Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Week 87 Verão está a vir.

Well it is starting to finally have some amazing weather out here
after quite a bit of rain and clouds up until this point. (really it
has not been that much rain, but Portugal is pretty well known to have
a ton of sun for being so close to the ocean)  But right now it is
absolutely beautiful and I am enjoying being out and about with
nothing more then a white tee shirt finally.

We had a good week of work where we taught a ton of lessons even
without getting to be in our area a ton.  We missed a day when we had
to go to the Assistentes area for a division.  I did mine with Elder
Welch.  He is a new assistente this transfer and he is also really
pretty new i the mission.  It was a little strange to have an
assistant  giving me advice and whatnot that was having a bit of a
struggle with portuguese, but he is a good missionary and a good kid.

I got to go back to Alverca again this week.  It was fun to get to
seem some old faces and familiar places once again.  We were there
because the areas there are definitely the ones that are struggling
the most in the whole zone, so we decided to make a zone activity and
go out to Alverca and work all together for a couple hours on Saturday
morning to talk to a ton of people and get it so that they will be
able to have a ton of people that they can teach and work with so that
they can get their spirits up a little and start to see some success
for the first time in months.  Hopefully it will work out.  It was a
good thing to get the missionaries to feel a little bit more united in
working for the same cause.  I think that it was a major success. We
had to run to catch the train both going there and coming back.
Thankfully we all caught the train except for the sisters on the way
back. I was the first one in the group to get to the train doors and
so I had to hold them open as long as I could while all the others
piled into the train.  I was getting slammed repeatedly by the doors,
but I managed to fight it to keep it open even with some complaining
portuguese people behind me long enough to get all of the elders into
the train.

So this week we got to continue helping João get ready for baptism.
he is making great changes and he is really close.  We are going to
keep pushing to get him ready to get baptized next weekend if he comes
back down to the city again.  Hopefully it will work out right.  We
taught him the word of wisdom and the law of chastity over skype with
his girlfriend Veronica sitting right next to us.  It was pretty funny
and thankfully he did accept.  ( the law of chastity thing was already
basically on the table since Veronica had been good in setting the
standard when their relationship began. but it has been cool to have
her really doing a wonderful job to keep him reading and praying and
making sure everything is going well with him all the days that we do
not have the chance to talk with him.

We are still teaching a family that is really wonderful and are
accepting everything really well up until baptism.  They are coming to
church all of the time, but they are not quite ready to accept the
baptismal commitment still.  We will see how they are feeling after
having going to church again this week.  They are getting some more
support and love from the members now more and more so that is really
going to help hopefully.

We had one lady come to church this week that was really cold to us at
first and made some strange proposition for us to come and talk at a
public event with some really strange religions in like an organized
bible bash, but we basically just invited her to come over to church
in the meantime while we thought about whether or not we would be able
to take her up on her offer.  But it just happened that she showed up
right on time for me to teach gospel principles on what we believe are
important characteristics of the church when Jesus was on the earth
that we believe are still in place today. It was the perfect lesson
for her,  it was just a little disappointing for me because I was
given 30 seconds notice that I would be giving the class so I did not
get to prepare and make it as good as it could have been. But she did
ask us to come by her house this week so I think that the spirit had
touched her heart.

One of my favorite stories this week was one of our investigators who
is about 60 years old and Portuguese named Carlos francisco that we
have been teaching for a little while now.  This week he finally was
able to make it to church, but since he lives a long ways away and he
has to go and take care of his older sister on the weekends he had to
travel for over 3 hours to get to church for the first time ever.  He
is a man that has always smoked and drank a lot of coffee.  We taught
him the word of wisdom and he said that he was going to leave that
lesson to go and have his last ever cup of coffee and he is now
diminishing the number of cigarettes that he is smoking everyday.  He
said that he has tried in the past to quit but has always failed
miserably and gotten really angry with himself, but I know that this
time he will succeed because now he is not doing it alone. He will
have the power of the Holy Ghost lifting him and making it so that he
can do things that he would never be able to do on his own.  I am so
grateful for the miracle of the atonement and for the power of the
holy ghost in our lives.  I know that Carlos is feeling it and that it
is more motivating for him to invite that into his life then any other
drug could be so he is managing to overcome age old habits.   I love
when I get the chance to help make the difference in the life of
someone that really needs the changes and is willing to do everything
for the help of the Lord.  when we put our lives in the Lord's hands
we cannot go wrong. that much I know.

Elder Hobson

D&C 59:23
D&C 24:12
João 5:21 Lucas 20:38
Alma 42:22
2 Néfi 9: 51-52
Jacó 4:8
3 Néfi 28: 34

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Week 86 Chuva e Despedido de Elder Holmes

This week we got to start working with a family that recently got here
from brasil.  We went over to get to know them for the first time this
week and we got to hear a pretty crazy story.  The dad of the family
was assaulted in brasil and was shot twice in the chest leaving
shrapnel in his lungs and completely ruining his intestines.  He had
tons of surgeries, and still needs more.  he had to lay down
motionless for over 40 days without being able to drink any water,
which left him begging for water in tears but all the more that they
could do was to dampen his lips with a sponge. he has bald patches on
the back of his head from laying there for so  long and basically he
really just got messed up and is a walking miracle.  He has a young
wife and a little daughter who are really amazing.  This man is just
so grateful for his life and for all that God has done to allow him to
be here on earth with his family still.  He has a desire to find a
good church and begin going there all the time.  This accident was in
November of 2014 if I remember right so he is still recovering and he
has not yet found a good church for his family.  Basically they are
just amazingly prepared and it is super amazing to get to hear their
life stories.  We are just starting with them, but we are really
excited to see where this family will go.  The Lord really had
prepared them for us, that much is for sure, they are amazing and we
are hoping and praying that the Lord can guide us in how to work with
them so that they will be able to see for themselves that this is the
true church, that it is the one that they should join and will bring
them more blessings and happiness then anything else in the world.

We are teaching another young man that is really cool. his name is
junior.  he was really anxious to get to hear about the book of Mormon
and what it is after going to Church for the first time during a fast
and testimony meeting where just about all of the testimonies were
about the Book of Mórmon form a bunch of humble young members.  It was
cool to see how anxious he was to hear what we had to say and he
accepted the message really well.  He is really tough to get time with
though because he studies and works almost everyday and he has to
travel a bunch to do both of those things.  With people super special
like him though we know it is worth it and we

Quick update on some of my comps and good friends out here on them
mission this week...

Elder Empey got a package from his dad this week full of BYU football
team gear and a letter that was really hard on trying to get him to
change over to going to BYU to play football. (Elder Empey's dad was
an offensive lineman at BYU and is now the new offensive line coach,
so now he is trying to recruit his son since he will be coaching him
now.  It is definitely difficult for us to not get distracted talking
about football since Elder Easton also played but ended with breaking
his back.)  It is pretty funny to see him have to struggle with that
decision and not let it distract him too much while he is out here.

So this week one of the Elders in our house was sent home because of
depression.  His condition was getting really serious.  We have been
trying to help him in every way that we could over the last two months
that I have been here in Odivelas with him.  He has been having a
really rough time.  He was not able to get out of bed before about
10h30 every day.  So he was really just sleeping about 4 extra hours
every day and was having a really hard time begin positive and started
rebelling against everything about the mission.  It has been really
hard to see, especially for Elder Empey and for Elder Easton who were
with him in the MTC where he was apparently a completely different
person. He was a soccer player, student body president, skier, and
absolutely all around awesome dude that everyone just loved.
Unfortunately he got really sick with this depression and his hormones
got way out of wack and he is just completely different now because of
this sickness.  Saturday night he was sent home being that he is just
no longer physically fit to be a missionary and he needs to get the
help and medical attention that he can only get from his family and it
the United States.  He was not happy that he was getting sent home, he
wanted to stay out and has a strong desire to serve his full mission,
but it just wasn't going to be what was best.  It was really hard to
work with and really confusing because I do not understand how
depression works.  I have never really understood much about
depression and mental illnesses, I always just thought that people
just needed to snap out of it and choose to be happy and mentally
healthy, but out on the mission with this experience and many more I
realize that there is a lot more to it than just that.  It was a bit
of a trial of patience but we did learn a lot of compassion and
understanding.  I will never look at a missionary that came home early
because of anxiety or stress or depression in the same way ever again.
A mission is really not an easy thing.  It is a challenge everyday and
we are constantly pushing ourselves to get the best out of every
minute and drop of energy and capacity, mentally, physically, and
spiritually that we have.  That is what makes it such a rewarding
experience and how it can change the lives of missionaries, but
success and change and blessings come at a cost. thankfully I have
been blessed to be strengthened by the Lord enough to get through this
much.  And I thank him every day for that and ask for the ability to
keep on going. A lot of the time I am not sure how we keep going, but
it sure is amazing to have the lord's help.   I really hope that he
will get better quickly and prayers would be appreciated for Elder Lee

Ohh and the new elder in our house that took Elder Holmes spot is
Elder Oliveira or better known as Leonardo one of the young men that I
worked with almost every day when I was serving in Alverca.  Should be

Amo-vos a todos. segue sempre em frente
Elder Hobson

Alma 60:36
Atos 4:29
Mateus 21:21-21
Apocalipse 21:4
Éter 4:19
Alma 34:41
Mosias 29:20

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 85

This week we had a good time.  We had a zone meeting that was a good
amount of work for us right off the bat to get done. We have a cool
zone and we were really happy to see the results of the meeting.  We
had a huge spike in our results from the day because of the meeting so
I guess it was worth the time.  We went out to eat with the
Assistentes when we got done with the meeting.  They took us over to a
Subway which I didn't even know that they had here in Portugal but it
took me on a major flashback to the river days getting Subway in
Salmon.  I have mixed feelings about those memories being that
anything associated with Salmon, Idaho, probably my least favorite
town in the world, cannot be all that great.

We got the new Bibles from the church that have some footnotes and
headings and things, as well as some corrections and stuff that make
this portuguese bible officially endorsed by the church.  It is pretty
cool and is a nice tool to help with studies, but the english
scriptures still have way more helps and nifty things.  I need all the
help that I can get to get to know the scriptures better so I was
really happy.

Tenho sido a pensar um pouco sobre arrependimento e como é que
funciona.  Para ser um juízo comum de Israel é uma assunto um pouco
assustador para mim.  Durante o tempo que eu tenho sido um missionário
já tive various oportunidades  para entrevistar pessoas para o batismo
e em various destes ocasiões foi preciso uma entrevista especial
quando cheguemos a pergunta 4. Nesta ultima entrevista em particular
foi um pouco difícil para mim sendo que tinha que pedir um pouco mais
informações para saber se uma entrevista especial fosse precisa.  Em
fim meus sentimentos foram basicamente que era mais difícil para mim a
perdoar ela do que era para ela a receber perdão de nosso Salvador.
Faz me a pensar como eu preciso alinhar meus sentimentos mais com o
espirito em todas as coisas.

Eu aprendi de Elder Moreira que esta vida é o tempo para misericórdia
e por meio de minhas experienciarias pessoais com arrependimento já vi
que muitas vezes O Senhor perdoa-me mais rápido do que consigo fazer
para mim mesmo.  Sou grato para ter estas experiencias com tantas
outras pessoas a ajuda-las neste processo durante a missão para puder
ser um juízo mais justo no futuro.

We are teaching a single mom that is pretty awesome.  It was cool to
see how well she was getting the message that we were teaching about
the restoration.  She just really understood.  It really blows me away
how confused some people can get about the things we teach because of
the barriers that they put up and the other beliefs that they have
that are blocking receiving any further instruction or inspiration.  I
find it sad that so many people are not even willing to open up their
hearts and give it one shot.  But with her she was just getting it and
taking it all in like a sponge and then basically spitting out the
next things that we were going to say.  It was an awesome experience.
I think that it will be what was needed to be able to get her to make
some sacrifices and especially finally have the courage to go out and
look for another job that will allow here to live a healthy lifestyle.
Right now she is working from 3am until the afternoon when she has
just a little time before she has to go and get her kid and take care
of her for the rest of the night  giving her the opportunity to sleep
for about 4 hours a night.   But we are already working with her to
get her to walk away and get something that will be more reasonable
and allow her to go to church.

My main thought right now is just on how much a difference the gospel
really does make in people's lives.  Being a missionary, which I think
basically automatically makes you more sensitive to the spirit, as we
go around house to house we can feel the difference in the homes of
these people.   We feel all sorts of levels of love and peace and
comfort in the houses of these people, but when you go to the house of
a strong family in the church it is completely different.  I see a
major difference in how family members treat each other in their
relationships when they are members or not.  As a general trend the
people that we meet that are truly living the gospel are much more
positive about life and their situations, more confident, more
supporting, happier and much more confident.  It is not that these
people have perfect problem free lives, or even close to that, most of
the members here struggle immensely financially, are immigrates a long
ways away from their family and culture, and usually have many other
struggles as well, but with the help of our Lord and Savior, their
burdens are lifted a little to make them possible to overcome and they
have hope because of the knowledge of the eternal plan that we are in
right now.  I wish that everyone could see the effects of the gospel
in the way that I have seen them and am continuing to see right now,
because if everyone saw this they would know that there is really no
better way to live life, that these things have to be true and will
only enrichen their lives if they put them into practice.  I hope we
can all be able to get this same vision and feel and see the
difference in our own lives.  I love all you and I am so grateful for
the wonder family that I have.  I truly hope and pray that we will all
stay together for eternity because that is the best thing that I could
think of having and I know it is possible

Elder Hobson

Presidente Tavares is having us choose and read a scripture to our
comp ever single night right before we go to bed and then report those
scriptures to him.  This is my list from this week, thought I might as
well share them with you all as well.
Salmos 16: 10-11
1 Pedro 2:6
D&C 20:38
Moisés 6: 32-34
D&C 25:15
3 Néfi 17:3
Alma 20:17

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 84 General Conference

First off I have good news and I just wanted to thank you all for the
many prayers for Ihita and Ivan.  They were able to move and have a
roof over their heads still.  They are so awesome. I actually had
another experience with muslins this week again, thankfully this one
was a more positive one.  We actually baptized a muslim man in our
zone and I was able to get to go to his baptism.  The baptism was
really cool because there was a ton of people there to see general
conference since they had to do it in between sessions.   When he came
up out of the water he stayed there standing still with his head bowed
for about 2 minutes.  It was an amazingly powerful experience for me
as I was aware of the significance of his decision to convert away
from being muslim.  Most of the congregation was just confused but for
those that knew what had just happened it was a really powerful
experience.  After he changed back into his Suit that he had recently
bought for church, we ended the meeting with him bearing his
testimony.  He bore a very powerful testimony of the holy ghost and
the confirming witness that he has received that he is making the
correct decision.  Even though he did have some things that were a bit
confused in his testimony that will have to be straitened out later,
he has a very strong testimony that this is truly the one and only
true church.  He explained a bit about the difficulties that he has
been going through with his parents and family members back in Africa
that did not want him to change and did not support him whatsoever in
this decision.  It was amazing to see a man turn his back on his
culture, people, country, way of life, and family all because of his
love for God.  It is inspiring and I hope and pray that he and his
family can be blessed and protected in this life and in the next for
this decision knowing that it will not be easy for any of them.  The
rules that we have to be able to teach and baptize a muslim are really
long and ridiculous making it almost impossible but he was able to do
it. Hopefully he will be able to continue to make the correct
decisions and progress.

This week has been fun to get to know a couple new missionaries and
work a little different.  Transfers are always a good refresher filled
with tons of new challenges which is a good thing.   I had to bring a
ton of things back to our area for our zone like copies of the book of
mórmon and things like that and because I was stupid and loaded up my
bag with about 120lbs of books and such I had one of the tires on my
big luggage bags blow out.  I am going to try and fix it, but just
kind of a bummer and a burden that comes from having to try and help
these other missionaries.

To respond to your question Dad, there has not been too much press
about the temple and stuff since the ground breaking ceremony.  It is
still in the very beginning stages of construction and I am sure as
they get more to the point where the walls are up there will be a lot
more commotion about it.  It has come up from a few people here and
there already on the street but it is still not out there super well.
I sure am excited to see where it is at more at the end of the summer,
hopefully it will have the basic structure visible by then.

We had a cool experience with Veronica a member from the azores that
is here for college now. She had a boy that had come down from a
different town to visit here this week that we found her showing him
around the church.  We took advantage and taught him a bit and then
after he came back for general conference we taught him again.  He is
really cool and as of now he claims to not really believe in God, but
after talking to him for 5 minutes that changed, and then after
watching a bit of General conference he recognized the answers that he
was receiving from the holy ghost and knew that it was definitely
something different and special.  Funny that he came down to Lisbon
this weekend to meet a girl and basically spent the whole weekend
getting converted to Jesus Christ.  That is what I call good dating,
well done Veronica.

We are working hard out here and having fun.  Thankfully now I have
finally caught back up on sleep after transfers and I am getting back
onto my typical schedule.  I am excited for this transfer and I really
want to make the most out of it because the weeks are flying by and
time is running short.  I feel more and more like President Hinkley
every day when asked why he walks fast and he said, "if you knew what
I know then you would walk faster too".  There is just too little time
to be able to help give as many people as possible a chance to hear
about the gospel as possible.   gotta use every moment well becuase we
do not have any time to waste and this life goes by really quickly
with all of its eternally significant decisions continuing on forever.

"You can have what you want now or something better" -Elder Holland


Christ is always the right choice.
happy choosing

Elder Hobson