Monday, February 27, 2012

Seventh Week in the MTC

February 27, 2012

Por minha familia,
I am so very excited to hear from you as always. The Lord has taught me many things about being a missionary and about life in general. His tender mercies are plentiful. His love, infinate. Yesterday on my temple walk, I found the videos on the SD card that you had sent me. I listened to them, and I felt your love very deeply. The Lord´s love was upon me as well. You all look different! I miss you very much. However, when I watched your videos, they did not make me homesick. Although I miss you very much and want to be with you, the experience I had outside of the Lord´s house taught me this: All of His people on the earth deserve this great happiness that comes from His gospel. I saw a definition of a missionary in the health clinic that stuck out to me, and should help mom as well:
                  Missionary: someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others can be with their families for time and all eternity.
I love this gospel. I am thankful to God for His tender mercies, great miracles, and all else he has bestowed upon me. I am also very grateful for His Son, Jesus Christ, for walking along the long, bitter path so that we do not have to. He has taken upon Him all of our short-comings and weaknesses so that, if we but have faith in Him, and follow Him, He will make us into what we are needed to be. God is real. He does live, and He manifests Himself to us everyday by extending His merciful hand to us. He has done these many things, and asks us: "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." This is what I am doing. I am endowed with His power and protection about me. It has been promised that "[my] days are known, and they shall not be numbered less," and that if I have trials and adversities or "if the very jaws of hell shall gape open after [me], that all these things shall be for thy good." This is true for all of us. I am going to be a tool in His hands so that He may teach this truth to all of His children.
    I am so happy for all of you: Weston recieving the office of preist, Owen learning new things and enjoying church and His office of deacon, Luxana as she obtains as much education as possible, Mom for learning how to use technology to bless her life and the lives of her family. P.S. Mom, I'm sorry for bringing you down like I did. Keep it as a lesson that though man and the hurtful words of Satan rage, God has given all of us power to learn, and do all things which are good for us. You've helped me learn to only edify others. Thank you for all that you have taught me. Dad, for having great joy in me. Dad, you have taught me many things. I look at my companions, and I see that it is they who will really have the "not in Kansas anymore" experience. I have one who always complains that he hates rice. I laugh, and tell him: "good luck in Africa." One, who is going to Florida says that he will be able to teach in Disney land, "The happiest place on Earth," to which I snort and say to myself: "far from it my friend."
   I am very excited to get to Angola soon. I have my flight plans! I will leave on the 8 of March, fly from Salt Lake to Fort Worth, where I will have a 4h 45m layover. Then, I get to fly to Heathrow airport in London, where I get to ponder and preach about the gospel for 11hs, while I wait for my final flight to Luanda, Angola, where I will arrive at about 4:00 in the a.m. on March 10. I will be tired. I don't know if there are showers in the airport terminals, so I will probably be stinky. But I can not wait for it. I've bought some BOMs to try to give to people if it be according to the Lord's will.
    I did recieve Aunt Taunia's package! it is awesome, and I love the ties. I'll be writing her soon, so you don't have to forward that message. :)
    I'm also going to send you all a package soon. It will have my gloves (thank you for sending them, they were fun, but probably aren't Africa mission appropriate), as well as an SD card with pictures and videos, and another surprise that you'll have to wait for. :D
I love you all so much. As does God His children. I am very excited for Angola, and to see Him work many miracles among His people. I love you guys!
   -Elder Alex Hobbs

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sixth Week in the MTC

Minha familia favourito!
Estes semanas passadas have been great! We got our malaria pills a few days ago. All of us are very excited to leave for Angola in 2 weeks. Time has gone very very fast. I have learned so much about being a missionary. . I've  learned more about focus, whether it be on studying, or just keeping my mind on the work. I hope you're all having lots of fun.
Tell Weston and Owen that I am very excited to hear about the things in their lives and to get their e-mails. Also, please let them know that even though they don't have a black tag or the title of 'Elder', they can be missionaries if they want to. As I've been here, I've thought of many people from back home that could have used something from the gospel. Back then, I didn't think I knew how to help. Looking back, I realize that everything I needed was in Preach My Gospel and the Scriptures. Be bold. This life is very short, and if we look at things with the perspective of eternity, we'll realize that if we but try, all things can be done. You only need two things: 1. The help of the Lord. Pray for it daily and keep His commandments. 2. your will power to focus and do the things that need to be done. I say, especially for my brothers: read the scriptures every day. Also, read from Preach My Gospel. Use it as an answer guide rather than a book. Think of a question in your mind and then use the index to search for your answer. Pray in faith that the Lord will help you (for he will). I am very excited for the both of you. I also know that your missions will be very successful if you are faithful (and, let's face it... you guys will be faithful. I know you. (:)
Anyhow, my time at the MTC is growing small. The gift of tongues is very real for those who actively seek it. I've had opportunities to speak with other elders who know the languages of French, Spanish, and Italian. I understand Spanish completely word for word (although they don't understand one word from us), I can understand most of French if I listen very hard. Last night, I had the opportunity to sit and talk with my friend Elder Calvin Gibbons. I was so happy to see him again. We spoke to eachother about letters from home, and about our missions. I also got to read from his Italian Book of Mormon, and I understood about 40% of it. It is very cool. But, I must admit, Portugues is a beautiful language.
Alright, funny seminary story for Weston: Brother Simmons is the champ at star dartz. He's like Brother Johnson at basketball, but with star dartz. So, one day, I brought in my aviators to class, and we tried for like ten minutes to get a dart to stick... we didn't quite get it, but I believe it can happen some day.
Suggestion for a dog: Owen, you might try getting a husky. Those are much more expensive, but they're dogs who are very friendly, smart, and live for a very long time.
Luxana! I miss you so much! Orange Leaf is going to be very fun in 22 months! I hear that you're having problems in school. Keep doing good, and listen to mommy and your teacher so that you can be big and smart when I get home ok? I miss you lots and love you lots!
I love you all so much. I thank mom and dad for preparing me so well for a mission. I feel like I'm much more ready for it than some of my companions are. I've developed some very good friendships with some of them. Elder Wilson says he's going to room with me at BYU-I in two years. Elder Chandler is quickly becoming one of my very best friends in the World. He has so much faith to be out here. He's 21, and things are sometimes hard back at his home, but he chooses to come out here and follow God. He will be a powerful missionary. We all will be.
A group of 4 missionaries came last week to our zone. 3 are going to Mozambique, one is going to Angola. I can't wait to be out there, and for it to be July, when Angola becomes its own mission.
I love you all so very much. Don't fear for me. Remember that heaven is behind me, and that the Lord will bless you everyday. Eu amo-os.
Elder Alex Hobbs

Fifth Week in the MTC

Ola minha familia!
I hope that you're all enjoying life in Idaho! Tell Owen that the only nerds in this world are the ones who bury their talents and don't use the rewards for theirs and other's benefits. That is amazing that Owen one the contest! Tell him that the most money I ever won for scholarships was a 15$ check in middle school. He just out-wrote me by about 985$! Also tell him that because he is very good at athletics, there is no way in the world that people will look at him as a nerd. Plus: BOOM!!! No money fo' the pats!!! NYG's: not my favorite, but better than the pats.
As for Weston, tell him that my fish are unnamed (so you have free reign there) the Suzuki's name is Jess, and that Meg's name is Meg. :)
I'm glad you've all gotten your valentine's gifts. 

 Então, eu vou continuar meu carte,
 Mom, your packages are greatly appreciated. Although there is a lot more food than my district eats, we have been able to eat everything before expiration so far. However, just because there is more than we can eat does not mean that it has not found use. Ive sold one bag of popcorn for a dollar, and I have also used some food (not all or too much. I love your food. plus, i donºt sell your awesome homemade stuff) to obtain ties for the upcoming tie bazaar. I plan to get a bunch of ties and cash them all in for green ones before I leave. Therefore, all your packages have greatly benefited me in one way or another. I LOVE YOU MOM!!! Eu amo vocês com muito amor.
Our branch is losing 19 people tommorrow. We will have no sisters in our branch, and although we are getting 4 new missionaries who are called to the Mozambique Maputo mission (I donºt yet know if their going to Angola), weºll only have a total of 12 in our branch.
Iºm sorry I havenºt sent you guys videos yet. I have some, just not enough to send that you would thoroughly enjoy them. Tell Aunt Joanne thank you for her letters. They are all very awesome!
Also tell Chris and Summer that since they have RISK in Angola, Iºll have time to practice... therefore, in two years, there will be no mercy for any of you. »:D

 Well, my email time is just about up. Sorry I missed you guys. I'll be back next week on Monday. We usually get out of the temple and start email at about 9 30, but when we do initiatories, its more like 830 or 9. Well, I'll write you all soon. Tell Taylor Whitmill and Colin Mayo to hurry up and pick up the pace! And to Spencer Horman: give him something yummy, and also tell him that some crazy French-speaking elder thinks that he and his friend are good at Super Smash 64 or something. I have chastized him about this since.
Eu amo vocês, membros de minha familía. Têm bom experiências. Eu escreverei mais para vocês.
Elder Alex Hobbs

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pictures from the MTC

 District 45-E

 District 45-E from left to right:
E. McAllister, E. Curtis, E. Hobbs, E. Wilson, E. Chandler

 Chillin' in the Utard Airport