Argentina – Week 57

Dearest Family,

It´s been an awesome week, Juan is still being amazing, and I feel like this week is going to be the week he gets baptized. It´s also been really cool working with families. God testifies to me every time I teach a family that the family is part of His plan. Everything´s better with the family. (: This week we found a family that joined the church about 6 years ago, but they moved and with the move lost the rhythm. We started working with them and it was amazing to feel the strong spirit in their home as they remembered how the spirit feels and we read the holy scriptures together, and as they decided to come to church with us again. On Sunday we walked with them to church, and a friend of Enzo, the 14 year old in the family came as well, and he loved it! I love working with families like the Ibarra family that have fallen away for some circumstance or another, but have desires to return. To see the light and joy come back into their faces as they remember what they know and feel is incredible!

Another wonderful family is the Peralta family, which the other set of missionaries in our ward are teaching. The mom and dad both had big families of their own, so when they met and in the end started a relationship, they ended up with a family of 13 or 14. They´re awesome! On Sunday they invited the 4 missionaries over to lunch, even though they know the church only 2 months ago, and last Sunday as well! We sat down at the table with 14-16 people, with the majority being little kids. I felt just like I was at home! My companion and I are working with their neighbors and cousins, and the other missionaries are working with the family itself. I love the family! We stopped by the Ibarra family on Sunday night to see how they liked the church and to talk to the friend who isn´t a member, Elías, and they asked us what we were going to eat for dinner. We almost never eat dinner, just a big lunch and a little snack in the night, and when they heard that the mom freaked out and gave us a ton of food to make, haha! It´s so amazing to see people in such humble circumstances that are so full of the love of Christ, so willing to give and give. Being a missionary makes me want to be a much more giving person, and a much more thankful person.

Question time!

Mom:

are you eating well? VERY well, they feed us a ton here. Since I got to Mar del Plata I stopped dropping weight

Do you need anything? Nope. (: More people to teach, ALWAYS! 😀

Are you sleeping well? I´ve never slept better in my life!

How are you doing getting up in the mornings? I´m grateful to say that my weakness has become my strength, believe it or not. Haven´t had any problems. (:

Do you want your room the same when you get home? (We’ve kept it pretty much the same the whole time) or do you want to start new when you get home and have a new room in the basement to visit when you are home from college? Whatever´s best for ya´ll, it´s all the same to me

Do you feel the supreme happiness promised in the front of preach my gospel to missionaries? The supreme happiness promised to missionaries comes when a missionary gets to see a son or daughter or god learning about Him and His plan and changing their life to become more like Him, and coming back to the fold. THAT´S supreme happiness. Investigators reading, receiving testimonies, coming to church and feeling the spirit, setting their sights on the temple and being missionaries, being baptized, etc. I LOVE that feeling, and I´m so grateful I get to always feel it.

What part of preach my gospel have you used the most? (I’m trying to study it again). My favorite chapter is the 1st chapter, because it talks about the why to missionary work. It´s helped me to understand the reasons I do what I do, and the rest is a lot easier to figure out when someone understands the WHY.

What is your favorite thing about your companion? He loves to joke around and be happy! And he knows very well the doctrine of the bible and explains it with extreme clarity.

What is your favorite part of being in this area? The members! It´s a big ward with a lot of really great members who are leaders, understand the gospel, and want to work.

What is your favorite thing about your mission president? The love he has for the missionaries, and the way that he runs the mission. He expects the best of us, and has an incredible love and vision for us. AGUANTE ESPAÑA! (and yes, I heard about that, it´s the mission president of the brother of a missionary In our house. The Lord protects us, that´s all I can say.)

Kate:
What would you say is the best way to introduce the church to someone? Not being afraid to share it with them! Open your mouth and speak up! (:

I feel like I need to share the gospel with a guy I know, but he’s a guy so how do I share it with him? Being bold, open your mouth and it shall be filled!

Dad
1- missionary work with members. In our stake we have had good success working with families with un baptized youth and part member families. The un baptized member list is a great resource. This seems to be a much more effective finding tool than missionaries tracting or contacting on their own. Is finding through less active and part member families effective in your mission?

Theoretically, definitely. Sometimes it´s hard to get working with them because there aren´t many members to work with, but when it gets going, it´s definitely the best way to work. For example, the Ibarra family. We activated them, and there are always like 2-3 non members in their house, and so it helps in both ways. Recent converts often have the strongest fire to share the gospel, and the “chain effect” has been the most powerful tool I´ve seen. Someone gets baptized, invites a friend or family member, etc. etc. and all of a sudden there are a lot more baptisms.

2. Your release date. I know you hate being reminded that someday your great mission will come to an end and I promise I won’t bring it up again, but it would help us plan for next summer if we decide to come pick u up, Emily and Anna leaving, etc.

I´m pretty sure it´s July 12, but I´m not positive. Normally the missionaries travel to Bahia the Sunday of transfers (July12) and then Monday night theirs an FHE in Presidentes house with all of those who are leaving, and then Tuesday morning they fly to Bunos Aires, they go to the temple there for a session, then leave Tuesday night for their respective destinations. You should talk to the mission secretary before buying anything. Emily and Anna (in my opinion of course) should put their availability dates for May 3. My decision to put my availability date the most early I could was the right decision. Of course, It´s more important to consult the Lord, but it´s my thought. We need you sisters, and NOW!! (:

Becky
1) Since being on your mission, what is the #1 hope you have for your sisters?
That they can all be missionaries now and as full time servants of the Lord, and that they can all find the BEST return missionaries to marry with in the temple.
2) What home-making skill (i.e. washing dishes, cleaning) have you learned that you didn’t know before or didn’t do much before that you now have to do all the time? 🙂 Making bread! Haha, they eat French bread with every meal here, and I love it! So I started trying to make it. It still doesn´t come out right, but I´m getting there… I also learned how to make pizzas.
3) What could America learn from Argentina? What could Argentina learn from America? To be industrious with what we have (use it up, wear it out, mend it up, THEN throw it out) and to be more open with people we don´t know sometimes. And from America… hmmm. Not eat so much mayonesse? They eat it with EVERYTHING, and they´re always having Cerebral vascular attacks.

—-

First of all, I know you aren’t perfect, but how do you choose obedience, even when it’s hard or feels impossible?
I remember the reason for obedience, and it helps me to want to be more obedient.
Second, how can I be a missionary to people how aren’t my friends?
Be their friends! Open your mouth and get to know people you wouldn´t know otherwise. Be a light, and don´t be afraid to share, to act, and to react to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Be bold, invite!

Love you all, family! Thanks for your support. I got an awesome package from G&G Cooper, thank you so much Grandma and Grandpa! You´re the best, I loved the skittles and life savers, they don´t exist here!

I hope I answered all the questions you all sent, I did my best… If I didn´t answer send it again.

Love you all a ton! Remember the true gift of the Christmas season this month, and share it with EVERYONE! Thanks for your questions about Preach MY GOspel, I love it!

God lives and loves us. His plan is perfect, and it´s to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of the FAMILY!

Todo mi amor,
Elder Hoffman

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