Today we went to the zoo! I felt like I was at home in the Boise zoo
as a 4th grader running around with all the school kids that were
there on a Monday morning. It was weird to be there Because it felt
like an amusement part in the united states, but then they would have
announcements and everyone around was talking in Portuguese. The
coolest part was defiantly the dolphin show that they had. Made me
really want to go swimming, especially because it is pretty warm out
today, but it was definitely worth going and seeing.
One day this week I was doing a division with Elder Empey and we had
stopped to get a quick snack for dinner as we were walking to the next
lesson, but as we were walking I was still handing out pass along
cards to everyone that walked by, without even saying anything. (I
find it really interesting that people are much more likely to accept
a card if I do not say anything and just hand it to them. Whenever we
try to talk to someone and they do not really want anything they
always make a big scene and do not usually accept the cards. So now,
when we do not have any time to stop and talk to people I have the
habit of just handing out cards with a smile as we walk by. lots of
the time we get thank yous while we are doing that which is always a
refreshing and encouraging change) Anyways I am saying this because
this week we saw the fruits of these little efforts to spread the
word. One of the guys that I gave one to had been walking a little
behind us and when we stopped to cross the road he turned the corner
and I gave him a card as he went up and we went down. We got about 20
yards down the road and I looked up to see if he was looking at the
card. He was.. then he stopped looked up into the sky for a second..
looked at the card a little more and then glanced back at us really
quickly. on the second time that he glanced back I caught his
attention and smiled and waved. He waved back and then motioned for
us to come over to him. We got over and he explained that he was an
active member all of his youth. It came to the point where he had to
choose between going on a mission and joining the army and he chose
the army where basically things started to go a little away from the
church from that point on. Until just 3 months ago he had been living
in England but his father recently passed away and so he came down to
Portugal to be with family and try to rebuild some long lost
relationships. He realized with the death of his loved one that he
needed to put more of a priority on his family. It just happened to
be that the card that I handed him was one that talks about family
history. And he just ended up saying that he wants to come back into
activity now. It was really a miracle to see how the Lord really does
find a way to touch the lives of his people and guide us in really
marvelous ways. It was a testimony to me that he magnifies our
efforts and that all efforts in his work are worthwhile and no little
thing goes unnoticed.
This week we had a good zone conference that we had to put on. It
went nicely and every meeting that we have to do gets easier and
easier for me to prepare. It is cool how we learn how to do so many
things like this on the mission.
We were able to have a lot of people come out to church this week. It
was a cool experience to get to see these people making progress and
making the right decisions. I know that they are getting close to
baptism. Hopefully some of them will accept to be baptized or take
the last steps to be able to be worthy of that blessing here quickly.
I have wonderful news about our Bangladesh friends. Ivan, Ihita's
husband has decided to be baptized in the church and become a
christian. He is now reading the Book of Mormon and would like us the
elders to help him get rid of his doubts and questions as he gets
ready to be baptized and leave behind his atheist beliefs. He is
saying that he is ready to have "mormon life and mormon family."
unfortunately they are facing a lot of persecution, they had their
store robbed and Ivan has gotten into a couple fights as he is
defending his beliefs. I gave Ihita a blessing today after church
that was a little scary to me, when I blessed her with the ability to
recognize the promptings of the spirit as to when to run and when to
hide. I realize that they probably still have a long fight ahead of
them, but I know that the Lord will take care of them as they try to
do what is right.
I have been studying a ton about love recently. I want to develop
more and more love for my companions and for the people that we are
serving and meeting every day in the road or in their doorways. I have
always felt a love for them, it has never been that hard for me, but I
want to really come to one day look at these people as Christ truly
looks at them.
Teach, teach, teach, that is basically all that we do all day long
every day. and the funny part is that a lot of the time the person
that is learning the most is me.
See you on Sunday at 17h00 our time, 10h00 your time.
Love Elder Hobson