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, September 18, 2017

week 64: Feliz dia de Independência BRASIL!

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

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

-Elder Hilton

Friday, September 8, 2017

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

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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Good morning everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a picture of before her baptism.

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

Lunch at Dalva's house

Dessert at Diego's

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 61: Dreams and Discipleship

  Last Sunday after church we knocked on a few doors in an area that we had never worked in before. Our 3rd contact we entered into a house to teach. A couple lives there. Paula and Josemar. They were both sincere and honest people.  She is also a lawyer. Josemar is a life-guard who also works in private clubs. One he works at is a private Yacht club. Pretty fancy! He has saved many lives doing his job and he tells us he enjoys it. We taught them the Restoration clearly and simply, but boldly. Even though they couldn´t mark a next visit because of their work schedule, they agreed to pray about what we taught. They are a good couple and I hope they receive an answer. After we taught them we went home. We ran into a few drunk people on the way like normal, and they said crazy things to us.

   Monday I worked on buying a plane ticket for Sister Martins going back home to Denver Colorado. I also worked on reserving a hotel and a car rental for Elder and Sister Briggs.
At lunch time we went to the mall to buy some office material and we also ate lunch there. We ate at a place called Pasta Fast. It was a R$25.99 all-you-can-eat pizza and pasta place. I ate a lot. I was dying of thirst because i didn´t buy any drinks. It would´ve been too expensive.

   In our area we taught João (coxinha guy) and his wife Priscila. They lesson went well, but João didn´t seem to understand it.
   Later we returned to the office at night so Elder Jenkins could keep working on the Mission History ( a project that President is having him do). Because of this project I got behind in putting the baptism papers in the church system because Elder Jenkins was always using my computer.
    On Tuesday we taught Manoela about the Sabbath Day. All our other appointments fell through.
   Wednesday we had district meeting in the morning and the rest of the day Elder Jenkins and I worked in the office. Around 3:00 we went to the paper store and picked up the 2,000 envelopes that we bought for President. Then I called Valmir (a member) to have him leave to work in our area with Elder Costa e Silva so Elder Jenkins and I could stay and work in the office.  Around 8:00 pm we ordered a big pizza from São Paulo Pizzaria (the stuffed cheese one). It was half Portuguesa and half Baiana. DELICIOUS!! We ate it then left to try to follow up on Paula and Josemar. We only found Josemar and he was leaving. He is always busy and told us that he didnt read the pamphlet we left him. He said his wife probably did, so we are hoping that one day we will be able to follow up with his wife. Then we went home and did exercises!

   Thursday morning we woke up at 6 am and went running. All of us went (Me, Elder Jenkins, Elder Costa e Silva, Elder Lima, Elder Da Silva, and Elder Nascimento). We ran along the coast to Amaralina and returned to a small outdoor workout spot that has pull-up bars. We did a few exercises then went home. At the office Elder Jenkins finished Mission History. Finally, since he was finished I could work on that computer to enter in all the baptisms that i was behind on. We pretty much stayed in the office all day and all night doing this.  We sand some karaoke for a while after we finished too. haha. Then Elder Jenkins and I dropped off Elder Costa e Silva and we went to McDonalds. After we ate we went to Walmart and I bought milk and bananas. It was a great day. We didnt teach a single lesson, but we got a lot of stuff done that was needing to get done. It was fun being with Elder Jenkins. He stayed with us for exactly a week and he left Friday morning. I had a good time with him and i learned some things from him.

   Friday it took longer to leave to office. I had a JOIN training meeting online that i watched, then I sent a special cellphone report to President Bangerter. At night we taught Vitor Hugo the Plan of Salvation. He liked it and had good questions. He understood the message and our purpose of teaching him. He even admitted that he just needs to read and pray more to find out for himself. Then we visited a lady whose dad has been in the hospital for a while.

   Saturday morning, I woke up late, but it was p-day so I chose to sleep in. I had an interesting dream too. I  dreamed that I was on the shore of a lake . I don´t remember if it was lake Lowell or Lake Cascade in Donnelly. . But I was there on the shore and Jesus Christ was in the water about waist deep. There was a tree in the water that appeared to be dry. Christ was out in the lake next to this tree watering it and taking good care of it. I was on the shore watching him. Then he drew his attention from the tree and looked at me. He began to wade his way back in to the shore and talked with me. All I can remember was him saying that He loves me. He expressed His love for me and I was shedding joyful tears. Then, still dreaming, I woke up and wrote down everything that happened in my dream. Then, in real life, I really woke up and thought that I had already written the dream down. I soon realized that I had only dreamed that I wrote it so I got up and wrote about the dream. I don´t know the meaning or significance of it. It might not be super important. But i believe everything happens for a reason. Maybe there is more to come in future dreams that will clarify this one. I dont know. I think the water represents the true restored gospel. I thought about what the rest of my dream could possibly mean. I think the dry tree in the water represents someone who lives in and is surrounded by the gospel, but isn´t fully benefiting from it. It´s not ´´absorbing the water and being fully nourished. That person is living below his privileges. Maybe it could be a person who grew up in the church and is surrounded by the water (the gospel), but is still dry and weak because he or she hasn´t completely accepted the water and become fully converted. I think Christ was in my dream to show that He still personally ministers to each of us and helps us ONE BY ONE. He loves us ONE BY ONE. He is concerned for us and will still nourish us even when we are surrounded in water. When we are dry and struggling he will take care of us. That was my interpretation of the dream I had. I hope that I have more dreams like these that widen my mind and inspire me to be better. Last Christmas at the Christmas Conference he gave a training called Intelligent dreams. He told that that it´s not a bad idea to sleep with a pad of paper and a pencil by our beds, so when we have dreams we can write them down and not forget them. I have been following this and it´s always exciting when I have an ´´intelligent dream´´ .  This is a church of revelation. Revelations can be given in many forms, and I believe that dreams is one.
   I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is God´s church re-established here on the Earth. I find lots of comfort in knowing that we have a living prophet that leads and guides us, 12 apostles as special testimonies of Jesus Christ,  and God´s authority on the Earth today, all in the same way when Christ lived on the Earth. This I don't know who reads these emails on this blog. The majority are probably already members of this church. For those who aren´t members of  the church, I personally invite you prepare yourselves to become disciples. There are no greater blessings waiting for you than here in Christ´s church. He wants you and needs you to be a part of His work and glory. Ask the missionaries or your friends who are members. They can help you! The happiness of being a member of Christ´s church is indescribable. You will see your life positively change. As you learn about the commandments and keep them you will see how God truly does bless families and how he keeps his promises. All these things come at the cost of your own desire. You have to desire to follow Christ and commit to Him. This is His church and He leads and guides it. He invites everyone to follow Him. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I do the same thing. I invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
This is a scripture that always reminds me of me purpose:
13 Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been acalled of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life

I am a disciple of Christ and I am here to help others become disciples too. I´m grateful for my calling. I know Christ lives and will return. I love my family. I know that families can be eternal, and that´s how they are through God´s plan. I know that God is preparing the Earth for His son´s second coming and this life is our time to prepare.

Elder Hilton

Week 60: Searching for the Elect of God

Hello everyone!

This week started off quick! We spent all day Monday and Tuesday preparing the mission for the Mission council. We weren´t even able to leave to work in our area. We bought all the bus passes for for all the zone leaders and for the Sister Leader Trainers to come to Salvador. We neatly organized all the material to be distributed to each of the 7 zones. Normally Mission Councils are on Tuesday, but Tuesday President Bangerter´s youngest son Steven left for his mission to Porto Alegre. They had to get him ready and sent him off in the airport to the São Paulo MTC so they pushed back the Mission Council to Wednesday. The trainings and goals we made as leaders of the mission were really good and we all felt ´´on fire´´ to work.

Starting Thursday night Elder Jenkins was with us. He was President´s assistant for a really long time and he was finally ´´released´´. A new one was called (Elder Castlemain) and Elder Jenkins is now the traveling assistant.  He will get to leave Salvador and travel around the mission, helping/training other elders in all the areas. Actually, Elder Jenkins will stay with us here in our area until he gets a special project done that President is having him do. So until he is finished he will be with us. It has been a great time working with him. Elder Jenkins is a great missionary and teaches very well. We learned a lot from him and he gave us lots of helpful tips that we plan on applying to our work.

Saturday (p-day):
We actually did something on our p-day other than just hangout here at the office and work. On Friday I had Sister Bangerter reserve the tennis court at the mission home. Their apartment complex/building is really nice. We woke up at 5:30 am, went up to president´s house on the 6th floor to pick up the tennis stuff, and we got on the courts around 6:40. We played until 8:00 am and had to stop because there were other people that had it reserved at 8:00.  I played tennis with Elder Jenkins while President and Elder Costa e Silva left and played Frisbee golf around the neighborhood. Then we went back up to president´s apartment and visited him and straightened a few things out because he would be flying out to another city in the mission to start his zone conference tour.

After a whole year and 2 months without touching a tennis racquet, I had never felt so happy to be on a court! 

   When we got home we took showers and went to an appointment at 10:00 am that we had marked with an investigator, but it fell through. So we called Eddy (our taxi man) and went straight to the mall to buy some cellphone chips and buy a new cellphone for my companion. Then we took a taxi (with Eddy, always eddy) straight to lunch. 

Then we met up with the other assistants at zoo and strolled around there for a while. We took some fun pictures there at the zoo and some other places in the area. Then we walked back to the office, finished up some things, and went to our area to work.

On Sunday we walked to Manoela and Fernanda´s house to pick them up for church. We arrived and they didnt answer the door, so we rushed back to the church because we were late. Diego and his wife came to church. Later that day Diego called us and invited us over for a special dinner. Of course we accepted and we went at 8:00 pm. They made us chicken alfredo lasagna. It was delicious! The week ended on a high note. You can´t go wrong with a good plate of lasaga!

This week I read a great quote that I would like to share. It goes like this.

 “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”
That quote reminds me everyday to set smart, reasonable goals. Goals that will stretch us and challenge us are good for us. They push us to work hard and accomplish them. To me the harder you work for something the greater you´ll feel when you achieve it. I also really like the quote that says, ´´ What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. ´´ What we get isn´t as important as what we become. That is why we need to set focused goals that will improve us. Goals inspire us to become better individuals. I have learned that comparing ourselves to others doesn´t get us anywhere. We won´t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated with purpose. Each of us have divine potential and purpose given to us by God. To help me remember all these things I have the wallpaper on my computer set to a picture quote from President Thomas S. Monson that I see everyday. It says this: ´´Remember who you are and what god expects you to become.  I know that remembering who we are will help us make smart goals. When we have an eternal vision of things we will be more aware of our daily decisions and we will make focused goals. These are some things I have learned this week. I´m grateful for the opportunity I have to serve a mission. I´m learning a lot and I love it. I love all you guys for supporting me.

 Have a great week

-Elder Hilton

This is a very beautful place in my area. I love walking by the beach every day hearing the waves crash on the beach and on the rocks. It kills me that we can´t go in and swim in it! I love my area!

Walking to president´s house, in his house looking out at the view! 

We were in Eddy´s taxi driving to the mall to do cellphone business and we found the AMAZING SPIDERMAN!!  He looks just like the movies!  He was just walkin´ casually through the big roads giving people thumbs up. The dude must´ve lost a bet. haha

Thursday, August 3, 2017

week 59: BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi guys!!!!
  How was your week ?! It was quite a crazy one here. We had a crazy transfer. A lot of running around town between the office, mission home, bus station, airport, etc.Total we had 16 missionaries go home this transfer and only 5 arrived. That means we lost 11 missionaries. Sadly President Bangerter had to close some areas. Now we have leadership council next week on Tuesday then Zone meetings on Wednesday . President has been very concerned to help the missionaries learn how to plan and how to work better. This week I did what I love most about all the secretarial work: picking up the new missionaries at the airport. It inspires me and reminds me of the faith I have to raise and cultivate every day. It was also strange because I saw many elders going home after finishing the mission. All these missionaries are people that have been around me since i arrived , it was strange, but I'm very happy for them.

  The work slowed down a bit this week due to the transfers and the days that we could not go to the area to work. It has been difficult to follow up with our investigators. Finding them has been too complicated, but nothing is impossible. Tonight we have an activity night and I have faith that the people we invited will show up will. We invited some people, investigators, and members, so now we just wait and see who will show up.

Elder High, my buddy was transferred to Vitória da Conquista. He is happy and I am also haha.

 Elder Costa e Silva, my great friend, is fantastic and a wonderful companion, I can not say how grateful I am to have the opportunity to be his companion, together we are seeking the elect, we are seeking to improve our faith, teaching, and also work in the Office, we are trying to make everything more efficient, we started the transfer well and we know we can improve and have many baptisms, only if we look for and give our best every day. We are helping each other a lot and I am learning a lot about how I should be, how to act and how to believe.

   These last days have been a lesson of faith for me, I have learned a great deal about trusting in God and seeking to be the best every day. Everyone knows that sometimes I am a perfectionist and when I can not get something I want, I disappoint myself. Something I realized is that I need to increase my faith in Christ, especially in acting, acting in faith, for faith without works is dead, works without faith are also dead. I have to trust in the Lord and be able to accept, understand and trust in His ways. Earlier today I also watched Emma Smith's film, and a phrase that touched me a lot is: "Strength is not something we have, but something that God gives us."This principle is with all things, God gives us according to the desires of our hearts and what has been my desire? What have I been looking for? Have I trusted God enough? Have I had faith? Faith is the driving force of all things and rules the heavenly powers, nothing works without faith, not even the priesthood itself functions without faith! God has so much power because he has faith, faith in his works, in his plan and also in himself and in his Son.

   The heavenly powers will come upon us only if we have faith and if we are more and more righteousness. And how can we grow in righteousness? Keeping the commandments, repenting of our mistakes, loving and serving our neighbor, taking the sacrament every Sunday, going to the temple every week (when possible), praying for people and walking always remembering Christ and not making room for sin, but only for the atonement of Jesus Christ.

   I discovered for myself that to be the best missionary, and the best person in the world is just doing what I can one day at a time, step by step, with faith at every step. The question I ask is: How can I be the best missionary today? What do I need to do today to be the best missionary? The same question applies to each of us. How can I be the best child of God today? How can I be an instrument in God's hands today? We must also always consider that each of these questions must be integrated with faith to act, to allow God to use you, and also to allow him to send his powers as the fruit of his faith. With faith we can do all that is convenient for God. If it were convenient for Him, the Israelites would have crossed the red sea by walking on the water, but God saw fit to open the sea; Perhaps because not everyone present had such faith, or simply to show the glory of His power.

   The conclusion is: I can do all things through him who strengthens me, but I can do all things only if I have faith to act, to accept, to understand and to follow whatever is His will and convenience, but I know that God will grant the righteous desires of my heart if I go straight and have faith at every step, to follow him wherever he leads me, doing my part with extraordinary faith and always praying to God

   Well, these were the precious things I learned, how was your week? What can you tell me? How are things with you all? I want to know!!!!

These are the new missionaries that arrived on Tuesday in the airport. I had to stay back and watch their luggage while they took pictures, so i went ahead and snapped a few from behind, haha. Then we took them to the mission home for their day of training.

Bye to my buddy Elder Opfar. He was transferred to Valença! These squished taxi rides just keep getting more and more normal.

Elder Vieira wanted me to play the claw game so he paid for me. I had luck and won my first round! We gave the prize to this little girl

Dropping off Elder Cruz ( from Honduras)  and Elder Pina (from Cape Verde). President usually takes returning missionaries to the airport, but because of his schedule, he had us take these two to the airport. We sent off these two and President sent the other 6 the next day. Also there is THE BEST TAXI MAN in all of Bahia, Eddy Carlos!!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 58: The last week of the transfer and a Party at President's house!

This week started on a high note. We threw a surprise party for President Bangerter. My companion and I planned with Sister Bangerter to have a special surprise on Monday the17th for President´s birthday. His birthday was actually on Friday the 14th, but he was traveling for zone conferences so he wasnt in the city for his birthday. He got back on Saturday and we had the surprise on Monday. We coordinated with Sister Bangerter to make a big breakfast and we invited the assistants and their companions, and the couple senior missionaries (the Briggs). Another companionship arrived in Salvador early that same morning because I would be renewing their visas so they came along too. We also brought the elders that live with us. We all arrived around 7:30 am. on the 6th floor and quietly entered. So there we all were; me, Elder Costa e Silva, Elder High, Elder Jenkins, Elder Prado, Elder Da Silva, Elder Espirito Santo, Elder Opfar, Elder Nascimento, Elder Davis, Elder Cantuário, Elder and Sister Briggs, and President´s son Steven, waiting on the couches and chairs in the living room for President Bangerter to come out of his room at the other end of the house. Sister Bangerter had woken him up and had him put on normal exercising clothes as if they were going to go out to walk or run for exercise. Then she kept delaying him until we were ready for him to come out. Finally he walked out. When he came around the corner and saw all 15 of us stand up and sing, he was so embarrassed because he was in shorts, t-shirt and no shoes. He played it off well and we had a great time. We sang played a few games, then ate a huge breakfast that consisted of american pancakes, strawberry and whipcream, juice and other foods and fruits. It was DELICIOUS!  He shared with us some history and stories of his birth, how he got his name of Glenn Paulo Bangerter, and a few other interesting things about his family. Then we sang his favorite hymn O Ye Mountains High. He thanked us for the surprise and he took a selfie with us before we all left to work.

    The rest of Monday was spent renewing Elder Davis´s VISA and getting his RG ( a brazilian identity card). It´s easy to do, but it is a long tedious task that takes up most of the day. The rest of the week, while in the office, I worked on things that President has been asking us to do. In our area we are finding new people to teach and following up on the references that we got from last week´s exhibition. We are still teaching Manoela and her sister Fernanda. They both accepted the invitation to be baptized. Now we only need to teach them the commandments to see if they need to make any adjustments to prepare for their baptisms. They also need to go to church.  We are very happy with their receptiveness and progress.
    Well transfers have already arrived. Sunday afternoon we will know the transfer and Monday we will be buying all the bus passes for the whole mission for those who are transferred. I am very anxious to know what will happen. I know for sure that we are losing Elder High. He will be leaving the office to finish off his last 2 transfers in a different area. Maybe one of the assistants will be changed too. I am feeling mixed emotions about it. It will all turn out fine, but it won´t always be easy. There are lots of things that i feel unsure about.  I shouldn´t be nervous. I should just trust that I will be able to figure out all that needs to be done. Elder Costa e Silva told be that a 70 said that besides president of a mission, being the secretary is the hardest calling in a mission. That didn´t comfort me very much, but after thinking about it, it made me feel happy and confident that President Bangerter and the Lord trusts me in this calling. Elder Costa e Silva has been the financial secretary since May. I will probably stay with him for three or four months. It will be great.
On Friday the Senior Couple Missionaries , Elder and Sister Briggs, made us a pancake and egg breakfast, to commemorate because Elder High will be leaving. We found a cool selfie stick in the office that had been left there, so now we use it all the time.

  Our p-day today wasn´t anything really impressive. We went to our ward´s building around 12:00 to help out at a ´´mini MTC´´ activity. We ate lunch there too. We had our first lesson of the day marked for 4 pm so that didn´t give us time to do anything after the mini MTC.

 In our area we walk up a huge hill that has an incredible view almost everyday. In the 6 weeks that
 i´ve been here, it has been killing me that i still hadn´t taken a picture of this place. Finally i got one!

On Sunday, we left early to go to Manoela´s house to take her to church, but we never arrived there because the certain bus that we needed never passed by. So we didn't get to bring her to church. Diego and his wife (and their baby Diogo) came to church and the talks were on marriage, which is exactly what they needed to hear. To be baptized, Diego only needs to get married.

The first picture is a funny story. In that first picture in the favella, if you look closely on the right side of the picture, you will see two people standing inside of a white gate. We did a contact with that couple and taught them. We entered into their gate (´´patio´´) and we began teaching the the Restoration. The lessons was going incredibly well. They were paying close attention and answering the questions correctly. They had ´´the right´´ doubts too. We were just getting to the part in the lesson about the restoration / Joseph Smith, when a car rolled up, just outside of their house and began to blast REALLY LOUD music with all doors and trunk open, (not to mention it was inappropriate music too). It was so loud that we had to shout to hear each other, and it made it impossible to finish the lesson or even to pray. So we just scheduled another day to come back and finish the lesson, then we left. We didn't even pray. I turned around and snapped a quick picture as we were leaving because i thought it was funny how it turned out like this. I was also amazed at how loud of music that car was able to blast out. My companion was frustrated that it ended like this because the lesson was going so well. haha

The next picture is of our good friend Diego who is investigating the church. This Sunday was his 5th or 6th time going to church. He is liking it a lot, and we are helping him learn more about the commandments and about marriage.They are so awesome. Every single time we visit to teach Diego, his wife (girlfriend), who is a member, makes us food! We set a goal for him to be married on August 25th so he can be baptized soon after. He was a little shocked about how soon, but he accepted to think and pray about it. We have lots of faith in him. We also love his son named Diogo. Yes Diogo is the baby. He is 1 year and 2 months. Twice in a row when we left after visiting their family, baby Diogo tried to run out the door with us. He didn´t want us to leave. Then when his mom grabs him and we leave, he cries. We walk out of the apartment complex hearing him cry. Then we round the corner and look up to their apartment and he is there looking out the window at us. It is very funny and cute.