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

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I'm super excited to start the new year. Normally I'm kind of grinch-like about resolutions and such because everyone sets them, but no one does them and I'm kinda hipsterish so of course I can't do such things. BUT, this year is different. As a missionary you set goals all. the. time. Daily goals, weekly goals, transfer goals, mission goals, goals for each of the people you teach, Ward goal, district goals, zone goals, ect. There is a constant process of evaluation, planning, and goal setting. And I like it! Some times it sucks because you get to the end of the day or week and you realize you didn't do all that you wanted to, but then you also have times of satisfaction when you meet your goals or just know that you're in a better place than you were before. Goal setting and planning is one of the habits that I want most to transfer over from mission life to normal lifers my future. 

2015 is a cool year for me because for the entire year I will be a missionary. Every bit of this year will be dedicated to helping others come unto Christ by receiving the restored gospel. I want to change. I want to work hard so I can become that awesome missionary I thought I would be (and then I realized missions are hard and I had a lot of growing to do). But now is the time for growing and now is the time for change because if now isn't the time then the time never comes. 

So here are some of my goals. I'm sharing them with you so I will be held accountable.

1) Finish reading the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, the Old Testament and the New Testament cover to cover by the end of the year (you'd think that'd be easy as a missionary, but there's not actually that much time for just reading) 

2) Learn to play one hymn on the piano (simplified hymns count)

3) Read the entire Book of Mormon in Spanish. (Hopefully by the end I'll be speaking fluent like in the Other Side of Heaven ;) 

I'd love to hear all of your goals too. Try to make some good ones, you know, the ones that push you, but you can still actually accomplish. 

Alright now I'll talk a little about what actually happened this week.

It was a tough week to teach people just because everyone was busy with holiday plans. Most of our appointments canceled. But the holidays also meant it was a really great time to find people because everyone is at home. We baked and decorated close to 250 cookies and we went around taking them to different less active families in our area. We were able to talk to many of them and set up appointments for this week when we could actually sit down and get to know them. It was a lot of fun to spread Christmas cheer and greet these families with love. Sometimes I feel like people are scared of missionaries because they expect us to be pushy, but when you greet them with a plate of Christmas cookies I think they see you just want to be nice. Plus no one can say no to Christmas cookies.

Christmas Eve a wonderful Hermana from our Ward, Hna R., had us over and we had a very traditional turkey dinner. It was so nice to be with a family. I  so grateful they would open their home up to us and invite us over. On Christmas Day we started off by eating a summer sausage, cheese and crackers for breakfast. We had splurged on ourselves in the name of Christmas. It was funny to be sittings on our apt floor, wrapped in blankets, eating off of the cutting board, pretending we were fancy just because we'd spent 6 whole dollars on a sausage. Then we had our weekly district meet like normal, but afterwards we decided to open all of our presents together and have a lunch together as a district. It was a lot of fun. We made waffles and took some fun pictures. 

We were at the English chapel so they had plenty of Christmas props still out from their Christmas dinner. Then we all skyped our families. It was awesome to see my family and talk about life. I miss them loads, but they're happy I am here and so am I. My Christmas really was amazing and I was shown so much love by the members here and by my family and friends. Thank you so much to all of you for your love and support. 

Love you all! Happy New Year!
Hermana Hamilton 

Merry Christmas!

~sent Dec.22 2014 ~

Feliz Navidad!

Missions are awesome. Everyone should do it. Seriously though if you are a youth and thinking about serving a mission just do it. This is the most fulfilling work and useful education anyone could ever have. 

Don't think I'm saying this because I had a golden week. I didn't. What I did have was a week that was worth it. And I can honestly say that happens every week. We get sworn at, canceled on, stuck in awkward situations, made fun of for our poor language skills, stressful assignments, and frequently we have no idea what we are doing. But then we have those sacred special moments when families open up their homes and their lives to us and we all have the opportunity to learn and improve together. We get kids who come a hug our legs and beg their parents to go to church with us. We see people offer all they have to help others. We watch people come to a knowledge that they are loved perfectly by a divine father in heaven. We hold their hands as they muster up the courage to leave all of their mistakes and worries to face their lives with hope and determination to be happy. 

Yesterday T..... was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost. She was so happy and full of excitement. My whole week could have been terrible and her happiness would have made it worth it. We also had the opportunity to teach a lesson to her, her husband and her mother with President Villanueva. He came to the baptism last week and really hit it off with the husband because they're from the same part of Mexico. It was the most spirit filled lesson I have ever experienced. It was a great learning experience to. Mostly I learned that I have a very long way to go, but I'm excited to try and get there. 

We also had the mission Christmas conference which was awesome. We had a super powerful testimony meeting and a beautiful Christmas dinner. I felt so spoiled and THEN they brought out the piñatas. Advantages of having a Mexican Mission President who knows how to have fun. It did get a little crazy because they're still 18 year old boys even if they're missionaries, but the whole event really brought everyone together and got them motivated. That same night was our Ward Christmas dinner and we had so many investigators show up. It was great to see everyone, members and nonmembers, having fun together.

Today we had a zone activity where we did a white elephant gift exchange. I felt like a success when my princess gift package (complete with temporary tattoos, activity book, magic glow wand, and stickers) kept getting stolen by different Elders. I guess they love their princesses. I walked away with chocolate so I definitely one that game (I almost walked away with a giant bag of tortillas). 

Love you all! Have a wonderful Christmas!
Hermana Hamilton 

Maddy and her new Companion Hna. N. at the Christmas party