Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Week 78 MOLD!

This Saturday we did a major service project that we spent quite some
time working on this week.  We have a family that was recently
baptized that had a really serious problem of mold in their house.  It
was absolutely horrible and when you would go into their house it was
absolutely suffocating.  So we called up a bunch of less actives that
we didn't know until we had a few guys that would go over and help us
get it all cleaned up.  It was a really interesting project and we
certainly went through a lot of bleach  probably about 6 or 7 liters
of bleach went up on the walls..  We did have masks and lab goggles,
but the shower that I took afterwards was tingly to say the least.  It
was a special opportunity as well because we got one of the less
actives to come back to church the next day with us. So it was a
double success on the project.   Honestly we still need to clean a
couple more of the rooms because they are horrible as well, but at
least we got it a little bit more under control for them now.

We have been working with this family in the ward that is from
Ecuador.  They have a couple other families that live with them that
are also from equador. They are super fun, humble, respectful and they
have a few people in there that still are not baptized so we are going
to get working with all of them  to try and complete that house.  We
have had some really special experiences with them working over there
in their house.  Especially working with one of the boys named
Jefferson who is really humble and interested in the gospel.  He just
gets it all and when he said a prayer with us for the first time he
left the entire room in tears (and their was about 18 people kneeling
down with us)  It has been really cool to see a loving family come
around one member of the family to help them feel comfortable with the
decisions that they are making right now.  We really want to baptize
him but it is a little complicated because his parents are in Equador
right now and will not be coming back until May and then he will be
going back to Equador.  Hopefully it will work out smoothly so that we
can get him permission and he can take the step of baptism here

We had a ward baptism this week that we went to because we brought
some investigators to see what a baptism is like and I remembered that
a portuguese baptism is basically a huge party..  It is a positive
thing but to have 100 people at the baptism of 1 eight year old with
more food then they had at a Christmas party is a little ridiculous
and kind of will have a negative effect on the investigators when they
are baptized and their baptism is nothing like that at all.  But
whatever it is culture I guess that we have to get used to..

Last night we were trying to find some of the people on the ward list
that are long lost, and we came across one house that was abandoned
and Elder Reni started turning around giving up that that member was
long lost, but then I decided that we needed to look a little closer
and I noticed that on one side of the house there was a long tunnel
that led to behind the house and I suggested that we check it out
before giving up on that address.  (it was about 9 oclock at night in
a getto part of town)  so we went back there in the dark and found
basically what looked like a big shed, but was the house of a family
that was really excited to see us. (probably Because they do not get
people knocking on their door everyday)  and we are going to begin
teaching them now.  It was an interesting experience that I have had
many like that during the mission but the part that i really remember
was we were deciding if we needed to leave or if it was reasonably
safe enough to be able to knock on the door really quick and both of
us in this place that seemed really dangerous felt calm and at peace
comfortable with the situation.  It is a really cool thing that we can
know throught the spirit if we are in a good place or not, if we are
doing what we should or not.  I know that the spirit really can guide
our lives and make a big difference and protect us from many many bad
things.  I am so grateful for the spirit in my life.

We have a good group of elders here and I have enjoyed my time so far
with Elder Reni.  He is really good about always stopping in the
street and praying about everything, something that I will certainly
improve on a lot being with him.  But yeah it should be a good time
here in Lisboa 5.  The members that we have met so far seem to be
really cool and we are going to do our best to help them all to get
really involved in the missionary work here.   I am looking forward to
being here.  I have been super tired because of transfers and because
I dont have a wonderful bed anymore... but I will get used to it and
it will all just make me stronger.  hahaha

Love you all family!
Elder Hobson

PS this is a picture with Rogerio and his family when I last saw them
before leaving cacem. We had to run over and take the picture, hug
them goodbye and leave before the dad got home to freak out on us..
Worth it!

Also we found a hidden stash of copies of the book of mormon in the
ghetto and took them home. plus a bunch of muslims invited us to eat
dinner with us!  weird stuff.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 77 Leaving Cacem

Today is a pretty cool day.  As I write down the day that it is at the
start of my daily journal entries, I happen to have arrived on the
500th day exactly today that I have been here in Portugal.  That is a
lot of days that have really gone by really fast.  Especially now that
I officially have less then 6 months until the end of my mission it is
showing me that things are going quickly now.

Well I was totally caught off guard when I got the call, but I will be
getting transferred out of Cacém and I will be going to Odivelas which
is one of the strongest wards in Portugal.  It will be nice to have a
good leadership in the ward unlike in the confusion of Cacém, but I
was actually really mad that I will be leaving for lots of reasons.
The main one being that we have been having lots of success and we are
going to have a lot of the investigators that I have been teaching
that will be getting baptized in the next couple weeks, we have
everything all planned out and we are just basically waiting now.
Plus Alexandre is going to get married to Guilhermina again and then
he will be able to get baptized finally and Rogerio is going to turn
18 in a couple weeks and he will sign on his own so that he can be
baptized.  We really are seeing lots of miracles here and I am sad
that I have to leave and I will not get to see the rest of them all be
completed. Another reason is that I have managed to get them all to go
running with me every day at 6h30 in the morning in the winter which
is often kindof difficult to get missionaries to go do.  And the other
thing is that I am going to miss the bed that I have here.  The bed is
super soft memory foam mattress with a brand new quilt that is super
soft..  haha it is the little things that really can make a big
difference and impact on things.

 But it will be good for me to go out to Odivelas.  I am going to be a
zone leader still and I am going to be serving with Elder Reni.  He is
a really cool guy that was out on the Azores with me but on the other
island.  I have never seen or heard anything but good things about him
and I am sure it is going to be wonderful, but I am going to miss
Elder Noguiera.  I thought that we would stay together for a little
bit longer at least but that is life.

This week we had a lot of conferences as a mission.  We went to a zone
conference as well as a mission council for the zone leaders that were
ran by Elder Dyches, a member of the presidency of the area of Europe.
He taught us a lot of cool things that will be really useful to keep
doing better and better in our work here and for after the mission as

Este semana continuemos a ter muito sucesso.  Realmente Eu sinto que
Eu e Elder Nogueira conseguimos a tornar nossa área uma área padrão.
Tem muitas pessoas a se preparar para batismo, sempre estamos a
encontrar novas famílias, ter novo marcados, algumas de nossos
projectos de longo prazo estamos a chegar ao batismo, e estamos a
buscar muitas referenciaras e estamos a ver a sucesso com isto.
Aprendi muito aqui em Cacem e sinto me muito grato por cada minute que
tive aqui.  Tenho certeza que esta área continuará a ver muito sucesso
nas próximas meses.

Fizemos um divisão com Torres Vedras B e tive com Elder Namok.  Ele é
um bom missionário que precisa um pouco mais ousadia e confiança. Tem
uma tendência de sempre seguir o exemplo dos ao redor dele seja bom ou
mal.  Falamos sobre isto por causa de desafios com obediência na
torres vedras e fiz metas com ele para não deixar se mesmo a cair na
armadilha de fazer obras mortes e estar satisfeito com mediocridade
para apenas evitar confrontações.  Tenho confiança que Elder Beeton
vai ajuda-lhes para não cair nisto de novo.

So for a quick spiritual thought I have been thinking about and
teaching several people about this week is the story of the brother of
Jared.  I find that story very interesting and there are about a
hundred different lessons that we can learn from those few chapters
about his experiences, but baiscally what I have been focusing on this
week is how the Lord wants us to do things for ourselves and really
come up with solutions to the things that we are doing.  We really do
need to learn how to be more like a God through doing many good things
through our own free will.  I know that we really have a divine
purpose to be like our father and that it is possible because of Jesus
Christ.  I am gratefull for that knowledge because there are very few
people that seem to really understand that principle.  We must never
forget why we are here. and there is always a reason and hope.

Love Elder Hobson

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 76 Carnival

One really cool family that we found this week was a reference from a
random less active that we ran into in the Street.  She has been
inactive for a really long time, even though she loves the church and
the Elders and all that jazz, because she still struggles with
Smoking.   Really sad that she is not willing to humble herself enough
to go to church where she could get help and get rid of her shame and
pain and move on with her life.  (her husband was baptized by someone
that is currently living in Burley idaho she showed us a Christmas
card, small world and even smaller in the church)  But anyways she did
have a family in mind that she wanted to have us help out.  It was the
family of one of her close friends.  The grandma smokes like a chimney
and drinks like crazy, but she is responsible for a bunch of her grand
kids. one of the families had their mother die in a car accident and
then their dad just basically abandoned them and started a new life in
Angola, and the other had basically the same thing happen but the
parents are not together and they are both not willing to take care of
him.  so all in all there are 4 kids, Stellia (17), Fuller (15),
Ivanildo (11), and Stefawl (11) that are really awesome but have had
to pass through some really difficult times in their lives up to this
point already.  They are really cool and were all ready all by
themselves to walk for over a half an hour to get to the church with
us this Sunday.  Hopefully they will be able to keep progressing and
they will be able to get the protection and Guidance and direction in
life that they can have from being a member of the church.

We found another lady that was really special as well.  Her name is
Lucia, she is a single mother that is a member of the universal Church
one of those Brazilian churches.  But she accepted the gospel pretty
quickly.  We found her in the street, she brought us to her house and
we have taught her twice.  She came to church and she has plans to be
baptized now.  The big challenge for her in being baptized is that she
will have a lot of pressure from her old church not to leave, but her
plan right now is to not really deal with them about it until after
she has made the decsion and gone for the baptism. then she will deal
with them.  Not sure how I feel about that still, but it is better
then asking permission from her pastor to get baptized in the Mormon
church.  She is a really happy lady that is always laughing and just
seems really happy.  She will make a great member.

Tive uma divisão com Elder Cabral esta semana e eu pensei que correu
tudo bem.  Ele estava a trabalhar e participar bem.  Ele não quis sair
para fazer exercícios de manha mas conseguimos no fim.  Espero que ele
vai voltar para a área dele com a mesmo atitude.

Tivemos sucesso com referencias esta semana.  Pegamos a referencia
duma menos activa duma família e conseguimos ter eles na igreja esta
semana.  Eles são preparados e vamos trabalhar para marca-los logo.  E
estamos a ver o valor de referencias e vamos continuar a procurar
nesta maneira para que possamos ser mais eficaz em atingir maiores
resultados.  Faremos tudo para passar este visão para a zona também.

Experimentei com os quatro tipos de perguntas que aprendemos na
conferencia de zona e percebi que preciso melhorar os perguntas que
estou a fazer para deixar a pesquisador a ensinar-se mesmo por meio do
espírito em vez de ouvir minha pregação.  Vou continuar a praticar
isto nos estudos para melhorar meu ensino.

This next week we are going to have a lot of meetings with Elder
Dyches a 70 here as he is doing a mission tour and we are going to get
several trainings which should be nice. We are going to have a lot of
work to do as well and we are in the last week in the transfer, but
hopefully not too much will change with the transfers because I am
really enjoying what we have going here right now and I would be sad
if I had to leave before seeing these people that we are finding get
baptized. One of the areas in our zone has to stay at home because of
the crazy carnival parties that happen in their area this week so we
are going to be busy bringing them to our area and working with them
this week which will be tiring but good.

As far a Rogerio and the Silva family, the dad is still nuts and wont
let us pass by anymore.  We are going to talk to a lawyer in the stake
that we have and see if we cannot get this all sorted out.  Alexandre
is really close to getting everything ready to get remarried to
Guilhermina and be Baptized! He is really amazing me how much he has
humbled himself and what he is willing to do to get himself ready for

Family is soo important and it is sad to see all of the broken and
partial families that there are out there in the world. I realize what
a blessing it is to have the gospel in our family to help us stay
together and be able to be an eternal family.  It is such a blessing
and I am so grateful to have such a solid family.  Hopefully we will
be able to have the Gospel mend some of these broken families that are
so dear to us now.

Love Elder Hobson

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Week 75 "One of the nicest days on the mission ..."

Well Sunday was one of the nicest days that I have had on the mission.
church was pretty normal, a good amount of investigators there and we
were about 20 minutes late the entire time (which is really annoying).
Edson's baptism was really amazing.  He was soo stinkin prepared it
all went really well and he will definitely make a good member.  He
was really nervous and everything, but the members here all made him
feel really at home and really loved.  We had one member that took us
and him out to dinner for Edson's birthday and he has already gotten
to make solid friendships with a ton of the members.  This ward is
perfect for young men and guys in there 20s to be really well
integrated. When he came up out of the water the entire room was
completely silent and he just stood there for a moment or two before
he opened his eyes or anything. The spirit entered the room with full
force when that happened and it was a really special moment, probably
the happiest I have been watching a baptism happen because of how much
effort I have had to put into this one and how good of a guy he is.  I
have already seen him grow so much in confidence and social comfort in
this short time and he will continue to be rock solid for sure.  He
wants to begin preparing to serve a mission.  It would be the perfect
thing for him to help him organize his life and get back on his feet
with some real direction.

After we went and had a big lunch with about 15 members, we headed out
to Costa da Caparica for Romão's baptism.  We got a ride from the 1st
counselor in the stake presidency over to the other side of the river
which was really nice of him because without that we would have not
been able to make it over there very easily since the public transport
is a little bit complicated to get all the way out there.  He is a
really cool guy. Romão's baptism was really cool as well.  He had not
changed that much since the last time that I saw him, he just got even
bigger. I got to see a bunch of members that I have not been able to
talk to in quite some time.  It was cool to get to see them again
because I didn't know if I would ever get to see them again.  Plus one
of the families that I was always with when I was in Alverca has moved
out to Costa now and we went over to their house for a bit after the
baptism and we had some cake and got to catch up with them a bit.  A
bunch of the youth that I made friends with in alverca are going to be
going on missions really soon which is really exciting. We got a lot
of help from the members so that we could get that visit done and be
back in our area in time.  These people are really special to me and I
am so grateful that I got this chance to make so many relationships
while I am out here.

real quick I thought I might slip something in that mom will problably
not like too much.  I got hit a couple times and spit on this week by
a stocky drunk african man and just about got into a full on fight
with him because he would not let us go. Thankfully I saw him for what
he was a pathetic sad man that just wasn't worth it and our ride
showed up right in the nick of time. It is interesting how we can
really feel calm in times of chaos because of the presence of the holy
ghost in our lives. I never got worried even after he had hit me
because I knew if I just did what is right I would be protected and
everything would work out fine. (He did not like that he was not
intimidating me) All of that because I am american and he does not
like Americans since we took the native Americans land. sometimes a
lack of knowledge is just astonishing where it can take you.  In this
world people make decisions all of the time based off of so little and
I just wish that they could get a glimpse of the full picture so that
they would understand the truth a little better.  Weird way for me to
have to learn that little lesson.

Esta semana foi muito bom para nos.  Tivemos o oportunidade de ver
Edson tomar os últimos passos para ser batizado.  Realmente ele é um
converso que vai continuar porque ele pensou e ponderou muito antes de
ser batizado e ele realmente percebe o compromisso que ele tem agora.

Também ao preparar para o treinamento pelo reunião de zona este semana
tivemos um oportunidade de esforçar muito para perceber profundamente
onde devemos estar com nosso nível de ousadia, quais são as cosias que
façamos frequentemente como missionários que faltam ousadia suficiente
ou que são demais. Aprendi muito sobre onde devo estar e espero que o
treinamento que teremos vai ajudar a zona a perceber este principio.
Penso que o problema em nossa zona é uma falta de ousadia.  Acredito
que muitos gostariam ser ousados mas o que é ousado por eles neste
momento ainda não é suficiente para o trabalho aqui para atingir o
sucesso que precisamos.  Vamos continuar a animá-los o mais possivel
para confiar no Senhor e fazer o serviço com bom animo.

This week in preparation for our zone meeting we put together a zone
news letter with all of the baptisms on it and some scriptures to help
motivate them a bit and give them a little message.  I will send it as
an attachment in these emails today so you can see a little bit of the
work that we did for our zone this week. I am pretty satisfied with
how it came out.

I was thinking a lot about how you really need to be doing the right
things all of the time because there really is someone that is
watching all of the time and the things that you do when you are alone
are going to effect a lot who you are and what you are like and
especially how people will feel around you when you are with them
because of the things that you have been doing before.  I really could
tell the difference when I was with some other missionaries that were
at the baptism for Romão that had come back, but the members did not
really bother that much with them, they were happy to see them but it
was just different.  I got pretty sad to see the look in their eyes
that kind of showed that they just didn't have anything all that
special in their hearts for those missionaries and the relationship
was fine but nothing that was going to last..  I see the same thing in
a lot of the people that we meet and teach, they are just doing things
superficially and going through the motions to be polite or for
whatever other reason, but it just does not make that much sense to me
why people waste so much time doing things that do not really matter
to them, that do not have value and that will not bring them real
happiness.  Life is really short, there is a time for everything, but
if we are doing things that are not in the right time then we can
really miss out on a lot. We all need to find what is most important
and put that in front of everything else, take care of those things
when the time is correct and then move on to other things.
Organization makes such a difference in life it is amazing. It is
wonderful to have all of yall as such great examples for me in that so
that I can make something with the time that I have to work with here.

Love You all have a wonderful week.
Elder Hobson