Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week 61

To respond to your motherly concerns :)
i am eating TONS of veggies, they are the base of my diet easily, I am
eating plenty, brushing my teeth 3 or 4 times a day and flossing
occasionally, i have been heathly, and I may be buying a sweater or
something here to stay warm because all I got is on the continent but
elder broderick also offered to lend me a coat if needed.  dont worry
about sending anything too big or bulky I dont have much space and do
not need much of anything that little alarm clock could be nice though
and your famous christmas cookies.

Nice to hear the good news for the football realm of things.  is is
bad that i am glad that Travis took down twin?  Also good to know that
not that much changes.  also that is some real sweet news for the
spartans.  Always good to hear A school like Michigan suffering. haha
also gus looks great.  that should last now for how many years?  and I
didnt know that the motorhome and the boat were side by side like
that.  That is super nice.

This week as a mission we began a study of the 4th chapter of preach
my Gospel that is all about recognizing the spirit.  That has been a
wonderful blessing to me and as a companionship so that we can get
passed all doubts though seeking to do what the Lord wants us to do..

I am grateful for all the occasions in my life that the Lord has given
me to learn how to be patient and how to help those that are not the
easiest people to deal with.  I can think of countless times in
sports, school, church, scouting, and many more times were I have been
put with people that I needed to be able to be patient to get by.  I
understand a little better really what is the purpose of life when I
get to see people that are in situations that I have passed through or
people that may be on the next steps in front of me and how much I can
learn from their examples.  I really get now how this life is so
amazingly set up for our growth and development and I am glad that I
was introduced to the Lord's vision and plan for this life so that I
can understand that and be able to look at every obstacle or downfall
as well as every success and happy moment with a more complete
perspective.   Jeffery R. Holland once said that, "We teach, we teach
and we teach, and then we are released".  That is basically applied to
every day of life and that is how we learn.

Os desifios que Elder Pickrell está a passar ainda nao sao muito
facies mas pouco a pouco acho eu ele está a sentir mais a proposito
desta trabalho e a papel chave que ele tomou sobre se.  Agora a
nessisidade é para motiviar ele a participar responder mais em
portugues, focalizar nas liçoes e começar a procurar para o espírito.
 A medida que consigiremos ter ele com mais desejo para fazer a
differencia e tocar a vida de alguem ao discutir e falar com eles, ele
esquecerá os pensamentos de inadequecidade e necesidade de voltar a
casa juntos com a falta de testemunho na igreja e começará ter desejo
para trabalhar e ser obediente e ver que realmente estas coisas sao
verdadeiras e tem significancia eterna.  Vou fazer tudo que o Senhor
quer para que Eu posso reconhecer o Espirito melhor e guiar meu colege
para ver tambem.

I have been really getting stressed out as I have to get the sacrament
talks all ready to go and then having people cancel on the last minute
with me leaving me hanging high and dry. Unfortunately the replacement
that i had to get when one speaker had fallen through Saturday morning
did not follow the topic like I had asked and used up way too much
time taking the time away from the principle speaker of the day who
had a wonderful talk to give.  But I guess that is just live and learn
and with practice things will begin to run more smoothly.

Our ward mission leader this week revealed to us that his wife has
been taking the discussions from Jehovah Witnesses and that she is now
going there and wanting to convert. She has been a member of the
church for about 3 years and is the gospel principles teacher.  It
basically just started as her liking the pictures they have and a
curiosity of the bible wanting to profound her knowledge of the bible
chatting with one of her students (since she is a teacher).  That
unfortunately escalated quickly and now our ward mission leader is
just trying to convince her to keep the goal that they have to go and
get sealed in the temple before she does anything rash.  it is really
hard to see and it just goes to show that no matter how solid someone
may see we always need to continue to do the little things and give no
heed to the temptations in our path neither should we fraternize with
the the devil nor any of his traps.   Many times we are so willing to
ignore the promptings that we receive to stand up for righteousness
and do something that we do not think is all that bad of a thing just
because we think "that wont hurt anything"or it is just for a second,
or that may even seem like a good thing at first, or it is their
choice and i do not want to impose on them (even though you are
including yourself in it as well) and then it all gets out of hand and
we are all the sudden lost and confused and we feel like there is no
way back.  It is really sad that basically just because of some
interesting graphics of biblical scenes have led to allowing herself
to accept things like not voting or giving blood, and not celebrating
Christmas and how she is forgetting or ignoring basic truths like the
book of Mormon and the importance of eternal family and marriage and
priesthood in the home.  So remember to be careful where we stick our
fingers and then noses and then our heads to get a better look and
then all the sudden we are sucked in and cant remember where the whole
was that took us from light and safety into darkness and confusion.
But we are working with her to keep her safe.  her husband is using
the footnotes in the bible to bring her back into the other standard
works of the church in her studies which is helping,  i took advantage
of her class on eternal marriage that she taught on Sunday to share 1
timothy 4 with her which came truly as inspiration to share.   so i
think that she will with lots of love and attention be brought back
but in our lives it sure is much easier to just keep out of the dark
holes in the first place.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 60

Well this week was full of some new challenges.  All of the sudden on
Tuesday Elder Pickrell did a 180 and then he was emailing and calling
Presidente Tavares and I was stuck in the middle of an uncomfortable
conversation as the translate. Basically he is really having a hard
time adjusting to missionary life and because of that he is
questioning his testimony and everything.  So I am kind of in a fun
position where I have to try and motivate the kid, help him to
actually try and see the best of the mission and the gospel so that he
can become a good missionary and hopefully a man.  Elder Broderick has
been a huge help keeping him going and prayers for him would be

At first I was really kind of frustrated, but now I have just done what I can
to make it fun for me and to enjoy the fact that I have someone to
teach 24/7 that really needs a lot of teaching.  I hope to be able to
give him the best shot that I can so that he can succeed in having the
mission make him into the man that the Lord needs out here.  I know
that I have learned a lot and changed a lot on my mission so far and
this challenge will definitely bring further growth so I guess that is
good and exciting and all.  Growing is never all that comfortable,  it
always seems to involve some aspect of pain and effort, but if I have
learned anything from all the things that I have done in my life is
that that is a good type of pain that we need to learn to love,
knowing that you are going to be a lot better off the next day like
when you get done with a really good workout.  So I am going to put my
all into converting everyone around me, starting with those that are
closest and working my way out.

Our fast and testimony meeting was a really spiritual meeting this
month.  We had that family from California here for the last time and
they bore their testimonies right towards the end which really put a
good highlight on the spirit.  I was able to translate for the Father
who is a totally typical Californian who likes to skate and surf and
doesn't seem to take anything too seriously.  But he got up on the
stand and bore his testimony about his family and how he being adopted
never did get to meet the Portuguese side of his family and how great
it was to get to do their family history over this past month.  He was
just shaking trying to hold back tears unsuccessfully and there were
not that many people in the crowd that did have dry eyes.  It was
pretty awesome and just a really fun sunday.

Also I have moved back to 2nd counselor and will be staying here for
another 6 weeks.  I had a lot of fun with doing all of the sustaining
announcements for all the people that we have been giving callings to
recently, and then we have some really amazing experiences while we
were doing the setting aparts as well.  When we finally got home at
about 3h30 having left the house  at 8h30 having gone a little
overtime on the fast and everything i felt like I was going to fall
over because i was so spiritually and physically drained.

A quick success story that we are having is a lady that i have been
passing by every once in a while for the last couple months that has
about 2 years in the church almost all of them inactive and i have
been teaching and preaching to her at her doorstep all this time
trying to convince her to come back to church.  I have never let her
give me any excuse that I will actually accept, and finally this last
time there a member happened to be visiting her trying to help her out
a bit and she actually promised to go to church next month when she
will be  out of work because of the persistence that we had and also
the help from her friend that is a member as well.  Working with
members is what works and we can never give up.

I love it out here on the island and I am soooo excited that I get to
continue my work here with these members for atleast  one more
transfer.  I love you all

Elder Hobson

Week 59 General Conference

Yellowstone sounds like it was a success.  It sure is nice that y'all
have the motor home otherwise the constant rain would have been really
rough trying to deal with tents and cooking and such. I don't
understand park rangers,  why would they kick you out of that spot
with the bear. that is the main reason that people come to yellowstone
is to see the wildlife.  I could never be a park ranger because I
would probably be more inclined to try to get the tourists to go and
touch the elk just to see the carnage afterwards and get a good laugh
out of it.

Last monday visiting the volcano was a blast.  super glad that I got
to go up there and see that before I get kicked off of the island.  I
tried to upload the pictures that I took on dropbox but I am not sure
if it worked out.  Ridiculously pretty and kind of eerie.

This week has been kind of an awkward week of transition for me.  I am
doing all that I can to try and change the way that we work so that we
are doing more with the members to change the culture of missionary
work and try to make it more effective to see real growth.  (See more
in my president letter)

Fun fact: Elder Pickrell is from the stake that Elder Schenk is
serving in right now in Casper Wyoming. He is serving in the YSA ward
there and he is going to try to give Elder Pickrell's family a visit
because he is the zone leader for that stake.  It is really funny how
small the world is, he even sent me a picture of Elder Pickrell's
picture hanging up on the wall in the chapel that he is serving in.

That Californian family is still out here and will be in church next
week as well and everything.  It has been fun to have them around and
watch conference with them.  they with sister broderick made a couple
nice between session meals for the crew which was super delicious and
really nice.

O treinamento de Elder Pickrell esta a correr melhor.  Ele está a
ganhar confiança e pouco a pouco a desejo de falar com pessoas.
Estamos a aprender a doutrinas das lições e como ensina-los.  A
compreensão dele esta a subir e vou continuar desfia-lo ao comunicar
na língua de missão.  Sinto me muito feliz para ver a grande progresso
dele e sei que o Senhor tem grandes planos para ele a realizar na vida

Esta semana estou a esforçar de mudar a forma em que trabalhamos com
os membros.  Já vi a grande ajuda que eles possam ser para apoiar e
dar conforto as pessoas durante a experiência de conversão e
continuação em actividade.  Mas agora Eu sei que realmente isso é
muito pouco e se quisemos grandes resultados e crescimento real vamos
precisar muito mais deles.  Temos que mudar a sistema para que o
trabalho missionário será feita por todos e os missionários tornarão
para ter o papel de auxiliou e apoiou.  Sei que esta é o maneira do
Senhor e sei que não vai mudar um dia para o outro mas para ver
resultados nunca antes vista aqui precisamos fazer coisas que nunca
antes foram feitas aqui.  Temos bom animo e fé que encontraremos
referencias e a maneira pelo qual podemos fazer esta mudança.

I was not all that surprised by the repetitiveness of the message of
sabbath day observance during conference with that bing the big focus
of the church as of recently.  It really has been a difficult thing
here and as a part of the branch presidency it has been quite
concerning for me and I have been very involved in sacrament meeting
especially. We do have some serious reverence problems here in the
branch that we are trying to solve.  But they are problems that have
been around for years and years.  It is really difficult to try and
change how sacrament meeting is viewed.  It certainly is a struggle
that I am having and also personally.  I find myself so often looking
out over the congregation and wondering how all of these people are
doing,  where are the people that are not here, what needs to happen
next, what I am going to teach in the next hour, or how am I going to
try and help the investigators that we have at the church with us.
Anyways I realize that I am letting the stress of missionary life take
away from the spiritual experience that we can have in sacrament
meeting that we all need so desperately. I find it quite ironic that
of all things that a missionary struggles with it is keeping the
sabbath day holy and making it a delight (Isaiah 58:13) So there is
one thing that I am going to be trying to work on now.  I also think
that it is important that I get myself to slow down and really look
for the guidance from the Lord constantly in my work instead of just
trying to go as fast as I can and cover the most area possible to be
able the try and increase the chances of success.  I defiantly was
blessed enough to receive a number of revelations during conference
and I really truely feel like I treasure up the teachings of the
prophets and apostles now..

It is starting to cool down out here and I do not have any of my
winter clothing becuase we have to leave half of out stuff at the
mission office to come out to the acores so that might get interesting
and I may just have to bum a coat or sweater off of elder broderick.
haha gotta love having casals around.  (he was really reminding me of
Dad with all of the comments that he was making during general
confernce.  I think that could explain why we work so well together.)

Com Amor
Elder Hobson

Week 58 Emergency Transfers

This week was a little hectic and a lot of things changed over here on
the island.  Elder McGraw was sent home because of some stuff from
before the mission that he needed to take care of before continued
service.  He is 21 and had a full 6 months on the mission.  Now i am
serving with a brand new elder named Elder Pickrell.  He is from
Casper, Wyoming and is kind of a goober that does not speak any
Portuguese at all, so it is back to the training schedule for me and I
will be repeating myself a lot now in Portuguese and be teaching all
of the basics again. I am really starting from ground 0 with him
because he did not have a good situation for the first couple weeks in
the mission and he really does struggle with the language.  But he
does have a desire to work and he seems prepared enough to accept my
help so that he can start progressing.

It really was not fun for me to have to see Elder McGraw go.  We had
become really good friends and he is a really great guy. It is too bad
that he decided to take this road but at this point it is definitely
what is best for him.  sure is rough on the missionaries and all the
members and investigators here though.. It really goes to show how
important that it is to really make sure that you are ready to be out
here and to really be honest always with your priesthood leaders. It
is a hard way to learn the lesson, but hopefully he will be able to
stay strong and maybe even return to the mission.  continued prayers
for him would be appreciated.

A missionary in our district from Burley Idaho named Elder Greener,
who has become a good friend also lost a grandparent this week so it
was a pretty rough week for the missionaries here on the island.

As for Maria and Manuel hoping that what happened last week still
might not be too good to be true..  We went over there for a visit
with a member named Marco Amaral ( a member of two years that received
the Melchizedek priesthood about 2 months ago, he also is an openly
confessed recovered heroin addict and even a facilitator in the
addiction recovery group here in the island) who the sisters
especially work with all of the time and right when she answered the
door full on war broke out.  Apparently in the old lady bingo circles
or something Maria has come to believe that Marco is still using
heroin.  She claims that his mother told her that and she was quite
convinced even until Marco just showed himself to the door and even
afterwards she just couldn't leave it behind her.

so i went ahead and decided to look into it, I interviewed Marco
(which I was needing to do anyways as the 1st con.) and even got to
talk to his mother and I believe that they are telling the truth and
that he has changed.  Maria is really stuck on the subject and saying
that she will never return to the Church and she has stopped reading
and everything also Manuel will be heading out to Lisbon.  But last
night i laid it down for them after reading mosiah 4: 6-12 with them
telling them that they have to do this if they want to  receive
salvation and I testified a lot that it is true and I tried to
remember them about the spiritual confirmations that they have had
which worked well and we left them with a strong spiritual experience.
Anyways for now I am going to give them a couple of days to cool off
and then we will go back and see if we can get her to start back up
with the book of Mormon.   so that was the unfortunate drama this

We had a family from California of 7 show up in church today with
their curly blonde hair and everything (they were here to do some
family history work since they have ancestors from here).  i
translated the last two hours for the 12 year old named Caleb.  It was
a cool experience to see that you can be nourished spiritually no
matter what in the church and that it is the same in the whole world.

love yall!