Sunday, January 18, 2009

¡Otra semana en el paraíso!

January 12, 2009

First of all: THANK YOU!!!!! Navidad llegó un poco atrasado, but nonetheless, our Christmas in January was amazing! You guys sure know how to make the poor, starving, South-American missionary happy! :) And I love the ties -- they're my new favorites! The pictures I'm sending are of our Christmas after Christmas on January 9th. I also received some letters from some friends and a package from Aunt Cathy with chocolates, a tie, and socks! Man, am I spoiled or what? What can I say? The life of a missionary is great!

Oh, and about the package from the Lemmons, I think that Aunt Cathy accidently slipped in a note for Jacob. So, you probably will want to tell Jacob that Aunt Cathy says hi, wishes him the best for after the mission and with his future wife, etc.

Well, you can probably tell that I got another haircut. This time it's not as short as it was before, but the lady that cut it did take off I little more than what I wanted. Oh well, at least I don't have to get another haircut for a while! Oh yeah, the haircut cost $1000 pesos (a little less than 2 dollars), just to let Dad know. I know that he likes to hear about the prices of things down here. I think that you can also purchase wild south american hamster (jamster silvestre de sur América) for pretty cheap too. :)

And now, the paragraph for babelfish:

Esta semana fue buena. Recibí la habilidad de hablar un poco más y entender un poco más. Es verdad que hay milagros en el mundo hoy! Yo y mi compañero desafiamos a dos niños (Matias y Kimberly) para ser bautizados. Me encanta esta obra misional, y aunque tengo muchas pruebas cada día, sé que Dios está para ayudarme y fortalecerme por los desafíos de la misión. Si o si, seguiré adelante en la obra de Dios! Me sentí muy contento a causa de la misericordia de nuestro Padre Celestial. ¿Pueden creer que solamente puedo hablar en Castellano (Español)? Y no sé como, pero ¡puedo explicarme! (más o menos...)

This week is the start of my second cambio with Elder Cañellas. I started teaching classes of English this Wednesday, and we had a great turn out -- two people! Alexas and Kimberly! :) But, the word is spreading, so were planning for more people this coming Wednesday. A lot more. I'll let you know how it goes.

Well, just to let you know, the church is true, the sky is blue, and I love my life! Keep up being amazing, and I'll talk to you on el Dia de Mamás. ¡Chau! ¡Les quiero!

Elder Hobbs

PS. Remeber the picture of the churrasco some weeks past? I had my second churrasco today, and it was delicious. $3000 pesos, but worth every one. :) Am I fat or what? Also, the chocolates are almost gone. I like to eat a lot. And my companion also. And also the people here in Chile LOVE north American chocolate! Fun, eh?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year (Baptisms and Ties)

January 5, 2009

Happy 2009! Whoa, I still can't believe how fast last year flew by! But, I've decided that this year is going to be the best year of my life. No joke. :)

Okay, first of all let me explain some of the photos:

The first two are from our baptism this past Saturday. We baptized a young woman named Joaquina who has been coming to church for 3 years or more! Her Grandpa, Hermano Aguayo, baptized and confirmed her.

The next photo is of my companion and his ties. How crazy, eh? I guess after two years, we missionaries tend to collect a lot of ties since that's pretty much the only thing we can buy for "fun."

Next, I have some pictures from last week that I don't think I sent from the beach, the caves, the Chilean flag on top of the Morro, the barbeque, etc. It's my companion, Elder Cañellas, who is cooking the asado and Elder Sommermeyer at his side. The Missionaries in the final picture are as follows (left to right): Elder Suasnaba (our zone leader), Elder Sommermeyer (our district leader), Elder Hansen, and Elder Silva. What great missionaries! :)

Bueno, entonces voy a escribir un poco en Castellano (Español) porque no quiero pensar en inglés. Loco, ¿no? Si mi inglés está empeorando, ¡no se preocupen! Creo (espero) que esto sea una buena señal. Esta obra misional es asombrosa. Mi Español está mejorando un poco cada día, y aunque cada día es dificil, estoy aprendiendo mucho mas paciencia. :) Mi meta por este año nuevo es olvidar inglés para que la llamada en el día de Madres sea muy incomodo! No, en realidad inglés es bueno, y vamos a empezar clases de inglés este miercoles para encontrar más investigadores y ayudar a las miembros también. ¿Tienen más ideas para encontrar y enseñar más? Papá, ¿Qué hizo en su misión?

Okay, time for English. This week has been really great. My first cambio in the mission is over! Can you believe it? For my second cambio, I'm still with Elder Cañellas, but our zone was changed. I'm not quite sure how that works...

This past Sunday was kind of fun. It was fast and testimony meeting, and for some reason the pulpit in our chapel can't move. So, when there is a member who is really short, he or she can't see over the pulpit! It's pretty funny, especially because there are a lot of shorter individuals here in Arica.

I gave some of my first blessing in Spanish this week also. I was able to administer one annointing and one sealing of the annointing, and it was pretty hard! I think that's something I still need to practice. It's even more difficult because we need to speak in the familiar "tu" form for blessings, but I never practice tu except for in blessings and prayers. I need to start practicing it more!

This past week, I also had the opportunity to have a companion exchange with Elder Hansen, a gringo missionary with five months in the mission. It was kinda fun because he didn't know my area, so I had to take the role of senior companion! It was tough but a great experience to test my language skills, my orientation skills, and my leadership.

New Years was awesome also! We set the alarm and went and watched some fireworks (fuegos artificiales) on a little hill next to our apartment (Pensión). I still can't believe it's 2009 already! Where does the time go?

Oh yeah, before I forget, I haven't received the package yet, but that's probably because it's sitting in Antofagasta. It's a long way to come here to Arica! We usually get packages delivered every week or two, so I'm crossing my fingers for tomorrow! :) Oh, and if it is possible, could you dearelder me some recipes? That would be nice. Especially recipes for breakfast. We have pancakes every morning, but we're starting to engordar, so we need some more ideas. Thanks

Well, I hope you know that I love you and that this missionary work is amazing. Thank you for your letters and support! I love you so much, and I'll see you in a couple years!


December 29, 2008

¡Hola mis padres! ¿Cómo estaí? (forgive my Chilean slang...)

It was great to hear from you on Christmas! Sorry I was a little awkward on the phone; it's something I still have to get used to -- speaking in English! Haha! No, but estas fiestas have been amazing. The people, the food, the spirit... There's nothing in the world like the mission!

So, for your Christmas present, I decided to send a bunch of pictures. I wish I could send them all, but there just is never enough time! Here are some details about those that I'm sending:

The first is the box of junk-food my companion and I were sent home with. This was the beginning of our fat-fest!

The next is playing the violin to accompany the missionary choir of Arica. We were performing in the Central of Arica on Christmas Eve, and as we performed, other missionaries were out doing some proselyting. It went great!

The next photo is with Hermana Veliz, a really sweet widow in our ward who has two special daughters. She really reminds me of Grandma Pitcher! Hermana Veliz gave my companion and I little traveling bags filled with toiletries. They are great!

The next photo is taken with la familia Mamani in our ward. We always visit their family to share messages and enjoy their company.

The next two photos are our my Christmas with my companion. We opened presents at Midnight on Christmas morning (don't worry -- we had permission to stay up late!). I got an agenda from Hermana Senda Flores and the travelling kit from Hermana Veliz. And guess what? Everyone spelt my name either Elder Job or Elder Jobs! How funny!

The next two photos are of our baptism this last Saturday of Carola Wilms. She was baptised by her pololo (boyfriend) René during the Noche Blanca (White Night) with 10 other investigators from our stake. It all went really well! I also played the violin for 2 special musical numbers before returning the instrument to the Stake President, Presidente Chavez.

Finally, the rest of the pictures are from today. We visited a place called La Cueva with tons of awesome caves right by the beach! It was really fun. The pictures of the City from high up are taken from a place called el Morro. It is a famous monument in Chile where a war against Peru was won. And isn't the city beautiful??? Whoever says the desert is ugly has never visted Arica: la ciudad de primavera eterna (the city of eternal spring)!

And of course, more food. There are two pictures with lots of meat. Yes mom, I'm spoiled here with steak and papitos! What can I say? It was like I was made for this mission! :) My companion cooked up a bunch of steak and meat and we had an amazing barbeque with the familia Casas and some other missionaries. It was wonderful! Needless to say, I weigh mas o menos 300 lbs. No joke.

Also, yesterday I had the first opportunity to give a blessing in Spanish -- to a little baby! I was chosen by one of the mrembers to seal the annointing of his little baby and give a blessing. What a humbling experience!

I have loved this weeks. I have received the gift of tongues in my instances, and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for this opportunity to serve and work. I love you! Have a wonderful New Year!

¡Feliz Navidad! ALMOST!

December 22, 2008

Wow, it's really hot today! ¡Hace muchismo calor! I still can't believe that it's Christmas this week. Where does the time go? It's been fun during las fiestas de Navidad. And the work has been great!

Thanks for your wonderful emails and love! I'm looking forward to the phone-call on Thursday, but my companion calls it the "llamado tronky" (the trunky phone-call) that makes you miss home! Anyways, I think I'll be calling for one hour around 5-7pm Chile time (1-3pm Albuquerque time), so be home! :) Oh, and I'll probably be calling around 8 am (Albuquerque time) on Wednesday to set up the call on Thursday and make sure everything is okay. This call is only like 5 minutes or less.

I'm sending some pictures again. The first is with the niños de la familia Nuñez. We had a family home evening with them last week, so we went ahead and took some pictures while we were at it. I love the people here in Chile! They are all so amazing.

The next two pictures are of another one of our meals. Pizza is pretty big here in Chile, and when we eat pizza, we tend to have large portions. Like 5 pizzas for 2 people! :) Of course, I'm not one to complain. I think I can handle the large portions of Chile -- it's in my blood.

The next two pictures are of my first baptism! We taught a young man (14 years old) named Jan. He's awesome! His baptism was on Saturday, and he was baptized by a priest in our ward (Denis). Denis is on the left and Jan is on the right. We have another baptism this coming Saturday. The investigator's name is Carola, and she is the girlfriend of one of the members of our ward. Hopefully I'll get some pictures to send because she is amazing also!

Elder Cañellas and I have been working hard and we have found some amazing people to teach. One is a lady named Marisol. The miracle with Hermana Marisol is that whenever we teach her, I can actually speak and understand, which is a rare occurance. I love the spirit of missionary work and teaching the gospel! There's really nothing that compares with it. Marisol has been prepared for the Gospel, and it's amazing to see her spirit grow!

This week, we also taught a young 12-year-old named Dante. When we started teaching, he told us that he didn't believe in God. But, when we talked a bit more, he told us that he really wanted to believe in God. He came to church on Sunday on his own, and he stayed all 3 hours. He told us that he really loved it and that he wants to come again. What a miracle!

This week was pretty interesting. I edited a Graduate Thesis (in English) for one of the members of our ward. I also taught a class on Primeros Auxilios (first aid) and taught how to measure blood pressure (in Spanish!). The bad part of this lesson was after I was finished, the mercury blood pressure gauge (sphygmomenometer) fell and broke! So, I'm going to pay around $40 to replace it. But don't worry -- I have the money in my emergency fund! :)

It also seems that I get to use all my talents on the mission. I've had some opportunities to tune guitars, and I might start up English classes or guitar classes in our ward. Also, every time we need a special musical number, it seems I'm volunteered to sing. Go figure. :) Oh, and I think I'm giving violin lessons to an investigator this coming Saturday. Crazy, eh?

Anyways, I love this mission. I don't think there's much more to say than that! It's still pretty hard to learn the language and understand everything, but I'll keep at it. Hopefully within a couple months I can do better. I think I'm just trying to translate in my head or something! :p But, it's fun nonetheless. Hopefully I'll be able to speak a little Spanish to you on Thursday (Christmas)!

the only Elder Hobbs! Is Jacob really home? How crazy! :)

Eating lots of food and getting gigantic

December 15, 2008

This week has been amazing! But then again, when is it not? :) The culture here in Chile suits me well, I think. We are required to eat a lot almost everywhere we go, and if we don't finish our food or don't eat some of everything that is on the table, it's considered rude. How great, huh? This is why I'm gonna gain tons of weight here in Chile! The food is great and in large proportion, and we drink soda and juice all day long. Mom, I think that you'd love it down here! Oh yeah -- the junk food is wonderful too. It's probably not the best thing for my health, but that's alright.

I'm sending some more pictures from this week! Most of them were taken today, including the pictures at the playa (beach) and the jigante "Churrasco Americano" (the huge sandwich with beef, ham, eggs, cheese, etc.). It's been a fun p-day so far, but I still have a lot of things to get done before 6! Where does the time go?

We have two baptisms planned this month: one on Saturday with a boy named Jan Lopez and one a week from Saturday with a lady named Carola. It has been a tough week, but I can tell the Spanish is coming little by little. And to answer your question, no, the Spanish isn't coming naturally yet! I wish it was and that I could understand everything, but that just isn't the case. I did get to see the First Presidency Christmas Devotional yesterday, but of course, it was in Español. Oh well... I could understand President Monson's talk (más o menos) and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but that's about it. It's great fun! ;)

I love it here in Chile. The weather is still great (of course), and the people are even greater. I know the language will come eventually, so I'll just go forth and serve for now!

Oh, and I don't think I sent a tie to Sean Green. That's kind of strange, but it's a good idea! I wish I could do something awesome for everyone for Christmas! What can I do for our family? Maybe I can send a box that will arrive sometime around Mother's Day? Or maybe I can send some pictures of awesome gifts? Let me know!

Well, I think that's it for now. I will continue studying Spanish, serving, and trying to bring everyone unto Christ. Thank you for your support and love! It really is amazing. My companion is the only member of the church in his family, and I know it must be crazy difficult for him. Thanks for all you do for our family!

Elder Hobbs de Arica