Well, it’s been a pretty crazy week, but it’s been a great one. The work in our area is really starting to pick up, and next transfer should be a really good one for Elder Remington… and his new companion. I’m getting transferred to Buena Vista, a spanish area with Elder Firpo from Washington. I haven’t met him yet, but I’ve heard he’s been out for about three months, he’s a native Spanish speaker, and he’s a great guy! Buena Vista is in southwest Salt Lake, just south of Rose Park. I’m pretty sad to be leaving Creekside, especially because Elena is getting Baptized on Saturday and Talon’s getting baptized on the 28th. We also had some really great investigators that we picked up this week, 13 year old twins named Alexis and Alecia, a 12 year old named Hayden, and some spanish girls about 13 and their mom, we’re teaching them tonight. Starting Wednesday at four I’ll be in Buena Vista, so don’t send any more letters or anything to the Creekside Address. I’ll let you know next monday what my new address is. I’m a little sad, but at the same time excited! I’ve heard that Elder Firpo is a pretty cool guy, and I’m extremely excited to be immersed in Spanish! I can’t wait to meet new people and have new challenges and successes, and I’m ready to take on this change by the horns. As for this week, it’s been a really good one, full of many amazing miracles.
Monday: Elder Remington and I got our hair cut by a lady in the 31st who has a son on a mission, and then P-day commenced! the rest of our day we went to Sportsplex, they have trampolines and basketball and stuff, it made for a fun day. We tried to get ahold of some people that evening, but didn’t have much success.
Tuesday: Elder Anderson, our district leader’s companion was with us for the day because the mission had a big leadership meeting to put together a vision. The nice part of that was that Elder Anderson has a car! We drove around trying to get ahold of some people in the afternoon, and then around 3:30 Elder Anderson and I took the car and Elder Remington went with our Ward Mission leader to Talon’s to teach a lesson. Elder Anderson and I finally got ahold of Alexis and Alecia, 13 year old twins who have taken the lessons before and moved into our area. We invited them to church and tried to set up a lesson, but their parents weren’t home. Alexis seemed really excited to start coming back to church, she went to girls camp in the spring and really enjoyed it. We also got ahold of Elena, gave her some reading to do and set up a lesson. As we were driving it started absolutely POURING rain, probably one of the craziest storms I’ve ever seen. It’s so weird in Utah, the storms will be there for ten minutes going crazy and the next minute they’re gone! I’ll send pictures of the hailstorm we had the other week as well, it was insane.
Wednesday: We had splits with Brother Hoskins, one of our Ward Mission Leaders. It went pretty well, we’ve just been going around teaching members a lesson from Preach My Gospel and sharing the 5 minute “I’ll go where you want me to go” video with them. It’s been building lots of good things in the wards, especially in the 38th ward where our ward mission leader is awesome! (The ward Kevin is in). We taught 41 lessons in that ward last month, and we’re starting to see a lot of really good things come from it.
Thursday: Thursday morning we had a meeting with half of the mission, where President and Sister Hansen gave us the new vision for our mission. Our mission goal is 750 baptisms and 750 reactivations by the end of the year. Part of the vision is from the song, “Behold! A Royal Army”. It was a very powerful meeting, we talked about what is necessary to achieve the things that Captain Moroni achieved and to become a “Royal Army”. I absolutely love President Hansen, he’s such an inspired man, and his love for us emanates in everything he does. I’m excited to learn more and do everything I can to achieve the vision he has set forth for this mission. After, we did our weekly planning and mormon.org time, and then went to dinner at the Gove’s house. It was cool, the grandmother and mom both spoke spanish, and the grandma only spoke spanish. I got to talk to them a little, it was good to know I could still hold a decent conversation even without using my spanish much. We went on splits with brother Evans from the Heritage ward (Talon’s ward) and got a lot done, meeting people we’ve been trying to get ahold of. We met a 92 year old man named Oakie, and taught him a little about the plan of salvation. He wasn’t super interested, but he did say he respects and loves mormons because they help people and if he ever became religious, he’d become a mormon. Hearing that from him made me want to strive even more to “be an example of the believers” as it says in 1 Timothy 4:12. After meeting Oakie, we stopped by Alexis and Alecia’s house. I didn’t know why I felt prompted to go there, especially because we showed up and the house was dark with no cars. We pulled up, and I said, “I just wish their stepdad was here so we could talk to him and set up a lesson”. Who pulls up that second but their stepdad! We got out, talked to him, and found out he was from Louisiana, where the guy I was with went to school at LSU. They hit it off, and we had a great talk with him and he was totally cool with us teaching his stepdaughters. Miracles happen when we follow the promptings of the Spirit and exercise faith in everything we do. Brother Evans and the ward missionary took us out for ice cream on the way home to celebrate a successful night.
Friday: We stopped by the twins house for a lesson, and we ended up just talking to them because their mom said she wasn’t comfortable with them having legitimate lessons yet. We were able to talk to them about church a little and hopefully soon we can start teaching them.
Saturday: Sometimes you spend a lot of time exercising faith by walking around all day trying to get ahold of people. We had a super legit dinner though, although I didn’t write down their name! People are so kind to us, I feel so blessed to be serving here in Salt Lake City.
Sunday: I absolutely love Sacrament meeting as a missionary. I feel so close to the Savior every time I take the sacrament and have felt so blessed to feel the Spirit so strongly. I was reading a hymn during the sacrament, “Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me”. I really love the lyrics:
Jesus, Savior, pilot meOver life’s tempestuous sea;Unknown waves before me roll,Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal.Chart and compass came from thee;Jesus, Savior, pilot me.As a mother stills her child,Thou canst hush the ocean wild;Boist’rous waves obey thy willWhen thou say’st to them, “Be still!”Wondrous Sov’reign of the sea,Jesus, Savior, pilot me.When at last I near the shore,And the fearful breakers roar‘Twixt me and the peaceful rest,Then, while leaning on thy breast,May I hear thee say to me,“Fear not; I will pilot thee.”
I know for a fact that when we are near the shore and the fearful breakers are threatening to destroy our peace, if we go to our Savior in prayer and give our lives to him, He willalways say “Fear not; I will pilot thee.” His gospel is the only way to salvation, and through his infinite Atonement we can become clean of all of our sins and return to live in his presence with our families for eternity. After church, we went on splits teaching some less active members in the 38th ward. For the last lesson, Elder Remington and I got back together with our ward mission leader to teach Dallas, a man who has gone very far astray but has decided to come back. He wants to be worthy to baptize and confirm his daughter in the winter, so he’s trying to quit smoking and realign his life with the Savior’s way. He’s been in and out of drugs and hard situations since he was nine years old, and hasn’t really been active in the church since he was a teenager. We taught him the plan of salvation, and we read Alma chapter 5 with him. We got to verse 21, where it talks about how we won’t be able to look into God’s eyes unless our garments have been washed clean through the blood of our Savior. We testified that no matter where he’s been and what he’s done, he can be made clean from his sins as if they never happened if he exercise the power of Christ’s atonement. The spirit was so strong in the room, and his mother and him both began to cry as we all felt of Christ’s love for Dallas. The plan of Salvation is real, and it is God’s plan for us. Every time I teach it I feel of it’s truthfulness and know without a shadow of a doubt that we can be together forever as a family. I’m so grateful to have the restored gospel, and even more than that to have the opportunity to teach the restored gospel.
Sunday night, we went to our Zone Leader’s area for a missionary work fireside, which our mission president attended. We sang “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” with our whole zone, and it felt amazing to be there, on a mission, with all those incredible young men and women, singing about our calling and the work of Salvation. They had a recent convert bear her testimony, as well as the stake president and a ward mission leader. The whole meeting reverberated with the spirit of Missionary work, and I felt so incredible grateful to be a part of it all. There is nothing more joyful than laboring in the vineyard. Hurrah for Israel! I love you all so much. Thank you for all your support and letters, there are so many time where I can feel of an added strength from your prayers. I couldn’t do it without you all.
Love, Elder Hoffman