Monday, January 30, 2012

Fourth Week in the MTC

January 26, 2012
Ola to everyone in good 'ole IF town!
Tell everyone thanks for their support. I got some dear Elders from Aunt Joanne and Aunt Jill, which were very good. Sam will be home soon right? It sounds like he really enjoys his mission, and has had great success.

Things here are great. I got your oreo package, and we're having an oreo party tonight. My district is great.

Well, here's some pictures for y'all. I'll send an SD card once I record some sounds.

Today was the first day I did "SYL", which is "speak your language". In SYL, you only speak your mission language for a certain amount of time.  I was amazed as I was able to speak basic Portugues so well. Gift of tongues...I recommend it!

What year was the pumpkin truck that we used to have? Elder Chandler and Elder McAllister are big into cars and were curious about it.

How are my brothers and sister? Are they all having fun reading their scriptures and coloring and winning COD3SCII? How are you and Mom and Dad? Crosswalk and EIRMC are still good? Let me tell you, I miss the IF temple after going through the one here. It's beautiful of course, but the IF temple is a little more special to me:) Don't take Idaho beauty for granted. The air here in Provo is dry and kind of dirty. My nose clogs up a lot but it's no real problem. I just never fully appreciated how awesome IF is. it:)

I can't wait to get out and teach real people. Did I tell you about the old lady we met in NY? Let me know in email, and I'll tell it to you if I forgot.

I love you all. You are all so special. Remember Christ's love for you. It is what makes missionary work work. We have two "investigators" (our teachers acting like real people they know). One is Neilton, who has had missionary discussions for 35 years. When we taught him, he accepted baptism. Then he started having "problems" with his wife. He prayed with her in faith, and now we're just explaining the commandments to him. Also, we have Maria. We "found her drunk in the street". The next morning, she took our lesson despite not remembering us. As of now, she's 1 day sober, and is going to try very hard to quit coffee. Though they're our teachers, I really that we're helping them, because it will be real in Angola.

I love you all.  Till the next letter...
Elder Alex Hobbs

Ola minhe familia,
Thank you for your letters and emails.  I'm doing well, but I feel I need a few things. I think I should get a really cheap watch.

MTC life is still good. My District is fun, and Portugese is just as beautiful as the sisters here:)

I love you with all my heart or as they say in Angola: Eu amo voces com tudo meu coracao.

Elder Alex Hobbs

PS. Let me know if you got my NY postcard... that was all I bought while I was there.
                                                                                          January 30, 2012

Hi mom! This email is a response to your other email. I'll send my driver's license number with my next letter. I would send it in this email, but I don't have my license with me :0. How are things at home? I hear that my driving record has a new shadow over it.... hahaha just kidding. I loved your package that you sent. I still have 2 1/2 boxes of oreos left. People don't eat them too quickly just because milk in the vending machine gets used up pretty fast. The neurosleeps have been very nice for the days that we have to wake up early. Thank you so much for that. I have pictures currently en route to you guys. I hope you enjoy them. Next time, I might send an SD card with some videos on it. XD. I hope Idaho Falls is great for you all.
   The MTC is very nice. I'm learning a lot of patience with my companions. They are good people, but they do not understand me and believe in very strange things like: having the alarm go off at 6 in the morning so that they can hit the snooze button until 6 30. Apparently, it helps you appreciate sleep more by recreating the feeling that you get when you wake up in the middle of the night and realize that you don't have to get up. They'll probably learn that they are the only people in the world that believe that once they get into the feild. :/ However, I learn patience and love for them each day as I study the life of Christ in Pregar meu Evangelho e as escrituras e Jesus o Cristo. :) You can probably tell that I LOVE Portugues. The language is very beautiful. I cannot wait to learn the African Accent to it. There is great confusion weather it will be closer to the Brazilian accent or the Continental one. I'm trying to learn continental for now. My teachers are very nice people, and they teach so well! (Even if we can't understand them because they're speaking in Portugues) As for the mail contest, we kind of stopped keeping track of it because our district leader gets a letter everyday from his girlfriend, and a package every other day from her or his family. He pretty much has a cellar in his closet full of food. :O I love you all so much. I pray for you. I promise that in the Book of Mormon, which holds the fullness of the gospel, there is an answer to every need. I've come to learn that for myself by finding answers to our "investigators."
I'm very excited for tommorrow's devotional. They've all been very good lately.
 Tell Weston that I'm 95% sure of this: Monzie is coming tommorrow. He'll know what you mean. ;)
I hope you all are always as happy as I am. There is never a day wasted here, and time seems to speed up. It's very weird. I love you all. Eu vou amo voces sempre. Deus vai abençoar mim, e tambem voces.
Elder Alex Hobbs

Monday, January 23, 2012

Third Week in the MTC

O MTC e muito ben! Eu sou fazer ben. Eu amo voces muito mais!!!! Eu nao receber sua [letter], so eu sou pouco [confused] sobre [it]. I don't think I can print it, but I have actually filled that form out before, it should be scanned on the computer, and a hard copy somewhere in the drawers. That was the first letter I got from Sister Walton. BY THE WAY: Sister Walton's niece, sister Walton, is here at the MTC with us all. She says that the mission there is very nice from what she's heard from her uncle in Angola. I am so happy that you are all doing well. Your cookies are very good, and I eat waaay to many of them. We have a microwave here, so if you want to save some cash or time with the next package, popcorn or other microwaveables are great! I've come to find that I need a shoehorn to keep my shoes in good repair. Sorry for sounding needy, but I've just been trying to save as much money for Angola as I can. I only use the six dollars a week on my card as well as some other money I have left over from NY that they gave me to spend. My companions are very impulsive buyers, and I'm very thankful that you taught me how to not waste my money on silly things like pens I already have, an unneeded pocket protector, or any of the other cool, yet useless things that the stores try to sell you. I should have pictures on the way soon. I haven't been able to print them yet, but I'm going to the copy center today to print them. If they dont do it in the center, I'll have to wait a few days for a machine to do it. I'm happy that IF is still the same happy place it was when I left.
Portugues is a beautiful language. I testify to you that the gift of tongues, along with many other gifts from O Espirtito Santo e O Pai Celestial e Jesus Cristo SEM REAL. The spirit has taught me many things here. I hope to return to you all much wiser than I was before. I miss you all very much, and I hung up Luxana's pictures in our classroom. We had to 'amp up' our room because we were stuck with little folding desk-chairs. We stole tables and chairs from other rooms that weren't being used.... except the chairs. We took those because the Elders speaking Espaniol aren't as cool as us. XD I love you all. Tchao!
P.S. My companions say to send my gloves... I say don't ;)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Going to New York

Ola minha familiha,
Como voce esta?  Eu esta muito bem?  I usually only get to write you guys on P-day, but I wanted to let you all know that on Tuesday the 17th, I will be getting on a plane to New York to do some fingerprinting and receive my visa to Angola at the Angolan consulate.  I'll be back in Utah to the MTC on Thursday and I will still leave to Angola on March 5th.

I get to ride an airplane and a subway, all in 24 hours.  I just thought you would want to know.

So how is life at home?  I suppose Weston and Owen still stink at Xbox.  Things here are great Portugese (though I am too lazy to write to you in it) is coming along well.

Anything new in IF town?  I've been talking to some people in my graduating class like Matt Gooch (you don't know him), Calvin Gibbons, and Sam Horman!  We have a gang sign for Idaho Falls and tell everyone that Speedi-Mart is the best gas station ever.  We also are the best at 4-square.

I miss you all.  I got the watch so don't worry about that anymore.  Just make sure to write me, send Dear Elders, and email me.

I love you all,

PS  Dad, please tell Helen from work that "the answer in Portugese is: 'Estamos a transformar a experiencia do doente'". 
PPS Mom, I am flying with 3 other Elders also going to don't worry about me :)
PPPS Mom, Tell Luxana I say: "Voce e belo princesa!"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Second Week in MTC; Everyone send letters

Oi, meu familia! O MTC ser muito ben! I've been doing well also. It's nice to hear from all of you. I cannot express how much I love you all. Homesickness has reared its ugly head every now and then, but nothing that overcomes O Espirto Santo. I've been learning a lot. Portugues is coming so well thanks to the gift of tounges (p.s. tell Weston not to worry, because the losers who speak Espanol can't understand us either...), but I've also been learning how to teach. We've had the opportunity to teach an "investigator" (a teacher who role plays a real person from their mission.) Her name was Lisa. She took our lessons and felt the spirit very quietly. Though it took her time to build faith, she accepted baptism in the end. Now, she's our teacher rather than our investigator, and we have a new "investigator" named Neilton. We met him on the "street" and he agreed to let us talk to him. The practice is fun, but it is also hard because all of our teachers (both while teaching and pretending to investigate) only speak in Portugues with very VERY minimal Ingles so that we can pick it up by ear. I'm sorry about my car. I never noticed anything too strange about the battery. Every now and then, it would be hard for the engine to start, but only on very cold days. :( Tell Weston that he just needs to feed the fish once a day (only a pinch is necessary), and clean their tank out with the filter tube thingy in my bedside table (unless you moved it haha). The food is good, I'm pretty sure it comes from the same supplier as EIRMC's, but they cook it better here (Don't tell Dave and Helen that 0.o) My companions' names are Elder Matt McAllister and (we had a missionary in our district leave to Brasil last Tuesday, so we formed a tripanionship) Elder Tanner Curtis. They both hail from Utah, and refuse to accept my Hypster background, haha. Tell Aunt Joanne thanks for her Dear Elder that she sent me, it was very nice to get mail, and I miss all of them as well. I got my watch, so that's good. I head out for New York tommorrow, as you probably know from the letter I sent you before. I'm very excited. :D The lessons and devotionals here are awesome, and last Tuesday, we got to hear from Elder Russell M. Nelson. It was the first time I've seen an apostle in person. And it was cool. But... his talk was kind of boring. haha. It was very deep doctrine, and he told us he was directing it more for the new MTC branch presidents that were coming in for Orientation that day. My district is very funny, our zone leaders told us that we were the coolest one, mostly because we do cool stuff like make lightsaber pictures, draw awsome pics of people, and I can rave. (We found a laser pointer/flashlight, and some light up fans from the free box.) All of my district and my zone leaders want me to have you send my gloves. haha. Don't do that though, because I'm pretty sure we're not supposed to. haha. Tell Aunt Taunia that the tie she gave me always catches eyes and bids of two or more ties at the Tie Bazaar we hold at our residency, but I never tade it. :) Send me lots of letters and dear Elders, cuz It always brightens my day! Tell friends and family to do it too.I love you so very much, each and every one of you. I pray for you all the time, and miss you. Tell Owen that there was a big shudder in our residency when we heard the Broncos lost, and it brought many woes, and weepings and wailings, and gnashing of teeth. >:( Tell Luxana I love her very much as well. See you all soon,

Elder Alex Hobbs

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First Week in the MTC and First Letter Home

Minha familia,
    Ola! Eu fallo mais Portugues sim? (which means “Yes, I speak more Portuguese”) But not enough for the whole letter.  In fact, I’m going to substitute what I do know in the letter.  The MTC is muito bem. O’ Espirita is muito forte.  (The MTC is very good. The spirit is very strong)  Minha district e minha companheiro sao perfeito! (My district and my companion are perfect).  We can tell each other anything, and we joke around a lot.
     Are you all doing well?  What is new? Are Weston and Owen doing well in school?  Is Luxana alright?  She needs to keep dressing up like the princess she is.
Obrigado para a carta. (thank you for the letter) It helped me out the first week.
I love my district a lot.  We had an oreo party as soon as I found them, and we share everything, and tell jokes to each other all the time.  We also play a spoon game where we slip a spoon from the cafeteria  into each other’s suit pocket without the other noticing.
    News from Angola is great! One of the members in my district told me that it will become its own mission sometime in July.  I am estimated to leave March 5th.
    As of now, I haven’t gotten the watch yet, but don’t worry there is no rush. I have around 3-6 hands pop out to tell me the time when I ask. Ha ha.
Sorry it took so long to write.  We can only write emails and letters on our P-days, which is Monday.
    The work we do here is true.  The gift of tongues is real.  They had us in class about 12 minutes after you dropped me off.  Literally.  Our teachers only speak Portugese.  (It is a beautiful language, by the way) We actually have appointments and follow-up lessons with an “investigator”, a past missionary acting as a real investigator in the mission field.  We treat it as the real thing though.  Her name is Lisa, and she is very nice.  She’s committed to read 1 Nefi 1 and 2 along with Moroni 10 and to prepare for baptism should she find it is true.
    The food is good and I love it here.  I am safe and well provided for. Oh! I almost forgot 4 of 6 in my district are going to Angola with me!  We’re pretty much the pioneers of the mission, as its only been a sub-mission for about a year. 
I love you all.  Stay happy and safe.  Here is my mailing address:
Elder Bradley Alexander Hobbs
MTC mailbox #173
MOZ-MAP 0305
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Love, Alex

P.S. You may get some hand-written letters as well as email. I only get 30 minutes of email time on P-day. And please forward this to Aunt Jill and tell her thank you for her letter as well.
Again, I love you all so very much.