Argentina – Week 83

Querida Familia,

Well, truth is I wasn´t expecting to be transferred for the last six weeks, but so it was! I was really sad to be leaving Viedma and Elder Tucker, but very excited to be here in Olavarría. I´ve always heard about this zone because it´s got really great members, and just in time will become a stake on June 20 something, so I´ll be here to see the change from district to stake. My new companion is Elder Hermosilla, from Paraguay. I´m super stoked!!! He´s new, this will be his second transfer, and he´s already a great missionary from what I´ve seen. He comes from a great missionary family and he´s got a lot of love for missionary work, so I feel like it´s going to be a great six weeks. I´m actually going to be in Bolívar, which is a small city about an hour away from Olavarría. It´s a tiny little branch that still meets in a house, which I´m really excited about. It should be an awesome experience. Elder Bellido came to Olavarría from Mar del Plata too, so we´ll be together in the same zone! Elder Bates took my spot in Viedma, which I was super excited about. It was crazy this week seeing a lot of the elders from my group going home (Elder Pritchett, Elder Orme, Elder McCord, emails from Elder Bates, Elder Bringhurst) but it just made me thankful that I´ve still got some time left to keep seeing miracles. I feel really good about Bolívar.

This week I started the Book of Mormon from the beginning. I´m in words of Mormon, and up until now I´ve been feeling so deeply a love for the scriptures, and especially this time around have felt the amazing dedication of those who worked so hard to write them so that we could be have their words and draw nearer to Christ. I had a pretty cool experience in divisiones last week, as that day I had finished first Nephi and read the scripture from Isaiah:

“But, behold, Zion hath said: The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me—but he will show that he hath not. For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.”

I´ve always loved that scripture, but I felt it impact me much this particular day, and I didn´t know why. I love the reference to a mother´s love for her newborn child, because to me it is the greatest love their is on the face of the earth. Christ tells each and every one of us that even when a mother may forget her newborn child, he will never, ever forget us, because He has engraven us upon the palms of His hands. His atoning sacrifice not only means that we can become clean from sin and overcome the problems of this world, it also means that Christ knows and cares profoundly for each and every individual. He knows us all by name and will never forget us. As we were knocking doors, we came across a nice woman named Ana. We began to talk with her, and she was very nice and told us that she had a good friend who was a member of the church. As we began to ask about her religious beliefs, she told us that she didn´t believe in God because of things that had happened in her life. We began to teach her, and she said “Dios se ha olvidado de mí.” (God has forgotten about me). In that moment, I knew why this scripture had impacted me so much. I shared it with her, and she was touched and accepted a return appointment. It was a small experience that reminded me just how much God knows and cares about every one of us. He will never forget us. I am sure of that, just as sure as I am that I´m sitting here typing in this ciber cafe in Olavarría. I love you all so much! Thank you for the pictures, letters, and encouraging words. I´m so grateful for each and every one of you. Keep going strong!

Love,
Elder Hoffman

P.S. – Next week I´ll send pics, I don´t have my cable with me

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