Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 32

So the new sister in my district went to BYU (suprise suprise) and studied food Science and was in the same lab group as amanda!  haha it is a small world.  Her name is Ashley elliott.  one of those blonde californians that i know amanda Always just loves.  haha

This was a good week.  We had a zone conference which took up almost a full day and it was with 3 zones so tons of missionaries which was fun. Today we went to belem which I have been there several times already but the rest of the district wanted to go there and it was our district p day.  So that was a good time.  It is a little strange being in a district with all sisters becuase I feel fine talking to them all but I just feel that it is just not the same as being with Elders since it is the mission.  (it is a good thing for Elder sutton becase he could use the practice talking to girls where there is not consequences at all,  Hopefully i can really help the kid out) Anyways I am enjoying every day and it is going by really really fast which is actually kindof scaring me that we are already half way through this transfer.

I am really enjoying our time.  We have stopped going to a lot of investigators that are not progressing and usually that would make it seem like we would not have much to do but we are super busy every day and are finding some new people to teach which is good becase I am tired of the investigators that we have and them not progressing.  It is taking me some time to get used to the extra time that we have in the house every day again.  But it isnt too bad.  I have to constantly be encouraging ole sut to do a bunch of little things like shave and not study in bed but he is starting to accept some of those things.

So I have been thinking a lot about why I am really out here and what is the real base of my testimony and as I have had more and more opportunities to talk and bear my testimony because ole sut is still building on the language which leaves me with basically all of the lessons all day long. I have really enjoyed the realization that it has brought me too that what the gospel and all this is all about for me at least is Family.  It is central to the plan of happiness, the basic unit of all the universe  and it is really in the end what brings the majority of people their true happiness in life.  When i get in doubt about a person and I do not know excatly what I think they need to hear so that the spirit can touch thier heart according to their needs I usually fall back on the blessings the gospel has for the Family.  We had a cool experience with this when after church on sunday we went over to Rosarias and Joaos (the eternal investigators that we dropped over a month ago and they have continued to come to church) because they specifically asked for a visit so that they could get to meet my new comp a little. I went in and we had a little bit of a lesson planned to watch the new easter vídeo with them, but after Rosaria started talking about how they were living in seperate rooms and stuff now tring to figure out how to live the law of chastiy so that she could be baptised, i decided to just ask them two questions.

The first was just what is it that brings you the most happiness in your life.  and the second was what can you do to focus on that so you are more happy?  And just that was all that they needed to see that what they really wanted was to be happy together and as a Family.

They were more happy attentive and sincere then I have ever seen them before and they even said that they would like to be married together in the temple for all time and eternity after months of saying that they are not even ready to get remarried in this life.  I saw them show effection to each other and move closer together on the couch and everything.  It really showed me that Family really does change everything and it really is the purpose of all of this.  But we are not going to start going by them again becuase clearly enough not passing by is much more effective haha.  It is time for them to make the moves on their own.

esta semana estamos a continuar e limpar todo nosso tempo que nos podemos mesmo focalizar no pessoas que sabemos são em alverca que são mesmo preparado para ser batizado.  Agora depois a luta por alguma semanas para ajudar pessoas aceitar e viver os mandamentos e chegar na igreja, estamos a libertar nosso outro tempo para encontrar com os eleitos.  and it is working.  We have found several new young people and families that have never been taught and have a open heart and mind to recieve the truth and have better lives.  I often have a hard time deciding how persistent with our investigators we need to be.  It is one thing that personally I feel that I have more of a tendency to never accept an answer that they cant make it to church becuase of some lame excuse or that they can make it on their own for the first time without letting us make specific plans to help them actually come.  But Elder Sutton is helping me have a fresh veiw on our investigators and which of them really have potential to progress.

Training has been going well and we are really doing a lot of practices in all the planning and study sessions that we have together.  We really drilled trough a whole bunch of different lenght restoration lessons practicing lots of different situations and then we saw the fruits of this in our work.  I really enjoy watching the spirit come into the lesson when he is really sincere and does all that he can to humbly bear his testimony.  It has reminded me that we all need to forget ourselves and our abilities and talents and become like little children and truely put all of our trust in the Lord.

Com Amor

Elder Hobson

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 31 Elder Sutton and Berta

Berta's Baptism

Elder Sutton and Pres. and Sis Fluckiger
Well this week was exciting from most of the things that I mentioned
last week.  My new comp is keeping me busy.  He already has given a
woman beijinhos which is the kisses on the cheek and everything. He
went to California for a transfer to wait for his visa and so he  came
in with little to no portuguese. It has been pretty rough for him
including having to give a talk in sacrament meeting with less then an
hours notice.  He completely froze and wasent able to get what he
wanted to say out but after a few minutes douglas the member of the
bishopric that was presiding called me up from the audience to
translate for him.  There was a lot of tears and even though it was
really short after I got up there he left a powerful testimony that
touched the entire congregation.  The transition of the language is
being pretty rough on him and his comp in california was a tongan
slacker so he is also struggling to live the missionary schedule.  But
yeah I am going to get him there (help him man up) sooner or later.
It is really exhausting having to really do everything right now, all
the contacts and lessons have to be all me becuase of the language
barrier for him still.  Plus studies are much more stressful because I
have to figure out how to teach him instead of just working on my own
knowledge.  But that is what the mission is all about serving others
and I can see how the mission changes people becuase I now am getting
to see where some of the elders start out and there has to be some
pretty major changes to be made so that they can man up and handle
this lifestyle.

We got to go to a dedication of a house after chruch with a part
member family that we are really close to helping the husband get
baptised.  They come to chruch every week and everything and love
talking to us and the sisters so hopefully we can see him get baptised
here within the next couple weeks or so.  It was really fun to get to
be with the zone leaders for the week and everything they are really
fun and cool missionaries and it was good to get to develop a
realationship with them because now reporting to them every night will
be more fun.  I also learned alot from being with them.  one of them
has already been our for over 2 years and is 23 so it was definatly a
little bit different.  My first ever district meeting that I got to
give I gave with Elder Alves becuse we had to combine or distiricts
since I was staying with the zone leaders who are in his district now.
so it was basically more of a zone meeting for my first ever district
meeting and we had to go in with abosolutly no preperation becuase we
couldnt get to a printer until 5 minutes before the meeting to get the
training printed out. But it went really well.  Anyways I am happy and
enjoying the time that I have here still.

While I was with the zone leaders I got to go with them to a meeting
that the mission president has with the zone leaders and the stake
presidency which was pretty cool I had no idea that they had meetings
like those.  It felt like some sort of secret CIA meeting or something
becuse it was night and raining when we got there and the high council
room is seperate behind the chapel there and has a big old heavy metal
door.  It made me laugh a little but meeting with church athorities
like that has never been too intimidating to me.  We got to hear the
plans for the stake and mission work here in the future which was
exciting to hear.  Also the new casal showed up today so That is
really exciting and my district grew a little bit today.

I love you all and you will be in my prayers.
Elder Hobson

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Week 30: Called to be a "Dad" and Relief Society Pres at the same time!?!

Editor's note:  If you aren't familiar with the "Relief Society", it is the LDS Church's women's service organization.  All women in the church are part of the Relief Society which is led by all female leadership.

Well big news this week is that I have a new comp and it will be his
first transfer here in Portugal.  So I am training or as missionaries
like to say I will be a dad.  Also I am staying in Alverca for another
6 weeks which is exciting.  I am also now the new district leader and
since all that is in my district is sisters, I am now also the
"President of the Relief society. haha A calling that I never thought
that I would have.  So right now I am waiting for a couple days until
my new comp Elder Sutton gets here from the MTC with the zone leaders
which is cool that I will get to get to know them a little better
especially now that I will talk to them a lot more. We got to see a
bunch of the missionaries that are going home because we were at the
office which was fun and we helped with some of the chaos today which
was fun and involved running to the train station with super heavy
sister bags.  But because of all this chaos I dont have much time this

I am super excited and nervous for the new changes but it really is
exactly what I wanted to have happen.  I am ready to start calling all
the shots and being in charge again.   It will be cool to have a comp
that I can help learn and I can really push as hard as I can with him.
Plus I get more time to study the language now which will be great.

Haha that is true it looks painful on most dancers.  haha Dang I
missed out on Pie day.  I had no idea.  Thanks for the little lesson
on ministering to others I will do my best to apply that more in my
work especially now that I have to minister to sister missionaries
too.  I have never seen a moose outside of Yellowstone.  that Is crazy
they have them in the back yard.

Well we had a baptism in the ward that was really awesome. I got to
confirm her and everything.  More big news is that for her baptism
which was also the baptism of another man so there were quite a bit of
people there I played the piano including prelude the opening hymn and
a bunch of others while they were changing clothes.  It wasent good
but I got through it and it was fun.  I had to site read a couple
songs and I am pretty proud of how it turned out. Unfortunatly Berta
(the lady who we baptised) will be moving down to africa this week but
she is ready and excited to search out the church there.

I am excited to be able to be the district leader and train Elder
Sutton.  I am looking forward to the challenge.  We have conceicao who
is really close to being baptized and we are really going to do all
that we can to find lots of new investigators this week.  but of
course I wont even be in my own area for the majority of the week with
all the new missonary stuff that I have to do.

Thank you so much for all of the awesome pictures and great stories.
sorry that I didnt have time to get back to all of you very well.

Love you all have a good week.
Elder Hobson

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 29

Today we got to go on a bike ride with a guy named Nunu which was way
fun.  the weather was perfect and he gave us a nice tour of some of
the country side near Alverca and he likes practicing his english too
so he explained everything to me in english..  We passed through one
town which is called "were the crazies are" and we took some pictures
of a statue of Hucules and a bunch of other cool things.  The rio tejo
today we passed by and the whole thing was absolutely glass I almost
died wanting to go waterskiing..

The weather changed here and it is now in the 70s and sunny all the
time.  It is awesome and I am excited to be rocking the short sleeves
again and feeling the sun.  That is crazy that it is warm in Idaho

No I have not com into contact with many russians.  But yeah people
from everywhere are here. And we havent been able to talk to her agian

My portuguese is getting better all of the time.. I am really
comfortable reading the book of mormon in portuguese and really
anything.  I understand 95% of the things that people are saying and I
learn new words out of context every day.  I really only speak
portuguese because as a mission it is one thing that President
Fluckiger does not want us to be speaking english out side of the
house so I never speak english and Feel funny when i do have to with

Ibe's Wife left for london to start her interveiws and stuff and so he
does not want to get baptised until they are together again and when
hopefully she will want to get baptised with her.  Right now he will
get baptised is the plan but I am working with him to be more
proactive in searching out the missionaries and the church in London.
So right now it looks like I will not see him get baptised here in a
couple weeks but we will see.

So the funny story in the life of Elder Hobson this week is that I
burned myself with an iron on...  yep just as you thought..  my face.
I went to unplug the stupid thing and bumped the table and it tiped
over and left a red line on the side of my face...  I am getting made
fun of for it by the members quite a bit but it didnt hurt or anything
so it is all good.

This week we were able to see some sucess come from our many many
contacts.  We tried contacting one lady who though we were TJs and so
she wrote us off but we said we are not TJs just left her with a card
and asked to explain who we really are to her and she accepted and we
got her address.  We taught her a spiritual first lesson and she came
to church and has never been baptised so she accepted the convite
logo!  She is marked for baptism next week now and the sisters will
teach the rest of the lessons.

We have investigators that are right there and once they are confident
enough to accept the answer they have gotten they will be getting
baptised.  The Lord really does put his elect in our path and I am
excited to continue to work with the people that we have found and
come to love here in Alverca.
The study of the last week of the lords life has been a powerful
testimony builder for me and I especially enjoyed focusing my studies
with Jesus the Christ and the details that I had not yet heard that
make it so much more real and personal what the lord really went
through and how emense his sacrifice really was.

Next week is transfers so we are both thinking that there is about no
chance we will stay together again in Alverca but we will have to see
and it could be that I will be talking to you from a different area
next week.

Yeah so have a great week Love you all!!!
Elder Hobson

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Week 28

This week we have had seen some good things happen.  Our members here
are helping out and we are seeing a lot of menos activos coming back.
Plus we have some investigators that are progressing and we will be
working really closely with to help them get baptised here soon.

I have been working on really focusing my studies so that I have
really follow my plans to study things for 15 minutes and move on and
I have felt my studies being more effecient.  I have been enjoying
studying about oracao and I have learned a lot about all the things
that we should be praying for.   I know that prayers is how we talk
with our father and I am really greatful for all those scriptures that
help us to communicate with him better and really get all that we can
out of this sacred connection.  One scripture that I really like about
prayer is romans 8:26.

Well I didn't end up getting Gelato but today i did eat a couple cheap
ice cream cones haha.  We do not have really any good gelato places
here in Alverca like I had in costa.  We went to a castle today which
was cool.  really was my first time wandering around in the really
downtown crowded lisbon with lots of tourists and interesting things.
So that was fun.

The Noite de Hot Dog was a sucess.  I made all the food (Microwaved 70
cheap gross hot dogs that come in water in a can) and we were able to
feed about 30 people crappy hotdogs chips and soda on about 18 euros
and they left happy, so it was a good deal.

I made bannana bread which turned out nice but wasent comparable to moms.

Ibe came to church this week and that was really awesome.  when I
asked him about baptism after sacrament meeting he didnt say yes that
he is ready but he said he wants to make it a family affair becase
that is what we have been really focusing on with him is the blessings
the gospel gives families. We watched together forever with him which
was really powerful and helped motivate him alot.  Unfortunatly we are
fighting against the clock here and his wife took the kids and went to
asssembly of God later on on sunday instead of coming with him.  but
we are going to try and give them the opportunity to listen too so
that they can accept the blessings as a family.

We taught a russian girl that was really nice and made us crepes and
stuff for our first visit.  She accepted everything well and it was
all good until the end when she said that she dosent really believe in
Jesus Christ,  which was suprising becuase she is a practicing
catholic so we didnt think it was something that we really need to ask
a lot of questions about.

Lots of other interesting things happpend this week too.

one member had an interesting experience during my testimony in
sacrament meeting.. remind me to tell you about that another day.

Love you all hope you have a better week.
Elder Hobson

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Week 27 - "Well it was a good week to be in the hospital ....."

Editor's note:  The subject line above is the subject line of a blank email Elder Hobson sent to us Monday morning.  We received this letter that explained the subject line a couple hours later ...

I got my birthday package!  Thank you very much the cookies are really good as always :)

we went to the hospital 3 times including one today for elder alves.  He had a cunsultant for his epilepsy stuff then we had to go back and do some tests twice.  It was pretty cool but took up a lot of time.

This week was a good week and everything is going well here in Alverca.  We have some investigators that are showing a lot of potential right now and it will be exciting to see their progression.  We did have to spend a good amount of time out of our area in the hospital for Elder Alves' check ups which was unfortunate and make the work a little bit more difficult but we have gotten by it now.

We are getting to see the ward grow in strength quite a bit as the numbers in sacrament meeting have been growing every week.  We have had lots of inactive members coming back and it is really helping out the ward.  Also we had a lot of members that were able to go the the temple this weekend and that always is a special thing and we are already seeing the improvement in all those who were able to go.  One member that has been a member for 30 years but most of them have been away from the church becase of his word of widsom problems was able to go to the temple becuase he has come back and gotten his life put back together.  The day they got back from the temple he came up to us in the park (which he used to run from us becuase of his shame) and thanked me for being flat out with him and asking him when he is going to quit smoking a couple months ago one day in church..  he said it was a good wakeup call and he has proudly not smoked for quite some time now.

Everything is going well and we are looking forward to a week of being able to just work hard to finish up the month and come strongly into march.
On my birthday we have an integration activity put on by the missionaries in the ward and this week it is noite de HOT DOG.  So I guess I am going to have a pretty sweet birthday dinner.  But we do have a lunch appointment with a family that always gives lots of good brazilian food.   Also gelato is good but there is not much that can beat Chocolate Brownie Thunder.

The Phippens went home this sunday.  It was sad to see them go but I have their information and they live really close to BYU so if I go to school there I will have to go visit them there.  Fun fact right before this last mission which is number four for them as a couple Elder Phippen got a pace maker put in by the same doctor that gave one to President Monson.
That is funny that you mention the parable of the sowers because that is the parable that our ward mission leader is always talking about and it is really tough to be able to tell when the seeds we are planting are making it into the good ground and when we are just wasteing time trying to weed away the spines that are endless and are suffocating the progress of that person.
Ibe is having a rough time still with the same stuff.  It really is stopping his progression and it is really sad because he won't except the blessings because he is too stuck on those negative feelings that he has.  But on the first he will go to church so hopefully the fast and testimony meeting will touch his heart and he will make the decision.
We are teaching one guy who looks a lot like drew davis but has a speach impetement and has already joined the army and then a went to a monestary one of those crazy isolation study things.  but left becuse he couldnt handle it.  anyways he is really interesting and wants a lot of different things.  He is also got the mind of a child, but hopefully we will be able to help him find the gospel as a good path to pick and actually stay with so he can get his life going somewhere.

One quick experience is that we got to talk to a mother that had lost here mom a couple years back and she said that all she wanted in the world was to be able to see loved ones that have passed away again.  It was soo cool to be able to know and offer her the knowledge that that is really possible, and she was really open to recieve more visits from us.  I am so glad that we have the oportunity to have eternal families and that is really the greatest blessing that I can think of.  I always end up talking to people about that becuase I know if family is even close to as important to the people that we talk to as it is to me then nothing should touch their hearts more.  It is really special and the best part is that anyone can have it. 
I am so greatful for all of you and all the love and support that I have through my family.  You all are really amazing examples for me and I am more then willing to be away from you to serve the lord for a couple years becuase I know that in return he will give me an eternity with you all if I just keep on working.
Hope you all have a good week!
Com Amor
Elder Hobson