Monday, July 25, 2016

Going uphill again!

We were able to find 3 new families that seem like they could progress really fast! We have to hope to help them to accept the gospel in its fullness and change their lifestyle to do so. They've already begun to read the Book of Mormon and find answers to their questions. Some have gone to ward activities and others to church on Sunday. I´m really looking forward to seeing each one of them progress and find more peace in their lives. 
Ronald Lopez has been called as the ward secretary! Máximo blessed the sacrament, and they're both going with the ward high priest to prepare to receive the Melquisedéc priesthood (That's how its spelled in Spanish, I forgot how it is in English). We´ve seen that all the converts have had trials and some are still having trials, but were doing all we can to help them and to get to members excited to help them as well. We´ve seen that they're able to overcome their trials and get pumped to keep living the gospel despite all that happens.

This week I learned in my studies that when someone starts to prosper in their life, they have two options, the options to keep reading and humbling themselves before the Lord and praying with a sincere heart, or get prideful and stop doing those basic things because of the comfort and riches. Sadly, a lot of people take the second decision and something really sad happens: When someone stops reading and praying, the light that allowed them to understand the gospel disappears and they enter into darkness and no longer understand the gospel. That gives room for the enemy to deceive them and make them believe false things about the church, the ordinances and the doctrines. 

These lies drive them away from the truth and pulls them towards the evil. Whats good becomes bad and whats bad becomes good in their eyes and they fall away. That's the saddest thing that can happen. I would hate to have that to happen to anyone. That's why I´ll invite you all to continue reading and praying. Don´t allow your prosperity, comfort and riches keep you from humbling yourselves before the Lord in sincere prayer. I promise that if you keep reading and praying every day, you'll be guided through all the tricks, deceit and lies of the enemy in a straight line to the eternal happiness. 

I love this gospel and know its true, I desire that each family can be united in it and experience the peace and happiness that He can provide. I'm super excited to get back to work to see if these families progress. 

Elder Hilton

Monday, July 18, 2016

Time to Search

This week was a wake up call that we need to start contacting with the members a whole lot more. All the people that got baptized were able to do so due to the support and love of the members. We´ve been doing something called ´centros de fortaleza´ where we contact with the member and if one of their neighbors accepts, we take them to the house of the member and teach them there. They receive the support, testimony and friendship of the member and progress so well. But before we would just do it all by ourselves and it didn't work as well. I know that if we learn to love just as the Savior did, people will feel His love through our words and actions and that's what people need in order to progress in the gospel. This week we´re going to do a huge effort to find new people to teach. I really hope to find another family that can progress and accept the gospel.

Another thing that we need to do with urgently is make sure that the new members are getting the support they need. I hate to see the new members with doubts and difficulties. We havent seen a lot of that yet but I want to do all I can to support them when the hard times come, because they always do, and they are for our good, but its going to be easier if they have the love and support of the members and the ward missionaires.

These wards in Bolivia arent like the wards we have in Idaho. Theres not the same system of callings and order. It exists but they dont put it in practice as much as Ive seen it done over there. Im starting to see more and more that this system of order and callings and stuff exists for a reason and if they were put in practice, I would feel so much better knowing that the members would be recieving the help they need to be retained in the gospel. We cant be saved on our own. We need our Savior Jesus Christ, and we need the other saviors that offer support, help, testimonies, service, etc. We have the potencial to act as intruments in his hands, to act as saviors. 

I love this gospel, I cant wait to put it in practice in my own family, read the Book of Mormon with my own children. This gospel is so important for each and every person, and this is the time to learn it and live it.

Love you guys

Elder Hilton

Monday, July 11, 2016

THE BEST and most tiring week

This week was AWESOME because we did some really cool things to help the converts. We did a dinner with the leaders and the converts and played a game that some girls taught me when I was in college. You put a bunch of funny questions on slips of paper, and you take turns pulling them out and answering them. Questions like If you were an animal, which one would you be? and silly stuff like that. It was a lot of fun and they all loved it. It helped them to get involved in the social life of a member and realize that you can have fun and be a good person. 

I loved seeing the baptism of this family and this young woman. The best part of it all was hearing their testimonies. Maria: the young woman, shared a POWERFUL testimony. She had been studying a TON because her testimony included a lot of segments from the pamphlets we use and she shared a scripture in her testimony as well. The best part of it was when she talked about the Franco family.

 (I don't know if you remember me mentioning the Centros de fortaleza which are the houses of the families that go contacting with us. The Franco family is one of them and we contacted Maria with them and every appointment we had with her was in the Franco family's house, so they helped her a TON) 

She expressed her love and gratitude towards this family and cried. That is the best part of this work for me, The feelings of love that are formed between the converts and the members. My dream is to be in the Celestial Kingdom with these converts and the members that helped us teach them. I understand that in order for that to happen, they need to be faithful until the end, and that's why I'm super anxious for the ward missionaries to start working HARD to keep these converts on the path. Repentance is more than just a change of bad habits, its also a change of social life and starting to do all the things that the prophets teach us to do, the mormon traditions. 

Anyway, I love taking part of this work and seeing so many people change their hearts and feel the joy that comes from living a righteous life.

I love you guys!

Elder Hilton

Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July

Happy Fourth of July to all!

This week was a stressful one because me and my companion realized that if we continue to baptized families, even though they're prepared and converted, they aren't going to be retained unless we can help the ward to start working in unity. Because sometime trials come and we have to go and help them and keep them excited to participate in the activities and going to church on Sundays. But if they had more support from the ward, it would be so much better and I would feel a lot calmer when I leave from this area. I wont be thinking I wonder if they're still going to church, I wonder if the members are visiting them etc. So we starting working with the ward missionaries and were going to make a plan of action to have them visit the converts so that we can continue finding families and teaching them. 

The story of the guy in the picture that got baptized by the Bishop is really sad but also really good. His name is Ronald Lopez. He lived with his wife and kids when we found him. We used to teach the entire family. But a little more than a month ago, this marriage was put in jeopardy. She kicked him out and he found a room and rented it. He got permission to live with two of his kids, but the other three live with the mom. We visited both of them but separately. We did all we could to get them back together. But this is more than just a one time thing. Its 15 years of dysfunctional marriage. We were unable to heal the marriage. I'm not saying that they got divorced or that they're going to be divorced. But him and his two kids have progressed and gotten baptized, His wife has had a lot of problems progressing. Its been really sad to see how he has felt and really sad to see this family separate. But at the same time, its been such a miracle to see Ronald change his heart, his habits and his life to accept the gospel and start living the life that God has for him. He´s doing it well and he´s going to be a very powerful influence for the whole ward.

I love the gospel and I'm really grateful to have had parents who have raised me in the gospel. Its the only place with all the correct principles to live a life that pleases God and ensures a future with a fullness of joy in the presence of God. I was also thinking a lot about the resurrection of Christ a lot this week and I know that Christ was resurrected. I appreciate this testimony I've gained because knowing that we will all live again ensures that all the hard work we do as members (we plant the seeds that will be harvested in the next life) will be rewarded. But if I didn't know that we will live again, all the work we do would be in vain. We would be doing so much sacrifice and it would all be wasted. But I know that we will live again. My faith is in Christ and his resurrection. My hope is to have happiness in the eternities with my family in the presence of God.

I love you guys!

Elder Hilton