Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

Família Querida,

  The week was hard. We only got six lessons in, because the area
divided. I'll be honest, this transfer will be a test of diligence for
me, as I have a small area and the opportunity to do anything that I
want... so I'm going to have to step up to the plate and just work my
behind off!
  Elder Money is so awesome! He's from SLC, and reminds me a lot of
Elder Hyde. He likes a lot of the same stuff that I liked before my
mission, so we're always talking! Plus, he speaks so well! They're
putting something into the pots at the MTC! But he's cool. He brought
BANG, disney music, and taco seasoning to our house... yes. This will
be a good transfer! Hahaha.
  Funny story of the week: Elder Money's first experience with funge:
We're at H and A's house. She hears that he's never had it, so
she tells us that we're not leaving until we eat some lunch with them.
They pull out some really good meat, some beans, a little spinich-like
stuff, and the funge. Elder Money has heard of the stuff, so he takes
an amount that he knows, no matter how bad it is, he can choke down.
H sees this ''small'' portion and scoops a BIG glop onto his
plate. He was fighting. As we ate, H put some ''gindungu'' on the
table (the hottest pepper in Angola). He offered some to Elder Money.
Elder Money says he doesn't like spicy food. Later, H notices
that he's choking down the funge, so he says: ''If you put some
gindungu on the stuff and eat it, you can be done.'' A is in the
back yelling: ''no! no! it's bad! don't do it!'' Elder Money accepts.
It was hot, but it was just a little juice, so he snuck out of that
one! hahaha. Elder Money says it's felt like the funge has just stuck
in his stomach since then!
  But we're both very excited, as the area that just divided away
from ours is being ''emergency transferred'' back to us. I'm not sure
what's going on, but we think a missionary in the provinances is sick,
so he's coming up, and Elder Castleton is going down, destroying the
new area and putting back to us. So we should see a LOT of lessons
this next week!
   I do remember her. Her older sister was in
my class. She was about 2 years younger. I remember sitting in
Drama class, and there was some free time given to us. She was talking
with a friend about Mormons, and I turned around and started talking
to us. She asked about a belief we had, so I explained the plan of
salvation. After that, a few days later, she showed me a Book of
Mormon she had. I had never thought she would make the decision to get
baptized. That is so cool! I never knew that I had such an impact on
her like that.
  Hearing about her really makes me feel good. I've thought a lot
about who I want to be after the mission, and, as cheesey as it
sounds, I want to be the guy who ''never got released, just
transferred''. I want to walk with the elders, feed them pizza on
, and give them references! It'll give me a chance to make up
for all the mistakes I've made out here! haha
  But truly. Always be ready to share. Abinadi was a prophet in the
Book of Mormon who boldly testified to King Noah. He was then burned
to death, and in the fire probably mourned that no one had listened to
his words. Yes, he was consoled in God, but he never saw any fruits of
his sacrifice. But who listened? Alma did. From there, we all know the
story. I just hope that I'm not too lazy and that my works are having
an effect as well. I'm so thankful for repentance. I believe that the
Lord doesn't care who you were, but who you are. Repentance means
change. When we change ourselves, and confess and leave our sins, we
get the forgiveness. I love it, because I'll tell you... I sucked!
hahaha. But daily change and learning from mistakes is a HUGE blessing
to me.
  Keep on keepin' on over there! I love you all!

Que Deus vos abençoe,

Elder Alex Hobbs

February 25, 2013

Hey guys!

  You've all heard the big news! The Angola Luanda mission will be
officially opened July 1, 2013. It's going to be awesome. We'll be
able to just move so much faster with the autonomy that will come with
being our own mission. President Merrill served in Brazil. That's all
we know of him as of now. President Walton actually talked to him
before President Thompson did!  I'm really sad that President Thompson
is leaving. He has helped me so so SO much here.
  But, I have some bigger news: transfers came, and I'm training
again. I'll be training Elder Money, he's from SLC. I'm way excited,
because I know so much more now than the last time that I trained.
Elder Castleton will go into the new Luanda 2 D area (our area is
getting split), with Elder Hannay.... newbie!
  But, I have even BIGGER news!! Weston had a birthday! Wooo! Happy
Birthday lil´ big bro. 17... that was a good year for me. Jeff must
hate your guts! haha. Well, I may or may not have gone to the praça in
Benfica today... so maybe you'll just get a present this year... or
next year when I come home!!!! (PS that's why I took out 60$ today)
  Good things are coming ahead in Angola. I'm trying to pour more and
more of myself into it each day. As I do that, more and more comes to
me each day as well... I have learned SO MUCH!!! And I'm going to keep
on learning too! Did I already tell all you that I'm learning Chokwe?
  So, with a new mission, that means that an Apostle or up will come
to give a visit... I want to make some guesses with you guys. Who's it
going to be? My guess is President Monson himself is coming!
  Other than that, nothing all too new. H and A marked a day
for marriage and also a baptismal date, so I'm excited!

Lots of love to y'all. If I get anymore church news, I'll let you
know. (I knew about the mission autonomy on Tuesday, so... hahaha)

Love, Peace, Chips and Salsa,

Elder Alex Hobbs

That was for you birthday boy!

February 18, 2013


   The week was good. We didn't get very many lessons because it rained. Angolans HATE the rain. Or, they love it because they can use it as an excuse! haha. But I had a lot of fun this week.
   Being extra obedient is bringing many many blessings for me. I feel the best I have my whole mission! When we were at the baptisms for J and C on Saturday, I felt like I was in the temple! It was fun. C chose me to confirm him. That was neat as well. They should be receiving the priesthood this next Sunday.
      The success story for the week is about a family. The parents names are H and A, the children E and F. We weren't able to see them until Sunday night, and they still came to church, which is awesome!
   They made me think of a scripture in the Doctrine and Covanents 29: 7, ''...mine elect hear mine voice and hardeneth not their hearts.'' We had only taught them the message of the Restoration until last night. Last night, we taught about chastity, as they are not married legally. Strangely, we used the word ''repent'' in our lesson and invited them to get married. Although it was a call to repentance of a sin, they were prepared and happy to hear that repentance was necessary and available. They also agreed to read more in the Book of Mormon, and seem like their ready to do what it takes to get baptized.
   We're finding more and more families to teach, and very soon, our new branch president will have a coordination meeting with us. (something that doesn't happen often here) Our new branch President Sérgio is young, lived in Portugal, and is ready to work some miracles here in the branch. I'm excited! Elder Cook in his talks 2 weeks ago told the branches to work and coordinate closer with the missionaries, so good things are ahead!
   Owen, I needed your help on Sunday... Elder Castleton and I were walking when we found 2 little kittens in the street without a mom! Missionaries can't have pets, so we started to call all the members in the area. However, most Angolans hate cats, so everyone said no. We had to leave them in the street. :( But I prayed for them, so they should be good.
   I'd like to ask you all to pray for A. She's going through a very VERY hard time right now, and needs all the prayers she can get. Pray for her every night!
   I don't want to end in a bad note, so I've got one more story for you all. We went to a chinese ''mall'' today. It was interesting. There wasn't anything cool, but they had a bunch of dry packed eggs and chicken wings!
   Plus, I'm starting to learn little phrases in dialects. Nguri wana wa nZambe, and don't you all forget it!

Love you all,

Elder Alex Hobbs

February 11, 2013


   The week was one that was awesome, but not for doing a ton of work. We had a district conference (all of Luanda) with Elder Cook of the seventy. It was awesome! He spoke of everything that we needed here. He talked about being exactly obedient, loving wives, and coordination with the missionaries! We will see a lot of good things happen here in the branches with member retention very soon.
   Other than that, not a lot of news. We'll be having 2 baptisms this week, but I don't know either of the candidates very well. They were taught long before I arrived. As for the area, it is building. We're working really hard to find a ton of families, and as we are obedient, it comes. We found a family last night actually, and had a 'get to know you' lesson with them. M and E. They pretty much asked about the 1st lesson. We'll be seeing them on Wednesday.
   We have also started teaching H and A, with their 3 kids. They've been to church since we first invited them, and they've been reading the pamphlets and Book of Mormon. I'm way excited for them. They should be baptized real soon.
   Speaking of Book of Mormon, we ran out of them for a good month. We just got in a small shipment, and we have 10 per dupla. I was reading in Preach My Gospel a few days ago, and I read a quote by Joseph Smith that reads: "take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations and where is our religion? We have none." I sighed. It was hard to commit people to pray about a book they've never read! But now we have some and I'm excited.
   Elder Castleton reminds me of a mix of me and Owen. One is totally awesome, and the other is a missionary in Angola! ;) He's very smart, though a little quiet, and he's totally helping me live up to my potential. We're going to have this area set up so well, I have a goal to baptize 5 families before I get transferred again!
   But life is good. We're getting fed, and I'm exercising. I'm excited for this next week, because it should be very well organized with a lot of lessons and new investigators!
   I love you all so much. Keep loving life. Thank you so much for your letters!!!
Elder Alex Hobbs