Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cowboy Hats in Front of the Supermarket! More Hail and Leaky Roofs! March 15, 2010

Hi Family and Friends!

It is always so good to hear how everyone is doing! I love getting the e-mails from every one of you!

Let`s start with the good stuff...here is the photo that everyone has been waiting for, the cowboy hats in front of Vea, the local supermarket. It`s a little crazy, but hey, you only live once right?

This week was incredible! We have another member of the Pichel family that is going to get baptized this Friday as well as two teenage girls. Their Mom would have been baptized a while ago but she is waiting for some divorce papers to go through and then has to get married in order to be baptized. But she is way on top of that and is absolutely incredible! She is helping her daughters prepare so well for baptism. They are reading the pamphlets, reading the scriptures and absolutely loving it! One of the girls is 15 and the other is 8, Jhoanna and Julietta. Their family is so incredible!

Diego Pichel is the other member of the Pichel family that is getting baptized this Friday. I love this guy! We were at his house on Saturday doing some service and out of the blue he tells us how he`s on a fast. We haven`t taught him about fasting yet and so we were a little bit confused and asked him why he was on a fast. He said that he has read the whole pamphlet on the Word of Wisdom and that in the pamphlet it said that he couldn`t drink hot drinks, so he was giving up drinking hot Mate (pronounced Mah teh) and all other hot drinks. We explained to him that it meant Tea and Coffee but he said that since it said hot drinks he was going to give up all hot drinks. This is just a little example of how willing he is to change. Also, this Sunday, Antonio, his dad, couldn`t get gas for their truck and so he and Nora, Antonio`s wife, came to church on bikes yesterday and made the sacrifice. He has a very strong testimony and he and his mom are very special.

I want to tell all of you about a miralce that happened on Saturday. I know that miracles happen on the mission and that your prayers in my behalf are being answered. Thank you to everyone who has me in their prayers because I know this was an answer to prayer. The Hermanas in our ward had a baptism on Saturday and we had someone very special show up to the baptism. His name is Nahuel and he is 20 years old. He has been looking for some truth to hold on, an anchor in his life to fill this void that he feels in his soul. He was brought up in the Catholic church but he didn`t feel satisfied and was looking for a place to belong. He looked like he was so desperate and was so spiritually hungry and was just looking for truth. When he explained his situation to me and his desire to feel loved, I gave him a huge hug and said “Lo encontrĂ³”. Which means, “you found it.” He embraced me back very strongly pretty much the key to this whole story was the amount of love I felt for this kid. (I call him a kid even though he`s my same age...oh well). It was incredible! Anyway, he came to church on Sunday and is such a bright kid! He was answering questions in class and is not afraid to let people know that he`s looking for the truth.

This reminds me of a scripture Romans 1:16. Look it up, it`s a good one.

We had yet another hail storm this week. It wasn`t near as bad as the one we had a while ago, but it was pretty bad. We hid out in a local Kiosko (a little town shop) and chatted with the owner while the storm passed. The hail did some damage to the roof and water started to enter the Kiosko, so we helped her some some buckets around to catch the water. Our pench roof got a little damaged again as well and if we get another rain storm soon we`ll be playing the bucket game catching water again. I love it and get a good laugh out of it. We`ll get the roof fixed soon, no worries.

This week I feel I have grown a bunch and have learned to not stress, always have a good attitude and stay calm. This is a symbol of faith. Having the assurance that everything is going to be ok and being confident and calm. I am still working on it and am going to be better this week.

Anyway, I love you all SOOOO much and I appreciate all the letters and e-mails I have recieved. If I haven`t responded, know that it is not because I don`t love you... I`ll do better at getting letters out. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. I know the Lord is blessing you! Have an incredible week!


Elder Hoglund

Monday, March 1, 2010

Earthquake report! March 1, 2010 (Pictures)

Ben building a house!
Way to go Ben!

Cute kitty! She always visits
the pench.

"Killing" Hermana White!

Baby booties! The two top soccer
teams represented!

Hi Family!

How is everyone doing. Ok, so President asked that we send an e-mail to our families on Saturday to tell everyone that we were ok. We are all ok. I did wake up in the morning at 3:45 to the apartment shaking. It was strong enough to wake me up, but not strong enough to do any damage. We have a few missionaries that have their families in Conception, I hope they are ok. I didn`t get an e-mail from Dad this week, is everything ok?

With all of the earthquakes and natural disasters going on, it has really made me stop and think. Later this day when all the earthquakes were happening, Elder Ramierez and I were walking to an appointment and I just had a lot on my mind. It made me think how just in a heartbeat everything can change and it helped me realize where our priorities should be. All the things that are written in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon are being completed. Look in Matthew 24 and it pretty much describes our day. Really our priorities should be in putting our lives in line with the teachings of the gospel and everyting else will turn out how it should. We will be prepared to face whatever curveballs life throws at us. I am going to start storing a lot of water in the pench and have at least a 72 hour kit ready to go at any time. This has really been on my mind a lot and the mood has been kind of somber down here for the past little while. But I have an internal peace that everything is going to be ok, I`m happy because I know that the gospel blesses live and that when we turn our lives over to the Savior he can make more out of our lives than we ever could by ourselves.

Anyway this week was great! We went and did a service activity Saturday morning and helped build a house. It was a continuation of a service project that we did a while ago and it went really well. I still am pretty sore. I`ll send some photos.

We had divisions this week and I went in our area with Elder Campbell. He`s a great Elder and we had a good time! He`s from Ogden, Utah and played QB for their football team. We are a lot alike and had a great time!

We`ve got a lot of investigators progressing towards baptism, each has their unique individual challenges, but they are working through them. Some need to get married. One needs to stop drinking, and others really need to take the first step and make it to church.

I`ll tell a quick story about a 16 year old girl that we have been teaching. Her mom has been a member for about 30 years, but has been inactive for a long time! They both really want to go to church, along with her little sister who is 10 or 12 years old, but their Father is really against religion and doesn`t like it when they go to church or read the scriptures at all. He is a good guy, but is really not making good decisions with his life. Anyway, that`s not the focus, he will come along. The thing that I admire is that this girl has the courage to stand up to her father and do what is right, read the scriptures, and go to church. She knows that he is going to get mad, but she does it because she knows it is right. She is a very stong Spirit and I admire her.

I love you all! Until next week!

Elder Hoglund