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

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