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.