Hi friends and family,
So, funny story about the internet today. We were going to the Cyber to use the internet, we got there, sat down, and the power went out. How funny is that. So we took a little walk back to our pench and decided that there must be something about this e-mail thing, I am not quite sure, but it was pretty funny. Thank you so much for the updates, I love you all and again apologize for the lack of a respone you get from me when it comes to your individual e-mails. One of these times when we get the e-mail thing right I will respond to each of you individually. It would make me really happy to do that and let each of you know that I really love you and care about you. Let,s see, here is a little bit about this week.
Yesterday I had an experience in which I learned a lot about the power of the Book of Mormon. We went to a church of another religion on Saturday night, (it was something that Elder Aidukaitas sp?) challenged the mission to do. He said that when he went he ended up baptizing about 50 people in the congregation. It is a huge opportunity to find people who are really good people and love religion, who are looking for the truth. Anyway we went, and I just felt terrible during the church. I was just feeling terrible, really feeling the Spirit churn in me and tell me what was happening was wrong. My companion told me to read in the Book of Mormon and just like that the Spirit came back and the horrible feeling I felt was gone. It really is a night and day difference and I know it is real. When we read the Book of Mormon, when we open it and read a page or two we will feel something different. We will feel the Spirit, something is different about that Book and it has power to convert. This was incredible.
There are so many miracles that happen when we are obedient too. We need to be obedient so the Lord can bless us. I know this is true and have seen it thus far in the experiences of my mission.
Sorry to cut it short. We need to go shop and be back at the bus stop, otherwise...well, we need ot catch the bus. Things are wonderful here. I am learning tons, I love everyone so much. I will send photos one day. Thank you for your patience and your love. Really, this shouldn,t happen. I really hope next week i will send some photos. Take care, I love you! With much love,
Monday, August 24, 2009
Hi friends and family,
Posted by Ben at 7:05 PM
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I am so sorry that I am writing this so late. I know that you are probably having a heart attack wondering what is going on in Argentina. Know that everything is ok. The bus that we ususally take on Monday either came really early and we missed it, or really late and we got it. Either way, we just had enough time to get our shopping done on Monday and then we stayed the night Monday in the Zone Leader`s Pench (Apartment) so we could be closer to the Zone Conference that we had the following day.
On Monday we stayed at our Pench for the day. We were going to play soccer, which we should have done, but my companion was sick so we stayed at the pench and and got some cleaning done and attempted to go do e-mail. The Argentine police gave us a ride to where the e-mail place was, this was pretty fun. We were waiting for the bus and the Police car comes zipping by us. Stops, turns around, and comes up to us and asks where we were going and if we would like I ride. Of course we said yes. When we got to a Cyber (a place where we can access computers and do the internet thing) it was closed. Just a sidenote, we live about about a 45 minute bus ride from the city, so everything is pretty far.
We went back to the pench, had some lunch and I washed some clothes in a bucket and hung them up on our clothesline to dry. I really liked doing this, it was pretty fun to see the clothes turn out so clean and smell so fresh. Tuesday, we had Zone Conference with Elder Bowen from the 70, and got back to the Pench with not enough time to go the the Cyber and e-mail (Zone Conference took all morning and afternoon and was absolutely incredible.). Then this morning we went to go to e-mail and the power was down. So.......now we`re here and it is good to be able to write you and tell you what`s going on. Thank you so much for the love and patience with me, we are going to get better with getting the right busses and getting to places early so we can have enough time to e-mail on the day we are supposed to.
Some stuff to mention specifically in prayers, pray for us that we can find some people who are interested, it`s been a while since we`ve had a new investigator truly interested in the gospel. We need to get out there and find someone. I love the updates about the Family and the happenings of the ward and just what is going on.
Here are some things I learned at Zone Conference that I really wanted to share with you. The Zone Conference was so incredible. Elder Bowen taught us for over two hours and it was the most spiritual outpouring of knowledge that I have ever experienced. He taught us so much and he said that next time we go to the Temple to focus on how the word, Lord, is used, and see who it refers to. He told us incredible things, but the Spirit was the real teacher and I felt so edified and ready to do what the Lord wants me to do. I don`t have my notes with me right now, but the Spirit really taught me that what I need to do is not to have Excuses, Doubt, or Fear, but instead to make Experiences, be Obedient, and have Faith. It was so incredible, he truly is a man of God. He was definitely acting under the authority of the Twelve Apostles. He also said another thing, that Preach My Gospel will prepare us for our own Personal Ministry more so than any other book, or something like that. I think it would be safe to say that Preach my Gospel will really help prepare us for our personal ministry in life. It was really good. (More on the Zone Conference below. :) )
Let`s see, this week was pretty incredible. We were teaching the Barbera Family one night and they had some friends over to gamble and such. They started asking us questions about what we were doing here and it led to an incredible first discussion with the Spirit really strong. Oscar Barbera`s boss was there and one of the reasons Oscar has not come to church is because he works on Sunday. Hugo (Oscar`s boss) really felt the Spirit and said that he was going to read what we gave him. This is going to turn out well .We also taught two other people, Nancy and Jose. Jose is 16 and is going to serve a mission someday. He really understood what we were talking about and loved it. When we were teaching him how to pray at the end of the lesson, he said, so if I was to pray I would do this, he then gave us a quick example of what he was going to pray for, and it was just perfect. Usually people are really hesitant about praying and he just really wanted to do it. We haven`t spoke with him yet, but I really think that he prayed. I really want to talk to him soon. Nancy pretty much was the same. It was pretty incredible. We were talking about the Book of Mormon and we were talking about how Moroni hid the plates and then about Joseph Smith. We said something about Joseph Smith and she said, “and he was guided to the place where the plates were!” or something like that. It was incredible to see how much she loved it and how much the Spirit was teaching her. The Barbera family is having a tough time progressing. They are really poor and Oscar is really limited in his movement because of his leg injury just over a year ago. They love it when we come, but they really aren`t showing much progress. We need to make some big steps forward in the next few days or move on.
When we teach by the Spirit, we are able to teach as Jesus, “as one having power and authority”. When we teach by the Spirit, people feel that power and authority, but have no idea where it comes from. We are just two kids coming to their house to teach them about Jesus, but there is something different about it. It`s definitely not us one bit, but the power of the message and the Spirit testifying to their hearts of the truthfulness of the message. The Spirit is so powerful and I am realizing more and more every day how essential it is in the work.
Back to our Zone Conference. :) Elder Bowen taught us so many things about the church and what we need to do here in Mendoza, Argentina for the work to bloom. The Spirit taught me individually what I need to improve so I can more be the missionary the Lord wants me to be. It really won`t go well into words what I felt and learned. It was one of the most enlightening experiences of my life to hear everything the Spirit had to tell me.
The language is still difficult, it is really terrifying at times to speak with people because I don`t know if when they speak back I will be able to understand or not. Some people I can understand very well and others I can barley understand if at all. I know the Lord will help me as I keep praying for His help and keep working hard. My trainer is so wonderful to teach me what I need to know. He`s so great.
Weather is good, we finally had the Zonda and boy it was incredible. There was tons of wind and dust everywhere. The morning before it happened, our Zone Leaders called us and said they were in it and that we should look for refuge. We could hear the winds blowing from pretty far away. It ended up being tons of dust in the air and the wind blowing really hard. It was pretty fun.
Well, this was a bit disorganized and a little long, but I think that might have been because I have a keyboard that works well this week. It has been a struggle to find one that types really well without the keys getting stuck. I love you all. Keep doing good things! You are all so incredible and the best family in the world. Take care this week, I love you.
Love, Elder Hoglund.
P.S. I think next week for reals there will be pictures.
Posted by Ben at 4:27 PM
Hola Familia,¿Como andan ustedes?
That is the general term used to say "How are you doing," or something like that. The literal translation is "How are you walking?"
The weather is getting better, its getting pretty warm. Here, during the Winter to Spring transition and in the Smmers too, there are huge dust storms called Zondas. We heard from the landlord this morning that there is going to be one tomorrow. We will see, I may be on divisions with another Elder in the city where Elder Boudrero tells me they may not happen, but we will see. As for what I eat every day, it is nothing too out of the normal. Argentina bread, Argentina cereal, Argentina Milk, which is pretty good. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Except for I have eaten Cow Stomach (Mondongo) at a members house, and something called Queso de Chancho. They take a pig it seems like, and just put it all into an edible form...EVERYTHING from the pig. When we had it, there were hairs in it...it was not very pleasant. But we move on .
Lets see, here is what happened this week in a nutshell.This week we had some more incredible lessons with the Barbera family. They need to get married, we are teaching them tonight I really want it to go well and hope they will feel the Spirit. One thing among many I have been learning is about the power of faith. I need to have the trust in the message of the gospel. Really, the gospel is going to bless everyone who comes in contact with it. I know it will and thus, I need to share the message with everyone. No fear. There was an experience this week that really helped me out with overcoming fear. I had my first interview with President Lindahl and a lesson taught by the Assistants to the President. They are so wonderful and we learned that faith and fear cannot exist in a person at the same time. They challenged everyone to overcome fear and we are only able to overcome fear if we face it. They specifically asked me, (the newbie) if I would go up to the front of the bus on the way home and share a breif message with everyone on the bus. My stomach was swimming with fear and apprehension, but I did it. I went up to the bus driver and asked him if I could share a message about God with the people on the bus. He said I could do it if it was cortito (pretty short). So I did it and then went around and asked the people on the bus if they were interested in the message. Everyone turned me down, but I hope they felt the Spirit and know a little more about the message of the gospel now. Faith and fear will not exist together. Speaking of faith and fear, I gave my first talk in Sacrament meeting on Sunday on Faith and Fear. It went well and the Spirit really is the teacher here. It is only through the Spirit that we should teach, if it be of any other way it is not of the Lord. It is incredible.There is so much going on here everyday and I am learning tons. We are teaching a bunch and "Opening the Mouth," not enough, we are going to do better this week.
That is about it in a nutshell. Love you all.
Ok, I think that is good for this week, I need to write my letter to the President and go. I love you all, keep up the good work. Thank you for all your prayers and support, I feel so loved from everyone.
Till next Monday.Love,Elder Hoglund
Monday, August 3, 2009
This week we went to teach the Tarifa Family. I have never seen someone so willing to make sacrifices and do what she feels is right (Hermana Tarifa). It is a huge sacrifice for some people to get to church here, some people live very far away and it is difficult for them. But Elder Boudrero and I had a good lesson with her on Saturday night and she said she would come Sunday because she felt that it was what she needed to do. She did come Sunday for the first time and it was different for her, but she liked it a lot. She loves reading the scripures and has such a pure heart. I really felt the Spirit when we were teaching and she did as well. I love singing hymns with the families at their houses, we have done that a few times and it brings the Spirit so strong, it is wonderful. There are so many experiences I want to share but we are running short on time this week.
Argentina is very new. President Lindahl encouraged me to enjoy the Journey and take it easy. I love the mission. It is difficult of course, but I am learning quickly and am receiving a lot of help, support and love from my companion, other Elders, and members.
The Spirit is real and the work moves on.
Love, Elder Hoglund
Posted by Ben at 8:09 PM