Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 17, 2012

Querida Família,

  Woo! This week was awesome! It feels really good to finally be able
to do a bunch of work in your own area! The area itself is kind of
wilted, but this week, we hit it up hard here! We were dropping cards
and pamphlets everywhere! Plus we picked up 6 new investigators! It's
awesome.
  Yea, things with Elder Kelsey are awesome. We get each other's humor
and we're both ready to go into the heat. Plus, studies get done
pretty much without fail, something that not a lot of missionaries
like. But it feels awesome!
  There wasn't a lot of news this week, but I'll give you all the
rundown for all your questions: only my copy of my passport was lost,
so the social security number is safe. Christmas EVE is when I'll see
you on Skype. I'll be using the Thompson's computer, so the internet
should be alright. If not, they'll let me give you all a call.  But the scheduled time (if I calculated daylight savings right)
will be 17h here, and 10h for you there. BUT: there is a confusion
with the daylight time, so it might be 11h for you there. I would just
be ready around 10h. But that's the plan for now! I'm excited!
  So as for now, we've started giving around half of our focus to an
area called Sapú. It's across the street from a place called Golfe,
and our hope is to build up enough members there to put a branch down
to link up the city. It would be AWESOME! I'm loving it because the
area of Sapú is very ''Africany''. It's calm, the road is dust, and
there's imbondeiros and palm trees there. Way cool.
  But I'm doing well. I've started to set some new goals, because the
last few transfers have left me feeling like I haven't been fulfilling
my potential. So I've set some goals for the days, weeks, and
transfer, and I'm already feeling better. I'm super happy right now,
so don't be worrying about me!
  Well, I hope you all have a good week, and I'll see you on Christmas Eve!

Amor,

Elder Alex Hobbs

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 10, 2012

A Família Hobbs,

   Alright, let's hit the good stuff first: Christmas is comin!!! Wooo! I can't wait to talk with all y'all! It's gonna be so fun! We've been practicing singing Christmas Hymns for our Christmas Eve party that we'll have. It'll be nice. Also, we get to (or have been told to by President Kretly) to go caroling on Christmas itself. It'll be awesome.
   But not as awesome as my companion! He rocks! He's really, quiet, but he's also super cool. We got in so much work these past few days! This area is going places this transfer. We're going to find teach and baptize the whole block! haha. Also, we've been given permission from the branch president to train all of the presidencies of the auxilaries of the branch. Our district is the oldest in the mission, and all of us are pretty experienced and know what to do. Woo!
   Yea, I got robbed. I was just doin' email and some kid lifted my backpack. I lost my camera, document copies, bank cards, my dictionary and 140$ that has to come from my personal cash (scriptures are safe). But the cool thing is: I'm not mad. I don't want to sound like mister goodie goodie, but if the crowd of Angolans caught that guy, I would forgive him (Angolans hate theives, and probably would have tried to seriously hurt the guy) and save him. And it felt good. Who am I to judge another when I walk with this big old beam in my eye?
   Woah, I'm getting cash... thank you all so much! Please pay tithing on anything that comes in... the white handbook says I need to pay tithing to my home ward on funds recieved from home. I'll make a deal: I'll buy some food, but I'm going to use some on cool Africa stuff... and the food probably shouldn't be KFC... it costs like 20$ for a little sandwich with fries.... hahaha but it is FINGER LICKIN GOOD!!!
   For Christmas Skyping, I'm actually not quite sure yet what will be the plan... President said that they would try to do the same thing that the Waltons did for Mother's day, but he hasn't given us a schedule yet. If not, I know a really nice cyber that will not fail us that has Skype abilities. Tentatavely plan for 9h00 your time, 16h00 my time, because that is what my companion said he'd be alright with, but it isn't set in stone: I'll be sure to let you all know next week.
   Owen: I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GETTING FOR CHRISTMAS!!! HAHAHAHAHA! Love ya bro. :) WRITE ME A LETTER IN THE MAIL!!!
   Weston: Your friends are what is known as ''skibums'' it is a new form of hippie. hahaha. Do well in Spanish.
   Luxana: I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How is school?
   I love it out here so much. The area is going to be hard, as it kind of died a little when I didn't have a companion, but now it's going to boom! I'm going to live it up! (Year mark and half mark both come this transfer) But I still miss you all more than you can know!

Lots of love,

Elder Alex Hobbs

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 3, 2012

Família,


   Transfer week has happened... and a bunch of big news with that! We're opening 3 new areas here in Luanda! One new area in the existing Viana branch, and 2 new areas in the brand new Benfica branch!!! WOOOOO!!!! Plus, I get a companion! His name is Elder Kelsey. He's one of the older guys, and is actually in the next group to go home. He's enlisted in the marines, and is pretty hilarious. It'll be interesting though, because the area that we're in is the area that he used to work before he left for the provenance. I'm excited though. I can't wait to do some major work with him though!
   Other than that, the week has been pretty quiet. I didn't have too many lessons, but of the ones that I did have, they were all extra super spiritually powerful! I'll tell you what, faith is awesome!
   My birthday went well. Thank you all for your birthday wishes, and my present! I loved it! I kept my birthday pretty quiet from everyone. Very few people actually knew that it happened. Next year though, I'm going to voice it from the roof tops, because Elder Tolman says that you get a TON of stuff from members that way. »:) haha But I loved my birthday card, and the muffins tasted great! I'm excited for Christmas!!
   I have a couple of ideas of what I want Owen to have for Christmas... I'll send them in a separate email though. Mwahahahaha!!!
   Man, it is HOT here! When it rains, the humidity sky rockets, and it rains about every 2 or 3 days! It's getting super hot. I'll have to listen to the radios in taxis to get a temperature for you all, but it's going to be high!
   That Christmas card looks pretty good! Hahaha. Can't wait to talk in a few weeks!
   I love you all a TON! Let me know if my letters get to ya, I sent 2 or 3 your way about a month ago. As for packages, I wouldn't worry too much about them. I think most other people just pay through the nose to send them, so if you do send anything, just send a small one under 2.2 lbs, and I'll be happy to get it. I'll ask around to see if there's a cheaper way, but if not, don't worry about it. Just send me a million letters!!!


I love you all a bunch! I'm doing well here, and I'm pretty sure this next transfer is going to rock socks!!!


Love, love, love!!

Elder Alex Hobbs

November 27, 2012

Para a família Hobbes,

   Sorry that this letter is getting to all of you so late! Our new house doesn't have a lot of Cyber cafés around it, and on Monday, no one had energy. Yesterday, all of Luanda was without internet. It was crazy!
   Things here in Angola are starting to get pretty Africanesque. The hot African sun is out every other day between African rains, the combination of which is a series of very hot, humid days. It's been a blast though. I love Angolans so much.
   The Thanksgiving party was modest, but nice. We did have an excess of Turkey, but that's about it. But it all tasted great! Mashed potatoes, gravy, fruit salad. It reminded me of the states. Plus, it was nice to chat with the missionaries and couples. We had a lot of fun!
   Yea, it was better a little this last week when it comes to lessons and getting with members. It was still hard though. But this coming week is looking awesome! I had an awesome day yesterday with a member named D. We taught 3 very very VERY important lessons that helped all investigators involved make some big steps.
   We visited A and her sister, P. A had had a hard week. She and her kids had all gotten sick (she had polidismo, the African form of Malaria), and two of her friends had died that week. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation, and it was amazing. P understood, and resolved a lot of doubts, and A felt the Spirit. I hope that she knows that she can rely on the Lord for strength in trials.
   I've sure learned a lot about that these past few weeks. Faith and power are very closely related. The Lord has helped me a lot. He's been my companion for this transfer. 
   We also saw K, and worked with him to substitute tempting situations (alcohol with friends) for good things, like work, exercise, etc. Also, D is going to follow up with him each day on his drinking (D was once big into alcohol, drugs, and gangs).
   Last, we saw O. He's been getting very sick and has said that he's lost some faith. We spoke of faith, fasting, and the Word of Wisdom. He's going to be fasting and is going to do all he can to live the Word of Wisdom.
   Yea, it's my last day of being nineteen. It's kind of strange, getting this old. Hmmm. Weird.
    I love all the pictures! Make sure to send lots of Christmas ones alright?

I love you guys BUÉ!!!!


Elder Alex Hobbs

PS I took out about 40$ for some food, taxis, etc. The mission is having some confusions with payments, so I've been out of cash for like a week. It should be better this next month though.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 20, 2012

amília,

   Wow, that was a slow news week. haha just kidding.

   Man, I sure love you guys. I've missed y'all a lot lately.  We do get Dia das graças this Thursday though. One of the Brazilian couples has visited family in the States during Thanksgiving, so he's going to coordinate a big dinner at President's house this week. Turkey, stuffing, the whole shabang. Christmas is supposed to be just as big. Brazilian food for Thanksgiving... should be interesting. :)
   The week was a little harder. I just couldn't coordinate with members to walk with me. But I think this next week will be better.  I'm going to try and just work as hard as I can this week. Wish me luck!
   It was a little slow this week for me too. I did have a baptism though! Dani got baptized. Yea... I baptized a Rasta. That's a first for the mission. ;) Everyone was so excited for that one, haha.
   I love the photos. I can't wait to go to the next ISU-Weber game with Owen and Grandpa. That was so much fun the first time.
   So, there wasn't too much to report on this last week, so I'm just going to give y'all a list of things I'm thankful for. Here we go:

I'm thankful for mangos. They are so good!
I'm thankful for the chance to come to Africa. It's been a dream since I first saw the Lion King!
I'm thankful for rice. Grains like this are the staff of life out here!
I'm thankful for Nesquick. It fills me up at the end of the week. (I eat fine during the week mom.) :)
I'm thankful for taxis. It's hard to be thankful for them, but I am.
I'm thankful for Angolans who teach me how to cook crazy African dishes so that I can be helpful to my family and future wife when I come home.
I'm thankful for Angola. This country has so much potential!
I'm thankful for my mission. Nothing has ever been this edifying in my life.
I'm thankful for my brothers, who inspire me to be better. I'm also thankful that they've been going on the right path.
I'm thankful for my family, who help me keep going each week, and got me prepared to be here.
I'm thankful for the temple. I can't write why, but it is one of the biggest blessings in my life.
I'm thankful for all of the little things in life, trees, children, rain, a clean bed, etc...
I'm thankful for adresses in the states. It's hard not having them here.
I'm thankful that the Lord has taught me how to speak Português. Such a beautiful language.
I'm thankful for our nice house here. Woo!
I'm thankful for the Book of Mormon. It truly is God's chosen tool unto the convincing of men. I'm thankful for the plain an precious truths inside its covers.
I'm thankful for my parents who taught me in my youth to live in the world, not of the world.
I'm thankful for the gospel, which has lit my way to a happy life, and eternal life to come.
I'm thankful for repentence. I'm not perfect, but with this glorious opportunity to change, I can be after I die.
I'm thankful for Jesus Christ, for suffering all the pains of my sins, my sorrows, and my afflictions, so that I can conquer myself, death, and Satan.
I'm thankful for My Lord and God, all that He has given me for success.

I love you guys so much. I could write many other things, but these are the big ones. I can't wait to see you all on Christmas. Lots of love, enjoy the holidays!

Elder Alex Hobbs

November 13, 2012

Família,

   Once again, sorry that my email is late. It was Angolan Independence day on Sunday, so the country took a day off on monday. We didn't think any cyber cafés were open. Sorry!
   Things here are the same. Not too many lessons were done in my area due to misplanning. It is hard in a tripanionship across 2 areas. But I do love the zls! They rock.
   K started drinking again. He keeps letting people borrow his Book of Mormon and doesn't read it for himself! We're working with him. However, D had his baptismal interview this week. He'll be getting baptized on Saturday. It should be neat!
   I'm really happy to hear about all of the great things that Weston and Owen are doing. It's cool that they're going to the temple and exercising the preisthood. Man that is good! In fact, it's so good that if Owen were to promise to get his Eagle scout and Weston got straight A's in school (while continuing temple work) I wouldn't be surprised if they were blessed in many MANY different ways. Spiritually, and HALO4istically. Nope. Wouldn't surprise me at all. ;)
   I am super excited for Christmas. Can't wait to see you guys. Everyone is growing from what I can see in the pictures that you've sent. I'm excited. It's really hard to believe that I'm almost at a year mark. I hear that time flies after a year, so I need to push it hard now!!! I don't know if this will get to you all in time for Elder Banta, but: I've heard nothing about bikes yet... that would be interesting! Bring a good flashlight, keep it safe. Make sure that you have one fitted sheet. Both of mine are flat, and I have to redo the bottom sheet nearly everyday. And tell him to polish his shoes weekly! I've been polishing every week, and as I see other Elder's shoes, I'm amazed at the results. I'm hoping to wear all 3 of my pairs of shoes after I come home!
   Yea, I heard about the election. Angolans were really excited that a black person was still in office. hahaha O well. I'm happy that you got the kwanza though. There should be another letter coming to you guys soon.
   But the week was a little slow. I do have a story for you all though: while we were shopping yesterday, it rained. A LOT. There was a mini river in the street. Angolans aren't big on rain, because rain with dust equals mud... a lot of mud. hahahaha
   As for my walk with President Thompson, it was really nice. Last Pday him and Sister helped us clean our new appartment. Since President Kretly has a lot of the power, it frees a lot of time for President Thompson to spend time with the Elders. We're all getting pretty close with Pres. It should be nice if we become our own mission in July.

I love you all so much. Keep doing what you're doing!

Elder Alex Hobbs

Ps I did take out 20$ Não preoccup-se

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6, 2012

Hobbs Family,

   Man! It sure looks like Halloween was a blast for all of you! I wish I could have been there with y'all. Halloween here was pretty quiet. We bought a little candy and President and Sister Thompson gave some to the missionaries as well. They said they actually had had some tricker treaters. Really strange for Angola.
   This last week was a little slow. It was difficult to get things set up with members to walk, as well as just timing things right with the construction going on here. But I think this next week should be a LOT better. No new baptisms yet Owen, but we should be seeing a rasta man named D get baptized on the 17th, and K is scheduled at last to be baptized on the 1st of December. I'm excited for those days!
   I'm planning to go out and find a bunch of people this coming week. I'm a little short on investigators, but luckily the field is white (well, technically it's black, but...) and ready to harvest!
   I had some very fun opportunities this week. R and P came to visit their aunt, so I got to go say hi to them on Sunday. I also got to walk with President Thompson. It was way fun!
   It looks like Weston had a great time. Enjoy it man. But don't inhale it. Girls are DEATH on the mission. Haha just kidding. Just remember what Chris told us: never fall in like with a girl. ;)
   Owen, just know that ''my little saints'' are going to come back and win the bowl when I'm there to see it! Haha, love you bro. So did you score big on Halloween? How's school? Anything super cool happenin? Stay patient for those games, but make sure to not spend too much time on the box!
    Luxana! I love your witch costume! You got a lot of candy, eh? I like the picture of you by the temple. Make sure to go inside some day ok? I love you lots and lots!
   So I never got the chance to vote. When President and Sister Walton were here, they told me to have the zone leaders take me to the embassy for a Pday. Unfortunately, the zone leaders didn't know where the embassy was, and so we never got around to it. But let me know what happens!
   I miss you guys a million! But I love my mission too. I learn so much here every day. It is a huge blessing. Tell Owen and Weston that they can't miss this unless they want to lose big!
   Lots of Love,

Elder Alex Hobbs

Sunday, November 4, 2012

October 30, 2012

A melhor família do mundo,

   The week was a little bit shaky this week. We had to split up a few days because now I am technically in a tripanionship, we're working across two areas, so the lesson count was a little lower. However, I've talked with some members and branch missionaries, so this next week should be better on the efficiency end. I'm pretty excited for this Thursday... President Thompson will be walking with me in my area! Way cool right? hahaha. It looks like I'll be in a triship for about three or four weeks. We're waiting on either a Cabo-Verdiano (He'll NEVER get his visa... option two?), or a Brazilian to come in. President Thompson said he couldn't tell me if I was going to be training or if they would do a swap from a different area. I'm guessing they'll swap someone or he would have told me, but we'll see!
   So sorry that this email is a day late... we were too busy moving into our new appartment. IT IS THE BEST HOUSE ON THE MISSION NOW!!! I'm pretty sure that the mission couples are a little jealous because we have an elevator! It rocks. It never faults energy or water, and I've already taken two hot showers since we moved in yesterday! We're all super excited. We spent the whole day yesterday stomping and spraying roaches from all of our things and then riding in some beatup diesel truck to the new place. It was a very ''African'' exeperience. Elder Tolman and I were waiting in traffic for over two hours! But it was fun. We talked a lot.
   So the area looks great! K is doing very well with quitting alcohol, and we have many investigators that are just super close to accepting baptism, so I hope to see some good progress soon. . Miss you guys. Make sure to let strange black people become my friends on facebook. There's a couple of them that speak English that you can all talk to if you want! M is a member here, and she's really cool. Also C is ''my man'' haha. He'll get really excited to talk with you.
   Home still sounds like it's all going well. I'm happy to hear that my brothers are both preping to go into the temple and on a mission. Keep going guys! It ROCKS out here!
   It's strange to think that Halloween happens this week. Angola doesn't celebrate anything with it. They all know what it is, but think that it's a bad holiday because all they've seen of it are the Halloween specials on their soap operas. But, we've been told that the Brazilian casals are going to go all out on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we're excited for that. It's going to be a little different for me... the weather here is starting to get insanely hot. I don't know the temperature, but I've started sweating, so it's going up!
   Big news for mom: We got a lunch list! We'll be getting fed everyday excepting  Pdays and Wednesdays. Woo!
   I love you all so so sooooo ENTÃO much!!!! Stay well, and keep enjoying the simple things!

Elder Alex Hobbs

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

Hey Family!
   So this week went by really well. We got to watch general conference yesterday and on saturday. We broke record numbers in our branch for attendence on Sunday. 131 people! We need a new chapel fast!
   Elder Hyde and I spent a lot of time contacting people on the street. It was really cool, because we found a family that already had a copy of the Book of Mormon, but had never sat with missionaries. We're really excited to start teaching them.
   So, transfers have come. I get to stay in the area as district leader, but Elder Hyde is leaving for the provinance of Lubango. Also, I don't have a companion! haha, yea, but I'll probably start working with many of the branch missionaries here. Also, there is a fair possibility that I'll work with Elder Domingos (Ventura, our old branch mission leader. He's the one on the right in the picture). He's part of the Mozambique mission, and he has to come to Angola for his visa. So it is very probable that I'll work with him for a transfer. But I am really happy that I get to see the people in this area progress still.
   We're going to get a new house! The Abdos (Brazilian Casal that is in charge of mission housing), found us a nice new place that won't fault energy or water! Plus, it's super close to where we shop, it has an elevator and an indoor futebol-basketball court... heck yea! We're all excited.
   I'm learning a lot how to cook! I'm super excited! I attached a picture of me making sweet rice. It's the first thing that I've ever cooked all by myself without mom's supervision!!! I. told me how to make it. I think that We'll plan a family night with her and I'll have her show me how to cook some Angolan plates. It'll be awesome. (Sorry mom I'm not getting fed by members right now... they were working on getting the missionaries a lunch list, but our chapel got robbed, so I think that may have dropped in priority a little... but I eat alright.) I want to come home and make you guys some of the food here. It rocks!
   So we played some good ole futebol today. I was goalie, and we totally beat some of the local aaronic preisthood here! Nothing gets past my hips or hands! So you had all learn to play before I get back, because I'm starting to love futebol!
   I sent you guys some letters. One has kwanza in it, so I'm not sure if you'll get it. Let me know.
   I love you guys a lot! I miss ya, and I pray for ya! I'm happy to hear that school is going well for everyone. Sorry about the football Owen. You ought to try out for futebol. See what happens. It's a sport to play right?
   I can't wait for Christmas to talk with you all!
Love Elder Hobbs

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October 15, 2012

Família amoroso,

   Haha, wow! Life at home sure sounds like it´s a lot of change and a lot of fun. First off, I want to offer weston a few pointers: Don´t talk about Avatar. The end.
   Just kidding. It´s so cool that Chris is getting tazed, Dad´s rocking the tests, Weston´s talking to girls, and Owen is doming up the football!
   The week was really cool. We´ve been teaching a man named K. He was known as the crazy drunk man of the area. Now he´s a week sober, and comes to church. SOOO many people have wanted to know who we are now. He hands out our number to people and bears testimony to them as well. Very cool there.
   Water and Electricity have gotten better this week. We still fault sometimes, but it´s better now, and we should be getting a new house soon.
   There was a little bit of sadness this week... R and P moved. They´re in a place called Viana. It´s kind of like moving from Ammon to Idaho Falls, but they´re in a different branch now. I´m hoping that I´ll get transfered there in a week! haha But they´re doing well. They have a bigger house, and will get to start going to school again in January, something they´ve wanted for the last 10 months. It´s good for them!
   A is going to get a calling really soon now! We´re very excited. She´s also going to teach us how to make some Angolan dishes, like funge, arroz doce, and some peanut butter sauce stuff. I´m extra excited for that!
   I have lost some weight, but we just got some more money, so now I´ll be fine. I did pull out about 40$ this week because I was broke and wanted some milk and taxi money, but now we´re recharged, so I´ll be fine.
   I´ve been missing you all lately. Halloween with you all was definitely a highlight, but we´ll do that here in a year or two. :)
   Lots of love to you all. Say some prayers for President Thompson.  He´s been sick.. He´ll find out soon that his role is CENTRAL to this mission.
   Hey, I need to know what kind of cool African stuff you all want! I know where to go for it now, so let me know alright!

I LOVE you all so so much,

Elder Alex Hobbs

PS tell Owen that today we went to a member-oil worker´s house today and played Dominion. I used Owen´s strategy of Villiage-Smithy and I won!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8

Família Hobbs,

   I'm glad to hear that you are all doing so well! I'm also very excited about the conference announcement. (If Elder Hyde's girlfriend decided to go right now, they would get back at the same time haha) The missionaries were all invited to President Thompson's house on Sunday to watch the missionary announcement and the Preisthood session. We've all been talking about how the Lord is speeding up His efforts to gather Isreal. Imagine what the Lord's voice would have been like in that moment: ''Thomos, it is time to hasten the harvest.'' Crazy right? But I was very excited to hear about that.
   The week went very well. It was a little slower because Elder Hyde and I got a little sick, but now we're all better. We've been focusing efforts on finding more people to teach, because we're low on investigators, and 2 more just got baptized! S (2565) and drum roll... I! (2568) The baptism was great. When it first started, I still had not shown up. Elder Hyde and I were praying like crazy! She arrived, we got her dressed, took a quick pic, and then headed to the font room. She seemed really stressed out about something while she was waiting, but after she got baptized, she was very happy. Her and S both described that they felt ''light''. They were both excited. S came up to Elder Hyde and whispered ''now it's time to endure to the end''. haha he's studied well!
   Don't worry, the pictures and debit card finally got here. It turns out that they were missent to Anguilla. I don't know where that is, but it must be far, because it took a while for them to get here, but you guys can activate the card whenever you like. :) That same day was a very neat one. I don't remember if I ever wrote you all about a man named J L back in Cassequele. (He's a man who I swear will be the Stake Patriarch or Temple President someday. He's not baptized because he's been working on getting his documents for marriage done. HE IS AWESOME. He might as well be a member, but he's litterally been fighting with the government to get married. He rocks) His son, A, as well as our ward mission leader, V, left for their missions that day. A went to Cape Verde, and V went to Moçambique. Technically, he's always lived in his misssion. ;) It was neat to see two more people that I knew well go out on their missions!
   Sunday, I felt the Spirit very strongly during the confirmations. It was great! To be honest, Sunday was one of the best Sundays of my mission! Everything felt good, we had the confirmations, plus we broke the Luanda 1 branch record for frequency: 123 people! It was great. Also, President Bautista told A that she'll be getting a calling next week, which will be great for her. That is exactly what she needs to be retained, so we're very excited. Also, we brought 2 investigators to church together. O and K. They are really neat (they don't know eachother other than from yesterday). O is a big, nice man who's going through a divorce with his wife. He found the church through mormon.org and was my first reference from church headquarters. He's really interested in the doctrine and was exited about the Word of Wisdom and how families can be together forever.
   Remember when I talked about how we found a drunk man who fell in front of me and I saw emptiness in his eyes? (check back a few emails) That was K. There was one day when he stopped us on the street, drunk, high on marijuana, and asked for a Book of Mormon. He read the whole thing. We've been teaching him and are working with him to quit drinking now. He came to church, sober, and said that he felt the Spirit for sure. They both loved Sunday.
   Next, we've got C and his girlfriend's sister planned to be bapitzed on the 20th. It should go well. We just need to get permission from their mom (R: C's girfriend, Nice: her sister).
   Make sure that you all keep writing me like you have been! I've been loving all of your letters. Keep em big, and I'll keep mine big ok?

Love you all, can't wait to see you again,

Elder Alex Hobbs


PS 2559 is a picture of how we do baptisms: Mission Angola Luanda style. Yea
 Please pray for rain... aparently almost all of Angola is dependent on Hydro electricity, and the rivers are way low this year. Power is failing a lot and so is water! (We're ok, it's just a little hard... but yea, pray for rain!) :)

PS, mom, if you want, you can pretend that this is my new area! (It's not, but you can pretend) (2570)

And this is Elder Bene. He is from Mozambique and will head home in 2 weeks! He has the absolute most INTENSE faces. (you can call him Elder Bene on the blog if you want, because that isn't actually his real name...) (2422)

LOVE and AMOR,

Elder Alex Hobbs




 To my family,

   I'm sorry that I haven't gotten letters out to any of you. It's a little hard to get to the office, plus it costs 3$ to send a letter. And lately their net has been down, so they haven't sent to the US. (I think someone choked on the red tape back there, haha) Love you all!

Please let my friends know the same. :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1

Família,

   Everything is just so awesome here. I'm not sure that I deserve to be this happy! (Strangely, it turns out that you can be happy without electricity... or water... or money... or a clean house) But seriously, this week has been awesome. We've got 2 people set up to be baptized on the 6 of October. S N and I are finally being baptized. We are very very excited for them. I hope I can get you all some pics, but everytime I try to send any, I get a return email saying that your domain didn't accept it because it was too large. So, I may have to send pics one at a time... Oh well!
   So things, like I said, rock! We've been doing a lot of work, having a lot of fun, and I think our house is slowly getting better. Today for Pday, we went to a praça called the Bem-fica art fair. I got some AWESOME stuff there. Finally some legit African souvineers. What did I get? Well, I'll just surprise you all when I come home. ;) But I had a lot of fun bartering the people down from the ''white'' price to the ''fair'' price. I think I got some good deals.
   But other than that, I don't have much to report on. We've taught lessons, met a ton of new people and are just working with them all. Elder Hyde is almost done training, just 4 weeks left! Wow! That time sure went by fast. Time is crazy here. It's like each day is forever, but when you wake up the next day, the month is done! For example, when we talk at Christmas, I'll be at nearly a year! WHAT!?! That is crazy to me.
   But enough about me, tell me about you all: I like the laundry make-up routine. It made me laugh. Also, mice? There's not much to do but poison EVERYTHING under there. We had a mice problem at my last house, and it was because we had a rat the size of a beaver leading the army. We left before the next Elders finally killed who we called ''Big Ben''. But that's how we took care of that.
   Thanks to Luxana! I always love her pictures!
   Where's Owen? I like never hear from ya more bro! What's up at school? Is sandcreek doing well in Futbol Americano? Who's the latest shammy? Write me bro!
   Since when did Chris start doing law enforcement which involves macing? That through me off this week!
   Weston, I don't have anything for ya this week, but when I do, I promise that I'll let ya know. ;)
   I love you all lots, and I hope that everything is going well. It looks like 1 or 2 pics will attach and send to ya, so I'll get a bunch from last week off to y'all. I love you, miss you, pray for you, and I'll see you in like 15 months or something like that. Love,

Elder Alex Hobbs

 2521: People work super hard here. This is a wheelbarrow type cart, that you see EVERYWHERE! They usually carry water or gasoline jugs.

 2519: A nice view of the ocean with some jammed up traffic on the left.

 2522: There is dust everywhere here, so the government hires companies to sweep it up. Dust workers are a very common sight here. You'll see em dressed up in big green suits, or sometimes just in jeans and a face mask, but it's all day, every day: sweep!

 2523: This is a bridge at a praça. The picture was taken in the morning from inside a car, and does not do justice for how crowded these praças are. I swear, sometimes I think that when you walk through one of these in the middle of the day, I think, hmm. Weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth! But the people in them are nice. Lot's of old ladies selling their goods on the street. It's kind of like WAL MART threw up.

 2449: Our water tank. Everything is ran by our own pump. We get water from the city to our tank about 3 times a week! If electricity fails, we have to bucket water out from the tank to take showers!

 2448: The sewage river on our street and in front of our house!! YEA!!

 2507: This is a ''taxi''. We ride these puppies everywhere. 100 kw for a route. The cobrador (collector) yells out the name of a praça from the window, you wave him down, and they stop for ya! But you always need to make sure (if in a sketchy area) that the ride is 100kw, not 200! They will try to gyp you of money if you're white!

 2509: A bridge next to the airport. There's traffic, Kinaxixe, noise, and... wait. What's that? THAT'S THE GOOD OLD COLONAL SANDERS WATCHIN OVER ANOGOLA!!! AMERICA!!!

 2491: The road by our house

 2504: Here in Luanda, the streets are lined with random little shops that sell random things. You can find clothing stores, make up, photoshops (all chinese ran), etc etc.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 24

Hey, I think your email provider is rejecting my emails for some reason. It might be the pictures, so here's my letter with out the pics.
 
Tudo Balla?

   Well, it sounds like Weston is the big man for this week eh? Lots of baseball action going on over in the good ole IF town from what I hear. Also, my friends need to get out here into the field... IT ROCKS!!!
   We had a baptism at last! Lots of work and waiting, but on September 22, L, M S was baptized by her father, S. She's a great girl, and is working for a happy temple marriage life! WOHOO!!!! Now we are just going to push as hard as we can to make sure that the 6 people we have marked for the 6 of October are all ready!
   Things in this mission are changing for the better. President Kretly (Mozambique) came with his wife this week. They gave us some training, and to tell you the truth, I am very excited to have him working with us. He dispelled mission myths that a few missionaries used to be lazy, and taught us to start using ''qualified contacts''. We are literally laying down the foundation of the church here. A ''qualified contact'' is someone who is a male 25 or older person that is legally married (or who lives with someone and is planning a marriage), and Christian. We need priesthood holders for the church to retain converts, so we've been asked to focus in on these people. It's needed to lay down a strong foundation.
   Also, Sister Kretly gave us cleaning lists (something that was direly needed in our house. I've been begging and begging for us to clean the place for like a month now). We had a ''purging'' today, and cleaned our guts out! I'm expecting a good 90% of our roach population to disappear!!!
   But I'm fine. I'm feeling super excited for all the stuff that's going to happen, although not all too much happened this week. So, I've attached a few pictures of Luanda for you which I will explain for you all:

2490: L's baptism
2491: The road by our house
2504: Here in Luanda, the streets are lined with random little shops that sell random things. You can find clothing stores, make up, photoshops (all chinese ran), etc etc. Everything inside them is generally WAY expensive, even by American standards.
2506: Traffic, traffic, traffic!!!! Luanda traffic is either not there, or is HORENDOUS!!
2507: This is a ''taxi''. We ride these puppies everywhere. 100 kw for a route. The cobrador (collector) yells out the name of a praça from the window, you wave him down, and they stop for ya! But you always need to make sure (if in a sketchy area) that the ride is 100kw, not 200! They will try to gyp you of money if you're white!
2509: A bridge next to the airport. There's traffic, Kinaxixe, noise, and... wait. What's that? THAT'S THE GOOD OLD COLONAL SANDERS WATCHIN OVER ANOGOLA!!! AMERICA!!!

That's all that can fit on this email, but I'll attach some more on a different one with explainations. I hope everything is still going well for all of you. Don't let the stress get to you all ok? Be happy, and READ YOUR SCRIPTURES!!!

I love you all sosososoSO much. AMORZÃO!!!

Elder Alex Hobbs

PS still waiting on photos and the card, but I finally got the absentee ballot! haha

September 17

Familia,
  Yea, the week's been really good. We have 6 people with dates of baptism in our area now. I has finally decided to prepare for baptism. Also, we had 3 less active members show up to church, which totally rocks!
   Ok, time to answer questions: As of right now, there are 2 packages sitting in the ''other'' mail office, and due to Angolan red-tape, we need another document to pick them up. I'm pretty sure that one of them is the package with the debit card and pictures. I actually did NOT get your blank letters. I hope that they aren't lost in the mail! When it comes to voting, I'll  try to receive your ballot, but if not, the US embassy here has offered us a way to register and vote, we just need to get over there! Also, I need to know: you all mentioned that some of the files were empty last week... did you get all the voice recs and the pictures as well? I expect that some of the videos weren't working, but I'd like to know if you got the pictures at least... Also, could you please take some money from my acount and pay tithing? The mission handbook says that you pay tithing on any money you recieve from home. So if you could pay about 30$ (MTC money for that, and also grandma's money), I would be very apreciated!!! LOVE YOU!!!
   Alright, so I've got a pretty crazy story for the week. But first, I have to say to mom: I'm alright, and so are the other missionaries, so don't be scared. ;) So I was on division with Elder Kearney, and we were walking through a taxi ''praça'', a place where taxis pick people up and drop off, and also a place where like 1000 people come to sell stuff. It is called Congolênces, and is the 2nd biggest praça that I've ever seen. In the front of the praça, there is a mobile police squad trailer that is always there to keep the peace. As Elder Kearney and I were walking out, we saw about 10-15 people yelling into the trailer at 2 cops. I said to Elder Kearney, ''we have to go'' (mission rule to walk away from protests). So we started walking away. We looked back, and then half of the praça started chasing a police officer and charged into the trailer. ''WE NEED TO MOVE!'' I said. We got to the other side of the street, and saw the crowd scattering as the police walked out with some AK-47s. We were about 20 ft away when I looked back and saw one of the cops discharge a round into the air. Then, about a quarter of the praça started packing up to go home. It was AWESOME!!! We went back about a half hour later, and everything was back to normal. Victory Angola.
   But yea... that's my cool story for the week. As for other news, I got to have a group video session with President Kretly, the mission president of Mozambique. Apparently he's going to be a lot more involved here, and if he holds true to form, I'm going to like it. He seems really cool. Elder Renlund (an area 70 that came to visit us) called it ''double coverage'' like in football. That's exciting!
   We've started working a lot closer to our chapel. We need to strengthen the branch most of all here. Angola needs to start growing fast, and we need a strong base for that. So we need people that can get to church on time! haha.
   I'm really excited for this transfer (other than the fact that energy has started faulting a little bit more often), and we should be seeing some more baptism photos! It's looking good!
  I love you all a lot, and I miss you like CRAZY!!! I hope that you all are still doing good. Don't let the stress get to ya! (life sucks when you do... trust me haha)
 
Elder Alex Hobbs
 
 
Grandma and Grandpa,
  How are you?!! I haven't heard from ya in a while, and I haven't written either! Sorry about that, African mail and internet can be a little disfunctional sometimes!
   Are things going well at home? I hear that you've been sick lately. I hope that you're not too run down and that you'll feel better soon. Make sure to have lots of faith. Our God is one of miracles, and he is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.
Things here in Angola are going well. You should both know that I love it here. The children here are AWESOME! We have the chance to visit at an orphanage every 2 weeks, and they are just so happy! They know how to make anything fun, and make a soccer ball last twice as long as they do in the states!
   Thank you so much for the souvenier money. I'll make sure to find something beautiful and bring it home for you. My search will probably have to wait until I get out of the big city though. Most of the neat paintings and cultural items are found in the provincial areas. But the scenery is beautiful as well. Make sure to have my parents and brothers and sister to show you some of the pictures that I've sent home.
   I love you both very very much. I can't wait to see you again and you should know 2 things: First, that the work here in Angola is going very well, and that the people are very good followers of Christ. Second, that I love you with all my heart, and I thank you for all you've done to help me be the representative of Christ that I am.
 
Lots of love,
 
Elder Alex Hobbs

September 10

Família,
 
   Well, I hope you're all ready for the weekly letter of a lifetime:
   This week was a good one. We improved lesson count by 2 lessons, something that is very exciting for me. These past few weeks I've been doing a lot of divisions with the district to ''fulfill the district leader responsibilities''. Elder Hyde and I haven't had a ton of success with baptisms, but we are expecting 1, possibly 3 baptisms on the 22 of September. One that is certain is a girl named L. She's from Congo, and doesn't speak Português very well. She does speak French and Lingala however, which can be helpful. R is her age and also speaks Lingala, and so we invite her to lessons with us. This has been something very very VERY good for R. In the past, R had some self-esteem problems because she had to move around so much, and didn't speak Português. She didn't have all too many friends. We also worried about her because she didn't read scriptures all that often. But now, she's got L and is helping us testify to her of the truth.
 
   This week has been full of new investigators (which does present a problem, as we are supposed to start focusing on re-activation). We met a man named S, and he is very promising. He was interested in the Plan of Salvation, as he has a sickness. However, he is very very receptive, and we think that we'll give him a baptismal date very soon as well. We're also meeting many people close to the chapel, which will allow much more work to be done. (Taxis are getting old in this area :)
   Also, the week was full of what Elder Chandler and I used to call ''Victory, Angola''s. A ''victory Angola'' is a little difficult to describe, but I can give you some examples: when you see two men on a scooter driving at max speed, and the one on the back is holding a cell phone to the driver's ear: Victory Angola. . When you're standing at the street in front of the chapel, and two drunk men on the scooter drive into a parked car at 30mph. However, the one on the back saved the beer: Victory Angola. Yes, the best way I can tell you what Angola is: You will see things that you never thought you saw, smell things you never smelled, and see things that you knew you would see them, but you didn't think you would see them like that. :)
   Next I want to talk to you about a man named S N. He's an older man who's been investigating for quite a while. He's set to be baptized on the 6 of October. However, I think he's more ready than that. We had a lesson with him about the plan of Salvation, in which he asked about if the Earth would become the Celestial Kingdom, and he mentioned something about New Jerusalem. He's been begging us for a triple, but we've been out for a while. He sure as heck deserves it though!
   I got to watch the baptisms of more people from my last area, Cassequel. A and J were baptized (they were the family of C, H, D, and E P). That family is very special, and it's just another one of those little signs that Angola is getting better and better. I had a little tiny experience with that a few days ago. We got pulled over while we were on division (Elder Richter and I), and I did not have my seatbelt on. We were expecting either a ticket, or, more likely, a petition for a bribe. However, the cop just looked at me and said: ''you're not doing anyone any favors by not wearing your seatbelt.'' He asked us for documentation, and then let us go. WITHOUT A BRIBE OFFER!!! (ps we don't ever pay bribes). I know it doesn't sound like much, but in my eyes, it is a HUGE step for Angola. This country has a bright bright future!
   Things have been really fun this week. We had many activities: On Wednesday, we got to go to an orphanage and teach English to some kids. We also played some sports with them and watched them sing ''We are the world'' by Micheal Jackson. I also taught some of them how to play 4 square!!!!! It was a lot of fun. Another fun thing we had was that we went to a public basketball court and had a 3v3 game with some Angolans that were playing there:
1. They made me take off my glasses before we started.
2. I am terrible at basketball.
3.They swapped out players throughout.
4. White men can't jump.
WE WON!!! And not by a small margin. We played 3 games and won 2 of three, the last one at like 20 to 4 or something. It was a lot of fun. I learned a Português swear word that day. XD
 
All in all, I'm doing well. I love hearing your stories, and I'm sorry that I don't always write alot. (I usually forget a lot of stuff.) Also, it is very infrequent that I write girls. I know that that is a HUGE shocker for all of you, but, hey, I'm on a mission right? haha
 
Love you all,
 
Elder Alex Hobbs
 
PS ate some more funge this week.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September 3, 2012

Hey family,
   President Thompson finally arrived! We have a mission president now!!! It is going to explode here!
   So, this week was a slow one. It was elections week here, and no one was sure what was going to happen. Members have told us very scary stories of past election years. To avoid problems, we came home earlier. We were at home at 6:00 pm from 2 days before and after the election day. On the election day itself, we went into a lockdown. It was very boring. Nothing happened. Everyone on just sat in the street and drank beer. It was a very calm week.
   I hope that you all had fun up in island park! I'll bet Chris and Summer are loving the new job! It's good to hear that Jakers is doing better. I hope that the sodium inbalances aren't too bad. :(
   So, I still have not received the pictures package yet, but I wouldn't worry about it for at least 3 more weeks. Paciência é um virtude!
   I went on a lot of divisions this past week. District leading responsibilities can be fun! We worked and got in almost as many lessons as we usually do, which means that next week without elections, we'll be rockin hard! I hope that you all enjoy these voice recordings that I'm attaching. I've got family messages, some of us goofing around, voices of my district, and also of R and P, two kids that I love with all my heart! Plus, I'll try to send some pictures that I've taken. :)
Love ya all soooo much!!!!!
   Elder Alex Hobbs
PS KFC is open now... good things will come. :0
PSS Did I ever tell you guys about what an Angolan funeral is like?











6 Attached files| 7.1MB

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27th

Família,

  Home sounds good. I was very happy to hear that Jake is doing
better. That picture had me worried because it was the first email I
opened! But I'm happy that he's doing better.
  My companion is doing well. He is very cool. He doesn't say much,
but he is very funny, and is very hardworking. He's learning the
language well, and likes the culture very very much. He is allergic to
chicken, however, which does present a little problem... that is about
90% of what people cook here for us! haha. Luckily, there is usually
something to substitute, and he's not a very big eater.
  Elder Hyde is a very nice missionary. He's from Salt Lake, and has
a girl waiting for him at home. He also has an adopted brother (I
can't quite remember from where), and his family sounds very funny.
  Things are good here. We've started commiting more people to
baptism. We now have 4 marked. I. missed her baptism though. She
isn't quite sure that it's what she needs right now. Although she is
very spiritual, she's really swamped a lot. She has two kids and works
a graveyard shift at a bar. Also, the father of the kids told her that
if she ever wanted a chance with him again, she could not be baptized.
He's a chump. But she's told us that she would pray and fast to learn
of what she should do. She's unfortunately falled away a little bit.
We'll keep working with her though.
  The branch could use some work. We have the most dysfunctional one,
haha. But the District President told the companionship before me: "do
anything you can to keep this branch from falling apart!" So, we kind
of have free reign to do what's necessary, haha. I've been personally
trying to train our branch mission leader. He's a 12 year old in a 25
year old's body. He's a great guy, but he's a lazy one too! haha.
  Our branch President is amazing though. I came to him with a member
who doesn't have a job and needs money in 2 months to pay rent. The
branch's fast offerings are empty. But, he went and found 2 or 3 job
options, and bought her family some food. President Pedro Batista is
awesome. Please pray for him!
  I've been eating... alright. haha. This branch hasn't established a
missionary feeding schedule yet (but it has come up multiple times
these past few  correlations and they're going to start one in a week
or two). Also, I've been a little low on cash since the card change we
had. I used $103.50 of personal money when we went without cash for a
while, and I may need to use just a little more. Don't worry, I get it
all payed back to me, and I should be fine with money this next week.
(Don't stress about this, I'll be fine mom!)
  I pretty much always have water and electricity now. It's election
week, and so the government has worked hard to make sure that nothing
faults. It will be an interesting week. 2 days before and 2 days after
election day, missionaries will come home at 6 pm as a safety
precaution, and we will not work on election day itself. We are the
first missionaries to be here during elections, and so no one is sure
about what will happen. We do know that tomorrow, Cuca, the main beer
here, will be 1/2 off for the President's birthday (campaign tool!).
That means a bottle of beer will cost 30kw. That is basically free.
Hmm.... Well, I guess we'll talk with more drunks! haha
  Our typical day is filled with a lot of walking. I've felt really
bad because I've only been hitting about 15 lessons a week, when 20-22
is average. We split the area, and all of the people we contact drop
through on their appointments and disappear. We've been working hard
at getting more people. Our current investigators are mostly pretty
far from baptism, or just live VERY far away. We've been given
instruction to work close to the chapels, because if someone who is
very faithful and ready to be baptized can't find the funds to get to
church, they can't be baptized. So we've been working closer to the
chapel to find more people.
  Sorry, the pics and voice messages won't upload here... this café
prohibits them. :(
  As for the pickpocketing: that's ancient history. It was just some
money and a phone card. Não faz mau. :)
  Yes, I got the package. The pen and blacklight are cool, but...
why? haha. I'm also very excited for my camera charger. THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!! Packages are taking about a month to get
here now, and no one has lost anything in the mail, so I think just
about everything is safe to send. :)

  I hope that that letter was sufficient for you guys this week. You
have to make sure to tell me everything about home in the next one.
Hey, how are Owen and Luxana? I have not gotten a letter from them in
a very long time! Que isso?!
  Weston, you rock man. You ROCK. Take it easy on the Xbox though, ok?
Mom and dad, I hope that school starting will be good for you all. I
hope that everything in your lives runs smoothly. Stay well, and
patient!!!

I love you all so so so so so much.

Love, Elder Alex Hobbs

August 20th Use Google Translate

o my family,

  Esta semana correu muito bem. Estavamos a trabalhar muito para
achar pessoas. Infelizmente, muitas delas escolheram para faltar em
nossas lições. Mas, encontremos três pessoas novas. Um deles é um
pessoa de polícia. O nome dele é Gabriel. Nós ensinamos uma lição a
ele, e no fim ele disse: ''posso removar uma coise no meu bolso para
que posso orar?'' Dizemos: ''Sim, claro.'' Ele tirou uma pistola de
bolso dele. haha foi ingresado. Vitoria Angola!!
  O Chris e Summer parecem muito feliz, especialmente com o novo
trabalho dele. Desculpa para ouvir sobre Jake. Espero que ele vai
melhorar embreve. Vou fazer um jejum por ele. Têm que ter fé no
Senhor. Ele sabe o que é certo por ele.
  Escola, escola, escola! Boa sorte para toda a família por isso.
Espero que este ano vai passar suavemente! (Inclusive de você Pai!
Continue e não perde fé, ´ta bom? Você é muito intellegente. Vai
consegir!)
  Meu sinal não é muito bom hoje. Então infelizmente eu não posso
entregar mensagems de voz para vocês. Mas, tenho. Também, não recebi o
packote. Espero que ninguém roubou! :)
  Muito de amor, (boa sorte com o tradução),

Elder Alex Hobbs

P.S. O President Thompson deve chegar esta semana que vêm. YAY!!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 13, 2012

Minha família,
   Wow. Chayden and Jordan are back? School starts in two weeks? Geeze, your guy's time in America sure is going fast! Things here seem to be slowing down! haha. I'm glad to see you all hiking again. You should all skip a baseball game or two and go up to Yellowstone! But I also hope that things will also calm down for you all as well. I miss you all and having fun with you all like that. I also miss the temple very much. I can't wait when other people see me with you there and call me skinny and happy! haha
   Things have been a little slow this past week. We're short on our investigators right now, and are doing some finding. It's coming really well. We should be back up to a full pool very soon. The training is also very nice. Elder Hyde is a blessing, and is teaching me more than I am teaching him. Thank goodness! I need it! We do have a baptism set up for next Saturday. Her name is I and she's really cool. She has a job as a bar tendor and she works very late nights. She gave up alcohol, and came to church very well, even after working the entire night before! She's missed church the past 2 weeks, so I hope that you guys will see some white pictures in 2 weeks. Cross your fingers! (and pray... in fact, if you have to, don't cross your fingers, PRAY! leave behind vain traditions of our fathers!) ;)
   We've been having a lot of fun though. Our district is full of very cool people, and our zone leader is doing much better than before, stress-wise. I also think that my language might be improving, as less and less people are going ''huh?'' when I speak. :)
   I'm having a hard ! I hope that you all stay super happy and enjoy life to the fullest and learn from your trials!

Love,

Elder Alex Hobbs

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6, 2012

Malembê!
 
   I figured that the robbing thing would freak someone out, haha. Yea, about 2 or 3 pdays ago, Elder Chandler and I were riding some taxi trains home. I had some groceries in my hands and we were waiting at a big taxi stop. Some drunk guys came up and asked us for 10kw. We told them no and then proceeded to catch the taxi next to us. Some guy came up to me and stuck his hand into my pocket and stole my cheap wallet from the MTC. It had 40$ and a Saldo card in it (phone minutes). Then we caught the taxi home. Elder Chandler didn't lose anything, and no one got hurt (although, if I had yelled ''bandito'' when he stuck his hand in my pocket, the crowd would litteraly have ripped off the guy's head. Angolans hate theives.)
   That's the story. No more, no less. The only reason I told you was because I'm supposed to. But let's get to the good stuff:
 
   Elder Chandler went to Huambo, a province that held the past capital of Angola. He is so lucky. Provinances are so cool! But let's be on the same page: Elder Hyde is very cool! He is speaking Portugês better than I did when I came here. He's very nice and ready to learn. I'm just happy that I can be an influence in mission culture. It is going to be a great blessing.
 
   I'm very happy to hear that all is well at home. Keep praying Owen. He listens. Also, we will so totally watch Falling Skies in 17 months! But only if we hike table rock the next day!
   Weston is finally done with Boy Scouts eh? Time to move to Man Scouts! (Aka use your Eagle card to get out of car tickets and to get a job! haha) Good job bro. Scouts is a big acheivement, and it was always worth it in my life.
   I hope you all stay as happy as I am, and keep doing the primary answers alright?
 
   Amor,
 
Elder Alex Hobbs

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 30, 2012

Família de Hobbs,

  Wow! Things are really starting to change back at home! Mom's got
another job, Weston's hair is the longest that I've ever seen it, and
my main man Owen has made years! Happy Birthday Owen. You're 13 now?
XE! É muito, cara! Fez o que por seu aniversário? Quero ouvir disso no
proximo email ou carta aight? I guess mom's gift to you was a flooded
basement? Haha just kidding. She's letting you go to Sandcreek!
Alright! That's what you wanted right? You must be so excited! Happy
birthday bro!
  Things are really nice here. Transfer calls just came in, and dad,
you were right... I'm gonna get to adjust to my new area really well:
I'm training! I get to stay in the Terra Nova area and train Elder
Hyde. I'm pretty excited. I feel like the mission culture needs to
change a little, and now I get to help it! I also had better start
perfecting Português, or that'll be hard. But I'm excited to be a dad
in truth. And this will all be done without a mission president. Crazy
right?
  I'm even more excited about our area. We have a lot people that are
pretty much members without baptisms. I've told you about C. He
should get a baptism date very soon. Then there's A, S,
F, and I see a new man that we've met, E all progressing
in the gospel very well. This next transfer is going to be a lot of
work, but if I put it in, I think that there will also be a lot of
blessings!
  So Jake is off to the Centro de Treinamento dos Missionários na
quarta-feira? Wow. That seems so fast! People that I knew from
childhood are getting so old! Weston hanging out with Spencer and
Logan is just crazy to me! I really hope that Spencer comes around to
going on a mission. He hasn't emailed me in a while. Most of my
friends have lost contact with me since the email rules happened, but
I hope that letters will come. I'd like to send some out, but I don't
have adresses. Or envelopes. Or stamps. hahaha. Victory Africa!
  I can't wait to do family vacations again! Our Nauvoo trip was so
much fun! I think that when I come home, we should definately make a
Yellowstone trip or two. I miss you all so much!
  I love you guys! I can't wait to meet you all again, and cook you
some kisaca, funge, e frango frito! Not to mention Angola Burgers.
Úpa!

Bué de amor,

Elder Alex Hobbs

 P.S. I don't know if you all understood 2 emails ago, but I got robbed...

P.S.S. Tell Weston and Owen that I am a Futebol fan now.

July 23, 2012

Para minha família amado,

   Well it sounds like you all had a very nice week this past week! Pooles, campouts, blessings, and more baseball than you can handle. Sounds about right!
   Things have been going well here. I'm having a little trouble adjusting to this area. It's a really big one, and all of our investigators live super far apart. Lesson count goes down. Ùpa! But the people here are so so SO very nice.
   The week was a fun one. We've been without power for like 3 days, but it just came back last night... and now we're out of water! Welcome to Terra Nova, haha. I'm doing well, I've been healthy. Not a whole lot of highlights for this past week.
   Do you all remember R and P? They're doing so much better! R will have a birthday this week, and Elder Chandler and I want to get her something. I'm thinking I'll probably want to get her some ice cream. Their family is really poor, and I think that her mom is scraping together all that she can for her. But I know that she'll love it!
   I think I forgot to tell you guys that I pretty much performed and excorcism last week. Haha, no, just kidding. One of our investigator's girlfriends got freaked out about having a spirit in her house, so we went over and said a prayer for them. Angolans are really big into spirits and dreams and visions. But the members of the church are very good at learning about how to recognize when something is real or not. But I just thought I would mention that. :)
   President Thompson is still having visa problems. We hope that he gets here soon though. But in the mean time, soccar at the mission home is very fun to do each pday! My goalieing is getting better and better.
   You guys will never believe this, but I'm learning how to cook! Elder Chandler is very nice about showing me a few things, and I'm getting better at it. I can't wait to cook you all some funge, arroz doce, and Angolan burgers!
   My Português is also very well. It definately needs work, but I'm getting by very well. Also, I think that I will learn French in the future. It's very similar, and I think I could get it down if I wanted to!
   I love you guys so very very much. I can't wait to hear from you all again, and to see you in January 2014!

Amor,

Elder Alex Hobbs

Monday, July 16, 2012

June 16, 2012

Minha família amado,
   Wow! It sounds like summer in the states is really getting busy! Utah to Wyoming to Idaho... in a week? You guys are stir crazy from school and winter haha. How are the Pooles doing? Tudo bem com eles? Espero que sim, e quero ouvir mais deles. Eles precisam escrever uma carta ou vou falar em Português só! And in our defense, the man we were going to give a hitch hike to was a happy Chinese man. He would never hurt us!
   Thank you so much for sending letters you guys. I LOVE them. And thanks a TOA for buying me a new charger for my camera. You all still need to see a picture of the taxis that I ride in! Hey mom: do you want an Angolan dress or shirt of some sort? There are lots of mães on the street that vend fabric and make clothing. I'll get some pictures for ya and see what kind of fabric you want and what style.
   The mission life is going well. My new area is a lot closer to what I imagined it would be when I left for the MTC. A fairly nice apartment, stepping out in the morning, seeing some palm trees, walking down a dirt road with some sort of African music playing, little children running around. 'Sigh' I just love to breathe in Angola. Things are going well with investigators. I wish we had a few more progressing, but the ones that are progressing are coming to Christ really fast!!! One man's name is C. He speaks English, and is super cool. He really loves the feel that he gets when he comes to church. He hasn't quite gotten confirmation on the LdM, but he did imply to us that he wanted to be baptized. I think he's really excited.~
   R and P had a hard time this past week. They got into some fights, and it got pretty unhappy. R had felt like she didn't have any friends (she can't speak Português), and was really alone and bored. P kind of has some bad influences. He's getting put to work for his uncle's automechanic shop. But, we took some time on a day to visit with R, give her something to do (we're writing a play together because she likes theatre), and to watch P play some futeball. They're a lot happier now.
   I'm starting to get pretty good at futeball myself. Each week, the missionaries in Luanda go to the old mission home in Taletona (the Violin's are there. they're the mission couple that is looking after us until President Thompson gets here) to play some futeball. I play goalie, and I'm starting to get pretty good at it... and I'm not just saying that: I blocked a penalty shot from Elder Violin today (he is a 40 year old Brazilian man who is very passionate about soccar)! So you should all get a ball and practice, because when I come home, you're not getting anything past me!
   I miss you guys a TOA! I can't wait to get some more letters from ya (I need to get writing too, don't I? haha). 

Elder Alex Hobbs

P.S. Eu fui roubado este dia de preparação passado...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

July 9, 2012

Para minha família amado,

   I got your guys' letters today! I was very excited to be the first missionary here to get 4 letters at once! I have the record! Thanks for all of the encouragement that you sent. It was very nice!
   So, President and Sister Walton left. We are currently without a mission president. We're waiting for President Thompson to arrive, but I heard he only got a temporary visa, so we might not see him for another week or two. Scary! But on the bright side, I am still loving my mission. Elder Chandler is a very fun companion. Things were a little slow this week, because people constantly fell through, so it was a little slower harder of a week. But, I think if we do things right, this next one should be a really good one.
   Angolans: I love 'em. They're wonderful, kindhearted people, many of whom are ready to hear the gospel. Here's the story for the week: We got into a ''mini taxi'' (very sketchy, never do that after dark), and he drove us our route, but didn't fill up the taxi. It was like our own private ride! However, when the trip ended he tried to charge us 500kw instead of 200kw, so in other words, he wanted us to pay for all the empty seats. Elder Chandler and him argued for a moment, so I came in and told him we would settle for 300kw. He said 400kw. I said 350kw. He said no and started playing the religious card haha. So Elder Chandler said. Ok, we'll give you 350kw, and a book that's worth 200kw. The book, of course was a Livro de Mórmon, haha. So, we'll see if that seed ever sprouts.
   We grilled some chicken last night. It was awesome.
   Thanks for all your pictures. I have voice and pics for ya, but once again we went to the wrong café. I promise you that I'm taking my recorder and camera with me each time though, so that when we go to the right one, I can send 'em to ya.
   However, I have a little bit of bad news... I lost my camera charger. It got lost somewhere during the 2 moves I had to do. I think another elder may have picked it up, but everyone says they don't know where it is. I can last a little while and save the charges for the really cool pictures, and then start using elder chandlers (he's getting a camera from home that has the same battery), but that is a little temporary. If you ever get a chance to send a package, I think I'd like a new charger if possible :) The battery type is a SONY Type G lithium ion NP-BG1. The camera model is a SONY CYBERSHOT G, model # 560159. I would really like a new charger if possible, but no rush.
   I love you guys. I continue to think of you all each day. I'd love to do a baseball trip with you all. Well, I guess we'll see in 2014! I love you all so much!
   Luxana:

Parabéns a você,
Nesta data querida!
Muitas felicidades,
Muitos anos de vida!

Hoje é dia de festa,
Cantam as nossas almas!
Para a menina Luxana,
Uma salva de palmas!

   I wish you a very happy birthday! You'll be 6!! Make sure you eat a big piece of cake for me ok! (But no Orange Leaf until I get back!)  Love ya sis,

Elder Alex Hobbs

July 2, 2012

Minha família. Tá bater? Tudo bárille?
Try translating that on Google. It's calão. hahahaha. (slang)
   So, things here have been great. The cockroaches are falling back in our war, and I finally got to go to Shoprite and get some good food. (better than the ghetto Kero haha). I got to help fill up our baptismal font by bucket on Saturday. Our font here has a leak, and President doesn't like ocean baptisms (dang it). I also got to confirm two kids from Congo that only speak English. Their names are Rebbecca and Peugar. They are so funny! Sorry I don't have pics this week. I forgot my memory card. But in Terra Nova, we have the absolute nicest internet café I've seen here. The internet is super fast. I shouldn't have problems downloading stuff, so feel free.
   I live with the Zls now, so I get lots of rides in their truck. It's really nice. Weather here is getting really cold. It's been like 25 degrees celcius here almost all week! (80 farenheit. haha suckers) People in this area are just to prepared to hear the gospel. They recognize the Spirit real easy, and are very willing to hear and learn from what we have to say. One man who was referenced to us from another dupla is named P. He was given a pamphlet. He then taught us the lesson about the Restoration. haha. He'll be getting baptized on the 21st.
   It's kind of weird hearing about Sam coming and Jake going. It sounds like their having a lot of fun and doing well though. It's even weirder to say that I've been on the mission for six months! WHAt? Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you: I extended my mission by 3 weeks. :)
   The letter situation is hysterical. I went into the postal office today with one of the Zone leaders, and it is the absolute worst bureucracy I've ever seen in my life. Do not ever get upset at US government office waits. haha. We had to fill out like 3 declarations, and go back and forth between offices to get a package. it was crazy! But don't worry: letters aren't part of the craziness. Send letters freely. haha. Send me a letter with an international stamp (costs about $1) to this address:

  Elder Alex Hobbs
Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos S.U.D
   Caixa Postal 18404
     Luanda, Angola
I have to switch to email only with family from now on, so I gave all my friends my mailing address and will tell them:
Or, if $1 is too much money, you can email at my old account, frysauce01@yahoo.com and I'll have my parents forward the emails to me, although I won't be able to email back.
Let me know if you can't do that. President Walton says that that's the only way for friends to email me.
 As for packages, we have some specific instructions. I think Sister Walton will email you some, but this is what I know:
 You can send packages less than 2.2 lbs to the address above, but if you want to send something that is MORE than 2.2 lbs, you have to send it 'express' to get to that post office. If you don't send it express, It will be super hard for them to pick it up.
   Also, from what I saw today, don't send drugs. haha. They open your package in front of the Zone leaders. Also, if you send anything that could be considered ''valuable'' make sure to open it up from the box and make it look used. My zl got some CDs, and had to declare their price. (bureaucracy crazy). Also, if you send anything express, you need to email the tracking number to the mission office so that they can get it.
Yea. Mail. crazy. But it is a step forward. The people here are really working hard to make a change (that's saying something. I love Angolans, but they are some of the laziest people I've met) here in their country.
   Also, it feels so strange. I feel like I've learned so much out here. Like, I'm more mature now. I've had to learn how to deal with people. Also, we were talking about it today: the church trusts us so much. We are paid almost 600 dollars a month, get other things for free, and wear their nametags out every day. I either makes you grow up or go home. Weird thing to think about.
   Weston is finally an Eagle? DAAANG. Owen should get on that too. It might not matter to him now, but the Eagle Scout Award gets you a lot of rewards in the future. It helps with resumés, schooling, and I hear you can get out of a ticket if you ''accidentally'' pull it out on a cop haha.
I miss you all a toa. Bue. TOA TOA TOA TOA!!!! I think of you all all the time.
   Vos-amo. Com todo de meu coração,
Elder Alex Hobbs

June 25, 2012

Minha família!!!
  Para bems!! O tempo de baseball começou de novo eh? haha sempre
sempre com baseball convosco.
  Owen!! Que que isso? Tu deves ir para scout camp!! Posso dizer que
(embora que não queria antes de eu sai) cada vez foi cheio de
divertido!!! Tu vais gostar de scout camp. Posso prometer. Se quiser,
tragas um amigo contigo! Pode ser qualquer pessoa! Não precisa ser um
membro da igreja, ou uma pessoa de mesma idade de tu. Então, meu
conselho: VAIS!!! haha
  Um cão novo yea?! Eu ouvi sobre Rider, haha. Já vi isso. Sabia que
isso aconteceria!!!
  Back to English. Well, I'm in a new area now!! I got removed from
the best home in the mission to the worst one within 5 days haha. I'm
in a little area called Terra Nova, a part of Luanda that I absolutely
LOVE!! Sure, the house is a little sub par, but to be honest, I feel
like this area will be better than the last one. I have a new
companion, Elder Chandler. He went to the MTC the same time as me, and
is my best friend on the mission. The people in the area are super
nice, and very ready to hear the gospel. Also, I get study time in the
mornings again!!! WOOHOOO!!!
  Life here is absolutely amazing you guys!! Hey, I hope you heard
the news: We got a new mailbox here, and it is open. Do not send
anything through the Reedys anymore. They're a little overwhelmed with
packages and asked us to stop. However, Sister Walton said that she
emailed all parents the address for the new mission box. They're still
experimenting with packages, so maybe wait a few weeks and wait for
the word from me or Sister before you send a package, but letters are
good to go! I can also send some through some members that I know
here, so that should be nice!
  I can't wait to see you guys again, and I love you all SUPER MUCH!!!!

Elder Alex Hobbs

June 18, 2012

Hey family!!

I'm happy that things are still going well at home... except for fish and water heaters!!!
   Haha I think that I might just have to start writing home in Portugues for every p day now!! Google translate. Cheaters. haha. Anyhow, things here are awesome. We had another 2 baptisms this past Saturday. I got to baptize another one of C's sisters. That family is totally awesome!!
   In the mean time, we found a new house. It isis very nice and has hot water! Score one for the good guys!! I am doing very well, although things are a little crazy because the Waltons will be leaving in 3 weeks. Yikes!
   Sorry that this email is so small. We didn't have as much time this week to write and my time on the computer is about to run out!!
Amo-lhes muito. Espero que vocês continuam para ficar felizes!!!

Elder Alex Hobbs

Monday, June 4, 2012

Baptisms

Hi there my beloved family!!

Well, I am beyond furious in this moment. The "good" internet cafe won't allow me to attach files (photos) to my email. I am going to ask the other elders where they go. They keep trying to avoid telling us, but I will force them. You guys deserve pictures and I've spent almost half my internet time trying to attach some pics for you all.
   On a happier note, this past week was one of the best that I've had here! We've been able to get in more study time (The Lord has truly provided that for us), and We had another baptism! Do you all remember C? Well, 2 days ago, I baptized her sister, H! It was a very powerful experience for her  and her family. We sat with the family to teach them a few of the commandments on the day of her baptism. At the end of the lesson, we had a small testimony meeting, in which they were promised that if they chose, they could all be baptized on the date that we gave them. At least 2 more of her sisters will be baptised on the 16 of June as well. Their family will all be baptized in the near future, and I hope to hear about their eventual temple visit!!!
   Also, we were able to teach some very powerful lessons this past week. I was able to see the Spirit working within them, and many of them are making and keeping commitments that they wouldn't have before. The progression is starting to happen, and very fast at that!!!
   Things at our house are still very fun. A few of us have been very VERY sick lately (no not me), and I felt really bad for them. However, we continue to have a TON of fun at nights and on Pdays. Elder Walker (not my companion) and I climbed up on top of our chapel roof yesterday, (ALL of our appointments dropped... both areas. crazy) and we found that our neighbors had long ago left a ton of garbage (roofing, beer bottles, etc) on the top. We spent all evening cleaning it up, and we have plans to go up on top and sit up their at night or on Pdays just playing chess and drinking juice. (It is safe up there mamma. :) )
   I hope that you are all enjoying life at home. I'm going to try very hard to get you some pictures. Até mais!!

Elder Alex Hobbs