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 atand 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.
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.
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. 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