Monday, September 23, 2013

¡Hola mí familia!
This week was great. Our numbers this week werent so great but it was really hard with the fiestas here. It really is for a whole week they werent lying. But it was fun and enjoyable. The food was so great. We had a lot of food for meals and so after 18 which is the main day I was a little sick on friday but I was able to work through it. Saturday we had a party with the ward which we were aloud to go for three hours. That was really fun. There werent many people on the street or in their houses and when they were they didnt want to talk to us very much. We did find a few people we really like and are going to try and work with them. We thought we were going to have people at chuch yesterday but no so that is a bummer. 
One really fun thing this week was for saturday and sunday there were three of us in the companionship. A missionary that leaves tomorrow was serving in the north part of the mission and so for the days he needed to be down here for interviews and before he left he was with us. So that was fun having someone else. Especially someone really close to being done and asking for advice. His advice is very similar to everyone elses. Be obedient, Work hard and have fun. So that was fun. Last night was his interview with the president so we got to spend some time at the mission home. That was nice to talk to hermana kehnlein and their family for a little bit. I found out that they have a house in ceder hills! I dont know exactly where but I thought that was interesting. She said that after their mission they are going to decid what to do. Go back to argentina or to utah. I think they are going to go to utah. He probably will be a general authority. He just is that type of person. He is great. Also interesting is my group will be the last group they see off in the mission because the group that gets here this week will be with the new president for their last change. 
I feel like my spanish is still coming. I am able to talk more in lessions and in regular conversation so that is nice. Yesterday I gave a talk in chuch which went well. Like 10 minutes so that was really good. I think people were able to understand. It is wierd that I have been here for 1 change already. SO fast!! I find out on wednesday if I change or stay here. I am hoping that I stay here at least one more change. The president doesnt like changing people to much I dont think. Most people I have talked to only have like 5 areas by the end of their mission so we will see. 
The walking actually isnt too bad for me. Still tiring but I am getting used to it. A day at disneyland is going to be a cake walk after two years. When other missionarys come to my area they are really tired so I can tell that I have gotten stronger over the last six weeks because I remember when It was that hard for me at the beginning. 
Yes it is spring here but actually it is colder now than before because of the wind from the ocean. It can get really cold when we are walking and after the sun goes down. but my coat is great. On pdays we study, go shoping, write, and sometimes do stuff with the district or zone. Last monday and today we are playing soccer. I am better than I thought I was, not like the chileans though. 
I am so happy to hear about kamikos call and it is to chile too. Which mission in santiago is it? (This is a young man that worked with Tynan at Hapari. He is going to the North Saniago) After the mission we will have to talk to eachother about the differences. 
I did reallize something this week. What a blessing I have to be so near to the ocean and have such an amazing view each day. It is so beautiful to look out over the ocean and the beach. I was talking to a hermana that leaves this week to here home because she was at the ward fiesta with the hermanas in our district. She said that this is the first time she has been in viña del mar her whole mission or been by the ocean. The rest of the time she has been in the central areas. So I am very greatful for this and will enjoy the next two days until I find out if I stay here or change. 
I am  doing great! thanks for all of your updates. It is good to hear from you guys!
Te amo muchísimo
Elder Hamilton 

Here are some questions I asked and his answers
Are there lots of dogs??   Yes tons and tons of dogs specificaly in my area I have been told. In the city not very many but in the little areas right outside. yes. There are a lot of dogs on the street and almost every person has a dog too. 
Will you get to go to the temple in Santiago??  Yes!!!! I am so happy about this. I found out yesterday because the missionary that was with us had his agenda for today andtomorrow. THat the last thing you do in the mission is go to the temple. I am so happy because that was one thing I was going to be so sad about if i never got to go to the temple. So I still have like 21 months but it will be worth it. 
What is your schedule during the day??  In my area we wake up at 7 are out about 12:30, because I have more study because I am new, and are in at 9:30 and in bed at 11.
What floor do you live on??   We are on floor 4 and no we dont have an elevator. 

These are sooooo good! Fiesta!

Monday, September 16, 2013

First Time for Oatmeal!

Hi Mom
First off, Happy Birthday Nathan!!! Next month we will all be in our 20´s!!
This week went by really fast. Not a ton of success but I guess everyone we are talking to we are planting a seed possibly for the future. It is hard right now and will be this week because it is the 18th of september, I cant believe already half way through september. This is their independence day. ANd they are very proud to say that it is way bigger than the 4th of july. No fireworks but a lot of parties. It is basically a month long thing but especially the week of the 18th. So many people say that they cant talk until after the fiestas. So this week will be interesting to see if we can find anyone. We are really trying and sometimes it is disappointing but I just have to keep trying to find new people. We have some people that we are teaching but they are moving slowly along. Work for people here is sort of confusing because it isnt just like 9-5 people have different working hours. This same thing is with the schools. Some people have school in the morning some in the evening and some, even little kids, have school in the evening until like 8. It is really wierd. As for food. Nothing to crazy. REally good food from the members. Yes I have had empinadas and I love them. They are so good. THat and the bread, because there is bread everywhere. No churro but that sounds so good. One thing that is super funny about food. I tried oatmeal for the first time in my life yesterday here in chile. It was actually pretty good. I know a lot of people are rolling their eyes in disbelief but as far as I can remember it is true. That so great that grandma and grandpa andrew leave this week and come a little closer to me. I did receive my first letter down here from Ari  which was great. It takes a long time. The date it was in salt lake was july 20 and I got it on september 10th so almost 2 months. So If you send a letter just be a little patient I think it will end up getting to me. I have heard less time than that for packages so It will be interesting to see. I cant believe that I am 2.5 months into my mission and only have 1.5 weeks left in this transfer. Time is going by pretty fast. Brock has been out for over a year now and brandon for like 8 months I think. It is so wierd how fast time is going. 
Things here are going good. I take things as they come, like this morning when I woke up to no warm water, and take it one day at a time sometimes but I like the work and the spirit that is felt. The hardest part for me is when people just walk by us because I know how important this message is and the blessings I have had in my life from this gospel and I want to find people who are able to realize those blessings too. Wish it was as easy to do it as it is to say it but thats part of the experience. It is dificult but I can see myself growing and I am so happy I am able to relly on the lord for a lot of help. Because I need it sometimes. 
I love you all so much!!
Te amo Elder Hamilton

Note- Yes, I didn't serve my children oatmeal. Let's just say bad childhood memories on my part.  Cheryl

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hola Madre!!
This week was pretty good. Longer than the others a little but still good. We are still searching for more people to teach but not many want to so that is hard. And the people that seem so great are never home but we keep walking and trying everyday. We had a zone conference this week with the president which was really good. Almost all of it was focused on families and baptising families so they can be together for eternity. It was really good on talk was about the temple and the blessing it is to all of us. It is interesting because as I have been away from the temple I have missed it but I am able to feel that same strong spirit with me everyday. That is something that I am so greatful for, how strong the spirit can be felt here on my mission. Also I am so greatful for the power of prayer and the ability we have to pray anywhere. I can tell you that I pray all day everywhere. I am really focusing on having positive thoughts all day so when negativity comes into my mind I pray and ask for strength. 
I can tell that summer is coming. Yesterday was much warmer than usual which wasn´t great but a few people gave us something to drink and eat so that is always awesome. Also apparently yesterday was the day time changed one hour ahead here and no one told us. We have a meeting at church at 8:30 every sunday so we showed up thinking it was 8:30but it was 9:30. The leaders we just standing talking so we just guessed that they had canceled the meeting so we went upstairs for church. There were a ton of people and we were so confused as to why a these people were an hour early. Then we found out the time changed. So that was interesting. 
Random thing but really funny here. In the united states (dont say america because then people always say "Im american too") when you are walking on the street and you hear music like its a small world and row row row your boat you think ice cream!! Right?? Well here you think gas. Yes gas. The gas that is used in peoples houses for warm water is delivered on this trucks that for some random reason play childrens songs. I think if this was so in the united states people would probably say that it isnt health for children to associate those songs with gas that could be dangerous. Haha I dont know. 
I have seen some of the prettiest skys here on my mission. I dont know if it is because I look out over the ocean and to the sky when a door closes or another person just walks by us when we say something but they are really nice here. 
My companion is great. We get along fine. I think he didnt really know what to expect when training a greengo because I can tell he gets a little annoyed when I dont understand everything he says and ask again. A lot of the time he just reverts to english which I dont love because I need to understand the language. But things are good. I just try and talk completely in spanish to him. He is from santiago, like 1.5 hours away. His dad served his mission here in vina del mar and actually close to our area. He is the youngest like me and has two older sisters. It is interesting because the old bishop of our ward now lives in his home ward and was his young mens president. 
Things are good here. I am hoping this week is better than last. Not that the last was really bad but it wasnt super. haha old missionaries are probably thinking every week isnt super but I dont know Im still learning. 
I love you all so much. Be safe. and pray always. 
te amo 
Elder Hamilton

Note- I love flowering trees, and Tynan sent me this picture. So strange that it spring there and the trees are blooming. Cheryl

Monday, September 2, 2013

Classic Mission Experiences

Hola Mom
No im not suprised you just looked at where I am. It is in both viña del mar and valparaso other than that im not sure where exactly. The little towns are just call different things inside the larger cities. So mine is called esperanza. That is what the ward is called so you might be able to use the lds ward locator and search that way. No those sunset ones were not from my pension they were from my area though. I am able to see the ocean really well and the sunsets are great. Yes I was able to get a donut, it was so awesome. Haha they have quite a bit of similar things like the fast food places. Not in my area but more in the central parts of the city. There are small stores everywhere though with bread and other things. The candy is pretty cheap here. This week was good. We met with a lot of less actives and a few actually came to church which was great. The ward is great we have gotten to know a few of them, as much as I can with the language. The members really enjoy helping and want to be involved which is nice because my companion says this is not like that everywhere. The ward has like 80-90 people but it is a ward not a branch. The chapel is small but nice. It actually has heat but it is still cold, mom you would be freezing but I always think of you because other people have little shawls like yours. We write our emails in a little internet cafe place but without the cafe. Just computers and phones no food. That is interesting about the sisters with Ipads in california. My president said that he is really working on recieving the athorization for us to use facebook but ya I cant see ipads anytime soon. But I can definately tell why it would be super usefull. Thats good that grandma and grandpa are getting ready and excited to leave. Down here in south america is the best place right now so it will be good for them to join me. Well this week is called Fire and inspiration throught the bathroom. Yes I know wierd. But the other day we didnt have lunch with a member so we had to make our own, which is fine. I was making some rice and I put to much into the pan so it was really full and my companion thought it was hilarious so he was going to "show me how to make rice better". He was using oil and stuff, something he learned from another companion. He walked away for a second, which is not good when you have oil over a fire stove. And the oil caught on fire. He was going to put the pan in the sink and I yelled that you cant do that with oil fires and grabbed the lid and put it on the pan, putting out the fire. So that was a funny interesting experience. I told him it was going to be a classic mission experience. Now for the inspiration through the bathroom let me explain something. I havent had any problems with my stomach and the food here or in mexico. I have heard from a lot of people who served in south america that you always have a bathroom problem but I though my stomach must be pretty strong or something. That leads up to last night. We were walking around at like 8:30 and I sort of needed to use the bathroom but I figured I could wait an hour until we got home. So we walked a little more and the need suddenly increased. So I told my companion if this door doesnt open we need to go back to our apartment, like 5 minute walk. The door didnt open so we started rushing back but I was like "I am not going to make it" So we stoped at the nearest members house and yelled, because that is how you ring doorbells here when there isnt a doorbell. No one came so we ran over to another house that is part member. Someone luckly answered the door after what felt like 30 minutes and I was able to go to the bathroom. While I was in the bathroom my companion was talking to the grandma in the house Who is not a member, I dont know a better way to say that but simply the grandma in the house. I came out and we talked a little more. Abviously living with members she has heard and talked about the church. But we were able to give her a book of mormon for herself and asked her to read in it. So in this experience we learn that the lord does really work in mysterious ways. Haha. another classic story I have now. I love you all so much. Have a great week.
Te amo 
Elder Hamilton.