Sister Hamilton has been called to serve for a period of 18 months in the California Arcadia Mission. She will be serving in Spanish.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Week One at the CCM

It's her first letter!!! Maddy said she didn't have much time to write this week, so if you haven't heard back personally from her yet, she'll probably get back to you next thursday. For your reference "CCM" stands for " "Centro De Capacitacion Misional" and "P-day" stands for "preparation day" when she gets a chance to write home. Don't miss the pics at the bottom! - Her sister Torie

I love it here! The CCM (pronouned say-say-emay) is absolutely beautiful. The weather is amazing, there are gorgeous palm trees and these brilliantly green parrots all over the place.

The flight here wasn´t too bad at all. While I was in JFK I saw some missionaries pass by (I have no clue why they were there) and it made feel a lot calmer about getting on the plane. It was so hard to not watch the little TVs because the people next to me were watching movies I really like, but I just tried to sleep and study preach my gospel. The Mexico City airport wasn´t too hard to navigate either and there was an MTC rep to greet me as soon as I got though customs. I was part of the first shipment of Missionaries. They´re were only seven of us (later groups from Utah and Idaho had around 40-60, mostly on the same flights) and we were the first ones here so none of us had our companions and we had to stick together. I actually thought it was really nice to be able to settle in a little before the masses came.

However I am no longer a greenie! A whole bunch of new missionaries came yesterday so I have officially moved up in the ranks. We´ll meet the new district (or possibly districts) in our zone on Friday. I really like our zone and branch president, they´re a really fun and inviting group. The Hermanas of the zone try to always eat meals together and I love talking with them.

My companion is Hermana Hansen. She´s from near Boise Idaho and the oldest of six kids. I love her. We have a lot of fun, but we have really productive study time too. We´ve already taught five lessons completely in Spanish to our 'investigator' Javier (I heard a rumor that he becomes our teacher tomorrow, not that we´ve finished teaching him lessons). Our lessons have been really amazing experiences both in that we were able to teach in Spanish and that we were able to feel the Spirit and make real progress with out investigator (even if he´s just acting). We got him to commit to living the word of wisdom, reading the entire Book of Mormon, attending church with us, and to be baptised (which he apparently didn´t agree to with most of the companionships in our district so that made us feel pretty good).

I can´t believe how fast everything is going. The first few days felt like forever because they have you running around from activity to activity and there is just so much to do and everyone is speaking at you in Spanish. Now only a week later I can understand most things our teacher says (he´s fabulous by the way, but I can never remember how to spell his name) and I can pray, teach and testify in Spanish. I even have some scriptures memorized in Spanish which is a big deal because I totally struggled with that in English.

It feels so good to put on my name tag everyday and to spend so much time studying with a purpose. We have personal study and companion study everyday to study and prepare for our investigator lessons and I can always feel the spirit testify to me so strongly that what were are studying is true and that we are loved by our Padre Celestial. The spirit here is so strong.

On a completely different note, I got smashed in the face by a volleyball during Gym yesterday. It wasn´t really that bad, but I iced it because I didn´t want to teach with a fat lip. Later today though we´re having a zone volleyball tournament so I hope nothing happens to me. 

Oh yeah, and in case you you have´t figured my Pday is thursday. We didn´t have Pday the first week so we had a really long stretch before Pday, which is fine, but by the end I think everyone was really feeling the need.

I´m also giving a talk in church this Sunday. It´s only five minutes, but it´s completely in Spanish. I´m actually pretty excited for it. I´ll let you know how it goes. 

Apparently you can send packages to the CCM through this website  Local people put together what you want delivered and they deliver it. Apparently it´s even way faster than

I´ll send some pictures in a second email. There´s one or two of my companion and I by the CCM sign, one of the beautiful city on the hillside, one of us and our roomies in front of our house, our house and maybe some other stuff.

I love and miss you all!
Hermana Hamilton

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why I Have Chosen to Serve a Mission

It may be looked down on to say this, but my goal in serving my mission is not to convert people to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That would be wonderful, but frankly it’s not what I hope for. I hope to help others know that they are loved, that they are loved divinely and that they are capable of having that divine love. It’s a hippie dippy answer, but I’m a fairly hippie dippy person.
            To me the gospel has always been about a divine love. Love is a word that gets thrown around constantly. It’s misused, wasted and abused. But I know there is a pure divine love. It is because of our Heavenly Father’s divine love for us that he caused us to be able to experience this life. It is because of Christ’s divine love for us that he chose to give his life for us and bear our burdens. Divine love is what heals emotional scars, it's what pulls us through the hard times and it's what inspires us to serve others.

            I am serving a mission because I believe everyone should have the opportunity to feel divine love and know that they can have that love for others too. I am serving a mission because I want to help people know that they are capable of change and that they can create a happier life for themselves. I am serving a mission because there are people need a relationship with their Savior and I am beyond excited to have the honor of introducing them.