Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Week 36: Another transfer in Alverca

So the big news for the week is that I will be staying here in alverca
for another transfer with Elder Sutton which will put me here in
alverca for almost 7 MONTHS  it is a dang good thing that I love this
area.  We also got ANOTHER dupla of sisters that are going to be
working in Alverca for this transfer becase Sister Camacho will go
home a little early in this transfer and so they will close the area
when she does but for the majority of the transfer we are going to
have a district of us, the brodericks and 3 sets of sisters.  Talk
about relief society president. this makes me also the leader of the
biggest district in the mission BY FAR.  considering that there is a
full zone that only has one more dupla.

So I had to decided with the APs how we are going to divide up alverca
for the next 5 weeks and that has been a real big problem because it
dose not have a very clear solution, but hopefully what we got drawn
out today will be a good plan and bring us lots of sucess and make the
most out of having so many missionaries in one ward and such a small
area.  All of these changes has make my last two days the longest and
most stressful days of my entire mission so far.  we have been running
around shuffling sisters and their luggage all day on top of trying to
get our own p-day stuff all figured out which we basically just didnt
get anything done. we also have been trying to get all the things that
the sisters will need in their house figured out so that they can make
it work for 4 sisters instead of 2.  anyways my mind is going all over
the place and so we will see what comes out in the letter this week.

That concrete is really cool and you are right that will be really
nice and i am glad that you decided to go for it and also basketball
for dayz!!  also i just read through all the intro and stuff in the
front of the book of mormon because I jst started over this week too!
that is cool that we are in the same spot.  just a different language.

So this week we were able to meet again with a man that I contacted in
the first week with elder sutton here who was an atheist.  We
basically just told him that we wanted to share our beilefs with him
and taught the first lesson.  We then basically lost contact with him.
But the other day I was looking throught the phone and I felt like I
should call him even though it has been a while since I stopped becase
he was not responding.  so i did anyways becuase it felt right and he
answered and told me that he decided to read our pamphlet again and
then decided that he needed to start to read the Bible.  So he was
acutally already getting into luke from starting the new testament.
so then I asked him if he wanted a book of mormon and that is how we
were able to get a meeting with him to give him a copy.  When we say
him he looked like a completly different person becase his face looked
like it was almost glowing becuase of the happiness and hope that
Christ has brought into his life how much more open and humble he was
the second time around.   We then  taught the book of mormon and now
he will start to read the BOM.  I know that as he does that with an
open heart and everything he will beable to know that there really is
a god and that this is his church and all that other stuff is true.  I
love the BOM and I completly trust that it is the most powerful tool
that we have.

I also am well on my way of makeing a goal to convert a preist more or
less..  we have a lady that is a judge and has done all the stuff in
the catholic chruch to be able to teach as a woman and do the
communion and everything which requires years of paying and studying.
but we found her and taught her and she is really firm that she wants
to be baptised and everything.  she has already told her bishop and
they are of course fighting it and everything but we are going to win
because our church is true and the sprit has already told her that.
Also she is a long lost friend of Fernando who alos is a recent
convert from the catholic church.  they have a whole bunch of stuff
that she has to do to be FREE to change her religion which is
completely made up Crap to try to keep her.  also she wants to help
her youngest son get baptised with her and he really was the actual
investigator that we were trying to find when we found her for the
first time. Anyways she has a really awesome stroy that I would love
to tell you more about but for right now I will just go out and work
with her everyday to get her to the water.

I may already have 5 months here but there is alot more work for me to
do.. a lot more sisters to train..  and we are really making progress
with the leadership of the ward trying to really make things happen
here.  I am excited and now Alverca really will be my home here in the

Ola Presidente

Esta semana com os mudanças na área de Alverca vai ser muito
interessante para ver como tudo vai ser para usar esta bênção de mais
missionarias aqui o melhor possível.   Na ala estamos a ver muitos
coisas com o liderança que estão de mudar tudo para melhor e nos
estamos muito animado para ter o oportunidade de trabalhar aqui mais.

O treinamento de Elder Sutton esta indo.  Esta semana Eu estava a ver
o necessidade de ajudar lhe com o conhecimento de pontes o mais
importante do Evangelho de Cristo e como ensinar especificamente
arrependimento e também oração e como deve ser para nossos
pesquisadores e também pessoalmente.  Mas depois  algumas boas
conversas tiramos algumas duvidas e melhoramos juntos.  Eu sinto que
nos precisamos ainda mais com o doutrina e vamos continuar com o
idioma por meio de somente falar português em todos os momentos.

Eu sou grato por o oportunidade que tenho para trabalhar com todos
estas sisteres. Eu tenho espectivas altas por esta transferência e
estamos pronto para ver mais milagres aqui.

Thought i would just toss my president letter in here today.  see how
much makes sence.

Com amor para todos vocês!! Boa sorte com os mudanças de casa!!!
estou animado para vocês!
Elder Hobson

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 35 - Elder Bednar

Dad on your mission did you give and recieve beijinhos (the kisses
thing)? no i havent been playing any more then just some prelude at
baptisms.  Sister broderick the new senior couple plays the piano so I
will not have too for the rest of my stay here, which could only be
one more week since we have transfers coming up again next monday.

Yeah I have emailed john a little but it has not been to frequent.  He
is doing good but is really in need of an adventure...   problably
because everyone else is out on a mission spread out throughout the
world and he is in mosco.

And wow christina!  PROM AND BOYS!!! what is this!  But you looked really nice.

that is awesome about the temple.  I am super jealous. we had a casal
that are recent converts that we work with a lot go and get sealed and
endowed this week.  Fernando and Vera Moquinho which was really cool
but really makes me miss the temple.  sometimes I just do temple
studies so that I can feel that familiar spirit.

Also mom just know that your three pies definatly made it into the
letters home for those missionaries too.  and I would take those three
pies over the feast that we had any day without hesitation.

This week was really full of highs and lows.  We had days where we had
miracle after miracle happen and then some days where we really had to
search for the tender mercies as we pushed through more difficult
times, but that is a blessing of this life that we get to experience
all of those changes.  I know that as we keep pushing and really
applying the atonement and the training that we get every week and
through PME we will have sucess and be happy.

This week in our training we have been studying a lot of the district
videos as directed and we have really been trying to apply the things
we have taken from them.  Elder Sutton has been taking a the lead more
and more as we are walking from appointment to appointment and also in
our daily planning sessions.  This has been helping him to really
learn the area better.

So this weekend we had our special stake conference with Elder Bednar
and it definatly lived up to the expectations. He is such an amazing
speaker. He taught about a lot of really important stuff.  one thing
that he did was about the conference talks and what we should do when
we get the ensign conference edition.  He said that we should go into
all of the talks from the 15 apostles and look for three things (this
is what he does and gave it as a suggestion for us)
1. what is the principle or docrine that is being highlighted or focused on.
2. What are we invited to do.
3. What are the promised blessings.
Then he takes this paper that has the answers to these questions for
all of the talks and puts it in his scriptures and studies it
frequently becuase it is what the Lord wants for us RIGHT NOW.

So I would like to extend the same invintation for you all to do this
with me and really enjoy the blessings of having modern revelation in
our lives through the guidence of living prophets.

He also taught about how we all need to keep studying the atonement
for forever becase there is really no other thing to move on from in
the gospel other then the atonement and Christ.  Also that there is a
lot more that we can all learn even though we will never really have a
full understanding of the eternal significance of the atonement.

There was a lot more about puting off the natural man and becoming a
saint and remembering that we are not doing this alone and it is not
meant to be done alone or without difficulties, but sometimes God
trusts us to learn things the hard ways. One of my favorite parts of
conference was that Elder Bednar let sister schill, who is a sister in
my district here that had her mother pass away during the last month,
went home for a week and came back then her mom passed away after she
had come back to portugal for about 4 days, (yeah she is a pretty
awesome and inspiring sister) know that they have her in their
prayers.  That really touched my heart and that along with everything
else that happened at that conference made me grateful and
strengthened my testimony of leaders called by God with the authourity
to lead and really serve the people. sister bednar taught about how
being a parent teaches you christlike attributes which I believe whole
heartedly.  So thank you Mom and Dad for having to deal with me to
become more christlike.

  It was an awesome conference all around and we even got to run into
people from our old areas. I talked to some members that I have missed
from Costa which was cool and made me really happy.

Today for pday we went as a district to Sintra all day.  It was soo
cool and we visited some really awesome things including caves tunnels
castles, and a giant well!  I have some pics but Elder and Sister
Broderick took quite a few and they have a blog for their mission that
you could problably see some of them on and some other interesting
stuff about thier expericnce in Alverca.  It is

Anyways we are out here just enjoying the people and food and culture
but more then anything else the spirit and the blessings of the gospel
in out work.  It is a really wonderful esperience out here and is
going by really fast.  Today marks 8 months since I entered the MTC
and it is also the 200th day that I have had here in Portugal.  Even
though I love and miss you all a lot it is going by too fast!!  I love
you and hope that every day this week will be a blessing for you as

Com Amor
Elder Hobson

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Week 34: Rosa and Rosa

So this week has been pretty awesome.  We have been having all sorts
of success.  We actually had 2 people that accepted baptismal dates
and we have been working with them.  We have been meeting other cool
people and the cat lady Patricia is showing so real potential.  We as
a district have all been seeing sucess as we had 2 women named Rosa
get baptised and confirmed this weekend.  One of them, the one that is
in the pictures that I baptised, was a lady that we contacted in the
street a long time ago on a raining and windy day, I wrote down the
wrong house number and we had a hard time getting in contact with her
on the phone, but she kept reading the book of mormon every once in a
while so we worked on finding her agian and finally after a month and
a half or so found her, taught her the first lesson, and then gave her
as a reference to the sisters since she is a single lady.  She is
really amazing, she had to go to her boss to quit her job so that she
could go to church and everything but she fasted and prayed and got an
answer that it was nesicarry, and then her boss came back to her and
just moved the time so that she could get to church.  She bore her
testimony after the baptism and it was really powerful.  She will be
an awesome member here.

The other Rosa I gave her my first ever baptism interveiw.  And it
wasent exactly the simplest interveiw, but long story short after a
good couple hours of interview we got her to the water and she had a
really good experience.  Problably the most intimidating language test
that I have had to do so far was giving someone an interview that has
their salvation weighing on it, it would have been nice to get it
started out with one that was a little less complicated but whatever
it happens.

So yeah basically the whole district has been on fire this week and it
has been really fun to get to be right in the middle of it and I have
really been feeling the load of being in a leadership position when my
district has a bunch of people that are marked for baptism and all
that stuff to organize when the mission is really struggling,  I dont
think I got to bed on time once this week.

The power of the Book of Mormon in conversion has been very apparent
in our work here and my testimony of it has been strenghtened this
week through the trainings and our experinces applying it in our work.
One of our sucess stories is Borge.  He is a guy that Elder Alves and
I contacted about a month or two ago now that is friends with one of
the members here.  We never got his contact but we were able to get
him a Book of Mormon and the restoration pamphet.  We then since he
didnt show up to church the day that he said he would all that time
ago, we have just been asking about him whenever we talk to Jorge (the
member friend).  Anyways we finally got ahold of him through Jorge and
we got an appointment with him.  We found out as we were asking him
some questions that he had been reading the Book of Mormon for the
last month or so and has made it all the way to Alma 54!  He said that
several times as he was reading he was crying because of the way he
was feeling, and said that he has been taking up a lot of his spare
time to read. We also found out that he has a huge burden weighing on
him that he lost his mother when he was only one year old and then his
grandma that raised him and was basically like his mom passed away
when he was 18.  He is now in his 30s and it is still somthing that
hurts him everyday. We then taught him about the plan of salvation and
how he can have an eternal family through the temple and he then, in a
very powerful spiritual moment accepted to be baptised so that he can
get to work on rejoining his family together.

After church and the baptism on Sunday we had a meal with a recently
reactivated family with the sisters and the brodericks and everything
that was the most rediculous banquet that I have ever seen.  She had 4
main dishes that each one of them would have been enough for all of us
and then 7 deserts. and she was one of those ladies that thinks
somehow Elders can eat 3 times as much as a regular person based off
of how much she kept giving us.  Î am still pretty full and havent
really ate anything since.

Anyways the work is coming along and life is good here.  I love you
all and you all seem to be doing awesome. Especially Jesse who looks
way older.  I love the new pics of the House.  Super cool. get job
with everything so far that you have in there.  Elder Bednar is coming
to our stake conference here this next weekend so we are super excited
for that.  Love you and have a good week!

Elder Hobson

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 33 - General Conference

So the highlight of my week as I am sure that it was for you too was general conference.  It was a really fun conference and we did get a lot of that good stuff that we need so desperatly.  I watched some of it in portuguese and some of it in english.  The portuguese I was able to understand well it is just that it is a translation and really is not quite the same because you cant hear that power and conviciton that the prophet and apostles have in their voice.  Plus the whole time you can hear a little of the english coming through so it is kindof annoying to here it because it is like there is always two people talking and I understand them both so it is hard to tune out the quieter english.  But we have the chapel that has the stuff set up to recieve the transmission so there were several branches that came to watch it with us.  We had a seperate room set up on the other side of the hall that was in english for missionaries and other members that speak english well too.  so if we didnt have investigators to sit with we would watch it in there.

One thing we did this week was to clean a whole bunch of mold out of the house of a member.  There was so much mold and from all the bleach and everything we were getting all a little light headed and a little loopy but it was a good service project and everything,  the family was greatful and now their house is problably a healthier enviornment.

We went to the big store here in our area to shop today and we were able to snag up some things that I have not seen in a while like salsa and tortillas.  It was problably one of the few times in my life that I have had an actually really enjoyable time shopping.

We met a cat lady that volunteers most of here time at a cat and dog shelter that has a bunch of cats that they have taken off of the street and put in this house thing that is really well kept and they take care of them.  It is a good thing I guess they need to keep the cats off the streets but there is definatly more then enough cats running around here.  But she is really cool and was pretty open to hear our message so hopefully we can get her to progress.  When we left she was leaving the shelter too and I offered to carry the big black trash sack for here to the trash which problably weighed about 40 lbs.  She then explaied to be careful because the dogs had ripped it open and also I later found out that it was just the cat poop from the day that she cleans up every day.  40lbs a day!!  It is interesting to me the causes that some people will dedicate thier lives too.

Easter is a big deal here.  Becuase everyone is an active catholic so that means that they all went to church last sunday, friday, and on easter.  So that was a little annoying that people werent really accepting on the church invitations becase they actually had plans to go to their own chruch this weekend. But it was cool to see everyone remembering what our savior did for us.

This week we are doing all that we can to find the elect and really focus our time and efforts on the children of God that will progress and keep the commitments that we give them. This has brought a lot of time out looking for new investigators and doing all that we can to find the elect. Which is certianly not the easiest thing to do but I know that I would much rather search for the few that are already prepared and willing to really apply the gospel in their life then to continue to pass the time by with investigators that do not show any real intent to make the changes nessicary in their lives.  I know that if we continue to do all that we can on our part, work well with the members, and trust in the Lord to guide us we will be able to find more people to teach and bring unto Christ.

We set a goal as a dupla to pray every time one of our scheduled appointments fell through.  And we were able to see several little miracles from those prayers.  Whether it be that we were able to talk to our alternate plan or that we found someone who was clearly prepared in the street, It was a strong testimony that the Lord will get his work done despite how weak and flawed we may be as long as we are puting all our effort and trust in him.  I loved President Uchtdorf's comments about grace as well.  Every time I study what he did for us, which is everyday, I feel more and more humbled by my absolute dependance on him and how he has provided the only way that we can be happy.  I know that he live and loves us all.

Easter week has come and gone but let us not stop to remember all that the savior has done for us and our need to constantly and throughly to apply the atonement in our lives and accept that amazing gift that he gave us.

I love you all

Elder Hobson