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

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Week 79: Make it a December to Remember

Guess what?!? It´s almost Christmas!!🎵Baby it´s cold outside...🎵 ...NOT! Christmas is a bit different in Brazil. It definitely isn´t cold outside. There is no snow, and you won´t find as many Christmas decorations as in the USA. Despite all the differences in culture and traditions, this month has been a December to remember. The week started off well with a Christmas Conference with our zone (Zone Salvador) and zone Imbuí together. We spent the morning learning from various instructions and trainings given by President Bangerter and the assistents. At noon we had a wonderful lunch prepared by the one and only DALVA! Afterwards we switched to street clothes to do a few outdoor activities. We played kickball, ketchup cross the mustard, and passed around a football. When President Bangerter asked everyone if we wanted to return indoors to finish up the conference, everyone opposed saying we wanted to stay out longer. President discussed with his wife, and replied to us that we can do one more thing. This was the part that surprised us all the most. He told us that we would cross the street to the BEACH!!!   We all were elated by this because he had told us before that we wouldn´t. We all ran over to the beach and he gave all who wanted to enter about 45 seconds to walk on the sand and get their feet wet in the water. I wanted to enter the water, but I didn´t because I didn´t think it was worth it to only have a few seconds. I stayed out of the water and took pictures.

Soon after we returned to the chapel and had a white elephant gift exchange. My buddy Elder Eli from Tonga won my present which was a whoopy cushion, brazilian envelopes and a Kleenex pack. He really liked the whoopy cushion, but it sadly broke in the same hour when he sat on it incorrectly and it burst. haha.

  Tuesday morning we helped Angelo with a move. We moved a lot of furniture out of his mom´s house and put it into his apartment. It was a good opportunity to break the ice with his mom and offer to serve them. We worked until 12:30 and then went to lunch.
   On Wednesday we met with Angelo at his house and left a short message before walking over to his mom´s apartment. Our discussion with Silva went great. She informed us of her agnostic views and her philosophical beliefs as a college professor. She had lots of questions about how our church works. She asked about the missionary program, women´s role in the church, priesthood, and other topics. She really opened up her heart when she started a conversation about faith. She wanted to know what faith is to us. She shared her opinion and related it to some personal difficulties that she is going through. We had been talking with her for a while and she looked at her watch, then asked us if we are hungry. She insisted that we stay more to talk with her, so she had Angelo call in to order 2 pizzas. We ate and talked more. When we got on the subject of the restoration and the Book of Mormon, she was interested and wanted to have a copy of the Book of Mormon. We have her one and she committed to reading it. She told us that she wants to attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to look for answers to her doubts.  I noticed her curiosity in our conversations that night and I believe that she will know for herself that everything we taught her is true, if she reads the Book of Mormon and prays to receive an answer.  I know that Heavenly Father can touch her heart and she can one day take the same steps that Angelo is taking. We left her house with full pizza bellies a new friendship made.
   Thursday was spent working in the office and teaching a few lessons in our area. Friday came quickly and we had our zone leader come with us to Angelo´s house to interview him. Since his apartment is so small my zone leader permitted me to stay in the room and participate in the interview. We had a good discussion and Angelo passed the baptismal interview!
   Saturday was the special day! Even though very few members of the ward were there we were delighted to see that Angelo invited multiple family members to watch his baptism. His mom, grandma, younger brother, and some other people showed up. I had the privilege to baptize Angelo and we all felt a warm spirit in the baptismal service. Elder and Sister Briggs brought cake to eat afterwards, then we headed home.

   Sunday morning Angelo was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints by the quorum president brother Raimundo and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I am happy for his decision to follow Jesus Christ by following His example, being baptized and receiving the wonderful gift of the Holy Ghost. Church was only Sacrament meeting and afterwards we went to lunch. Tonight we have a Christmas Eve party / dinner at Diana´s house. We will do a secret santa activity with havaiana flip flops and eat some good food. It should be lots of fun.

   In the spirit of Christmas, I would like to share a quick Christmas message that I really like. I goes like this:
   “When we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ, for the Christmas spirit is the Christ Spirit. It will block out all the distractions around us which can diminish Christmas and swallow up its true meaning.
“There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ.
“Because He came to earth, we have a perfect example to follow. As we strive to become more like Him, we will have joy and happiness in our lives and peace each day of the year. It is His example which, if followed, stirs within us more kindness and love, more respect and concern for others.
“Because He came, there is meaning to our mortal existence.
“Because He came, we know how to reach out to those in trouble or distress, wherever they may be.
“Because He came, death has lost its sting, the grave its victory. We will live again because He came.
“Because He came and paid for our sins, we have the opportunity to gain eternal life.” (President Thomas S. Monson, 2011 First Presidency Christmas Devotional)

   I reflected and see how the Christmas season is a time to reflect and act upon the blessings and opportunities we have because of the birth, life, Atonement, and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that Heavenly Father loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son, Jesus Christ. I know that through Him we can reach a complete joy instead of momentary happiness. I´m grateful for the opportunity that I have to "give myself" in the service of God as a missionary and help others understand the meaning of Christmas and what this life is really all about. I love my family and I can´t wait to be with them again after my mission. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!!!

With Love,

Elder McKay Hilton

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

week 78: Preparing for a White Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and this week we did all we could to prepare for a white christmas. We see a lot of potential in our good friend Angelo. Last week we visited with him twice. He accepted the goal to be baptized on Saturday the 23rd and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost on Sunday the 24th. He went to church with us on Sunday for his first time and really liked it. This week we really focused on teaching him and preparing him for his baptism.
   On Monday we had to take care of office duties and we renewed Elder Semedo´s passport. He is from Cape Verde! We met him early in the morning and did all the procedures needed to renew his passport. Tuesday we had the privilege to teach Angelo about some of God´s commandments. He discussed with us very openly about chastity and what his thoughts were concerning this topic. We also talked about the book of Enos, and how we can relate his story to our daily lives and our personal habits of prayer. Wednesday I conducted a good district meeting and gave a fun training to help my district understand an investigator´s journey to baptism and conversion. That night we left to our area to find new people to teach.
   Thursday was a special day, because I was able to interview a couple in preparation for their baptism. I went on a division with Elder Pereira and both Josemar and Jessica passed their interviews! They were married on Friday morning, but I wasn´t able to attend the wedding, because we were busy renewing another Elder´s passport Friday turned out to be just about the same as Monday. I renewed Elder Prince´s passport. He is from Salt Lake City! We went to the federal police station in the airport and a few other places to renew his passport. We taught a few people during the evening before Elder Prince had to catch his bus. We were able to teach Angelo and watch Josemar and Jessica´s baptism. I was happy to see how happy Josemar and Jessica were at their baptism. I thought it was really cool how they were married and baptized in the same day! Afterwards we took him to the bus station to send him back to his area.
   Saturday was a busy day. I didn´t get much time to email because President asked us to do a few important things. I finalized some last flight plans for the next 2 transfers, and my companion had to do some important financial things. We taught Angelo at 5:00 pm then went straight to the Ward Christmas activity! There was lots of food, singing and even some Santa Claus entertainment put on by our very own bishop! It was a great opportunity for Angelo to feel part of the "ward family" and integrate with the members. I feel really good about Angelo. He is progressing a lot and is really showing his faith. He is now keeping the word of wisdom and he always studies the scripture passages that we leave with him.

   Sunday morning we went to Angelo´s apartment before church to walk together, but we weren´t able to find him. I had forgotten my cellphone in the office, and I was the only person with his cellphone number. His window on the second floor was open, so we shouted his name hoping that he would hear us, but he never showed up. We left a little sad because we wanted him to be at church so he could be more prepared for his baptism. We ran over to the chapel and sacrament meeting started. Josemar and Jessica were confirmed as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. After the confirmations, about one third of the way through the meeting,  Angelo showed up with a woman who turned out to be his mom! After sacrament meeting we met Angelo´s mom and we all went to Principles of the Gospel class together. Angelo was very engaged as usual while his mom stayed more quiet and observed things. After church Silvia (Angelo´s mom) asked us why we want to baptize her son so soon. She told us she sides more with the philosophical beliefs of Agnosticism and explained how she would like to meet with us soon so she can ask us lots of questions. We marked to meet with her on Wednesday to answer all her questions and explain why Angelo will be baptized so soon.

   This week was awesome and I have seen how God is preparing people to receive the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that Angelo is one of these people. I love serving as a missionary and I am surprised how fast time has gone by. I hope that this Christmas season is the best one yet and that we can all remember Jesus Christ´s life and feel His love. I love you family!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Week 77: Faith in God, Includes Faith in His Timing

   This week was incredible! A few things happened that really strengthened my testimony of God´s timing in our lives and His love for us. I know that he is aware of us and always watching over us.  I know he has a plan for each individual, no matter who they are or where they´ve been. I would like to share how I came to understand this principle during this week.
   On Monday I received the best news ever. Here is the story. A little over a month ago we received a reference from sister missionaries serving in the Salt Lake City Temple Square mission. They gave us a name and an address. The guy´s name is Angelo Reale. We were super happy, because references from Salt Lake are usually really good. We were disappointed when we arrived at the given address (Rua Ilhéus, #214, Rio Vermelho, Salvador) and found an office building with a bar on the side. We talked with the people there and no one knew an Angelo, so I left my number with the people at the bar and told them to give it to Angelo if he ever shows up.  Over the course of a few weeks, we went back to the address to see if we could find him by chance. We also got back in contact with the Sisters and they got in contact with Angelo to confirm the address. They were sure that it was the correct address, so we just didn´t go back because we had tried multiple times without any luck in finding Angelo.  Some weeks passed by without any notice and we had given up on trying to contact that reference. Here comes the cool part. Out of nowhere I received an email on Monday from Angelo saying that we are welcome to pass by on Wednesday at 4:00 pm. He told us he was sick the last few weeks so that´s why he wasn´t there at that address that was given to us. I was super happy that he got in contact with me and marked a day for us to visit him! After all our office work, we left to work in our area. We brought Diana and Joelma (two members) to Clara and Cailane´s house. We were able to discuss with them about their progress and what they need to do in order to gain the desire to be baptized. Diana and Joelma bore their powerful testimonies about their conversions, and everyone felt the spirit. We plan to continue teaching Clara and Cailane to see if they will keep the commitments we leave with them. We had a three week plan set for them in order for them to gain a testimony and more desire to be baptized, but they didn´t do the readings we left with them or go to church. After that lesson, we ate dinner with Diana at a restaurant in Rio Vermelho.
   Tuesday was a normal day of work in the office and in our area we talked to a young man named Cristiano who has lots of friends who are members of the church. It turned out to be his 16 birthday as well. He wouldn´t have any problem being baptized if it weren´t for his mom, who is from a different church and a little against ours. We are trying to mark a day to teach her and see if it would be possible to baptize her together with her son. Imagine that! Walking home that night we saw a man come up from off the beach from fishing. He had a HUGE fish in his hand. He crossed the road and was walking in front of us. I got closer behind him to take a picture. Eventually we walked by his side and started a conversation with him. We talked about fishing and he told us the fish he caught was 7 kilos, that´s about 15 pounds! I asked him if I could pick it up and he told he my hand would stink and the spiny tail would hurt, but i still picked it up, and MAN! it really was 15 pounds! My hand was almost cut and it stunk the rest of the night like fish, but at least I got a cool picture of it will my cellphone!

  Wednesday was the day we met Angelo Reale in person. We arrived at the address Rua Ilhéus #214 and sure enough he was there! He warmly greeted us and we entered into his office. We found out that this was his commercial address where he works. He introduced himself and immediately began to tell us the whole story about how he came to know the church. He was born and raised in Salvador, Bahia and currently is 25 years old. He has studied multiple religions from all parts of the world, but never has been baptized in any church. He began traveling to pursue a few things i won´t mention right now. This guy has been to Berlim, Germany, Finland, and other places in Europe. He was in a country in Europe called Estonia when he met a group of members and a few Elders. He was really interested and wanted a Book of Mormon. They went to a library there in Estonia and were able to find a Book of Mormon in PORTUGUESE! They gave it to him as a present. He told us a lot of things about his life that I found very interesting, but i don´t find it appropriate to write it at this moment. I could see how God was working in his life and preparing him for this moment that we were having with him, discussing about his life and the gospel. He had so many questions that were completely related to the missionary lessons that we teach. In the end we ended up teaching him the plan of salvation. He loved it and went right on asking questions that led us the subjects related to the Restoration. I ended up teaching him the whole lesson of the Restoration in English because he speaks English and told me it´s okay if I speak in English with him. I thought, "sweet! I guess i will see how bad my english has gotten " It was really special teaching Angelo. We were there for about 2 hours. We had to go so we closed the discussion and marked to visit him again on Friday.
   Thurday we visited Romilda and had dinner there as well. We tried to find Cristiano to teach him, but he wasn´t home.
   Friday came quickly and it turned out to be a really busy. We had to go to the city downtown to find a house owner to pay her. Then I scheduled 3 visits in the Federal Police for us to renew some Elder´s VISAS for the following weeks. At 5:00 pm we headed over to visit with Angelo. We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and talked about the importance of having the Gift of the Holy Ghost and what a person needs in order to receive it. The lesson went so well and we discused a lot. Skipping a lot of detail, he accepted the goal of having his baptism on December 23rd! He had already begun quitting smoking before we initially found him, so he is committed to quitting! Angelo is so awesome! I told him that to prepare for the 23rd we need to make some goals. Without asking him to do anything, he whipped out his phone and pulled up his Google calendar. He opened a new checklist and said, "okay, what do i need to do to prepare? Oh, i know, i need to quit smoking." Then he typed on his phone, "stop smoking" and asked us what else he needed to do. I was a little surprised on how sincere he was. I explained to him the importance of going to church, and he immediately began to change his schedule for Sunday to fit in going to church, despite all his meetings and international work-related phone calls. I was super happy to see how proactive he was about everything and how interested he is. It was really the first time that i´ve taught someone as responsible as he is. He really has a vision for himself and his spirituality
   For P-Day on Saturday, we went to the Farol da Barra (lighthouse) and paid R$15 to have full access to the area. We entered the fort and saw all the museums and we ascended to the top of the lighthouse to see the awesome view! It was a blast. I took so many pictures that it will be impossible to share them all with you. It´s a place that you have to visit to see it all and really enjoy it. I also took some videos to make a short film that shows our P-Days. It should turn out pretty cool.

   Sunday was our day that we worked the most. Sunday is generally known as a day of rest, but for us as secretaries it is the day of most work. We don´t work in the office so after church and lunch we do all we can to work in our area to teach lots of lessons. We were able to teach lots of people and also visit Diego (our recent convert).
   In general my week went well. We were really happy to have the privilege of contacting Angelo and teaching him. He truly has been prepared by God in His timing. I think that Angelo is realizing this too. He is a sincere man who talks very openly with us. He doesn´t hide anything and trusts us as he would a good friend. I know that God is preparing people to receive the restored gospel, and many are already prepared. We only need to do our part in searching for them. I know that this church is the church of Jesus Christ restored on the Earth. It is a living church that is guided by modern revelation. I am grateful for our current prophet as well as the past prophets who have guided us in the past. I love my family and am very grateful for my parents. I am proud of my dad for the faith and courage he has had during this challenging time in his life.  I notice how we are strengthened when we rely on Christ´s example. He refines us and shapes us to become better people. I understand that he allows that we go through difficult times so we may learn and receive a stronger testimony of His love and and become a firm witness of his truthfulness. This is my testimony that I would like to share this week,

Elder Hilton

Up top in the Farol da Barra looking at the awesome view and walking back.

I got the Christmas decorations up! I finally used some decorations that i didn´t get to use last year that my mom sent me, hahaha. I spent so much time setting up that felt christmas tree on the wall. I felt so good when it was all together in the end, but disappointed the next morning when i walked in the office and found it had fallen down and fell apart. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Week 76: This Isn´t Missionary Work, This is Missionary FUN!

 Hi everyone! How are you all? It was a busy week! TRANFER WEEK!! This is what happened here. Here we go.... my companion Elder Costa e Silva was informed that he would be getting transferred to Malhado, Ilhéus! We visited a few people in our area so Elder Costa e Silva could say goodbye. We visited Diego and his family and Romilda´s family.

On Monday we reserved hotel rooms for the missionaries departing to home on Thursday. We also went to the bus station (practically our home) and bought half of the bus tickets for transfers. At night we taught a lesson at Romilda´s house and had dinner there. Romilda was really sad that Elder Costa e Silva was leaving.
   We arrived early Tuesday morning at the mission home to meet President and Sister Bangerter to go to the airport. We greeted the 13 new missionaries that traveled from the MTC in São Paulo to the Salvador airport. I always love meeting the new missionaries fresh from the MTC and seeing their first reactions to city, especially the Americans.

 Then we passed the whole day in the mission home giving training and running back and forth to the office, preparing things. That night we took everyone to the bus station, bought more bus tickets, and sent everyone off to their areas. That was when we said goodbye to Elder Costa e Silva. I was his companion for 4 whole transfers.  He always joked saying i would cry when he would leave and i bet him money i wouldn´t. Guess who didn´t cry. haha. Now he owes me ;)  A few people stayed at the mission home and had interviews with President. They delayed and ended up missing their buses. Do you know what that means? It means they sleep in our house and catch their bus to their areas the next day. We arrived at our house really late and had to make room for extra Elders to sleep. It´s quite inconvenient when this happens because there aren´t enough beds in our house and people sleep on the ground. (my companion this time).

   Guess what we did on Wednesday? First we went to the bus station at 5:30 am to switch some Elders´ bus time to a later hour. Then we went to the office to do a few things. Later we returned to the bus station again to buy all the bus passes for the mission council meeting on Friday.
   Thursday was a fun day. We went to the hotel at 8:30 a.m. to assist the departing missionaries get to the airport. President took almost the whole group to the airport. We stayed with Elder Bair (an American) because his flight would only leave in the afternoon. We took him to get a haircut, and to the Mercado Modelo, close to the Pelourinho, and he bought a bunch of souvenirs to take home. Then we took him to the airport! We worked in the office the rest of the day to prepare for the mission council.
   Friday morning, we arrived early in the mission home. We had breakfast there and participated in the meetings with all the zone leaders of the whole mission for the rest of the day. There were some really good, spiritual trainings that were passed to us from President Bangerter. That night, we went to (yes once again) the wonderful bus station to help missionaries get their bus passes and board their buses. We got to bed at 2:00 am, but despite how exhausted we knew we would be, we were determined to have a good P-DAY the next day.
   Saturday morning I called President and asked him permission to leave our mission boundaries to visit a tourism point. He told us we need to rest, but still gave us permission. I was pumped, but super exhausted. We ended up organizing a cool route to see as many tourist points as possible. We first stopped at the Pelourinho and paid R$ 5 to enter an enormous, ancient, fancy, golden cathedral / museum. As we were leaving the Pelourinho area, we ran into a group of American mormon tourists. They called us over and we chatted for a few minutes and took some pictures. They were from Utah and Idaho. One guy served here in Brazil when there were only two missions in Brazil (Brazil North Mission, and Brazil South Mission) and only one stake. The church in Brazil has grown soooo much since then! Then we took a bus to another catholic cathedral called "A Igreja de Bomfim".  This one was free to enter. It was interesting. Close-by there is a small fort and a lighthouse that we visited as well. Everything was cool except for what happened to us. Here´s the story:

   We arrived at the fort and we were walking to the little light house
we got to the other side and there was a guy sitting down in the shade on that little wall / bench he got up and walked to his bike and moved it a bit further away.
I didn´t even pay attention to him. i didn´t even notice him. We continued on and I got in the shade of the lighthouse and i took one picture. Then i took one more
.  Right after that guy came up to us out of no where and told us to give him our phones and wallets. He said he had a gun and pulled up his shirt a little bit, pretending he had a gun (what an idiot). I was thinking aw crap, seriously? not right now man (and a lot of other things running through my head). Then, my companion said this right back to his face. " You don´t have any gun. where is it?" (really risky to say.) Then the moron said. " you just stay right there and i go over there and get my gun" and he started walking to his bike and we walked behind him, keeping our distance. He just pedaled away, but we were crapping ourselves because we didn´t know if he would actually go get a real gun and finish assaulting us. Elder Cantuário knew the scumbag didn´t have a gun on him when he first tryed to assault us, because when he pulled up his shirt a bit to show the gun he didn´t have, Elder Cantuário saw just his wallet. Even though my companion was right, he told me he shouldn´t have ever talked back to him. We just walked back towards the bus station. On our way back we ran into the thief again.
He was with a few other people. he was walking his bike back toward the fort/lighthouse and we passed him. My companion yelled at him, " why would you go around robbing missionaries?! huh? are you crazy?" The dude replyed, "I don´t know what you talking about... I don´t even know you! you´re crazy! " Then my companion called him a favela nickname (tiozão) and we walked off. I was close to whipping my selfie stick out of my pocket to wack the guy with it (joke). Seriously, he made us so worried. I have just withdrawn my mission card money and i had my camera, etc all with me. it would be the worst time to get robbed!
   That´s it. We didn´t get to stick around that area as much as we planned on. We thought it better to just catch a bus and leave. We got off the bus, bought subway, and walked to the office. We got to the office around 4:10 pm and hadn´t eaten anything since lunch the day before, so we bought Subway and chowed down.  :)
   Sunday was our day to really work! Up until Sunday, we saw the airport and the bus station MORE than we did our own proselyting area. Our investigators in Ondina were little neglected this week, being the week of transfers. Although we had very little time to work in our area, I felt happy with the 10 lessons we were able to teach and the new people we found, all on Sunday. I am truly looking forward to being able to teach and follow up on our investigators, inviting them to be washed clean through baptism in preparation to receive the pure gift of the Holy Ghost. To me it is a privilege to be a part of this conversion process in their lives. I´m enjoying this Christmas season serving as a missionary. I like the special contacts we do during this season with the program of #SejaALuzDoMundo ( #BeTheLightOfTheWorld). It is a great tool that we have to contact others and "AWAKEN them to hear about the restoration of the gospel! We must let our light shine even MORE BRIGHTLY!"
   We are teaching a few couples who are great people. Both of them need to be married. One couple has plans to get married in January, so we are happy for them. We are teaching some youth as well.
   Elder Cantuário is a great companion. He seems to be a well-organized, intelligent guy. This first week of the transfer with him went well, despite all the bustle and stress of the transfers. We really value the time we have to work in our area, and we are searching for people who have been prepared to hear our message.
   I know that the time we have in the mission is priceless and shouldn´t be wasted. I realize that every moment is precious and what we do with our time is crucial, especially because time is so short. I am grateful for good parents who have always counciled me to use my time wisely, doing things that lift us up. I am grateful for my growing testimony that I am receiving during my service as a missionary. I trust in the promises of the Lord, and I am grateful for all my blessings. I know this church is true and that Thomas S. Monson is God´s chosen prophet on the Earth to guide us.

-Elder Hilton

Lot of taxi rides and Bob´s Burgers!  #secretaryprivileges 

Saying goodbye to a few of the returning missionaries.  Me and Elder Bair at the Salvador Airport. I knew this guy since my first transfer in the field!  Bye Elder Bair!

 6 elders in one small taxi!! (you can´t even see them all squished back there! ) haha