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

Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 102: Happy Birthday GRANDMA TERESA!

How´s it going everyone!!! 

Something special happened this week that I wasn´t completely aware of until I read my family´s emails. I realized how eventful and special this last week was for my family. There were lots of tennis matches, home designing, cookie baking, piano practicing, etc, but 2 things that called most of my attention were 1.) GRANDMA TERESA´s 70th B-DAY, and 2.) MY SISTER GOT ENGAGED! It was 10 years agp when Grandma passed away. I was only 10 years old, so I don´t remember a lot, but those sweet memories of her are marked in my heart. I wish you grandma a happy birthday. I LOVE YOU. Now Haley! Congrats to you! and you too Ben! You are going to get married! How crazy is this. I remember when we were just little kids taking bubble baths together in mom and dad´s bathtub and now we are in our twenties and you are engaged! WOWZERS! Anyway it seems like the week back at home was quite eventful and busy. Now I will summarize how our week went using some of the words of my companion. My companion and I live the same lives (go through the same week) so his words can be considered my words. His experiences are also my experiences. hahhahaha. So just a heads up to those people who happen to read my blog and Elder Christofferson´s blog. It is funny because Elder Christofferson writes really well about our week and I take all the pictures. Elder Christofferson told me that his mom told him he needs to take more pictures and he should take advantage while he is my companion because i have a good camera and I take lots of pictures! haha. So it looks like I am the companionship photographer and Elder Christofferson is the companionship reporter/writer.  So here we go.
Ours here in the mission was pretty tiring but a lot of fun. That is the best part about missionary work is that it is hard, tiring work, but when you find the joy in the work, it is all worth it! I will try to hit the highlights of the busy and rainy week here. It was fun to have rain because it cooled down the weather quite a bit. The funny part about the rain here is that it is just like the movies! You can be sitting inside and it is all sunny and literally in like 1 minute everything goes dark. The funniest part is that out of nowhere it just starts pouring rain. It doesn't start little by little it just goes from nothing, to full on downpour. But it stops after like 5 minutes haha! It is pretty cool, but inconvenient sometimes if you get stuck outside! Anyhoo, here was our week. 

So last Monday after our p-day out of the town we headed home to shower and get ready to go to Salvador. The thing that is tough about being so far south in our mission is that the bus ride is 12 hours long! These buses that we get aren't like school or city buses but they are huge, fancy buses. I don't even know if in the United States, bus travel is still a thing but here it is huge. Elder Christofferson and I think it is pretty fun because we had never really done it before. So our bus was at 7:35 pm and we got to the bus station cutting it pretty close but we made it. We were happy to see that we got the same bus as Sister Alves! She is in an area further south than us in our zone, about 3 hours by bus, and she is a Sister Training leader so she also goes to council. But usually that are where she is has 2 STLs but this transfer it is just her. So she was going to go alone but the secretaries helped her out and got us the bus that she was on going to Salvador and we had no idea so it was a fun surprise. We got to Salvador around 8 in the morning and we were all pretty dead because it is hard to sleep on those buses.

 Tuesday was a fun day at the mission home! I realized how much I had already missEd Salvador and it was fun to be back for the day. Leadership council was great. We talked a lot about General Conference and also about how we can better minister as missionaries. In our mission we do these things called verifications where we get the directory of the area we are serving in and then go find all the inactive people to update there addresses, see if they have moved, and see if they have the desire to come back to church. We talked about how we can better implement that in our mission and how we can be better ministers to those people and our investigators. It was great. I have one more cool experience from council that I will share at the end of this letter! 

Wednesday was tiring because we had to run and grab our bus the night before after council and we got back to Eunapolis around 7:30 in the morning. That afternoon we had a really great lesson with Patrick. He is an awesome guy he just needs to go to church! Anyways we got there and he had read the chapter from the Book of Mormon that we left with him. We decided to teach him about the Plan of Salvation. It was a super awesome lesson and he really liked it. We talked a lot about his purpose on the Earth and how he has been searching for it. We testified that he is here to have joy, and to prepare to meet God. He loved it and we decided to challenge him to baptism. He accepted to prepare for the 28th of this month. We were super excited. Fast-forward to Thursday morning and out of nowhere Patrick calls and tells us that he doesn't want visits anymore and that he had a great time getting to know us but that it's not for him. We were super surprised by this after he had just accepted a date for baptism during a spiritual lesson. Of course something had to have happened. Like someone said something to him or he found something on the internet about the Church that wasn't true or something. We told him we just wanted to visit him one more time and so we kept our appointment for Saturday marked. Saturday he wasn't there but we found him on Sunday night and marked with him for Tuesday but he seemed super normal so we don't really know what is going on with him but we are praying that we can still save him! 

Wednesday evening we also went and taught Branca and Iasmin. They were doing great and Iasmin was super question-y again but it was a good visit. We had planned on teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ but I felt like we needed to teach the Plan of Salvation to them too and it was a great lesson. At the end Iasmin said that she felt better knowing that her grandpa and uncle who have already passed away have a chance to get to know the truth still. Both her and Branca seemed pretty touched by the message and said that they were feeling the Spirit. It was super great! 

Thursday night we finally got to go back to our favorites, Israel and his family. We headed over with plans to teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were a little sad to see that when we got there Jucilene (mom of the family) had to leave. She was headed off to a school meeting. So that night we only got to teach Israel, Cristina, and Clara. Carol the oldest daughter was in her room studying for some big college test she had the next day. But we still had an awesome lesson. We took Books of Mormon for the rest of the family and it was awesome. We ended up reading 2 Nephi 31 with the three who participated and it was awesome. At the end of the lesson we were about to get up to go when Jucilene got home and Carol came out of her room. Israel asked for the guitar and started singing this gospel song. It was kind of funny because he wasn't the best singer but after he finished he handed it over to Carol and asked her to sing. And wow it was so awesome. She plays guitar super good and sings great! She sang two songs and the cool part was that the family like joined in on the chorus and totally harmonized haha! I felt like I was watching a movie. And the song she sang was called "Ser Valente" which means, "Be Valiant". So it was a great night and actually the only night we got to see them last week.

Friday was another fun day. Our district leader and his companion came up from Porto Seguro so we could do a district meeting. And guess what, our whole district is Americans!!! It is so funny. Elder Kilidjian, our district leader, wrote on the board "District Heart of America". It was so funny and we had a great meeting and took some good pics haha! 

That afternoon we headed back to Branca and Iasmin's. We decided before that we needed to challenge them to baptism. So we got there and taught the third lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At the end we started asking them what part they were in of the Gospel of Christ. They said repentence and then we asked, "well what is after that then?" The answer is baptism so we started talking about baptism and then we had to explain that even though they had been baptized before they needed ot be baptized by the correct authority and most importantly, need to get the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was one of those conversations that you can't beat around the bush and we did our best and it went well. They accepted a goal for baptism at the end of the month so we are excited about that. 

Saturday was a busy day. We ran all over town talking to people in the rain haha. As of Saturday night we had about 8 people say they were going to come to church. Israel's family, Branca and Iasmin, and one more person. We were excited so we celebrated that night experimenting a little burger place here that we were skeptical about but ended up being SUPER good. My companion and I felt like it was the the first hamburger that we had eaten here that is American quality haha. 

Sunday came and we got a little disappointed. We got to church around 8:50 and Elder Christofferson grabbed the only priest in our branch to wait out front with him. I had the idea to play prelude since I have some cool arrangments of hymns. We don't have a pianist in our branch, just this sister who presses play on the hymns since the piano here has an automatic hymn player. SoI ran inside and Elder Christofferson waited out front. After about 10 minutes no one had shown up that told us they would come! We called Branca and she said her mom had gotten to town that morning and that she wouldn't be able to come. UGH! So then we called Israel who also told us they wouldn't be able to make it. We were crushed. It is so sad when this happens because we had planned a whole special lesson for them that day and told a ton of members that they would come. But looking on the bright side we did have this one guy named Jailton who showed up. His son is that only priest in our ward's dad. Lucas (the priest) brought his non-member dad! We were super excited and he loved church. He had been a ton of other times years ago but never could consistently go because of his work. But his work just changed so for now his weekends are free so we are going to take advantage and teach and try to baptize him! It could be so good because his own son could do it! We are pretty excited so we will give updates on that next week! Sunday afternoon we visited Milena, a 19-year old girl who is a 7th Day Adventist. She is super sincere and that is why we have hope in her. The Book of Mormon is strange for her but she reads what we leaves and is really praying for God to show her the truth. She seems a little confused and overwhelmed by everything that we teach because it makes sense to her but she is also conflicted with everything that she grew up learning in her faith. So she is an interesting one but has a lot of potential. 

So that is about it! We still are recording our daily videos at the end of each day to keep a "journal" that way. But I wanted to share just a little quick story from our council meeting on Tuesday. Now these are my companions words, but I 100% relate to how he felt. 
  "At the end of a long day and meeting President Bangerter got up to share some last words. He started to bare his testimony and started to get emotional. He started by saying,' "I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to work with you all in this great work and to be your mission president." After that sentence he was already choked up and once again, out of nowhere I found myself the same as him. I don't know what it was but I could FEEL inside of me the sincerity of the testimony of that man. I have grown to love and appreicate and look up to that man and his wife in these two short years. I felt an incredible love for him in that moment. I was looking at a hero and hearing him testify of Jesus Christ, His restored Church, and our living Prophet. I felt the Holy Spirit testify to me that what he was saying is the truth. It kind of seemed like he was acknowledging the fact that his mission is ending too. It made me sad to realize, again, that if his mission is ending, that means mine is too. I am by no means ready to leave yet but the reality is the reality. I love being a missionary and serving Jesus Christ and I know that all that I have the opportunity to teach to these wonderful people in this amazing place, is the truth."

I remember feeling the same way as President Bangerter and my companion. While President was saying these things and bearing his testimony, several scenes and memoriese were flashing through my mind of experiences I have had with President. I reflected on the fact that I am also at the end of my mission. I want to do all I can to make it the best and memorable. I am so grateful to be companions with Elder Christofferson. Being with him, I can´t think of a better way to finish off my mission. He is a great missionary (and his portuguese is super good) Shout out to Elder Christofferson´s parents! Thanks for sharing your son with me! He is awesome! 

I hope you all have a great week! Happy birthday Grandma Teresa. I love you family! 

-Elder McKay Hilton

Some friends from the mission

Our lunch last Pday!

Lunch with some members of the church

notice our tucked in socks.  It helps our pants to stay out of the chains.  haha

Monday, April 9, 2018

Week 100: Last week with Elder Lee AND Week 101: AN AMAZING START!!

General  Conference Week!! This week was the last week of this 6 week transfer with Elder Lee. It was a great one. We followed up with our investigators during the week. I will only mention a few things that highlighted my week. I will start off with a funny story. We were in a place far away visiting Juliana on Thursday. We also had lunch with her that day. On the way back we were racing home on our bikes because we were late getting home. Elder Lee hit a speed bump, but didn´t see what was on the other side. Right after the speed bump there was a hole in the road filled with water, because it had just rained. He sped over the speed bump, then hit that hole. He lost control and swerved all over the place trying to keep his balance. I was just behind him and a little to the left so i avoided the hole. I laughed so hard at the sight. 
 Okay, other than funny bike stories, we followed up with Milena, a member of the 7th day adventist church. We taught her about the Restoration and she committed to read the pamphlet of the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The appointment after her was with Patrick. Remember Patrick? He is the 21 year old son of that woman that I did a contact with in the hospital. Patrick is cool guy who is very curious to learn about what we teach. We went there with Flavia, a 24 yr old girl who is waiting for her mission call to arrive. We taught Patrick about the Book of Mormon and invited him to read 3 Nephi 11. Flavia was a huge help in the lesson because she always explains things well, and bears her awesome testimony. During our visit with him, I realized I lost my planner. I had it with me at Milena´s house, the last appointment we were at, so we backtracked to search for it. We never found it. Then it rained that night, so I knew that was the last of that planner. I was kind of bummed out, because my planners are like journals to me. I have kept every single planner since the begginning of my mission and this was the first one that I lost. A few days passed by and we went back to Patrick´s house to follow up. He hadn´t had time to read the chapter we left with him, so we shared a shorter lesson with a video on Mormon Channel. This was on Saturday before conference the first session. Here the Saturday morning session started at 1:00 pm. We had lunch marked with Sister Élia and we couldn´t be late or we would be late to General Conference. As we were finishing up our visit with Patrick his mom told us to stay to eat some of the chicken alfredo pasta she made. We tried to say no, because we couldn´t be late to our lunch appointment, then late to conference, but she kept insisting. I felt pretty much forced to eat her food, and I was still happy because anyone that knows me, knows how much I love  chicken alfredo pasta. So we quickly ate and quickly biked to our lunch appointment.  Lunch went overtime and since Sister Élia has internet and her daughter speaks english we watched both sessions in English on a smartphone with Elder Lee´s portable speaker. The first session was from 1:00pm to 3:00 pm and the second from 5:00pm to 7:pm. We weren´t able to watch the priesthood session since it was transmitted here from 9:00 to 11:00 pm.

Sunday we ate lunch at Flavia´s house with Juliana and Jay-Z, then walked to the chapel all together to watch General conference at the chapel.
 We went to a room behind the sacrament meeting room and watched it in English with the same setup with the smartphone and portable speaker. It was an amazing conference. I feel like every conference that I watch gets better and better. I learned so much and felt even more. I want to listen to all the talks again. Luckily we have technology and we can access the all the talks from General Conference on the church´s site and not have to wait for the Ensign to come out. I loved hearing all the testimonies of how God calls prophets and how Russell M. Nelson is the living Prophet called by God. It really strengthened my testimony and as much as I loved Thomas S. Monson, I sustain President Nelson as the Lord´s living prophet on the Earth. I enjoyed all the talks I listened to and I really felt the spirit!
Monday, Elder Lee´s last P-day, we went to use the computer and the power went out!  That´s why I am writing a week late about this week. While we were waiting for the power to come back, we received the transfer call. Elder Lee was transferred to Ilhéus to be a zone leader in an area that I had served in earlier in my mission! I learned that I would be staying and finishing my last transfer in my mission with AN AMERICAN!! With Elder Christofferson!! I was super surprised and happy! The rest of the afternoon we spent at home for Elder Lee to pack his bags. Then we met some members of the branch at the church around 5:00 om for Elder Lee to say goodbye. We went out for icecream with them then we visited a few other people for Elder Lee to give his farewells to. He would catch his bus Tuesday morning at 9:20 am

I had a great week. I feel adjusted to serving in a branch now. It is a testimony to me of the greatness of the potential growth in the church. We are working to bring more investigators to church. I will be starting my last transfer of my mission.. WHAT?!?!  It is nuts how fast it went by and I find myself pondering on where the time went. hahaha. I have reflected a lot on what has happened during my mission. What I have learned and how I have improved. I learned more about my weaknesses as well. I am excited to continue working hard until the end of my mission. I want to give it all i have to end with honor and feel like I did my best. I have heard stories of elders who gave up towards the end of their missions and became lazy and didn´t work. I DO NOT want to be that kind of Elder. I want to WORK HARD my last transfer! That is the goal.

Thanks for all your support and love back home! I love all of you!

-Elder Hilton


Hey everyone!
How are you all doing?! I hope everyone had a great week! This week for me was CRAZY and AMAZING!! It was transfer week and I stayed here in Eunápolis and my companion Elder Lee was transferred to Ilhéus. This week was a blast and I am LOVING my area and new companion Elder Christofferson. I was so curious to find out if he is really related to D. Todd Christofferson and YES it is TRUE.  His grandpa´s brother is the apostle! Anyway We have the whole city for ourselves and we have BIKES!!! I feel more missionary than ever! It has been so fun but I am a little sore I must admit.

So Tuesday morning Elder Christofferson got here at about 7:45 and walked off the bus and I was there waiting for him with Elder Lee, my companion last transfer. We waited another 2 hours for Elder Lee's bus to arrive and him to head out to his new area. We then got a taxi and got to our house. Elder Christofferson didn't even unpack his bags and we headed out to work on our bikes! It is a blast to ride around again on a bike.

We had one of the coolest experiences of the week after lunch on Tuesday. So we were biking to a different part of the area and Elder Christofferson´s chain fell off. (2nd time in less than 2 hours) We stopped to fix it and this man had just gotten out of his parked car and looked over and asked if we wanted help. We said yes so he showed us a trick on how to do it and then said he could tighten some part so that it didn't fall off again. We were stopped in front of his house so he said, "come on in real quick and I can fix it up for ya." So we walked into his garage and he went in to get some tools and then his wife and his 12 year old daughter came out to talk to us. It was like one of those things you see in the church magazines. Like they offered us water and asked us all about our missions and what we do and stuff. They loved it and then offered us to eat lunch! We had just eaten so we politely declined but it was crazy. Like we had known them for less than 10 minutes. And then BEFORE we could even ask, they asked us to come back! That night!!! Obviously we didn't decline haha they marked the appointment with US! It was crazy. The dad, his name is Israel, he wanted us to meet his whole family. That night we went back and had an AMAZING time. So we showed up at 7 pm and they were waiting for us. We met the whole family, Israel (father of the family), Jucilene (wife), and their 3 daughters. Carol(20), Cristina(15), and Clara(12). We explained a little more about our work and then Israel told us why he helped us. He started to tell a story that like 10+ years ago, he was one day getting ready to build his house and then 3 Elders walked by and asked him what day he was going to start constructing and he told them it would be on a Sunday morning. They said that they were going to come and that they didn't need to be paid. He didn't belive them but they showed up on the day at 6 am and worked harder than the other guys he had hired! Then they disappeared and he never saw them again. (quick side note: Elder Christofferson and I think that those 3 missionaries were maybe the 3 nephites or something. Like seriously who else would be up at 6 am on a sunday doing cement work to build a stranger´s house. hahaha) So since that day he says he has respected our work a lot and when he saw us on the road he had the impression to help. So thanks to those missionaries helpíng someone YEARS ago, it opened the door for us! And that night we taught the wonderful message of the Restoration. It was incredible. The whole time they were focused on us and payed so much attention. Israel was taking notes on everything! Haha it was insane. So towards the end we moved to the floor haha. I was doing a drawing explaining the lesson and I got up to show it to the wife who was sitting on a pillow on the floor and when I went over the rest of the family did too. That left Elder Christofferson alone on the couch, so he was like, "well guess I will too." and he joined us on the floor. It was so cool because we were all sitting in a circle, and closer, and Elder Christofferson got to talk about the First Vision. It was so spiritual. It felt like the rest of the world around us just disappeared. Everyone in that room felt it. Elder Christofferson testified of the truthfulness of our message and then I did and we finished. They loved it and committed to praying and reading. Then they fed us a surprise dinner and we were off! When we left and got off their street, we were on our bikes and Elder Christofferson looked over to me and we said, "ELDER WHAT JUST HAPPENED!?!?!" Haha we laughed and got super happy. We are so grateful that Heavenly Father guides us to find his elect! But more on them later.

Wednesday we just had a busywork day with unpacking, cleaning up a little bit, getting ourselves organized and doing weekly planning because we couldn't on Thursday. We even bought materials and put up an improved map organized with color coded pins to help us be more organized. We are proud of our map!

Thursday we had a service project in the morning! It was fun and Elder Christofferson got to meet the branch president, President Almir, and Irmão Diego, who is the Elders Quorum President . It was a fun time and we helped a lady move. The best part was that the truck driver was this big funny guy who had quite an uncommon name. I thought it was fake but he was telling the truth. His name was JOSÉ SMITH!!!! It was hilarious when he told us and we didn't believe it. A guy, non-member, named Joseph Smith haha! It was funny.

Thursday we also found another amazing family. I told Elder Christofferson about a girl that I had contacted the last week of last transfer. We decided to head over there. We found the girl Iasmin and then we met her mom named Branca and the son named Icaro. So apparently we found out that last year in about October they had met the missionaries and that the mom had actually gotten pretty close to being baptized! Of course we were super excited about that. So then we taught the first lesson to the whole family and they loved it. It was cool because Branca remembered a lot of it! We really had a good lesson and they committed to going to church. Branca said that she had actually walked by the church on that same day and had the thought, "I need to start coming back here." And then who shows up at her house that night? We did!! Haha, isn't it amazing how God works?

Friday was a tougher day because everything fell through but that night we had a lesson with Israel and his family! We got to teach everyone except for the mom because she had to go run errands. But they fed us again, before the lesson this time, and then we had the lesson. We explained with more detail the Book of Mormon and it was awesome. They loved it, especially the two older daughters. They were super excited to read it and we had only brought one copy, (we forgot to take more haha) and they had to do rock-paper-scissors to decide who was going to read first haha. It was awesome and then we kind of shifted roles and they started to talk. Israel started to tell a story about his oldest daughter, Carol. He said that when she was 13 they discovered some weird lump on her stomach at a normal doctors appointment and then looked more into it. At this point in the story Carol interruped and asked to tell the story. So she took over and told the rest. She had surgery on this tumor and got it all out. But then the doctor told her dad they thought it was cancer. Israel didn't accept it. He kept saying that his daughter didn't have cancer but after time they got the results and it was cancer. So they had a meeting with the doctor and he said she would have to do chemo and a bunch of stuff and if not the cancer would spread. It was a super aggresive type and the doctor said it had to be done ASAP. Israel was still determined that Carol didn't have cancer and demanded that she didn't. The doctor gave her 9% chance to live. So they refused and wanted to do a test to see if she had tumors. A year after the surgery they did some type of scan thing to see the cancer and when they got the results she had nothing. The cancer was gone. The doctor said that if 10 years passed and she felt NOTHING that she was good! But he said that she wouldn't make it that long. It has been now 7 years and she is perfect! What a miracle right?! Now Israel throws an annual party to celebrate the miracle. I love that family! They couldn't go to church this sunday but next week they will!

Saturday we had another good day. We visited Branca and her family again with a member named Flavia who is waiting for her mission call and lives close to them. I gained a better testimony of the power of members because we taught the Book of Mormon and Iasmin had a lot of questions and doubts and Flavia just took over and explained her story and how she had the same first thoughts and stuff.It was so amazing and spiritual! And it helped! Because on Sunday Branca and her daughter came to church!

Saturday night we taught this guy named Patrick. He has been an investigator for a couple weeks. We had a nice little lesson with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it was awesome. I don't know why but I feel like he has a lot of potential! He is 20 and really just looking for the truth. I love how we find so many people who are in the same situation as Joseph Smith was!

Sunday was great and we had 4 investigators at church! I love this little branch! The attendence was 58 this week and apparently that is the highest they have had in a while. That evening at 5 we had branch council. The power had gone out and it got dark, so we had half the meeting in the light of cellphone flashlights! They are super excited to work with us to make their little group of saints grow!

I am thankful to be serving with Elder Christofferson. We had an amazing 1st week together and had many great experiences.  We have a good group of progressing investigators. I am excited to continue working hard until the end of my mission. We decided to do a video entry each day! So instead of writing in my journal, each day when we get home, we set up my camera and talk about our day! It is really fun and I found it more time efficient than writing! haha

We are working with the ward council to integrate our investigators better with the members. It is sad it is a 5 week transfer instead of 6, but Elder Christofferson and I have a vision of baptizing multiple people within this transfer. I want to finish strong and on fire. If this week and every week the rest of this transfer is like this past week, I will be really happy and we will see great fruits.

Well this is a long one so that is it! That was just a brief overview and some highlights of the fantastic week! I love you all and don't forget, Jesus Lives!!!


Elder McKay Hilton

On Sunday we taught the Primary! There is this little girl named Sophia that calls me zoiudo (big eyes in português) and she always is on my tail wanting to follow me around. haha.

Elder Christofferson and I (Nice t-shirt!)

cleaning our dishes in the bathroom because the kitchen sink broke.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Week 98: 4th week in Eunapolis & Week 99: 5th Week in Eunapolis

Week 98:

This week was full of twists and turns. Although many obstacles appeared during our week that kept us from the results we wanted, we had a good week. I will start from last p-day (monday). After emailing we met up with Ingrid and Ana Lucia from our branch to eat ice cream at a place called “Chiquinho”. It was a type of celebration since Ana Lucia would be leaving to the MTC in São Paulo Wednesday morning.

 It was DUMPING rain on our way from the LAN House to the ice cream place. It was quite the challenge arriving there without getting wet. We ended up waiting out the worse part then booked it the rest of the way. After we left and went to Subway to eat Lunch. Mmmm good ol trusty Subway! I have never eaten so many times at Subway than on my mission! We did some shopping for some house material on our way home, then dropped the things off and went to work. We wanted to visit Alefe to follow up on a Book of Mormon reading that we left a while back, but he wasn't home, so we ended up going to Gilson´s house (a recent convert). He wasn't home from work still so we shared a message with his brother Thiago, as well as his mom.

Tuesday the 13th we had our day FULLY planned of people to visit, but something happened that destroyed almost all our plans. We were at lunch at Sister Cida's house (an awesome place… they have a POOL!!!) when we got a call from President Almir (branch president) saying that we would need to go open the chapel for a Seminary Coordinator Leader.

It was marked at an inconvenient time, but we still agreed to help because no one else was able to be there to let him in. We got there on time and we waited for an hour and a half and he never arrived so we left. Our Branch President works at a Lounge Bar located close to the chapel so we went to tell him that this Seminary coordinator never showed up. A bit later he ended up arriving so we helped him in and talking with him. He was here to support and reconstruct the Seminary program in our branch since a lot of the seminary leaders / teachers from our branch left for their missions (Alan, Ana Lucia, and soon Ingrid and Flavia). This guy´s name is Wesley. He has been a bishop in a Ward in the State of Espírito Santo for 11 years! Yep 11 YEARS!! I was impressed with how happy and energetic he was. He apologized for delaying and gave us a chocolate to say sorry. Hahaha. Afterwards we ran to the bus station to catch a bus to Gerson´s house to teach his daughters, Stefany and Giovana. We taught them about to Book of Mormon. Giovana was baptized last week, and we are helping prepare Stefany for her baptism. We hope she gets baptized either on March 24th, or the 31st. She is just timid and is still unsure about some things. We want to do all we can to help her.

Wednesday, March 14th! We had lunch with Sister Hélia and her daughter Laura.
Then we prepared ourselves for Zone Conference. We boarded our bus at 7 pm and got to Porto Seguro around 8:30ish. We walked from the bus station to the Elders´ house to stay the night there. They live close to the chapel which was really nice.

 Thursday, March 15th, Happy Birthday Zacharoni! Congrats on your 17th birthday! I can't believe how old you are. I remember when i was 17 like it was yesterday, and now I'm turning 20!?!?! I hope you had a great birthday. We woke up early and headed to the chapel for a leadership meeting at 7 am then we had Zone Conference. It was my first time leading a zone conference! President and Sister Bangerter and Elder Davis gave the zone some trainings along with Elder Lee and I as Zone Leaders. After lunch we helped out with things around the chapel while President Bangerter did interviews. At 5:30 pm Elder Lee and I got a bus back to Eunápolis. Elder Davis (an assistant to president) came with us to work with us in our area for that night and the following day.  We taught a 14 year old boy named Thawan. We retaught him the restoration and invited him to pray about what we taught him, because he still had some doubts if he believes it or not. We were there a long time teaching him, it was late, and we still had to follow up with our zone since it was Thursday so we headed back home. We ordered 2 pizzas and Guaraná to celebrate my birthday early. They were on a promotion for R$15 each pizza! That's only 5 dollars! WINNER!!

Friday March 16th, was a normal day, but it was fun having Elder Davis with us. Elder Lee is from Seattle Washington, and Elder Davis is from Springville Utah so we had good ol american conversations. Friday was my birthday as well as the day that Elder Lee hit his 1 year and 4 month mark. Elder Davis pulled a mean trick on Elder Lee. Elder Lee had made lemon juice in the morning and while Elder Lee was taking a shower, Elder Davis mixed some Guaraná pop into his lemon juice. When Elder Lee drank it and noticed something was off, he asked Elder Davis what he did. Elder Lee found out and became quite upset. He made a goal when he was 13 years old to not drink pop anymore for his own personal reasons, and he had been faithful to that goal since then. So that pop that he drank broke the streak of time that he hasn't drank pop since he was 13. I felt bad for him, but Elder Davis thought it was funny. The rest of the day we visited some investigators. Towards 6pm Elder Davis went to the bus station to catch a bus back to Salvador ( a 12 hours bus ride!). We continued on to Gerson´s house to follow up with Stefany and Giovana. They had read a part of what we left with them in the Book of Mormon, and we talked to them about what they learned and invited them to continue reading. Stefany was still feeling shaky in her decision to be baptized, so we plan focusing more on her.

Funny story! We were heading to lunch and President Bangerter called us. He said he and Sister Bangerter were on their way from Porto Seguro to Eunápolis and they would arrive in about 30 minutes. We got to lunch and Elder Lee got really stressed, and anxious because he thought President would interview us in our house. The problem was that our house was a little messy from not having time to organize it since the zone conference and having Elder Davis over. Elder Lee was so worried about it that he couldn't eat properly. I tried to tell him not to worry about it, but it was to no avail. He was worried sick. So President arrived and we were still at lunch but we were finished eating. He decided to meet us where we were at lunch. When they arrived, Sister Viana offered him and Sister Bangerter lunch. They ate and then when it was time to leave a message, President Bangerter he directioned the conversation to Sister Viana´s Catholic friend named Laura who was at lunch with us. He ended up teaching her a summary of the message of the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon. It was SO spiritual! She loved the message and committed to reading the Book of Mormon. As we were leaving Sister Bangerter got some chocolates out of her car and gave them to me, then we all sang Happy Birthday in 4 different languages out in the middle of the road. hahaha. Afterwards we walked to Alefe but he was leaving his house so we didn´t get to teach him. Then we taught a boy named Guilherme and his family the Restoration and they committed to going to church. Ingrid´s mission farewell party was at 7pm and as it was starting the power went out in the whole city. We had planned to leave early to visit a super good investigator named Carlos, but we ended up not leaving because of the danger of walking through the city in complete darkness. Most of the  farewell party / devotional was in the dark, only lit up by cell phone lights. Towards the end the power returned! Everyone celebrated and was happy.

Sunday morning we went to Guilherme´s house and other investigators´ houses to bring them to church, but no one came. Everyone was still sleeping or gave excuses. It was pretty sad walking back to church without any people with us. Not even Carlos, who committed to going, showed up. That afternoon after lunch with Brother Cabuia we tried visiting all the people that didn't show up to church. We didn't have the best luck. It was a long day. That night we arrived so tired that Elder Lee fell dead asleep on his bed, I didn't want to bother him, so I followed up with the whole zone´s numbers and previsions by myself. I went to bed exhausted, but excited for p-day the next day.

This week I was reading an article called “The Fourth Missionary”. It is so applicable for anyone´s life whether you are a missionary or not. I especially encourage anyone preparing for a mission to read it. It will help you see beforehand what kind of missionary you have the potential to be. It is something I wish I would have read before       or at least earlier in my mission. It is REALLY good! Well that´s all folks! This next week should be a blast. I am excited to live it and see what I can learn from it. I love you family!

Elder McKay Hilton
Week 99:

Hi everyone!

Monday was not much of a p-day for us. We woke up, exercised, cleaned the house, then went to the internet cafe to send our excel sheet, write a letter to president and read his messages. Then we had to quickly eat lunch to be able to get our bus to Mucuri on time. It is a 6 hour bus ride to get there. The bus left around 2:30 pm. We had planned to get to Mucuri around 9 pm, then have a division all day Tuesday, but we ran into a small problem. The first bus we took goes to a city called Teixeira de Freitas, the sister´s area in our zone. From there we would have to take another bus to Mucuri, but the only problem was that there were no more buses making that trip. We ended up coordinating with the sisters and going to a family night in their area. Afterwards everyone was hungry so we ate at an awesome place called “HOUSE BURGER”. Then we had to stay the night in Teixeira de Freitas and get the earliest bus at 5 am to Mucuri.

We got to the Elders´ house around 8 am and planned our division. I was with Elder Sobral and Elder Lee went with our District Leader Elder De La O.  Lunch was with an old member of the church called Brother Dener. He lives so far away we had to take a 20 minutes bus ride to get there. He lives on an incredible piece of property. He has a nice comfortable house with lots of land. It is a 5 minute walk from his house to the beach, and he owns all the land up to the beach. After we eat lunch he goes off to take a nap and lets us stay and do whatever until we have to catch the bus that passes by his house at 2 pm. So we just explored around his giant backyard and took pictures by the beach until it was time to leave.

Once we got back, we got to work. I LOVED working with Elder Sobral. I was the secretary when he arrived in the mission so i met him in the airport his first day. It was good working with him and meeting his investigators. I gave him lots of tips for his planning and his teaching. I had the privilege to teach some really good investigators and see some amazing locations in Mucuri with Elder Sobral. First we taught Thiago, Bruno and Thais. Thiago and Bruno are brothers, and Thais is Thiago´s girlfriend. We taught them the Restoration and they really enjoyed it and participated a lot in the lesson. We all felt the spirit and they wanted to learn more. They were sad that I wouldn't be coming back soon. Next we visited an old lady named Rosinha who is preparing to be baptized on March 31st. She was so little and sweet. Before we even taught anything so expressed to us how excited she is to be baptized on the 31st and how she wants to prepare! Next we visited a 32 year old dude named Selton. He is works in radio broadcasting as a radio host. We taught him there in his very office where he works. It was a really neat experience. I taught him the restoration and about the Book of Mormon and cleared up some doubts that he had. It was a fun visit because he was an intelligent guy who knows his stuff. Also every now and then during the lesson we would have to pause us to make an announcement on the radio. It was funny to hear his “announcer / advertiser” voice and it was cool to see first hand how his radio station functions behind the scenes. He accepted to read the parts of the Book of Mormon that we left him.

 Our next visit was with a 16 year old boy named Uanderson. He is returning to activity in the church and we shared with him the message about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is a very cool boy that I see a lot of potential in. He just needs to remember why he was baptized and continue to follow the path. That was our last visit of our day and we returned home quickly. The whole day we used bikes and I thought it was awesome because we could  zip from appointment to appointment without much delay and wasting so much energy. It was the first time in my whole mission that I worked as a missionary with a bike. I found it to be very efficient.

 Now here is a funny story. So the Elders in Mucuri forgot to pay their water bill so the water was cut. We got home and I was not looking forward to sleeping without taking a shower after a hot day of work, then waking up at 4 am to catch a bus back to my area in Eunápolis. We went out in the road around 10:30 pm to look at the water gauge register on other houses to see if other people´s water was cut as well. We came to a conclusion that maybe the whole road was cut because a lot of other houses´s water gauge weren't moving, indicating that they shouldn't have water. But we weren't sure so we asked our next door neighbor to verify. She told us that she didn't know,  then said to us that she had water, and we could take showers in her house if we wanted to. We were so happy! Elder Sobral wanted me to cut his hair first so I did, then we walked over and entered in the garage the neighbors left unlocked for us. It was like 11 pm and we took showers in our neighbor's house! It was pretty funny how it happened, and we found ourselves laughing a lot about it all, but to the neighbor, an old lady, it was no biggie.

 We only got about 4 hours of sleep because we had to wake up early to get the 5:30 am bus back to Teixeira, then home to Eunápolis. Elder Sobral and I woke up even earlier wednesday morning at 4:15 am to bike to a cool part of his area and try to see the sunrise. After doing that we biked quickly back home to drop off the bikes then walk to the bus station in time. The other Elders were already at the bus station waiting for us and we had to literally run to the bus station to not miss it. We were both carrying my suitcase between us and running! We got there and Elder Sobral realized his wallet wasn't in his bag and that his bag was unzipped. It had fallen out while we were running! We gave our bags to our companions and ran back in the direction to our house to backtrace our steps. He found, his wallet, a pack of cookies and his phone charger all in different parts of the road.

Once again we returned to the bus station running. We were able to buy our tickets and travel safely. We arrived around 8:15 in Teixeira de Freitas and got another bus to Eunápolis. We got home at 12:00 and ate lunch. Around 4pm the power in the whole city went out. It turned out that the power went out in multiple cities and even several other states in northeastern Brazil. We still did our work and walked to our appointment in the dark. I had never seen a night so dark with so many stars in the night for so long. I was fascinated by it. In the road we were able to find Carlos and remark a day to teach him. Then we walked in the pitch dark to a distant neighborhood to share a message with Darsciane. She had prepared cake and juice that we ate by candlelight. Haha.

Thursday the 22nd we had our weekly planning. I called president and talked to him about how our division was on Tuesday, then asked him about the possibility of us getting bikes for our area to be more efficient, etc. We had a conversation about the pros and cons about bikes, then he made a decision. He said we can either buy new bikes on our own means and we would have to donate them to the mission since they aren´t reimbursable. Apparently bikes aren´t authorized for missions in Brazil, but the mission president can approve their use in certain circumstances. Then he told us that their are 2 broken bikes that aren't in use from another area in our zone and we bring them to our area and fix them from our own pocket and use them. We decided to do that. I was so happy! Bikes are so great. Then we had lunch at the new Elder´s quorum president´s house (Diego). In the afternoon we found Carlos, but he didn´t have time so we marked another visit. A few weeks ago I did a contact with a lady named Rosangela at the Hospital. She told us we can visit her and her family. She told us her 22 year old son Patrick would like us because he has already investigated multiple churches. We found her house and only Patrick was there. He found our message of the Restoration to be very interested and he said he is very curious. We invited him to read Joseph Smith´s testimony and pray about it.  We plan on teaching him about the Book of Mormon next. From there we ran to a family night at Sister Gracieli´s house. We had invited Bruna and her two daughters Stefany and Giovana. They came! I shared the message at the family night and we left after to find the Elders that were arriving in our area with our bikes. We met them in the road then walked back to our house. They stayed with us that night to have district meeting the next day.

Friday the 23rd we had district meeting with those Elders from Baianão in the morning. On the way to the chapel we dropped off the bikes at a shop to get fixed. After district meeting all of us ate lunch at the District President Smarçaro´s house. From 2 pm to 6 pm we had to do a favor for our Branch President and stay in the chapel and wait for a telephone guy to arrive. This guy was supposed to install a fixed line in the bishopric room but he never arrived. I felt like it was a waste of our time, but NO ONE else was available to help out so our branch president had to ask us to do it. Around 6:30 we left the chapel and went to teach Stefany, and her older sister. We took a bus and taught them the plan of salvation. Then a miracle happened. The week before we had left her a goal to be baptized on the 24th and she barely accepted it. She is very timid and was doubting a lot. But today I stood up after the lesson and reminded her of her goal as I gave her some invitations that I printed. She looked at them and began to think of who she could invite. She was happy and accepted it with no doubts or hesitation! We confirmed to have to baptism at 3pm on Saturday. We left their house that night and made a bunch of calls to advisel the branch about the baptism as we walked the LONG walk home (there were no more buses). We got home exhausted but we had to get permission to stay out longer than we are allowed to because we still had to mount the baptismal font and leave it to fill up overnight. We got done with all that around 11:30 pm.

Saturday the 24 we stopped at some investigator´s house´s to teach but no one was home. The baptism was marked for 3 pm but it started around 5 pm. Stefany was baptized and it all went smoothly. A few members and young women were there to support her.  We stayed at the chapel after and made hotdogs for the small institute class.

 Sunday Stefany was confirmed and we spend the afternoon visiting some of our investigators. Not many of them were home but we were able to share some messages. Sunday at 5 pm the bus left to the temple. Lots of members from the Porto Seguro district sacrificed a lot to go.

This week was a testimony of faith to me. Some things happened that tested my patience, but I continued having faith. Faith in myself, my investigators and my zone that I try to follow up on. My companion Elder Lee is great. He is a timid person and pretty quiet, but he has his strengths as well. We trust each other and work in unity. I love planning with him and working in our area.

I know that the field is white. We are here to harvest! I want to do all I can these last 6 weeks of my mission to help the work progress. I only have this opportunity once in my like to be a full time missionary in Brazil. I have learned so much from my mission and I pray that I will use what I have learned during my mission throughout the rest of my life. I love the Lord and i am thankful for all He has done in my life. I know he is in the details of every one of our lives and he love us.

I love the mission, I love being a missionary and I love all you. I am grateful to have such good family and friends. I love you all so much, I am grateful for everything you help me with and teach me.

Elder Hilton