Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 83 Transfer day, but staying in Odivelas

So today is transfer day, but I will be staying here in Odivelas for
another transfer.  I am really excited because we will be getting some
new elderes in the house that are really cool and it should be lots of
fun to work with them this transfer. One of them is Elder Empy who was
one of the district leaders that we had in the zone last transfer, but
now he lives in our house.  He is a cool guy that is signed on to play
for Utah on the o line after the mission, but his dad is now the new o
line coach at BYU i think so he is having a bit of second thoughts,
but will probably still go to Utah. anyways he is huge!  My new comp
will be Elder Easton.

This páscoa (Easter) was wonderful.  It is always a blessing to be
able to be a missionary during these holidays when people are thinking
more of Christ and family.  We also woke up and had an Easter egg hunt
in our house put on by Elder Holmes (apparently the Easter bunny comes
in Portugal too;) )  It was pretty intense.  I ended up winning
because I found the giant golden egg that Elder Holmes had hidden.  We
also had a ton of little tiny chocolate eggs that were super hard to
find. after church we had a bunch of farewells to do as Elder Reni is
heading out, but it was a pretty nice day and we managed to visit a
lot of people that we have worked with over the transfer. We had
daylight savings happen here this weekend so that really has been
pretty tough with transfers and with the loss of an hour we have been
pretty stinkin exhausted this weekend.

This week was the last week of Sister Bakker's mission and we visited
a lot of member's houses to have lunch and say goodbye to them all.
One of them included Ihita.  She is a recent convert from Bangladesh
so they made us a bunch of curry and stuff that was really good that
we all sat on the floor and ate with our hands.  They live in a lady's
house where they only have half of one room where they have their
stuff, and they do not have very much.  They keep going through their
little mini market but they are really having a hard time getting by.
It was a really cool cultural Experience to get to do that with them
and a real honor as it is quite a big deal with their culture.
Unfortunately we got bad news later on in the week that the owner of
the house found out that we had come over and because we are
Christians and the owners are muslins they told Ihita and her husband
Ivan that they have 4 days to get out of the house.  It is tough to
see how rough it can be for them, but thankfully they will only have
to leave their house and they will not be killed like would normally
happen to muslins that convert to Christianity.  We feel terrible
because we had no idea that this could happen.  The sisters are
constantly going over there and it has never been an issue, but since
Elders are much more recognizable and well known, I guess it was a
problem immediately afterwards.  So prayers for them would be
appreciated so that everything can work out well for them.  Sometimes
following the Savior and choosing the right can be a lot more
complicated and lonely seeming then it should be when your entire
family and culture completely reject you.

I am about to finish up my study of the new testament as I am reading
in revelations, which is Apocalypse in portuguese.  It has been really
interesting to read and to understand how the Lord really has a
different view of things.  We can see that a bit just from the little
things that he shared with John and the organized vision he has as to
how everything is going to work itself out. It really in comforting to
know that the Lord with this infinite knowledge and wisdom is willing
to take the time to listen to our prayers individually and really show
us all individual love and care.  It just blows me away to get to
develop such a personal relationship with our loving Heavenly Father.
I am so grateful to have him as a part of my life and I hope that we
can always continue to show our love and thanks to him by keeping his

love you all!  Enjoy general conference weekend!
~Love Elder Hobson

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Week 82 Edson from Angola

We had a really good week out here.  We were able to teach a ton of
lessons to people that are really starting to progress. We had a
division this week where we had a threesome come into our area and
work with us and so we had to get a ton of things marked so that we
could fill up one day with two companionships in our area since that
is the training model that we are using now. We really received some
cool blessings in doing that.  We had a couple recent converts call us
up the day before and say that they had a friend that would be in
their house that we could come by to teach.  I was really excited and
I was looking at all the plans that we already had and it basically
needed to be at 4pm to be possible for us so I started chanting 4! 4!
4! and about 20 seconds later they texted us and asked if it could be
at 4pm!  I was really excited to see how the Lord can really just rain
down the blessings when we are giving it our all.  She came to church
this weekend and we have her marked to be baptized next sunday.  She
is really cool so hopefully everything goes smoothly.

We had a good scare this week as well.  I woke up at about 5am to the
phone ringing on Saturday and answered it to the sound of one of the
sister missionaries in the ward sobbing in pain.  She just told me
that she was in a ton of pain right above her hip and asked if we
could come and give her a blessing.  So we ran over to her house and
found her curled up in a ball on the floor moaning in pain.  We gave
her a blessing and while we were doing it I was praying with all my
heart that she would be ok and that we could have the blessing that
she could be healed immediately of her pain but besides a good
blessing instant healing was not promised. She ended up having a
kidney stone that she actually has already passed.  I kept thinking
that her gull bladder had ruptured which would be worse being that we
are here in Portugal.  It was pretty sad that they called us, we got
dressed, ran to their house and gave her a blessing then got
everything ready and took her down the stairs and waited for about 5
minutes and then the elders from the office showed up to give her a
ride to the hospital.  We had already called portuguese 911 when she
called us and they did not even respond to the call until about 10
minutes after we had already sent her with the elders and gone home..
I have very little confidence in portuguese health care but I am glad
that she was alright and that I was able to participate in giving her
the help that she needed as a priesthood holder.  It is always a
special experience to be able to participate in these things.  She
only has a week left in the mission too.

We have another guy that we are teaching called Edson.  He is here
from angola and is studying engineering and is totally doing awesome
with the lessons. He really studies the things that we leave him with
be a pamphlet or chapters in the book of Mormon he always has it all
marked up with notes in the margines and everything when we come back
in the next visit.  He is really cool and we are truly seeing the
light of the gospel coming into his life.  Unfortunately he did not
make it to church this week, but he should be getting baptized soon
We also had a member here that got his mission call to Moçambique this
week.  It is interesting how the traditions with these things are soo
different here then they are in the United States.  We had the chapel
full of members from all over the stake and Lisbon area there to see
him open his call.  It was a cool experience and fun to see how it is
different then how we have it in the USA being that it happens a whole
lot more.  But actually here in our ward we have 3 young men that have
their mission calls and our waiting to go out into the field.  It is
exciting to see the growth and to be able to help these boys get ready
for the mission.

Sorry it is short but we were out playing with the missionaries that
are going home next week.  Plus I locked the keys in the chapel for a
bit!  sorry!

Love you all and have a wonderful week

Com muitíssima amor
Elder Hobson

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Week 81 Philemon v21 Obedience

Rogerio in Cacem
This week we found a ton of new people to teach and we were able to
teach the restoration to a lot of people. Unfortunately we are having
a hard time getting the second lesson right now because they are just
not wanting to put the gospel into action in their lives. Basically
means that we are going to have to keep finding a lot of new people to
teach still.  We have been teaching a lot of people that go to
evangelical churches which are basically Brazilian gospel churches, it
has been fun but it is also a little tough because we teach it all
really clear as to how this is the one and only true church of Christ
that gives us the opportunity to return to him and have eternal life,
but then we get to the end of the lesson and invite them to come to
church to see what they agreed must be the true church and they say
that they cannot because they have their own church to go to.   It is
a bit of a test of our patience but we are going to work with them so
that we can get them to have the experience that will make all of the
difference for them once they just come to church!

today for P day we got a big group of missionares together to
celebrate a sister from France's birthday and to play soccer then go
and get some japonese food. It was a fun day but I am really not good
at soccer.  One of the sisters in our zone was on one of the middle
fork trips with me.  It is funny that I was her guide before the
mission and now she is in my zone in the mission.   Small world.

This week in my studies of the bible I found a cool scripture that I
really liked.  It is the one that I attached in the picture. It is in
Philemon verse 21.  I really like what it teaches us about obedience,
which is something that the mission is designed to help us learn and a
principle so important to our eternal salvation, it seems like it is
just getting done what is asked but true obedience is more then just
that. When we are truly obedient we are going to work to do the things
that should be done and go above and beyond, not a principle too
foreign to me because I have been told constantly all throughout my
life to not just ..go through the motions.. as I have played sports.
So I am glad that it is not a foreign concept to me but it is a good
reminder that this principle needs to be applied to the gospel as

Caro Presidente,
Em nosso trabalho este semana temos sido a procurar novos famílias
para ensinar. O Senhor abençoou-nos com varias famílias mas
infelizmente estamos a ter dificuldade a encontrar pessoas que
realmente estão dispostos a fazer sacrifícios e cumprir com
compromissos, mas vamos mudar um pouco nosso ensino para focalizar
mais em fazer as pessoas a começar a converter-se por cumprir com os

We have been working really hard trying to find the people that the
Lord has prepared for us.  We know that they are out there and that he
will help us find them, it is a fun challenge and really makes it so
that we need to stay paying good attention to all that is going on
around us so that we can take advantage of all the opportunities that
the lord is giving us.  We are going to keep working with a bunch of
college kids that are here from Angola who have been showing a good
amount of interest hopefully we will be able to bring a couple of them
into the chruch.  It is really cool to see these young guys that
really want to have the spirit in their lives and that want to
straighten out their priorites so that they can have happier lives.

I am happy healthy and I love and miss you all.  Thank you for your
love and prayers and I hope that you all keep doing all these
wonderful things!

Com Amor,
Elder Hobson

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Week 80

One night this week we got a call from one of our district leaders in
the zone at about 22h30 and he told us that he was coming out of a
super powerful and long lesson that they had just finished up to
convince one of their investigators to be baptized.  This kid is
really stubborn and so since he had made up his mind he wanted to go
and be baptized that night!  So if we were going to do that we would
have been having a baptism at about 1pm which would have been pretty
cool but would wreck us for the rest of the weekend in getting all
that we had planned done.  Thankfully we were able to get him to
accept to wait for the next day since it was going to be really
difficult to even get together with the lack of public transport
possibilites at that time of night.  Anyways it was just kind of
exciting to almost have a midnight baptism, but in the end he did get
baptized the next afternoon.

Our bishop here, who seems to be doing a wonderful job, has scheduled
weekly meetings with us so that we can go over the ward list slowly
together with the three sets of missionaries that we have here in the
ward and be able to visit all of the members this year to see who
really lives here and who does not.  We have to get to him every week
the status of at least 5 unknown members which may seem like not very
much but is a challenge because we have to try to pass by several
times before we find someone home or a neighbor who is home that
actually can give us some decently reliable information.  It has been
something that has been a challenge for us and a work that I really
enjoy doing.  I feel like it is what Christ would want to do for us to
go after the one that is lost. I have actually had a lot of success in
doing this work in my mission so far.  I started doing this in the
azores and we were able to make a real difference in knowing which
members had any potential in coming back, in cacem we baptized several
people and completed a couple of families that were incomplete still
and reactivated them, and now here we are getting back into the same
results.  We have a family that we found that has 5 children  3 of
which are all about 18-21 years old and they are not baptized.  The
mother wants to be active in the church again and just about a year
ago she was active enough to go to the temple in Spain and do
baptisms.  It blows me away that nobody has done anything to get this
sister back yet.   How is it that she could be someone that was
progressing so well and then she just got swept under the carpet when
she stopped coming to church again? And how is it that nobody ever
asked her about her family and found out that she has a huge one that
wants and needs to be baptized still!  We are going to get working
with them so that we can bring them all back and get them on the path
to having an eternal family.

As for the Family from Ecuador, yeah the speak spanish and a bit of
portuguese.  they understand portuguese better then they can speak
Because they always are mixing in Spanish words.  But even when they
are speaking Spanish we are able to follow the conversation and we are
able to keep going with them it is just a little tiring and we are not
getting exactly everything.  But they are two very similar languages.
We gave it our all to get them to accept baptism soon for the two
boys, but they just really are not budging on the date that they want.
they have some reason that they have chosen May and that is when they
want to have the boys baptism.  We had to fight to get just down to
that Because they started out with waiting for about 5 years then 3
then 1 then 6 months and eventually they said it would be in may.
Hopefully we can get them to keep going and coming to church so that
when May comes around they can have their boys be baptized. But there
is not too much more that we will do with them in this moment because
they are just not willing to budge on this one even after the spirit
being really strong with us for over an hour of softening them up and
explaining the true purpose of baptism.

 Caro Presidente,
Diligencia e repetição são os princípios de crescimento que estou a
praticar e como estou a ver os resultados pouco a pouco.

Tivemos uma experiência bela na zona esta semana para ver Povoa B agir
com muito fé para conseguir marchar um pesquisador e batiza-lo na dia
seguinte, seria no mesmo dia se não fosse marcado as 22h20 naquele
dia.  Ficamos muito feliz para ver os missionários a fazerem coias
assim. Infelizmente também tivemos various quedas e vamos trabalhar
para que todos eles possam ainda ser batizado em breve.

Temos metas para ajudar nossa zona perceber mais a maneira em que
devem estar a coordenar a trabalho com a liderança da ala.  Pensamos
que se esta ligação for mais forte teríamos união e mais resultados
por causa de nossos esforços.  Queremos verificar que a zona está a
comunicar-se bem com os lideres locais para que possam ter sucesso e
perceber bem como comunicar-se para toda a vida.

We also are having some success with a couple brothers from angola.
they are making progress and one of them atleast has never been
baptized before and has a desire to be baptized so we will not even
have to help him understand that any previous baptism is not valid.
that always makes things a lot easier and hopefully we will capitalize
on that shortly.

One recent convert that we have here has been passing through some
difficult times as she makes the adjustments to being a member and she
for a bit was starting to go a little inactive. But this week we were
able to go back and get her back into the scriptures and then to talk
with bishop and to take the sacrament once again after having missed
it for about a month.  It is awesome to see here testimony grow about
the scriptures and the sacrament and doing all the small things so
that she keeps the spirit with her.  Definitely is amazing for me to
see the differences that this makes in here life as we can feel the
differences in the spirit as we are working with her.  We knew when
she was reading and when she wasent before we ever asked her.  It is
just so important and the spirit makes our lives just so much better.
Why not let our light shine forth?

Have a wonderful week.

Com Amor
Elder Hobson

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Week 79 Rolling R's

We are still teaching a lot those families from Ecuador.  It has been
a real challenge this week as we are trying to get them to accept
baptism but they are wanting to wait so that they can do it in Ecuador
where they can be with family.  We are making some real progress with
them and they are about to give up on the whole Ecuador thing I think.
It is funny how easily people put more importance on things that dont
really matter but come on the side of things that are actually the
main reason that we do that thing.  Baptism in so many cultures is
more about the party and the gathering for the parents and family then
it is for the person that is actually getting baptized and making
sacred covenants with God.

One little thing that I thought was super awesome was when we got to
go to the house of an american family on our division with the
Assistentes this week to eat lunch and they had lemon bars for the
dessert.  I could not believe it. Of all the times to be eating with
an american family out here in the mission and without any request or
any previous knowledge they made lemon bars.  I was super happy and I
told them the irony of the situation and then they gave me a bunch of
them so this year I got some lemon bars basically on my birthday just
like always!

Well on my actual birthday we had ward council after church which took
for ever, but then when we came out and the members had put a little
birthday party together for me which was pretty cool.  The sad part
was that they sisters were supposed to have a baptism today which fell
through right at the last minute, but the members turned it into a
quick little birthday party for me.  We had a ton of sugar today
because of the rest of the visits that we did as well it was a lot in
all but a fun day. We also had some really fun lessons for the first
time with some people  one is this guy named Alves that is here from
Angola to study civil engineering.  He seems like a totally typical
african guy but in our visit we got him to really recognize how
important it is to him to be able to know which is the correct church
and be able to come closer unto Christ.   It is really cool to see how
so many people that you would initially judge to not have any interest
in these things show that in reality it is something that is really
important to them.  It is such a special experience to get to feel
that special spirit that is encouraging them to keep listening and to
accept the invitations to change and become better.

Tivemos muito crescimento em nossa area e em nossa zona com novos
amigos.  É mesmo o passo para frente que estávamos a precisar neste
momento para começar a ver sucesso.  Estamos muito feliz com o esforço
dos missionários e acreditamos que estamos a progredir.  Tivemos uma
divisão com os assistentes  este semana e aprendi que realmente O
Senhor guia-nos para onde temos que ir sempre e que quando chegamos
la, temos que passar pela prova primeiramente antes que possamos
receber a benção que Ele enviou-nos para buscar.  Vou continuar a
procurar para saber porque estou onde estou em todos os momentos para
que posso achar todos os eleitos que o Senhor tem preparado para nos.

Estou a trabalhar bastante agora para aprender como pronunciar a som
dum "R" em portuguese corretamente e estou a ver muito progresso
graças a ajuda e paciência de Elder Reni e outros.  Estamos a procurar
a arrepender-nos e mudar para frente em todas as coisas diariamente.

This week I have been working really hard on my accent.  I have always
had a really hard time with the R's in portuguese because it requires
that you can roll them and that is something that even with hours and
hours and months and months of practice I have never been able to
master. But I have seen some really significant growth on my accent
over the past week.  I am being really brutal on myself and it is
leaving me really tired and I am a lot slower to speak and feel more
like a newer missionary again because I am basically learning to speak
again but this time I am taking out all of my american accent.  It is
cool to see some progress on this finally because I have been trying
to be able to make that sound properly for most of my mission.

I have been studying a lot in the new testament right now because I
want to be able to finish with it all before the end of the mission.
I have been learning a lot from Paul.  I find it interesting how he
always was teaching the same principles to answer a large variety of
questions.  He was always teaching a lot of the same things it was
just that because of the needs of his current audience he took that
same information and changed it around so that he touched on the
things that they truly needed and got across the message that he knew
that they needed as well..  There is a lot that we can learn from the
ancient prophets and I am really enjoying the studies that I am
getting to do on the bible right now.  I know that it really will help
me work with all of these people out here  and make me a more
effective tool in the hand of the Lord.

I hope you all are taking advantage of every precious moment that we
have do to what we need to in this life.  There is a time for
everything and now is the time to grow and get better and get ready
for eternal life!

Elder Hobson