Argentina – Week 9

Querida familia,

This week was wonderful! Christmas is so very strange here, it´s like any other Argentine holiday where the people get drunk and go to parties, only that they also get together with their families and do barbeques and pool parties. I´m not gonna lie, Christmas in the states has Navidad here beat, although I love Argentina to death. I hope you all had the most wonderful Christmas possible, (looks like you did, by the pics!) and that you all enjoy New Years Eve as you think about this wonderful new opportunity we have to use the Atonement of Christ to better ourselves and change our lives.

I´ve learned a ton about goals and growth so far in my mission, so I thought I would share something with you all in the spirit of goal making. In the story in the Book of Mormon of Nephi and his brothers, Laman and Lemuel, and the vision of Lehi, there were two groups of people that set their sights on the tree of life (eternal life) and decided to make it their goal. They both found the iron rod (the word of god, or your plan to achieve your goal), and they both caught onto it, pressing forward through mists of darkness and the mocking words of others. (verse 24-25, 28 and 30 of 1 Nephi 8) The first group (24-25, 28) “clung” onto their plan (the iron rod). The word clinging is often used to describe a climber hanging at the point of a mortal fall, or in other words someone barely hanging on, but hanging on tightly. They reached their goal, and then because the had not had the firm base they needed, they looked around ashamed of their achievement and lost what they had gained. The second group (30) caught hold of the rod (had vision and desires, made a plan), and “they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.”. If we want to achieve lasting success and real growth, the secret is constancy. We need to have the desires, create plan that works, and set a reachable but challenging goal. However, to actually meet our goals, the secret is continually holding fast to our plans, readjusting when we mess up, holding strongly, and not giving up. Then, once we have gained the prize, we can be proud of what we have achieved and treasure it, sharing it with those around us. I invite you all to apply these principles as you set resolutions for the new year, and promise you that as we hold fast to our goals we will achieve them. More than that, however, I promise you that as we hold fast with constancy to the words of God (Elder Bednar said we have to Read, Study, and Search the scriptures prayerfully to hold fast to the iron rod, CES 2007), we will attain eternal life, the fruits of Christ´s atonement and love, and we will be able to share them with those around us.

This week we had a ton of awesome successes, most of which were people who were willing to listen to us in the street and want to hear more. We have a lot of new investigators, and the Treico family is healing and want to come back to church now. During Christmas Eve, we talked with the brother and parents of Sister Yagüe, and they were all extremely interested in what we had to say. We´ve had one more lessons with the parents, and we´ll see what happens. Sister Yagüe got baptized about two or three months ago with her daughter, and her daughter in law (Maria) is going to get baptized in January (hopefully with her husband (the son, Martin) and Sister Yagüe´s husband). I love you all so very much! It was wonderful to talk to you all and hear about everything that´s going on back home, I can´t believe how fast everyone is growing and changing! Don´t grow up to fast, all you sisters of mine. (: Que disfruten el año nuevo, que logren sus metas y que encuentren mucha felicidad.

Un abrazo fuerte,

Elder Hoffman

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