Argentina – Week 82

Dearest Family,

It´s been an awesome week! Elder Tucker´s sick again, but he´s feeling better now. It´s getting reeeeaaally cold again. Truth is I was doubting a cold winter because the last couple weeks It´s been almost hot and very humid. Now it´s fall for real, here.

We´ve been teaching some amazing people, and Yicela and Rosio went to the activity on Friday for the Argentine holidy of semana de Mayo. Today is 25 de Mayo, one of the most important dates in the history of Argentina. It´s the day of the revolution of Mayo, when they started to break away from the Spanish government. They all were little flag thingeys on their chests and eat locro, a really delicious and hearty stew with all kinds of beans and corn and meat and bacon and potatoe and DELICIOUSNESS. We also were able to teach the aunt of a member, she´s really awesome as well. I´m positive that she´ll be baptized very soon. We also got to start teaching Juan Sempe´s two sisters! Juan and his family are the best, almost every night this week they brought us something to eat at our apartment.

On Sunday we had the best family home evening ever! Since I got here we´ve been working with the Family Martinez, a really awesome family (and a really BIG family). They haven´t been going to church for a long time, but they´re really great people. We´ve been working with almost all of the 7 kids and their respective kids and spouses, and it looks like this week Gonzalo Cayunán is going to be baptized. We still have to iron out the details and finish teaching him, but he´s a great kid with lots of desire to be baptized. Yesterday we did the big family home evening with about a third of all the family, and it was amazing. We talked about the temple and about eternal families, and how their family could be eternal if they do their part. All of them shared their feelings and it was a special moment when the youngest daughter, Gabriela (28), took a moment to tell her family her feelings. She´s been coming back to church over the past 6 months or so, and she´s been a huge example and the key to the hearts of the rest of the family. Pedro, Macarena, Belen, Nieves, and lots of other people have gotten to know the church through her example. She began to cry as she told them how badly she wants an eternal family, not only their family but her own as well, and how much it helps her to know that her family is supporting her. Her sisters and parents all continued to share their feelings as well, and all of them have the same wonderful memories and teachings they obtained in their childhood, and they all want to come back. I love being a missionary!

I know that the family is ordained of God, and that by living by the ordinances, covenants, and principles of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, Familys can be together Forever. I love you all so much! Keep being amazing!

Love,
Elder Hoffman

P.S.- This week we had our last zone conference with Presidente y Hermana Parreño before they go home in July. It was awesome! I´m going to miss them so much. I´ve been so blessed to learn from them and to be in this mission.
IMG_0436

IMG_0445

IMG_0447

Advertisements

Argentina – Week 81

Dearest Family,

This week was awesome! Saturday and Sunday we had the incredible opportunity to see the temple dedication of Córdoba, Argentina. It was AWESOME! I love temples! On Saturday they did the cultural celebration, which was really neat. They did all the traditional dances of every province of the temple district (the northwest part of Argentina) and a few awesome songs and stuff. On Sunday we saw the three sessions of the dedication by satelite in the church building. It was awesome to see Miriam and Alejandra there as well, they both got their temple recommends to go and they loved it. Elder Christofferson and Elder Uchtdorf came, and Elder Christofferson spoke in Castellano. He had served his mission in Córdoba about 50 years ago, and the temple was built on the lot of the first chapel in Córdoba and the mission home where Richard G. Scott was mission president and Elder Christofferson was one of his missionaries. It was pretty awesome! Elder Christofferson speaks REALLY good spanish, my goal is to learn as well as him and mantain it as well as him.

I´m so grateful for temples. There were some amazing talks in the dedication ceremony, but the one that I loved most was by Uchtdorf: He talked about the first and second great commandments and told us all to ask ourselves, “Do I love God?” and if we do, how is that love made manifest in our lives? and then, “Do I love my fellowmen?” and if so, how is that love made manifest in our lives. It was a wonderful experience. I know that families can be together forever through the sacred Gospel of Jesus the Christ, and that through His mercy, we can all be saved on conditions of faith, repentance, baptism, being sanctified from our sins by the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, making and keeping sacred covenants. This is the Lord´s work.

I love you all millions! Keep being awesome and doing the good things you do. Love God, love your neighbor, and show your love in what you do.

All my love,
Elder Hoffman

Pics: Sweet little gaucho statue and my cool HLJ ring that i put together. Choose the right! DO the right, as it´s translated in Spanish

IMG_0421 IMG_0422

Argentina – Week 80

Hello family!

The truth is that it was a spectacular week. Yesterday was one of the best Sunday meetings I have attended in a long time! We have been teaching Sabina, Nicolas, and Ingrid in recent weeks, which are related to a family of members of the church in General Pico, the former area of Elder Tucker. On Saturday, we taught them all, and we were teaching them about the restoration and about how they could receive their testimony. It was amazing to see how they were understanding our message and said they would come to church. Yesterday, when we went to get them and walk with them to church, they were ready and excited to go, and we arrived at the church in good time. It was the best day for them! There were many people, and all classes and talks and hymns were directly directed to the questions, and doubts they have. I was amazed during sacrament meeting when talk after talk was exactly what they needed. I know that God loves his children, so he makes sure that everyone has the opportunity to receive a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and change their lives. It was wonderful. I am so thankful for the blessing of being a missionary. Talking with ya´ll encouraged me A LOT this time to give everything in the last part of mi mission. I hope to finish giving my all to the Lord, completely focused and involved in this wonderful work. I love the work of salvation!

Love,
Elder Hoffman

¡Hola familia!
La verdad es que ha sido una semana espectacular. Ayer fue una de las mejores reuniones dominicales que he asistido en muchísimo tiempo. Hemos estado enseñando a Sabina, Nicolas, e Ingrid en estas semanas, los cuales son familiares de miembros de General Pico, el área antigua de Elder Tucker. El Sábado, les enseñamos a todos ellos, y les estuvimos enseñando acerca de la restauración y acerca de como ellos podían recibir sus testimonios. Fue increíble ver la forma que están comprendiendo nuestro mensaje, y dijeron que iban a venir a la iglesia. Ayer, cuando los fuimos a buscar, estaban todos listos y animado para ir, y llegamos a la capilla en buen tiempo. Fue el mejor día posible para ellos! Fueron muchas personas, y todas las clases y discursos e himnos fueron directamente dirigidos hacia las preguntas, dudas, y enseñanza de ellos. Me quedé asombrado durante la reunión sacramental cuando discurso tras discurso fue exactamente lo que necesitaban. Sé que Dios ama sus hijos, y por eso se encarga de asegurar que todos tengan la oportunidad de recibir un testimonio del evangelio de Jesucristo y cambiar sus vidas. Fue algo maravilloso. Estoy tan agradecido por la bendición de ser misionero. Hablar con ustedes me animó mucho esta vez a poder dar todo en este último tiempo. Espero terminar dando todo de mi al Señor, completamente enfocado y involucrado en esta obra maravillosa. ¡Amo la obra de salvación!

Argentina – Week 79

Dear Family,

The truth is that this week has been very good! We had many miracles and are still finding many good people to teach. My faith that the Lord is preparing people to hear the gospel has increased a lot this week. The greatest miracle was a family that we found and taught in this week. Sometimes we do not realize how the Lord guides us, but I know that He is always leading us. We were striving to be more diligent in looking for those who are needing us at this time. We were on our way to an appointment, and we felt strongly that we had to go down a side street that took us in another direction and knock on doors. The first door that opened up was a woman, Sabina. We started to talk and teach at her door, and then she said she had a niece who is a missionary at this time. My companion asked for her name, and she told us. Elder Tucker´s first area was General Pico, where the father of this missionary is bishop; Sabina is his wife’s sister. The Bishop’s family live here in Viedma, but never met with Sabina because they are not blood relatives. We were surprised at the coincidence, and then we remembered that there are no coincidences in the things of God. I know that the spirit led us to that family and to those who are prepared to receive the gospel. We returned to the appointment we had set, and they all listened attentively, two kids, Nicolas (16) and Ingrid (15), and their brother in law, Yonathan. Yonathan was very prepared, his question in life was that there was no unity among churches and religions, and when we taught about the restoration, it amazed him, along with the rest of the family. We taught about the Book of Mormon, and that interested them very much. When we returned again on Saturday in a giant storm, again they all listened very attentively and participated in the lesson. All are keeping their commitments and gaining testimonies, and are going to come to church this Sunday. We had some other great miracles, the Lord answered our prayers and guided us towards His children in need. For example, this week we taught to Carlos and yicela, which are very awesome. We taught, and they agreed on a date for marriage and to be baptized at the end of this month! They had a little trepidation, and were not quite sure, but decided to go ahead with faith. Sunday we passed by them to go to church with them, and they still hadn´t waken up, but told us sleepily that in a bit they would come to church. We arrived at the church and after waiting for about 20 minutes, I began to wonder if they really would come, as it was very cold, it was raining, and it was the day everyone had to go to vote for the mayor of Viedma. I was with my companion at the door of the church and sacrament meeting was about to begin. I said, “lets pray so that Carlos and yicela come” and we did a simple, short prayer that He would help them come despite opposition. The prayer calmed me, and we went to the meeting without worries. Just before beginning the hymn before the sacrament, we heard the door and behold, Carlos and yicela, lively and attentive to continue on this journey to eternal life. It was great to see them there, and I know they will progress and will be an eternal family. I feel that as I have studied Chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel, my desire and diligence to always have the Holy Ghost with me has increased a lot. I am grateful for the great blessing of being a full-time missionary here in Argentina. I love this place and the people here!

Sincerely,
Elder Hoffman

Querida Familia,
La verdad es que esta semana ha sido muy buena! Tuvimos muchos milagros y seguimos encontrando muchas buenas personas para enseñar. Mi fe en que el Señor está preparando personas para escuchar el evangelio ha aumentado mucho en esta semana. El milagro más grande ha sido una familia que hemos encontrado y enseñado en esta semana. A veces no nos damos cuenta como el Señor nos guía, pero sé que Él siempre nos está guiando. Estuvimos esforzándonos por ser más diligentes en buscar por los que están necesitándonos en este momento. Estábamos en camino a una cita, y sentimos fuerte que teníamos que pasar a una calle al lado y tocar puertas. La primera puerta que nos abrió fue una mujer, Sabina. Empezamos a hablarle y enseñarle en su puerta, y luego ella dijo que tenía una sobrina que es misionero en este momento. Mi compañero preguntó como se llama, y ella nos dijo el nombre. Justo Elder Tucker la conocía porque su primer área fue General Pico, donde el papá de esta misionera es obispo; o sea, la esposa de él es la hermana de Sabina. La familia del obispo viven acá en Viedma, pero no se conocían con Sabina porque no son familiares de sangre. Nos sorprendió la gran coincidencia, y luego nos acordamos que no hay coincidencias en las cosas de Dios. Sé que el espíritu nos guió a esa familia y que están preparados para recibir el evangelio. Volvimos para la cita que habíamos fijado, y todos nos escucharon atentamente, los dos hijos, Nicolas e Ingrid, y el cuñado de ellos, Yonathan. Yonathan estaba MUY preparado, su duda en la vida era que no había una unidad entre las iglesias y religiones, y cuando le enseñamos acerca de la restauración, se asombró bastante, junto con el resto de la familia. Les enseñamos acerca del Libro de Mormón, y les interesó muchísimo. Cuando volvimos otra vez el sábado en una tormenta gigante, otra vez todos nos escucharon muy atentamente y participaron en la lección. Todos están guardando sus compromisos y logrando tener testimonios, y vendrán a la iglesia este domingo. Pasaron algunos otros milagros grandes, en que el Señor contestó nuestras oraciones y nos guió hacía Sus hijos que nos necesitan. Por ejemplo, esta semana estuvimos enseñando a Carlos y Yicela, que son MUY buenos. Les enseñamos, y ¡aceptaron fecha para casarse y bautizarse al fin de este mes! Tenían un poco de temor, y no estaban muy seguros, pero decidieron seguir adelante con fe. Pasamos por ellos el domingo para que vinieran a la iglesia, y no se habían levantado pero dijeron que en un rato iban a venir a la iglesia. Llegamos a la iglesia nosotros y después de esperar por unos 20 minutos, empecé a preguntarme si realmente vendrían, ya que hacía mucho frío, estaba lloviendo, y fue el día que todos tenían que ir a votar por el intendente de Viedma. Estuve con mi compañero en la puerta de la iglesia, y la reunión sacramental estaba a punto de empezar. Le dije, “vamos a orar para que vengan Carlos y Yicela”, y hicimos una oración sencilla y corta pidiendo que Él pudiera ayudarles a tener ánimo y venir a pesar de la oposición. Me quedé tranquilo, y fuimos a la reunión. Justo antes de empezar el himno antes de la santa cena, escuchamos la puerta, y he aquí, Carlos y Yicela, animados y atentos para seguir en este viaje hacía la vida eterna. Fue muy bueno verles allí, y sé que progresarán y podrán ser una familia eterna. Siento que al estudiar capítulo 1 de Predicad mi Evangelio, mi deseo y diligencia en tener siempre la compañía del Espíritu Santo conmigo ha aumentado mucho. Estoy muy agradecido por la bendición enorme de ser un misionero de tiempo completo acá en Argentina. Amo este lugar, y la gente acá!

Atentamente,
Elder Hoffman

Argentina – Week 78

Querida Familia,

It´s been a great week, with lots of awesome miracles! On Monday we went with Juan Sempe to El Condor and then to La Lobería with all the sea lions, which was pretty cool. Presidente this week sent us all a letter about the power of our language, and about being positive and not speaking badly about ANYONE or ANYTHING this entire week. I absolutely loved this week because of that. I think sometimes we don´t realize the power of our language, but as it says in Mosiah 4:11-13, if we truly humble ourselves, even in the depths of humility, we will always rejoice, and we will not have a mind to injure on another, but to live peaceably. Our words are in many ways the strongest and most deadly weapon we possess, but they can also be the most powerful tool in the building of a better world. In the first book of Nephi, all the sons of Lehi were completely obedient to the Lords commands, the only difference between Nephi and his wicked brothers Laman and Lemuel being their attitude and the words they used. Nephi acknowledged always the trials they were facing, but always focused himself in the blessings and the good things they were seeing, and always went willingly. Laman and Lemuel always obeyed, but only after being humbled by their circumstances and complaining and speaking badly about their father, brother, cat, dog, and even God himself. When we are positive, and when we choose to use our words in an uplifting way instead of seeing the bad we will see only the good, and it will come to be who we are. At the end of Mosiah 4, King Benjamin says, “…that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.” Let us all this week follow the counsel of Benjamin and REMEMBER to be humble and watch our words. I loved talk about keeping on trying, Dale Renlund, in the general conference. He said:

“Some years ago a wonderful young man named Curtis was called to serve a mission. He was the kind of missionary every mission president prays for. He was focused and worked hard. At one point he was assigned a missionary companion who was immature, socially awkward, and not particularly enthusiastic about getting the work done.

One day, while they were riding their bicycles, Curtis looked back and saw that his companion had inexplicably gotten off his bike and was walking. Silently, Curtis expressed his frustration to God; what a chore it was to be saddled with a companion he had to drag around in order to accomplish anything. Moments later, Curtis had a profound impression, as if God were saying to him, “You know, Curtis, compared to me, the two of you aren’t all that different.” Curtis learned that he needed to be patient with an imperfect companion who nonetheless was trying in his own way.

My invitation to all of us is to evaluate our lives, repent, and keep on trying. If we don’t try, we’re just latter-day sinners; if we don’t persevere, we’re latter-day quitters; and if we don’t allow others to try, we’re just latter-day hypocrites. As we try, persevere, and help others to do the same, we are true Latter-day Saints. As we change, we will find that God indeed cares a lot more about who we are and about who we are becoming than about who we once were.”

As I applied this principle this week, my companion and I were able to find many amazing people who are very prepared to recieve the gospel, and I personally have been happier. I challenge you all to speak only words that edify and have an attitud of faith of positivism with your words. I love you all so much! Keep being amazing.

Love,
Elder Hoffman

IMG_0208 IMG_0209 IMG_0212little whitehouse in Lobería, (the birds on the phone line are parrots, there´s millions and millions here in Viedma. It´s weird to see birds migrating and flying in formation and then realize that they´re all colorful patagonian parrots). Argentina rocks!IMG_0381 IMG_0388 IMG_0390Loberia. Mi district is now: Elder McCord, Elder Orme, Elder Pritchett (they all go home in 5 weeks, all from my group), Elder Tucker my companion, Elder Hatch and Elder Mortenson who go home with me the following transfer, and Elder Simpson. A bunch of “old geesers” in our districtIMG_0361 IMG_0366 IMG_0372Juan Sempe. Elder Pritchett (from my MTC district) found his wife and family knocking doors almost 2 years ago when he was here. Now they´re one of the strongest families in the district, and Elder Pritchett came back to Viedma where he started.IMG_0281 IMG_0287 IMG_0289We went to Lobería with Juan, theres a ton of Sea lions there. They call em Sea Wolves, but same thing. There were a ton in Mar del Plata as well, its the cities symbol, but I never saw one in real life until monday. Wild Ostrich as well!IMG_0238 IMG_0239 IMG_0263 IMG_0271elder tucker found the “Shell” seashell. Crazy awesome beach with natural rock formations and poolsIMG_0357 IMG_0354 IMG_0355The holes in the rocks are parrot nests. Also commonly seen there are dolphins, whales, orcas, and lots of birds and eagles, but we mostly saw sea lions and parrotsIMG_0334 IMG_0329 IMG_0330i took this picture of a picture in the guest center, shows how many parrots there are in their season. IMG_0252 IMG_0314 IMG_0248

Argentina – Week 77

Querida Familia,
Ha sido una semana muy buena, la verdad. Estuvimos tratando de encontrar el rumbo otra vez, ya que mi compañero había estado enfermo, mas muchas divisiones que hice en el distrito, pero siento que ya estamos listos para trabajar con todo lo que tenemos. Estoy muy agradecido que nos quedamos juntos por este traslado, y siento que será el mejor tiempo de toda mi misión. Tenemos la visión de encontrar, enseñar, y bautizar familias. Me encanta el plan de Dios, y el hecho de que él nos ha dado una familia para que progresemos como hijos de Él.
Tuvimos un milagro muy bueno esta semana, la verdad. Aunque tenemos muchos investigadores, muchos de ellos tendrán que casarse para que puedan vivir los mandamientos antes de bautizarse. Por lo tanto, estuvimos buscando por milagros, intentando encontrar las personas que estuvieran preparadas para recibirnos. Hace 2 semanas, yo había pasado por Luis, un hombre que había conocido la iglesia y que estuvo yendo por un buen rato. Lo que pasa es que él no quería bautizarse, y cuando pasamos a verle, nos dijo que estaba todo bien, y que aunque no tenía nada en contra no estaba muy interesado en ese momento y que no tenía mucho tiempo porque trabaja mucho. Esta semana fui a San Antonio Oeste para hacer una entrevista bautismal, y cuando volví mi compañero recién andaba mejor, hace que pudimos salir pero no teníamos planes ni idea de quien debíamos visitar. Nos sentamos al lado de la calle después de hacer algunos contactos y pasar por algunas personas para pensar en quién teníamos que visitar. Hice una pequeña oración en mi corazón pidiendo inspiración, y bueno, pensé en Luis. Me dije, “Na, el nos dijo que no tenía interés por ahora”. Inmediatamente sentí algo fuerte y sabía que teníamos que visitarle. Me fijé en la agenda para recordarme donde vivía, y me di cuenta que nos habíamos parado en la misma calle de él. Fuimos por allá, y al hablar con él, tenía una actitud completamente diferente, y se abrió mucho con nosotros. Pudimos sacar una cita para el sábado, y al pasar enseñamos a él y a su esposa, Carmen. Son muy buenos, y siento que el Señor les ha preparado por este momento. Ayer fueron a la iglesia, y les encantó y se sintieron muy bien. Sé que cuando buscamos la ayuda de Dios, Él siempre nos contesta con milagros. Fue muy bueno sentir la influencia del Espíritu Santo y seguirlo, y ver el resultado.

love,
Elder Hoffman

Dear Family,

It has been a very good week, really. We were trying to find our way again, as my partner had been sick, but I did many divisions in the district, but I feel we’re ready to work with all we have. I am very grateful that we were together for this move, and feel will be the best time of my mission. We envision find, teach, and baptize families. I love God’s plan, and the fact that he has given us a family we progress as children of God.

We had a great miracle this week, really. Although we have many researchers, many of them will get married so they can live the commandments before baptism. Therefore, we were looking for miracles, trying to find people who were ready to receive us. 2 weeks ago, I had gone through Luis, a man who had known the church and it was going for a while. What happens is that he wanted to be baptized, and when we see him, he told us everything was fine, and although he had nothing against was not very interested at that time and did not have much time because it works much. This week I went to San Antonio Oeste to a baptismal interview, and when I returned my partner just walked better, we could make out but we had no idea who plans we should visit. We sat next to the street after making some contacts and pass by some people to think about who had to visit. I did a little prayer in my heart for inspiration, and well, thought Luis. I said, “Nah, he told us that he had no interest now.” Immediately I felt something strong and knew we had to visit. I looked at the calendar to remind me where I lived, and I realized that we had stopped in the street from him. We went over there and talk to him, had a completely different attitude, and was very open with us. We managed to get an appointment for Saturday, and passing teach him and his wife, Carmen. They are very good, and I feel the Lord has prepared for this moment. Yesterday they went to church, and they loved and felt fine. I know that when we seek God’s help, He always answers us with miracles. It was great to feel the influence of the Holy Spirit and follow it, and see the result.

Love,
Elder hoffman

Argentina – Week 76

My companion, don´t worry! Haha! It was a tough week for him, he got a but stomach virus and was in the bathroom or the bed for a great majority of the time this week. Thankfully he´s doing much better now and we´re up and running again!

Dear family,

I don´t have a lot of time left over cause we´ve got a zone activity today, but I thought I would invite you all to search, ponder and pray about grace this week. I have been listening to the conference talks of this past conference and thinking about the different subjects that were presented, and I felt strongly the grace of Christ. I was also memorizing this week 2 Nephi 25:23 – For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

I know that God lives, and that he is perfectly just and perfectly mercyful, and that through His grace in the atonemente of Christ, all mankind may be saved. His grace is sufficient. Here´s an awesome link to a new series on Mormon Channel with awesome videos about grace:

His Grace

I love you all tons! More next week, I promise. (:

Love,
Elder Hoffman