Sunday, February 21, 2010

February 15, 2010 Hail Storms and Baptisms

Hola Mi Familia y Amigos!

I don`t even know where to start with this week. It has been a week of miracles and possibly the busiest week of the whole mission. It has been absolutely crazy and I love it!

So we have been working with the Pichel Family to get them baptized right? So we finally got dates finalized for Nora, the mother, Pablo, who is 10 years old, and Melanie who is 8 years old. The three of them got baptized on Saturday night. It was absolutely incredible! Nora has such a strong testimony of the restored gospel and even got the chance to share it in sacrament meeting the next day after her confirmation. She got her answer in the form of a dream. She told us that she had been praying to know of she should get baptized and she had such a peaceful and Spiritual dream of her dressed in white and feeling so clean. It really was a huge confirmation to her from the Spirit that the gospel is true. We had a ward talent show Friday night and we had to leave because Argentines really love the night life here and don`t start ward activities until way late (we talked to the members the next day and they told us that they left the chapel at 1 or 2 in the morning). Anyway, so we heard from the members that Nora made an acto, or better said, she made a play about her conversion story. First, the Hermana Missionaries got to her house and she really didn`t like them and kept trying to avoid them when they came by and was pretty rude to them. They also acted out how Antonio, her husband, was really rude to them as well. Anyway, I guess it was pretty funny and all the ward members loved it.

The baptism was awesome. Would you believe that there were so many people there that they went through 9 liters of ice cream? It was so incredibly successful! There were tons of members there, tons of investigators there to watch the baptism and the Spirit was so strong. I even got the chance to sing “El Cristo es” in Spanish of course. Now this coming Saturday, Evelyn (13) and Matias (15), two of the older kids want to get baptized. Please pray that Antonio, the father, will want to get baptized with those two this Saturday as well. We will work hard to prepare them for this Saturday. Their older daughter who is 20 years old also wants to get baptized. This family has been a miracle in action! I sure love them!

Well, transfers came and went this week and me and Elder Ramirez are still together. His mom has a baptismal date for the 20th of February, so please pray for her has well. This next transfer is going to be so much fun!

We`ve got a new ward project in action called One on One. The idea is that each organization in the ward focuses on two or three people that are semi-inactive or inactive and helps them get to church. The idea is to help people feel welcome within their quorums in the church. So often people judge others for why they aren`t coming to church and stuff when really we just need to love. Really who are we to judge? We need to love.

This week, THE CRAZIEST hail storm I have ever seen in my life happened! Imagine hail the size of golf-balls and you`ve about got what we had here. It was crazy, there were windows broken, trees shredded, and crops destroyed. I don`t know what the people here in Alvear are going to do for work now. A lot of the work is harvest-based, and now that the harvest is destroyed, I don`t know what they`ll do. Work is already scarce as it is. I`ll send some pictures. Don`t worry, we`re all safe. We hid out in the chapel.

Also, have you ever ridden on a old pink bike, in shirt and tie, with a cowboy hat, in front of a supermarket in Argentina? Well I have. The other Elders in our pench were in a tight spot and needed us to take their bikes, cowboy hats, and scriptures back to the pench. So we did and before we took off, one of the Hermana`s in our district snapped a photo of it. I`ll have to get it and send it on home.

Yesterday, the Zone Leaders decided to have a Zone P-day in our area. So, we slept 10 Elders in the pench again. Quite the experience. Also, this morning at about 3:45, we went to the bus station to send off Hermana Amy White who is headed home. It felt a little different walking in the streets of Argentina at 4 in the morning. There was still a club open at that hour, we heard the music going at about 4 in the morning when we were walking through the plaza on the way back from sending off Hermana White.

I really want to write home about something that Elder Blackham taught me in one of his letters about humility that has really helped me a lot. The basic thought is. “I`m just as good as the next, but not better, and God is always above me.” Humility is not beating down on yourself down into a pulp, it is recognizing that others`feelings and needs are just as valid and important as our own. It is also recognizing that God is in control and without His help and devine guidance we are nothing.

I have grown much Spiritually this week and am excited to continue learning. The Lord really is preparing me and molding me and I am loving it! I love this gospel and I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and He changes lives when we come to Him. I love you all! Bye!

Elder Hoglund