Monday, February 22, 2016

22 Feb 2016

Ok i might have to make this one short which stinks because its been a long week. Elder Browning got sick this week which gave me a lot of time to study. I went through Alma 36ish to 50 in three days. A lot of personal revelation. Mostly that I need to work harder and be more obedient, along with some other stuff.

Monday- Nothing special during our shopping or anything, but we did play ultimate dodge ball and it was one match that was super intense and went on for about an hour and a half until we were all tired and annoyed that no one had one yet. 

We met with Dave this evening and it went pretty well. We talked to him about his life and it sounds like he might move to the other side of town which isn't our area. He  put tons of work into his house. Every room has had at least a little renovation to make it just the way he likes it so he's torn if he wants to leave. The thing is he's getting another car and he needs a bigger garage. They are his "toys" so he doesn't want to leave them out. That was most of what happened today.

Tuesday- Morning study was Alma 36. Great section. I highly suggest it. Our first lesson of the day was with the Kiselysand we didn't plan on this but we taught charity. It went really well.  We shared Moroni 7:43-48 (those versus might be a little off) I love teaching Charity.  It was one of the main reasons i wanted to serve a mission, plus It is just the best Christlike attribute because its pretty much a combination of every other attribute. Afterwards we went to a lesson at the V.C and did the rotations with the Staley family. Oddly enough the focus of the rotation was families so that worked out perfectly. Then Browning came down with his sickness. So we got housebound for a bit until the Zone leaders decided to stop by. Luckily they had some free time so we split with them and we were able to make a lesson we had set up to talk to Jason about his baptism. So because of his past, which I'm not going to go into, he isn't going to be able to get baptized as soon as we hoped. We had Saturday planned but that didnt happen. He's been understanding and the bishopric is mad because they feel that he should be able to be baptized. We have to heed to our mission presidency in this matter so its just a matter of patience.

Wednesday-This was a long day. Elder Browning is still sick so I spent from 10-11ish making phone calls trying to get things to work out today. But most things became a no go. So I switch back and forth between studies and learning my Ukulele (I can now play Hi to Kolob, and Lead Kindly Light) in the afternoon. I was able to get something set up so I could go to one lesson and this was the most important lesson of the day. Its a part member family named the Hebdons and we have tried for a month and a half to set up an appointment with them. We got close a ton of times but 
something always came up. This time they were solid and we weren't sure that we 
would make it. It was about an hour and a half of making phone calls and praying. After about 10-12 phone calls I was finally able to get things worked out. I'm not sure how intense it actually sounds but it was a battle, especially just because the last two weeks have been rough on me. I try to make them sound nice but its been difficult. The lesson went really well. The wife who is the non-member was really open and talkative which is a good change of pace as far as lessons go. She had actually talked more than I had. Then luckily during our dinner hour I was able to organize another split for our lesson at 6. I taught her on charity and it was crazy, like she's only 11 and she was understanding every thing and the spirit hit that room at one point, i dont remember who was talking, but i saw her eyes getting teary (in the good way). Her name is cassie and we cant baptize her because of parent permission. Which stinks shes like one of two children that i would say was ready to be baptized. She trys to make it to church every week and she doesn't even get support from her mother. The rest of the night was studies. If i had to guess there was around 5-6 hours of studying today.

I dont have time to type the rest of the week but not a whole lot happened so thats ok. I hope you all have an awesome week!

Love elder hoffman

Monday, February 15, 2016

15 Feb 2016

Well we had to leave e-mails early last week and I was really looking forward to talking about Saturday morning, We had an investigator moving (luckily just to the other side of the ward). It was one of the coolest moves I've ever been in. So we showed up at 10am and that was when it was suppose to start and the only people there were us and her three brothers so we were a little worried. Within 20 minutes we had somewhere between 15 and 20 other people show up and it was awesome. We just had a line of people passing boxes down to the trailers. The total time spent packing everything up was about an hour and a half, and we filled two 20 foot trailers. The total time spent unpacking the trailers was about 45 minutes. I'm proud of that ward for the effort they put into serving someone that most of them hadn't actually met yet. Christ says that when we show love one to another that others will be able to know that we are his disciples. I can testify that that is true. In Mosiah 18 it talks on the promises we make at baptism to serve those that stand in need. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that its important for us to be examples of Christ like love and live in that manner. Even if you're serving someone in the smallest way, like helping an elderly lady get out of the motor scooters at Wal-mart, it shows the light of Christ through us and shows that the things we preach aren't just hollow words. Anyway that's my rant and now I'll get on to the rest of the week.(there may be more ranting I'm not entirely sure)

Monday- so my journal is a little rough. I got like three days behind at one point because I got a ukulele today and I've been learning it every night. P-day activity was a little lame today. The Spanish zone decided to do their own thing instead of merging with us, that and it was just poorly planned. The main issue was at the end of the activity time all the people with cars left like half an hour earlier so there was like 10 Elders there with no transportation and the only people left with a car were two sisters. Then to top that off, all the phones in the mission stopped working for a while so we couldn't call for a ride. Somehow things worked out and people found rides,.We got picked up by a man that Elder Schaer and Christianson were able to get a hold of. The rest of the night we were at the V.C waiting for someone to show up but they never did.

Tuesday-Today I came to a better understanding how the priesthood unifies us. Since you can't perform anything to do with the priesthood by yourself, it teaches us service in helping and blessing others and humility when we go to others for a blessing or whatever is needed. I also had a big study on D&C 24 and it kind of surprised me some of the stuff that God will back us up in. But then I realized its impossible to misuse priesthood authority because if its not in line with the teaching and instructions of God then he just wont let it happen. Part of that realization was just that we don't really hold "power" with the priesthood because everything is still done through God. We had a couple of larcs today and then got ready for exchanges.

Wednesday- I'm with Elder Bushman (one of my zone leaders) and man today felt super productive. First off, we had district meeting so that was fun. My district is just us and the Zone leaders so the zls might come up a lot in these e-mails. For District meeting we each just gave a short training and Elder Browning didn't tell me what I was training on. Then the day before he goes, "just train on whatever you want." I feel that we haven't been putting forth as much effort as we should be in the last few weeks so my training started with a question, How important is our work? Let them answer and then testified that this is the most important work we will do in this life next to raising a family, I say that because hopefully we are raising our family in the gospel which ends up being the same as missionary work. (converting your kids to the gospel) I followed that up by reading Alma 26:30 and asked, "Is that the effort we are putting forth?" (If you don't know that verse, look it up) Then I continued to rant for a bit. Elder Bushman and I did a lot of walking today. We didn't have any set appointments but we talked to a few people and made some good progress.

Thursday- not a whole lot happened today. We had a larc lesson and that was about all that happened. Love the family but it was just a short lesson. We ended up there the same time as there home teachers so that was a little odd. We did wait at the V.C for awhile. We were hoping to take a recent convert to institute. Partly because we wanted to go to institute. But he got busy said he'd show up a little later, then said that again and then finally cancelled.

Friday- This is totally irrelevant but I had probably the most vivid dream of my life. I was a chameleon and I was stuck in this house with a cat that wanted to eat me. This cat was like 10 times my size and I had no defense aside from briefly turning invisible and using my tongue as a grappling hook. I knew that either I was going to die or I had to find a way to kill the cat, and this epic battle took place. Sadly, I don't think this dream has any meaning as to things to come or relating to the gospel. Maybe one day I'll have a vision. I can dream. We did progress records today over at the FHC and ran into the trio companionship. To find out that Elder Moe (sounds like boy with an m) is getting Emergency Transferred to Ashton. The missionaries up there had some issues.... and we are all super bummed about losing Moe from our zone. This will sound racist but I don't know how to explain it in any other words. Imagine like that super loud and hilarious black girl then put that personality in a Samoan guy that is musically gifted. He was super cool.

OK well im running out of time for emails, Hope you all have an awesome week.

Love you guys!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

8 Feb 2016

So there's been a lot of fun in our apartment. I don't recall if I mentioned before but I'm living with the Spanish elders and we've been getting along great. This transfer is teaching me a lot on how to have fun on my mission and still be productive. The hour before we go to bed consists of nerf wars and a lot of laughter. I feel a little bad for our neighbors because Elder Browning is just naturally loud. I will say that we need to work on being a bit more diligent in our planning. A lot of times when plans fall through we don't have good back up plans decided. It has been getting better as the transfer has gone on.

Monday- Well most of the morning was just riding around with the Spanish elders. Luckily the people we live with have a car so P-days are pretty easy. For our activity we did volleyball for a while and once we got bored of that we played gator ball, I don't know how to describe it but its super fun and really fast pace. Its like soccer and hand ball mixed. After P-day we waited around the Visitor Center for like 45 mins waiting for an appointment to show up, but she never did. We also had to talk to the sisters that were working there about someone who is living in there area. Once we got back to our area we went to see the Crider family. They are a mom that's coming back to the church and 4 unbaptized youth. Super nice family.  We wanted to check on them and they were packing up they found a new house (still in the ward, which is amazing to do in Idaho). Anyway, when we stopped over we offered to help pack. We called over brother Schuelke and got to work. We got a lot closer to the family and got work done. It was an awesome night.

Tuesday- So my whole mission I've  been drinking apple juice because it helps you have dreams, I've had a dream almost every night of my mission.  Elder B saw me buy the apple juice and he brought up the dream thing, and I was like that's why I buy it. So now we both drink apple juice before bed and share our dreams. Its kinda weird but its helped with comp unity. Nothing much happened today, until we went to the visitor center for a lesson. As we were waiting for our person to show up (who didn't) we were just looking around at some of the kiosks. As I'm around the corner someone came in and dropped off a package for me and left right away. So Sister Reed brought it over to me and I was just super confused. I saw that it was from Rexburg and sure enough it was a package I've been waiting for, for three months..... I had a friend up at BYU-I who said they would send me something while I was in the MTC and I never got anything. So here it is a package long awaited for, and..... it was...*drumroll*.... a potato... There was a note along with it that explained everything and it was actually really humorous. The rest of the night we helped Patricia move. Its been a long while that we've been helping her.  She's moving to a different stake which is going to be rough for her. But the Gospel is true everywhere and she's already met the new Elders. During the move though it was hilarious. We got to the new place and as we were moving things in Patricia goes, "yea know there's a couple of cute girls that live next door and I think they really need Jesus in there lives." So she was trying to set us up with these two girls (Patricia is hilarious) and she had Elder Browning ready to go knock. Before he could they actually came outside and started helping us move. They were super nice and when they looked away Patricia would make like these weird hand signals and what not, but as a missionary, gotta keep our hearts locked. (That's part of a phrase that our mission president's wife uses.)

Wednesday- This morning's study was a lot of fun, I read through Alma 30 the chapter on Korihor AKA the Anti-Christ. I'll talk more on that tomorrow.  We went and made contact with a few people today and then headed over to the V.C. (you may have noticed a pattern, We've been trying to get as many people to the V.C as possible) Today we had a recent convert with us. Thankfully they showed up and we watch the 60 min restoration video and they really enjoyed it (this week I've watched it 3 or 4 times, and its still powerful) so in the 60 min version it discusses a lot of the persecution they go through. So we focused on enduring.

Thursday- Zone training!!!! I wish we could have these more often. I have two pages of notes on this so I'm not going to even try typing about it. When I get back I'll let anyone that wants to, read through my notes. It might not necessarily be doctrine, well it should mostly be, I don't think I write anything in there that is not based on doctrine at least.  A lot of awesome thing are learned at Zone training. I feel like most of what I write the person talking never says. Its cool how the Spirit works. I'll just say that. So we went to the V.C again and the appointment got rescheduled when they didn't show up. We met Jesus (Spanish form of the name). He's a recent convert from the Spanish branch that is changing to the YSA ward and we ended up going to his institute class with him,  It was mostly on Korihor, The teacher was talking about metaphysics and epistemology and philosophy. It was super cool, He did this thing with a stool and asked, "what is this>" We would say a stool, He asked how do you know? People would answer my parents told me, Then he would counter with, "well does that mean everything your parents tell you is true?" These were all points that Korihor brought up. Then he hid the stool and asked is there a stool behind the pulpit, and we all answered, "yes." Then he asked, "how do you know you can't see it?" "Can you be 100% sure that I didn't have a trap door rigged and the stool is now gone." So he related it back to Korihor who wanted physical proof of God's existence. Then after people fall away or cast him out of the city he finally is asking these things to Alma, Alma goes on the offensive and asks, "What proof do you have that God does not exist?" For all things in this world tell me there is a God, What is there that tells you there is not. So the professor goes on to talk about how unless you could be everywhere at once and know all things, You can not disprove God and when you're able to do that you've become God. It was a pretty awesome lesson. It might have been a little crazy for Jesus considering he's only 3 months old in the gospel.

Well I have to get going we have a lot to do this P-day, so peace out I love you all.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

1 Feb 2016

Big week. I got a new companion and we lost our car.... sooo that's been fun. My comp is a cool guy and a good kid but he hates walking so that's a challenge we need to work on overcoming, and just figuring out how to be productive on foot.

Monday- I wrote a lot on my studies of Ammon and Lamoni and it wasn't my best writing. I feel like it probably didn't do the actual story justice but in the chapters where Ammon is taken prisoner to when the Anti-Nephi-Lehis come about, there's a lot of parallels to modern day missionary work. At E-mails I met my new comp for a few seconds, and he is a super goofy kid. The opposite of Elder Gillespie in how he acts around people. Oh and when we met him he was under the impression we would have a car. Then as soon as we left e-mails the APs give us a call saying we are not going to have a car anymore... It was awesome to finally get my debit card just because, you know, its nice to actually have money. We went bowling again for p-day but I was cool with it because this time
*drumroll* I could actually pay!!! We spent the entire proselyting time pretty much just talking with Patricia and Mike, They are slowly making progress, but they need a lot of help.

Tuesday- We spent like 2-3 ours at the Chevy dealership because of a recall on the car and they told us it would be like 30 min tops.... so that was kind of annoying. Most of the afternoon was spent packing and prepping for transfers. We got a call and just like I thought, the Spanish Elders are moving in with us again. This time we have four beds so no one is living on the couch. Most of the night was Elder Gillespie just saying his farewells to investigators and recent converts.

Wednesday- Transfers!!!!!! So we spent most of the morning at the transfer site and it was cool to see all the missionaries that I haven't seen for like 3 months, Obviously the highly anticipated part was meeting Elder Browning. Super crazy kid and has been out for 6 months in a small farm town. For those back home just imagine Gresham. Not a lot of people but most of them are members, so he has to get used to serving in a city and I have to figure out how to make this transfer work without a car. Making back up plans is a lot harder now. After all the transfers where finished and we got Elder B settled in a bit, we walked across our area to meet up with Patricia and Mike.  One thing that's been helping them overcome their problems is taking walks so they walked us to dinner and we had a good conversation. They both took to Elder Browning really well. Patricia is about to move into a new apt. out of our area and Mike never technically lived in our area so it will be a little rough for her to move into  a new stake/ward but we are still planning on seeing her once a week at the V.C with the new Elders she will be with. We ended the night at the Visitors Center (V.C). Elder B just became a District leader so he had some interviews to do. Once those finished we watched the God's Plan video with the family he interviewed. That movie is sooo cheesy but it does a good job of inviting the Spirit and teaching on eternal families.

Thursday- Starting last night Elder B noticed I had apple juice and he's like, "did you know that gives you crazy dreams?"  I told him that's exactly why I have it (I've had a dream almost every night of my mission). Not all of my dreams make sense but now every night he asks what I dreamed about and he's going to start drinking apple juice every night also. So today we had a correlation with the Z.Ls because Elder B is new to being a District leader.  The Z.Ls pick where to meet and we decided to do a lunch/meeting at Buffalo Wild Wings. We walked in and we all had the same thought, "this is probably the most worldly place we could have chosen." So we all talked and what not and even in BWW members pay for us. I'm very appreciative but also very tired of it. They always say, "Oh I have a son on a mission and I know he's always saying they don't have money,.."  I think to myself, "Just give this money to your son then!" I just feel wrong when I get money for being a missionary. We got back home and we are still having trouble with the whole figuring out how to make this work on foot, We wasted a ton of time walking to a stake center to make copies, then our dinner appointment tried to pick us up at our apt. and we were trying to call and tell them we weren't there but they wouldn't answer. They got to the apt and the Spanish Elders had just moved in and when they pulled up the Spanish Elders answered in their p-day clothes, The guy was super confused and thought we were slackers for a while until we got the chance to explain everything. We finished the night meeting with a guy named David, I might have mention him before, but he's like super prepared. He turned his life around a few years back and got a huge testimony of Christ and His atonement, but he has never really attended a church. We have a lesson set up for the visitor center and it should be awesome.

Friday- I'm just going to start summarizing. The biggest thing that happened today was going to Chick-fil-A with the Spanish Elders. Then later  we just set a baptismal date with our investigator Jason. So I hope you could pick up the sarcasm in that but we are super excited for Jason. He's ready to go. He keeps his commitments, the ward has taken him in and he was hesitant to make a date just because he wanted to know EVERYTHING, I guess he's finally had enough witnesses and he's on track to be baptized on the 20th. Then later we went to the V.C to have a lesson with the Criders. The mom is less active and coming back and the four kids are all getting on track to be baptized. They have no relatives in Idaho so the mom has felt alone for a while and was hesitant to let the ward in. But now she's doing a lot better that she was and the ward is treating her awesome, and its looking really good for this family. Elder B never had the chance to teach at the V.C before and he's kind of fallen in love with it. Partly because its easy to teach lessons there and I think partly because you always run into other missionaries there.

This week has been awesome but also really different and kind of challenging.  All in all we cover one of the most compact stakes in the mission so walking isn't that terrible. I just want the snow and ice to go away so we can bike.

Hope you guys are all doing great, have an awesome week