Friday, January 22, 2016

Well, now that I've been home for.... <pause while I count> 59 days, here's the final update I promised.

I've been home for 59 days, as mentioned above, and in those 59 days I've seen one of my best friends get sealed in the Houston Temple, spent lots of time at my grandparents' house on Lake Livingston, got all my classes confirmed for BYU-Idaho, flew up to BYU-Idaho with one of my younger sisters, Anne, stayed with my older sister and brother-in-law for a few days while waiting to move into my apartment, moved into new apartment and rooming with Kevin Green, one of my best friends that I met the first year I was at BYU-Idaho, started working early-morning custodial in the Student Health Center on campus again (and actually making sure to get enough sleep this time!), and am starting into my major (Marriage and Family Studies) with 15 credits this semester. Seems like not a whole lot when I write it all out like that, but it's felt like so much as it's come.

I've loved being home, and I'm looking forward to doing more and more! This just about wraps up this blog, but I'm going to be going back to my other blog that I had pre-mission, and I'm working on getting it ready for use again. I'll post that link on Facebook when I get it all set!

I love y'all, and I'm so grateful for the chance I had to meet and get to know everyone I did on the mission. I'm also super grateful for the support I had going out! The Lord knows, I wouldn't have made it without the support of my family and friends.

Well, now I'm peace-ing out! Love y'all! Keep an eye out for the new blog link!

Conrad Hamilton

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Last Monday...

Howdy everyone!

Well, today's the last Monday I'll have as a full-time missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Tomorrow I'll be flying home, and then tomorrow night, I'll be released as a missionary. 

It's so surreal to be almost finished with my mission, but I'm ready to move forward with my life. I've got things all lined up at BYU-Idaho, I'm going to keep going strong in my study of the principles of the gospel, all that fun stuff. I'm ready... or at least my mind thinks I am. :) It'll be fun regardless. 

I love y'all, and I'll send out another post tomorrow when I get home! :) 

Elder Conrad Hamilton

Keep Smiling! :D 

Mountains - with SNOW!

Elder John Blickenstaff and Sister Jennifer Blickenstaff, me, Sister Janet Thorn, Brother Randy Thorn
at my final testimony meeting on Sunday

Monday, November 16, 2015

And there was snow!

Howdy everyone!

Well, I officially have 8 days on the mission, and it's such a weird thought that in just that much time, my two-year mission will conclude. :/ Weird.. 

This last week has been crazy busy for Elder Bennett and I! We've been getting so much done this week, it's awesome! :D Lots of appointments, lots of people seen, lots of people helped, all that fun stuff! :D It's been amazing!!

This morning, we woke up and there was snow! It's sweet! :D Take a look at some of the pictures below. It's been interesting getting used to driving in the snow again, and I love how quickly I remember how to drive in the snow. It was interesting coming up to Payson today on I-15. There were a few hydroplaning moments, bur not as bad as I've had before. :) 

Anyway, I'll send one more next week, then I'm signing off! :D 

Elder Conrad Hamilton

Keep Smiling! :D 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Cooler Temperatures

Howdy everyone! 

Well, this week has just flown by for us! Elder Bennett and I have been rushing around the area all week, visiting and finding lots of people to teach. :D We have someone else on date for the 21st of the month, and I'm excited! :D He's awesome, and wants to do everything he can to live with Heavenly Father again! :D

We've been getting into some nice cool temperatures, meaning mid- to low 30s, and we've been getting some snow on the mountains, lots of sleet here in the valley at times, and I'm continuing to hope that the snow starts rolling in off of the mountains and into the valley so that we can do more and more service! :D No one wants to shovel the snow, so it makes an easy project for us. People also hear the scraping sounds of the shovels, so they (sometimes) come out to talk to us. Either way.. :D 

Again, I just ask for continued prayers for Elder Taylor. He went home on Tuesday, and last I heard, he hasn't been doing the best since. So, just more prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! 

Enjoy some of the pictures! :D 

Elder Conrad Hamilton

Keep Smiling! :D 

Mountains just east of Nephi

Me and Elder Bennett

Monday, November 2, 2015

Continuing to Hasten

Howdy everyone!

Well, another week is gone. :/ <sigh> Time is flying! Some news this week.. Elder Taylor received word on Saturday afternoon that he's going home. The sickness isn't really responding to any of his many medications, and keeps him pretty much out of commission. So, to that end, President Hodgman called on Saturday afternoon to tell him that he's going home, and that he wants the best for him. Elder Taylor will be leaving tomorrow morning, and will be back at his home by evening time. I'm going to miss Elder Taylor a lot, and he's promised that he'll still be in contact with me. Now, that also left the issue of what to do with me, since I have to have a companion, even for my last 3 weeks of my mission. 

When President Hodgman first called, he didn't know what to do with me except pull me out of Nephi, close my area, and put me with other elders nearer to Provo. Then, last night, we had a conversation with President Hodgman in which he told me not to pack, and that he was working things out. I've since found out that I'll be receiving a new companion, and I already know who it is. :) Elder Joseph Bennett will be my new companion, and I've known him since he came into the mission! :D He was being trained in Highland while I served in Alpine, and was in my district. He's a fantastic elder, and I can't wait to be his companion. Now, that all being said, I continue to ask for y'all's prayers in behalf of Elder Taylor. He's got a long road ahead of him, but I know he can do it. I just know he'll have to have some major help from Heavenly Father to do it. 

The work is continuing to hasten here in Nephi, and I'm working my tail off till the very end! :) I love y'all! I hope you have a fantastic week, and that y'all do the best you can to be happy every day!

Elder Conrad Hamilton
Keep Smiling! :D 

Pumpkins - all lit up with the help of  the iPad.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Love One Another

[Received 26 October 2015]

Howdy everyone! 

Well, it's definitely been a week. It's hard to imagine that a week's already gone by, but I guess I just have to accept it and move forward with this week. :) 

First thing, however, isn't much of a happy topic, but Elder Taylor has just gotten worse over the weekend, and our mission president is thinking about sending him home to recover. There's a lot of other things involved, but I'm asking (more like pleading, to be honest) each of you to say a small prayer for Elder Taylor. This week's been rough on both of us, but I'd ask you to pray for him. I don't really think it matters what religion you are, since I know that Heavenly Father will answer all the prayers of His children as each of us ask in faith. Thank you so much! 

Now, there honestly isn't much else to this week besides that, except for the fact that we had the opportunity to meet with Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on Saturday afternoon, along with Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Elder Scott Runea of the First Quorum of Seventy. Besides the amazing fact that we had an Apostle of the Lord with us, the meeting was spectacular! Honestly, I'd thought (when they told us we were going to be meeting with an Apostle) that Elder Ballard was going to make sure we understood what we were doing wrong, and then challenge us to fix it. Instead, his message to us was about being joyful in the work we're here to do, and to live as righteously as possible so that we can be effective ministers of the Lord, and to be able to have the  constant companionship of the Holy Ghost with us to take to all the world. It was such an amazing meeting, and I've boiled it down to a basic scripture that I felt most impressed by during this meeting, though they never said it. The scripture is in the book of Doctrine and Covenants, section 18, verse 10, which says "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." It stuck out so much to me because each of the speakers talked about how we should be remembering, at all times, that we're dealing with people's salvation, that we're dealing with people who are truly living life, with all of its attendant trials, suffering, blessings, good times, hard times, and everything else. We should always remember to treat these people as the children of Heavenly Father that they are, no matter what. I really loved it, and it's helped to encourage me as well as I try and help Elder Taylor the best I can because I know that even though he's discouraged in the work, even though he hasn't been feeling well, even though sometimes I get frustrated with what we can't really do at the moment, I have to remember that Heavenly Father still loves Elder Taylor just as much as He loves me. 

I pray that each of us will remember to "love one another", even as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love each of us. Then, as we turn to each other in love, and as we seek to help better ourselves and those around us, the Lord will pour out blessings such as we can't comprehend. I know it.

I love y'all, and again I ask for everyone to just say a small prayer on behalf of Elder Taylor. I'll write again next week!

-Elder Conrad Hamilton 

Keep Smiling! :D 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Never a Boring Day

Howdy everyone! :D 

Well, lots of things this past week, so I'll just take it a day at a time.

Monday: Went into Provo for Elder Taylor to be checked out by the mission doctor. Still trying to help him feel better.  

Tuesday: Had quite a few lessons, wore Elder Taylor right out. Had a phone call with the mission president and his wife about what was to be done. They said when we came into Provo on Wednesday, Elder Taylor would go into one of the hospitals there to have work done, trying to figure out what's up. I've developed such a great love for President and Sister Hodgman! They have been working their hearts out to be able to serve us in the Utah Provo mission as much as they possibly can. I love them dearly, and am not happy that I will be leaving them soon. :(

Wednesday: Very interesting day for us. We went into Provo for the transfer meeting, even though neither of us was being transferred. Reason was that every group of missionaries gets a chance at the end of their missions to go to the Salt Lake City temple with President and Sister Hodgman before they go home. I go home in about 6 weeks, but the temple wasn't going to be available at that time, so they asked the group of missionaries that goes home with me to go at this time. So, while I went to the temple in Salt Lake City, there were some senior missionaries who took Elder Taylor to the hospital. He brought some new medications which, when he tried *those*, they also made him very nauseas. So, still a work in progress. 

Thursday: Had a number of lessons cancel on us, and one that we had to cancel due to Elder Taylor's sickness, bringing our total number of taught lessons to 0 for the day. However, even with no lessons actually taught, we were able to talk to quite a few people and help with questions that were had. So, still a productive day, yes. :) 

Friday: Had weekly planning, which I did a lot of by myself. This makes me grateful that I know enough about doing a lot of these things that when needed, (such as now) I can do it by myself. However, I can't do all day, every day by myself, but while Elder Taylor needs to rest, I can fill in for a bit. Taught a few lessons in the evening, so that was great!

Saturday: Got permission to go with a member and someone else that we were teaching up to the Payson temple to walk around the grounds. The person we're teaching is working on starting a new life, and as we were walking around the grounds talking about the blessings and promises made inside the temple, the person kept stating that he really wanted to be inside. It made me think of the children's song, "I Love to See the Temple", where we sing about the hope we have of being inside, to covenant (or make a promise) with Heavenly Father and to promise to obey. This song kept echoing in my mind as we walked, and I became so much more grateful for the opportunity I have to be inside the temple and to be able to be a part of those temple covenants that can make my family eternal. It was a really touching experience for me. That night, I also had an opportunity to carve a pumpkin! :D We stopped by one of the families we're teaching, and while Elder Taylor shared some things, I was recruited to help carve a pumpkin for the youngest kids. 

Sunday: We spent the morning in the Nephi 1st ward, where we attended their Sacrament services, and then Elder Taylor and I had the opportunity to be able to spend the other two hours of the meeting block with the Primary kids. We talked a little bit about serving missions, and overall just enjoyed the time helping in Primary. I love the Primary! :D Elder Taylor leaned over and said that if he was ever called to serve in the Primary, he'd lose his mind. When I questioned why, he said that he wouldn't ever be able to have an intelligent conversation. :D 

So, that's been a lot of our week. As you can tell, we never have a boring day around here. That being said, today we're going to be up in Provo again for Elder Taylor to be looked at, and I continue to plead and ask for your prayers for him. I know prayers are answered by our loving Heavenly Father, I've seen enough evidence for myself, and so I'm asking all of you to exercise your faith in God and just pray for Elder Taylor to see some relief, and for the doctors to find out what's wrong with him. 

Thank you all, and I love y'all!
-Elder Conrad Hamilton

Keep Smiling! :D 

President and Sister Hodgman at the Salt Lake Temple

Carving Pumpkins