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

  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

   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?

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