Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Merry Christmas

Hi Everyone
This week was really good. I had a great Christmas and Absolutely loved talking to mom and dad and seeing the larson family. For christmas eve. I had the traditional homemade pizza and we opened one present. Thanks for the pjs. On christmas we opened our stockings and other presents that we had received from the ward members. It was really good. We both have a lot of chocolate right now haha. Enough to last for like two months. Christmas eve we had a fun family night with a recient convert. On christmas we had a district meeting that we have every week. But it was a little christmasy. It was so great to talk to you guys and to hear your voices. 40 minutes was really short but I know that the next 5 months will go by really fast so it will be good for mothers day. 
A lot of people were busy but we were still able to teach our investigadors and other people. This week is the new year. Feliz Año Nuevo!! This holiday is actually bigger than christmas here. Viña del mar is famous for their fireworks for the new year. It is 30 minutes straight of fireworks that is along the ocean from concon, viña, valparaiso, and another city too. It is a lot of beach with fireworks. But from here in Quilpue we cant see the beach so we will only hear the fireworks. I dont really know what we are doing for the new year. We have permision to be outside with a family til 11:30 or 12 so we probably will just see if we can find a family to do stuff with. 
I really had a good week. I have learned a lot about the pioneers in my mission. I know it is a little random. But I have studied different liahonas and stories about the pioneers and I have such a stong love for their story and their faith and testimonys. They really did so much. Especially to leave their houses and land to move west. Many people here that are less active in my ward are less active because they closed the chuch building and united two wards. They always say that the new ward just wasnt the same. We often speak about the pioneers and how they too had to move to something new but they did it because it was what the lord had in store for them. It is really interesting because mom always says the church is true in all of the world. I have really felt more of that than ever. The church really is the same, ok not exactly, but the messages and beliefs are the same everywhere. 
I love it because it always makes me feel like im not so far from everyone. I still have members that are great here. 
I am doing good and hope you all are well. Have a great new year. I am excited to spend all of 2014 here in chile. I love you so much
Les amo mucho
Elder Hamilton.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hello Friends and Family and Merry Christmas!
I am sorry that last weeks letter and pictures did not get put up- I had foot surgery last Monday. So here is your Christmas gift of 2 letters. We are so excited to talk to Tynan on Wednesday.  Thanks to you all for your love and support to him.

Sent Dec. 16
Hola Mi familia
This week was really great. We had a zone conference. We didnt get packages but thats fine. It was great because Elder Svec of the seventy was there. It was a really great conference and was good. I am really looking forward to this next year. As a mission we are going to read the book of mormon 4 times. I am really looking forward to doing this because my testamony of the book of mormon has grown so much in my mission and I want to see it grow more. It really is great that we know of all of these things. 
We are getting ready for christmas it sort of feels like it is going to just be another day but thats fine. There are a lot of christmas lights and decorations up here which is a little surprising to be honest. Not as much as at home but still it is great to see everything because I love that stuff. We know that we get to talk for 30-40 minutes on christmas. We are going to do it in the evening at like 8 here so like 4 there. 
I cant believe that you guys got tickets for the christmas concert for the mormon tabernacle choir. And you guys were so close!!
This week I had a great experience with our recent convert carmen. She has such a strong testamony and every time She shares it I feel like I am learning something new. Her son is a member and has mental problems and she has such a loving attitude to help him always. They had a big problem this week and her patience and love was something that I want to have for my family someday. She relys so much in Christ and that is why she has so much trust and love for him and his church. I am so happy to have know her and been a part of her process of conversion. 
We have changes this wednesday. We dont know what is going to happen but we think that we will stay here because I only have one change here in this area and my companion only has two. We are hopping that we dont have to move to a new area right before christmas but we will see. 
Time always is going so fast and every week I cant believe that It is time for p day again. But I love what I am doing and am excited for another transfer. this will be my 4th in chile. I cant believe I have been here for so long. I love you all so much and hope that you guys are having a good christmas. 
Te amo
Elder Hamilton

Sent Dec 23
Hi Family
I am glad to hear that everything is going good. I have an anouncement to make....

Im a father. Yes I have a son and he is 23, from columbia, and is the only member of his family. I am a trainer this transfer. It is a little crazy to think about this but it has been good these few days. We had changes on wednesday and we have been working in our area. It is going really well. I am realizing that I am able to do much much more than I though before. It is still great to have a latino companion to practice my spanish more. I have felt really comfortable with my spanish for a while now but I still need to practice and learn more. I am excited to see him progress and learn more and more. He came pretty well trained, I think his age helps a little too. He has been a member for 4 years and is the only member of his family. He said that he believes that when he returns from his mission his family will listen to the missionaries. 
Our area is really great I like it a lot. We have one investigador with a date for baptism. His name is elias and his date is for January 12. He is progressing a lot and has asisted two times. It is really good because he has a lot of friends in the church. He has such a great story with the holy ghost. I dont remember if i told you guys this or not but I will tell it again. He always has had questions about the holy ghost and what is the holy ghost. He has visited other churches before and they always say that the holy ghost is like dancing and yelling  "Amen." He said that he never felt like that was the holy ghost. Because how could something so crazy almost like a fiesta invite the holy ghost. I really is so true. It made me think about the temples and how we go their and find peace and tranquility. It is something that cant be faked. The spirit is pure joy and peace in our lives. I love the temples so much and really cant wait until I can go back and visit the temple, ok thats a lie, I really can wait. It really is such a special place where we can feel the spirit so strong. It is the same with the church. Every week we can go to take the sacrament and feel this peace and comfort from the spirit. I am so grateful for this blessing of the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life and that I have this opportunity to share it with other people. 
I am really excited for christmas! It doesnt feel like a normal christmas of course but still I get the feeling of christmas and I am excited. 
I love you so much and hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas.

Feliz Navidad 

Elder Hamilton

Made pouch with member

Snowing in Chile

Yea! It's Christmas

Monday, December 9, 2013

There are cows, horses, donkeys and lots of random animals on the side of the road. Very Strange

Food With Relief Society

His awesome tree

Things are going really good here in chile. This week was so fast, like most of them. I did get my package for christmas with my stocking in it. I loved your little decorations mom and I made myself a little tree with my lights. I dont know if there is a pension in the world that is as ready as I am for christmas. A lot of people are doing there lights and trees right now which is great. It still is really wierd because it is so warm, yes I am using sunscreen. It is really interesting how late they are to start christmas here. You would think that because they dont have thanksgiving they would start earlier, the united states has thanksgiving and they still start early, but no they dont do anything until like the end of november until now. I prefere starting the bigging of november, If I can even wait that long. 
Right now we are teaching two people that are progressing and others too. We had a lession with an investigator named Elias and he had a question about the holy ghost and how we could feel and recognize the holy ghost. He has asisted many other churches and said that He doesnt understand because in almost every church they say that the holy ghost is felt through dancing and singing loud songs and a bunch of amens and stuff like that. We taught about the holy ghost and how we can feel his influence in our lives. He said after that he felt a lot of peace and tranquility when we are there with him and he can tell that that is the holy ghost. In our next lession he told us that the other day his friend offered him a cigaret and for the first time he was able to say no, because he is trying to stop smoking. he said that he had prayed to feel the spirit and to have the power to stop smoking and say no. It was a really spiritual experience. I have learned so much about the spirt in my mission and how we can have the spirit and learn from the spirit. I have never had a time in my life when I have felt the spirit in all of my life. Everyday and all the time. I love it. It is a feeling that I can only get from serving the lord like I am right now. I am so grateful for the spirit in my life and what I am learning right now. I cant believe I have almost been in chile for 4 months and I have 5 months in my mission. It has gone by so fast for me and I have learned so much. I am excited for the next 1.5 years to learn and grow more. 
Thank you for all of your support in the experience that I am having I cant express enough my gratitude for your prayers and help in this time of my life. I know it may just seem like something small, a prayer for the missionaries or... I dont know, something else but I really do see every little thing that my family is doing right now and has always done for me in my life. It is wierd because I actually feel like I have grown closer to all of you, friends, family, or posibly a stranger that is just reading this. I love you all and am praying for you all. 
Te amo
Elder Hamilton

Monday, December 2, 2013

A week of being thankful

Hola Familia

I am doing really good this week. It was such a fast week. I did what you told me mom and really tried to focus on the things that I am thankful for. It was such a great week and such a great idea to do. When you think about one thing it generally leads you to think about another thing and before you realize it you have so many things that you are thankful for. It really is a blessing. We have so many amazing things in our lives. This was the only thing I did for thanksgiving. Wasnt super great. But I loved your thanksgiving meal on the plane mom. 
I got my package on tuesday which was awesome. So now my pension is all decked out with christmas lights. I love it. It was fun because last night we went to the house of the sister that does our laundry and we helped them set up their christmas tree. So I got to do a little bit of decorating this year which was really fun. There are some houses here that have lights set up for christmas and more and more everyday. Not as much as home but still it is fun to see them. There is light here until like 9 so it isnt very dark for very long. 
The work is doing good. We are teaching a few different people and just looking around to find more people to teach. I am liking this area a lot. We have changes in 2 weeks, time is going so fast, so we will see what happens. I think we will both stay here because what I have heard is that the changes before christmas generally arent really that big. But there is still a posibility. I really like my companion he is really nice. I am glad that you guys are doing good and are able to be with nathan. Tell him hi and that I love him. 
It is so wierd that it is almost christmas. The weather here makes it feel like it is like may or june. I am really excited to talk to you guys in a few weeks we dont know anything about when or anything. We do have a zone conference next week so I think we will get mail but I dont know. It is a zone conference with the president and I dont remember if in the last one we got mail when in this conference so we will see. I would think that they would try to give us mail before christmas but really I dont know. If not. thats fine I will have a great christmas present after. 
Like I said the best thing for me this week was thinking about all the things I am thankful for. We really are so blessed in our lives and when we realize that and give thanks for that we show our love for the lord and our heavenly father. I am so happy I have this knowledge about the truth. I am so happy I have all of you guys for your support and your love. I hope you are all doing good and are safe and health. I love you so much.
Te amo
Elder Hamilton