Monday, April 23, 2012

Week 16

Família. Tudo bem?

   This week was very nice. We hooked up our fridge to a new outlet, so now we can have cold foods!!! Awesome. I'm attaching a few pictures for ya, but I guess that I can't attach videos because of some memory limit. LAME!!!
   I think about you all all of the time. Things here in Cassequel are great. We have had awesome progress with people.
   Let's start with D. We were going to drop him. He had received all of the lessons, and was not keeping ANY commitments, including chastity and Word of Wisdom commitments. When we went to let him go, the member that was working with us, A.P., started to tell him that it was time to change. She gave him a baptismal date for us. He said over and over: "imposível". We didn't even think it was possible, but I told Elder Perry that we shouldn't give up just yet.
   We went to his house, and gave him a picture of Christ (one that I may or may not have used in my luggage to deter theives) and some passalong cards to tape up all over his complex for him. We gave him a scripture study notebook, and told him we would check up on him twice a week, and call him each night. We gave him a priesthood blessing to quit alcohol. When I gave the blessing, I had the distinct impression to not say anything certain. So, I said "with work" before every blessing I promised. Well, we called him each night, visited, and asked him about his commitments and scripture reading each time. He changed completely. He dropped alcohol that day when we gave him the pictures. With 1 week of struggling, he gave up smoking. He also took our advice and made it a rule of his house not to allow his girlfriend to be alone with him at home. 
   We asked A. P. to verify, and she said that he had been doing everything that he said. He was the only one o f our investigators that came to all 4 sessions of general conference... and payed attention. He isn't the best scripture reader, and he doesn't always understand everything that he does read, but if the baptismal interview goes well on Wednesday, he will be baptised on Saturday. I don't know how strong his tesitmony is of the Book of Mormon, and that does scare me, but I do think that he is trying very very VERY hard to live his life the way the Savior would have hime live it. I am very anxious for Wednesday!!!
   All of our other investigators with baptismal dates are ones that "don't feel ready", but we know that they will be at the times of their dates. They are golden people, and are just a little nervous. So, we tell them that when we give baptismal dates, we KNOW that they aren't ready that instant, but that we want to give them a goal to prepare for it. Then, at our next visits, they are much more excited about baptism.
   Ok... so I might need to find a new Book of Mormon in Português... I sort of gave mine to an investigator... haha. We were on a division with a zone leader, so we were a triple. We went to a woman's home named Natercia. She said she was big into studying religious things, and she was open to anything. She showed us a book on fasting and talked FOREVER about it. She also challenged (didn't discredit, but challenged) everything that my companions said. So, I bore a testimony. It was a strong one. I told her about you guys, and how I don't know Português yet, and that I missed you. Then, I told her that I wouldn't be here if I didn't know that the Book of Mormon was true. We didn't have any give away copies with us, so I told her to take my personal copy and read, ponder, and pray about it until we could meet with her again and get her a new one. She accepted, and we left the lesson on a high note!
   Sounds like summer time is coming for you all! It's turning into the dry season now, but we're seeing more rain than the country has in a VERY long time. I hope all of you are having fun doing what you love: baseball, visiting family, getting sick, etc. haha
   I love you guys. I miss you and can't wait to see you again, but in the mean time, I'll just keep trying to improve myself!

I love you all. Fique bem. Têm força.

  -Elder Alex Hobbs

Week 15

Hey guys!

   So, easter was very fun 2 weeks ago. They celebrate Pasquão here on Saturday, not Sunday. There was Angolan Independence day on the friday before easter, and there was PARTYING everywhere! The President of Angola drove on the street for about 5 minutes, so he had military security on the sides for about 3 hours. Owen: you see police with AK47s and uzis a lot here.
   We had general conference yesterday. D, the investigator that I was very worried about came to all four sessions! It was way cool. Also, I saw Mike Hoover sing in the MTC choir that was there. Crazy eh? Então, things here are just awesome. We now have 3 baptismal dates, and we are very excited.
   Once again, I'm so sorry that there aren't pics and video for you this week (did you get the stuff from last week?), we're trying a new internet cafe today, but their computer doesn't allow hardware! I swear, I need to tell the guys to just go to that first one that we used to, because it's the only one that is reliable.
   Anyway, the week was pretty uneventful other than what I've told you. We've been working hard, all of my house is still way awesome, and the transfer is about to end. I don't think the KFC is open yet, but we're excited.
   I'm really disappointed that I can't get you the stuff I have for ya, because I have some very funny videos. But, I have good news for Mom: you might be able to send me mail. Apparently, the members of our branch that work for the gas companies get a mail service here, and smuggle stuff in for the elders. I've seen 4 packages come in. My biggest problem is that I can't send you guys stuff out. Hmm. One day... haha
   I love you all. I spend time every now and then turning on my ipod, playing "come thou font" on the Reflections of Christ album, and watching the pictures on my ipod. I love seeing your guys' pictures and hearing your voices each week. :)
   By the way: if you ever see the card game "BANG" in the store, I reccomend it. We played it today and it is very entertaining!

I love you all. Lhes-amo muito. Eu penso sobre vocês quasi cada dia. Prometo que vou trabalhar com força, e também, vou obter coisas fisch para vocês.

Lembram-se: Vocês podem orar qualquer tempo de qualquer dia. Nosso Pai Celestial ouve orações, e Ele sabe sobre suas afflições. Lhes-amo,

Elder Alex Hobbs

Monday, April 9, 2012

Audio Messages From Elder Hobbs

 Ola família!

Agora, eu acho que eu vou poder de attacher meus vozs. Vocês vão ouvir sobre isso esta vez! Eu não sei sobre as photográfias, mas, eu vou tentar.

   Well, dad, I understand what people say to me most of the time. I can understand them about 75%. My speaking, however needs some work. We don't always get a lot of time to practice in the morning, so study time falls a lot. Things are great here though! We baptised Cecilia, and Satiro is set up to be baptised this month. He stopped taking our lessons for a while, and missed church. We later found out that he "gave into temptation" had drank some beer with friends, and was too ashamed to talk with us. We told him that he could always repent, and that with work, his baptismal date was still valid.
   With food, things have been improving. We got permission to use the generator at home, and city power is slowly coming back. The President of Angola owns everything here, except for the two phone companies, which are owned by his daughters. He made an announcement that if the power problems in Luanda weren't fixed by July, he would hire European companies instead of Angolan ones, so we'll see how that goes.
   Mom, I'm going to try to attach a picture of the Weggelands on here to show you proof that I'm getting fed! haha. Things are great here guys. I love it. My companion is much happier these days, and we get in around 21 lessons every week. It rocks! Also, we eat pizza made by a real Italian each p day! It is delicious, but costs 2100 kwz per pizza! so worth it though when we get paid 600 dollars every month. right now, I have 300$ in my account. We can pretty much buy anything we need, so we're good.
   We found a mail place that MIGHT allow us to send and recieve hand written letters. Cross your fingers!
   Owen, wanna know something cool? The old women here that sell stuff on the street sides use MOLOTOV COCKTAILS as candles! Way sick right? Also, You see people on their porches cutting up meat with machetes. I've decided that I'm going to buy one (yes, it is possible to buy one. You can actually buy AK47s too, but I think US customs would confiscate it ;) )
   I love you guys. I hope you can see the stuff I attach.

Love, Elder Alex Hobbs

Below are some links to download recorded messages from Alex.  Click on the gray button that says "Download This File", then type in the code seen, then click "download now". 

March 19 2012 Audio Message
March 21 2012 Audio Message
March 23 2012 Audio Message
April 5 2012 Audio Message

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Three Months

Well, we've had some bad luck today. We went to the "good" internet cafe today, but the computor won't let me attach anything today. I have everything with me, but the cafe is pretty terrible today. Next week I'll ask Elder Perry to go to the other cafe so that we can attach stuff to our emails. Sorry guys. :(
On the other hand though, we had an awesome week. We got permission to use the generator at our appartment/chapel, so we have power when we really need it. Cecilia got baptised too! It was very nice. It was also really funny because we told her that she would be wearing white clothes and she showed up all in white! She also baked everyone in our appartment this HUGE cake. It was awesome. We have 2 more men with dates now. Satiro and Domingo. I really hope that they follow through with their commitments.

I got all your pics and vids though! They didn't take long to download at all! I loved it! I see that you're all doing very well and having fun! As for conference, tell Weston that I was watching President Uchtdorf's talk at the same time he was... sort of. It was about 7:30 at night here. But you know what I mean. We have this couple in our ward, The Weggelands, and they feed us this HUGE American dinner every Sunday. Brother Weggeland works for BP, and they had us over to watch conference with them. It was only one session, but I'll see the rest of it in Português in a week or two. 

So, mom: I am being fed! Granted, I have to have a peice of bread every now and then, but we usually get plenty of food for the week. They're opening the first KFC here in Luanda. I'm pretty sure it's the first American restaurant in Angola. We are all very excited!

How's owen doing? I didn't hear a whole lot from him this week. Tell him I'm excited to beat him at arm wrestling, because we have a branch missionary here who's name is Adão, and he loves to arm wrestle me. ;)

There's one street here that we walk down to get to an investigator's house where all the kids think that I'm magic. One week, I went down and did a few easy french drops with some coins for them and they loved it! A few weeks later, and a kid came up to me and said "oi! magia!" I didn't have any coins with me, so I figured that I would give him some cheesey trick and give up my reputation. I did the little trick where you "remove your thumb" from your finger, thinking he would just laugh and call me a phony. To my surprise, when I did it (I made a popping noise as I did), he got the most disgusted look on his face and screamed and told everyone to look! haha he actually thought I took off my finger! It was great.

Ok, this next part is for Weston: All of the Elders in the house that I live in (this includes me) sit together each night and talk about anime, twighlight, and most recently, pokemon. (We talked about Avatar too.) Boom. I'm still awesome  bro. ;)

Tell Luxana that her pictures are very good, and that she looks beautiful.

Mom, dad, I love you both so much. (Mom, you do luxana's hair just as good as the Angolans do) :)

I love you all, I can't wait to hear from you again and get my stuff out to you.


 -Elder Alex Hobbs

(P.S. we were eating at a member's house and one of the kids was trying to pronounce my name and the name of Elder Sande.... what came out was Bob Sagget.) Literally. XD