Sunday, December 28, 2014

Great Christmas Visit

We had a great visit with Tynan on Christmas. Wonderful to have all of our children together!

Feliz Navidad Familia
I had a great and happy christmas here in chile. Oh and did I mention warm or better said Hot Christmas. haha Sorry I know it is snowing there. I loved being able to see that. I miss the snow. Christmas lights just arent the same when it is 9:30 at night and the sun hasnt finished setting yet. haha. There is a family in my ward that is going to Utah today that will be so happy that it is snowing. The highlight of the week was talking to everyone. I loved seeing all of the sibblings together. We keep getting closer and closer to being together completely as a family and I think it is awesome. I also loved being able to see so many others too. I love being able to see and talk with you all. It is something different than the usual. This week was a good week. On Christmas eve we had a dinner with a family in the ward. It was really fun. There were two little kids so it was fun to see their excitement. Everytime they heard something outside they thought that it was santa. Here in chile the whole family waits up until midnight to open the presents. And santa comes durring the week a lot of times to bring the presents and put them under the tree. But the kids cant open them until 12 o clock on christmas eve. WHAT A TEMPTATION! I would have died. I was tempted to open up my stocking early but I held myself back. On christmas we woke up and I opened my stocking. Thanks for all of the food and candy it is the best. I think with everything I have gotten I should be good for a few months. We studied and went to the office. It was a normal office day. I made lunch. The traditional home made christmas pizza. It wasnt on christmas eve but it was really good. After leaving the office we went to talk to you all. The 40 minutes actually felt a little longer than usual which I liked because I got to talk more. After we went and visited a few people. Big surprise but there werent very many people home. We visited with our ward mission leader and his family. I have gotten a bunch of fruit cake here. I have always felt like fruit cake was a joke becuase it basicaly is in the US but here it is really popular. 
This next week we have changes so it will be a busy week. I am really excited because I am companions with the Secretary so I get to go with them to pick up the new missionaries from the MTC right next to the temple. So for the first time I am going to see the Santiago Temple. I am really excited to get to go to Santiago. Then we will have all of the meetings and everything. Then Wednesday I will get my new companion. I dont know who it is yet. If I can get the asistents to tell me maybe I will find out monday or tuesday. If not Wednesday when they are in the internet system that we use. I prefer knowing before hand. haha. i have liked that of my last changes in the office. We are in a rotation so I always knew who I was going to be with. I know it will be good. 
I am so excited for Bryce that will be so awesome!!! That was the best anouncement that I heard in the call. My companion doesnt even know where that is, he is from the woodlands area...? I cant believe everyone is so old. Adam is training drew is graduating. Kevin is in France. Annie is getting married. How does time fly so fast? But I think I like it that way. it means your working hard. 
I love you all so much. I am so grateful for the opportunity to talk to you all this last week. 
Les quiero 
Elder Hamilton

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Que tengan una Feliz Navidad

Office Staff

Hola familia
I am really excited for christmas to come!! We are having a activity in the ward today and then for christmas eve we will be eating with a family. On christmas we are planning on calling at 5 our time so 1 your time. We are going to be doing it the the relief society presidents house. 
I had a crazy but awesome experience this week. On monday the president sent me an email saying that I needed to deposit a lot of money into a bank account but for some reason I didnt get the mail in my regular inbox so i didnt see it. At like 4 in the afternoon he came and asked if I had deposited the money. After trying to figure out what happened to the email I left running with another missionary to try and pay it becuase he said that It had to be paid that day. That was a little bit of a problem because generally the banks here in chile close at 2, now that it was 4 I was just running and praying for a miracle. We got to the bank and it was still open. I was so grateful that in the end everything worked out and we were able to pay what we needed to pay in time. It is something that may seem so small and insignificant but I was so grateful for the lords help putting everything in order to be able to do what we needed to do. I have seen this day after day that really everything will work out in the end. Mom always said that growing up and sometimes I didnt like it. When I was frustrated or mad I just wanted to be like that so hearing that everything would be ok in the end just added to my stress. Now each day that I have when I am stressed I think of that phase and remember that everything will be ok. It is a  great part of patience  (something I am still working on mastering). 
This week in my study I thought of some things that I wanted to share with you. 
I love this special time of year, The lights and decorations bring a special spirit of happiness to my life. I am so grateful for this special season that we have to remember the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. It is really special for me as I am serving as a representative of Christ during this special time. I truly testify that Christ is the greatest gift of our father. He was born of Mary in a humble manger and lived a great life to show us the way back to our father. As we serve him and strive to be like him we will come to truly know him. At one point this season will end, the trees will come down and the lights will be dimmed. We must not let our spiritual lights inside us be dimmed as well throughout the next year. 2015 will come with many things to do and I know in my life it will be full of many changes and experiences. With all that the new year will bring we must not forget the spirit that we have felt in this special time of year. The spirit of Christ is available to each of us year round, we only have to open our hearts and let it in. 
President Uchdorf said "sometimes the most precious and sacred things are right in front of us, in plain sight, but we cannot or will not see them... I promise that if we unclutter our lives a little bit and in sincerity and humility seek the pure and gentle Christ with our hearts, we will see Him, We will find Him, on Christmas and throughout the year."
I know we can find Christ each day throughout the year. I have felt that more in my mission than every before. Each day I come to know my savior better. As I do that I feel a greater happiness than I have ever felt. 
Christ is our savior. He lived and died for each of us. He lives and soon will come to the earth again. We must live each day in preparation for this glorious day. Lets remember this spirit of Christ that we feel at this time of year and keep it throughout the year. We must make room for Jesus Christ in our inn. Elder Maxwell said, "Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus!" Make him room in your hearts. 
Les quiero Mucho
Que tengan una feliz navidad. 
Elder Hamilton


it is a tradition that each week we go to a icecream store that is right in front of where we go for the visas. They say that they got voted one of the best 25 icecream stores in the world. I dont know if it is that good but I like it. 
What a blessing that they always take lots of photos of conferences. 

 Couple that serves in office (and Tynan's ear :)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

It was a lot to do but the lord always blesses us to finish it all

Hi everyone. 
There was a lot of things to do this week it was crazy. But in the end we did it all. My president said at the beginning of the week that it was a lot to do but the lord always blesses us to finish it all. I know that is true. This week we started zone conferences. Generally in the office we dont have a lot to do with that but there was a lot that the president wanted to do for the missionaries so we had a lot of tasks to complete. On monday we started the day off  in the office with our office counsel that we have each monday. At the end of that the president told us all the work that he needed us to do to help him for the conferences that started the following day. So inmediately we got to work. We went to talk to the people who do lunchs when we have conferences to get everything organized with them. We had to go to Jumbo, The big grocery story here that is like walmart, we ended up buying two shoping carts full of things. Back in the office we were getting 275 pendrives ready for the missionaries. One of the "presents" was a pendrive with different videos that we can use in teaching and other training and files that we need in our areas. We may not have ipads but he wanted to go into 2015 a little more technologico. Also we had to prepare emergency kits for each of the missionaries houses. We found out about our next reading of the book of mormon too so we had to get all of the books ready. It is in english and spanish so there were twice as many books to get ready. My companion was lamanating for 9 hours straight monday getting all the papers ready that go inside the books. In the end, on monday, we were able to get everything ready for the conferences for tuesday. We were in the office from 11 in the morning to 11:45 at night so we were a little tired after. The rest of the week we were working during normal office hours trying to get everything as ready as we could for the conferences this week and those that are next week. I fell a little behind in my regular office work with everything we were doing but yesterday I was able to catch up on a lot of that. This next week we still have a little bit to prepare but not a ton. I love it when there is a lot of work to do, and that happens a lot in the office. 
In my conference on tuesday we found out that the church is doing a change in our area starting in 2015. The area south america south which are 4 countries (chile, argentina, uraguay and paraguay) is going to change the way we count our work each week and day. Each day and week we count the number of people with baptism dates, number of investigators asisting chuch, books given, lessons to less actives or converts, lessons with and without members, references, and new investigatos. That is what we do now. Starting in 2015 we will only use two numbers each week. How many people got baptised and the total asistance in the sacrament meeting including members, less actives, and investigators. Thats it. Our focus is supposed to always be baptise, retain, and activate at the same time. Im not sure in which areas the church is doing this change to try it but I am really interested to see the differences. It is a big difference but the work is changing and accelerating. I am so happy and thankful for this special time that I have had here. i have been able to see, and keep seeing, so many different changes in the missionary work and different ways the church is share the gospel. We really live in a chosen time and I am so grateful for that. I love being a part of this great work in such a small but important way. 
I was so happy this week because the Motab chanel started playing all christmas music so I have been able to listen to all christmas music all day in the office. It has been great. 
I love  you all and hope that everything is going well with you. 
Les quiero
Elder Hamilton

Monday, December 8, 2014

Decorating for the Mission Office

 Hugs for Pres and Sister Kahnlein
 District leader Conference

Hi Family
Another week has passed and here we are again. This week went just as fast as each week. The life in the mission in so fast and it is even more in the office. As you can see in my pictures "it is beginning to look a lot like christmas." I had the great opportunity to decorate a tree in our department and in the mission office. It was fun to be able to do that and I received great comments from some of the missionaries and the president. We had mission leadership counsel this week which went very well. That is the meeting with all of the zone leaders and the sister leadership trainers. It was the last time I will get to give a little presentation because the next time I will have my "son". I cant believe I have already been in the office for so long it flies by. I love every part of it. A lot of times it is very stressful and there is always a lot to do but I love doing it. I have enjoyed learning a lot durring this time. We still have the whole month of december before the next transfers so I still have a lot of time to work which makes me happy. I cant believe that in a little bit Brandon goes home. I am sure Carlene is really happy and looking forward to that day. 
Everything is going well in my area. We found a new investigator this week that is really great. She was budist but really open to change. She said that after reading the book of mormon and praying she felt peace and tranquility. She was able to recognize that as her answer. She is working towards baptism and we are going to be helping her prepare herself so I am excited to se her progress. 
Mom asked about our book of mormon reading as a mission. We havent been doing the last one for the last month because the president wanted to wait. We are going to start reading this week. It is going to be for 4 months because we will be reading the book of mormon with el libro de Mormón. We dont know what the different subjects will be that we will look for but I am excited to be reading it again in english.  In the translation there are some differences (translation never is perfect) It will be very interesting to see the differences in the two. 
I am doing great and am as happy as always. I love life in this world. It is hard and sometimes I dont think I will every rest but it is full of great experiences and times to learn. Have a great week! I love you all.
Les quiero
Elder Hamilton
 If you know Tynan, you will know how excited he was to decorate the trees in the office.

 Missing Joseph 
 View from my balcony