Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cerro Acro-Beautiful mountains October 5, 2009 ~Monday

Hi friends and family!

To answer your question about being thin. Yes, my suit pants are very big for me and I am wearing my jeans right now which are much too big. I tightened the notch on my belt 2 notches and they stay up...It´s pretty funny :) I am eating plenty, but we walk tons of miles each day. As you already know, the area I am in is very campo they call it. It´s very big with tons of walking.

General Conference was absolutely amazing and I absolutely loved the messages! I learned so much and had so many answers to my questions. The Spirit really is the teacher. We can sit there and listen to the exact same message, but the Spirit will teach us the things that are personal for us to know and do. It really is incredible. The gringo Elders went and watched conference in English while everyone else went to the big chapel in the stake Center in Maipu to watch it. We had food in there and really we just learned a ton! Conference is so incredible. We were watching the last session of Conference on Sunday and they had just announced that President Monson was about to speak and the signal cut. It eventually came back in a few minutes, but we were scared we weren´t going to be able to listen to the prophet speak.
To get to conference, the ward rented us a Trafic (a bus to go pick up investigators and ward members who would have difficulties getting to conference). We we had quite the full trafic and our investigaters really enjoyed conference a ton. It´s been such a fun opportunity to tell people that we have a living prophet and that he was going to speak in conference in a few weeks. It´s so powerful to be able to say that and some people think we´re absolutely crazy I´m sure. But I know there is a living prophet in Thomas S. Monson and that the things he tells us are directly from God. They are the things that we need to do as a church to become better. People may not accept us, but I know it´s true and I grow to know and feel the truth of it more and more as I learn and grow.

This week in my studies I learned something incredibly awesome that I want to apply the next time I get the opportunity to teach (my companion is still doing a lot of the teaching, I still have a hard time understanding what in the world people are saying sometimes. It it will come, I´ll just keep working hard and trying and I know with time it will come. I´m having a way good time learning to just keep on trying.). I learned that all of the first messages that we teach are centered around the gospel. The first lesson is about the Restoration of the Gospel. Lesson 2 is about the Plan of Salvation, which, central to that is the gospel. Lesson 3 is the Gospel (Not too hard to relate that to the gospel). But I realized that and learned that central to the Gospel is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. You can relate everything to the gospel, and then relate everything about the gospel to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the center of everything, that is what became a lot more clear.

Today for Preparation day, we went as a Zone to Cerro Arco. It´s a hike that looks so much like Utah. When we got to the top of Cerro Arco, there was an incredible view, that was partially obscurred by the large amount of dust in the air. It was really windy yesterday so there was still a ton of dust leftover in the air. But it was way fun. We just got back and now I´m sitting down writing about it. I´ll send some pictures of it.

Right now we´re trying to find some more people to teach and are preparing Daniel and Juana for their baptisms coming up on Saturday. They are way excited and it´s fun to see the changes they´ve made in their life to get themselves ready and how much they feel that the church is true and how much they want to learn more about it. They truly are examples to me, I admire them so much.

Well, I love you all, I´ll try to write better in my next e-mail. I´m pretty tired from our hot hike. But I love you all so so so much. You all have no idea how much I love you all and want to respond to each of you. One day I promise I will. Thinking about all of you makes me want to try harder and work harder. I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!! Until next week.

Elder Hoglund