Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January 28, 2013

   Greetings from Luanda 2! The largest area in the mission! It was a week of work. It was kind of hard, I won't lie. But this week is going to be awesome. Elder Castleton and I have been focusing super hard on exact obedience lately, and it is paying off. I feel so good. It's also giving me a lot of faith to find new people and set up the area for success.
   The week was very slow, so there's not a lot to write about. We taught only 11 lessons, and many people weren't all too receptive. Elder Castleton and I have a game plan to start sifting through the people that just aren't ready now, and to go and qualify contact for new, prepared people. We're also going to put a focus on just 2 of our main areas, and leave all the others for future work. We have to lay a strong foundation fast, but carefully.
   But I'm starting to have my ''Africa moments'' again. I just love to walk around and see things that would never happen in the States. For example:  drum music 24/7, red dirt roads, street vendors, 86 degree weather (or hotter), 0 English signs, animals running around, BIG DUSTY SUNSETS, jungle trees, imbondeiros, funge, and anything else you can't imagine. It's starting to feel like home (but I'll always miss you guys and our home).
   I'm doing well. I pulled out 40$ for some extra food, just like you asked, mom. But I'm hoping to see some more meals from members soon. I've heard good things of this branch, and they've put up a sign in the foyer to feed the missionaries.
   Our branch split yesterday. It was the first branch in Angola to split. It was really neat, because Elder Bricknell of the 70 made a prophecy that with concerted effort, we could have a branch here within 2 years! It was cool.
   I'm doing well, I miss you all, and I hope that you all feel better! I pray for y'all, and I LOVE YOU!!!
Elder Alex Hobbs

January 21, 2013


  So sorry that email is late. The net was super slow yesterday.
  I'm now in the Luanda 2 C area, which is by far the largest area in
the city. We have SO MANY AREAS! AND THEY ARE ALL HUGE!!! But it is
nice because all of our far areas are wealthier, and generally have
cars, which means that people will be able to come to church! The
branch members here are amazing, and we will probably get fed more
often here.
  My companion is Elder Castleton, he has a very large family. He is
also thinking of going into the marine core, as he attended some PTs
before the mission. He actually knew of Elder Kelsey before the
mission as well. Elder Castleton is a lot different though. He
actually reminds me a lot of Owen.
  The area is kind of in disarray, as it's not exactly new, but the
missionaries in L2 re-divided up areas to deal with a branch split
(Benfica). We don't know the majority of our investigators, as the
missionaries who were here first did not fill out the area book...
  But I'm excited. It's a chance for me to make a big impact on the
mission, as this area could explode even more than my last one! These
next 2 weeks will probably be weeks of contacting and sifting, so
it'll get hard, but afterwords, we should see some big success. We
actually went tracting a few days ago (second time in my mission),
because the area that we live in (which also makes part of our area)
has adresses! It's a place called Nova Vida (new life), and the
government took special care to set it up well. Our apartment is not
as nice as the last one, but is still way better than what this
mission has seen in the past. We only fault power and water sometimes,
but not often.
  I did actually go to the praça and I did get a painting... but
Elder Castlton and I made a few people mad in the process:
  So this praça is used to seeing oil workers and chinese, so when a
white person comes, they'll charge prices litterally 100x the real
price. I bartered with one man over my painting. He started at 130$. I
brought him down to 40$. Then his friend came and I got him down to
20$. He started to take the painting off of the frame, and then I told
him I didn't want it for 20$. He said ''what! I've already started to
take it off.'' ''well, too bad. just keep it, unless you want 15$ for
it.'' He ended up giving it to me for 15$.
  Later, Elder Castleton was talking with a vendor for a painting one
third of the size of mine, and the guy told him 15$ and started to
take it off the frame without Elder Castleton's argreement. I told him
about my painting and told Elder Castleton not to buy it for more than
10$. Then he got mad and threw the painting on the ground and told us
not to come back. As we drove in some taxis, I asked some Angolans how
much my painting was worth. The answer: 15$. It turns out they were
just mad because they couldn't rip us off! But, they were pretty
upset, and they started saying bad things about the church, so next
time I go, I'll probably just pay 20$ for paintings, we'll see. The
were very stiff this time. Last time we went, they were way nicer and
bartered much easier. We think it was because there weren't very many
vendors this time.
  But it's going to be a good transfer, despite angry vendors. I hope
I stay to see baptisms this time, but even still, I'm mostly just
excited to build a good relationship with branch members. Wish me
  It sounds like regular life there at home. Keep on keepin' on! I
have some pictures, but the net is a little slow, and I'm not sure if
I trust this café with viruses.

But I miss you guys a lot. I'm speaking Português better than ever,
and I'm a little tired just because of the super hard work in the
past, but I should see some good successes here soon. Keep on
worshiping God it the best way possible. He is the Man!


Elder Alex Hobbs

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January 14, 2013

Família querida,

   It was another good week. We taught 35 lessons... so we're tired! But it was good. We saw a lot of progression, as well as some new faces. It's transfer day, and I'm moving to the Luanda 2 C area. I'll have a new companion, Elder Castleton, and we're technically opening the area. It'll be fun! It's been a good transfer. I won't lie, some of my time here in Luanda 1 has been the hardest of my life. However, this last transfer with Elder Kelsey has been the one of the best! I learned a lot from him, and this area is going to EXPLODE! But I have to leave it now. haha
   Good news: I got the camera package, and I took a picture of me eating at KFC! Bad news: the battery recharger doesn't work. But, batteries are pretty cheap here, so no worries. But I'm excited to start taking a ton of pictures! I sit with my backpack on my lap while I do emails now! haha. But just good things happening here. We're going out to Benfica today, and I'm on the hunt for paintings!
   It looks like life is getting really cold and really fun back home! It's still really hot here. It's been raining about once a week, so the humidity is also up. But I just want all of you to know that the sun is beautiful.
   I love the pictures you're sending, please keep em coming! I'll have to see if I can send some next week, as this café is restricted from sending pics!

I love you all so much! Sorry that this letter is smaller, but just lessons happened this week, and I gotta go pack!


Elder Alex Hobbs

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 7, 2012

Á minha família,

  This was one of the best weeks of my mission! Last night, Elder
Kelsey and I were doing the end of week countup, and we found that we
had taught 29 lessons this week! We did´nt even realize it! But that´s
not why it was awesome. It was awesome because all of the lessons we
taught were just filled with the Spirit. I felt so good this week!
  Yea, I did get my card without problems. I pulled out some money to
buy a new bag and to pay the mission the 130$ that I owe. I´ll try to
get over to KFC (I promise I´ll eat there when I can), but it´s a
little far from our area, so we´ll have to see. In the mean time,
we´re planning to hit up Bemfica next week, so we should get some cool
Africa stuff. Paintings are my goal for this trip!
    The Lord is doing some very good things with our area. We´re
finding a lot of really prepared people and we had a lot of new
investigators come to church. K bore his testimony of the Book of
Mormon, and it was nice. Yes, he was a little buzzed, but he just said
what he knew was true, so I think people felt the Spirit. One of our
investigators sure felt it, because he started clapping after K´s
  Life is good here. I´ve finally chosen my Spain futebol team by the
way... REAL MADRID! Woo! FYI for ya. haha. As for the Português letter
to Kiana, did she just get that, because I sent it forever ago! Like,
I´m talking 4 transfers ago! I did mention that if she got married or
went on a mission that she had to let me know and get me a picture.
But there´s more in that letter than just that! Keep translating, wi.
  I love you all. I´m still waiting for the camera. I hope it comes
before I leave the area. Transfers are in 2 weeks!

Lots of love,

Elder Alex Hobbs

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 1, 2013


   So I've made a New Year's resolution to only speak in Português for this year. I need to improve my accent and learn some new words. I'm giving myself today as a practice, because I've slipped up a few times already, but I'll get it soon!
   I love all your Christmas pictures, and the rap video made me smile. Send me some more videos! I would love it!
   It sounds like Christmas went well for everyone, which is great! Lots of good things have started to happen here. We've been working hard, and have been finding a ton of people that I feel were prepared of God. The Lord has blessed us this past week with very Spiritual lessons, and it feels amazing. I am so happy.
   Christmas in Angola is nice, but I do kind of wish it was a little more magical. Most people just get drunk on Christmas Eve, and some parties happen. But There is one very nice thing: Christmas Day is peacefully spent at home with the family (excepting muslims). The people were all together. It was a refreshing change to see as we made our visits (we got to go caroling with our lessons). The streets were very quiet, and traffic free. Granted, there was lots of loud music in many houses, but it was spent as a family in all of them. So the Christmas miracles still happen here, just in a different way. I love to see families together here.
   New Years is about the same as in the states, but no one is out except for our muslim friends again. But it was a good day. We got permission from President Thompson to stay up until midnight, and so we played WAR in our house (RISK knock off). Then we went to the beach as a Luanda Zone. (We had to split up Pday, but we got in some awesome lessons). I got a little fried, but it was a lot of fun.
   I hope you all continue to be happy and do what you do. Please, if you know ANYONE who isn't a member that could benefit from the gospel, give it to the missionaries as a reference. Member help is so needed here, and I'm sure it's even more needed there in the States! We had a family night last night about missionary work, because we're trying to ''kickstart'' an area and put a branch out there. There are currently 2 families there, so we talked about missionary work and read from a talk called ''Was it worth it?'' I thought of some friends and family that have fallen away from the church, and I can tell you: if missionary work was done to them and they came back, it would be worth any struggle to me. So I think the same for others that I don't know. So help your missionaries over there! :)

I love you all, and wish you a happy new year!

Elder Alex Hobbs