Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Aug 5, 2013


  It has been such a good week this week. It's been hard at the same
time, but all of the blessings envelop any difficulties that have
arised. We'll be baptizing 3 children this week, and hopefully a
familly or two (or three) here in two weeks. It's going to be awesome.
I don't know if I've ever written you all about L. L is a
woman that had gone to a church  for ovetr 18 years. She
had believed on it for a very long time. She had even offered her
house for the church to use on a temporary basis until they could
build a chapel. One day, this church tried to trick her into
signing a contract that would force her into giving her land up to the
church at no cost. She caught that detail in the contract. When she
refused to sign, the pastor kicked her out of the church.
  Angry and bitter, she swore she would never ever join a church
again, and that she believed that you could be saved without church.
She was a very angry person. She drank a lot. The Jehova's Witness
church taught her daugher, but she never joined. One day, Elder Harper
found her tracting. We've taught her ever since, and now she has an
unshakable testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints. She's waiting on marriage, but she's been giving us references
like no one's business. It's been great.
  We went to Viana to see R and P's mother last night. We
talked with her and brainstormed. She's going to start some English
classes to make another 100$ a month, which should allow Rebecca and
Pegar to go back to school. I pray, and I'm going to fast for them. I
miss those kids.
  I talked with Aida the other night. She hasn't been to church for a
while, because she's been working so late on Saturdays. I got her
excited, and she went yesterday! I was so happy. I told her that from
now on, while she's working, to just go for sacrament meeting and to
sleep the rest of the meetings. I'm so happy for that!
  C is going to be baptized this Saturday. WOOP!

I love you guys. I'm excited to camp with y'all again!


Elder Alex Hobbs

I'll get you all some pictures next week. We tried a different cyber
this week, and it's a little too slow for pics.

July 29, 2013

   This was a great week this week. We've been teaching a ton of lessons, and our área is going to absolutely explode! We have 11 people marked for baptism on the 10th of August. I'm loving it!
   So, here in the mission, we've started a war. Two Elders have created teams. The only way to score is to get a missionaries vote here in 3 days. It has become a game of espionage, and it is hilarious! I've become head of ''Sector 7'' a team that is designed to feed false info and turn people. We're going to win. :)
   All of the youth in Angola went on a campout, and some of the elders got to do a river baptism. Apparently it was a big hit, and everyone had fun. The young women in our branch rated all of the missionaries in our district for how cute they were. I got placed 6th place of 6. What are you going to do? haha But to tell you the truth, I got a new haircut. It looks way good. I think I'm going to have Elder Tingey cut it right before I leave!  
   R and P both got to go to the campout as well, and I was very happy to hear about that. I also got a chance to go over and drop off Rebecca's birthday present. She loved it, and we spent a good 15 minutes blowing up these HUGE balloons that I bought. P also filled up a water balloon, and tried to hit her with it, but he didn't fill it enough. It was a lot of fun, and my cheeks hurt for about 3 days after that!
   Their mom is having money troubles again. When I first got there to drop of the gift, she was the only one home, and she was very excited to see me. Then we talked, and she broke down in tears. Apparently, the kids haven't gone to school for 3 months because she hasn't had the cash, and no one is eating very well either. Elder Chandler and I are going to go out there this week and work out a budget with her.
   Well, I love you all very very much, and I think of you a lot!
Elder Alex Hobbs

July 22, 2013


   It was a good week. It was a harder one, as there were a lot of Zone Leader things that started popping up out of nowhere. We did some training, some divisions... everything. Numbers weren't the best, but I had a really really good week.
   Now for the success story: When I was in Cassequele, I had the opportunity to help a family into the waters of baptism. As we taught them, there was a little girl named C who wanted to be baptized from the very beginning. However, at the time, her guardians wouldn't allow it. Afterwords, I left the area. For a long time, I didn't see her, and it sounded like the missionaries didn't follow up with her for a while. But she's moved into my area, and Elder Pimentel and I have a date of baptism set for her! Woo! I'm way excited for her.
   Also, H from Luanda II baptized his niece! That was super fun to see him again. I noticed that a lot of people know me here. Hopefully I'll be remembered.
   We've been having some obedience problems in our Zone: people staying home a little late, music that's just a little too fast, etc. Don't any of you get me wrong: I'm pretty sure the best missionaries in the world have been sent here. It's just that they can get a little distracted at times. So we talked with President about it, and we're having a big Zone Conference in a week. I'm excited. I believe that once I leave, the missionaries will be able to take over without problems.
   Not a whole lot of new news here... I'm trying to remember anything that was really cool.... but nothing's coming. But I love you all more than you can know. It's been hitting me a little bit more lately that I only have 4 and 1/2 tranfers left. Sometimes I think of home when an airplane flies really close to the ground. haha. But I've been thinking of you all a lot lately, and I'm excited to finish strong out here.

I love you all,

 Elder Alex Hobbs


July 15, 2013


   This week was a good one. We got in a ton of lessons, and Maria P's family got baptized! It was really cool because we used a brand new baptismal font! It ran so much smoother than the last one, and it was super easy to baptize An. Poor little N: she's a girl about Luxana's age, and she can't get baptized for another 2 months! She was really sad. But I told her that the reason she couldn't get baptized was because Jesus knew she was perfect enough and she didn't need baptism! That helped here a lot. Then she started playing with my camera and took a ton of pics. By the way, A tells me that he writes Weston on facebook all the time. Every time he tells me, I check my watch for the Idaho time: 1h00. hahaha That's Weston alright!
   Happy Birthday to Luxana! Actually, you got a birthday present from Rebecca! She wrote Luxana a letter. I'll try and send it next week. Happy Birthday to mom too! I'll see what I can get from the praça that you would like. I can't wait to give you your come home hug present!
    There's not a lot of new things happening here. It's kind of just the same old routine. Elder Pimentel and I are marking a lot of people for baptism though. We've got 7 dates right now, and we're trying to get some more by working with unmarried couples. I think that Elder Pimentel and I are going to see a lot of success here in Benfica. It's a nice area, but I think I'd like to get one more area in me before I leave.
   The week was a little stressful, organizing the baptisms and preparing a training, but it went well. Big numbers, big success. We went to the mall here on Saturday and had some KFC and looked at all the new movies coming out. It looks like I'm going to have a list when I come home! haha. Also, everyone in the house loves all the new CDs, especially Elder Tingey, who's a big country fan.
   Well, I love you all so much. I think of you all often.

Elder Alex Hobbs

DSC03507- Me comforting Namara

DSC03515- The family. (From left to right) Elder Pimentel, Maria Pinto, Cristina, Andrew, Namara, yours truly, President Sabastião

DSC03524- Me and Andrew

DSC03531- The new font

DSC03559- Planning for P-day


July 8, 2013


   This week was such a great week. President Merrill is going to be one of the best things to ever happen to Angola. Him and his wife are very in tune with the Spirit. Before, with President Kretly, it was pounded into our heads: find find find find find find find find so you can baptize. But President Merrill's stand on everything is to follow the Spirit, better ourselves, and do what God says to do, and that will bring success. I'm glad that's what's finally being taught to the new missionaries. It's what this country needs.
   After the Zone Conference, we all got to play some soccer. It was way fun. President Merrill is also about fun. He's always cracking jokes. He did all the interviews for missionaries in 2 days, and during my interview, he cut it way short because he was hungry! haha. Sister made us some food, and we started to have dinner together. As we were eating, sister realized ''I don't think we've blessed the food yet.'' President responded: ''I'll bless it.'' His prayer was: ''Dear Father in heaven, please bless this food, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.'' I laughed so much! 
   It was a really good week. Our 4th of July consisted of another Elder in our house, burning up some pictures of his ex-girlfriend, and some BANG! It was super fun. I also got your package on the 4th, so no need to worry of that anymore! Thank you so so so much!
   I got to go on a division with an Elder from Viana. His name is Elder Fontaine. He's way funny. Him and I tried to decied which state was the best state in the US. We both agree that somewhere, there is a state better than California, and that Idaho definately makes the top 8. When we went back to drop him off at his house, we noticed that the Viana Elders had a copy of 17 Miracles. We borrowed it:) As we were walking out, we noticed that the case was empty! So we went back in, and Elder Pimentel got a glass of water and some ''pamphlets''. We walked out victorious, and we're going to watch it today.

I love you all so so so much. Here's some pics!

Elder Alex Hobbs

DSC03485 Here's some kids who took a powdered milk can and made it into a basket ball hoop.

DSC03487 Elder Pimentel and I at the soccer games on Thursday

DSC03492 This is the ''Chinese City'' of Kilamba. Strangely, no chinese live there. Infact, not to many people live there at all! It's too expensive for Angolans. But we have some really strong members here and we're getting refferrals!

DSC03496 This is an African Spider if I've ever seen one! Elder Pimentel almost stepped on it as we were walking! I hear that Sam Horman found one of these in his shoes over in Madagascar!

DSC03497 Check out how big this sucker is!


July 1, 2013


   It was a big week this week. Elder Harper went home. I got to go on a mini division with Elder Banta in my old Terra Nova area, and it was awesome. We saw A, D the Rasta, and a bunch of old people I knew. I also saved Elder Banta's stomach... but I'll let you ask Elder Banta's family about that story. hahaha
   Afterword, 3 of the departing missionaries came and stole me. I didn't have a lot of cash with me, and so they just took me around with them for their last day. It was a lot of fun. We got to go to the beach and find African shells, and just visit a few places. I'll attach some pictures and show you all.
   But, I'm one of the oldest now. I'm in the next group to go. It's weird.
   Now I'm with Elder Pimentel. He's from São Paulo, and I love him. He's way funny and is just so so SO positive. We're going to get work done this transfer. AWESOME! Also, as you all know, President Merrill finally arrived. He's hilarious. He seems very down to earth and is always cracking jokes. I haven't met him formally yet, as he kind of got attacked by the Brazilian couples and the members at the baptism. But it was way funny. Apparently, he read a bunch of blogs of missionaries, and on one Elder's blog, it said: ''President Thompson is going home and they've called some random guy to be the new president''. President Merrill came and shook his hand and said: ''Hello Elder, I'm some random guy.'' and walked away. Also, he walked up to a group of elders and asked where they lived. One elder replied, ''Oh, I live over in Gamek direita.'' Keeping a completely straight face, and nodding his head, President Merrill just goes: ''Ok. Where the heck is that?''  It was way funny. I'm excited for everything to finally happen. It's definately been a fight up until now. But President Merrill is going to be awesome.
   As for right now, the area is alright. We're a little short on investigators, but I've been making a ton of friends and I'm loving it. Right now, we're working with a woman named Maria P and her two kids, A and C. They're marked to be baptized on the 13th of July. Andrew said he already made facebook friends with me and wants to friend Weston and Owen as well. He speaks a little English because he was born in England. But they're awesome.
   As for the technical stuff, I still haven't gotten any packages or letters. I think the one from Taylor's mom got lost in the mail. :( But I'm still waiting. Also, let me know if I'm spending too much money on souveniers. I feel like I might be becoming a burden, but I'm also almost done. I've just about collected everything I want. But let me know. Also, I think I've been getting all of dad's emails and pictures. I've been getting a lot of them, like today I got the one of Luxana in the pool, but that's the only one.

   Eu AMO vocês. Fiquem bem, e continuem divertir!

Elder Alex Hobbs

DSC03476-  Me with the guys that went home. From left to right: Arrington, Perry, Me, Richter, Harper, and down on the right, Elder Eckman.

DSC03461-  Elder Banta and I at Aida's house!

DSC03459-  Some of the vendors at the art praça. These guys hate me and love me at the same time. 

DSC03463-  Me at the beach!

DSC03483-  The Paulo family came to say goodbye to Elder Perry, and we got a karate pic in.


June 24, 2013


   WOW! I loved these pics! I'm so happy to hear that everyone is enjoying the summer. Weston sure sounds like he's got a busy schedule. 250$ a week for a phone plan... hmmm... sounds pretty average price! Weston, know that girls are only a torment on the mission! hahaha
   Happy Father's day dad. I got you a Bobo shirt! It's the african style and I think you'll like it! It's so cool to hear all these good things about everything.
   This week was just great. The numbers side of things is more or less, but I feel great! I'm just happy here. I'm not sure why! But I'm meeting a lot of really cool people and I'm having a blast.
   Not too much happened in the week. There's been this crazy african cold that's been passing in the mission. It just drains you of energy for 3-5 days and then just leaves. Me along with 2 other missionaries in the house caught it and so we were quarantined for about 2 days. It was a lot of fun though. We played as many card games as we could think of!
   I also went on some divisions with people. It was pretty fun. We explored Africa. Oh yea! I almost forgot to tell you: President Merril arrives on Saturday. Hallelujah. Also,  Elder Harper goes home on Wednesday! He's done it! Woo! I'm getting a new companion named Elder Pimentel. He's Brazilian, and is super funny. He's coming up from Lubango and I'm excited. I can finally perfect my language! Woot woot!
   The Paulo family is the first people that I baptized in Cassequele. They're awesome. But I'm going to attach some pics of this other family that Elder Harper and I are teaching. The P family. It's a single mother and her three kids. They are so much fun. 
   I love you all so so so much!

Elder Alex Hobbs

DSC03453 This is the inside of the P's home... the kids took our cameras. :) That strange thing on the table is a traditional ''mindo'', a squash that they hallow out, dry, and then use for drinking things. Elder Harper got one because he's going home. Way cool.

DSC03443 Me and Elder Brown in the chapel. He's one of my good buds at the house.

DSC03450 Elder Harper, me, and A P

DSC03447 Maria P had us eat some Kisaca. It's seaweed and salt. But she added some beans. It's pretty good I guess.

DSC03281 Do you all remember when I talked about B? This is her. She is way funny.

DSC03413 This is H and A's wedding. I can't remember if I sent that to you already or not.

JULY 17, 2013

July 17, 2013


   It was an awesome week. It was long, and I'm happy it's Pday, but it was good. We had some baptisms of a few people that I haven't gotten to know very well, but it was nice. I've kind of ran out of cash, because I've lost my mission money card, but luckily, Elder Harper has a ton of cash saved up from 2 years, so he's got my back on taxis and what not.
   Yesterday was actually a really fun day. We had church, which is always nice, then 12 duplas of Elders got invited for a big lunch at a member's house. I got to joke around with Elder Chandler a bunch. Then, Elder Harper had a fireside to go to for all of the departing Elders, and that was great. I got to see the Paulo family from Cassequele, and there was some good food there. On the way home, we got on a bus to get home (buses are always an adventure because they go really far distances for cheap... which mean EVERYONE needs to get on. Tuna pack style.) .
    I've been trying to make more of those little adventures and some more friends. I took what mom said at Skype very seriously: to enjoy the last part of my mission. It's been stressful along the two years, but I'm accustomed now. There's not all to much that scares me anymore. haha
    But keep on being awesome guys! I'll see you soon. Love y'all,

Elder Alex Hobbs

03237- Elder Money and I caught a ride with this big truck... then some women and their crates of bananas got on as well!
03258- This is Helder and Ana's family!
03405- Some of the caterpillars I ate!
03413- Helder and Ana's wedding!
03422- A nice shot of the city in the back.
03442- The Paulo family from Cassequele!
03427- African Wonderland

June 10, 2013


   THAT IS SO CRAZY! I had a prompting this week to ask you guys for Aunt Tania's adress so I could write them a letter! I think the Lord is speaking!
   This week was great! Elder Harper and I are finding a lot of new families to teach! We've set a goal to baptize 5 families in 9 weeks! It's going to take some work, but I'm excited for it! President Kretly is from Brazil and will be here until President Merrill arrives. I think things will turn out well.
   I got to see R and P again! I went on a division to Viana, and we stopped by their house. It was so much fun. My love for those two kids is so strong, and I hope that they'll keep strong in the church. They've gone through some really REALLY rough times. But Viana has been good for them I think. They're in school now, and they LOVE it. The homework gives them something to do, as well as they get to meet some friends. Luckily, the branch there has been very supportful to get them the right kind of friends!
   Well, I took Elder Harper to the praça today. He's going home soon, so he's got to get some cool Africa stuff! I also got some cool stuff for all of you! I hope you're excited!
   Alright, so I have a cool investigator to tell you all about: his name is Zu, and he is SICK! He speaks every important language in the world: english, spanish, portugues, chinese, french, russian... everything but italian! He's very smart. He's been through about 3 or 4 churches, and has some very strong faith in Christ. He loves sitting with us. He says that he's seen a difference in his life since we started passing by, and he had great feelings in church. He always tries to give us a ride because he can feel the difference when we leave. His only hold up is the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. It's something ''completly new'' he says, and it's a little hard to accept... for now. He'll get it. I'm positive!
   Well, I hope that you're all doing well. Mom, I'm healthy. I actually have a story for you about my health. Well, the brazilian food strikes again! We had a zone conference with President Kretly. Everyone also got sick. However, on the same night, we went to H and A wedding and ate some cooked caterpillars! Elder Harper and I were fine! I guess the caterpillars have anti-bodies in them! haha

I love you guys. I hope that your summer is great! 

Elder Alex Hobbs