Elder Hilton's Mailing Address

Letter mailing address:
Elder Mckay Manser Hilton
Brazil Salvador South Mission
Av. Lucaia, 295, Sala 202/203
Ed. Empresarial Lucaia
Horto Florestal
40295-130 Salvador- BA

Package Mailing address:
Elder Mckay Manser Hilton
Brazil Salvador South Mission
Av. Lucaia, 295, Sala 202/203
Ed. Empresarial Lucaia, Horto Florestal
Horto Florestal
40295-130 Salvador- BA

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Week 68: Mission life

Hello my family and friends!!!

Hello guys! how are you today? I have some very interesting news, but nothing to crack the world, just simple little things that have happened in my life and yet are a miracle in my eyes.
On Monday we ran like crazy to leave everything ready for the mission council meeting that was on Tuesday. My companion and I were very excited, especially after a general conference that answered all our prayers and questions, and after a morning of interviews with the best mission president in the world! It was magnificent! We also helped the zone leaders from Porto Seguro who came in to the city to take an English test.

On Tuesday we had the mission council starting early in the morning. It was very inspiring and powerful. We discussed the teachings of general conference as well and how we can apply what we have been taught in our mission, with investigators and in our lives. It was a very good discussion. Then we learned a little more about how to teach our investigators so they can receive the blessings of baptism and the gospel more quickly. President also asked Elder Costa e Silva to sing the hymn "A poor wayfaring man of grief" It was very good. Later in the evening we took the everyone to the bus station and Elder Brito went with Elder Costa e Silva while I finished some tasks in the office with the rest of the assistants.





Wednesday we had many tasks to do early so we started running and doing everything on time, it was nothing different, only that we started very early, before 8:00 a.m.

Thursday It was a little different, Elder Prado, Elder Jenkins and Elder High finished their missions and went home. We took them all to the airport. Elder Prado went early in the morning, we said goodbye to him.  Elders Jenkins and Elder High went to the airport in the afternoon. We had lunch with them and we said goodbye ... I love those guys, very much; They're like brothers to me. taught me, helped me and made me laugh. They are good and finished with honor. I'm going to miss those guys.

Yesterday we worked normally, solving problems and making everything work in peace. In other words, giving our best so we can we find a family that will progress fast. We are helping some more people to prepare for baptism. Everything will work out and we know that with the Lord by our side we will find more and more elect people. We will be able to bring them to Christ and his true Church.

I am learning more about becoming a better and more effective missionary, I have had a lot of help and I am trying to apply what I learn; and as we learn from Elder Holland, it is okay for us not to be perfect, what matters is to keep on seeking to be perfected in Christ and he will fill our holes.

I love you family

-Elder Hilton

Then there is a nice Audi that was parked close to our house!





Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Week 67: GENERAL CONFERENCE

This week was great! On Wednesday Elder De La O came to Salvador to renew his VISA. We also renewed Elder and  Sister Briggs´ VISAS. We only ran into a few problems with Elder De La O´s VISA renewal process, but we just paid a fine and everything was okay. Elder and Sister Briggs bought us pizza too!




I´ve been pretty excited about general conference. I always feel more uplifted and inspired afterwards. Hearing it as a missionary is special. I hear everything in a different way. This week i want to share only 3 highlights of general conference. These are the top three things that i liked most about conference.

us watching general conference in the office


1.)  I loved what Dieter F. Uchtdorf said about how we receive blessings. He said, ´´Blessings won't come because of our abilities, but because of our choices.´´  That is very true. agency can work wonders.

2.)  Jeffery R. Holland quoted Matthew 5:48“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect”
We can be our own enemy. As children of God we should not demean and beat up on ourselves.  Perfection is still pending! AMEN!!!

3.)  Gary E Stevenson described a total solar eclipse. He put into perspective the sun's size in comparison to the moon´s. It´s like a bike tire and a little pebble. Spiritual eclipses is when we let sin and temptation block the light of the gospel and our father in heaven. We can protect our eyes from spiritual eclipses by wearing the protective glasses of the gospel. Ways we can “wear our glasses´´ is take the sacrament and say our daily prayers. I love that.  We need to look at challenges through the lenses of the gospel. He said don't let small things in our life obstruct our vision of heaven and the future. Don't be blind by focusing on such small things. 

Those were my favorite three things from this general conference. I actually loved all of it, but these three topics called my attention the most. I´m grateful to be a missionary. I know this gospel is true and that following it brings happiness. Love you family!

-Elder Hilton

The new group of missionaries we picked up at the airport September 5th with President and Sister Bangerter



Saturday, September 30, 2017

Week 66: Believe in Miracles!!

Another week flew by! I feel like it was just P-Day a few days ago! The days go by fast when we are busy and working hard. I have some good news! Romilda, Lucas, and Luana passed their baptismal interviews and they will be baptized today (Saturday). They are a great family. They receive us very well every visit we make and they almost always have food prepared for us. We introduced them to Cevada (a drink to substitute their coffee) and now they make it for us almost every visit. Wednesday, the night of their interview, Romila had prepared cevada, Goiaba juice, a cuscuz dish, ground beef pastels, and a delicious cake. Then Friday night we brought some other members to their house and Romilda had prepared a cassava (mandioca) dish, Cevada, and another cake! Romilda, Lucas, and Luana are all ready for their baptism today.




Today I wanted to talk a little about miracles. Many people think miracles are mind-blowing occurrences that rarely happen. This week I read an article that helped me understand more about miracles. I pasted it´s URL at the bottom. By reading it, I was able to recognize the miracles in my life and in the lives of my investigators. A miracle has been defined as “a beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand and of themselves cannot duplicate.” Christ performed many miracles in the lives of others. He taught people, blessed people, and cured many from physical ailness.
The Book of Mormon teaches that a greater miracle than physical miracles, is a mighty change of heart by a son or daughter of God (Mosiah 5:2). A change of heart, including new attitudes, priorities, and desires, is greater and more important than any miracle involving the body.

 Dallin H. Oaks said ´´the body will be resurrected in any event, but a change affecting what the scripture calls the “heart” of a spirit son or daughter of God is a change whose effect is eternal. If of the right kind, this change opens the door to the process of repentance that cleanses us to dwell in the presence of God. It introduces the perspective and priorities that lead us to make the choices that qualify us for eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7).  God wants to bless his children, and sometimes does so in ways that require the manifestation of extraordinary power. He is restrained only by their lack of faith. Thus, the absence of miracles is evidence of the lack of faith among his children, "for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain" (Moro. 7:37). "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them" (Ether 12:12).

I learned that it is by our faith that miracles happen. If I don´t have faith that i can change or do something very difficult, clearly I won´t be able to. When I think of my investigators, I think of miracles. Romilda and her family are a living example of the principles explained by Dallin H. Oaks. ( ´´The absence of miracles is evidence of the lack of faith among his children, for it is by faith that miracles are wrought´´) . Romilda and her family have lots of faith in the promises of Christ and Heavenly Father that we taught them. It was with this type of faith that within one month they will be getting baptized. On August 24th I went on splits with Elder J. Silva (my zone leader). We were in the middle of a big staircase in the favela and all our appointments had fallen through. We prayed for orientation to know where to go and who to talk with. We asked that we would be able to find 1 good family to teach. Afterwards we found Romilda´s family as well as Joselito. Now exactly one month later on September 24th Romilda and her family will be purified by baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Joselito has accepted a baptismal date as a goal. To me the changes they made in so little time is a miracle. I have worked with people that have difficulties with certain addictions. Some take a looong time to stop, and others never do. To me it is a miracle that Romilda, Luana, and Lucas have the faith, desire, and will to put some old habits aside and follow Jesus Christ. They began to open their ´´spiritual eyes´´ and realize their true purpose here on Earth. They are beginning to have a change of heart and see the larger picture.  These are miracles.

The article I read says, ´´Physical miracles have played an important role at various times, particularly when the Lord is reestablishing His Church after a period of darkness.
But ultimately, they are a matter of very little eternal consequence. You see, whether a person is cured of physical blindness in this life is ultimately inconsequential.
But whether spiritual blindness is healed is a matter of utmost eternal significance. Christ performed many miracles while he was here on the Earth, but the only ones that
really mattered were the Atonement and the hearts that were changed by His goodness. These true miracles are what Christ still performs today through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Other physical miracles happen too, but it is the spiritual miracles—the ones that have occurred in my life and I hope in yours—that are the hallmark of Christ’s ministry. I believe that these types of miracles
 can happen more often.´´

´´Of all the miraculous gifts of God given to his children, the one of greatest benefit is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. By powers and means not understood by mere mortals, Jesus was able to take upon himself the sins of the world and make it possible for anyone by repentance, to escape the otherwise inescapable suffering of sin and the doom of death, and thereby return to the presence of God. "For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent…which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit" (D&C 19:16, 18). ´´

The miracle of forgiveness is wonderful. I learned that physical miracles are great to experience and can surely happen in our lives, but more important than these physical changes are the spiritual changes that take place within us. When we come to appreciate the Savior´s incomprehensible feat we call the Atonement, and when we apply its healing power, we see spiritual miracles occur. These types of miracles change us and forge us into new people. They widen our vision, and define our objectives. I know that when we recognize God´s hand in our lives and feel grateful for Him, we realize how blessed we are.

While serving my mission, I have noticed that it is impossible to be perfect. I have personal weaknesses and sometimes I fail. I also know that we are given weaknesses so that we might overcome them and be stronger. I´ve had to rely on the Atonement of Christ to get through tough times. I hope that, regardless of what weaknesses we have, we may feel our nature being changed by Christ´s grace. I have felt Christ´s influence change me little by little during my own life. I look back at the last 5 years and I see how He has helped me overcome weakness after weakness. Instead of giving up on myself,  I trust in him and continue pushing forward.  This is a miracle. To me these personal miracles that take place are just as special, and have just as much impact, than any temporal or physical blessing He could give us.

I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a church of miracles. I am thankful to be serving a mission and being a special witness of God´s love for His children. I love you family!

Here is the article


https://happiness-seekers.com/2016/08/02/does-your-church-perform-miracles-a-mormon-missionarys-response/


BALANCE!

LACERDA!

MOTOCROSS!

RIO DE JANEIRO!!



Friday, September 22, 2017

week 65: Work, work, work brings JOY, JOY, JOY!!!!!

 Monday September 11th: Monday we spent all day in the office preparing for the mission council on Tuesday. We bought everyone´s bus passes at the bus station, then I stayed in the office organized materials, etc. Also the maintenance guy came in and GUESS WHAT!! I got a new computer installed! The best computer in the mission, probably in all Brasil. Its the new 2017 Dell with Windows 10, 8 gig Ram, etc. Its so much faster! I guess since i´ve been working in the office, I´ve become a little more of a computer geek. I´m actually learning a lot haha. I printed out hundreds of papers and made Sister Bangerter´s temple checklist that she wants given to all recent converts in their letters from President.  We didn´t eat anything until 6:00 pm and we didn´t have any money because my bag is still in Porto Seguro, so President let us buy Subway with his card. We stayed in the office with the assistants until 1:00 am preparing for mission council the next day.



Tuesday September 12th: MISSION COUNCIL. It was really good. Good teachings and good food. We learned a lot about how to teach the Plan of Salvation better. President also addressed some goals that the stakes throughout the  mission are making concerning priesthood ordinations. After  council we helped everyone grab their materials and go the the bus station to catch their late buses. We didn´t get to bed before midnight either, and we had zone conference at 7:00 am the next morning.


Wednesday September 13th: ZONE CONFERENCE. At 7:00 am we had leadership meeting then the normal conference. It was all held at the Amaralina chapel. I will share more about what i learned later in this email. Afterwards Diana went with us to teach Clara and Cailane the Plan of Salvation. We also taught the Plan of Salvation with Diana to Romilda and her twin kids Lucas and Luana. Then we stopped by Isaias´s house and marked a family night to bring our investigators to for the next Monday. Then we called Eddy (best taxi man alive), dropped Diana off at home, and drove straight to the bus station to buy Elder Lima´s bus pass to travel to vitoria da conquista. After he caught his bus my companion bought us McDonald´s to celebrate the day. We didn´t get home until super late  again.


Thursday September 14th: WEEKLY PLANNING. We had an awesome weekly planning session. It actually felt productive and organized. We got a better vision for our investigators. Then lunch at Antonia´s house, office work, and proselyte! We decided to do contacts on the street that we live on; Rua Macaúbas. We knocked on almost every door and talked with 7 different people in 7 different houses and marked appointment with them. To finish off the day we knocked on every door in our own apartment complex. Afterwards i cut my own hair and went to bed because I was so exhausted from the last 2 weeks of little sleep. I learned that when i do more contacts i feel more like a missionary. I just need to lose my timidness and open my mouth.



Friday September 15th: I started planning for the missionaries that will be going home at the end of this transfer. I looked into plane flights and all that fun stuff. We ate lunch at the bishop´s son´s house. We had a HUGE, i mean GINORMOUS lasagna. Around 7:00 pm we had a family night with Romilda´s family with 3 members that we invited (Mike, Mateus, and Joelma). We got there and Romilda had prepared a freakin´ feast! She made bread, a cuscuz dish, boiled bananas, mango juice, cevada, and a NUTELLA CAKE!! We actually brought the cevada to switch out their coffee, and they like it. What a miracle!

Saturday September 16th: P-DAY ! We had an appointment marked with Eduardo for 9:00 am. He is one of guys we contacted on Thursday that lives on our road. We knocked, but his mom said he was sleeping, so we went on the the office. Lunch was at the bishop´s and his wife prepared a feast!



That night  we taught Eduardo for our first time and then Úanderson. Úanderson has known the missionaries for a long time and was almost baptized, but he moved houses and his work picked up pace. We went a long time without teaching him until we found his new house.  We taught him and he admitted he just needs to get married to his ´´wife´´ and stop smoking, then he can be baptized. We plan on helping him through these things so he can be baptized.

Sunday September 17th: STAKE CONFERENCE. We took a taxi to pick up our investigors and take them to conference. Romilda, Lucas, and Luana came and they really liked it. They said our church is like no other church they have ever been to and that they felt good there. (that´s because it´s Christ´s church!) . During the conference, Diego showed up with his family and Hosana, a recent convert that I baptized, also showed up towards the end. She was super happy to see me, and she told me that she is now the 2nd councilor in the relief society! Look at the fruits of missionary work! I was happy that she was happy and still firm in the gospel.




 I am so grateful for my family. As I see and get to know other missionaries and people I realize that not everyone comes from the same family situations. I feel so blessed to have the family I have. I am grateful for my hardworking parents. They truly know the principle of hard work. Everything that I have and that i´ve come to be is a result of my parent´s hard work. Sometimes I feel concerned about my dad because he works so hard and has lots of responsibilities, but not too much that it distracts me in my missionary work.


I know that we are all blessed by hard work. How do you feel about work? What does God think about work?

   President Bangerter tells us work, work, work brings joy, joy, joy! God loves the worker. He revealed to a prophet: "Sweet is the sleep of the laborer, whether he eats little or much;  (Eccl. 5:12). I love being a missionary. That is really all I can say. i have yet to experience a better feeling than coming in at night starving and exhausted but just so beyond happy. Then I sleep well knowing that I worked hard that day and am prepared for the next day.

   The principle of work is eternal - and fundamental in the kingdom of God. God isn´t an idle God. To me each transfer is a time to reflect on my own work - and plan to work in the future. Our president shared this quote by President Benson with us.

  ´´95 percent of all problems in the mission field ( and normal life too :) can be solved with work. Work, work, work is the key to success. "

   This is true in everything. Work is a principle of happiness, health, talent, trust, and success. The opposite of work is idleness and idleness does nothing good for us. D&C 42:42 ´´Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.´´  President Bangerter explained to us that wearing the robes of the worker is an honor. The missionary tag is a worker's tag. I feel honor wearing my missionary tag and I feel more like a worker! I want to wear the workers robes worthily. I can´t reap the fruits of work I didn´t do! So work is critical to the joy and happiness and success of my mission! My dad once shared with me that idleness is the playground of the devil. The quote my mission president shared with us relates to this perfectly. ´´idleness is a pit of iniquity´´. If we are busy working, studying, or reading the scriptures, we won´t be as easily tempted by the ´´fiery darts of the adversary´´. I have seen this in my own life, before my mission and during my service. God has given us everything we need to avoid the enemy´s snares. We have the Bible, the Book of Mormon, other church standard works, the PROPHET, his apostles, our local church leaders, the MISSIONARIES :) , the temples, the sacrament, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and so many other things always warning us and guarding us from the enemy´s traps. I´m so thankful for these blessings. I´m grateful to have a living prophet in today´s world. I didn´t realize the importance of this until I grew up more and realized how hard life could be in today´s world without having a man called by God to receive revelation to lead us in the right direction.

   With work comes The Holy Ghost - AND POWER! Workers do not get tired - fatigue is the fruit of idleness. We have the promise that for those who magnify their callings and work with faith that their bodies (and minds) are renewed and refreshed. These next transfers my companion and I are going to show the bishop, the ward, ourselves and God that we are workers. We have our duties, and we know we can reach higher targets. We can have even more progressing investigators and more baptisms!  I have great faith that with hard work, miracles will follow.
I have a burning testimony of this.

   I am feeling more fire in our area as we are beginning to talk with more people and set more dates. I am very satisfied with the baptismal dates we have, and I know that this number will only grow. I love having this ´´higher vision´´ when i first meet a person and invite them to listen to us even if it´s only for 5 minutes. I know that Christ´s teachings and his Gospel can open people´s eyes and hearts. A lot of times people are interested even when they don´t completely show it.

Elder Costa e Silva is still the same good guy as when I met him. I like his enthusiasm to work. Work work work brings joy joy joy. Yes we do get tired, and sometimes feel worn out, but we keep each other up and going, always encouraging each other to work harder. When we get home at the end of the day, I feel happier knowing that we worked hard and have helped other people come closer to Christ.  I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ established on the Earth in preparation for His second coming and that it is an active working church. Thomas S. Monson is the current prophet. This is God´s work. It will continue until it fills the world and sounds in every ear. I´m grateful to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. My calling is to declare repentance to His people that they might follow the true gospel and have everlasting life. To me, this last year and 3 months has been a great privilege to represent Jesus Christ. Every week is a good week when you are serving God. I love you family!

-Elder Hilton

Monday, September 18, 2017

week 64: Feliz dia de Independência BRASIL!

Happy independence day Brasil! Thursday was September 7th; Brasil´s independence day, which pretty much means more craziness in the favela. I won´t go into that. haha. Let´s just say we didn´t teach a single lesson, but we were able to mark appointments with investigators for the following days.
   These last 2 weeks were a little rough concerning work in the office. We ran into a few problems that created more stress for me as a secretary. We had all our computers formatted and everyone backed up what we thought we needed. A few (REALLY) important things weren´t backed up and it made President Bangerter feel terrible and get really worried. We are still working on recovering what was lost.
   On Sunday we had 3 investigators confirmed to go to church and we were a little discouraged when we woke up Sunday morning and saw how stormy weather was forming. Usually when it´s raining investigators give excuses and won´t go to church. Around 7:30 am we left the house to walk to our area. The heavens started to dump cats and dogs, but nothing could stop us, so we held firm to our umbrellas and pushed through. Well, umbrellas didn´t do us much good because it was raining super hard and it was super windy.  We were walking right on the coast during a storm and the funny thing is that there was a marathon going on too on the same path. The whole way we were surrounded by hundreds of soaked marathon runners. They were giving out these plastic water sacs for the runners and a lot of them were just thrown on the ground, still full of water. I stomped on an unopened one and it exploded and totally shot up and splashed into a  dude´s face to my right. It was kind of funny because he didn´t care because he was already soaked to the bones. There were even those professional photographer guys with their big cameras taking pictures. As the runners ran the course, they waved at the cameras, giving thumbs up, etc. We just helplessly held our umbrellas (that were practically useless) and smiled. ´´just smile and wave boys... smile and wave.´´ - Madagascar Penguins. hahaha.  I´m pretty sure that somewhere out there on the internet there are some pictures of this marathon with two drenched mormon missionaries! hahaha  Our sacrifice paid off because when we got to our investigors house 2 of the 3 were ready to go and they came to church with us. We called Eddy (our special taxi man) and he drove us to church. Lucas and Luana (our investigators) liked church and make new friends. Luana told us her favorite part was the testimonies during fast and testimony meeting. I know she felt the spirit. I´m grateful to be teaching them.
   We have 10 investgators with a baptismal date. Its not to hard to get people to accept dates. What complicates things is their individual commitment to reading, praying, and keeping God´s commandments. Every one of our investigators is different, making our work always interesting. We know for sure that Diego will be baptized. He has been to church 10 times and is just finishing up the process of marriage. After Diego, we have 5 other investigators that are close to baptism; Romilda, Luana, Lucas, Cailane, Clara.
   This last week was transfer week as well and it was really busy like usual. Here we go, this is a summary of how tranfer week goes:

  Sunday after church we get informed about the transfer. We prepare everything so we can buy all the bus passes that same night or Monday morning. Also on Monday morning we took Elder Carvalho to the airport and he caught his plane home. The rest of the day Monday we spent a lot of time between the office and the bus station helping missionaries. It was very busy and we didn´t get home until after midnight.
   We woke up early Tuesday morning to go to the airport again, but this time we went with President Bangerter and his wife to pick up 9 new missionaries!! This is seriously the best part of being secretary. It is so awesome to see a group of newly arrived missionaries. There faces are priceless and it makes me reflect to when I arrived my first day in the airport. There were 5 sisters and 4 Elders. There was only one american, an Elder from Utah. After their day in the mission home receiving trainings and receiving their new companions, we sent them all off to their new areas. During all this running around in taxis I left my bag in Eddy´s taxi and told him to just keep it in his taxi until we meet again later that night. Eddy picked up some other missionaries and Elder Do Vale didn´t notice whose it was and accidently took it while helping some sisters board their bus. So my missionary bag got taken to a city 12 hours away called Porto Seguro! It had everything in it. My wallet, planner, camera, etc. I will get it back on September 12th when we have mission council. Thank goodness. So sadly this week i don´t have any pictures.
   On Wednesday Elder Jenkins, Elder Prado, Elder Semedo, and Elder Pereira took LOTS of materials from the office and took a bus to a new area that President opened called Bom Jesus da Lapa. We had to go to the bus station to buy their passes. Then I returned to the office to work on finishing the departure folders and re-creating a letter that gets sent home to the stake presidents of the return missionaries. I stayed in the office working on that while my companion went to bus station to help the elders board their bus to Bom Jesus Da Lapa. When my comp. got back we went straight to president´s house to drop off those departure folders. Sister Bangerter gave us a whole batch of burned cookies that she made. She was going to throw them away, but they weren´t even burned bad at all so she offered them to us. They were delicious! A good american chocolate chip cookie tastes so good after so long without them....even if they´re a little crispy haha. Afterwards we went back to the office and i organized the crap out of it. It looks so much better. At home that night Elder Da Silva , my comp, and I couldn´t sleep so we stayed awake until who knows when. We talked about things from if Cain is still alive or not,  to everything about superheroes (and everything between)
   Thursday presented its own challenges. Thursday is the day of the transfer that missionaries going home catch their planes. There were 5 going home. My companion and I picked them up at their hotel in the morning and President assigned us to take two of them to the airport. The others had flights at later hours, so president had us take these two elders that had to catch planes in the morning. Everything was planned to happen so smoothly. It almost happened perfectly. One elder boarded his plane without problems and the other Elder didn´t go so smooth. His luggage was going to be sent to the wrong place. It would go to Curitiba with one stop in Campinas. He would just stay in Campinas because that is where he lives, but his luggage was being shipped all the way to Curitiba.  We did everything we could and in the end everything was okay. It was extremely last minute, but it all worked out.
    From Monday to Thursday we didn´t even go to our area because of Transfers. Friday we finally went to our area and taught! We taught two solid lessons. They went really well, and our investigators are doing awesome. Some have problems with coffee, but we are already helping them quit. We are super excited for them We are excited to have baptisms!
   Saturday was P-DAY in the office. That afternoon we left to teach 3 lessons. We taught Romilda´s family, Joselito, and Diego. Our investigator´s are so awesome! Romilda is a happy person and super funny. whenever she cracks up laughing everyone laughs with her. Joselito is very interested in what we teach. He used to have a really rough life, then he ´´found Jesus´´ He has been baptized in 3 different churches but doesn´t go to any of them any more. His glasses are broken, but he still tries his best to read the Book of Mormon. He shows so many signs of faith that make us happy and excited to visit him each time. Get this. Saturday night we confirmed with Joselito if he would go to church or not, and he said he won´t be able to because of a project he is doing. He showed us how his roof got messed up from that gnarly storm last Sunday and explained how he really needed to repair the broken and shifted shingles. We also had invited his son-in-law and he accepted to come. He told us to pass by Sunday morning and he would come with us.
    So early Sunday morning we passed by, clapped our hands, and Joselito came out and said his son-in-law is sleeping and won´t be going. Bummer. So we took a bus to get to church without any investigators with us. But get this, towards the end of sacrament meeting, i felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked behind me and guess who was there??? JOSELITO!! WHAT?!? He was the last person i expected to see at church today. I scooted down the pew and had him sit next to me.  I was so happy to see him. He told us that he started to work at home, then stopped and thought, ´´No, today i will go to church´´. What an awesome surprise.  After lunch we did contacts for 2 hours outside of the favela in a nicer neighborhood. Only 4 people gave positive responses saying we can come back another day. I noticed that when i do more contacts I feel more like a missionary. I love being a missionary. Everything we do is a good experience. My companion and I work hard and have a good time too. I love being here and seeing the beauty of Brazil.
   I love you family!!

-Elder Hilton





Friday, September 8, 2017

Week 63: If God Brings You To It, He Will Bring You Through It.

  This week was a great one. Nothing super exciting happened. We closed out the 5th week of this transfer and we are beginning to prepare for transfers next week. The highlight of my week was all of Thursday. On Thursday Fredy Svendsen from São Paulo came to the office to give a financial training to Elder Costa e Silva. When lunch time came around, President Bangerter drove us to lunch. He took us to a nice restaurant in the Pelourinho. Since Fredy Svendsen has never been to Salvador, President Bangerter drove around the city a little to show him a few points of interest. On the way to the restaurant we drove past the famous Soccer Stadium. Then we went to the Lacerda Elevator and went up it to the Pelourinho to eat lunch. We ate a wonderful meal, then President drove us to the Farol da Barra lighthouse. It was a fun quick tour.
   When we got back, we had appointments that afternoon starting at 4 pm. and my companion needed to stay in the office with Fredy, so I went on a division (splits) with our ZL  Elder J. Silva. I had forgotten my tag, so I found a spare tag and I was Elder Roberto for the day. It was pretty funny. We taught a lot and had an incredible division. We arrived at one road in our area, stopped, and prayed for direction. From there we felt inspired to knock on certain doors. Every lesson we taught that day was in that same road and they all went really well. By the end of the day, we had made 6 new investigators, and of those 6, five of them accepted a baptismal date. Some were for the 9th of September and others for the 16th. It was really awesome! Now we have more people to teach and follow up on. It will be fun. I really hope that all of them will actually get baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
   Now we have 10 people with a baptismal date. Diego, Michelle, Lenilson, Joelma, Clara, Kailane, Romilda, Lucas, Luana, and Helena. 10! half of them are for the 9th of septemeber and the others for the 16th. All of them still need to go to church twice.  Lenilson and Joelma need to get married so we will have to reset their date. I´m not sure if Romilda is married to her husband either. But despite all the obstacles, all of these people are progressing! its been very satisfying and fun to teach them!
   On Friday we taught Clara and Kailane. To our delight, they both had read 3 Nephi Chapter 11, the reading we left with them the day before. They both understood the chapter and learned more about baptism. We had a good conversation about the privilege of having the gift of the Holy Ghost, and what someone needs to do to receive the gift. They understood that in order to receive this pure gift, someone needs to be pure. They understood that to be pure to receive this gift they need to be baptized. They both accepted the invitation to prepare to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a great lesson. On the other hand, their mom didn´t accept. She wants more time.  In the end I believe that all three of them can be baptized soon. Diego is still progressing like normal. He goes to church and is working on his papers to be married. His baptismal date is the 9th of September. We are super excited for him to get married and be baptized. It will be an awesome day!  Helena is a single mom with one daughter. We taught her the Restoration and about receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. She accepted to prepare to be baptized on the 9th as well! We are super excited for the 9th, because multiple people are preparing to be baptized on that day. We are going to do all we can to follow up with our investigators, so that they can make these ordinances on the 9th.
   I know that the Gospel is true and that all of us can follow it. I know that repentance is an essential part of the Gospel. It is a joyful choice. I love Dale G. Renlund´s talk about repentance. He said, ´´ The fact that we can repent is the good news of the gospel! Guilt can be “swept away.” We can be filled with joy, receive a remission of our sins, and have “peace of conscience.” We can be freed from feelings of despair and the bondage of sin. We can be filled with the marvelous light of God and be “pained no more.” Repentance is not only possible but also joyful because of our Savior. ´´  This is true! Repentance is possible and it is joyful because of our Savior! He takes our burden and weight that is on us, and puts it on his yoke. He willingly does this for us, and we don´t need to ´´feel bad´´ handing it over to him, because he has already paid the price for our sins. We just need to recognize it, respect Him and use His atonement! The gospel of Jesus Christ is wonderful. It´s somethings that everyone needs in their lives. We change for the better with it. We become more. US + CHRIST = MORE. I´m grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary, teaching these principles to people. I´m grateful for my Savior´s example. Sometimes i think, why was I called to serve? Why was I sent to Brazil, of all places. Why was I called to be the secretary of the mission? All these questions came to my mind. Then i realized that if God calls us, we must answer and what he brings us to, he brings us though.




Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Week 62: IF IT DOESN'T CHALLENGE YOU, IT WON'T CHANGE YOU

Good morning everyone!

   Well my week was very interesting and intense in a way, many things happened, and many challenges were opposed against us

   Monday: On Monday I did one of the hardest things as a secretary I sent another missionary home early. This has happened before, but this time it was a little worse, because the missionary we had to send home was my friend. Elder Costa e Silva had a more difficult time because he was with that Elder in the MTC and they were really close. He was traveling down an emotionally rough path throughout this week. I had the privilege of giving him a few blessings during the course of the week to help him out.

  Tuesday: On Tuesday we had a fast-pace day in the office solving other problems that had risen, helping to maintain peace and order in the mission. During work hours in the field I did a division with my buddy Elder Da Silva. My companion went with our district leader to my area to work. All our commitments fell, except one. We taught one man who just needs to get married to progress more. Then I met again with my companion after the division at night and we had to go back to the office to print some more things that the President would need for the zone conference the next day.

   Wednesday: On Wednesday we had a great zone conference  After the conference we had to run because of an emergency transfer that would happen, many missionaries would be moved and some other areas would be closed because we had to send more missionaries home.  Some because of health problems and others for reasons we do not know. Then we went back to the office and we worked.  We are like SHIELD. Nobody knows what we do or how we do it, they only know that we do it. We spent the remainder of the day getting tickets for both buses and planes. Although all the rush, I read some articles and also saw some videos, and during this study something I learned touched me very strongly in my heart. What I learned was: "In our mind as perfectionists we think of a mathematical equation that is US + MORE = CHRIST we think, that if am more humble, fervent, charitable, etc., then I will be like Christ, but this is a wrong equation , Satan uses this perfect lie to bind us and pull us down. He says: You have to be like Christ, you have to be just like Him, but without Him. Alone. Gradually he excludes Christ from the equation, and substitutes for superficial things, such as: If I had more followers on social networks, then I would have friends, if I had a girlfriend, then I would be loved. This is the perfect lie. Jesus Christ certainly said that we have to be perfect as He is, but He never said that we have to be perfect now or tomorrow or in this life. He never said that we have to be perfect without Him. He always said: Come to me and I will make you more, come to me and I will make more than you can see or imagine.

   The right equation would be US + CHRIST = MORE. When Christ multiplied the loaves he had only 5 loaves and 2 fish; He said it was enough because it was all they had and then of 5 loaves and 2 fish he made more and fed a crowd of over 5000 men and their families. When Christ was at the wedding and the wine was over and they came to talk to Him, He did not say that it was an unpleasant situation or that they were a failure because they had no more wine, He simply said, okay, you have a problem? -We have water. Then He commanded them to fill the barrels and the water turned into more wine. It was not any wine, but the best wine of the night! He has the same power with us, his grace is more, his atonement is more than for sins. And the same way he did with the loaves and wine he can do to me, I am not perfect, but I can trust his grace.

Thursday: We moved the missionaries who were being transferred and in the morning we had to take some of them to the president's house. My companion ended up talking to President about his current struggles of perfectionism and his other stresses. He talked for him for an hour! I just stayed in the living room and played the piano. It was pretty fun.

Friday: Yesterday was a more common day in the office, we are looking for a house to move us and yesterday we found one that is good and we are almost certain we will go there in the coming weeks. Last night we also found a new investigator who is very sincere.  He accepted to be baptized on September 9th, so we will help him progress to baptism.

Today we have an activity night and a baptism of the other elders, which is going to be very good. I realized that we are not so far behind, we have 5 baptisms scheduled for the next 3 weeks and I know that, with trust in God, they will happen We just have to be diligent and obedient. This week I was able to learn more about how the Lord is willing to help us and how he expects us to be perfected in Christ and not Christ himself.  ME + CHRIST = MORE. I feel his love, his power empowers me and I feel his Spirit at my side.  I am his son and that is what makes me perfect for him, he created me and he does not make mistakes. I know that even if I have faults and holes he can fill me in and he fills with his atonement and his grace. I love my Heavenly Father, I love my Savior Jesus Christ and without doubt the Savior's love is my greatest blessing. God lives and will guide us and completes us if we draw close to Him, and turn our weaknesses into strengths.




This is a picture of before her baptism.


 ON the bus there was this guy with 2 5-gallon buckets full of those little fish. Kinda strange, huh


Lunch at Dalva's house




Dessert at Diego's