Monday, August 16, 2010

July 26, 2010 Fourteen Elders sleeping in the "bird cage"


Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for your e-mails! I absolutely love reading about what´s going on, what hikes you´ve been on and what fun adventtures you´ve had during the week. It sounds like there is a lot of running, a lot of heat, and quite the opposite from here. We´re starting to warm up a bit this week and it should steadily get warmer and warmer as the months go on. Maybe it´s just a one week thing, we´ll see what goes on.

This week was crazy! We had a huge training here at the offices for all the Zone and District leaders in the mission over the course of 3 days. There were traveling here from all parts of the mission and sleeping in different penches around the zone. We had about 14 missionaries sleeping in our pench. It was ok though because we have this place in our pench called the "bird cage" where there are 12 extra beds or so. These are for when the new missionaries come to the mission they have somewhere to sleep the first night and when the missionaries that are going home come to the offices, they have some place to stay. It makes me remember my first night here...with the snow:). We were busy helping that conference move along and President and Hermana Lindahl with various things they had for us to do.

We went to President´s house on Saturday because his Blackberry broke and he had one emergency delivered to him. So we went over to his house, took care of his Blackberry problem and then he commenced to show us around the house and teach us some lessons about finanace and whatever really. It was fun to listen to his counsel and spend a few minutes with him.

This job is a little bit overwhelming, but I love it! There is a lot to do. Things can happen so quickly. For example, this morning when we were working there is a man who buzzes in and asks for Elder Figueroa (the Elder who was the Pensionista before). Anyway, long story short, we let him in and he comes and talks to me about a law that has changed that makes is possible for President to be able to sign contracts right away without first sending for the approval of Buenos Aires. It made sense, and it was pretty nifty. This job is teaching me to be confident and firm. I guess that´s they way it has to be in business. I´ll be dealing a lot with Argentine law and revising and renewing contracts. Dad, to answer your question about how much training I have before the the job falls on my lap, I have this week to do the job alone (my companion is not allowed to be in the offices to help me, he and another missionary are going to be out working full-time in our area the whole week) and then half of next week and then Elder Figueroa is out in another area. So I´m learning quickly, and I need to learn quickly. It´s fun and it is such a blessing to be here in the offices. One of my friends here is Elder Sandford. He´s 27 years old (we celebrated his birthday this week) and it a convert of about two years. His conversion story is incredible and I have worked with him beore, but now we are going to be working even more closely due to the nature of our assignments. He is so converted to the gospel and I admire his testimony so much. He has such determination to do what is right and to have his focus where it needs to be. I am so excited to work with him. I am so excited to work with Elder Figueroa this week and figure out all that I need to do to be ready for transfers next week. I hear that´s crazy, so it should be fun.

What else happened this week, we went out to work yesterday and on the way to a lunch appointement after church, we ran into an investigator that he other Elders had been looking for for quite some time. We stopped and talked to them and got them really excited about going to church. One of the girls committed to going to church and the other two kids said they would come as well. I´m excited for next Sunday and this week to see what happens with them. We´ll keep working with the wife of a recent convert (Roberto Vera) she is way cool and supports her husband but is Catholic and doesn´t understand that we both can´t be right. It´s either true or it isn´t true. But we´ll keep working with her. We had a pretty frank discussion with her about the Book of Mormon yesterday and I hope she reads and prays about it. It was incredible!

I have something to say about obedience this week. It was interesting, I was studying this morning and the thought ran through my mind, "Where do the commandments come from?" They come from our loving Heavenly Father. Let´s stop and think about who He is. He is our loving Heavenly Father who knows everything from the beginning, he is all powerful. If He commands us to do something, it´s because He knows the consequences of what are going to come and He knows that we will be blessed for being obedient. It´s like being obedient to your parents, if your parents tell you not to go play in the canal, it´s not because they don´t want you to have fun, it´s because they know that the canal is dirty, full of piranahs maybe, (Elder Blackham in Brazil surely has more Piranna stories than I do.) and that you are going to get hurt. At times we don´t understand why our parents tell us to do things, but they DO understand and they want us to be safe and happy. Heavenly Father has lived what we are living right now, He wants us to have an enjoyable earthly experience and guide us safely home, we just have to listen to Him and do what He says, we´ll be safe. I bear testimony of that and of the importance of keeping the commandments. I know that´s true.

Well, I hope everyone has a good week. It was so good to write you. Keep up the good work and having fun. Brady, get feeling better soon bud, that surgery sounds intense. I love you all! Bye!

Love, Elder Hoglund