Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Week 19: Mission to be split in 2015!

The big news this week is that the mission is spliting in half and
will become the Porto and the Lisbon mission in July. They are doing
it with the change of the mission president and both of the new
presidents will be Brazillian I am pretty sure.  So I don't know how
it is going to go down exactly because I have just glanced at the
letter and don't know much yet but I will end up serving the majority
of my mission possibly in the Porto mission or possibly never go up to
the north half of the country. The split will be in July.

Saturday night we had a compromisso appointment with a brazillian
couple that had set up this time with us over a week ago. When we got
there they had all the chairs in their house set up in a circle around
the room like they were going to have a party.  We quickly found out
that the party was going to be a church meeting for Deus é Amor or God
is Love.  Not wanting to be rude or hypocritical for not being willing
to investigate their church, we decided to stay for the meeting.
There was about 15 people that showed up and filled the room then they
went into the crazy yelling and singing praise the lord, while the
pastor who was very loud, played the guitar for the whole thing.  It
was pretty wild and really loud. The meeting consisted of members of
the congregation getting up to share a scripture and their
interpretation of it and then lead the congregation in singing (more
like yelling off key with no beat).  So after the meeting to make the
visit worth our time we got up and in a much more reverent manner so
that the spirit had an opportunity to be there thanked them for their
hospitalty, then I asked them if we could share a scripture before we
left. They accepted and I talked about baptism and essential
ordanances then Elder Alves took from the nessesity of autority to do
covenants to teach the restoration concluding with a testimony that we
have been called by a prophet of God to teach these things and that
this is the only true church on the face of the earth.  I then
testified of the same things and invited all of them to be baptised,
come to church and pray to know if these things are true.  We then
taught them how to pray propperly (instead of one person yelling while
everyone else is chanting satanically) and left them all with our
cards.  They liked it fed us soup and stuff invited us to a party and
the family that we had showed up to teach invited us back to talk more
another time and have cake.  They talked about friends and family that
some of the people have that are converts to our church and it was all
very positive even though we had just stood up in front of them, 3
young boys (because we had a member from the teachers quormn with us)
to straight up say that their church was not God's church.  Haha  it
was way fun and way cool to see the power of the spirit and to have
the confidence like abinidi that our church is true and the spirit can
testify of its truthfulness even through the weak ones like us.  We
are just trying to fulfill the commandment in D&C to teach the
congregations of the wicked.  It was one of the most fun and
spiritually exciting things I have ever done.  Hopefully some good
with come out of it and we can baptise a preacher.

So when we went to pick up Maria this week for church she was all
dressed and ready to go half an hour early. when we started to leave
her house she grabbed a huge bag all full of the clothes that she will
need, towels and stuff to take a bath because she thought that her
baptism was today. haha  We felt bad and thought about just going
ahead with it but we want her to be a little more ready first because
she has a desire just still has a hard time remembering things.  I
think that our visits are really good for her health because as she
talks to someone who is teaching her it is keeping her brain a little
bit more focused.  We have her marked for this week and all she needs
is the interview so it should go through before the next report which
should include a picture of a tiny 87 year old lady in white!

That is awesome about the Cowboys.  It makes me sad that I am not
there to enjoy the cowboys while they are actually good with you. I
have always wanted to watch the cowboys with you when they were really
good back in the ninties like it was watching BSU back in the mid
2000s.  But it has still been fun to get updates from you about them.
As for BYU wow.  I heard a little about that from the Phippens because
their daughter is a public representative of BYU and on the executive
board and stuff so they were down at Miami for the game still when the
Phippens were skyping them.  But I didnt get the good details from
innocent old little Sister Phippen.

So this week I gave my first ever talk in sacrament meeting in
Portuguese on one hour of preperation.  But it wasen't a big deal
becuase Sister Camacho took up the time that was alotted for both of
us so I had to be really quick and didn't really even get to give my
talk more of just a testimony so that the Bishop could have his time.
But the one scripture that I decided to still read, I read the wrong
one I wanted Alma 5: 14-15 and read 16-17 which has a lot of words
that I could not pronounce in Portuguese but it is all good because I
didn't have time to say more about it anyway and it is still a
scripture either way.  Hopefully the next time will go better.

And Mom as far as you worrying about me being safe I am glad that you
are getting some comfort about my safety. Today I was studying the
story of Abinidi. I love how his words are so powerful to King Noah
and his preists becuase of the spirit that was with him.  I feel some
of the same comfort that I think Abinidi must have been feeling when I
am out and about here.  I know that as long as I am doing what I am
supposed to be doing and trying my hardest to give as many people
opportunities to accept the gospel in their lives as possible, then I
will be protected.  Because I know that I still have a lot to get done
here and the Lord will stop take care of me so that I can keep doing
his work.  Of course after Abinidi had fulfilled his purpose he was
killed but hopefully I still have a little time before I have
fulfilled my mission here on earth. ;)

As a mission this week we read the talk about haveing confidence in
front of God talk and it is really powerful and I would recommend it.
It is from last conference it is really good.  And everyrthing here is
going great I am loving life and having a blast serving the Lord.
have a good rest of the year. Love you all get healthy and talk to you
in 2015!

Elder Hobson

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 17: Rosaria and Maria

This week has been a lot of fun.  We have been busy with all the christmas stuff but it has been a great finding tool and I have been trying to make it so that we can follow up with everyone and begin to teach lessons.  It also has been nice because we have been able to get even more member help with some of our young men haveing more time to spend with us during the day being out of class.  This week through the our time in studies and working I have really learned alot about love and how amazing of an attribute that is of Christ.  Of course with the atonement being the greatest display of love possible.  I am trying to find that love for everyone that we talk to on the street, my companion and our other investigators.  With focusing on just loving them and only wanting to help them has helped me to be less selfish and I have already felt the difference in my life with more happiness and a more powerful presence of the spirit and have seen it change how people are reacting to us in contacts.  I have been reminded through this that the gospel is a message of happiness and love and that we need to have these qualities constantly with us in order to be able to not only share it but have people have a desire to have it in their lives more than anything else so they are willing to change their lives in order to follow Christ.   Now that my official time of training is over I am excited to have more time to be out working and being with the people. I am loving this Christmas season being able to use this time to bring people to Christ.

With one of our investigators named Rosaria who has a strong desire to be baptised but her and her husband are not married and they have a smoking problem the are struggling to quit.  We have seen some miracles with them.  First off we were trying to get her to come to church but she flat out told us no she would not be coming saturday night becuase she wanted to be home when Joao her husband got home from being gone for almost a month.  But we bore testimony and invited her to pray about what the Lord would have her do before she went to bed and she did and with our prayers included she felt a need to go to church and was there with us the next morning.  It was a testimony builder for me of the power of prayer.  Then on Sunday I got to meet Joao for the first time and they are wanting to get married but just have to pick a date.  I know that they prayers and fasting that we have done with Rosaria are playing a major role in their progress and hopefully it will continue quickly so they can be baptised.

I cannot believe that you are actually having faith in the Cowboys now Dad.  But that is some pretty impressive sounding stuff keep me updated on the impending injuries or prision or something that is bowned to mess it up.  one of us has to be pessamistic or it would be to weird. 

so this week we have had some progress with Maria she made it to church and we have gotten her over her fear of getting into the water, becuase she does not want to get sick since it is winter and I am pretty sure she has not be in water like that in  many years.  The coolest thing has been teaching her how to pray.  She was really having a hard time beingable to get passed saying memorized prayers but eventually with a lot of time and effort we got her to say her very own prayer and it was really cool to hear her have a real conversation with God as we had told her is was so many times.  It was really powerful she really opened up her heart and talked about the things that are the most important to her in this life and asked for help to be able to get over the pains in her legs and she prayed fervently for her children.  She is an amazing old lady and I love her so much.  I have so much fun teaching her and I love getting to help her.  I took her some cowboy cookies and she enjoyed them.  She is soo sweet.  one time we took a member with us to her house and he coughed becuase he has a slight cold and from that day on she askes us every time if he is feeling better and if we are staying healthy.  Her love and concern for others blows me away.  She also lives on the third floor where she has to take some steep wooden stairs toget to her house and she still does it when she is 87 she is a very impressive woman to say the least and she should be getting baptised on the 4th.

I have been haveing a lot of fun with Elder Alves this week and I have been trying to always have fun and radiate the message that we are trying to share of the gospel so that people have a desire to have it with them too.  I am going to be trying to teach him english too so he can go to the US and get medical treatment for his brain problem that is kindof like epilepsy ,sorry about the spelling sound it out, that is still undiagnosed for sure after the mission.  Rosaria has a problem that is similar too and that has sparked interest for me to know more about that as a possible career, but that is not important now just a thought.

I love you all

Eu amo todos voces 

 happy holidays and merry christmas

 boas festas e feliz natal

Until Chirstmas!!!!!!

Com amor elder Hobson

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 16

So today we had train problems so we do not have very much time for email.  Sooo sorry.  But a quick update is that I am doing fine.  I am haveing to deal with some disobedience problems left with my comp.  But I think I am starting to get it cleared up.  The ward is awesome.  I love haveing a elderly couple here and sisters it is fun.  We had an awesome ward christmas party saturday.  We danced as alvin and the chipmunks becase it was a talent show so that is what we did with the sisters and the phippens.  I also accidently screwed up the word for a coffee substatute for the word for beer.  So I told a lady to no longer drink coffee only drink that beer that we gave you.  It was pretty funny there is lots of funny stories with Maria.

As far as Christmas stuff.  I will be with the Phippens during that day and I assume that is where we will skype but that is all that I know as of know.  I am sorry and will get you that information as soon as I have it.  I looked for our address but I am not exactly sure which street we are offically on so i will have it soon soooo sorry..  

I love you all and I will try to leave more time for email next week.  Hopefully all will go well with the trains and stuff. But either way we get to SKYPE  I am suuper excited to see you all and here your voices. !!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 15

Dad,  I would like to read your talk even if it is ´mechanical`.  Also yeah it is the same idea as the one in Rio but this one is bigger in total.  The one in Rio Christ is bigger but he doesn't have nearly the same size of pedestal.  It is a catholic church in the bottom and there is crosses and junk all around the lawn in front of him.  It was cool though. The view was awesome from the top of the pedestal that cost me 4euros for the elevator ride what a joke it was the only way up too. It made me mad enough I wouldn't have done it if I didn't have a comp that I needed to stay with all the time that wanted to go up. But it was cool so I was more ok with it when I got up there. They didn't have holes in his hands and he didn't even have feet which was interesting.

Umm this week we were going to go to the apparently pretty awesome aquarium in Lisbon for Elder Wiscombe's last P-day (ou dia de fogo) but instead we we ended up in the house all day for the second day in a row because Elder Wiscombe is sick.  So that was too bad but with my Sunday afternoon and monday morning I had stuck in the house I tried to make the best of my time. I cooked some good food and make biscuits and made coconut muffins and banana muffins.  The muffins were actually more of a cake because we don't have a proper muffin tray.  But it was fun to work on my baking skills and make something good out of the ingredients that we have around the house. On monday I also deep cleaned the entire house and packed up some stuff that I don't really use right now incase I get transfered this week.  I also exercised a bunch, did laundry, wrote some letters ;) (hopefully they will make it home before Christmas)and studied and organized all of the mission stuff that is around the house and at that point it was only like 12h00.  So I went a little crazy but I was also very productive with my time stuck in the house.  And of course it was also a beautiful day which are few and far between here in the winter.  But at least the day we didn't get to work on was our day off instead of one of the Lord's days.

So this week on thanksgiving knowing that I was missing out on some of Mom's pies and all the rest of the delicious thanksgiving food,  I made myself an apple crisp which was the closest thing I could make with our lack of ingredients and cooking utensils.  But it came out great and made it feel a little more like thanksgiving with caramel ice cream in a world where thanksgiving does not exist.  I ate like half of it that day too and it was huge haha. 

The rest of this week was good we have been trying to find a lot of new investigators which means procura and contacts and that is always fun I like talking to new people all day.  The weather this weekend has been really nice which was a well needed break from the rain.  We also had stake conference which was fun to see a big gathering of the church here in Portugal.  It reminded me how young the work is here and blew me away how much the church as grown in such a short time.  It is not too surprising though because it is Christ's Church.

My testimony of the power of reading and praying and going to church and doing all of those little basic things has grown this week.  I have really been seeing the difference in both our investigators and less actives that are or are not reading and praying.     It is amazing how much power that it has in their lives and how much it effects every single aspect of their life.  It is really sad and difficult to see someone dwindle and have all sorts of new problems and confusion come up because they have quit reading and praying. It is difficult to see satan working on these people that we love so much.  I want nothing more then to get him out out their lives. But when we see someone that has been doing the little things and is inviting the spirit into their lives how much that helps to simplify things and how quickly they grow is amazing.  I  know that those little things are really powerful and will truly protect us throughout our day.   I love that we get to start out our day with studies so that we can really have that simplicity and guidance in our lives. 

This week I was thankful for my family even though I wasn't with them.  Thank you all for all your love and support. Have an amazing week!

Elder Hobson

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 14, Elder Cook (the Apostle) and Sunday feasts

Well sorry but today we had interviews with president that they called us this morning for so I have like no time at all.  I also went to Christo Rei which was awesome and bought ice cream which is all that I have eaten today because of schedule but I am not that hungry becuase I am still a little food hungover from our sunday feast Which dad includes every week rice and beans that are amazing, salad, soda and a meat.  Sometimes soup or pasta but this time we had steaks and chicken. They literally just grill enough food for the entire hobson family of assorted meats and it is for about 10 people every time.  It is amazing.  as for the rest of the week I eat a main dish from Irma domingas salad yogurt and oatmeal plus fruit and some bread.   Mom, I keep in touch with Matt Amanda and Whitney every week and then this letter. also I do work with kids a lot it is fun to learn the language from them.  most of them are crazy in this ward.

As for this week I got a bit of a cold which is annoying but that is winter for me I am sure it will pass by spring.  From our interviews with president it is pretty clear that my area will be closing at the end of the transfer due to lack of missionaries coming in and how many are leaving.  So I am expecting to be transferred here in two weeks.  So hopefully I can finish up here as well as possible.  We are having a hard time with Mama Rosa because she still is to stubborn to accept that she needs to be baptised again even though we have taught her authority a lot and unfortunately we only can talk to her on weekends but besides that I am working hard and having fun with Elder Wiscombe.  We did some contacting on the boardwalk this week during a beautiful sunset and there was tons of people surfing huge waves which was cool.  But anyways I love the work and I am trying to do all that I can plus I hope that you are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving.  

I love you all and miss you all but have a time where God helps me with that every night during prayer as a get to see your faces.  Look up the stuff that the church is doing this christmas it is awesome.  It is called he is the gift. Also Dad Elder Cook told us to read the end of all the gospels before christmas too so I have been doing that and it is a great prep for Christmas for everyone.  It is cool that you are studying the same things.  It is a small word.  You are in my prayers and thank you for the prayers you send my way I can feel them in my life, and them blessing the lives of my investigators.

Love Elder Hobson

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 13 Elder Wiscombe

So this week when I was reading the letter from Amanda I thought about her comment that it is hard to do missionary work when we are surrounded by members in the bubble of provo or Utah and Idaho for that matter.  But I have to say even when I am here in a place where the vast majority of the people I run into on the street have never even encountered the church, I spend a lot of time working with the members to strengthen the ward. Elder Cook told us while he was here to visit that we are not here to put up numbers and just baptise people but we are here to build wards and therefore the church.  The main focus of our mission especially here in Portugal is to get the church here ready to have a temple. And we here in Costa have a ward but it is one with a lot of problems.  The bishop is a fuebecka  there is no existing sunday meetings for leadership like there should be and a lot of things just are not done as the should be.  We spend a lot of time teaching less actives and even with the active members that we have trying to work out the kinks that they have in their life.  I am mentioning this because a lot of times people think of missionary work as just the convert baptisms and that would be awesome if that is the only thing we had to worry about but the truth is that the people in the church need a lot of help too.  I am saying this because I think it is important that as we try to be missionaries in our everyday life it is important to remember that as I always tell people that we meet we are here to help people in any way that we can especially in coming unto Christ. And as we help these people have more faith, as in the belief that drives them to do more to be more like Christ, we too will become more Christlike as we are less selfish and are thoughts turn outward. Elder Wiscombe was really frustrated with how the ward is on his first sunday and it was discouraging for him but I was actually glad that we are able to work in a ward that has lots of issues because we are not here to eat dinner with the faithful and steadfast but to work with the weak and the sinners and the people with issues so that we can improve their lives.

We are headed into winter here to so it is just always raining and kinda chilly,  but when the sun is out it still feels kinda like spring so it is not too bad.  Also not too many people on the street and we are always out in the dark because here we usually get home at 9 30 and 10 00 is when we need to be in the house for sure.  Making that shift of half an hour from the normal schedule is really nice in the summer but it kinda is rough in the winter.  But it is not really all that cold here which is nice.  Also there is a new missionary straight out of the mtc here in our district so I am no longer the new guy in the ward that does not speak Portuguese so that is fun and a relief.

So while I am mentioning Elder Wiscombe I can tell you a little about my new companion. He will be dying (or going home) here at the end of the transfer which is in three weeks. I am learning different teaching methods from him and the fresh blood has shaken up the work here in the area.  We found a lot of new investigators and had a lot of lessons this week.  We had a lot of pesquisadores that were not progressing so he was wanting to drop even people that I was still convinced have potential including the Mama Rosa family that I have been talking a lot about. It was really hard on me the day that he was telling me that he did not see real potential with them.  So I have been going to the Lord in prayer a lot about them this week.  Unfortunately they continued to be difficult and we hadn't really gotten anywhere with them all week.  And he about had me convinced that we needed to more on and start passing by them less saturday night.  But I had an amazing surprise Sunday morning when that entire family came to church all on their own and changed everything.  It was really cool to see the hard work come through.  So now they are all on track and we are going to try to set a date when we can baptise the 4 of them and see what we can do about Paz the dad.  It is definitely really exciting though, especially because the ward is taking them in well and seeing a big family there in church really got the ward members excited and talking because there hasn't really been that many baptisms in this ward until recently.  Hopefully this excitement will help us get more help from the members with this family and families in the future.  The key thing that I think made the difference was Irma lima our brazilian member that feeds us a feast every sunday called Mama Rosa several times on our request and invited her to come to church with her family.  I think that made all the difference and it just shows how important the members' role in missionary work is.  And this week they have the primary program and Rumao who is still not baptised will be preforming in it which is awesome and will be hilarious.  So hopefully that will be more motivation for them to come to church again and then we will just baptise them afterwards.  That is the plan anyways we will have to see if it is the Lords will.He has a plan and I sure hope that we are doing everything in our power to help it come to pass.

Anyways I am about out of time for the day.  I have so many stories and amazing experiences that I want to share with you all but I guess that will just have to wait for now.  I will do my best to press the work forward this week.  I am glad that I have been raised of goodly parents like nefi of old as I restart the Livro de Mormon this week and also amazing siblings and extended family and friends.  It is an honor to get to represent you all and it makes for some pretty long prayers when I get to go through and pray for all of you individually.  I am glad that I have been and am so blessed. This week in the spirit of thanksgiving that sadly does not exist here I challenge you all to look on the bright side of life and see the blessings that we have. I love you all and always have you in the back of my mind. 

Elder Hobson

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week 12 New Companion

Sorry this is coming in so early our schedule is off becuase of transfers.

So as you know today is transfers and I will be staying in Costa. So the address will not be changing for atleast another 4 weeks.  That is right 4 weeks, we have a shortened transfer so that they do not have problems with flights on Christmas. However my companion is leaving and I will be getting a new Elder named wiskam or something no idea on the spelling but he is really old in the mission about to go home. 

 We just had our first transfer and now I have a new companion coming into my area and will be haveing to show him around even though I am still in training.  So I have a lot  more responsibility now too.  It is really gonna get crazy out here.  We are super jacked right now because Elder Quinton L. Cook is coming to talk to us this week.  It is going to be awesome.  It started to get cold here the past few days.  It really temperture wise is not bad but with the rain and wind plus humidity in the dark is chilly. It is changing the work because there is less people on the street to stop. but it is cool the lord is always putting people in our path somehow.  All I know is to try to say something.  I have told some people some pretty random stuff becuase of verb conjugations, but it is all cool.

Yesterday we went to the neighborhood were we work alot called segundo terrao which is little africa because someone had died. So then I got to see an Angolan style mourning session going on.  It was crazy the whole neighborhood was there.  And we really didnt belong until one of our investigators mama Rosa told everyone that we were her sons.  It was crazy people were just screaming and crying and the whole deal.  So we said a prayer with them and I guess we are going to be using the second lesson alot here soon.  Anyways it is always something new each day.

I had a division this week where I stayed in my area with Elder Schorder the district leader and so I had to lead the entire day which was very challenging.  I am getting to the point where I can kindof talk to people but it is really rough.  I have been really trying hard to get all of my conjugations down but it is really tough.  Anyways after a lot of looking we eventually got a few lessons in by the end of the day.  But it was really stressful and frustrating as our compromissos continued to fall.  It was a good challenge and I guess it will get me ready for my new companion well. I am really nervous becuase now I am the link to the church for a lot of people.   But I will just humble myself and trust in the Lord becuase I know he will take me where I really need to be.

 We had a really amazing experience this week with the daughter of one of our investigators that is wanting to be baptised but is just waiting on marriage papers from Angola.  His daughter is a teenager who goes to church with her mom and they are both Jehova's witnesses.  But she enjoys help with english and is open to talk about the gospel with us.  So we were able to have a lesson with her where we talked a lot about the Book of  Mormon with her.   She started out by saying flat out that she thinks that the Jehova's Witness church is the true church.  But after a lesson about how the Book of Mormon and prayer can answer all of our questions, we saw as the holy ghost worked on her and testified to her that this is the true church.  It was amazing how after just asking a few inspired questions the rest of the lesson was clearly guided by the holy ghost and both of us definatly knew where we needed to go with her.  As we have been teaching her and her dad we have started to get the mother to open up a little more and she is starting to show some interest.  So hopefully soon we will be able to unite the entire family in the waters of baptism.  The spirit is powerful and if the Lord wants something to happen it is going to be that way. It is so amazing to get to be with the spirit and to see His work come to pass.

And also for the mailing here don't say that it is like worth more then 30 euros or something like that because it could case it to be delayed and I could have to pay a lot to get it.  I am not really sure what they were talking about but that is what the mission president said something about I dont really remember.

So yeah this week will be interesting and hopefully all will go well with the new comp.  We will be in a trio for now becuase Elder Schorder will be training so we have to work two areas until his comes in on thursday.  So that will be fun Elder Schorder is funny and it will make the transition into a new comp easy.  He says that he has always struggled to lift the bar when he was benching and that his max carrying weight is 25 pounds which I found hard to believe but apparently some people have a hard time lifting the flour and sugar bags.  It is a new perspective. 

I hope that you all have a great week and that you keep the spirit with you.  I Love you all and keep you all in my prayers.  Watch for a miracle in your life everyday because they are there we just need to recognize them.   Make the most of every moment.  Way to go Dad with opening your mouth it is something that we all are commanded to do and will be greatly blessed if we do it. 

Love you all!!
Elder Hobson

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 11 First time Elder Hobson comments on how fast the mission flies by ....

So today I started out my day with cutting my own hair for the first time. Lets just say I am and was missing mom a little bit extra.  But it isn't horrible so it is fine.  Then after that I went over and before playing basketball with Jelson I gave him a haircut which was much easier because he is black and just gave me the razor and said zero take it all off.  So that was a fun experience to have cut a black man's hair.

Also as far as eating healthy I am doing my best and everything it is definitely not easy but Elder Durfee says that I am his vegetable and fruit companion.  And that everything that I make is healthy looking. So I will continue to work on that.  There is also lots of good food to try here and I do love the gelato.

This week I was starting to feel like we were not contacting enough people and so I suggested a game were whoever contacts more people the other one has to make some food for them in the evening.  And so now we rarely walk past someone without giving it a shot and It has gotten kind of aggressive and really exciting.  It brought a lot of life into Elder Durfee and he loves it.  I am also happy to make food just to see him going after more and more people.  But I have started having conversations with people on the bus and stuff by myself.  It is fun and I kinda make sense and understand most of it.  So the language is coming along but my speaking is really rough still.  I am always reading in the book of mormon in portuguese and that is working miracles. It is really cool when I can understand scripture language.

The weather here is really nice as it is cooling off a little bit.  The people all complain about it being cold but I am usually still in short sleeves and loving it. It still feels like summer to me which is making it crazy to know that it is November.  The mission flies by.

We got to do some service for a man that was baptised last transfer that had a stroke last year.  He is really cool his name is Ernesto his story is really cool about how his life completely changed after his stroke.  He went from being a self centered businessman to a very humble man and no longer able to to what he was before.  He was definitely prepared by the Lord to have his heart softened to hear the gospel.  He is now an awesome member but has a hard time getting to church right now with his schedule in the clinic where his is working to get movement in his arm and leg back.  Because of this he needed help getting groceries because his housekeeper was out of town.  It was fun and everything but we have to be there  for a long time in the middle of a fast and it made it really challenging. It is crazy how Satan tries to stop things from happening.  

For instance when we were headed over to give a lady a blessing we had a car swerve off the road and fly by us yelling just trying to scare us which worked for me.  But we gave the blessing anyways and it was really cool.  I now have memorized how to do the anointing so it is pretty cool to hear for me.  I also got to teach the lesson in gospel principles yesterday with a lot of people including investigators there about the spirit world and in the book it brings up some weird stuff so that was interesting.  But I made it through without teaching any blatantly false doctrine so that is good.

This week we have been working hard but have not been able to get the success that we would like number wise.  We have been really working with trying to get our investigators that are right there over the hump and get baptised.  We are trying to get our members involved as much as possible and hopefully that will help our investigators to take the next step.  I am grateful for the mission and the help that we get here from the members that are already really excited about missionary work.  I will continue to try and work to talk to everyone and always follow the spirit.  I want to be a better missionary every day so that I can help the people around me more.  I am grateful that we have the scriptures to look to and that they really are and can answer all of our problems.  I am really excited as they are starting to be clearer to me in Portuguese.  The gift of tongues is real and I plea with Heavenly Father that he will bless the missionaries with this everyday.  I am honored to be a representative and full time worker in this great cause.  How much that means grows in me every day.  I hope that I never have a night where I look back and realize that I hadn't given it my all but I am grateful to look back and see where I need to improve.  The programs we have here in the mission are for a reason and I am grateful for that guidance.  There is no greater work than this.  So at this point last year I would have already had my surgery if that puts time into perspective for you.  It makes me think about how fast the mission is going by already and how fast it is going to continue going like that.  We really just need to make the best out of every single moment because I do know that I am on the Lord's time and I would hate to know that I could have done better.

Next week I could be writing you from another place because it is transfers Sunday so who knows what will happen.  I personally think I will stay but you never know.  So hopefully I will get plenty of time to write but even if I don't I will make sure that all I do is write mom. ;)  I will make sure that I never fail to write you. I hope all is well at home and that you all remember where your priorities in life should be. 

I love you all and have a great week!
Elder Hobson

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 10: Gelson's baptism

Soo  sorry but I guess that I forgot to send you the letter from last week.  But now you should have it..  This was a great week.  We were able to get Jelson baptised which was an amazing experience and through his baptism we made a lot of progress with the rest of his family,  and he has a big family.  I am expecting we will be able to baptise his brother Rumão next week atleast and maybe even the Mama Rosa because we just needed her permission for Rumão and she also loved church.  They would be an awesome addition to the ward here and hopefully we can join them all so they can prepare to go to the temple together.   We have had several miracles happen with them as we have seen them soften their hearts and be more willing to listen to what we have to say, and after the baptism they even had us over for dinner and we are building an awesome relationship with the whole family.  We have several other families that we are teaching and they are accepting the lessons well in that same little area of the neighborhood and some of them are even related.  So if we are able to continue to be sucessful there we could be making a strong new community that can support eachother and be a major contrubution to the ward.

Today for P day we went to Belem after playing some basketball and so we took a boat over the river tejo and were in lisbon by some awesome cathedreals and monuments.  we ate at some famous local spots and got some of the original pastals de Belem.  They are amazing and the main part the cream tastes alot like mom´s vanilla pudding. So your pudding is more or less world famous.  We had a good time and it was pretty cheap too.  There is a gelataria that we found in town that is authentic italien that we will be hitting up this week. Also there is a pizzaria that I want to go to really bad.  So yeah the food is good plus we have been enjoying food from members and investigators as well.  Also I still have a bunch of the cookies that you sent me in the MTC and they are still fresh I ate one this morning.  It is nice to taste a little home every once in a while.  

We are working hard but it is always really fun.  We are making a lot of friends especially in segundo terrão which is were we work with all the angolans. Umm..  I am really enjoying myself and learniñg a lot constantly it is all very humbling.  I am understanding more and more but the speaking hasen't started being smooth yet.

This week we had a division on tuesday. I went up with Elder Lubeke to monte and we had a good time together and were able to make lots of contacts and quite a few of them seemed to have potential for success. He is kindof a goffy guy but he was fun to work with. The work is moving along great here and people are very prepared and willing to here about the word of God and follow the Savior.  I feel really blessed and I hope that I can and am doing everything that I can to help as many people as possible share the joy of the Gospel.

As for a quick funny story a couple of week ago I fell down about 10 marble stairs because the ceiling was rediculously short and the stairs were really steep and small and my shoes were wet.  I smashed a garbage can and was a little sore for a while.  It was in a pastalaria and I got up and started apologizing in english for making a mess. the lady told me to rub alcohol all over myself to make it feel better.  But I am fine and didnºt break anything becuase the Lord needs me to keep working despite my clumsiness and too large body for this tiny world.

Anyways I have a million strories and they will have to wait for now but I love you all and I feel your prayers.  I hope the spirit is always in your life.  IT is vitial I know that now more then ever.  

Love Elder Hobson

PS I helped give a presthood blessing in portugese I had to do the anõinting of the oil it was cool

Week 9 letter (a week late); Gelson and little bro Rumao

Editor note:  Apparantly Elder Hobson forgot to hit the "send" key on his email last week.  No surprise really; glad we got a double dose update this week!

This week has been awesome! We are having an amazing time with our investigators and have a bunch that are really progressing.  Especially after we got them to church and they got to see a baptism.  These investigators have some less active friends that are really helpful to work with and now they are getting back to Church as well.  Hopefully we will be able to get continue on this path and start having some baptisms coming through for the next couple weeks.  The work is moving forward and it is really exciting to be a part of it.    I am really grateful for my trainer and his example to me.  I am constantly learning a lot.  I love the people and the work, and I am hope that we can continue to do better every day.

We have some really cool investigators one is named Gelson, he is 25 and has a little brother that is 10 named Rumao and another in the middle.  We are planning on baptising them next week if it all goes well.  They are really cool and are keeping the commitments. Rumao is my buddy.  He always is stealing my stuff and I practice talking with him.  It is really fun.
I love getting to meet so many different people they are all so interesting and unique.  I love this work it is amazing and I hope we can start getting some baptisms here soon.

For my spiritual thought of the week I want to share something from two scriptures but I cannot remember where exactly they were and without a English book to help.  But one is in Matthew I think and the other is in Third Nefi.  This though is about how critical that it is that we get a testimony of the truthfulness of things through the Holy Ghost. I was thinking of this because Gelson one of our investigators really trusts us and what we say so he believes that the Book of Mormon is the word of God but we are not sure if he has actually received a witness.  The scripture in Matthew says something along the lines of "He (Jesus) has spoken it himself, wherefore what more evidence do we need?"  This is said after Jesus tells the people of Bethlehem I think that he is the son of God.  The interesting part is that they were taking this as the evidence that they could kill him for blasphemy instead of the witness he is the savior.  The scripture in third nephi is after Christ has told the people a whole lot of things while he was visiting them and the scripture says more or less, " know go to you houses and ask of God to know if these things are not true through the power of the Holy Ghost."  I really like how in these scriptures we learn how vital it is that we receive a witness through the Holy Ghost, that even when the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ declares his own gospel it is still necessary for the people that hear the words to get a confirmation of the Holy Ghost.  How much more then must we need to have to receive a witness when we are teaching people the gospel so that they can know that it is true.  I know that the Holy Ghost is powerful and is key in all of our lives especially in missionary work. 

I love and pray for you all. 

Elder Hobson

Monday, October 13, 2014

Week 8 Short Update

So I only have a few minutes today because we got back late from going to this amazing Palace in Sintra.  It was awesome and I will try to get you the pictures from it soon. We have been working hard and it has been paying off.  We started out the week pretty rough but we were able to start getting some lessons in the second half. We have some investigators that are interested in baptism but they need to either go to church first or get married.  It is really tough to get people to go to church here because they all have the catholic mentality that any tiny excuse is good enough to not go to church.  So we were disapointed sunday morning when we woke up and it way pouring rain. But it is ok hopefully we will be able to get them out next week and hopefully we will baptise some of them.  I have been trying more and more to speak during our contacts and I am getting more but it is still really hard.  I know that God has been preparing the people that I have been meeting becuase some of them are really ready.   It is usually a challenge to get them to quit smoking and drinking becuase everyone here does, but I know that with Gods help it is possible.  I have to go and I am sorry it is so short but I love you and I am doing fine.   More for next week.


Elder Hobson

Monday, October 6, 2014

Beach house; mission or vacation?

So I am safely in Portugal now!  My new area is called Costa de Caparica.  It is way cool becuase we live right on the beach.  Like literally in the morning we walk out the back yard and up onto the sand to run on the beach.  It is way cool and there is always tons of surfers and jelly fish.  We live in the bottom floor of a nice old ladys home.  She brings us some big old dish of food todos Domingos  which is awesome because she is is a really good cook.  So yeah we have a pretty cool place to live.  And it is just me and Elder Durfee in the house.

So yeah Elder Durfee is cool he is 6 foot 4 so we look kindof out of place here among the short people.  He is way cool and I like him so far.  Really helpful with the language.  He is going to go run track for Weber State when he gets back so I though that that was interesting and he does not walk slow I can tell you that much.

The trip over was fine.  I have never had a hard time sleeping in uncomfortable places and the plane proved to be no different.  I do still have the English BOM becuase I sat by a member on the first flight, missionaries on the second, and then in England I was just never very sucessful in picking people to talk to but it was fun.  Then I could not for the life of me talk to the Lady on the flight to Portugal becuase she does not speak any language that I know.

The language is tough.  Everyone slurrs their words talks really fast and it is always really quite too.  So quiet that I do not think that I would be able to understand them if they were speaking english.  But it is good becuase for the most part I just tell people hello, that I have been here for a couple days, and then testify about prophets.

Conference has been really interesting here.  We have spent almost all my time here trying to get everyone we can to go and watch it.  And when we have been sucessful and then have to watch it in portuguese that is quite the expericnce. It is not quite the same when you are listening to the prophets in a translation,  it is similar to their words but not quite the same becuase you cannot hear the passion and convition of their testimony in their own voices.  But when we were watching it with some investigators one of our investigators named Oswaldo was getting emotional so it was pretty cool.  Even though I really didnt know what they were saying it was still a really good time.

The country here is beautiful.  I love the old world Europe architecture. And the food that I have been able to try has been really good too.  We cook our lunch usually and do not really eat dinner.  So I havent have a lot of different food yet. Also I do not really know any recipies so I just give it my best trying to remember off of smell and look what goes good on chicken and stuff.  We have spent a lot of time teaching in an area called the Terras and Segundo Terra which means the lands and the second lands.  They are like little african communitites which look like total ghettos but inside of them they are acutally pretty nice in some cases.  The people are really cool and like talking about Jesus and are cool with saying they will do stuff, but they just do not follow through very well.  

I have not taken really hardly any pictures this far because I am been kindof scrambling with other things so sorry about that but I will try to do better next week.  We have gotten a lot of help from members already.  One of the members is named Geraldo.  He is this older guy that reminds me a lot of Garret Andrew.  It is pretty funny acutally.  He is always ready to help us out with whatever we need and he likes coming and teaching with us even if we are just knocking doors.  Also there is this little boy from the Terras that is Jesses age that was converted a couple years ago that helps us get in with his freinds which is cool.  We do a lot of walking on the cobblestones and on dirt.  I come home kindof tired and a little dirty most days.  The humidity is still going to take some getting used to.  I do not like always feeling sweaty and nothing drying very well but it is not too horrible.

We talked to one guy on the street that we stopped as a funeral procession was going by and talked to him about where we go after death.  He accepted everything that we had to say and then liked how we get baptised like Jesus was baptized as well.  He was baptised as a baby but always thought that that was strange because he had not done anyting wrong when at that point and did not have sins. Anyways it was cool to see how much our message makes sence to people that are willing to listen becuse it is simple and more true than anything else.  As long as we are willing to try to find out if it is right we can know becuase it is not that difficult.  It was nice to run into someone that wasent so set in thier ways that they are unwilling to experiment on the word. We have plans to see him and teach him again Wednesday. We also talked to an old lady that is catholic and she was telling us about the feelings that she gets in her when we are around.  We explained to her that that was the spirit and taught her how to pray.  She still prayed like a catholic with us and was telling us about how she is about to die be cremated and thrown in the ocean but its all good.  haha

So I may be tired and confused but I love it here and am having a good time.  It is very humbling and I am greatful for the help that I get and thank the Lord for all the broken portuguese that he has given me so far.  The church is true.  I know it and I am seeing though other people that it is not super difficult to know for yourself if you want to as well.  I am greatful to serve and realize that I am a very conservative driver compared to even the grannys here.  I love you all and miss you!

Elder Hobson

Friday, October 3, 2014

Safely in Portugal !!!

We never received an email from the newly arrived Elder Hobson.  But the mission did post this picture of him and all the new missionaries that safely arrived this week in Portugal on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Travel Day! (week 6)

We were able to talk with Elder Hobson while he was at the airport.  It was great to talk with him and hear more details of his MTC experience.  I think his experience (and the effect it had on him) is summed up in the last thing I asked him - "How will we know you have arrive safely in Portugal?"  -
"Dad, I hope to be able to email you when I arrive.  If not, just know that I am in The Lord's hands."

What a blessing and lesson for me...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Last week in the MTC

Week 5 MTC - Travel Plans!

I now have my travel information and will be leaving for Portugal next Tuesday at 8:30.  So we are all super excited for that.  Everyone in the zone that is supposed to go to Portugal that day got their  visas except for one Sister that screwed up on her FBI clearance.  So thank you Mom for getting me all set up right so I can get to where I need to be. Even though the MTC is awesome and I like it here I am super excited to get out and start working with the people in Portugal.  But I am also super nervous because I really wish that I knew more then I do both com o Evangelho and the language but it is fine I have learned a lot here.

This week we did get to hear from Elder Scott and he did a great job. I am pretty sure Amanda heard about the same talk from him a couple days before.  Also we got to participate in the Temple re-dedication for the Ogden Temple. We watched the first session with Elder Bednar, President Eyring, and President Monson.  It was way cool.  The whole time from the moment we walked into the Auditorium there was a much different feel then there usually is for the Devotionals.  It was much more peaceful and even with thousands of new missionaries it was pretty quiet.  Very different then the typical chaos that is leads up to devotionals.  They had a video  playing showing temples around the world and there were several pictures from the Twin Falls temple including the Terrestrial room.  It was good to see because I miss that temple.  I like it a lot more then the one here becuase it is just a lot nicer looking inside and you get to move.  Plus it is more special because that is where I went though.  Today will be my last time going through the temple until I am home unless the Lisboa temple gets finished on time.  So that is sad but at least we have gotten to do a lot with temples here before we left.

The best part by far was at the end after the Hosanna Shout where the crowd joins in on singing The Spirit of God. When we all joined in singing together it was a really amazing feeling.  My whole body got the chills and I felt my heart and chest swell up with the Spirit.  I received a witness of the importance of temple work as we were standing there singing.  The spirit filled the room so strongly that is was almost overwhelming.  A lot of people were saying that it felt like there were angels filling the room singing with us.  I don't doubt it either.  It was really awesome and a unique experience to get to have at the MTC.  I know that the lyrics of that song are true " the veil over the earth is beginning to burst" and you could feel the heavens rejoicing as the work is pushed forward.

Even after we left the auditorium the spirit lingered with us for quite some time so it made it a pretty awesome day, especially because I got a much needed nap in the afternoon.

We had our first opportunity to do TRC Skype this week which is where you are supposed to get to skype someone that lives in the country that you are serving in and they are supposed to be a member.  We got to talk to a guy named Gustovo  who lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  He served a mission but we found out in our discussion that he has fallen away from the church since then.  So all of the sudden it got really real really fast and we needed to make sure that we gave him the message he needed not just some rambling broken Portuguese.  We were doing amazingly and we were really feeling it and understanding what he was saying even though he was speaking Brazilian Portuguese.  But then we lost our connection and we had to wait for like 10 minutes before we got him back.  At that point we were out of time but we finished anyways because it was important.  Anyways I think we helped him to remember what he had felt on his mission and we kind of had him teaching us at the end which I think is what he needed to have at that time.  So I think that we were really able to help him.  Our teachers and the supervisors were all very impressed with our discussion.  We will keep our fingers crossed that we get to talk to him again this week so we can follow up.

We had another District depart Monday morning.  Since they were all supposed to go to Brazil and not all of them had their Visas we being zone leaders had to drop missionaries off going different places at 2:30, 3:30, and 6:00.  It was a long night.  and it made for an even more difficult Monday.  I am glad I got to see them all off though because they are all really awesome missionaries.

Last night in class with Irmao Staples we were talking and reading about Christ's atonement and we read how right before he went into the garden he asked the apostles to pray that they would enter not into temptation.  I though that was really amazing that right before he was about to suffer for the sins of all the world having never felt the pains of sin before he did not ask them to pray for him, instead he asked them to pray to help themselves.  That just goes to show the character that Christ had always and even when times were tough he turned outwards and was concerned for those around him instead of himself.  How amazing would the world be if everyone had just a fraction of the selflessness that he did.  I know we will be happier if we try to be more like him everyday.

So this week is the week to pack up my stuff and become completely fluent in Portuguese.  Unfortunately that probably won't happen but I will give it my best shot as always.  Thank you for all the love and prayers that you all have been sending my way.  I recognize the help and influence that they have been having on my life.  I hope you all have an amazing week. Até logo.

Elder Hobson

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

MTC email room and "The Map"

MTC Week 4

So this morning we woke up to a surprise we had a new Elder that had gotten in at 2 in the morning that was in our room.  He is Elder Hernandez and he is from the Cayman Islands.  He is Spanish speaking going to Arizona so he will go over to the west campus tomorrow but until then we will be with him.  He has not yet been endowed so Elder Beeton and I get to be his escorts today as we take him through the temple.  He is pretty cool and has an interesting story.  We asked him how his parents met because his mom is from Honduras and his dad is from the Cayman islands and apparently his Grandpa used to run the cartel from Honduras to New York and so his Dad spent a lot of time in Honduras.  He has a Bob Marley shirt that he asked me if it was OK for the MTC.  I told him that he should probably hold off on that haha.  Anyways that was a fun surprise and makes our day a little more exciting.

There is a lot of hype here because we are expecting to have a member of the 12 or presidency here tonight for the devotional because it is getting broadcasted to all the other MTCs.  So I hope that comes through because we haven't gotten to hear from one of them yet.  All the other speakers have been good and we have had some cool speakers like Joseph Sitati last week.  But still it is always the hope that it will be one of the brothern.  Especially because that could be the last time that I get to hear from them in English and their actual voices for a couple years. 

We have been really trying as a district to cut back on our communication in English.  We did a little English fast for a day and a half, the goal was 2 and a half but we didn't make it.  It is fun but really tough.  When I spend all day trying to think in Portuguese i usually end up with a pretty killer headache.  But I wouldn't expect anything else.  Our lessons are progressively getting better and we are understanding more and more. And we will be continuing to cut back on English.  I think my next step is to spend more time in the Portuguese scriptures which as of right now is really tough because it is really tough to read something when only about 1 out of every 5 to 10 words means anything to you.

Hosting last week was a blast,  I liked getting to hear all of the stories of the missionaries that I had they were very interesting.  They also were all on the top floors on all the buildings so I did a lot of stairs with luggage.  The best part of the hosting was definitely  being outside moving for a couple hours.  That was really nice and I have missed having that I felt free again.  It was also fun to direct the curbside with the families.  I loved giving the mothers a big smile and telling them that I would take good care of their sons.  They all seemed to like that and it looked like it helped them a little bit.  I hosted a big Samoan guy that is way cool and a really good guy to be friends with.  We will be hosting again tomorrow so that will be exciting again.  Hopefully I will get to see some more really emotional drop offs because those are super entertaining when you are on this side of the deal.  We as a zone compete to see who can host the most missionaries.

Being a zone leader has been fun.  We got to really do a lot with the newbies and they all seem to be doing well. It was interesting because there really isn't that much as formal training but just because you have been assigned as the zone leader all the Elders and Sisters that have been here just as long or longer then us in the zone are asking some off the wall questions that we are apparently supposed to know the answers too.  So we have been making it up as we go and it has been fine so far.  We have one of our districts leaving next week so we will have  some stuff to do to help them out of here.  That will be fun but reminds us that we are about done here and really need to be able to speak portuguese.  I am sure it will be good but it has come really fast.  

This week I had the opportunity to bless the sacrament for the first time in Portuguese.  It was way cool even though a couple of the words are pretty tough to pronounce I got it done.  I have not had to give a talk in sacrament meeting yet which is fine even though I would have wanted to get it out of the way while I was still allowed to give it in english.  It makes writing a talk take a lot longer when you write it and then have to translate it and it messes up all the order of the words.  But it is good grammar practice so it is all good.

The focus of my spiritual growth this week has been around keeping my focus on the basics and the fundamentals of the gospel so that I can be more familiar with that which I will be teaching and that which investigators will need to know.  I was reading in D&C 88:67 and Matthew 6:22-23 about the eyes and the importance of keeping your eyes or focus on the path, and I really liked that.  Even if the things that might be distracting you may be good things we as missionaries especially need to stay focused on the basics that we need to be able to teach.  Deeper doctrine is not really all that important right now even though it may be interesting and good it is not worth the distractions.  We have been working on being able to recognize the promptings of the spirit more effectively and how to tell and how to act when the investigator is feeling the spirit.  That is pretty tough because my knowledge of the scriptures is not good enough to be able to just know which one I want to share and then find it and have the investigator read it when I can't read what it says.   And also I am getting better at rearranging my sentences so that I can a lot of things with very few words.  It is awesome to get to learn from the teachers here that are amazing and from the other missionaries as well.  It is cool to learn how it is effective for them to teach something and then attempt to apply it to my teaching.

I am grateful for all the mail that I get from all of you it is awesome to hear from you all the time.  I am constantly reminded of the people that I love and appreciate all that you have done for me to get me here and prepare me for this challenge.  I keep you all in my prayers and am very grateful for the prayers that you are sending my way.  I hope that you all have amazing weeks.  Until then.

Elder Hobson

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Week 3 pics

MTC Week 3

So for the update for the week, it has been raining like crazy here, which is helpful for me for the majority of the day because it makes me more ok with being inside so that has helped.  But it has meant that we have been playing basketball instead of soccer,  It is fun but I do love getting out in the sun for soccer.  Elder Beeton and I have been unstoppable which is always fun.  We are yet to lose a game after 4 days of playing short 3 on 3 games.  We even  beat a team that plays everyday and has this big 6'4" black guy that is super thick and athletic.  I had to guard him and he worked me but I did hit a game ending 3 with his hand in my face so it was all good in the end.  I thought I would mention that to Jesse just so he knows that he is not the only basketball player that I beat on the court.  It isn't fair here either for the Elders that play against us, so you better be practicing hard all of the time if you want to be beating me when I get home.  I wish that Elder Beeton could have the kind of communication and execution that we have on the court together in the teaching room in Portuguese.

Another note on Elder Beeton, he is a BYU fan and a Cowboys fan.  So we both enjoyed the football updates that we have been receiving from both of our families. 

In other news, We have been made the new zone leaders.   We have been helping the old zone leaders as they have been leaving the last two days.  We had to be up at 2:30 this morning to see off Elder Littlefield and 5:30 yesterday for Elder Knight.  We have been super tired because of this, but we have had some perks, they passed down some goodies and laundry detergent which was nice.  We are super excited for tomorrow because we have 3 new missionaries coming into our zone for the first time since we got here  and being zone leaders we get to do all the orientation things for them and give them the tour and what not.  That will be way fun.  Our district also has been asked to be hosts which is where you are the missionary that receives the newbies on the curb and takes some pictures for their family.  I look forward to talking to those shell shocked missionaries and watching the drama of the cry fest.  So tomorrow will be an awesome day.

As far as our new fake investigators we are having pretty good success with one of them and with the other we have been really struggling.  They are supposed to get progressively more difficult as we are here so I guess it is expected.  It is annoying that we know that they are fake because they are our teachers because sometimes we feel like we have done  really well and had the spirit there teaching them and then they give us a response that is not very promising.  Because they are our teachers sometimes we get the feeling that they are going to shut us down and be stubborn on their questions just to push us and challenge us.  It is super annoying when we start to think that.

I thought that Christina and Amanda would be interested to know that both of the sisters in my district are into ballet and dance.  Sister McChesney danced with the BYU ballroom dance team.  The highest one that travels and stuff.  I am pretty sure that she has came and danced at CSI before when you have gone and watched them. She is the one with brown hair by the way.

Dad, I have really enjoyed the singing we do in the devotionals as well.  The first time that we had a devotional it was really exciting for me and fun, but this last one Sunday night we sang a song that I am not really familiar with and it is driving me crazy that I cannot remember it, but the lyrics were amazingly powerful and they hit me really strongly.  I will have to try to find them so I can show you the words in one of my next letters, but it is going to be difficult to find an English hymn book in our area.  I have a branch President named Jackson.  He is a tall lengthy guy that was a track star for BYU back in the day and is an orthopedic surgeon.  He is a pretty good president but his eyes bore deep into your soul as he looks at you.

We had our first mission conference this week because it was fast Sunday.  That was the best meeting that I have been to this far here.  I was feeling the spirit was super strong the entire time and all the messages are amazing and taught me a lot. They spent quite a bit of time on Prophets in the modern day which my testimony of that and the need for that has really been growing over this week.  I had just read the end of the 1st official declaration to the church the night before where they talk about what they would have done had it not been for receiving revelation from God to do what they did. I don't know why my testimony of the prophets today is being strengthened right now, but I am grateful for it.

Being Fast Sunday and since Jared and family reminded me that was how Grandma Hobson kept track of the time for her missionaries I spent some extra time thinking of her on Sunday. I had one Elder bare his testimony on the fact that he knew we had family on the other side of the veil that will help us throughout our lives and especially on the mission.  I know that as it says in D&C 84:88  that she is there in the angels that are all around me.  I think that Grandpa Harold is there as well supporting me.  When Elder Holland gave a speech once at Stanford he opened it up with saying to the students that we believe in angels and if they don't then they might have a hard time understanding his speech.  I defiantly believe in angels and think about the ones that I love most every week when we go to the temple.  

So I have a quick little spiritual thought that I would like to share with you all since 9/11 is in a few days.  It is in Doctrine and Covenants Chapter 64 it is verses 9-11.  Notice the page number, verses, and the date that Joseph Smith received the revelation.  I don't know if you are familiar with that insight but it is a witness to me that the church is true and prophets receive modern revelation.  Joseph Smith was a prophet and seer no doubt in my mind.

We also watched most of Elder Holland's talk yesterday where he talked about Jesus asking Peter if he loved him three times.  That was really powerful and made me think about how much I love all of you and that I know that I need to love the savior even more then that.  I hope that I will have my love for my Lord and savior strengthened as I am on my mission so that I can truely love him more then anything else.  I think that may be one of the reasons that they have young men  serve missions where the contact with the people they love here on earth is minimal so that we can come closer to Christ and rely on him in every thought and action.  I know the more he is in our lives the happier and better off we will be.  So even though I miss you all, I am grateful that your absence will be filled with our Lord and savior.  Which I hope and pray that will be the same for all of you.  Until next week.

Elder Hobson

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Elder Hobson, Elder Beeton (orig companion), Elder Berquist (temporary comp in trio)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 2 Sept 2, 2014

Oi Family
It has been an good second week in the MTC but it has flown by.  The past week felt about as long as the first 2 days.  I am learning a lot, it is hard but it is happening.  I recognize that I am incapable of learning a language at this point so I know that without the help from the Lord Deus and o Espirtio Santo it isn't going to happen.  So I am very glad that we get their help in getting that done and remembering what we have already learned. We have a new teacher now his name is Irmao Staples and he seems to be a good teacher even though we have only been with him once.  We are having to deal with progressively more difficult teacher investigators and more of them so that will be a challenge but it is awesome when they ask you a question that you can kind of answer in a broken sentence.  It makes you feel really good because it is not that common for me at least.  

Sunday I spotted Elder Schenk twice.  I saw him walking once in the morning and was able to pay him back the 5 dollars that I owed him and have been carrying around all week.  I then spotted him standing up looking around for me before the Sunday night devotional and was able to go talk to him for a little bit and say goodbye as he leaves to day at 4 to enter the field.  I was glad that I got to do that.  He seemed humble and ready to go so I am sure that he will do great out there. 

It is not easy trying to stay in shape and healthy.  But from my district and zone there are several guys that after we are done playing soccer minus all the stupid rules that make it more civilized and less like real football we come back and do abs and push ups and pull ups which helps but those are getting old really fast and there is never enough time to get the exercise that I want and need.  Also spending just about all my day shaded from the sun, I no longer look like a river guide I am not very tan, I got a haircut today which was fun.  The barbershop was nice had a great view out over the trees at 8 so with the morning light on the mountains it was very pleasant.  Plus their was classical music playing and the barber I found out has been there since 92 so he knew what he was doing and was nice to talk to.  Plus I was the only one in there so it was just great.  But all of my blonde hair is gone and it looked weird to see myself with dark not curly hair for the first time in months.  I do miss the sun.  Especially since even when you are walking in between buildings the paths are covered so you still don't get the sun that you need.  I think that might have been part of the reason that I along with most everyone in our district has been a little sick.  I am over it now so that is good. because it is really difficult to try to catch up on sleep here without feeling guilty for missing study time.

As I mentioned to Mom earlier we shipped our 3rd member of the trio off the the MTC in Sao Paulo this morning at 6 am and so it is back down to Elder Beeton and I.  We are the more mellow of the three of us so that should mean we get more time that we are focused which is one of the biggest challenges here since you just want to talk to everyone and get to know as many people as possible.  We will miss Elder Burgquist though because he is a character. 

So one night this week my District leader Elder Wilkes had a bunch of Elders in our residence write letters to his girlfriend that he thinks he is going to marry when he gets home.  (she is 16 and going into her Junior year of high school so I think it is retarded, there is a lot more of that then I was expecting around here.  Them Utards all want to get married.)  So i went with the approach of trying to make sure she realizes that how important it is she doesn't mess up eternity on a goofball like Elder Wilkes. There were some really funny letters from the other Elders.

This week I have read a lot in the scriptures and have been able to do it while staying awake for the most part which is awesome.  When I get to just read the Good old English Book of Mormon is usually one of my favorite parts of the day because it is relaxing you don't have to fight past the language to get the spiritual stuff, it is just sitting there for you.  But I have also started reading the Bible in Portuguese with Elder Sutton from my district where we go through and try to figure out what every word means before looking at it in English.  Which seemed to be very educational and helpful.  Also the Bible that we have is the King James version minus the footnotes and JSTs because the Church doesn't have that for the Portuguese Bible which I found surprising.  It took us over an hour to get though the first 2 chapters in Genesis so it is pretty slow going.

On Sunday we watched a talk by Elder Bednar that he gave at the MTC a couple years ago called the Characteristics of Christ.  It was quite possibly the best talk that I have ever listened to and I definitely suggest that you all take the time to watch it.

I better go take a nap now so I don't fall asleep at the temple.  I hope you all have a great week.  I will continue to work hard and strive to not waste any of the time that I have dedicated to the Lord.  You will all be in my prayers. I love all of you and that love grows more and more each day. Until next week.


Elder Hobson

First Letter from MTC August 26, 2014

Well family they asked us to send a letter home on our first night but I did not have any idea what the address of the rental or the new house in Kuna or even the address to Amanda's apartment was so I didn't get to send you anything.  Well first of all I will just get all of the Business side of everything out of the way.  I want to tell you all about  It is a website that you can use to basically write an Email and it emails directly to the MTC and they print it off the same or next day and then deliver it to the missionary.  So if you want to communicate with me more then once a week that is probably the best way to do it.  Also I forgot to have you look up the Balance in my Checking account so if you could do that it would be awesome.  If you are considering sending me a package I am just going to tell you now don't worry about sending food until I am out of the MTC.  There is a stupid amount of food and junk around here for us to eat.  And these Utah missionaries all around me have junk food coming out of their ears that is going to waste.  The only thing that I could use is some mints because gum is against MTC rules and I am really tired of having disgusting breath.  Also some cheapo ball point pens wouldn't hurt at some point because I only have one that is good for writing in my scriptures.  That is about all for the business end I needed to get out of the way.
So now to tell you what is going on.  I think you would be interested to know that the first day I walked in and the first person that I saw in the hallway was Aubrey Allen.  And then I ran into here again within about 10 minutes so I thought that was pretty funny.  She gave me a warm welcome which was nice.  the whole situation put a smile on my face and the whole situation cheered me up. It really made me much more comfortable here right away.  I also had about 2 hours of class where about 100 missionaries that had just arrived were trying to teach an investigator together with absolutely no planning or lesson whatsoever which was very interesting with several different investigators where Matt was in the same group as I was so that was fun.  I never sat by him or had a real conversation but we are pretty decent at this point with long distance communication.  I learned a lot on my first day and I am starting to feel like a missionary now that I have the sweet badge and because of the fact that everyone calls me Elder.  Portuguese is not easy.  I am really having a hard time.  I am working hard to try to learn it and remember how to pronounce the words but most of my district has lots of foreign language backgrounds so they are better than me at this point.   It is getting better but we have already taught our investigator 3 times and those have been pretty rough.  But on the last one we asked here to commit to baptism anyways which she was open to but didn't understand why she needed to be baptized again since she was baptized as a catholic.  And we had no idea how to answer that in Portuguese so it wasn't perfectly smooth and we had been going for almost an hour so she asked us to come back another day.  Sometimes I really miss good old English.  My companion is named Elder Beeton.  He is from Orem Utah and is a pretty chill dude that likes to exercise so we have been getting along pretty well.  After a couple days we became a trio with Elder Burquist because his companion went home.  He is from Las Vegas and I like him quite a bit.  He likes to wakeboard and snowboard if that tells you anything about what he is like.  He and Elder Beeton are quite a pair though they are really rowdy and struggle to focus when they are together.  So that is something that we have been having to work on lately.  We could be losing him soon though because an Elder from the other portuguese district in our zone that came in last week got his visa to Brazil and left this morning so we will see what is going to happen.  The food here is pretty good.  There is certainly plenty of it.  I have been enjoying endless amounts of BYU chocolate milk.  It beats river food but it is not like mama's home cookin that is for sure.  I have been struggling to find some vegetables that I actually think will be healthy apart from salad with a little vinaigrette on it.  But my fruit intake is awesome.  Class is about where we live and we study a lot.  Our teacher's name is Irmao Nielson. Irmao being brother.  He is awesome and we are actually going to be his last district since he is quitting after having been here for over a year. So he knows what he is doing and is very good.

here is two other Elders in my district.  Elder Sutton and Elder Wilkes.  Wilkes is our district leader he is Utah kid along with Sutton.  Wilkes has a girl that is 16 years old that he thinks he is going to marry when he gets home.  Hahahahaha I thought that was pretty funny.  Elder Sutton My first impression made me think that I wouldn't like him but I was wrong he is pretty cool.  He showed us his drivers licence and he used to have a chin beard and a buzz cut that made him look like a convict.  He has a babyface though now.  There are two sisters in our district. They both were dancers and one was on the ballroom team at BYU I thought Amanda might be interested in that.  There names are Sister Mcchesney (excuse the spelling)  and Sister Anderson.  They are the overachieving type that are always showing up the Elders. Sister McChesney is 22 and Anderson is 20 so they have some years on us.  

So I have been hitting the Journal pretty hardcore every night and have already filled 18 pages in it.  And I would love to tell you all about almost all of it.  But in the MTC we are limited to an hour of email time and so there is no way that I will be able to type it all out since I am already a really slow typer and so much happens every day here.  I want to try to send you pictures of all the pages but I am having a hard time trying to figure out how to do that.  So I guess I will just have to tell you some stuff real quick that is most important.  I have been learning to pray in portuguese since day one.  I have been struggling a lot with that but i have the basics down now due to how often we pray and hours of additional study on that.  It is really enjoyable to be here. I have lots of fun.  sometimes to much probably but I am learning alot.  It is like preparing for an AP test or finals constantly but with the spirit so it is not that bad.  Also  so much more comes to your memory when you really need it to for the investigators sake then when you are just learning for yourself.  Portuguese as much as we possibly can always trying to speak our language.  We have memorized our purpose as missionaries and are working on the first vision.  I am doing my best to work hard and stay focused which is not easy in these long days.  But we will have to keep on trekking. I love you all and miss you a appropriate non distracting amount.  I have been keeping you all in my prayers.  I hope you are all adjusting well to Kuna.  

Elder Hobson