Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

[Received 30 December 2013]

Happy New Year Y'all!

This past week has been incredible. I've learned a lot from various exchanges I've been on, as well as being able to receive a blessing. It was becoming incredibly difficult to be able to focus on the work, when I wasn't able to be as organized and know as much as I would've liked to. Both of my exchanges this past week truly taught me to just "shut up [my brain], and let God work". Many lessons learned! I'm so blessed to have the district that I have, and zone leaders that care about me.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! I had a great one! Spent some time with families both the night before as well as the day of, and doing so helped me deal with not being at home. I think it was especially a miracle because the families we visited had many similar traditions as our family. I also got to be Santa and his reindeer (I wrote Santa's note, and ate the reindeer food) for a family! It was so fun! :D In another home that my companion and I visited, we got onto the family picture wall, and "replaced" the oldest son who's on a mission as well. :D We got to meet him before we left, via his Skype call home, and he thanked us for teaching and working with his father, Spencer, who is an amazing man, and who has made TREMENDOUS progress!

This week, I also learned that I must, keyword, MUST be exactly obedient if I expect to be able to call on the Lord for help. As you know, we have iPads that take the place of our paper planners, of our area book, of basically everything important. Well, my companion and I were not fully obedient, (me partially out of ignorance, but now I know better, and I know to really study the rules of my mission fully) and so I lost my iPad for this week. At first, I was a little upset, but as I thought about it, I realized that I didn't have the right to be upset. Even if I didn't fully understand the rule, I still disobeyed, and I am taking my consequence. I don't really worry about it, but I have made a MUCH stronger commitment (easier said than done, because I thought my commitment was 100% before, but now it's 150%) to be EXACTLY obedient to the rules of my mission. In the MTC, they taught us that "to be obedient is to receive blessings. To be exactly obedient brings miracles." So, new thing for this week. 

I actually found out that this transfer is about halfway done! I had no clue I'd already been here for 3 weeks (OK, New Years day will be 3 weeks, but whatever). It feels like I just got here yesterday! Oh well. It makes sense now when other missionaries tell me that the days drag on, but the weeks fly by.

Well, I hope everyone has an incredible New Year, and I would even ask that you set a New Year's resolution to send me a letter once a month (except for my family, who has other arrangements), and if you do that, I'll do it in return. :D Just kidding, but it is REALLY nice to hear from you all!

Much love,
Elder Conrad Hamilton

P.S. Here are some photos from our Christmas Zone Conference on December 20th:

Here are some random pictures from our walking in Eagle Mountain...

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