Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010 New Companion and Armadillo's

New companion:
Elder Cody Wilson from Fairview

Friendly little Armadillo
at our investigator's house.

Dear Family and friends,

This week in Argentina has been incredible and I have grown a lot. I have felt the Spirit guide me in every little thing I do and I am learning a little bit about being a parent with being a trainer. I am sure there a lot of parallels, but being a parent is harder!

I am having new experiences every day and my Spanish is improving. I am in charge of the majority of the communicating and it is providing me a chance to grow and to learn even more. I learn a ton talking with so many people every day. As a mission we have a goal to talk to 141 people every week about the gospel. It`s called an Open the Mouth. Ten people every day for every companionship. This helps me build my confidence and I know the Lord is blessing me. There are people out there waiting for us to talk to them and it makes things exciting.

I have learned that little tiny thoughts and impressions that come to the mind are promtings from the Spirit. I am learning to be more in tune with the Spirit on my mission and I have come to realize and I know and bear testimony, that if I have a small spark of an idea to do something, it is the Spirit telling me that it is something I should do. I am learning to hearken to these promptings from the Spirit and although sometimes they scare me, they help me grow and I know that by following them I am conquering fear and developing more faith.

The best news is that we got to watch ALL the sessions of conference in English! It was awesome!Woo hoo!

Love you, Elder Hoglund

April 5, 2010 ME? A Senior Companion! Welcome Elder Cody Wilson from Tenessee

Hi Family!

This week has been quite a whirl We started the week saying goodbye to all of the families in the area because after four and a haf months of andando in General Alvear together Elder Ramirez. It was a rather quick goodbye, but we both realized that we had learned a ton from each other and that it was time to move on. I will never forget the good times I had here in General Alvear with Elder Ramirez. They are times never to be forgotten. We really tried our best here and I am satisfied with our effort that we gave here.

Now onto the new challenge... The Lord has trusted me to be a trainer. I don`t know what He is thinking but I know that His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts higher than my thoughts. He knows that I am ready and I am excited for this new adventure. This week has been wonderful. I left General Alvear Wednesday morning at 3:30 and got to Mendoza at about 7:30 in the morning. All the missionaries who were to be training that next transfer had a training meeting with the Assistants to the President and then we waited and talked while the New Missionaires were trained by the Assistants. It is a big responsibility to be training a new Elder and I am feeling a little bit of the weight right now. This is also my first time being Senior Companion so I am making a few mistakes here and there and learning from them. I know I wasn`t designed to be the perfect missionary, but I am sure going to do my best, learn from my mistakes, and keep the confidence and faith that everything is going to be ok. I know that the Lord will support me in this new trial and I feel His love for me daily.

My new comanion`s name is Elder Cody Wilson from Fairview Tennessee and he is a stud! I absolutely love him! He is so dedicated to being obedient and is not afraid to make mistakes. He is so friendly and talks to people on the streets with a huge smile and lets them know that he is happy. I am excited to learn from him. He has already taught me much. He is going to be and incredible Elder and learn Spanish very rapidly because of his faith.

Conference was incredible! I was so excited that Elder Wilson had conference weekend as the first weekend in his mission. I absolutely loved President Uchdorf`s talk on patience. It really encouraged me to stay with things until the end, even when the going get`s tough; to be patient and calm and trust in the Lord.

This week has been somewhat of a humbling week, and I am extremely grateful for the new challenge the Lord has placed in my way. I know that with His help I can do all things and that if I am attentive to the promptings of the Spirit I will do what He wants me to do, learn what He wants me to learn, and say what He wants me to say. Thank you so much for all the e-mails, letters, and love. Please know that each of you are in my thoughts and prayers. I love you!

Love, Elder Hoglund

March 29, 2010 Dispedido for Elder Ramirez


Antonio Pichel's Baptism! WOW!
Elder Ramirez and I absolutely LOVE this guy.

Hola Mi Familia!

I think I say that every single week but that`s alright. I`ll try to think of something new next week.

So this week the miracle happened. Antonio Pichel got baptized. Included are pictures of his baptism. This man is incredible and has such a strong testimony of the restored gospel. He knows it. He got confirmed Sunday, got presented before the ward to receive the Aaronic Priesthood and be sustained to the office of a Priest, and got called to be the new first counselor in the newly formed Young Men`s Presidency. He is absolutely incredible! We spent today with he and his family fishing, working on the farm, having lunch, and having a dispedido as they call it here for Elder Ramirez. Tomorrow we are going to have a going away dinner for him at their house. We absolutely love that family.

So I kind of gave it away in that last paragraph, but we found out transfers today. I am staying here and will be training a new gringo. It is my first experience being a Senior Companion as well as a trainer so we`ll see how it goes. I`m way excited! I don`t know who he is yet. I am going to Mendoza Wednesday morning to have an interview with President and will be paired with one of them based off of who he feels should be with who. I love the church and modern revelation that tells us what the Lord wants us to do in our lives. More to come on that next week.

This week Jorge also got baptized. He is so included with the Young Men and I feel that Antonio will be a big help for him with the activities they will do and with the personaliy that Antonio will bring to the Young Men`s Organization.

This week I learned about love and law from a talk entitled as such given by Dallin H. Oaks this last conference. I sometimes have problems telling someone when they are wrong and when they need to be corrected. But I learned from this talk that if I have love for people I will teach them correct principles and correct them when necessary to yhelp them realize that they are sinning. By helping people in a loving way realize that they are sinning, I am showing them that I am loving them and helping them come closer to Christ. Humility does not mean backing away from principles that you know make people happy. Humility is courageously putting the Lord as your first priority and not backing down when your back is against the wall of truth. The truth will set you free.

About the pench situation, we are still looking for a new pench, but I love our Pench. I`ve kind of gotten attached to it. The one pench that we wanted fell through but we`ll find something soon.

Thanks for all the love! Love from Mendoza Argentina,

Elder Hoglund

March 22, 2010 A Dive into the Ditch / An Ice Cream Party

Hey Family!

How`s everything going this week? I hope everyone is doing so well. So here`s the layout of the week.

I fell into an asequia which is the equivalent of a ditch with lots and lots of water!! I know this happened last week, but it was pretty funny and I`ll share it anyway. It was raining really hard and the level of the water in the asequia was equal with the level of the water in the street. I misjudged my step a little bit and next thing I know I am standing in about waist deep water gasping for breath beause the water was pretty cold. We threw my bag of stuff I was carrying (scriptures, pamphlets, etc...) out of the asequia and just started to laugh as I took off my shoes and emptied out water. I laughed so hard and it was nice to change things up for a bit!

This week Antonio decided to get baptized! This is so exciting and probably the highlight of my week! We had a baptism this Friday and Jhoana Sosa, her little sister Julietta Sosa, and Diego Pichel, yet another member of the Pichel Family got baptized. The service was incredible! There were a lot of people there and the Spirit was really strong. Afterwards the bishop spoke with Antonio and he mentioned that he wanted to get get baptized before Elder Ramirez leaves next Wednesday. This man is so sure about what he wants to do and has such a big heart. We had a really good conversation Sunday after church and we talked very openly about how he has really helped me learn things about my life. I love that guy and am so excited for this week to finish getting him ready for baptism this Friday.

This leads me into one of my other funny experiences for the week. After the baptism on Friday we had ice cream for refreshments, but the problem with this was that as soon as the closing prayer was given at the baptismal service, all the kids went sprinting out of the sacramental (I can`t remember what it`s called in English, the room where they hold sacrement meeting) and sprinted to the serving area. I kind of felt like I was in a zoo! The kids were screaming, the parents wanted ice cream and there was quite a bit of havoc. I laughed about it later and learned that never again am I going to give refreshments at a Baptismal Service. I don`t want to do it again if its going to be so out of control like that. Anyway, we had a good laugh and moved on. :)

So about our pench, we were going to move penches in a few weeks. Elder Campbell and I went out during a siesta and found an incredible pench that was within our budget. We met the owner of the penches and had everything arranged it seemed, but the pench got bought, so we are now in search for a new place to live again. The roof leaks and the pench was made for two, but we`ll see what happens. I really don`t mind catching water in buckets and stuff.

Here`s another funny experience. In the middle of the night it started to rain and Elder Ramirez woke me up and asked me if I wanted to move my bed because it was raining (usually when it rains, there is a spot that leaks directly over where I ususally put my bed). Anyway, I got up and moved my bed very quietly (because the floor is REALLY loud; almost any movement made upstairs can be heard magnified about two or three times downstairs where the other two Elders are sleeping) and went back to sleep. No worries though, we`re in the process of finding another pench and everything will be alright. :)

To finish up, I really want to testify of the importance of reading the Book of Mormon everyday. Satan will try to tempt us and try to get us to fill our time with other things, but reading the Book of Mormon is something we cannot afford to miss. It helps give us the drive, the motivation to do those things that we need to do and teaches us what we need to do with our lives. We open the door to personal revelation when we open the Book of Mormon. I know that by reading the Book of Mormon ten minutes everyday will help you feel more happy and ready to face what the world throws at us every day.

I love you all! Thank you so much for the Happy Birthday e-mails! I`m turning 21 in Argentina! I`ve heard that it takes about 11-14 months for every cell in your body to replace itself, so in a few months, I WLL BE COMPLETELY ARGETINE, how cool is that!? Until next time!

Love, Elder Hoglund