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