Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun with THE PELOTA! September 21, 2009

Hi Family and Friends

I love you all so much
Here`s a short e-mail, but I am so grateful to send pictures to you this week too! Any other specific requests for pictures, I`ll see what I can do. This week was incredible! We had our interviews with President Lindahl and had Zone Conference. I love hearing President and Sister Lindahl speak. They are so inspiring and know exactly what needs to be said. President Lindahl is such an example to me of how to lead with love. I`ve heard about people who are so scared to have interviews with their mission presidents because they are scared. Here, I love speaking with President Lindahl, so uplifting and I want to be so much better after interviews with him. It makes we want to be the most loving person I possibly can be.

Yesterday we did service at the church. In front of the church was looking pretty ugly with weeds and such, so we spent a little bit cleaning it and making it look nice. We got roped into staying afterwards and playing futbol with the members of the ward because someone had left to go get us sandwiches and we were to wait until we could eat. They were done serving and wanted to jugar con la pelota...They are INCREDIBLE with the pelota! I have never seen people play like they do. They make MTC soccer and almost any soccer I`ve seen in the states look like child`s play. They are magicians with the ball! It`s pretty incredible. Anyway it was pretty fun and the church looks really good after the service.

We have a baptism this Saturday, my first one! I`m pretty excited for the lady that is going to be baptized...Juana Zeballos. She is an incredible lady. I`ll send pictures.

Well, that`s about it. Missonary work is incredible! I love doing this work and I love all of you. Take care, keep running, hiking, making huge things of salsa, you`re all incredible. Love you and I`ll pray for each of you!

Elder Hoglund.

This is Octopus tentacles that Ben ate for dinner!! Yummy!!

Ben's groceries after shopping.

Ben's district when he first arrived in Argentina. Elder Hoglund, Elder Boudrero, Elder Lems,and Elder Mendoza.

Ben says: "Elder Mendoza is one of the funniest people I have ever met! He's only been a member of the church about 2.5 years and he was studying to become a catholic priest before he joined the church. He shared with me his conversion story and it is incredible. I really admire him for making the decision to serve a mission. He has such an indredible, firm testimony of the gospel. I sure do love him and he really inspires me to be a better missionary."

This is Ben's companion at the MTC, Elder Taylor. He is holding up a sign that was in the stairwell. The people who had the swing flu were quarantined to the floor beneath Ben. :(

This is Ben's "Sweet Good Pench"! He loves his home.

This is Ben's district at the MTC in front of the Provo Temple.

This is Ben's first companion in Argentina, Elder Boudrero!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Octopus is delicious! Mon. September 14, 2009

Hola mi Querido Familia!

This week was awesome! We worked way hard and saw lots of miracles happen. We are teaching a way awesome familia...the Famila Padilla. We`ve been trying to find them for a while and finally found them. They want to get baptized and they are married! How awesome is that! They are a young couple are just got here about a year ago I think from Bolivia and they got married at a Registro Civil in Bolivia! They want to get baptized, they have a 10 year old son, they are married, they are awesome people. I am so excited for them! They want to read the Book of Mormon and they obvisously want to know it`s true before they join the church. Please pray for them, they want a big change in their lives.

We also set my first baptismal date this week! Juana Zeballos, one of our investigators, the mother of a very recently returned missionary said that she wants to get baptized on the 26th of September! I am so excited for her! She had a stroke a few years ago and can`t communicate hardly at all, but she can understand others perfeclty fine. She is so excited about her baptism and we are way excited for her too. We`ll keep on passing by her house.

This week we`ve really been changing the way we go about contacting and teaching. We are teaching towards baptism and really letting people know that we want them to get baptized the first time that we teach them. We teach them about the importance of baptism and then we tell them when we are setting a baptismal date and ask them to prepare for that date. This is awesome because it really helps us to teach with power and get right to the point. We`re not wasting time, they`re not wasting time and it helps them realize the power of the message. We did this towards the end of the week after our Zone Leaders taught us about the importance of putting a date with people. That, coupled with the converting power of the Spirit and the Book of Mormon combined, has really helped us out the last few days. It is really helping us to teach with power and Heavenly Father is putting lots of incredible people in our path that are ready and want to get baptized. This has been a fantastic week and I am really learning the about the power of the message.

I`ve also been studying about Charity, which is the pure love of Christ and I was thinking what about how I feel when I feel the pure love of Christ... Those feelings that I feel when I know that Christ loves me are the exact same feelings I want others to have about me. I love learning about this and putting it into practice.

Last Preparation Day we went to this really fancy restaurant in Mendoza Centro. There I ate some Octopus tentacles, some cow stomach, and some other things that I really don`t know what they were, but I knew that I was only going to have this experience pretty much once in a lifetime so I decided to chow down on what I could. I`m still alive so I think we`re all right. I`m just glad I didn`t think too hard about what I was doing while everything was still going on, otherwise I may have had a hard time...Wow that was good.

Anyway, after that we went to the Plaza de Independencia. I should learn more about it before I write about it, but it was awesome. My companion has pictures on his camera that I will get and send. It was such a fun day! While we were walking in Mendoza Centro a bird decided that it wanted to use the restroom right above Elder Mendoza`s head (the name of one of my Zone Leaders, not to be confused with Mendoza Argentina). It wasn`t too hard to laugh at that.

So here`s some cultural stuff. Everyone loves soccer down here. There are two teams that it seems like everyone follows...River and Boca. I have a feeling that when they play later this month there will be a lot of rejections if we are clapping doors. We`ll see how it goes...I`m still deciding who to cheer for. The members obvisouly have varying opinions of what I should do. But I have the feeling they are a little biased. In one member`s house there is pretty much a shrine dedicated to Boca. There is a giant stuffed Lion (with padding, not a real lion  ) with tons of Boca garb on it. We`ll see how it goes, I`ll make a decision sometime.

I love you all. Keep working hard and e-mail me questions of things you would like answered.

Elder Hoglund

Friday, September 4, 2009

One Transfer Already Monday, August 31, 2009

Hi Family,

This week are transfers and Elder Boudrero and I figured out that we are getting the chance to stay together in Colonial Bombal for another 6 weeks. I am so excited to have the opportunity to continue to learn from him. We are growing to be really good friends and I sure do love him. As for the Google Earth thing. The Colonial Bombal Chapel is the chapel where we attend church and the Pench in which we live is really close to the Barrio Primavera. I got a letter from Sister Blackham saying that some missionaries had placed some kind of mark on those locations and I thought you would love to know all this as well.

It seems like the letters take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks to get there. Fun stuff.

The following is a picture of where I live. This wonderful Pench is home to me! This thing on top is a water tower for our pench. (No picture) And we also have bars on our windows. Almost everyone here has bars in front of their windows and fences wth giant gates in front of their doors. This is a very calm area from what I hear, but it´s all about security. The church is the same way. They have bars and locks and stuff. The church actually got robbed a few weeks back, a member told us about it and it sounded really bad, but when we went to check it out, it was bad, but not as bad as the member made it sound. She made it sound like they had taken the ceiling tiles off as well, but it wasn´t that bad. The thought I actaully had about that was that regardless of what they rob or take from the chapel. It does absolutely nothing to slow down the work of the Lord. The thing that matters is the truth of the gospel. No matter how hard anyone works, they can´t take that away. It was a pretty calming and pretty amazing thought that no matter what else is happening in the world. The knowledge of the gospel is the anchor that makes everything matter. Without the gospel, regardless of whither someone is rich or poor life doesn´t have a direction or meaning.

This next photo is a picture of Ailine, the little girl of a member named Hermana Vale. She talks so much and loves her little rabbit. They live on a farm and just have very little, but she is always so happy and last week we ate lunch with the family before doing some service with them, she asked us if we wanted her to sing for us so we weren´t bored. She then commenced to sing a beautiful version of something about the Argentine flag very loudly. So cute, I love that girl!

This last picture is just about a dollar of bread in Argentina, a little less. When buying bread, here, the peso goes a long way.

That´s about it, I am out of time. This week was fantastic, we did divisions with some of the prospective missionaries in the ward, that was a really big growing experience to be out on my own with someone who has even less experience with missionary work with I do. J. It was awesome.
I love you all. Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, and letters, they all help! J Bye.

Love, Elder Hoglund

Ben's Bed. Oh MY!

A Peso's wrth of Bread!

Ben and his little Argentine friend who likes to sing to him.