able to understand a lot more of what people are talking about. Sometimes I am not able to put the sentences together completely but I am able to understand the words. I need to start talking more with people. I try to always talk in spanish but i need to try and talk more with other people because sometimes I end up sitting there listening to the conversation, mostly in awe because I am able to understand another language, but I need to jump into conversations so I can improve. It is weird because before my mission I thought learning a language just meant that you were really good at translating things in your head but really you dont have to translate because you sort of just understand. It is wierd to experience and hard to explain but is a cool experience. I dont even think about it very often, we will just be talking to someone on the street and I stop and take a step back and realize holy cow I am understanding spanish. And as I am writing this I keep writing words in spanish and having to delete them to write them in english so that is wierd too. But I guess this shows some progress. Yesterday was a really awesome day. Church was good and the first few hours of working were ok but last night we taught a lesson to a girl whose father and brother are members but she is not It was really great and I am hopintg something comes out of it. Also there is another girl we are trying to get time to teach but she is really busy with work, number one excuse in the mission for the people on the street. Then the last person we contacted at their house was a man that the missionaries had taught before and he seemed really interested in being taught so we will see how things go this week. But overall this was a great week. I am learning a lot and feel like I am improving everyday which is good. That is so crazy that you guys just picked up and left for a week but that is fun! That will be good for both of you to have some time away from things. I hope you have fun. Thanks for the picture. I am sending some pictures of the ocean here as well because I can see it everyday! My shoes and everything are working well no problems for now. The members still feed us every day which is so great. I havent even been served beans yet aparently it is not very common here, lots of rice and chicken, which is great for me. It was funny because we were fasting this sunday and when we started my companion said, "I bet someone offers us food today". and sure enough two times people offered us food which hasn´t happened in our area. It was really funny. I like my district and zone a lot they are all great. Things are going good! I love you guys so much. Thanks for the emails. 
Te amo 
Elder Hamilton 
View Outside my room

Monday, August 19, 2013

Lots happening the past week. First this great article and video about the Mexico MTC. Can't see Tynan in it but still really great to see where he was. Make sure and watch the video.

Elder Hamilton left the MTC on Monday, August 12. This was the letter he sent that morning.
I know this is random for me to email you today. We were down weighing our bags and were told that we could check mail if we didn´t have anything else to do so I thought I would let you know what my schedule is. I am leaving the ccm today at 4:30 and my flight leaves at 9:30. We get to chile tomorrow at 6:50!! It is a straight through flight which is nice and shorter than I was thinking it would be. There are 21 people going to chile. 7 from viña del mar and 14 going to concepcion. From the airport it is a 1.5 hour bus ride to viña del mar. I am planning on calling tonight at the mexico airport as long as things go according to plan and there is time. As for when I get to chile im not sure what is happening I just know that they will email you when I get there. I hope everything is going good today! Tell everyone I say hello.
This week has been good. It has gone by fast which is supper great because I have just wanted to leave. I really am not nervious at all to go to chile. I feel like i am doing a lot better at giving lessions and speaking spanish so I am not too worried about it. I know it will be hard but I am more excited about it than anything.
I dont know how long I will be on here but email me back if you get this. I love you
Te amo

We were able to talk to him for about 2 minutes at the airport- just long enough to say I love you and hear it from him!

Now we are on the great Monday schedule for letters.  Our first letter from Chile.
Hi mom!
Yes i am finally in chile!! I slept some on the flight which was good. When we were landing I started getting really nervious because this was really happening to me right now! No more mtc, the field!! Costoms was easy and right when i saw my mission president I felt so happy and comforted. Like when I got my call, exept minus all the tears. We went to a lookout point over the city which was cool. And then to the flower clock. It was really awesome to see that! Then they gave us a book of mormon and the address to the mission home, drove us a little farther down the road and told us good luck. There was 7 americans and probably 11 latinos so all the americans had a latino. Which was great because THIS IS NOT THE LANGUAGE THEY TAUGHT ME IN THE CCM IN MEXICO! I could not understand like anything that was going on! we found the mission home after like an hour and a half, had lunch and interviews with the mission nurse and the president. I love my president so much, he is so great! The rest of the day was sort of just a relax day. We all went to bed at like 8. The next day we woke up at 7 (thats when we wake up here in chile, and we go to bed at 11) Did excersize and studying and went to some training meetings. After the meetings we had the change meeting and got our companions and areas. My companions name is elder abarca. He is from santiago, 1.5 hours away, has been here for 6 months and i am his first son. It is great to have a native who knows a lot, he speaks almost perfect english too but I try to speak as much spanish as posible. My area is esparanza. We are actually reopening it. It was closed 6 weeks ago because they didnt have enough missionaries to put everywhere. So we started out with nothing but names to go off of. So we have just been contacting on the street, references, and past investagators. It makes it hard because we have only taught one lession in 5 days. I just dont get it, in the mtc every door we knocked they let us in but here they dont. HAHA yes I understand it is different. It is hard because sometimes I feel like I am doing something wrong, but i just have to remember to keep going and keep trying. Our area is super confusing. We have a map but it is small and the roads are so wierd here it doesnt make sense, and the house numbers are totally random most of the time going from 4 to 62 to 103 to 1. It makes no sense. We are on a hilly area so most of the time we are walking up or walking down a hill, so i make sure and not exercise my legs in the morning because they get enough durring the day. We had a zone meeting which was nice. All in spanish but I understood most of it because it was americans talking in spanish not chileans. Each day my ability to understand gets better and better. And I am trying to talk more to people to get used to everything. Sunday was great. I love the ward! I cant talk to them really well but they are nice. We are fed lunch by a member everyday which is awesome. We havent had time until today to do shopping so our breakfasts have been very small. The food the members fix is good, nothing really wierd. this does bring me to the worst thing about chile...  They DONT HAVE DINNER!!! I dont know why but they dont. sometimes they have once (pronounced like 11 in spanish) but no dinner! Definately something else to get used to but its fine. Once we go shopping today I will have food to eat at night when i get home. We do have hot water which is great! It isnt the best shower or water pressure and the hot water doesnt last to long but I think i can survive. It is funny because so many things that if I were home I would be like "heck no" here I just smile and think "now I am having a mission experience that everyone always talks about!" Things are good here though. Some moments are really hard and I get down on myself not knowing If I can learn the language, walk up another hill, or be away from all of you but that is when I pray and ask for help! I want to work this week on always having positive thoughts during the day! It also felt like a long two weeks because I havent had a p day, or a long opportunity to talk to you guys for two weeks. So today is great! I love you all so much! 
I love you, Be safe, Pray always!
Elder Hamilton

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

--I am not going to fix spelling. Hope it doesn't drive you all crazy! Cheryl---
Hola!! Another week has gone here in Mexico City. Now I only have a few more days left here in the CCM!! I still dont know what day I leave, I am guessing monday because that is when the latinos always leave but it could be tuesday. I should find out tomorrow. Believe me I wish I new too!!
We are all super happy to be leaving. I am a little worried about the language but I am feeling more comforable. I have done many hard things in my life. I know i was only able to do those things becuase of the lord and I know this is the same. I will just continue to do my best and I know the lord will raise me higher. I am really excited to get out and really interact with people and really start my mission.
The ccm is getting really full. I think there are 650 people here now. WE had to move classes again yesterday. This is our 4th time moving. This time our class is half the size of our old one so it is tiny, But we really only have 2 or 3 more full days in the class room so it wont be bad. On friday we have in field orientation all day and sunday is our church schedule, so really just thursday and saturday. Hopefully we leave on monday. They told us yesterday that the peru and argentina MTCs are full, so next week this mtc is getting and additional 50 missionaries they werent planning on. Yes, It will be nice to leave. I have loved watching it grow in size and change each week. It has been interesting. It is so much more organized for the new people but for us it was lacking a little.
Yesterday was a little bit of a crazy day. Along with moving classes I guess there was a small earthquake. I was sitting in my room after exercise and I heard a really loud alarm. I went outside to figure out what was happening and the cleaners were all running down the stairs. So I went and started banging on the door to the bathroom because my companion was in the shower. We get down there and the alarm just stoped. Apperently it was big enough to set the alarm off but small enough not to feel a thing. We felt a bigger earthquake two weeks ago when we were in the temple. It would have been nice if someone would have told us, "If you hear a really loud alarm get out of the buildings because it is an earthquake!!" All of the americans were so confused.
On a random not I must have a strong stomach or a great digestive system. Because this food hasnt affected me very much at all but everyone in my district are having problems. Two of our hermanas were sick this week, and the elders are having harder stomach experiences. I guess that is good and I hope it continues into chile. All of my district exept my companion and I are going back to the states so they always say that they will think of us when they are eating normal food.
One thing I really have noticed is I miss music! Not even regular music but church music. Here we arent allowed to listen to music. I am excited to get out into the field where I can listen to music again.
Well I think that is everything exciting for this week. Yes, I know music and food and moving class rooms are super exciting and just what you wanted to hear about today. I am really excited to go to chile though. Our latinos that we sat with at all of the meals left on monday. (We are the next ones to leave!!!) They said it is a 13 hour flight to chile! I went on a 15 hour flight to china but this is still long.
I was thinking about all of the amazing spiritual experiences I have already had on my mission. This week specifically I have had two that stick out. On sunday I was a little afraid of the idea of leaving the ccm and was doubting myself. In the shower (I know wierd, but the only place I am alone) I prayed, really prayed for help. I had such a strong spirit come over me. I have experienced this before in other times of my life but it was great to feel it again in this time of need. Also, just last night I was laying in bed and the spirit was so strong. I though about how I can feel other peoples prayers for my. I realized for the first time how you are able to feel others prayers for you. It was an awesome experience! Pray sincerely everyday. That is what I am trying to do better at. Have a conversation with God dont just think you have to do a normal public pray in private. Just talk, he will always listen.
I love you all so much. I will talk to you in Chile!!!
Te amo
Elder Hamilton
Beautiful day of peace and rest, bright be thy dawn from east to west! (Shout out to the boyers, val, and liv)
Por favor, manteganse alejado de las puertas!!