Monday, March 30, 2015

Lunch at the Beach

Lunch at the beach

Hola familia
This week we had changes and I got a new companion. 
Starting this week off. I was in a trio becuase a missionary from our zone finished his mission. That was a lot of fun and it was great because we could go into any house to be able to teach. (we cant enter houses with woman alone). Then on tuesday night the asistants called us to tell us that Both of the other elders were leaving. In my branch we used to have 6 missionaries but they let us know that we are closing one of the areas and taking out 2 missionaries. So I was the only elder that stayed here and the two sisters stayed as well. Now our area is bigger and we are learning it and getting to know the people together. On tuesday night we had to go over to the other elders house so that he could pack up his stuff to leave. We were there until 11:30 and ate some sushi which was so great. Then we went back to our house so my companion could pack and he did so until like 2 in the morning. On wednesday we got up and soon had to get on a bus to go to a place that is called los vilos. It is like 1 hour away in bus. We got there and waited until the bus came to take my companion and the other elder to viña. After they left I went with another elder in los vilos to work. We got to eat in a house that was right in frount of the beach. It was so awesome. I havent been to the beach in more than 1 and a half years. I loved it and took the moment to take a few pictures. After I was in los vilos working with Elder Leto from argentina until 8 when my new companion got here. His name is Elder Fraser and he is from argentina. He is really great and nice. We are really excited for this change. He is so great. He made brownies yesterday and said that he loves to cook so I am excited for that too. The rest of the week we have been getting to know our area now and working with investigators. we arent seeing very much progress with our investigatores right now so we are really looking for new ones. I guess in reality we are always looking for new investigators. We were a little sad because a lot of people that we had taught this week didnt come to church. Now today we started the day off by cleaning the old elders house that we are closing. It was a big cleaning project. It is a good thing I like to clean. 
I cannot tell you how excited I am for the general Conference. It is the best week of the year!!! I am really looking forward to being able to receive help and inspiration for these next 6 months. There are great changes coming in these six months and I really am looking for the lords help as I make them. I love you so very much. Sorry this week we had some dificulties with the internet so Time is a little short but I love you all so so much. 
Elder Hamilton

Monday, March 23, 2015

Great Reward At The End

 Branch Missionaries
 Branch Members

Illapel Zone

Hola familia
Another week has passed in life and I am still happy and loving it. It is so great how many experiences we are blessed with in each one of our lives. If I look back on the week to be honest it just looks normal and like nother big happened but as I look at each individual experience I realize the hand of god in our lives each minute. It is the same for all of you in your lives. You can look at the small marks of divine help in your lives each day and it makes life great. Mom you talked about running my marathon and that process that I went through and the help I got from so many people. It is interesting because I have thought a ton about that during my mission. I have thought about the hardest parts of the marathon and what I did to keep going, knowing that the reward at the end was great. I had great help from family and friends who supported me, even running the last part with me. I realize that life and the mission are just like that. We have to keep running going through each experience and seeing the blessings each day waiting and working towards the great reward at the end. 
Yesterday I was really happy because some of the less actives we have been working with over the last few weeks went to church. There is a young man who hadnt gone to church the 5 weeks that I have been here. When I got here he had just gotten back from EFY and he had had such a great spiritual experience and then he just dropped and stopped going to church. His mom is also a member but his father and siblings arent. We had been sharing with them a lot but he always had an excuse. In the end yesterday he went to church and I could tell that he was happy with all the members telling him how much they had missed him. We also had a lot of people commited to coming who didnt come, as it happens often, and that is always sad to see. I really understand more and more how important our choices are in our personal progress in life. 
We taught a new investigator this week named Luisa. She is like 70 and is "catholic". She told us that she had never ever let religious people enter her house to talk about religion but that she had decided to let us in this time. We taught her the restoration and the next time we passed by I was suprised and happy to see that she understood it very well and was really taking seriously what we were teaching. There are a lot of people that you can find that are "willing" to listen to the message but really arent willing to apply it in their lives. She said that she has asked herself and god more questions in these few days than in her whole life. She is reading and praying about the book of mormon and Joseph Smith. I love having a message that is so clear and so perfect for answering peoples questions.  I have learned the importance of questions. it is the only way we learn. If we already know everything then there is no point of anything. Each day as I read and study I realize how little I know. I love learning and look forward to be able to do it more during my whole life. There are so many great books out there, the best being the book of mormon. I have realized that as we have been reading the book of mormon as a mission this last year (almost 4 times now) i have come to understand something in my patriarchal blessing. It says that I must rely on the scriptures for strength and guidance. I never really felt that before and wondered how I would find that in my life. I never was really that great at reading in my scriptures everyday, I read for seminary and then in the summer I struggled. As I prepared for my mission and started it I read the scriptures more. Now as I have grown acostombed to reading every single day in the book of mormon I have really come to rely on it for this help. It was a cool realization that I had this week. 
I love  you all so much 
Les quiero
Elder Hamilton

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mission Movie Theater

Hola mi querida familia
This week was great. I know I say that often and you probably are all sick of the same old things that I am saying week after week. But I do enjoy each day. To start off this week I want to talk about my favorite part of the week. Yesterday we had a zone conference which was so great. I loved it. The highlight was that we got to watch Meet the Mormons!!!!!!! It was so awesome. I sent you a picture of the set up. They had it like it was a little movie theater. We even got a little bag of popcorn and a small water bottle. I loved it so much. If you havent seen it you need to do so. The experience of the member were so great I especially loved the last one about the mother and her son going on the mission. Her story is so inspiring to know that God is leading us, as members, by the hand to bless others lives with the gospel. And as you could probably guess a lot of people were crying at the end including me. I was just so happy and thankful for the gospel in my life. When it showed the mom saying goodbye to her son so many memories came through my head as I thought about the last few months I have been able to have in my mission. I am so grateful for each opportunity that we have because of the gospel. It helped me to really focus on how the things I teach are going to help people in their lives. We arent just teaching to share information rather to see these miracles in their lives. I loved the conference so much and am so grateful that we were able to have it. They always give me a great spiritual boost. 
This week were were able to find 5 new investigatores and are looking forward to working with them. We are teaching two siblings, I have talked about them before, named M and D. We are working with them alot so that they can progress. We have really been working on letting them have spiritual experiences to motivate them to make the needed changes in their lives to obey the commandments. They are really great and understand things really well but it is hard for them to change their culture. It is something really hard for people here and I bet in the whole world. 
I want people to understand and accept these blessings in their lives so they can feel the happiness that only comes through christ. As I learn more and more about the gospel I see more and more of the things that I need to change. what you told me today mom was perfect and exactly what I needed. As you study more about Christ you realize that there is so much more that you need to do to repent. I get frustrated sometimes and am really working on patiently going through everything one thing at a time. My companion is such a great example to me and I am so grateful for him. There is so much to learn in life and the mission and I just sometimes dont feel like there is enough time to do it. I am so grateful for the atonement that helps us change. The church is doing a new video for easter that our president showed us yesterday. It is very similar to the video they did the year before and I love how it helps me apply the power of the atonement in my life. 
I love you all so much. Thanks for the examples that you are in my life. 
Elder Hamilton
 Cactus Fruit

 Elder and Sister Cluff from the office

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I Understand Why People Need Visits

Hi familia
Sorry I am writing so late. We had a lot of stuff to do today. I had to go to get my second chilean id card and it takes forever. But now it is done and in a few weeks I will get the card. I cant believe I am already receiving my second I feel like I just got the first haha. This week went well. It went so fast. We started out the week in Viña for the leadership counsel that we had. So monday night and tuesday we were in viña. It was a really great conference. I love having these conferences because they give you a shot of the spirit to keep you animated and going. Now this next monday we will have a zone conference with the president. So that being said, next week my pday will be tuesday just to through everyone off. haha. 
This week we were really happy to see some progress in the branch. On friday we had an activity that was really great. Not very many people were there 5 others and 6 missionaries but it went well. As I was sitting in the activity and after I thought a lot about how God must look at these things. I love seeing the faith of the people even when there are only a few people. It makes me so happy to see the work of the lord working in the lives of even a few people. I know that all over the world there are little congregations reunited showing and growing their faith and I think that is so awesome to see. That being said, sunday we didnt have a lot of people asisting either. 31 people including 6 missionaries. Normaly there are more people we arent sure what happened this week. We were really happy becuase we feel like the members are started to work actively in the work and in their callings. Yesterday we had two brothers with us visiting people a new convert and a leader. At one point we needed to leave them and they decided to go and visit another two houses alone. It was so awesome to see that and we want to do that with more people. Bring them out with us for a few lessions and then send them on their own for a few visits. One thing that is hard here are the home and visiting teachers, it just doesnt get done, but we think that in this way we can get more people visited. I have learned so much the importance of doing visits. Sorry for everytime I didnt want to go with you to visit, dad. I understand why people need visits and need to talk to people especially people other than missionaries. There is a young woman here who is so great at doing missionary work who helped us a lot this week. A few weeks ago at EFY the youth gave out references of their friends and so we received 3 from here from that and this week she gave us one more. It was so great. I was amazed at how much more receptive people are when they are receiving the missionaries from their friends. We are hoping to work more with these referals this week. 
I am doing very great and am really excited for this week. Remember that I will be writing next tuesday not monday. I love you all.
Elder Hamilton

Leadership Conference

Monday, March 2, 2015

It is so awesome to see when the spirit leads you to help people.

Our ward was split Sunday and we are now in a new ward. Tynan and I have known for years this would happen and we would always expect the announcement.
Brock is his great friend from Dance. CH

Hola familia
Wow lots of great news. I cant believe the time has actually come that they are splitting the ward. It will be sad to go but I know it will be good. It made me think of all of the times we would worry and hear the rumors about a ward change I am not surprised to see it. PV6 is such a great ward. I cant believe that Brock is getting married. I knew he would do it fast. My companions last companion also goes home when we do in June and he always loved listening to wedding talks and everything so it rubbed off on my companion and marriage often comes up haha. All of the missionaries that go home are always talking about it. That is so awesome. I am so happy for him. 

Well here in chile I had a great week. It was way to short. I wish there were more days in the week to be able to work. It was really great because we had interchanges with the asistents. We are way to far for one of us to go to their ward so we were in a trio with one and the other worked in another sector. It was a great interchange. At one point we talked with a woman named rosa who we had talked to in the street the week before. We went in and taught her. As we got to know her she shared with us about the day when we had passed by and knocked on her door the first time. She is having a lot of problems with her husband (not married) and she was really sad and depressed. She had posted in facebook that she didnt know if it was worry living through moments like that in life. She had been praying a lot. A little later that day we knocked on the door. It is so awesome to see when the spirit leads you to help people. We didnt know who she was or that she lived there. WE had just gone to pass by another person and we decided to knock on the door at random. I love feeling like the lord is answering peoples prayers through me. 
Saturday this same week we had a similar experience. We were with a member and a lession wasnt home so we asked the member if he knew of someone arround where we were and he told us about a less active woman and her family that were not members. So we went to visit them. The sister wasnt there, just her kids and her mom but her mom let us in and we started talking with her. After a few minutes the sister got there and we shared with her. We started talking about prayer and we asked her to share an experience with prayer. She told us that us being their was an example of the power of prayer in her life. That day she had been praying for strength and help, she felt like she lacked something in her life. Then a little later we got there. It was such an amazing experience. Yesterday she even went to church with here little girls. 
On thursday I went to viña for a training meeting that I had on friday. It was so great becuase I got to see one of my old companions too. I loved the meeting. We talked about some of the responsablities for a zone leader among other things. Now today after our pday we have to go back to viña for a reunion we have with all the other leaders of the mission tomorrow. The bus ride is 3.5 to 4 hours so not too long. The first hour was just twists and turns around a mountain. Mom I promise you would have felt so sick. I was feeling sick almost the whole time. 
It was a great week. I love knowing that I am trying to be an instrument in the lords hands. His work keeps going. We may have changes in our lives but the church is true in the whole world. 
I love you all so much
Have a great week.
Elder Hamilton