Monday, December 7, 2015
Before I start, let me thank you fro your emails and for your support. I love getting pictures and updates from everyone. Although I hardly ever respond, I do read every email and appreciate your love and support.
So my life moves very quickly. Days feel 48 hours long but never enough time to finish everything for the day; however, 11pm doesn’t come fast enough to be able to sleep. The weeks end faster than any individual day… they fly by. I’ve now been in Salta again for the past 6 weeks. President changed P-day to Monday so our office week is Tuesday – Friday. We now have one entire day to go “missioning” in our area. It’s great. This last week broke down like this:
Last Monday – “Spiritual Preparation” to give a training in a Zone Leaders Conference.
Tuesday – “Zone Leaders Conference” All of the zone leaders from the 10 “zones” we have in the mission came to Salta for a training conference. Hermana Chaparro, Presidente Chaparro, Elder Rich and I trained the missionaries on some aspects of “finding” people who we may teach/help/etc. After lunch, the zone leaders from Tartagal (the northernmost zone in the mission) back to their house and we spent the night with them.
Wednesday – Elder Rich and I exchanged companions in Tartagal in order to further train and teach other missionaries (mostly learning from them… I don’t know in what I am “assisting” but I learn much more from other missionaries than I think they are learning from me). Tartagal is a VERY humid city. It’s just south of the Bolivia/Salta, Arg. border. THERE ARE MANGOS EVERYWHERE! I am not exaggerating by saying that the streets are LINED with mango trees. HUGE MASSIVE trees covering the entire area. It is very much a jungle. There is a constant hum of “Coyuyo” which are these ENORMOUS black bugs like the cicadas during the summer months in the desert. I went with Elder Mahowski from Chile in his area (Aguaray) even further north (just 15mins south of Bolivia). We met A LOT of people. While talking with a lady at her gate, I noticed a green thing moving in the backyard. IT WAS AN ANACONDA, nah, just kidding. It was just a huge green Iguana strolling along, eating little chicks and the eggs of all the wild chickens that run loose. I kind of lost my train of thought talking with the lady and was caught by the Iguana. The lady wasn’t interested in listening to us, she just wanted to talk so I pretended to listen to her and just watched the thing walk on by. It was sweet.
In the evening we were teaching a family who hadn’t gone to church for years, and one of the sons had never been present in one of the missionary visits. We were teaching him to pray and he said such an AWESOME PRAYER. It was so sincere. Well, while he was praying I heard this “flop” “flop” – I was really paying attention to Bruno pray. It wasn’t like my experience with the Lady and Iguana – I peeked my eyes opened to see what it was and I see this GIGANTIC Frog the size of football hopping along behind Elder Mahowski and me. I shut my eyes quickly knowing that I was in no harm. Bruno at the end of his prayer started to cry (I was glad I had paid attention). He felt like God had listened to him and really felt the Lord’s love for him. He was kind of overwhelmed by the experience so he started to cry. Not the Iguana nor the frog was quite as awesome as being a part of someone’s first prayer. Watching them be filled with Christ’s love is unforgettable. Ended the night by eating fried meat sandwiches back in the house of the Zone Leaders. Delicious.
Thursday – We left Tartagal and headed to Embarcación, a city 2 hours to the south but 2 times more humid. I went with Elder Jones from Phoenix, Not the most productive day in my mission. I haven’t been so hot in a very long time. Even one of the most humid days in the desert doesn’t compare to how hot and humid it was. I took advantage of the opportunity to exercise diligence and patience. Having a sweaty drunk man hug me and breath in my face and in my ear really tries my patience. It’s hard to “minister” or be a “minister” in situations like that. I kept a smile on and just laughed with him and tried to just be very patient waiting for him to let me go. I felt good, walking away from the house, knowing that I was able to control myself and my emotions. We ended the day eating a Kilo of ice cream in front of their air conditioner in their room. Slept on a tempur-pedic, electrically chilled bed with Egyptian cotton 2000 thread count sheets. Indulgence baby.
Friday – Woke up from one of the best night’s sleep and we drove 3 ½ hours to San Salvador, Jujuy. One the way, we passed some cool fruit stands set up alongside the route and realized that they were selling stuff that was growing just behind the stands. I pulled off the road and we headed into a plantain grove. Rows and rows of plantain plants with bunches and bunches of fruit growing off of every plant. Elder Rich is a little like the guy "Cameron" from the movie Ferris Buller’s day off, really nervous over just about anything. He didn’t like driving on “not so public” property without asking someone first. I loved the pictures. We left the grove, kept driving, took some pictures of bridges, and signs, finally getting to San Salvador, Jujuy.
We ate lunch with the Zone Leaders from Jujuy Centro Zone and then split up to go to work. I went with a very new Elder, Elder Osorio from Buenos Aries, Arg. We talked with a lot of people, taught 1 lesson and walked a lot. About 2 hours before we had scheduled to meet back with our companions it just stated pour down rain. We hadn’t had much success all afternoon (in terms of teaching lessons) and I was just praying that someone would let us in their house to get out of the rain. The past 2 days I felt like God had set up a “prayer answer hotline” in that every time I prayed to be guided to someone to teach, we found someone really receptive and that let us teach them a lesson. Now, sopping wet, patience being tried, feeling the success responsibility over my shoulders with this new missionary, I was pleading Heavenly Father for a miracle. Elder Osorio was talking with the church member who was with us, brainstorming to identify someone we could visit, and still praying in my heart the God sends us a miracle. They think of someone to visit and we start walking to her house. We ask everyone and anyone we see if they would be willing to let us come in their house and share a Christmas message with them; every single one of them politely declined. I didn’t get it… The last 2 days had gone off without any trouble. God had been answering my prayers left and right, I was beginning to wonder WHY He wasn’t answering. Rejection after rejection I began to think “Don’t these people see us?” “We are soaking wet. It’s raining. We are smiling. Are these people not normal kind people who offer, at least, to invite another in out of the rain?” I began to find fault in the people and in God for our lack of success, but just as I began to do so, I realized the grand mistake I had begun to make. I realized that my faith and my love had become VERY conditional, exercising faith and love only IF God, or these people answered my requests in the way and timing that I was demanding for. I asked for forgiveness from God and changed my mood towards the people who were rejecting us. We didn’t ever get invited into a house, but I ended the night much different than the way I had started it. I felt an appreciation for God and his patience with me. I felt humbled to be considered an example to Elder Osorio and other missionaries. I felt, yet again, the peace of being able to control my own body and emotions. Elder Rich and I drove back to Salta, getting home after midnight.
Saturday and Sunday flew by.
Today (Monday) – With a little Christmas money I received in my family’s Christmas advent calendar (thank you Dad), I took Elder Maldonado (my real assigned companion) golfing. It was his very first time ever playing golf. It was awesome to see the progress in his swing and understanding of the game. We walked the course with a caddy and really got to know him. His name was Mario. He wants to come to church with us on Sunday. I hope he makes it on Sunday.
Elder Maldonado wanted to try Chinese Take-out so we ordered take out and are writing emails to our families.
This next week we have to plan Transfers with Presidente and then get ready for next week (the sending/receiving of old/new missionaries)
In two weeks we have 4 Christmas Conferences in the mission and CHRISTMAS! I don’t feel very Christmassy yet… I think I’ll make that my project this next week…
I love every one very much.
Thank you for your prayers in my behalf.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
I've spent the last week in the jungles of Northern Salta and Jujuy. I hunted wild plums, explored Plantain plantations, paused on the free way to watch tuco-tuco (fire flies) and have trained 29 Elders and 10 Sister Training Leaders this last week, finding and teaching families that speak very little SPANISH and much more CHINE (pronounced CHEE-NEIGH) which is an aboriginal dialect in southern Bolivia... it has been raining for the past 48 hours and I would have to say: I love my life.
Élder Hampton | Misión Argentina Salta
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Lunch Last Tuesday
Lunch with Patriarc Badami who owns an Ice cream Shop... 1 kilo of ice cream for dessert to take home...great day!
Teaching the brothers of an investigator how to shine shoes while Elder Moyano was in a baptism interview with her.
Them shining my shoes.
Leaving the house of an investigators house after a lesson. I believe they borrowed the chairs for the morning so we could have a place to sit while we were teaching.
We got home from Conference on Saturday night and these guys were tring to move a palm tree. The night before I explained how they needed to cut the roots and transplant it without having to do extra work and without it dying. There were 10 (12 with my companion and I) grown men all standing around this dinky palm tree and trying to figure out how to pick it up and move it to the front yard to plant it. We go inside our house and I told Elder Moyano, lets go show them how to move a palm tree. We changed really quick from white shirt to soccer shirt and went over to show them how to do it. Hermana Pazpinto (the grandma who lives in front of our house) said they had been there for 3 hours trying to move the palm tree. Elder Moyano and I moved it and were backfilling the hole in 15 mins. They made us a 1/2 meter sandwich to say thank you.
Hermana Pazpinto saw the sandwich and invited herself over to have a bite too.... sweet sweet Hermana Pazpinto.
Monday, September 28, 2015
This last week was AWESOME!
3 New families to teach! 2 are super super awesome and are going to be baptized in 3 weeks. 1 family... not so much... it was a bunch of ladies and the poor old guy in the house and all the ladies were more interested in where I was from and my hair cut than what my companion and I were trying to explain to them about the Book of Mormon.
Me: "The Book of Mormon is..."
Them: "So what's your first name."
Me: "Nephi is the first prophet in the Book of Mormon"
Them: "Is it really nice in California"
Me: "Nephi wanted to do the Lord's will to recieve blessings for his family"
Them: "Do you have a girl friend?"
Me: "We're going to end with a prayer now..."
So that's a little exaggerated (Hal Hampton) but I really lose my patience with some people who don't even care what I am saying... "I am trying to save your soul and you don't even listen long enough to understand that!" We find a lot of people in Satiago, lots of people to teach, but only a few really listen to what we are saying... I understand a little bit more how Christ felt when trying to teach people and the Pharisees and Scribes and Jewish Leaders would just ask stupid questions and try to throw Him off or change the subject... "Let's end with a prayer now..."
Slept on the roof last night. The eclipse was awesome to watch... I don't know if California got to see it.
My P-days are very routine. 0730 hrs wake up. Wash something and clean something until 0900 hrs Hermano Jimenez First Counselor in our Branch picks us up to play futbol in the church. 1100 hrs Walk around in Centro for an hour people watching and looking at cool things to buy that I will never buy. 1300 hrs buy some bags of milk... 1pckt of noodles... rice... that's about it. 1500 hrs Nap/Lunch/Letters/Study/Wash Clothes/Make ties/Clean House/Kill bugs/etc until 1900 hrs when we leave the house to teach. It's too hot to leave the house during the afternoon..... pure desert. We aren't in Summer yet, but as you guys are in "Fall" (yeah right. Like Fall exists in the Coachella Valley) we are in Spring (Pre-Summer)... really similar weather.
Please pray that:
People come to General Conference this next Week.
Paola and Marcos will be baptized on the 10th.
That Luis and Victoria will get married in 2 weeks.
That Leo and Flavia will receive an answer about the Book of Mormon and that they have enough Faith to act upon their answer.
That we keep finding complete families where the Dad wants to be baptized as well.
I love you all very much!
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
-HOW ARE YOU?
On a scale from 1 to 10....... 12. I love being a missionary.
-What is your favorite thing to do each week?
My answer is a tie:
1) Study. Every day I have 1 hour of personal study, 1 hour of companionship study and 30min-1hr of language study
2) Teach what I study. I love when I am able to explain something complicated and complex in a very simple way. I LOVE the spirit I feel when The Holy Ghost bears testimony of MY words... I love teaching.
-Have you pulled any pranks?
I ate a gecko the other day... not really a prank but it was weird feeling it crawl around in my mouth.
-Are you anxious for the end of your mission or are you dreading the end and want to stay forever?
Both…I miss home but I am very nervous to face ALL that comes with taking of the missionary badge and leaving my most dearest friends (missionaries and members and investigators) whom I've grown so close to over these past 16 months... I don't want to have to take off my apostolic mantel either.... I don't want to stop being a defender of truth. I don't want to stop being a missionary.
-What's the craziest thing you've eaten?
So Argentine people love their sandwiches - We ate a pizza/meat sandwich. 2 pizzas with carne asada in the middle of it. You cut it like a pizza but you eat it like a sandwich... they also sell this meat sandwich by the meter (a little over 3 feet long)...
Monday, August 17, 2015
I am healthy
I am alive
I am in an Area VERY rich and VERY VERY poor. Its crazy the differences in houses and people even in the same neighborhood.
My Companion is the best.
Santiago is the most beautiful of the 4 providences I've been in... I LOVE IT!
Love you bye
Monday, June 1, 2015
1) So this last week, Elder Raffagnini and I talked to a family that hasn't seen the missionaries in over a year. Elder Blake (one of the current Assistants to Presudente Chaparro) served in this area over a year ago and sent us a message to go visit a family in a neighbor hood very far away from our apartment.....an area unexplored. We left early in the morning to set off our exploration. We walked around the area for 2 hours looking for this family. Talked with any person in the streets asking them if they knew where the family lived. Two teenagers were hoping on to a horse and we asked them what they were going to go do. They responded "We are going to catch more horses"... Keep up the good work guys! Goodness..... We finally found the family, the Mom, Hydee didn't recognize us at first, and them one of the kids came RUNNING to the fence to shake our hands. Huge smile on his face. Hydee said to us that she had been wondering when we were going to pass by again. We didn't have time to meet with them for much time so we set another time to pass by and share a few scriptures with them. The following day we arrived at their house, sat out side on cinder-blocks and invited them to be baptized. They all accepted. The daughters had been preparing in the past but Elder Blake said they "blew it" with one of their lessons. After the lesson, Elder Blake said they didn't want to hear them again... The missionaries never went back... Goes to show that a good example and a smile lasts longer than one bad experience. Please Keep them (the Orellana Family) in your prayers that they progress and prepare for their baptism the 27th of June.
2) The Flores Family... Omar the dad has 4 daughters 11 years and younger and 1 Son 4 years old with Leukemia. He and his wife are really struggling as they take turns sleeping in the hospital and taking care of their kids. Rocío their oldest is the typical older sister who takes control of the situation when her parents break down... We were singing a himno with them yesterday night and I couldn't help but to just stare at them as we sang. You could just see the love they had for one another and the family support they have for each other. Their extended family doesn't recognize them as family members so they are literally on their own. I think the son will die... please keep them in your prayers as well.
3) Alcidis. A 23 year old police sergeant is looking for the truth in his life. His girl friend just got baptized in another ward. We invited him to be baptized. He accepted - The 27th as well. He asked us "How can I receive an answer from the spirit if I don't have the gift of the Holy ghost?" He really pays attention and is LOOKING for what we have to give him.
I love you Trevor and Dad.
Have a great birthday month.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
We woke up this morning at 5am to take a bus to "Purmamarca" and see the Cerro de Siete Colores" Hill of 7 colors. It was awesome. We explored a cemetery and hiked around for an hour, then missed our bus back home so hiked around for another 3 hours and bought ice cream from an old purmamarcanian lady.
My new companion - Elder Raffagnini (raw-faw-ni-ni) is awesome. He is from Rosario, Santa Fe Argentina. He is really funny and very patient. We work very well together. He was in the MTC for only 2 weeks and now in the field. He's killing it.
We didn't have plans one night, so we said a prayer asking god to show us who needed to be taught a message. We said amen, walked about 100 feet, passed a guy, turned around to go back to the guy, he let us in and we taught his whole family. Dude, prayer is crazy how fast God answers our questions and our cries for help. He loves us so much and is so quick to forgive, and to bless. Don't ever forget it.
I know and understand that this life has been given to us with a grand responsibility to help others. God has trusted us with the scared responsibility to help everyone as we are all on our way back to a celestial home.
Look for opportunities to serve this week.
I love you!
Élder Hampton | Misión Argentina Salta
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
We taught a Family Home Evening in the home of a single mom this last week, they have a mean goat, and when we were walking back to her house the goat rammed her little daughter. I was so surprised! I like ran over to the little girl and she was fine and I grabbed the goat by the horns so the rest of the family could pass by... I felt like I was at Zenda all over again.
I will be receiving a new missionary this week! I will be training him for 12 weeks just like Elder Vera trained me in Tucuman. I don't know who he is or where he is from, but next week I'll send some pictures and info about him. I hope he's a Mexican. I would love someone from up north, but already speaks Spanish... we'll see what the Lord has planned for me. Keep me and him in your prayers please. I wanted to kill my trainer my first week... I want my trainee to have a little different experience than I did my first transfer.
High: The Dedication of the Temple in Cordoba! Went to 2 sessions of the transmission in the Stake Center in Jujuy! Listening to President Uchdoft speak without a talk and speak by the spirit was a very powerful experience. And Elder D. Todd Christoferson (who served his mission in our mission) speaking fluent Spanish was surreal. I loved it!
High #2 - The baptism of Soledad!
Low: Elder Brazell has been transferred to Salta (jealous and will miss him) but High #3 I will be training a new Elder! Super Excited!
Élder Hampton | Misión Argentina Salta
Monday, May 11, 2015
So much, that Devin requested to have his Mission extended an additional 6 weeks and his request was granted! Not much of a surprise to those of us who feel the passion and focus he has for serving The Lord and the people of Argentina.
Crossing the River
Thursday, May 7, 2015
I love to hear your success as a family in the scriptures. I HAVE FOUND AND CONTINUE TO FIND so much comport from the scriptures. Being a missionary is hard, and if you want to be a successful one it's even harder. Like the garden, we are naturally prown to a weed ridden world. By our very human nature we are subject to the worst this world has to offer and sometimes feel like we ourselves are the worst the world has to offer. We have a conference with Elder Viñas this upcoming Friday and the topic of the conference is "how has the atonement of Jesus Christ influenced your success as a missionary". It brings me back to an interview I had with President Johnson, from Huntington Beach. It was in that interview that i realized I was already a missionary - if I chose to be - and that is was thanks to the Atonement that made it possible.
I can't wrap my head around how loving God really is to have given us his only son in the flesh as a "way out." The Atonement is the key to a successful life, family, and for me, MISSION. I am district leader right now, 4 elders and 4 hermanas. I asked one of the Hermanas from Paraguay during a "verification" (that's whats its called in Spanish but the translation is different... I don't know what its called- I call them every day in the night To see how their day went and the check up on progress of investigators), if she had ever had a powerful experience with the atonement. She got really quite and said yes. I didn't ask her to explain but I asked her to remember and to never forget. We so quickly turn into robots and loose sight of where we are going, but (at certain times) even forget were we've been. I told her that the experiences in our lives open our eyes, and that we need to stay Humans... not robots... and help others experience the same things we once experienced when we were in their shoes. I am humbled as i look back in my own life and reflect upon the steps Christ helped me take. I remember the 2 hardest conversations I had to have with You and Dad were 1) I have to wait to be a missionary, and 2) - In Big Bear (Trevor was playing Velociraptor in the window) were I had to tell you guys again that I had to wait... I feel like an Evangelist, sometimes and just want to shout HALLELUJAH! MY LORD JESUS THE SON OF BLESSED MARY HAS SAVED MY DAMNED SOUL! I HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN! PRAISE THE LORD JESUS!.. but in all seriousness the Atonement has THIS effect in our lives. As Alma tells his Son, in his 36th chapter, "And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy."
I love you, and just though I'd express a small portion of my testimony.
I look forward to talking on Sunday. 20:00hrs My time, CALIFORNIA 16:00hrs.
I love you very very very much,
Élder Hampton | Misión Argentina Salta
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
It's official. I have weeds. AHHHH! but on the bright side, I do have 2 new sprouts that I believe are peppers. I took a picture of my awesome garden!
I HAVE A READING PLAN TO FINISH THE BOOK OF MORMON IN ESPAÑOL! I'll finish it in about 2 months. I feel like a flake for the first year of my mission (not in a spiritual way, but I never set any goals with reading the Book of Mormon, I am excited that I have a goal now :) Jesus the Christ is also on the list of Books to finish in this next year. That one will take me about 3-4 months. I also will be starting and finishing Doctrine and Convenants, The Old and New Testaments which will bring me to the end of my mission. +-10 pages a day for a year. Lets see how this goes :)
Had an AWESOME WEEK OF REVELATION! Inverviews with Presidente Chaparro are probably my favorite thing in the whole mission. Stake confference Satuday night and Sunday. 4 sessions Priesthood, Adultos, Sunday North half of the Stake and then South half of the Stake. Elder Espenaous (I don't know how to spell his name). 4 sessions of awesomeness... Excited to apply what I learned.
I don't need money.
I've got jalepeños on my balconey.
a Big hug from Argentina.
Élder Hampton | Misión Argentina Salta
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
MOM I planted a garden and its starting to sprout!!!!!! (I hope the sprouts aren't weeds... I got the dirt from the river... now that I think about it, the sprouts might just be weeds... dangit.)
Whatever, I planted jalapenos'. 120 days and I'll have peppers!
3 But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.
I love that scripture for 2 reasons,
1 Nephi had a pillow... LOVE THE DOCTRINE! haha
2 Love for others really changes our entire lives ... enough to leave your family for 2 years, or cry your eyes out for them.
Had a crazy baptism this weekend. Brenda (11) was supposed to be baptized Saturday night but we decided not to wait for the bishop once the clock hit 10:45pm.. we moved it to Sunday morning at 8:00am.... NO SLEEP!
Love you all very much!
I opened my April package! Thank you for the Emergency and the quotes and the flashlight (it doesn't work - I don't know if that was supposed to be a joke haha)
Love you love you love you!
Élder Hampton | Misión Argentina Salta
Made +150 no bake cookies for an activity at 11:00 at night... felt like high school again... ahaha!
The desk we constructed about 2 weeks ago