Argentina – Week 13

Querida Familia
Esta semana fue muy buena, como siempre. Estoy tan agradecido estar en la misión. Sé sin duda que la misión es el fuego refinando que nos cambia, y eso es porque en la misión, aprendemos del amor puro de Cristo por medio de nuestro servicio. Como dice en Mateo: “Si alguno quiere venir en pos de mí, niéguese a sí mismo, y tome su cruz y sígame. Porque todo el que quiera salvar su vida, la perderá, y todo el que pierda su vida por causa de mí, la hallará.” He aprendido tan fuerte de que si yo doy todo que tengo al Señor en mi servicio sin dejar nada atrás, allí encontraré la vida eterna. Es lo que hizo Jesus, y es lo que nos pide. Por amor a Sión, daré todos mis fuerzas, todos mis energías, todos mis pecados, hasta que salga como resplandor su justicia, y su salvación arda como una antorcha. No callaré, no descansaré, y no pararé. Esta semana me di cuenta de que estaba pensando demasiado en mi mismo en vez de los demás. Elder Gonzalez me ayudó muchísimo a darme cuenta de eso. Él es muy bueno, trabaja arduamente y siempre está mirando en que podemos mejorar. Realmente, esta obra requiere cada pedazo de fuerza que tenemos, y mucho más. Por eso, damos todo que tenemos y ponemos el resto en las manos de Dios. Quiero servir así, y por eso estoy estudiando el amor y tratando de desarrollarlo hasta que es un deseo natural para mi querer pensar en otras personas más que mi mismo. Leí el discurso de Russell M. Nelson de la transmisión de apresurar la obra de salvación, y algo que dijo me conmovió: “Los misioneros más eficaces siempre actúan por amor. El amor es el lubricante y la vida de la buena obra misional.” También, dijo que: “Los buenos líderes, como los buenos padres, actúan por amor; al hacerlo, el Espíritu los guiará y ayudará a entender que cada persona necesita cuidado específico a fin de obtener el gozo de la vida que se vive a la manera del Señor.” Estoy fijando mi vista en el amor que Cristo tiene para todos, y quiero amar la gente como Cristo les ama. Empecé esta semana un “ayuno” de crecimiento espiritual, en lo cual voy a dejar una cosa chica cada día que me impida tener el amor así por 40 días. Solo he hecho tres días, y ya es muy difícil, pero también puedo ver el progreso y cambia ya.
Estuvimos enseñando bastante esta semana, y pudimos enseñar a Yamila, que tiene adicciones a los drogas y alcohol. Esta soltera, y tiene tres hijos. En el principio de la lección, ella dijo que no creía en nada, incluyendo Dios. Dijo que pensaba que no era posible cambiar y no quería cambiar igual. Nos escuchó cuidadosamente al enseñamos, y en el fin de la lección, dijo que creía en Dios, que iba a venir a la iglesia en Domingo, y que se anotó un cambio en su corazón ya después de una lección de veinte minutos. No vino a la iglesia porque estaba dormida cuando un hermano de la iglesia pasó por ella, pero dijo que podemos seguir pasando y enseñando y va a venir esta semana que viene. Aceptó una fecha bautismal, y fue un milagro. También, Oscar dijo que va a dejar el cigarrillo para que pueda bautizarse. Ayer cuando estuve muy estresado y no quería hablar con la gente, hice una oración pidiendo fuerza y amor, y nos fuimos a una cita. Ella no estaba, pero conocimos a su vecina que nos dejó pasar y pudimos enseñarla. Veo tantos milagros cada día, al fin de que sé sin duda que estoy haciendo la obra del Señor.

Dear Family,

This week was very good, as always. I am so grateful to be on the mission. I know without a doubt that the mission is the refining fire that changes us, and that’s because in the mission , we learn the pure love of Christ through our service. As it says in Matthew: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” I have learned that if I give everything I have in my service to the Lord leaving nothing behind, there is where I will find eternal life. That’s what Jesus did, and that’s what he asks of us. For Zion’s sake, I will give all my strength, all my energy, all my sins, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation like a burning torch. I will not be silent, I will not rest, and I will not stop. This week I realized I was thinking too much of myself instead of others. Elder Gonzalez helped me a lot to realize that. He is an awesome missionary, he works hard and is always looking at where we can improve. He has bad problems with his knees and back, and walking hurts him a lot, but he never complains and always is ready to work because he truly loves the people. This week, I realized even more that this work requires every bit of strength we have, and more. We have to give everything, and then we put the rest in God’s hands. I want to serve with love like Christ has, so I´ve started studying love in the scriptures and I´m trying to develop it until it is a natural desire for me to want to think about other people more than myself. I read the talk by Russell M. Nelson this week and he said something that struck me: “The most effective missionaries always act out of love. Love is the lubricant and the life of good missionary work.” I am setting my sights on the love that Christ has for us all, and I want to love people as Christ loves them. I started this week, a “fast” of spiritual growth, in which I will leave behind one small weakness every day that keeps me from having Christ-like love for 40 days. I ‘ve only done three days so far, and it’s very difficult, but I can also see the progress and changes in myself already.
We did a lot of teaching this week, and we found a woman named Yamila. She has addictions to drugs and alcohol, and is a single mother of three. In the beginning of the lesson, she said she did not believe in anything, including God. She said that she thought it was not possible to change the things she was doing. She listened carefully as we taught, and at the end of the lesson, she said that she did believe in God, she would come to church on Sunday, and she had noticed change in herself after a twenty minute lesson. She did not come to church because she was asleep when a brother of the church went to bring her, but said we can keep going and teaching and will be coming this week. She accepted a baptismal date, and it was a miracle. Another miracle this week is that Oscar said he’ll quit smoking so he can be baptized! One final miracle: yesterday when I was very stressed and did not want to talk to people, I prayed for strength and love, and we went out to our appointment with a lady named Mariela. She wasn´t there, but we met her neighbor who let in and we were able to teach her. I see so many miracles every day, I know without a doubt that I’m doing the Lord’s work. I love you all so much! Thank you for your supporting words and letters, they mean the world to me. Keep being amazing!

Un abrazo fuerte,
Elder Hoffman

Presidente Parreño´s house at Christmas, and the asado (grill) we almost had for Christmas. (It finished cooking after we had to go.) This is the Yagüe family, Martin and Maria got baptized this week! It was an incredible baptism, and super special experience.

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Us at the mission home surprising Presidente and his wife for christmas, Pres. and Sister Parreño opening the gifts we gave them: a book of paintings of Christ and an Argentina jersey (they´re mega fans of Spain, of course)

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Elder Parkes and Elder Nash, the office elderes and the familia Sandoval, they´re super amazing and had like 10 missionaries over for New Years, us doing a toast for New years eve

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Our busted car, more of the party

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Our house, the quincho where all the new missionaries sleep their first night and the old ones their last night

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Elder Burke, Elder Isom, Elder Gonzalez, Elder Navarrete, and I after service (someone was throwing shaving cream, I don´t remember who…)

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