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