Friday, December 4, 2009

Transfer to the Province of San Rafael! New companion: Elder Ramirez from Cali, Colombia November 30, 2009

Hola Familia,

I am so sorry I did not write to everyone last week. I had a mix up with the internet and only had about half the time I normally have to write and it ended up just not working out. I am so sorry.

These last two weeks have been quite the blur. Getting transfered to a new area, getting a new native companion, moving to a pench with 4 Elders in it. Quite the experience, and I am loving it! Having a Latin companion has already helped me improve my Spanish a ton. I learn new words and phrases every day and my mind is getting more accustomed to hearing the Spanish and I don`t get lost near as often now. It is a huge blessing to have this opportunity and I want to learn as much from it as I possibly can.

An experience ihad (I wrote it like that the first time I wrote it, then I corrected it, then I decided to leave it like that because it lookds like iPod) right before I left Colonia Bombal was incredible. Elias is an investigator we have been working with the whole time I had been in Colonia Bombal. About a week and a half before I left, we left a challenge with him and the Familia Chapana to read a little section, a little part of the Book of Mormon, every single day that week and after each time to pray and ask Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon was true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet. We told them that we were going to do the challenge as well and come back in a week and see how it went. We wrote them little reminder notes and everything. We came back the following week and I asked Elias how it went, he said that he hd been reading in the mornings before he went to work (he works a ton, this was defnitely a sacrifice and an act of faith for him). He said that he felt good about it. I asked him about if he wanted to get baptized and he he feels like he needs to but was still unsure. I asked him if he believed that God could answer his prayers right there and right then. He said yes, we both and everyone really believed that God could answer his prayer right then and there. So we all kneeled down and Elias prayed to know if he should get baptized and then we waited on our knees for about a minute to wait for the answer to come. After we had sat ourselves down again I asked him how he felt. He started to cry and said that he knew he had recieved an answer. He was praying with real intent, and really wanted to know if he should get baptized and if these things were true and he got his answer. We were all very emtional and I asked him if he wanted to get baptized the 12th of December. He said yes.

This is a miracle!! Things like this don`t just happen. He is not the only person that week who we kneeled down with together and people got their answers. We did this two other times and each time they recieved their answer. It was a week of miracles. Absolute miracles and I testify of that.

Elias wanted me to come back and baptize him and I would absolutely love that! He is one of my most beloved friends, but I don`think that distances being what they are it would be doable. I live about 5 hours away in a bus from him now. Oh, if I could recieve permission I would LOVE to go back and baptize him on that day. But the thing that is most important is that he is getting baptized and I absolutely love that!!

The bus ride to my new area was long but it was on a DOUBLE DECKER bus and was way fun! I am now in an area called General Alvear in the Province of San Rafael I think. The area is called Pacifico. My companion is Elder Ramirez from Cali, Colombia. I don`t know if that is where you served your mission Dad but it`s way awesome to be a companion from the land where Dad left his tracks. This area is MUCH different than Colonia Bombal. My eyes were a little opened when I got here to how campo Colonia Bombal was. I`ll definitely be sending some photos, but its a whole lot smaller and we share the area with the Hermana`s. We are doing English classes every day during the Siesta in our church with the Hermana`s so our companions can learn English a little better.

We are in a district of 6. Elder Ramirez (Colombia) and I (Good ol`Lindon, Utah), Elder Mendoza (Honduras), Elder George (Portland) who is in just his second transfer), Hermana White (Utah), and Hermana Arrierez (I think).

Anyway, I`ll send this e-mail, then some pictures, then another e-mail if I have time. But I love you all and cannot wait until Christmas so I can talk to all of you. The work is going so well here and I absolutely love you all!!!!! Brady...I am so happy to see how you are playing! Keep working hard! I absolutey admire your hard work and dedication! Stay focused and remember your brother is really praying for your success.

Bye Family!

Elder Hoglund

P.S. For Preparation Day we had an Asado, a big Argentine thing. If you like eating tons of meat with lots of juice and fat, this is the thing for you. So, I really don't like it. It tastes really good, but I really do not like to eat that much fat. :) So, Bye for now!