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, March 12, 2018

Week 97: The Heist: That´s Too Coincidental to be a Coincidence

This week was actually quite an eventful "action packed" one. It started off with a great surprise. We had our p-day on Monday. We talked to our families, sent our zone´s weekly results to the assistants, and wrote a letter to President. Then we passed by the market to buy some fruits. We went to Sister Salles stand to see if she had any good bananas for us to buy to make a simple smoothy at home.  She saw us and said, "Oh Elders, i know how it is. Missionaries don´t have any money. My daughter is leaving for her mission on March 21st and I understand your needs. You like bananas? Here take these. (handing us a full sack of bananas) Do you like this other type? Take these (handing over another sack full of another type of bananas). Elder Lee, you have a cold? Here make some lemon juice with these (handing over a sack full of lemons)." I commented on how big the mangos were that she had, then she said, "oh Elder, you like mangos?? Here, take some, (filling up a sack of Mangos and handing it to us)."  Then to top it off she gave us half a watermelon. All this for free! We offered to pay her, but she refused. I thought that was really nice of her, so i considered it as a "birthday present". hahaha. We made a good banana smoothy, then spent the afternoon preparing for mission council that would take place on Wednesday.

 At 6:00 pm we had a family night at our branch president´s humble house that we helped him move into last monday. I had done a contact with their neighbors (Rute and Alana) and invited them to participate in this family night. We sang hymns, prayed, taught the Restoration, then sang more, and and finished the family night. We slept that night, totally unaware of what was about to happen that night. My companion had caught a cold so he went to bed quickly. I stayed up cleaning the house, and organizing myself for the week. I wrote some things in my journal and then went to bed.

We slept well, but i woke up earlier than my alarm. It was bright out and I looked at my watch and saw it was only 5:30 am. It smelled like smoke outside, but I just assumed it was someone burning something in a field like normal. We did our daily morning routines, then taught an investigator named Milena before going to lunch at Sister Gracieli´s house. We got there and while we were eating lunch they asked us if we knew what had happened the night before. We had no idea. They told us and we were shocked. They showed us videos and pictures. Let´s just say I feel lucky we were safe and not hurt. So this is what happened. Monday night, after midnight there has occured a major incident here in the city. The world wide security company called Prosegur. They do a lot of business with cash. They work with banks, for large events, and many other things dealing with lots of money. There is a local headquarter located here in the center and there are always those big armored yellow trucks driving around, going in and out. So last night that place was robbed. It was blown up. They blew it sky high, killing everyone inside, shattering glass and windows of nearby stores from the shock of the explosion, and they ended up stealing a quantity of money equal to 15 million dollars. They had set off a number of other distractions in the city to distract the police. They set fire to a car in another street, they blew up one of those big yellow armored trucks, they let their guns fire off in the air in various locations to distract as well. It seemed to be very well planned out and must have been because they got away and no one knows who did it. But the scary thing was that we live so close. This all happened in the center, and WE LIVE THERE! Where the explosion happened is literally a 3 minute walk from our house. So after lunch we walked through the center to get to the hospital for my check up, and we saw all the confusion. There was news reporters, broken glass everywhere and we saw the blown up, burnt Prosegur building. I discretely snapped some pictures on our crappy cellphone, because i didn´t have my camera. Close to the hospital we found the burnt down car. It was all pretty crazy. The hospital wait was longer than we expected and i ended up remarking to return two weeks later.

While we were in the hospital we received news from Salvador. We were informed that President talked to Elder David A. Bednar and got permission to let all the zone leaders and people that were coming to salvador for our mission council on Wednesday, to stay for the live devotional / training that would take place on Friday there in Salvador in OUR MISSION!! So we had the choice to go to salvador, participate in mission council, and stay until friday to be able to participate in the Elder Bednar event. So we we left Tuesday night at 7:30 pm to salvador. It was a 12 hours bus ride to Salvador and we arrived around 8:00 am. President Bangerter picked us up and took us to the mission home. We had mission council with all the staff, zone leaders and sister leader trainers all day. It went really well. We had lots of good experiences and trainings. I wish i could share them ALL! Before catching our bus back to Salvador I raided my old house in Rio Vermelho and stole back all the stuff I had forgotten in that house.  We were the only zone leaders that left wednesday night back to our area because we had a baptismal interview marked for thursday night and a baptism marked for saturday morning. We got back to Eunápolis at 8:00 am  after another 12 hour bus ride. Although I hardly slept it was a cool ride, because we were seated in the top floor of a double decker bus in the front looking out a window that looks like a drivers seat view.

 It is  funny, because it turns out that on Thursday the interview didn´t even happen, things didn´t work out for a few reasons, and we resolved by having our investigators be interviewed saturday morning before their baptism. So guess what that means?? we could have stayed for this Elder Bednar devotional!!! But everything happens for a reason.  I was kind of sad that I wasn´t able to make it to the meeting with Elder Bednar. My companion and I really prayed and thought if we should go, or if we should stay so our Baptism didn´t fall through. It´s funny, because we saw so many blessings because of our efforts. We encountered 3 new people, and they are interested. The first person was a guy named Clayton. We were on our way to a different appointment, but this lady stopped us and told us her son Thyago was baptized in our church a while ago and is less active. She told us where he lives and told us to go talk to him, because he is "off the path". Thyago´s friends where there and we ended up teaching everyone. Clayton was one of them. He is a 19 year old dude and seemed intereseted. He commited to reading and praying. Next we were walking and I did a contact with a man named Carlos at a construction store while i was buying super glue for my shoe. He is a 20 year old guy who seems really mature for his age. I marked to visit him the next day on Friday and left him a restoration pamphlet for him to read in preparation for our visit. Just so you know hardly ANYONE reads them. They always confess that they didn´t read anything when we ask them about it in our visits.

On Friday we watched the Elder Bednar transmition. Watching from the Internet was as spiritual as if I were there. We learned a lot of things and I am grateful for technology allowing us to participate as we were able to. Even though we didn´t get to watch it live, there in Salvador, I am very grateful for how everything played out. Lord really blesses those who sacrifice. Here is an example. After the transmition and lunch we went to follow up with Carlos. We arrived at  his family runned construcion store and we went to the floor above where he lives. He told us he read the whole pamphlet. When i asked him what he understood, he told us everything exactly correct about the restoration. We were so suprised. He was very attentive during the lesson. We notice he was a knowledgeable guy and he accepted to give the closing prayer! Man, I just smiled and smiled during his whole prayer! I think a tear almost escaped my eye during his so very sincere prayer. I don´t think Carlos noticed, but to us his prayer was THE PERFECT PRAYER. It was a sincere conversation with God. He expressed his feelings, and related himselft to being like Joseph Smith. He asked in his prayer to help him find a church with a true living prophet, 12 aposltes, and authority. He went on describing how he feels like Joseph Smith felt when he was looking for a church to join, etc. His prayer was just amazing! It was probably the highlight of my whole week. That night we went to the church to prepare for the baptism. We cleaned up the font and left it to fill up overnight.

In the end, Giovana was baptized on Saturday and it was a success. Her sister Stefany passed the interview and was supposed to be baptized together with her sister, but she backed up last minute. Their dad and stepmom are both recent converts and are going through some VERY difficult situations. There were definitley obstacles as always, but with President Smarçaro´s council to their parents we were able to baptize Giovana. Its a long story, and i think it should be kept confidential so i won´t share more details.

 After the baptism Ana Lucia had her missionary farewell party! Lots of tears were shed by the people there and it was a good time. Sunday morning we left early to pick up investigators. It was raining and no one we invited went to church. We took the long walk back to the church in the rain and had our meetings in church. Sunday afternoon we did some visits with Brother Cabuia. At 8:00 pm Ana Lucia was set apart at the church. It was a special moment and I was reminded of when i was set apart as a missionary.

Today for p-day I received so many positive emails from family and friends telling me happy birthday. I loved every email, message, picture, and video that was send to me. It was a kind of emotional p-day. I feel like everyone is so surprised that i am now 20 years old! I am suprised myself to be honest. I still feel as if i were 17. hahahaha I feel grateful for all of you supporting and loving me. I am so thankful for your thoughts and good wishes for me. I feel your love! Thanks SOOO MUCH.

So what did I learn this week?  I learned so many things from the mission council meeting, and the Elder Bednar training / devotional. One thing I loved was this:

Sister Bednar said that every day Elder Bednar starts the day with three questions!

Do you feel happy?
Do you feel healthy?
Do you feel wonderful?

We should feel happy - optimistic - wonderful and healthy. I hope every day we can wake up like this. The visit of Elder Bednar was such a blessing.  It is as if we have received a visit from the Apostle Paul and had him with us to train us. It is such a rare privilege that most will never receive. I am grateful for everything that I learned and experienced this week. So many things happened that some would consider coincidences, but I know that everything happens for a reason. I am excited for my birthday on Friday even though probably nothing will happen. Just being here alive, and not being blown up in that whole terrible heist is enough for me. Thanks for all the emails and things you´ve shared with me! I love you fam!

-Elder Hilton

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Week 96!!!!! 2nd week in Eunápolis

Last Monday we helped the Branch president move. Then had our pday at the church playing pingpong and lunch, then we played minigolf.

At 6 pm we went with sister graciele to an english class where we met her 3 friends that are studying english with her. One is a doctor, one is a lawyer, and another is the english professor. We practiced some english with them, then quickly got into a conversation about what we do as missionaries. We were short on time and they wanted to learn more so we marked to visit them on Wednesday night again.

Tuesday we visited some of our investigators. We are teaching Alefe and he should be getting baptized soon. Gerson is a recent convert and we are now teaching 2 of his daughters at his house. We take a bus to get to their house because they live so far away. We take a bus there then walk an hour and 20 minutes to get back home at night. They have both been to church multiple time and they accepted the baptismal invite. Their goal is for march 10th. but if their dad wants to baptize them, they will have to wait an extra week because he needs to recieve the priesthood.

Thursday, we taught lots of people. The highlights were following up with Alefe and remarking his baptismal date and teaching Gerson´s daughters (Estefani and Giovana) the gospel of Jesus Christ together with the Ten Comandments using the fingers to help them remember.  From there we had to walk home because theres were no more buses at that hour of the night. Its a long walk and i found my feet hurting when we got home. hahaha.
Friday we made a list of references with a member and visited a recent convert.  We´re going to follow up on those references this week. 
Saturday we worked with another young women who will soon leave for her mission.

We invited many of our investigators to church and challenged them with goals for baptism.
Sunday, we had a cool Sacrament meeting. After church, we had a branch council meeting with all the leaders of the branch. We made lots of goals for our Branch and planned to coordinate with people sunday morning, to go and pick up people for church.

In the end, I had a great week despite all the challenges we face serving in a branch. I am still learning my way around this huge area. We have the WHOLE city to ourselves. It is going well and I feel like my companion and I are going to do great things here. I am excited for this week as we will have mission council meeting in Salvador on Wednesday and a special transmition from Elder David A. Bednar. He will be in Salvador on Friday and the missionaries there will get to personally participate, meanwhile the rest of us in other parts of Bahia will watch in by transmition. I am excited for this privelege. It is a great time to be a missionary! That is my week! That´s all folks!!

With love,
Elder Hilton
there is my companion Elder Lee and I.

pictures from last weeks email. 
Alan´s Missionary Farewell Party

Friday, March 2, 2018

Week 89: Welcome to Eunápolis

Man oh man! So many things have happened this last week. First things first, I was transferred On sunday i said goodbye to some people in the Rio Vermelho ward. Last monday I had a meeting with President Bangerter and the Staff in the office. It went over time and i consequently missed my bus that goes directly to Eunápolis. So i had to take a bus from Salvador to Itabuna, then from Itabuna to Eunápolis.

I arrived at noon on tuesday and after a while of waiting alone, i called the secretaries to have them notify Elder Lee (my new companion) that i arrived. After about 35 minutes Elder Lee arrived with Alan (the ward mission leader), and Gracieli drove us to drop off my bags at our house, then drove us to her house to have lunch with her. There my flu really hit me and I was feeling really sick. That day we visited Pedro Henrique, a 10 year old boy, who was preparing to be baptized on Friday. Then we visited Alefe, a 24 year old man with a young family, whose goal was to be baptized on Saturday. Then we went to one of our investigators church with him. The Universal Church. . It was a crazy experience of watching people "expulse demons" from people. 

Wednesday morning we pulled a suprise prank for Ana Lucia. I brought her mission call from Salvador and we surprised her with it at Gracieli´s house. It was well planned out and turned out awesome. She was called to serve in the São Paulo West Mission. After lunch we did verfications  and taught some people. On thursday we had a division with the Elders from Baianão.  I worked doing verifications with Elder Santos. Thursday night we visited Laura´s mom and ate pizza. Friday I met the District President and his wife.  We had a baptism! Pedro Henrique was baptized by President Smarçaro.

On Saturday Alefe was supposed to be baptized, but he didn´t show up. We went to his house with the Elder´s quorum president and Alefe´s wife said he left to the farm and wouldn´t return until Sunday night. It was strange because we had talked to him the day before and confirmed everything. Something must have happened and we plan on meeting with him soon to be able to figure out what happened and reschedule his baptism. After the baptism Alan had his mission farewell party / 25th birthday at the church.  It was a special moment for everyone. I can tell everyone will miss him. He will leave this Wednesday, the 28th. Sunday Pedro Henrique was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost.

Sunday night we taught a man that lives super far away, Afterwards we met up with Alan, because he was set apart and will be staying with us until he leaves for his mission on wednesday. For Pday, we did a service project that lasted all morning. We helped the branch president move.  Then we met up with some members to eat lunch at the church and hangout with Alan for the last time before he leaves on his mission. We played a round of minigolf at a hotel that let us play. it was really fun.

That was a SUPER summarized explanation of my week. I promise to send more pictures next week. I have already taken so many! Things are going well. I am adjusting to living in a new city, with a new companion, and different house, and all those things. I am getting to know our investigators. Being a zone leader will be great. I will have the opportunity to help other missionaries with their areas and investigators. It is going to be a lot of work, but I am excited to see miracles happen. I know that this is the Lord´s work and being a missionary is a wonderful opportunity. There are 4 youth in our small branch here that will be leaving soon to serve full time missions. They are inspiring to everyone and have helped me remember the time when i was preparing for my mission. I know that Jesus Christ is real and that he loves us. He is the reason we are all here on this wonderful Earth with our families. I love you fam!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Week 87: Unexpected trip

HAPPY VALENTINE´S !!! This is the last week of this transfer! It went by so fast! It was also the official week of Carnival. Our area is located close to where some of the main events of carnival take place so this were pretty difficult concerning working. We work more in Alta do Ondina and all the big Carnavil stuff happened just around the bend in Ondina and Barra. Literally all our investigators said to come back only after carnival. Bummer, but now it is over and things are going better. People are ready to repent and learn more of Jesus Christ. hahaha. So Tuesday was the official carnival day. We didn´t get much results in our area. We just did some door knocking and contacts. Wednesday was Valentine´s day! It was also our last district meeting. We had it at home. It was really good. I gave a training on some things that President has taught me last week at council meeting on taking investigators to church.

Being a missionary IS NOT DIFFICULT! It can be a challenge, but it is nothing unbearable. In fact - Nowadays we have everything to help us - resources, materials, plans, members and more! It's a fun job - blessed and guided. We just need to work - and in the process we develop great talents.  This requires skill in organizing and pondering - and we have learned how to do it - IT IS NOT DIFFICULT. We simply need to do the basic and fundamental things - and the Spirit does the rest! Imagine the growth! The mission provides all this!

I am GRATEFUL this week for the privilege of being a missionary. The Holy Spirit guides the true servants of Christ - the missionaries here in the Salvador South mission. Our new goal is to stop by some houses on Sunday morning and bring them to church. This will require diligence and lots of faith. I plan on putting this in practice... starting next transfer. Why next transfer and not NOW?? This is where that unexpected trip comes into picture. Let me explain

On Friday I decided to take care of a problem that has been irritating me for a few weeks. That is my right foot. My big toe has had an ingrown nail for a while, and I had tried to take care of it myself. Soaking it in water, applying cream, etc. After a few weeks and no results I decided to go to the doctor to get it fixed. Also since it was swollen and purple, i thought i should go in.  So Friday morning Elder Cantuário, Elder Prince, and I went to the Aliança Hospital and I was treated. The Doctor, Doctor Marcos Porto was really nice. He has been to the United States twice and has studied english for fun and for work, so he spoke quite a bit of English. He spoke lots of English with me and it was pretty funny. I felt strange speaking in English, so i would direct our conversations back to Portuguese and he would always go back to English. Anyway he numbed up my toe real well and then cut off a part of my nail on my right big toe. The worst part was the needle to get numb. After that, I felt absolutely nothing! hahaha. He showed me the huge part of my nail he cut out and let me keep it! hahaha, gross i know! He cleaned up my foot then wrapped up my big toe really well. It is HUGE! Then he hooked me up with some special soap to clean it daily, gauze, tape, and a wrap. He told me the numbness should go away in about 2 hours. He printed out some papers and I was out!  Eddy Carlos took us straight to lunch and from there I stayed with Mike in the office. Around 5:30 Elder Prince and Elder Cantuário arrived in the office and will stay with me here, because Mike had to leave.

Today is Saturday. For p-day, I will just email because I can´t leave to do anything because of my foot. Today President is going to meet with the assistants to figure out transfers. I might find out where I´m going today! I will definitely know my Sunday. I hope everyone has a great week! thanks for all the love and support!

-Elder McKay Hilton

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Week 86: 3 LEFT

What would you do with something that you loved so much, but only had a limited time to do it. What if you only had 3 more months to do that thing you love so much. Every moment would be precious. That is how I feel. This week I hit my 1 year and 9 month mark. I only have 3 more months in my mission here in Bahia, Brazil. Every moment matters, every person I teach, testimony I bear, and step I take. I realize that I will have a lot of time (decades) to think about how I spent this short time on my mission. I think when any missionary sees their mission in this perspective, their mission becomes more sacred and special. All we do as representatives of Christ matters. Everything counts and in the end we want to look back on this time and be proud of who we were and how we served.

This week wasn´t the most interesting one, but it was a bit different. On Monday, We woke up early and got Elder Palma from the bus station. Him and I went to the office and got an Uber for the other guys. I prepared some things for Elder Prince to renew Elder Palma´s VISA and they went to the Shopping Sumaré and the airport without me. A while later I got a call saying that they were missing an important document (RNE). I had to take an Uber all the way to the airport to give them the document. They renewed Elder Palma´s and Elder Kilidjian´s VISA and we ate Bob´s Burgers afterwards. Back at the office there were lots of people. Some sisters came by along with other missionaries to grab some things. We spent Tuesday preparing for the mission council meeting. Everyone was a little anxious for this months council meeting for a few reasons. The biggest was because there were few baptisms in January. Next was because President didn´t invite any sisters to participate. Only zone leader elders.   It was very good and spiritual.  That night I took Elder Dos Santos to the hospital to have him do his check up from his surgery. He is doing well. In about 15 more days, he should be able to do his normal missionary work.

February 8th is the official day that carnaval starts here in Bahia. I will explain more later. In the morning I got a call from President Bangerter and he told me that Elder Dos Santos would be my companion temporarily until the end of the transfer. He explained how it would be and what we should do. The only problem is that our area is only hills and stairs and Elder Dos Santos is not supposed to do that. Wednesday we just did some simple secretary work; prepare IMOS picture cards, scan documents, send some emails, and take phonecalls, etc. At night I didn´t leave with Elder Dos Santos because I didn´t want to risk anything. Carnaval can be dangerous here! Next Tuesday will be the real Carnaval  with more cultural carnaval like stuff. Feb. 8th is just more partying, alcohol, loud music, etc.

On Friday, I had a good personal study and companion study. Afterwards we picked up my shoes that I had fixed and we found a store that Elder Dos Santos wanted to find to buy new shoes. It was closed! Then we had lunch at Bro. Cely´s house. LASAGNA!! We worked all day in our area until 6:30. Around 7:00 we returned to the office to have him rest. For p-day on saturday we did the normal, email family and eat subway because our lunch fell through. I got a call tonight from President telling me that Elder Dos Santos will go back to his area (Lauro de Freitas) tonight. So much for that plan he had set with us. We will send him in an Uber to his area tonight.

This next week will be the last week of the transfer. I asked president if he knows where I will be transferred to. He told me that he has thought a bit about it, but still doesn´t know. He will let me know later in the week. He told me he will but me where I am needed. He said that he needs more missionaries like me and expressed how me really trusts me. He said he will put me with someone that needs my good example so i can show them how to work. I am really excited to give it my all these last 2 transfers of my mission. I can´t wait to know where I will go to finish my mission! hahaha. That´s a wrap! How was your week?? tell me about it! :)

Until next week!

-Elder McKay Hilton

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Week 85: Festa de Iemanjá!

Hey everyone! How are things going? Here is great. This week we have had some interesting experiences. An Elder from Lauro de Freitas had a hernia surgery and is staying at our house. He can´t do anything and just needs to rest. So we Elder Prince, Elder Cantuário, and I have been taking turns staying at home (or the office) with him. One stays with him and the other two work in our area. Things are pretty slow in our area because Carnaval is arriving and people are already beginning to party or travel.  So this week was pretty normal. We did what was possible in our area. We are still having a hard time finding people to teach; new people who are interested. I did a contact with a woman who seemed to be really interested, but she lives in a different area.

On Monday Elder Prince and I had a family night with Romilda. It was supposed to be with a friend of hers but she never showed up, so we just had it with Romilda´s family.
Tuesday was a normal day of work. Wednesday was pretty cool and funny. We had district meeting in the morning. I was just finishing up my training and President Bangerter showed up out of nowhere and got up and gave another 30 min training on exactly what I had just trained. It was pretty funny. The scripture cases and bags came in too and we got that all organized. Thursday was my day to stay with Elder Dos Santos, so nothing super productive happened. I just did a little project for President Bangerter that he asked me to do, print out lots of paper cards, and cut them out for his stake conference meetings.

I was so excited for Friday to come around. Here in Bahia, every year on February 2nd  there is a faith/culture/tradition of a different religion. It is actually a tradition from two different religions mixed together, Catholic and Candomblê. It started out with only 25 fisherman, but now it is one of the biggest traditions / parties other than Carnaval. In the morning everyone dresses in white and goes to Rio Vermelho (a part of our area). They put various "offerings/presents" in the water for the Ocean queen / water goddess. It is generally flowers that they put in the water. Then at night there are CROWDS of people in Rio Vermelho for parties and music in the street.

So this was our day. You ready?? We changed our day to work in our area all day without going to the office from Wednesday to Friday. Since we are taking care of Elder Dos Santos who had the hernia surgery, it was Elder Cantuário´s turn to stay home. So Elder Prince and I left to work. We had TERRIBLE luck. At 10 am we walked through the crowds to get to our area. It took 40 minutes to get there. Everyone was putting their flowers in the water. As we got to our area Elder Cantuário called and needed us to go back to the office to open it up. He did not have the keys. We had only done a few contacts and hadn´t even taught a single lesson, but we walked back and opened the office so he could pay some rental bills and other bills that needed to be send to president for their approval to be paid. Elder Cantuário paid and then left.  Then after a bit, we went to lunch. We walked all the way to the other Elder´s area for lunch. We were towards the end of Vale das Pedrinhas and guess who called? Elder Cantuário. Now we got frustrated. Elder Cantuário needed us to go back to the office to resend and email to some missionaries concerning light bills. So we turned around and walked back to where we just were at. We missed our lunch appointment so we stopped at Subway on the way to the office. We did that favor for Elder Cantuário and had the Elders that made it to the lunch appointment bring us lunch that we missed in tupperwares. While we were waiting for them to arrive President showed up in the office o grab some material (awkward... because we weren´t supposed to be there). We explained why we were there on the day we weren´t supposed to go to the office. More bad news.... He told us that he forgot to approve the payments on IMOS so nothing was paid for. So all we did was in vain. All that running around and losing time to work in our area for nothing. After we ate, we went back to our area. Everything fell through. No one was home that we marked with. Luana´s friends that we were going to visit with her were not home. So we knocked a few doors and we were able to teach 2 new people. Then we had dinner at Romilda´s house and left a message. It was about 8:45 pm when we left.

Here was the interesting part of Friday. HOLY SMOKES. There were so many people on the coast in Rio Vermelho!! It was NUTS!!! I have never seen so many concentrated crowds of people in one area. It was pretty much like carnaval. Tons of people, loud live music, dancing, and drinking. The crowds came in waves.

To get through / enter the main part with the most people (which also happened to be how we walk home every night) we had to pass through a gate where the police scanned down every person with a metal detector like thing. We passed through and we were in! SO MANY PEOPLE. I wanted to record it, but i didn´t even take my camera out because it was too crazy. The glass tattoo shop was turned into a club and we had to hop down off the borders of the sidewalks onto the grass next to the beach just to get through some parts that were so full of people that it was all stopped. We finally made it through the worst part and headed to the Praça de Maraquita. It was PACKED!

We were getting through and one guy with a pretty woman at his side stopped us and asked Elder Prince in English, "Where are you from?" He responded, the United States. Then the dude told Elder Prince that he is pretty and asked him for a kiss. We just looked away and took off. hahaha. We quickly walked home. We were the only people walking the opposite direction away from the party in Rio Vermelho. Everyone was flocking towards the party there. It was only 9:15 pm when we got home. Imagine that place at 11:00 pm or after midnight. Must be pretty crazy. It was quite the experience that I won´t forget. There is more to come just in a week with Carnaval just around the corner.

For P-Day today, I am staying in the office to email my family and plan a few things. I want to say congratulations to my little brother for getting his Eagle Scout award. I am so proud of him and everyone that sacrificed time and effort in helping him. That is a huge achievement that requires lots of dedication. I also want to say congratulations to Anderson Reded. This young man is incredible. I had the privelege to meet him, teach, and baptize him one year ago. Since then, he ha been active in the church and qualified to enter the holy temple. He went for his first time this week. Nice job Anderson!!

Thanks to everyone who reads these emails and supports me. I appreciate your prayers for the missionaries and your love. I know that Christ loves us and is our greatest advocate. I am grateful for everything that he has done for us and everything he still does. He is our greatest example! I love you all!

-Elder Hilton

Monday, January 29, 2018


 Hello everyone! This week was another adventure. On Monday we had a meeting with President Bangerter the whole day. He took us out to lunch to a nice healthy Chinese restaurant. After lunch we continued our meeting. We went over some mission matter and planned a few things that would be taking place in the next few weeks. On Tuesday we spent the whole day preparing materials. We printed out a lot of things for the traveling assistant to take to some zone conferences that would happen this week. I noticed how the last few weeks we had been more obedient to the rule of leaving the office at 5:00 pm to work in our area. We were blessed with a successful division. On Wednesday I had a division with the ward mission leader, and we taught a total of 7 lessons with him. It went great. I got to see new people that he introduced me to and I saw some parts of my area deep in the favela that i´ve surprisingly never been to still. You would imagine that after 8 months in the same area, i would have seen every road and alleyway that exists in my area! hahaha.
    So yes, the missionary work is going well. We never have trouble finding people to teach. The problem is when the people we teach don´t want to keep commitments. These days, it seems like NO ONE is reading what we leave them, praying, or going to church. We invite them, and show them all the blessings that come from reading, praying and going to church, but they don´t seem to have desire to do anything. So we are teaching lots of lessons, and talking to lots of people, but they are all pretty weak investigators. We are teaching two guys that are good. William and Lucas. William is 15 and is doing well. He reads and will go to church with us on Sunday, He was going to go with us last sunday, but when we showed up at his house in the morning, his grandma had just died in his house so he stayed home to help out with all that business. But this week he is confirmed to go with us. We are trying to teach another kid named Cristiano. He is 16 years old and has lots of friends who are members. He plays soccer weekly at the Amaralina chapel and hangs out with other boys who are members. He has been to church several times and we taught him some lessons, but he seems to hesitate when we talk about baptism. He understood why he needs to be baptized again and told us that the only problem now is convincing his mom to let him be baptized. She is from a different church and seems to always find excuses to why she is too busy to talk to us. We just need to have a good talk with her and explain a few things to help her understand why her son needs to be baptized.
   Thursday was a normal day. Office work, then we taught a few lessons before our dinner appointment with Romilda. Friday I picked up Elder Dos Santos at the Hospital who had a hernia surgery. He was in a lot of pain and can´t walk very much. I had to stay with him at the office all afternoon and night. Elder Cantuário and Elder Prince went to the Bank, the other mission´s office, Rodoviaria, then to our area and taught three lessons. Meanwhile I was stuck in the office doing some financial favors for Elder Cantuário and watching over Elder Dos Santos. We bought Elder Dos Santos a new bed mattress because he will be staying at our apartment while he recovers and there weren´t enough. We are really looking forward for the guys who are reforming our house to really get on it, because very little progress has happened and President Bangerter isn´t happy with it. We have been sleeping on our mattresses on the ground for 6 weeks and the apartment isn´t looking very good. President wants it to look like a hotel to have the new missionaries that arrive in the mission to stay in, but I don´t know how well that is going to work out. It doesn´t look that much different since the reform started. Saturday morning Elder Prince went with Elder Cantuário to get a haircut. I called Eddy to take Elder Dos Santos and I to the pharmacy to buy some things for Elder Dos Santos, then we headed on to the office. I was happy to have received an email from my 2 little sisters. I was also able to chat with my dad for a bit, and write my mom a belated birthday email. We had lunch in Santa Cruz´s area, then returned to the office. Overall it was a good p-day. Relaxed and slow paced, but enjoyable. We hope to have some investigators in church. This is going to be one of last chances of getting investigators to come to church on Sundays for a while since Carnival is starting. I believe Carnival will be starting towards the beginning of February. On February 2nd there will be a HUGE annual party at a park that we pass by every night at the end of our day. Then during the rest of the month there are parties all the time. There is one week with the biggest parties. It will be crazy, and I´ve heard they aren´t pretty, so we need to talk to president and ask him what we should do. Maybe work the day and stay in the office or at home at night.
   So things are going pretty well as a missionary. I still don´t know where I will be transferred to. We are starting our 4th week of this transfer which means we have 3 more weeks until this transfer is over.  I am anxious to know where I will go. I can´t wait to be able to dedicate ALL my time to teaching and baptized, without being hindered by office duties. Although I will miss the office, I will love being a full time "normal missionary" . . I´m grateful to be a missionary during this time. I love Brazil and its people. I can say that i´m trunky to go home, but it´s not affecting my desire to work and be a missionary. I can´t wait to have my parents come pick me up, then go home and move on in my life with college, marriage, work, etc. There is an exciting chapter of my life awaiting me, but I want to do all I can to make this chapter the best it can. The opportunity to be a full time missionary is unique and special. Anyone who has served a mission can attest to that. Thanks to everyone who prays for the missionaries serving in the world. We appreciate all you do to support us and love us. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ´s church and that the ordinances that help us earn our salvation were restored to the Earth. The news of the restored Gospel are the happiest ever! That´s why being a missionary is so awesome! Have a great week!

-Elder Hilton
acai with brazilians who live in the USA!

Riding in President Bangerter´s trunk on the way to lunch

 Celebrating Elder Saavedra´s 1 year mark 

being a true american. It´s a belt that a member gave me. haha