Hello dear family,
Well, this week has been a great one, as usual! The work here in Layton is progressing and people are surfacing all over the place as we’ve done our best to be effective, diligent, and obedient missionaries. Elena is finally on date to be baptized the seventh of September, and thanks to the crazy rain and hailstorm we’ve had the past week, there should be enough water in the creek for Kevin to get baptized there on the 31st. Talon came to church for all three hours yesterday, which is really good, he has to come three times for all three before he’s baptized on the seventh as well. We’re really getting to the point where we’re finding people who are ready to teach, and it’s been wonderful. The wards and stake are really getting on board and things are starting to happen!
Tuesday: We had a training from President Hansen and the assistants on a number of different things, but the two things that stuck out to me the most were 1) being obedient and having the courage to say “I am doing a great work and cannot come down” (See Nehemiah, also President Uchtdorf’s talk on the same subject) and 2) knowing how to teach the gospel through a sound understanding of the doctrine, deep conversion, and a strong knowledge of Preach My Gospel, and then being able to apply it and be effective. Diligence means nothing without effectiveness, and effectiveness means nothing without diligence, and both are useless if we don’t have the knowledge, teaching skills, and personal conversion necessary in order to help others come unto Christ. That night after dinner we went with President Hatch, the old stake president, to teach Elena and Darlene. President Hatch is awesome. He related a miracle Christ performed, the miracle of healing the centurions servant (Matthew 8). He asked, “If Christ were here today, what would you ask him to heal you of?”. We all talked a little bit about it, and discussed how the things we would have him heal us of stem from us making mistakes and sinning, and that through Christ we can become strong and overcome those things, our weaknesses. It reminded me of Ether 12:27 in the Book of Mormon. If we come unto him and show him our weaknesses, he will make them strengths. It was a powerful lesson, and Elena decided to be baptized on the seventh of September. She’s absolutely alive with the light of Christ, it’s amazing to see!
Wednesday: We took a couple hours to go through our Area Book and clean it all up, and search for the people who have fallen through the cracks. We found a lot of really good potential investigators, and we’ve spent a lot of time this week going by them and trying to find them. It’s tough, because it’s very ineffective to go around knocking on doors. We’ve been trying to find the people who are friends with them in order to have a better relationship and find people willing to listen.
Thursday: We had district meeting and weekly planning during the day as usual, but our evening was chock full of great stuff! There is recently returned missionary who served in Peru, and since we had a lesson set up with a Spanish guy from Mexico, Isaac, we went on splits. Elena was moving out of her grandma’s house with her family, so Elder Remington and President Hatch helped out there, and later Elder Remington went with President Anderson, also a former member of the Stake Presidency. Devin (the recently returned missionary) and I went by Isaac’s, but he wasn’t home, so he drove me around as we tried to contact people. We managed to get a lot of really good work done, and picked up three new investigators between the two of us. We’re going to teach a lady and her eight year old, as well as a really cool guy who’s related to some of our other investigators. Thursday was all about effectiveness, splits are awesome!
Friday: We taught Talon the plan of salvation. It was really cool to be able to teach it to him, it brings me such comfort and peace to know why I’m here on earth, and where I’m going. It teaches us about our purpose and calling here on earth, and I can feel of the power and truthfulness the gospel gives us every time I teach that lesson. Talon is excited and reading lots, and his older brother Collins (22) is softening up. We’re praying that Talon’s baptism will open his heart and we can start to teach him, too. We had dinner at a younger couples house, and the husband had served in Argentina. It was really cool to get to talk to him, he showed me pictures of his mission and all sorts of other cool things.
Saturday: We got some really awesome referrals, and met a demon child! Haha, we were biking around trying to get ahold of a family who has two daughters who recently got baptized, one just left on her mission, and this little eight year old started following us around trying to get us to light fireworks and interrupting us while we were trying to talk to people. He wouldn’t leave, and it must have been a pretty funny sight to see Elder Remington and I biking away as fast as we could with this little eight year old chasing us down on a scooter yelling at the missionaries! Haven’t been chased by any dogs yet, but kids? Check. Also, we went in to our dinner appointment and about three minutes later the most intense hailstorm I’ve ever seen came out of nowhere! It only lasted about five or ten minutes, but it was crazy. Thankfully we were safely inside eating a delicious dinner with a wonderful family, but our bike helmets got soaked!
Sunday: In the morning we went to mission prep, and then we spent the rest of the morning scrambling around trying to get to as many wards as we could, and Talon came for all three hours of church! We went on exchanges with the 38th ward, and we were very late for dinner. We had a lesson with the Christensen’s, we talked about the restoration and answered some questions they had. They also went to church today! It’s so awesome to see the changes in peoples countenances as they repent and change their lives.
It’s been a great week, we’re so excited for the work ahead of us as the proverbial train gets rolling in our area. I’ve absolutely loved studying the Book of Mormon in search for more knowledge about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I just read 2 Nephi 2 this morning, how powerful are the words of a dying father to his son! Lehi teaches incredible eternal truths about the Atonement and the plan of salvation, as well as agency and the power we have to choose good from evil. I know that as we choose the right, the light of Christ fills our countenances and emanates to all those around us. I think that’s why Christ talked about being the light of the world (Matthew 5). When we live his gospel and follow his example, we literally become a light to those around us to the point where we change the very ground we walk on. I’m so grateful for my Savior and his atoning sacrifice for sin, that no matter where we are or what we’re going through or what we’ve done, his Atonement reaches below it all and we can turn to him, because He knows us. I love this work!
Love, Elder Hoffman