Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 4, 2013


   Sorry that I didn't get to write you some more last week. Elder Chandler was pretty upset about his transfer call. So, we didn't end up going back to an internet cafe.  I have a new companion. His name is Elder Chatwin. He's great. Really nice, super strong.
So, Elder Chatwin and I left, and started walking. We walked for quite a while without anything happening. Then, for one reason to the next, we turned into a bairro that no missionary has ever entered, garunteed. This bairro is litterally a hole in the ground. As I walked through, the scripture in Jeremiah 16:16 was being said in my head; ''from out of the holes in the rocks.'' As we walked, I saw a big red door. I stopped, and then I knocked on it. 
The door opened, and a woman answered. After explaining, she got a big smile on her face, and we were invited in. What was there? Eight people that had gotten together to study the Bible. We had a lesson and taught the Restoration. The Spirit was there, and they're all really excited to receive a copy of the Book of Mormon. I was stunned. It was a miracle from God.
   I feel great now. I'm ready to finish off really strong this transfer. I'm way excited. I'm going to do all I can to help or find whoever I need to find. I'm excited to come back, but I'm going to stay focused this transfer. It was hard at first, because Elder Kearney also went home. ( I saw him in the wrap line at the MTC!) But I'm excited to work again.
   Thank you for all that you've done to help me out. The only thing I might ask is to send me a link so I can renew my driver's license. It's expired, now. I don't know if I can just renew it online, or if I have to wait until I come back. But, that's fine too. I'm just excited to be back. Also, let me know what you think I should bring back, and what I should ditch! 

I love you all with all my heart. I hope that I've done enough on my mission that I deserve to come home to you all in December. I've given it my all.

I love you all so so so much.

Elder Alex Hobbs

DSC03702- Mauro's family, left to right. Mauro, Chris, Maria Conseição, Maria De Fatima

DSC03705- Chandler and I with Guilherme, a friend from Terra Nova who's going to Moçambique for his mission (to the right. I don't know who the guy on the left is, as Angolans like to jump into pictures.)

DSC03711- General Conference, Sunday morning session.

DSC03721- Elder Kearney and I.

DSC03708- Angolan mopping technique.

October 28, 2013


   I'm going to write another letter later today. We just came to see the new transfer calls, but I couldn't resist reading some of your letters as well.
   I thought I would take this moment to reveal my decision. But before that, a quick sidenote: I sent that first letter as a joke. However, I also sent another letter with the subject ''just kidding'' right after! I guess it got lost in cyber space. Sorry to make you all wait another week, I didn't mean to!
   Now for the grand reveal. Drumroll!

I'll be home for Christmas. You can count on me. I'll be home for Christmas: one more transfer for me

   My official release date is now December 11. So I should be getting home sometime on the 12 or 13, because Chandler's date is the 12, so we're not all too sure how that's all going to go. But that's the news with that! I'll write you all a little later today some more! Love ya!
Elder Alex Hobbs

October 21, 2013


   Well, I've come to a decision on when I would like to come home: but I'll just write it at the end of this email to keep you all on the edge of your seats. ;)
   The week went fairly well. We were able to get some good lessons in, and we finally set a baptismal date. There's a kid named Am, and he is Ch's brother. He lives at the P's house, and he's pretty much ready to be baptized. He's a great kid. He'll get dunked on November 9th. Also, M has started to go walking with our branch president. It's really good for him, and I think he's getting excited to serve a mission as well, because his sister is almost done with her application. Cool stuff! We were able to start working with another less active named Os, and he's coming back as well. On friday, we went into the biggest bairro I've ever seen, and taught a man whose backyard is the ocean!
   Numbers got up this week, so that's good. 
   Other than that, nothing really too new. Well, love ya. See you next week.

October 14, 2013


   This week has been a good one. Elder Chandler's foot is feeling better, so we were able to get out and do some good work. D has set some goals with us to stop smoking weed, and is supposedly only going to smoke it 3 times this week, which is a reduction of 4 times a week.
   We started teaching a familyl. Their names are A and O. So far, they really enjoy their visits, and we've had some good lessons with them. A has some doubts each time, and she doesn't read a lot because she's a studying mom of 4 children. O seems to really REALLY like what we teach though. I hope that we see some good progress with them.
   We took Maria F with us to a lesson with A and O as well. Maria F is M's sister (M was the first person that I ever baptized). She's preparing to go on a mission, so it she really liked it, but she was way nervous, I could tell. We also walked with M. He's been less active since I left Cassequele the first time, but he came to church this week! I got to sit next to their family in sacrament, and it felt awesome! Our branch president had an interview with him and tried to motivate him to go on a mission. I think he'll probably start up his papers soon as well. AWESOME!
   As for coming home, I feel that I have a different answer every day. Today, I want to go home for Christmas, yesterday, it was January. I would love to come home for Christmas, and I'm sure that Elder Chandler and Grandma are both praying for that to happen. However, sometimes I fear that I'll go home and feel like I'm supposed to still be here. I love it here too. It's hard. Normally, I wouldn't stress so much, but there are things in my patriarchal blessing that make me worry. (if mom and dad want to look, it's in paragraph 4) I'll need to make a decision soon though. October 23 is probably my absolute last chance. I guess we'll see.
   I love you all so so so very much. Thank you for your letters, pictures, and packages. I'll see you all soon (whether it's this year or next, I don't know).

Love, Elder Alex Hobbs

October 7, 2013


   This was a very good week in the transfer. Elder Chandler's foot was still hurt for most of it, but I was still able to go out and work by doing some divisions. There isn't a TON of news, but I do have some:
   First, D has given up everything except for weed. I'm not sure if I told you that last time, but that's how excited I am! He's a really good guy, he's just a little trapped right now. I know that if he uses some time, the Atonement will free him. He's so close! He's given up alcohol, tobacco, and crack. Way awesome.
   Nothing big happened during the week. But today's Pday has been really awesome! All the Elders got to go to President's house on Sunday night and watch the 2 Sunday sessions. It's weird to watch at 5pm and 9 pm (due to download speeds). But I enjoyed hearing it in English. It seems like the leaders of the church were all inspired to cry out against social changes that our country is slowly letting become the norm. We thought it was awesome. I also enjoyed the many kind, loving invitations to repent. It was great.
   After that, we got to do a ''sleepover'' at the mission office. I didn't sleep too good on the ground, but it was fun all the same. In the morning, we got to go to the beach! It was a ton of fun. First, I caught some crabs, made some shapes in the sand, sat and watched the beautiful ocean, and then built a sandcastle. Remember my stories about Elder Fontaine?  Super fun.
   That's where I am now. We're going to go to the Weggeland's tonight for family home evening, so we're all excited. Sorry that the letter is shorter, but I hope I compensated with some pictures! Also, I recieved my two packages. Rebecca and Peugar should be getting their gifts soon, as well as I have my personal card now, so you can send me the PIN anytime.

I love you all more than you can know,

Elder Alex Hobbs

   3680- Elder Chandler and I at the big District Conference a few weeks ago with Rebecca and Peugar.
   3683-Elder Stewart, my District leader, with his crown of power!
   3691- Me in Africa.
   3687-The missionaries waiting for General Conference to start.
   3681-Gotta get these two to smile!

September 30, 2013


  The week was a long one. Elder Chandler and I were getting really
motivated at the start of it. We had a great family night at Mauro's
house, and everyone felt the spirit and had fun. On tuesday, Elder
Chandler got sick. On wednesday, we had a zone conference, and we both
got really excited to go out and hit the pavement hard. Then, the next
day, we got up, went running, and came back. After about an hour of
being back, Elder Chandler's foot started to hurt, and it made it hard
for him to walk. He says
that he's feeling better now, and that this next week should go much
  It did, however, give me some time to think about what I'm going do
about my release date. I made a decision. It's not a FOR SURE thing
just yet, but I think I'm going to come home for Christmas with you
all. I decided on Saturday, and I haven't talked to President yet, but
I think that's what I'm going to do. I'll give you the FOR SURE answer
this next week, I promise! It's funny though, Elder Chandler has been
playing Christmas music nd we lit my candle. haha I
keep telling the other elders in our house ''merry Christmas''.
  I recieved the packages this week! I love my new tie, and the
photos look great next to my new cash card! haha. If you could send me
the pin, I've got it safe and sound.
  But no new news other than that. I've got some more pictures for
you all, but of course, I'm at a cyber that won't let me send them. I
should be able to get them to you next week, because we should go to
the good one there.
  I do have one really big piece of news: D has been able to quit
drinking, tobacco, pills, and crack. He only needs to nick out weed,
and he should be able to start listening to the lessons! I was super
happy for that!
  Thanks for the pics of Grandpa. They're really cool. I love getting
pictures in the packages and emails that you all send. They're the
best part. Angolans really like them too. haha
  Well, I hope that you all are doing well, and that everything keeps
going the way it should. I'll see you soon! I love you!

Elder Alex Hobbs

September 23, 2013


   The week was a good one. It was still slow as to the work, but overall, I was pretty happy this week. We went to our branch President's house to start things off, and we talked about what his goals for the branch were. He's big into missionary work. He wants us to find any youth possible, and introduce him, because their records aren't all too great. He also wants to start walking with us once a month to get to know where some of the members actually live. I'm way excited for that. Things are finally starting to move along on the branch side of things.
   We've been working a lot lately with a man named D. He's a really cool guy, as he speaks russian, english, portugues, and a few other languages. His big problem is that he's a big marijuana and cocaine user. He knows it's wrong and wants to quit. He already gave up drinking, and he wants to give up tobacco next. He also promised he would stay away from cocaine, as the last time he used it, he ended up in the hospital, and said that it wasn't worth it. D is very... wise. He's pretty much searched the bible himself and understands a lot of basic themes in the gospel. Weed makes you think deep! But he's a very nice man. When we talk with him, I feel that we're talking with a child. He's very humble.
   I don't know if I've told you all yet, but M's sister, Maria, is going to serve a mission. When I left Cassequele a year and a half ago, she was inactive, and piercings filled her face. When I came back, I didn't recognize her, and she wants to walk with us now! I'm stoked. She's going to help M so so so much.
   On friday, we had our integration night. We watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restauration. It went really well, as D came with another investigator named B. They live on the same street and speak english together. Actually, the lesson with B was really funny, because his drunk brother walked in and saw us, stared, then yelled ''A PAZ DO SENHOR!! (the peace of the lord!)'' We told him thanks, and he left for about 2 minutes before he returned with a bible, knelt down on the ground and asked for a prayer. So I started to pray. I thanked God that we could come to his house, and for the blessings we had been given, when all of the sudden, he lifted his hands in the air, started shaking and yelled ''Halleluja! Halleluja Cristo! Halleluja!....'' and then I said amen to stop it, but he just kept going (he was feelin it!). So then B said 'amen' again and his brother suddenly stopped and said 'amen' then was silent. I know how to pray!
   Then, to finish things off, we had District Conference this weekend. It was a lot of fun. I got to see pretty much every convert I've had on my mission, excepting one or two. I love the members here. I have some pictures to send you all, but this cyber isn't all too trustworthy, so next week for sure. I sat next to Peugar, and we played hangman during some of the more boring parts. hehe. But I almost cried as I thought about some of the people that were there. Dani, Aida, Maria Pinto, Lemba, Rebecca and Peugar, the Paulos, Luisa, and so many others were all there. The members here all know my name. It's wierd.
    I'm still not 100% sure about coming home for Christmas. I would have to make a decision by October 28. I'm hoping that I'll have decided by next week though. If I extend, my release date would be January 22 ish. If I come home early, I would arrive home on December 12. Just about a 6 week difference. I talked with President Merrill about it.  
   I'm still unsure. I'm going to do a fast or two this week to find out what God wants from me. Because for me, I'd be happy either way. I love it here so much. It's going to be hard to leave. I want to do all the work I can. It's hard to choose, but I'm just going to do what God says, because I have no idea what the heck to do! haha
   As for college, I'm really thinking about Utah State. But my out of state tuition for the first year would be horrendous, so I have to find a way to get residency. Elder Stewart says that if Grandpa graduated from there, I would get Alumni scholarship, and it would lower the cost A TON. If not, I was thinking about going to BYU provo for the first year (as the cost only matters if you are a member or not), and then transfering to Utah State. Utah State has one of the best pilot courses in the country, apparently. So... that's where I am with that. Did Grandpa actually graduate from there? If so, that would help Utah State's argument quite a bit! haha
   Well, that's the week in rap for yall! I love you all so so so much. I can't wait to see you. I'm excited for the future! I love you all.
Elder Alex Hobbs

Monday, November 4, 2013

September 16, 2013


   This was a pretty slow week. We didn't get to see a ton of people. The assault was pretty hard on Elder Chandler. But I think that better days are still ahead of us. We've got a lot of phone time to burn, and some elders dropped about 11 references on us a few days ago. I'm going to be calling a lot of people this week. 
   But I'm doing well. This week, we got to go to Al's house (he's a member) and make his family tacos! Not everyone liked it, as Angolans have a very bland taste, but Al thought it was great, and he wants to start a taco kart here, because it hasn't quite hit the market! haha
   We were able to see Mauro, the first person that I ever baptized. He's been inactive. But he came to church this week, and his sister (who the last time I saw her she was full of peircings and completely inactive) is going on a mission soon! It's very exciting. I can't wait to see him come back and get the priesthood and perhaps serve his own mission. Mauro is a very good guy.
   We also had a really good lesson with the Paulo family. We taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentence, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end). It was very very spiritual, and I think that it had a very good impact on a few of members of the family that aren't members.
   I've been starting to think of life after the mission. What do you all think of me becoming a pilot for an airline? We've got an Elder here who's been talking it up for quite a while, and it sounds like a good gig! haha. I've also been trying to weigh out all my options for college: BYU-I, BYU, Boise State, Utah State. These are the ones on my mind. Tell me what you all think!
   To answer the questions, this will most definately be my last area. I'm at my ''dying grounds''. Another thing that I wanted to ask you guys about was the subject of my return date. The idea to come home for Christmas has been on my mind a lot lately. Pretty much all of the elders are telling me to go, especially Elder Chandler, because I would end up going with him.  Also, I'd be home for Christmas, and I could get a little of a head start on finding a job to save money for college. Tell me what you all think. I want your honest opinion. :)
   But that's the news for the week. I love you all SOOO much.

Elder Alex Hobbs

September 9, 2013


   The week was a little crazy. Well, Elder Chandler was assaulted about 2 weeks ago. I think that it was really hard on him. President Merrill put me and him together this transfer. We're going to be serving together in Cassequele B, my first area. It's been really fun. President Merrill told me to make sure that Elder Chandler goes out happy. I'm sure as heck excited! I get to go back and do it with my best friend on the mission! Not a whole lot of lessons this week, but it was still really good. We're going to see some miracles I think!
   C finally got baptized with her cousin, N. I've wanted to baptize her since I first got to Angola, but for silly reasons it was delayed until now. But it was good. I was happy. I'm feeling a lot better now.  But now I know that this last part of my mission is going to be perfect. I have full faith that I'm going to finish out strong and happy. I might come home a little fat, because we get fed a lot in Cassequele. Time to brush off the dust off of our P90X DVDs!
   But I got to see Mauro this week. He was the first person I got into the font with. He's been a little inactive lately, but Elder Chandler and I had a great lesson with him. He felt the Spirit, that's for sure. I also saw the Paulos. They are still just all happy and fun loving, nothing new there. I've also talked with a bunch of all the old branch members and it was a blast!
   Shoes in Peru? Seminary? Hunting? Back to school? Wow. Life is moving on over there. I feel a little paused here. Most of everything is the same each day. But with the new area, we've got to find new people, so Elder Chandler and I are going to go on a lot of adventures. It'll be good.

I'm doing well. I love to see the pictures and hear the stories from you all. I love you. I can't wait to see you all in 4 months-ish.


Elder Alex Hobbs

September 3, 2013

   The week was good. A R (A member of the P family) had her baby this week. She's a cutie. Also C and N are good to go to be baptized, so that should be really cool. Elder Pimentel and I have been working really hard, and I think more success is on the way. I've been a little run down, but I'm still doing very very well here.
   Please say some prayers for Elder Chandler, he's passing through a very hard time right now. Pray for his family in California.
   But things are going pretty normally here. We were able to sit with a ton of recent converts this week. I also learned a new patty cake here with Namara. I also got to participate in a baby blessing for the first time. That was pretty neat. I'm not all too sure what to write right now. I guess I'll tell you all about some of our investigators.
   Maria Pinto's family is quickly becoming my favorite one here. Since they've been baptized, they've been very strong in the church. Maria herself got a calling as a relief society teacher. She's doing very well. The kids are all well. Andrew got the aaronic priesthood about two weeks ago. I come to find out that he's been giving some sick blessings to people, so we had to explain a few things to him. haha. But he looks up so much to the Elders here. He'll be going on a mission when he turns 18, no doubts.
   L and A are doing great. Lemba sent us home with a bunch of food a few nights ago. We're going to be eating speghetti for quite a while now.... haha. But it really did help a ton. They're just working on their marriage now. L's faith is on fire, but A thinks that he's mister righteous man, because he served a catholic mission back in the day. So, he misses church sometimes. He knows that the church is true, but I think he thinks he's above it sometimes! haha
   Neves, a less active man, came yesterday. He's living with another woman now. He was described to me as ''baptized without a chance.'' It's sad. But he came and I think that he liked it a lot. Now we just need him to keep coming. I love the guy a lot. It feels really good to hug him each time I see him.
   Well, these are the people that I think of most these days. I hope that I can help them come the rest of the way, but transfers are on the way. I'm excited for the last of my mission. I think that some really good things are on the way!
I love you all so much. Thank you for all you do for me.
Elder Alex Hobbs
PS If possible, I would really like some flossers for my teeth. The floss here is terrible and won't go behind one molar. :)

August 26, 2013


   I had a very fun week this week. To start off, I went on a division with Elder Fontaine. He is so funny. It was a blast for me! I guess I don't know how to explain, but it was pretty much nerd talk the whole way through. I'm still the same me! haha
   We had a lot of success in a lot of ways this week. We were able to get some new investigators, we had a baptism (L), we brought a less active man (A) to church, and... drumroll... we were able to go on a SAFARI in our zone today! It was fun. A lot of the new Elders were way excited to go. We saw SO MANY girrafes! I'll send you some pictures.
   So first was L's baptism. She is a great girl. She's about 13 or 14 (we don't know because she was born in a provinance) and is still learning to read in Portugues. She was a reference from her aunt, and she's been coming to church long before I got to the area, so Elder Pimentel and I decided to baptize her! haha. It was good.
   Next, was A, our less active. Since I've been here, he's never come to church. I think he felt guilty about something. But yesterday, after an investigator fell through, we went to his house instead and he actually was there! We went to church with him. After the second hour, I asked him how the class was and he just said: ''It feels really good here. I'm glad that I came.'' I'm way excited, because he also has a friend who's less active as well, and I hope that they start coming to church together. For me, less active work is just as rewarding if not more rewarding than baptisms. It feels so good when they come back. I can't explain it.
   Not a whole lot of news. A, one of the P  family, or in other words, C's aunt, had her baby. She was really cute, and she was excited to have us over. Chelsea will get bapitzed in two weeks. We're excited!
   It was a regular week other than all this. I wish I could write more, but I'm not all to sure about what to write! The church is growing faster and faster. I've been trying to put a big focus on branch coordination, because once the branches get strong, we'll be able to baptize like crazy! But for now, we're going at a controlled pace. We had over 100 people in our sacrament yesterday. Which is very good for the Benfica branch. We'll probably split again when we hit 200. So maybe 1 more year!

  I love you all so so very much. I'm excited to skype at christmas and then to come home 3 weeks later!


Elder Alex Hobbs

PS Luxana got another letter from Rebecca. Rebecca really wants a reply letter! :)

August 19, 2013


   School already? That was fast. Summer is just starting up here. It's been getting just a lil' bit toasty for Angola, but all the members still complain that it's cold. I won't lie, I do get a little cold with them sometimes. I'm probably going to die in January. I've been told that my current date for return is January 22, but that could change by a few days. If you're marked for the first part of February, I'll be there... unless I get voluntold. Rare, but possible.
   This week has been really super fast for me. I think that the transfer will also be really really fast. We had a lot of lessons done with less active members and recent converts, so it was good. We've been helping some of the young women in the branch start doing visiting teaching. They first gave us the excuse that they didn't know where eachother had lived, so we showed them. Then, they didn't have the family's number and address, so we got that for them too. They've planned a day this week to go and pass by the house. I really hope that they do, because visiting and home teaching is something that will make or brake this place. We need our newer members to get fellowshipped fast. Elder Pimentel really likes to just baptize like crazy, but I'm trying to get some fellowshipping done at the same time. Luckily we're in the most organized branch in the country!
   I'm glad to hear that Luxana got her letter. I thought she would like that. I saw the video of Weston flinging mud at Mom. He probably thinks he's so tough does't he? haha. Owen's looking like he's getting ripped. That's really cool. I hope I can do the same when I get back. Keep P90X ready for me! 
   My current hopes for school is to go in the fall, so that I can work a little, save up some cash, and also do P90X and get ripped. I'm not sure when the cutoff is for fall, but let me know and I can work through it with you. I'm not even 100% sure where I want to go. BYU-I looks nice, but I am also considering going to a school with Taylor. I haven't talked or planned too much with him yet either though. Also, a lot of missionaries are suggesting BYU provo. It would be fun, but I still don't know what to do with all of that. What do you all think? 
   I got to do another Helping Hands service project on Saturday. Yellow vest and everything. It was a blood drive. The health department came and set up some lawn chairs in the chapel, and did tests, applications, the whole bit. The church provided lunch and missionaries to help out (no, we did not donate). We got asked to go try and advertise in front. It was very awkward to ask people for their blood on the spot like that. Most people promised to come back for lunch and never came back. There was one drunk man who wanted to donate, but we told him that if he had been drinking, he couldn't. He was a little disappointed, but he'll live.
   Not a whole lot of new things happening. Tonight, we have a family night with L and we're inviting a less active girl to come, and L's bringing some family members. It should be good. L's also told us that she's going to be married soon. I'm excited for that.
   Well, I love you all a ton. Please keep sending pics, vids, and details. I miss you all so much!

Love Elder Alex Hobbs

DSC03627 Helping Hands! (Mãos que Ajudam)

DSC03628 This is the bus that pulled up into the chapel with all of their blood supplies. They got 15 litres by the end of the day.

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August 12, 2013


   The week here was a pretty normal one. There wasn't a whole lot that happened. We got a lot of lessons in, as well as we got to baptize. I think that the big success of the week this week was that we found a few less active members and had some really good lessons with them. They didn't come to church though, and I was pretty disappointed. 
   I guess I have one really funny story. We went to teach this lady named C. in Kilamba, and she was really nice. We sit down, and teach her the lesson of the Restoration. It was pretty shaky at first because she kept getting calls, and people were running in and out, but luckily, she's a journalist, so she was really focused and taking notes. It was shaky up until we got to the story of the first vision. I told the story, and everything got quiet. I felt a really warm feeling in my heart. I was sure that it was the Spirit. We explained what it was that happened, then looked at C. She was silent, just staring at the picture in the pamphlet. She looks up, and says: ''I don't believe it.'' DANG IT! Dangit, dangit, DANGIT! Luckily, she agreed to read and pray. She wasn't against what we had taught, but she just didn't have the belief yet. I'm happy that she was open enought to at least read and pray though.
   But, I don't think I have any new stories to tell. Sorry about that. But, I took a bunch of pictures! I hope you all enjoy them!

I love you all so so so much,

Elder Alex Hobbs

PS, I lost my cash card. I think it fell from my pocket in a taxi. Please cancel the card when possible. I'm not in a hurry for cash right now, as I don't need any more souveniers any time soon. But I would love to get another package full of pictures from you all! :)

DSC03602 This is A. She got baptized on Saturday, she's also one of L's children. She got some glasses, so we decided to take a picture.
DSC03613 A cool sunset on the Chinese City of Kilamba
DSC03616 Some kids threw rocks and dirt and garbage into the baptismal font, so Elder Pimentel and I ran by to clean it out!
DSC03620 Luanda, Angola baptisms on the 10 of August
DSC03623 (Left to Right) Elder Pimentel, A (L's daughter), Me, Joice (Lemba's grand daughter), President Merrill, Maria (L's daughter)
DSC03624 This was really funny: Elder Pimentel had a head cold, and his sinuses were clogged up. So sister recommended that he breathe in some steam from a pot of boinling water. Also, she soaked a rag in the water and put it on Elder Pimentel's face. It was really funny because he was a little scared he couldn't breathe. He kept saying: ''How do you say 'afogar' in Ingles?'' ('Afogar' means 'to drown'). It was really funny.