Saturday, November 29, 2014

Missing pumpkin pie

Hola Familia
it is great hearing about how everyone is going and how your thanksgiving went. I missed eating the pumpkin pie (my favorite). This was another great week here in chile. It is going by just as fast as always which I still struggle to understand how. haha. but that is the mission (and life) so Im told. This week sunday we started out with the biggest baptism that I have ever seen. 4 Investigators were baptised. It was so awesome to see. I was glad to see all of them take this step to be baptised. They were all really happy and excited to be doing it. It was interesting because the next day we had lessions with them and they were all going through trials imediately after their baptism. Thinking back to the other people that I have seen baptised similar things happen. Satan knows the importance of baptism and doesnt want the people to go through with this and then endure to the end. The family is in the process of adopting a new baby and we hoping to hear when they would receive him in their home but on mondaythey were told that they still had to wait a little longer. It was really hard for the sister but she said that it was a little easier than before. She said the before she would have asked God why her but now she knows that God will look out for her as she is faithful. The youth that got baptised has problems with depresion and his medicine hasnt been doing very well and so he was really depresed now he is in the hospital to see what they can do to get him on better medicine. We are hoping and praying that all goes well for him and he can leave soon. 
This week we had a conference for the district leaders, so I got to help with that and attend it. It was really great and I learned a lot about how I cant work to be a better district leader and help the district. The district is a powerhouse, as President Kahnlein says. It has the 4 office workers, the 2 zone leaders and 2 sister leadership trainers. They are working really hard and so we have a few baptism dates for December. For this sunday there are also 2 more baptisms in the district. We are really happy with what the Viña zone has been doing because we have really been blessed with many chosen investigators these last 2 months. 
With the conference I also gave a short presentation. As I was getting ready for the presentation I was thinking about what I wanted the missionaries to know. Sometime I talk about what they need to do so I can pay their rent, utilities and other spendings but I wanted to talk about the importance of the money that we use. I realized that my testimony of tithing and the lords funds has grown so much. I have grown to aprieciate much more the sacrifices that people make to the lord and the reason we pay tithing. It is the reason we are able to do everything in the church. Without that we couldnt have temples, missionary work, or books. Thank you everyone who makes this sacrifice so that we can help others come unto christ and receive the saving ordinances. I have not been so great in my life with handling money. It isnt like I spend everything but I didnt always save what I could have. I think god gave me this oportunity so that I could learn and grow in this aspect of my life. It was a goal as I started my mission to learn to handle my money better. I have gotten much better and I know that now I have learned a lot more. 
I love you all so much. Have a great week. If you didnt eat pumpkin pie this last week do it! you wont regret it. haha
Les quiero
Elder Hamilton

These pictures are from his new apartment. This has to be the nicest one he has been in yet. Great View! CH

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Another Busy Week

Hola mi maravillosa familia. 
Estoy super feliz escuchar de todos ustedes hoy. Tuve una semana super ocupado pero super bueno. 
I am doing great and happy like always. This week we had changes so it was another busy week. Monday was a normal day with some preparations for the transfers and sending and receiving the missionaries. Tuesday in the morning we sent the oldes home got the mission home ready for the new missionary training. Tuesday was a day full of running all over the place to get everything done. In the afternoon I started getting phone calls from some of the missionaries at the airport saying that they didnt have enough money for theier bags. I hate it when that happens. There is an airline called LAN that almost all the latins use to get home. There website and customer service is so confusing so we always end up the the wrong information. The elder that called to know how much it was going to cost was told 45000 pesos but they needed 90000 so I had to call the taxi driver, who is an saving angel, to help us. He had to go to the airport and pay the rest and will just bill us. It was a little stressful because the last time this happened the missionary didnt make his flight and had to stay in the mtc one night. In the end after a lot of praying (I mean a lot) everything worked out really well and everyone got home. This week we are going to go the the LAN store here in Viña to explain what has been happening and see if we can see what their policies really are so this doesnt happen again. Tuesday in the night we had our presentation with the news and at the end of the night I went to pack my bags. Wednesday was the transfer day. So we were helping with the news in the house and getting the church ready for the changes. We had to run between the house and the church like 4 times which isnt very far but I was really tired after doing it all. Also we spent a lot of time moving the new missionaries suitcases over to the church and unloading the suitcases from the bus that brought the missionaries from the north part of the mission. I think we had to move around 100 bags that weight a lot so all of our arms and legs were a little sore the next day. Everything went really well in the end. I have a new companion, area, and house which is fun for a change. It is really weird having different companions every change. You get used to one person and then it changes. But it isnt a grand change becuase we already have been in the office together for a little time so we knew eachother. His name is elder Huntsman from texas. He only has like 3 changes left in his mission so I am really looking forward to learning a lot from him. I really like my new area. Since the begining of my mission I have wanted to work in Viña viña. And now I am working in central viña. It is a great sector. Really different than where I have been before because it is a bigger city. This ward recently had a change in bishop and the new bishop has a ton of excitement for the work. With that the ward as really woken up and they have had many baptisms. This sunday we will actually have 4 baptisms. It is a family of 3 that are going to be baptised. They were a reference from a member in another stake. And also a Youth that is going to be baptised. They are all so excited to be baptised and really have been prepared by god for this time. All of them have only been talking with the missionaries for 2 or 3 weeks and they have progresed so much. This young man received a book of mormon from a friend and then one day just went to church and talked to the missionaries. He is so excited. yesterday we were looking for him because he didnt come to his lession on thursday but we couldnt find him. We thought that we were going to have to postpone his baptism because he still needed some teachings. When we couldnt find him I said a prayer asking for someway to find him and talk to him.  We were in the church for the interviews of the family and he just walked in. He didnt know that we would be there he just came. It was a miracle. This whole week has been full of miracles. We told him that we might have to pospone his baptism and he energeticly pleaded that we didnt becuase he was looking forward to sunday so much and had invited a lot of his family and his friends. He keeps telling us that in a year he is going to be a missionary too. I love seeing miracles. This week I was walking in the street trying to remember a why I had to take out some money to pay for something but I could not remember why. I prayed and almost instantly I remembered. Or better said god reminded me. There are so many times when I feel like my prayers are answered right away. I know that god really cares what is worring us or what is happening in our lives. I really love what I am doing. I am learning a ton and I know that I am growing closer to christ which is the most important. This week of thanks giving I am so thankful for this last year and 4 months that I have had in my mission. This year, 2014, i have been writing down each day the things of that day that I am grateful for. It has helped me see really how grateful I am for everything in my life. 
I love you all and am so grateful for your suport and love.
Elder Hamilton

 Christmas is coming and so our all the boxes
 Missionaries going home
The beautiful Sea!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

ask God for yourself what more we can do

 Costume Party at the ward

Hola Familia
It is great to hear that everything is going well at home. Things are busy but going great as usual. It was less busy this week but as usual there is always something to do. Thats how I like it. I liked reading what Grandma and Grandpa Andrew are doing in Brazil. There are a lot of similar things they are doing that I am involved in in the office so it is fun to see the differences. This next week we will have our transfers so we are waiting for a busy week we are sending home 27 missionaries and receiving 18 new missionaries. This will be my last week in the area that I am working in "Forestal Alto." In the office there are two areas you work in. Now I will be changing companions and I will be in the center of Viña del mar. I am really excited to be working in central vina. I have always wanted to work there. I will be companions with the secretary of the mission, Elder Huntsman from texas. 
This last week I was reading in our search for happiness about joseph smith. After the first vision he didnt have much comunication with god for some time and at one point he was worried about his standing before god. He did a lot of studying and then prayed and asked god. When I was reading that I felt like I could do the same so I decided to pray and ask god how I was doing, where i was in his eyes, and what I need to do better. I was able to receive such a great feeling and direct revelation. I love that we can have this relation with god in our lives and I know that everyone can have it. That is what is so great. The blessings are for each and everyone one of us. It is our choice to decide. Then I was reading in The manual of president Smith for the class sunday and it was talking about just that. It is our choice how we are going to live and what we will do. We can chose to read the scripture, pray, go to the temple often, or we can chose to put other things first and then we will wont always receive the blessings. He talked about how we cant be lazy rather we must always work. I really liked something that he said. This is my own translation so it may not be that great. "It´s our duty to do the best we can and not avoid it, but try with all our soul to magnify the callings the lord gives us, to work diligently for the salvation of our own family, each and every one of us, and for the salvation of those that are in far away places." President Smith. I really liked what he said and think it is what we all need to do. The work is never done. There is always something to learn or pray about. There is always need to go to the temple. if we stop doing these things we start falling backwards. This week we shared with a less active family the restoration. We invited them to go to church and they started to explain all of the reasons why they dont go. Problems with the members, a bad experience,.. all of the normal excuses that we hear as missionaries. They explained how in their home they kept doing all of the things the church teaches they just arent assisting. I felt like I should explain the experience that I have had as a missionary and all of the people that I have seen with these same principle reasons not to go to church. I told them that it always starts with that. First we stop going to church. We can say that we will keep living as we should but at one point that changes. We start falling backwards until we are not obeying the commandments of god and the promises we have made at baptism. I think we could say, for the members who have progressed and assisted the temple. It all starts as we stop assisting the temple often. We can put so many other things in the way in life. I know that I have done it and I keep doing it in my life. As the scriptures say we must give everything to god. We focus on that a lot as missionaries with members, less actives, and investigadors. Christ has given us the path to follow. Will we take it....

I love you all. Thanks for all you are doing to support me. I love being here in chile and sharing the thing that matters most to me. Do what Joseph did and ask god for yourself what more we can do. I know that he will respond. 
Have a great week.
I love you
Les quiero
Elder Hamilton
 Vina Del Mar

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Good but tiring week

Happy Birthday Tynan

Hi everyone. 
it is so good to hear from you all. I am doing good. I had a good but tiring week with lots to do. This week in the office we found out that we need to close 6 areas at the end of this change because we have more people leaving than coming to the mission so the Elder that is incharge of the houses and I started doing that. It has been a lot of work figuring all that out. Yesterday we had the mission leadership council that we have at the biggining of each month. It is with all of the zone leaders and the sister leader trainers. It went well, there was a lot of running arround to get everything done but we were able to do it. Last night all of us from the office were really tired and today we still are like that but its good to have a little break today. 

In our area we are working with a man that has 30 years old. His name is Jonathan. He has some problems with the word of wisdom and other aspects of his life. We are working to help him. He has a lot of desires to change and to come closer to God. He hasnt always had a very easy life and hasnt always made the right choices but he wants to change that. I love see the people who want to change. We were able to go to the hospital this week and give a blessing to one of our investigator´s father. It went really well. We are hoping that we can help her and her family come into the gospel. 

Everything is going really well here. I had a really fun week. I hope that everything is going well for you all at home. Keep doing what you should. 
I love you all so much!!! 

Les quiero
Elder Hamilton

View of Valperasio

Sunday, November 2, 2014

3 Nephi 11

Hola Familia
Tuve una semana magnifica. 
I had a great week this week. I love what I am doing and I love serving the Lord. This week we had our stake conference which was so great. I loved it a lot. President Kähnleins parents were there who are still not members which was cool that they went. This week was good and calm with nothing too new. 
This week we did exchanges with the other two elders from the office and I loved it. We had such an awesome lesson with a family. This family has a friend that is a member in a neighboring stake who called the elders and took them to the house of his friends family. This was the second lession with them and we were talking about the gospel of jesus christ and the things that we need to do here on earth to return to live with god. We were reading in 3 Nephi 11 when Jesus comes to the americas. I love this part of the book of mormon it is so powerful. I love reading about the faithful nephites who were in awe to see Christ. When Jesus was teaching about baptism. The sister, who is catholic, realized how the baptism in the catholic church is different than the way that Christ was baptized and how he taught baptism. It was really awesome and the spirit was so strong. She started crying when we started inviting her to be baptised because she was so happy for her family. Her daughter, who is 14, before didnt really believe in god. She had read her assignment the night before and was really excited. Her mom said that she was so surprised because she normally wasnt like that. I love seeing the changes that people can make in their lives. It is amazing that overnight or over a short period of time people can make these changes.
This last pday we got to go to a baptism and I was so happy for the person getting baptised. If you remember the little girl that was baptised in my area when I first got her to viña. One time when we were visiting her we started talking to her aunts boyfriend who wasnt a member. We were able to share with him like 3 times when he was in thier house and he came to church in our ward once. He lives in central viña where the other to office workers are so we passed the reference to them. This last saturday he got baptised. It was so great to see him do that. I remember the first lesson that we had with him and how he felt a little uncertian. In his baptism he shared his testamony and it was so strong. I loved being able to be so close and see what happened to a reference after we passed it. I was so happy that he got baptized and really happy becuase one of the elders in the office had never done the ordinance of baptising someone before and he got to baptise him. 
It was a really great week and I am looking forward to another great week. I love you so much
Ps- I have already got my halloween stuff taken down and the christmas lights up and they are putting up some christmas lights in central viña too. I love christmas time. 
Les quiero
Elder Hamilton

(Tynan also told me that he will arrive home on June 17!)CH