Sunday, August 30, 2015

Week 53 Fatima

I cannot believe that Summer is over out there already! That went by
quickly.  and I do think that that trip would be a good annual end of
summer last hurrah.  I liked that story from pres. Hinkley.  It is
really an attention getter and it is really important to me that they
get that all worked out so that all members have the best chance
possible of staying strong in the church and actually making a
difference in their lives.  President Hinkley spoke quite clearly that
we need to change how things are so that we can see real retention and
real growth.

To answer your question mom.  Matt and I talk every week and we are
starting to talk about college plans.

And do not worry Dad there will be no focusing on programs here since
none even exist.  All the work that we do here is really individual
and really personal.  I have called this week every member on our list
trying to get updates on where and how they are doing.  It was fun and
we were able to get a young mother to come out to the surprise goodbye
party that we had for the leSueuer casal since they will be leaving
next weekend.  So we are seeing fruits of our labors already and our
focus is principally in creating opportunities for great things in the
future. That goodbye party was really fun and it will be sad to see
the LeSueurs go next weekend, but they are being replaced by the
Brodericks the couple that I introduced to Alverca and worked with
there for 3 months, which will be a pleasure. We got to go on a cool
hike up to the top of a mountain early this morning with elder LeSueur
which was really cool and super beautiful I will try to get you some
pics soon.

We had a really nice informal presidency meeting this week with
President Cabral, when he took us out to lunch and we talked about a
bunch of the members and their needs, but we also got to know him a
little bit better and we learned a lot about the work here from just a
nice conversation with him.  He is a really good guy.  Super different
then I am but he is really fun to be around.  I love getting to work
with the local leaders because I can see immediately and hear the
concerns that they have for their units that other missionaries in the
past never truly got the opportunity to get to know about and
therefore could not make the same lasting impact on the church here.
So I am really loving the work and the experiences that I am having
here. I am learning that I enjoy counseling people and helping to
train them so that they can see the best results they are capable of.
When I get to see them succeeding and have that joy in their life of a
job well done I really feel satisfied oftentimes more then when I do
the job myself.  Maybe that will have to be a consideration in
potential future careers.

This week I had my first ever interview as a priesthood leader.  It
was to extend the calling of head janitor basically to a member, but I
had Elder Thomas as the secretary call him and set up the appointment
and ask that he came in a shirt and tie and when he got there he was
sooooo nervous, just sweating bullets.  It was pretty funny because he
is a big ole body builder and he was scared to death of me hahaha.
Right when he got into the office he just said, "If this is about my
worthiness, I am not worthy"  hahaa I thought he was about to break
down into tears, but it went well  and we got him the calling.

We have one investigator named Fatima that is super cool and she is
the subject of my letter to president if you translate it.  But she is
just the shyest quietest lady I have ever met, but she does know how
to get excited about the gospel and she really looks forward to our
visits.  She is living proof of the power of the book of Mormon and
the prayers in conversion. She has dramatically progressed and let her
fear of moving to quickly go behind her because she has truly learned
that it is true and she cannot deny it.  She should be getting
baptised this next weekend if all goes well.

Esta semana estamos a trabalhar principalmente com nossa marcada para
esta fim de semana. Ela é uma mulher muita eleita. Ela ESTUDA O Livro
de Mórmon, e tem perguntas fantásticas sobre o que podemos aprender
com as escrituras. Ela compre com compromissos melhor sempre, e desde
de momento quando ouvimos ela orar para nos como mensageiros de Deus e
pediu que as corações dos outros possam ser preparadas para o
evangelho sabíamos com certeza que ela será uma membro fantástica. Ela
tem a única problema que o ex-marido ainda mora na casa dela porque
ela é simpática demais para manda ele para a rua. Mas achamos ela esta
a guardar a lei de castidade dormindo em quartas separadas nem na
mesmo andar. Ainda assim Elder LeSueur vai verificar antes de batismo.
Sou preocupado que vai causar problemas com outros membros com esta
situação, mas sabemos a salvação dela está encima de tudo. ficaríamos
em contacto sobre o progresso dela.

Have a great week and study hard!!

Com Amor
Elder Hobson

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Week 52 more on Joel

As for Joel, his family is tough lots of them have already died, his
mother lives in Texas and he does not know her well, he lives with a
drug dealer brother, his sister is a completely inactive member also
that lives in the continent and that is about it. But he is already
helping us with all sorts of things as far as the missionary work

I am super jealous of the big family trip up into the mountians and I
am glad that Ganny is getting the 5 class service that she needs and I
am sure that she will recover quickly for someone that has her age.  I
cannot believe that she is already 77!  I thought she was more like 72
or 73.  But anyways it is good to hear that everything is going a
liltte better this week and that you are all getting some quality time

This week we started really tearing apart and updating our ward list
here.  We have been going in and putting the addresses and stuff in as
the proper format so that we can get that all up to date and start
sending people out after these lost sheep.  We also have been putting
a bunch into the unknown file which is really kind of fun and really
nice so that we can get the people that we just know are gone and have
no other real form of contact to get to them, we can send them into
the European office and the missionaries there can search for them and
then they and the other people that we actually have here will get
more attention and they will hopefully be brought back into activity.
 Another thing that we did this week is the home teacher assignments
and we are starting the process of making all sorts of callings for a
lot of members that need them here.  That has been taking up a lot of
our time.  We are called in the presidency, Elder Thomas is also the
secretary and the first councilor in the Elders quorum presidency and
also we have been taking over the young men all summer as the
president has been gone, also there is no Sunday school pres. so we
need to work with that too.  So we have a lot of work to get done in
the branch and we really want to get this branch organized and running
properly because nobody has done it and as far as members the ones
that can are just doing all they can to keep the branch a float.  So
we have really wanted to take the load off of the branch president a
little bit because he is loaded down with work, a young family, and a
branch with a massive welfare load..  Anyways with us spending all
that time working on the computer and in meetings and making calls and
stuff it has taken a toll on our proselyting work a little and we have
had our leaders all over us about that but we feel that this is what
this branch and the people here need more then anything else.  This is
necessary to strengthen and nourish all the young members here and
help it out so that we can have a better retention rate.

Esta semana estamos a aprender muito sobre como nos podemos balançar o
peso dos ambos lados de trabalho missionário e o lado de liderança na
Igreja.  Sou grato que tenho esta oportunidade de aprender todos estas
coisas e como usar o tempo do Senhor com sabedoria.

PS keep me updated on what you are thinking about picking me up and
also as far as school and reapplying to Utah state if you want to look
into that a little that would be awesome. I am good on things for now
but I will try to let you all know if I think of anything.

I used the work gloves already.  We filled in the holes in a member's house.


Love Elder Hobson

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 51 Joel's Baptism

Well freak you all need to be careful.  Getting you letters this week
was like getting the 5 o'clock news.  It was just all crime and deaths
and all sorts of tragic things.  I am very grateful that everyone is
still alive and that Granny will have the best recovery crew in the
word at her 24/7 care to help her get back up on her feet.  I think
that that spot should be removed from that house or at least have an
age limit on who can pass through there without wearing a padded suit.

This week was super busy.. Especially on Sunday.  I am conducting in
sacrament meeting for the month and I was pretty nervous to do it for
the first time but I was able to get it done in the end.  I sat in on
some interviews to talk to some people about their welfare needs and
situations.   It was a busy day too with Joel's BAPTISM.  It was super
awesome and he just has progressed ridiculously fast. He bore his
testimony in his baptism and had everyone laughing and feeling the
spirit at the same time. I love that kid and he will stay a good
friend of mine forever.  I understand now what it means to have
someone that understands that we are really representatives of Christ.
He accepts all the challenges that we give him without hesitating no
matter how difficult it probably will be for him.  He is an awesome
kid that is already thinking about things like going to the temple and
serving a mission.  He is also just really fun to talk to and work
with.  He has a great sense of humor and even with all of the problems
of this branch and all the negative comments of the members he is just
always smiling and loving it because he understands that it is truly
the church of Jesus Christ. He really liked that we had some of the
young women sing for him :)  also we had him cleaning the baptismal
fonte with us and everything during the week. Which was an interesting
experience and he was just so stinking anxious to get to the day of
his baptism.  I gave him that green tie that I have had since I was
like a teacher haha fun times.

This week we have started working on doing the work necessary to clean
up the ward list which has 467 people right now with 50 or so coming
to chruch.  Also there is all sorts of crap on there that should not
be there which we need to get rid of.  We also spent a bunch of time
calling salt lake to get the internet all working and up to code with
the church because it was totally screwed up but on the bright side I
got a 2 hour free class on how internet connections work and how to
wire everything and another 2 hour class on how MLS and the church
internet system works.  so that was cool and will be useful for

As far as coming and picking me up, I have though about it and I think
that it would be really nice for some things and other reasons make me
tempted to just say I come home and call it good.  I do vote that you
go back with mom to Italy though and dont want to be the deciding
factor either way.  It would be fun and that would take some stress
off of me about getting a suit and shoes and stuff bought here before
I get sent home.  Me having time on the acores makes it a bit more
challenging though if you would be wanting to come and see out her as
well. But yeah it would be fun even though I cannot swim we could do
some nice fishing or something.

Caro Presidente
Esta semana conseguíamos   a batizar Joel.  O mudança nele era quando
ele começou nos ver como verdadeiro representantes de nosso Salvador.
Ele vai ser um membro excelente e temos planos e esperança que vamos
conseguir a batizar muitos dos amigos e familiares dele. Também
tivemos um irmão duma membro chegar na igreja que já foi algumas vezes
e tem lido o livro de Mórmon e quer ser batizado mas ele mora na Ilha
de Pico onde não temos a igreja organizado ainda. Então temos o
contacto dele e vamos começar  a ensinar lhe por meio do telemóvel
para que na próxima visita que ele esta em angra ele possa ser
batizado.  Gostamos ouvir qualquer outro instruções sobre casos como

I got that package mom.  The talks are great and the marshmallows came
through well.  the little ones were stuck to the sides but the big
ones were perfectly normal.  So thanks.  

Well family I love you and sorry that I dont have time for too much of
a spiritual thought today but I know that the church is true and I am
sure glad for eternal families so that we can all stay together.  STAY

Com Amor
Elder Hobson

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 50

People generally have cars because it is almost a necessity here but
the problem is just the commitment that is hard to trust and then
difficulty of following up with them that makes it more efficient in
the end to teach a lot close to the chapel, especially if we are
wanting to get help from the members.

Mom, they have some camp out things but their big thing is to go to
FSY or EFY which are the same thing.  All of the youth here are always
talking about EFY. (kindof like the young women back there in the
factory with girls camp) I should be getting your package this week
becase the zone leaders have one for me on the other island and will
bring it by during our divisions this week I think.

So Joel is doing awesome,  he went to church and loved it. He already
has a ton of friends in the church.  He knows a lot of the members
better then we do.  Everyone that we introduce him to he already seems
to know fairly closely.  He is super cool and we are becoming good
friends as we are constantly texting. He is super easy to teach and
aplies everything that we tell him he is super excited to be baptised
this Sunday the only thing that he needs to get through is the law of
chastity becase he has a girlfriend where the norm there is going to
have to change a bit.  Hopefully everything goes well and we will get
to teach her the gospel as well!  We had a really awesome lesson with
one member who is a good friend of Joel,  it was funny becase we
watched the becase of him video while we were waiting for the member
to show up and right when the resurected Christ walked in so did Pedro
all dressed in white.  Gave me a good chuckle.

Nos encontramos e estamos a ensinar um eleito.   Ele era um contacto
eficaz e curto na rua que cada vez que nos marchamos ele esta pelo
menos 5 minutes cedo  na capela preparado para a lição.  Esta semana
o horário dele mudou e ele foi igreja para primeira vez.   Mas antes
disto ensinamos com membros e introduzimos algumas outros membros que
não possam ensinar connosco e Ele encontrou com muitos amigos e
conhecidos de muito tempo que deixou ele completamente a vontade na
igreja e integrado já.  Ele esta a cumprir com todos os compromissos
com a única duvida dele na lei de castidade com a namorada mas temos
fé que ele vai continuar de fazer o que é necessário para seguir o
Salvador e ser batizado esta Domingo.  Este é porque nos façamos
muitos contactos porque sabemos que vamos encontrar os verdadeiro

So this week was a lot of learning and then teaching all sorts of
church policies and rules and all sorts of really dry stuff that I
actually ended up finding really interesting.  Not to say that I could
be an accountant (actually this week has left me confident about
crossing that off the lists of potential careers) but it was still
interesting and I do like the logic of it and see the value I just
could not do it every day. The actual audit was Saturday and took over
4 hours long. There were some things that were being done really off
line with the church guidelines and everything which made it a lot
more complicated then it needed to be.  Also the secretary is a
missionary and the Branch president is a nurse (who is really nice but
does not understand finances at all) so they did not really know about
a lot of things and I had to end up explaining a lot of things to them
as far as how and why things need to be that way.  Unfortunately there
are some really difficult and unusual circumstances that come here
from being an island that has a lack of worthy Melchizedek priesthood
leaders.   So that was quite the learning experience but a full day of
being an auditor left my head absolutely destroyed and I felt the same
feeling you get after taking an ACT but even a little worse.   So a
lot of the church policies that I taught this week had to do with the
welfare and financial system.  But also on Sunday we had a couple
ordinations of the priesthood, one recent convert that got ordained a
priest and one kid that turned 12 and became a deacon.  It just
happened to be that the training that they were giving in priesthood
that day was on how to do that particular ordnance and so they decided
that we would  do them after the class.  We then left to go teach the
aaronic priesthood quorums and came back at the end of the class.
After they had done the whole training and everything they ended up
inviting a deacon to stand in on the circle for the ordination of the
deacon which once I realized that he was a deacon I had to call it out
and teach them that they cannot do that which the branch president and
ex-arizona bishop senior Elder did not know that you cannot do.
Anyways I showed them the scriptures in D&C and the duties of the
priesthood which does not include the laying on of hands until priest
as well as several other references in the manual and now we will just
have to do it again.  But anyways it was interesting to see the little
things that you pick up over the years growing up in the church.  Also
I like to read the manual during lunch for a little bit of extra
language study which I have learned all sorts of weird words and
interesting polices over the months which payed off this week. Also 'I
have started giving council to the Branch President which is
interesting and a new thing.  I think that I have started to gain his
trust and he is humble enough to listen to and accept the advice of a
young missionary. which is more than commendable.

So I would like to talk about that a little with the difference
between people that grow up in the church born into the covenant of a
strong eternal family like the Hobson family verses the majority of
the people that we teach and work with here on the Acores where the
church is still very young.  I have been thinking about it in
comparison to the parable of the talents.  I just recently concluded
my study of all the parables that Christ used in his mortal ministry
and that one has been on my mind especially as I have been studying
the atonement and how it takes effect for everyone.  I have to say
that from what I have seen I would say that as far as spiritual
talents would go we come from a family of 5 talenters.  (Born into the
covenant in an area where the chruch is strong and with a comfortable
temporal state) we started out with 5 talents.  Now out here there are
a lot of people that I would say are looking more at a plate with one
or two talents.  (Broken families, widespead drug and alchohol
addictions, poverty, lack of religous freedom until relativaly
recently, weak church leadership structure, outdated technologies and
lifestlyes, and much lower standard of  social values)  Now the thing
about the gospel is that it is clear what are the standards of the
Lord (the commandments)  and they DO NOT BUDGE.  But that sure does
not seem fair to ask the exact same from these two groups of people
that were handed clearly unbalanced circumstances.  I know that we as
people that have been given the five better dang well put them to use
and make another five. and I love hearing all of the stories of your
life developments so that I get to watch you all put your many talents
to work and bring back great gains.  I am so thankful that all of you
are putting your talents to work and investing in the right things,
thank you for your outstanding examples. Now for these people that I
have gotten to work with so much here that I would say have one or two
talents.  I really understand more and more how even thought the very
basic commandments are still frequent stumbling blocks for many of
these I am blown away by their resiliency and determination to improve
and overcome their difficult situations and live up to the standard of
God.  And I now understand more how it is that the atonement works to
be able to even out the playing ground.  The commonly and probably
overused frase of "nobody is perfect"  when said by a 5 talenter has
left many a 2 talenter here really confused, thinking that they still
need to atleast get to that 5 talenters level of perfection.  But the
thing about the parable is that he only gained 2 more talents leaving
him with less then the 5 talenter started with but still he was
rewarded EQUALLY.   I understand more now that no matter where we are,
whether we turn the corner and kick the bucket holding a current
temple recommend sitting in the celestial room having served as part
of the quorum of the twelve for 50 years, or maybe still with a
constant fight against an old tobacco habit, if we have truly done ALL
that we could possibly have done with what we were given trying as
hard as we possibly could with all our "might, mind, and soul", with a
humble attitude recognizing our absolute dependance on our Savior, He
truly can do the rest and bring us into his arms greating us with a
loving "well done thou good and faithful servant" and exult us on
high.  We cannot do it alone no matter how active or perfect someone
may seem to be, we all need the atonement and it gives us the mercy
that we desperately beg for and shout hosanas to the Lord that made it
possible for all. So don't let up because you better be able to bring
back 10 instead of just a rusted unused talent that you buried for
fear of failure.  I love you all and I defiantly can see why the Lord
entrusted so much with each and every one of you.

Elder Hobson