Well folks we got transfer calls this week and it looks like.... Sister Fiefia is leaving!!! She is going to Glenville and re-opening an area that has been closed for 1 transfer and she is training!! I am so excited for her, but we are pretty sad she is leaving!! Also as far as I go.... I will be taking over the Carthage area and...... Training!! I will be staying a sister training leader and oh yeah did I mention that I will be getting a brand new subaru (I am pretty excited about that) but overall I am very nervous and a little bit stressed!! I am super excited though I get to go pick up my little newbie on wednesday FOP (fresh off the plane) I have no idea who she is so I will give you all the good details next week!! I just have to remember to trust in the Lord and he will give me the strength that I need! As far as this week goes... It was an amazing week!! WE FINALLY SET A BAPTISMAL DATE!!! Yay!!! it is for a 12 year old girl and we are planning for February 28th so hopefully that ends up working out!!! Her little brother who is 9 will probably be getting baptized as well!!! We also met this awesome young couple I was backing sister Fiefia up (standing behind the car so she doesn't hit anything its a required thing) and this guy yelled hello sister! I casually said Hello back and then I realized what had just happened... people don't do that in New York .... They don't know who "sisters" are so I walked over and started talking to him and he and his wife got married 1 year ago and they have a 6 week old baby! He has been inactive for 8 years and she has been inactive for about 2! They are seriously amazing though I love them! and... THEY CAME TO CHURCH!!! such a miracle!! also this SUPER less active family that we have been visiting faithfully the entire time I have been here randomly (very randomly) showed up to church!!! MY JAW DROPPED .... not an exaggeration!!! So we saw so many miracles this week!! I was also able to train at our Zone Training Meeting on the power of the spirit in conversion and that was way sweet! Naturally as always I was super nervous but it went really well!! Then after that meeting we had our interviews with President and he asked me if I would train so since wednesday I have been super stressed and freaking out but I am finally starting to calm down a little but I just honestly don't feel like I know how to be a missionary yet! but we will see!! also this week we had lunch with a couple of our investigators their names are the Tyners they are like eternal investigators that we just picked up!! They have been seeing missionaries off and on for like 9 or so years and He has read the entire book of mormon 2 times and really there shouldn't be anything holding him back he just always says I was born a methodist I have lived a methodist and I will die a methodist... hahaha little does he know!!! they are very prepared though and in my opinion super ready now so hopefully we will be able to see some progress with them!! I love them so much though they are in the mid to later 70's!!! but yeah I think that was about how my week went!!! lots of fun!! Lots of miracles!! and non stop spiritual experiences!! It truly doesn't get better than this!! :) I love you all!! Stay strong!! and remember that Heavenly Father always has His hand stretched out towards you.... its your choice whether or not you grab on and let Him help and guide you!!!
So if I was home and was able to go skiing, the lake effect snow storms would be the bomb!! No joke we are talking 4 ft of snow in one night or day and it is fluffy!! However, I get the wonderful opportunity of tracting in it instead because we aren't allowed to drive the car in those storms. We get to walk and then I get the most amazing feeling cause when we come in for lunch and I take off my coat and hat etc I feel like I just got done skiing, literally, snow/ice on my face and bright red cheeks with snow stuck in my hair and then I warm up with some hot chocolate!! I seriously love it though, we made good use of our tracting and we shoveled a lot of drive ways... Yes I was so sore, I thought I was going to die but at least the people who's drive ways that we shoveled weren't sore!!! I love being a missionary and wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world!! This week was amazing and full of so many miracles as are all the weeks!! Time is flying by, every time I blink another week has come and gone!! I am super grateful this week for the power and influence of the gift of the Holy Ghost!! We went into a less actives home this week and when we walked into her living room there was a murder mystery show on and I literally felt the spirit leave me and it was not a fun feeling! My heart was seriously aching (like legit pain) so I just said a loving prayer to Heavenly Father that he would let the spirit come back to me and then I asked the lady to turn off the show. I felt the spirit come back!! I realized how easy it is to become desensitized in this the world! Well that is pretty much the gist of my week not a whole lot of exciting things just a lot of amazing lessons and watching peoples lives change. There isn't better feeling in the world!!! I love you all and hope you have a superb week and remember to live worthily of the spirits presence, it makes a world of a difference!!!!
What a wonderful week I have been blessed with!!!! I got to spend Tuesday-Friday morning up in Gouverneur, New York and it was such a wonderful week filled with lots of snow! The weather here is SUPER DUPER bipolar haha it is now freezing cold and with the wind it is no bueno!!! I was able to go to Ogdensburg for a district meeting and I literally was able to see Canada it was 1 mile away!! Crazy right haha!! The exchange was wonderful, full of lots of miracles. And then.... well the driver was girl from California who has never ever driven in snow and her companion does not have a drivers license and I don't have a TIWI card so I wasn't able to drive.... well, needless to say we ended up getting in a car accident (no big deal I promise!! So you can just breath mom)! Anyway, we just ran into a wire guardrail and it ripped off the front bumper and smashed part of my side of the car but I didn't even get whiplash and the airbags didn't even go off, so literally no problemo haha!! We just slid a little and she over corrected and yeah no worries, I am perfectly fine and we got 3 potentials from it so yay!! We had to go back to Gouverneur (we were on our way to Carthage) in the cop car hahaha, never thought that would happen on my mission. lol Then super early the next morning the senior couple came and picked us up so me and sister Fiefia could go to MLC meeting. The rest of the week was awesome with SO many miracles and the Lord truly is protecting us!!! Today we had a nerf gun war for our district activity IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!! We had a member let us borrow her nerf guns and we went to the church and set up tables and chairs and played capture the flag and sudden death and it was just the coolest thing ever haha!! But yeah that was my week ,super amazing and full of so many miracles and so many blessings. It is probably one of the greater weeks of my mission!! (Mom, seriously I am ok i promise just breath lol) I love you all, I hope you have a wonderful week!!! Remember that it is never too late to make changes and become a better version of yourself!!! I am striving to do that everyday!! I love ya!!! Love Sister Hamilton :)
So this week was an amazing one filled with the wonderful spirit of Christ and an awesome time talking to my family!! It is incredible how much you can appreciate a phone call home to your family when you don't get to talk to them very often!! Serving a mission has been the greatest gift and privilege of my life especially this Christmas season! It was amazing to see the spirit of Christ radiate as we were able to go out and teach on Christmas!!! We had an incredible week and were able to teach a lot of people and it is so fun to watch them progress in the gospel, even if the progression is very very small, it is still amazing! This week we had a guy read 1 verse out of the Book of Mormon and I was so happy I thought I was going to cry... but seriously watching people come closer to Christ is one of the greatest feelings in the world!! I also just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate the Priesthood on the earth today... This whole gospel is only possible because of the priesthood! I have been able to witness some of the most touching priesthood blessings and I know they were truly inspired from God! It is incredible the power that the priesthood has!! I am so grateful to be able to share Christ's message with the world even when the doors get slammed in our face at least I know they saw my name tag and maybe years from now they will be curious and look into it! Everyday we live is such a blessing whether as a missionary or not! One of my favorite quotes is "the trick to life is to enjoy each day not wait for better ones ahead!" I am beginning to realize how quickly my mission is going by and I am learning that even on the hard days it is so important to find enjoyment in the day and live in that day and not wait for a better day ahead because even though this day is hard I will never get to live it again... especially as a missionary!! I love you all so much and I am so grateful for your support and prayers!! You all have a wonderful week and remember how much Heavenly Father loves you!!!! :)
What a wonderful time of the year I have been blessed to serve in! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to share the gospel of Christ during this holiday season! I have had the most wonderful week of my mission!! True miracles have come from my decision to give all of my heart and mind to the work and not just all of my might and strength! This week we were able to teach 42 lessons which is 12 more then I have ever taught before and we were able to pick up 3 new investigators! When Elder Kacher came to the mission he talked on changing out mindsets ("usually" you don't have a lot of baptisms/investigators in this mission) He challenged us to have 10 progressing investigators our jaws all dropped, literally. Because the norm is like 2 maybe and in Carthage we had 0 so yeah!!! But we have set goals and given our all to the work and the Lord has blessed us with our righteous desires, at this point I think we have 5 progressing and we actually have 10 investigators now! And I have to consistently turn to Alma 26:12 where I am reminded that I can not boast of my own strength because everything that happened this week was the Lord's doing! He does answer our prayers and he does bless us for our efforts!! The investigators that we have are Belise and Martin they are a family from Africa and they are amazing and very prepared. It is super exciting working with them we also have Darryl and Sarah and their kids (we are mostly teaching the kids) but they are an adorable black family (the mom is white) but they are so fun and they are so excited every time we come over! This week we also picked up an amazing family from Germany (she is an amazing cook) but they are so nice and I just love them to death! We also have Marylou a sweet old lady who thinks that we are perfect and she is amazing also. Doug is a nice guy and he is doing amazing and progressing very well! We have Donna a sweet lady who is slightly anti religion but we are making progress so we are stoked and the Dolan and Ward families and they are just amazing and I love them so much!! We have been extremely blessed and with the Christmas season here everyone is so kind and loving and I am just beginning to realize how incredible it is that I get to share this amazing spirit with people all day everyday all year long! Time is flying by but I am loving every second of it! The Lord is mindful of each of us and knows how he can best help us. His hand is out stretched towards us but he can't force us to ask for His guidance!! I have also been trying very diligently to finish the Book of Mormon before Christmas because I figure that is one of the best gifts I can give Christ this year and I just want you all to know that the Book of Mormon is true! It is our instruction manual to this life, it was saved for our day so that we can learn and grow from it! I know that we can come closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by reading it and that if we want Him to talk to us, we read! I love the Book of Mormon and I am so grateful for the lessons I learn from it and the examples of those who gave their lives to follow Christ! I love you all so much and I pray at this time of year especially that you will be able to give yourself more to Christ but that you will continue to give to him by keeping the spirit of Christ with you throughout the year! I love you all and have a Merry Christmas!!! You are all amazing and I am so grateful for you support!
Well this week was amazing!!! There was a pretty intense snow storm and president made us park the car. We decided to continually be diligent in our missionary work so we went tracting in the snow storm (while I was sick) haha great idea I know. We saw miracles because of it... we found 3 new investigators that day Sarah, Darryl, and Soncerae, yay we are so stoked!!! That was a way exciting cold day (and the new coat worked miracles thank you mom and dad). We had Zone Conference and they talked about the importance of our calling and how we are simply instruments in the Lord's hands and we are here to "create beautiful music" and that all the instruments in an orchestra are necessary and that they are NOT the same so that we needed to stop comparing ourselves and start realizing that we all have something to offer and that we need to give ourselves to the Lord to do as He pleases. We also learned about the ladder of faith the 1st rung is I can't do this ,there is no point in trying! 2nd Rung I might be able to do this I might as well give it a try 3rd rung I can do this if I work really really hard and give it everything 4th I can do this with the Lord's help and 5th The Lord can do this and I can be His instrument in doing it! Now I have strictly been the middle rung thus far on my mission and I am striving to reach the 5th rung and completely trust my Father in Heaven! I realized that I am expecting too much of myself all at once and so my companion gave me a talk to read titled "Learning to love yourself" by Louise Brown i think! and I am super prideful, so I had to humble myself a little and realized that maybe I did need to learn to love myself more.... well I read the talk and it was just what I needed. I realized I have tried way too hard my entire life to get approval from others and that I demanded success from myself before I learned how to do something, hence the reason I hate softball etc because I demanded myself to be amazing at it without ever playing it. And that by doing this I have literally set myself up for failure and I have unrealistic expectations set for myself! So I need to learn that is ok to fail (First attempt in learning) and its ok not to be perfect!! I have learned that God's love is not academic. We learn and grow at our own speed and in our own way. I have slowly come to realize what this means and I encourage you all to read that talk!! We also found another 2 investigators this week Donna and Martin and we have had many super spiritual experiences. I am just learning how blessed we are in this work!!! Anyway, I love you all I am sorry this is such a short email!! I will tell you more next week when I have a bit more time!! I miss you all and Love you a lot have a wonderful Christmas!!! :)
So good news, transfer calls came and I am staying in Carthage!!! YAY no more moving around for this girl!! Also I am staying a Sister Training Leader which I am super happy about, because I dont know how to be a missionary without being an STL haha! I am super stoked, I am only over 2 areas now instead of 4 though which is kind of relieving!!! So this week I spent a total of only 2 days in Carthage haha! So monday was P-day and that was good just wrote a ton of stinking letters and relaxed!! Then Tuesday we had district meeting and learned the importance of asking inspired questions and effective questions that get people searching analyzing their feelings. We had a district activity where we went and helped decorate Christmas Trees. I went on Exchanges to Watertown and was there all day tuesday and wednesday and it was way fun although I froze my butt off.... makes me so grateful for my area and the fact that we have a car!!!! haha Thursday we worked for a little over half of the day and then the Potsdam Zone leaders came and picked us up to go to Utica for MLC and they have a truck (not just a little stupid truck but a nice Chevy Silverado) well that made me so happy to FINALLY be in a truck again!!! We hung out at the mission home for a couple hours until we had to go to bed then we woke up in the morning on Friday, went to MLC (missionary leadership council) and that lasted all day. We drove back to Carthage but after so many miles we can't use the vehicles here so they sell the cars and get new ones. We are always driving like brand new cars (its gonna ruin me for real life) but the truck which was like a 2013 maybe, was "out of miles" and so we got to drive a new 2015 Silverado home that only had 58 miles on it... I almost cried, I was so happy!!! Then Saturday we worked real hard and got transfer calls and yeah nothing is changing here for me and sister Fiefia!! If you haven't watched "He is the gift" on Mormon.org then do it!! SO good!!! Well I miss you all so much I hope you have a wonderful week and that you remember the true meaning of Christmas because the first gift was the Savior!!! and He gave so much for us!! remember to give back!! I love you!!!
So this week there isn't a whole lot to report!! pretty much all our snow is gone,... craziness and sister FieFia and I are like best friends we never stop laughing and we are just having a ton of fun sharing God's light with the world!! The people here are amazing and Thanksgiving was fantastic!!! As far as Adam goes he will no longer be getting baptized... sad day and he isn't really meeting with the sisters a whole lot either but I have faith he will change his mind again so yeah no baptism on the 5th! We have been mostly working with Less-actives and we had 4 come to church his week yay!!! We should be meeting with our investigators more this week with Thanksgiving being over but we will see!!! We just have to keep working hard and being obedient! Thank you for all your support and encouragement!! Sorry this email is so short I love you!!! :)
What a week this has been, it started out with the mission tour and ended with me being transferred to Carthage :) So this week we were supposed to go on our exchanges to Carthage and Watertown and then one of the sisters in Carthage got sick so we ended up not going. The way things happened was very frustrating so I was slightly upset with some of the sisters (I know I need to repent). But anyway, we did work in New Hartford and Adam AGREED to be baptized on December 6th he finally decided he had no more reservations and that we was ready!!!! YAY!!! so stoked!!! :) Me and Sister Barley were finally going to get a baptism together and see the fruits of our labors (which doesnt always happen). We got in the car to call the Carthage Sisters to set up when we would be doing the rescheduled exchange and Sister Mayer my companion from the MTC got on the phone and was crying and wanted to go home and was sick of a lot of things. She wasn't getting along with her companion and we sat and talked to her for about an hour and then we had to go to other appointments and told her to stay strong and we would call her back later tonight. An hour or so later president called us and told us not to call them back and that he would call us and let us know what was going on and how we could help. That night we were planning the next day out and it was about 9:30 well we got a call from president (remember dad how you told if my Mission president ever asked me to do a special assignment to just tell him no.... well this was one of those times haha). President got on the phone and said can I speak to Sister Hamilton alone and so I got on the phone and he said "Sister Hamilton I need sister Mayer to come to New Hartford and work with Sister Barley and see if we can get her to want to stay out on her mission and I have a favor to ask of you... Will you go to Carthage and be companions with Sister FieFia?" and I said of course I will president and I got off the phone and cried like a little girl, my heart was here and I had no warning or prep time so I packed up my things that night laid in bed staring at the ceiling forever and then fell asleep at 1:30 in the morning.... and I woke up the next day said goodbye to the Deerings cried some more and then went to the church and did a few things and then headed back to our apartment and waited for President to show up. When he got there he gave me a blessing and off we went.... I didnt get to say goodbye to any of the Elders.... none of the members.... none of our investigators.... It was just a hole in my heart which still kind of hurts but thats ok, At least I know I gave them my all and that I let them have a piece of my heart... and so we got to Carthage and I unpacked in about an hour hurried and ate a quick dinner and then off we went to work. Carthage has had some pretty disobedient sisters in the past little while and sister FieFia has been trying to clean it up and so I am stoked to help her but she has only been here for 3 weeks and i have been here for like 3 days now so its pretty much like we are whitewashing again. Sister FieFia is incredible, super powerful missionary and way obedient!! She is a Polynesian and we get a long better than Sister Barley and I did! I am fully being myself again and we are working super hard all day long!! A little about Carthage... we do get the Lake effect so we can get like 3 feet of snow in one night which we did but today it is super warm and is melting but we are not as bad as Buffalo so no worries there. Carthage is a military town and Fort Drum is here and so about 95% of our ward is Military and people are constantly moving in and out and the ward is full of super young couples and I have completely fallen in love with the ward and the area!! We met a super awesome families, the Carr family, and the parents are sweet the dad is an orthopedic surgeon in the military and their house is...to die for... so nice and they are so fun they used to be really investigating but got a major overload and so they havent really let missionaries in for a while but they let us in and we got to know them pretty well and they are letting us come back yay!!! and I am just so stoked about them!!! and then we are starting to teach Belize she is from Africa and she is legit!! Going onto the Military base is kind of like being in another world haha! I love it!! we have A TON of less-actives and that is where we spend most of our time... I love where I am and I love my companion and I am so happy and so grateful for this incredible experience and Sister Mayer is doing amazing and as of now no longer wants to go home! :) yay!! also I will be going to Utica on December 5th for MLC (a meeting) and so the Utica sisters are going to try and get Adam to switch his baptism to the 5th so that I can be there :) Miracles really do happen and Heavenly Father is always watching out for us!! I am grateful for change and the opportunity I have to learn and grow and to become better :) I hope you are all doing better and remember the "God is easily pleased, but hard to satisfy." Neil A Maxwell
Heavenly Father is pleased with all that you are all doing but we have to continually strive to be better! :) I love and miss you all so much! have an amazing week and remember how much He loves you!
Well this week was wonderful! So to start off I was talking to some sisters and they told me about the parable of the Loaves and the Fishes and how Christ asked them to give all that they had... and it was not enough... at all but then he blessed it and made it more than enough! That is how our missions are and our lives in general if we give all that we have and are to Him... it wont be enough but he will bless it and make it more than enough. So when you are feeling down and like your all isnt enough... remember he will bless you and make it enough! I just loved this and thought maybe you would like to hear it! So next this week has been fantastic we had 2 investigators come to church, Sarrita and Adam! Sarrita is doing so amazing and knows she needs to get baptized but she is holding off a bit because she wants to make sure she is doing this for her and not for chris (her boyfriend) so hopefully she prays and realizes that this is what she needs to do! but she is just amazing reading the book of mormon everyday and enjoying everything we teach her and it all "makes sense".... so logically she should just get baptized lol!! Then Adam he is already through Helaman!!! crazy I know and he believes the book of Mormon is true and he believes in Joseph Smith but he has some serious disagreements about the churches stance on homosexuality so we have tried discussing that with him a little bit but he gets argumentative so we are just teaching the other lessons and hopefully Heavenly Father will soften his heart, but he came to church and really enjoyed it and said he is coming next week so that is way excited and he has so much potential... there is just a minor bump that we will flatten in time, no worries! and those are the really exciting things happening! Other than that thursday was probably one of the most amazing days of my mission because of all the realizations I had. It was district meeting and we were asked to study Charity and Love in preach my gospel so I started off by doing that and then I went to the dictionary and I have come to realize that charity and love are not the same thing that is why they are always BOTH mentioned in the scriptures. Love=loyal concern and affection, Charity=understanding! Charity is the pure love of Christ. In preach my gospel it talks about how to have charity you have to understand that person's point of view. No wonder Christ has Charity and it is the Pure love, because he literally felt everything we feel, He knows EXACTLY what we think and feel, he has a pure understanding of our point of view!! So to have charity for someone is not just unconditional love but to put yourself in their place and understand their point of view! I dont know I just thought that it was super neat and I realized I have a lot of work to do in order to develop charity! also that we have to sanctify ourselves or become pure in order to love purely.... just something to think about then later that day I realized that I have had a lot of walls built up around my heart and for a really long time and I apologize to you all for not letting you have all my heart. I am going to try to more fully give my heart to those around me so that they can love me fully. I also learned a neat thing about companionship study that it is not just to create unity but we have to help us receive revelation. There have been many times where the only way I was able to develop fully the revelation I was receiving was by talking to Sister Barley and discussing things together. Heavenly Father created us to help each other.... thats why you get married and thats why you have a companion on the mission and thats why you have a family etc... we all need help in our lives! and lately I have been reading a talk and it talks about whether we know who we want to become? are we progressing towards light or towards darkness? If we dont know who we want to become and a plan of how to become that, then we will not progress towards the light... just food for thought :) So when I first got out here I was scared to pray for charity because then you know a trial is coming but I know it is something that I need to develop so I finally prayed for it and..... Yes there are challenges what a blessing it is that Heavenly Father trusts me to develop this attribute (it will be a lifelong process) but I need to take advantage of this opportunity to become more like my Savior. In a testimony this week at MLC someone shared that "Our imperections are a gift and we should use those imperfections to come closer to God." what a neat perspective..... Well I love you all!! Stay strong. and Remember I love you all so much!! :)