Monday, May 25, 2009

Sam and Companion are assaulted!

May 25, 2009 (Zone activity, barbecue, ultimate Frisbee, etc.)

I have had quite the exciting week. I'm really loving the mission! First of all, I'm sending some pictures that I took today at our Zone Activity. We went to a park that is the border of our area and had a barbeque. Also, there is a little zoo in the middle of the park, so we went and saw some of the animals! It was really fun. We played some ultimate frisbee (which is nice because we gringos have a chance against all of the latinos, unlike when we play soccer), looked at the animals, got spit on by a bunch of llamas, and the like. It was great.

Oh, before I forget, my companion, Elder Rivas (he's from San Salvador, El Salvador in Central America) wants to see pictures of when we went to Japan. Do you think you can send him some neat pictures? Especially of all the statues and things. I don't know why, but he's really interested in things like that. It would be kind of neat to show them to him.

Also, my credit card for Sandia National Laboratories is starting to fall apart, and I'm not sure if I can use it much longer. Dad, is there a way that I can receive a new credit card in case of emergencies (ie. when I want to buy extra food and don't have enough money)? That would be really awesome.

This week, we had some great success in our sector. We found a few new investigators and left to work a lot with the members in our ward. It's a bit tough to get to know a new ward, all the members, investigators, street names, etc, but I think I'm finally feeling a little bit more comfortable. Here in Copiapó, there is actually a ton of green. It's getting cold in the night and in the morning, so I'm having a big coat sent to me from the mission office in Antofagasta. I guess Arica is the only city of Eternal Spring! :)

Yesterday was really exciting. Mom, you might not want to read this part... After a really successful day, we were walking back to our house (oh yeah! We're living in a really small, cute little house right now. It's fun) in front of a supermarket called Deca. As we were walking, a crazy looking guy with a mohawk and gauge earing walked out in front of us and started asking if we were from the US. It turns out he was a neo-nazi. My companion said he was from El Salvador and I told him I was from Chile. He then started yelling obsenities in English, and my companion stepped in front of him and told me to go into the store. As I went, the neo-nazi slapped my companion really hard in the face. We went into the store, and the crazy guy followed us and hit me in the head. However, the security guards stopped him from coming into the store. We called the police (los carabineros) and the like, and we had to go to the hospital to fill out some paperwork in order to arrest the neo-nazi. The crazy thing is that my companion and I don't have even a mark from where the guy hit us. It didn't hurt at all, and I can tell that we were really protected by our Heavenly Father. It was a neat experience, one to tell the kids. ;) So don't worry, mom. I'm okay. We're being as careful as possible, especially with people who are anti-USA.

Well, I'm feeling a bit lazy so I'll let you go at that. The mission rocks and I'm loving every minute! I love you all, and take care! Thanks for writing!


Élder Hobbs

PS. Here is an excerpt from my letter to the mission president this week. I don't know, maybe you'll enjoy reading it!

Esta semana pasada fue excelente, y tuvimos mucho éxito. Si, un neonazi nos asaltó, pero sé que Dios nos protegió para que no recibiéramos daño. En realidad, esta experiencia va a ser muy graciosa por mis hijos algún día. No obstante, quiero que nada mal nos pase a mí ni a mi compañero. Si hay algo que nosotros podemos hacer para prevenir una situación así, estamos dispuestos a escuchar.

Aprendí esta semana mucho más paciencia, fe y humildad. Mi compañero Élder Rivas es buenísimo y estoy aprendiendo mucho de él. A veces me sentí triste (como ayer en la mañana) y no sé porque. Pero, pedí el consejo de mi compañero y me recordé que sólo necesito olvidarme a mi mismo y enfocarme en las necesidades de los demás. Para mí, esto es muy difícil. Pero, estoy aplicando este consejo en la obra y puedo testificar que es cierto. Si me siento deprimido, tengo que encontrar a cualquiera que tiene más problemas que yo y ayudarla a sentirse mejor. Y, en el proceso, me siento mucho mejor. ¡Qué milagro!

Ayer (domingo), tuvimos una lección dividida con Elizabeth, una menos activa en nuestro barrio. Fuimos a la casa de su tía y ¡entramos altiro! Enseñamos la primera lección, y salió muy bien. Esta tía (Mariela) es muy receptiva al mensaje de la restauración. Nuestra lección era como una del CCM donde todo sale bien. Estoy muy animado de verla otra vez y verificar como le fue la lectura en 3 Nefi 11. Oro que ella reciba una respuesta a su oración, y ¡espero que ella ore!

Here is the babelfish translation:

This past week was excellent, and we were much successful. If, a neoNazi assaulted to us, but I know that God protected to us so that we did not receive damage. In fact, this experience is someday going to be very graceful by my children. However, I want that nothing badly passes nor companion to us. If there is something us we can make to prevent a situation thus, we are arranged to listen. I much more learned this week patience, faith and humility. My companion Élder Rivas is best and I am learning much of him. Sometimes I felt sad (as yesterday in the morning) and I do not know because. But, I requested the advice of my companion and I remembered that only I need to forget to me same and to focus me in the needs of the others. For me, this is very difficult. But, I am applying this advice in the work and can testify that it is certain. If I feel gotten depressed, I must find to whatever I have more problems than and help it to feel better. And, in the process, I feel far better. What miracle! Yesterday (Sunday), we had a lesson divided with Elizabeth, one less active in our district. We went to the house of its aunt and we entered altiro! We teach the first lesson, and came out very well. This aunt (Mariela) is very receptive to the message of the restoration. Our lesson was like one of the CCM where everything comes out well. Very I am animated to see it and to verify again as Nefi 11 were to him the reading in 3. Gold that it receives an answer to her oration, and I hope that she prays!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Area! Lot's of dirt! Desert!

Transferred (May 18, 2009):

I don't have much time to write, just want to tell you that I love you and that I'm doing great! I'm sending some pictures from my 18-hour trip from Arica to Copiapó. I'm not sure mom would like to make the journey since she likes the green, rolling hills. You have to get used to the dirt if you live in a place like the Atacoma desert.

My new companion is Elder Rivas. He is amazing! A great teacher and a great missionary. Our sector is called Los Pimientos, and the work is a little slow. About 70 people attend church regularly, and we don't have many investigators. But, I'm super excited to get to work and help this ward grow! The chapel is really neat also. It has 2 stories, even though it's really small. We have Sacrament Meeting upstairs. There's also a ping-pong table upstairs and a tiny kitchen. It's fun! :)

I really love the members in my new ward. They are really great, and feel especially blessed with a gift of words to speak, understand, teach, and everything! It's still pretty crazy to think that I can speak Spanish. It's a true miracle, even if the Spanish I speak is filled with the slang from Chile and tons of non-existent words in other countries. All the more crazy!

I don't know if I've told you this before, but there are always a bunch of earthquakes here in Chile! It's really fun. Yesterday, we had an earthquake before church. It was actually pretty strong, and my companion and I were laughing because we said that God was waking up our investigators so that they could come to church!

Well, not much more to say. Thanks for sending me the email from Dillon -- I'll write him as soon as I can! But can you tell him for me that I can't email him? Still, he can see all of my emails and my blog if he wants! He can email me also; I just can't email him back. :p

Day after Mother's Day (May 11, 2009)

Two Baptisms! (May 11, 2009):

Wow, this week was amazing. I just want to tell you guys that I have the most amazing family ever. And, I'm loving every week of the mission! Today I received a phone call from our zone leader. I'm being transferred to Copiapó tomorrow! That means I'll have to take a bus ride for 18 hours to go to the middle of the desert with no beach or anything. It will be awesome. My companion said that he saw rain over there a couple of times (not anything huge, just little drizzles), so maybe I'll see rain in the near future! That would be neat. :)

This week was amazing. We had 2 baptisms on Saturday during a "Noche Blanca" -- Maritza and Oriana. My companion baptized Oriana (in the photos, she is 12 years old but looks a lot older...), and Ricardo, Maritza's son, baptised his mom. This day was one of the greatest days of my life, to feel the spirit of God so strong during the baptism and to see the pure joy in the face of Maritza and Ricardo when Maritza came up out of the water. It was something I will never forget. I also had the opportunity to confirm Oriana a member of the church and give her the Gift of the Holy Ghost. My Spanish was almost perfect, which is a true miracle because I was speaking in "Tu," and I usually only use "usted" in the mission. I'm so grateful for the chance to be a missionary and be a part of the many miracles that were wrought in my sector, Simón Bolívar. I will always be thankful to my Heavenly Father for the many miracles I have seen here in the mission field!

Oh, and the funny story I told dad on the phone: we were teaching Maritza about the Word of Wisdom, we asked her if she had any problems with this commandment. She told us that one time she used to smoke cigarrettes because she was working in the home of a governor and sweat a lot. Also, she couldn't really afford to buy deodorant, and since cigarrettes were much cheaper in Bolivia at this time, she smoked to cover the smell of her body odor! How funny, huh? She also told us that it was easy to stop smoking after she quit her job. She is the funniest lady! One day, you will have to get to know her. I really do love the people that I am working with, so it will be hard to leave them tomorrow. But hopefully I'll keep in touch with all of them!

Well, I don't know what more to say. I love the mission. I'm looking forward to serving in my new sector tomorrow, after the 18 hour bus ride. I'll tell you what it's like next week! I love you all -- write me!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wow, another week is gone, and I'm flying high!

May 5, 2009 Visit to Chungara (4500 m = 14,764 ft)

I'm back! I'm betting you thought that I forgot to email you, but don't worry. I'm still alive. Today, we had an activity where we drove in a bus for 4 hours, visited the lake Chungará, and then we returned 4 hours. It was fun. ;) It reminded me of all our trips to Idaho where we drove one day, stayed a day, and drove back. Ah, the memories...

Chungará is at an elevation of 4500 meters, which is really high. Especially since we started at sea level. There were a lot of sick missionaries in the bus, and one missionary (my good friend) fell on the ground when we left the bus and started convulsing. And he's not epileptic. But, all is well, and no one died. We just took pictures, walked around for a while, and played with the llamas. In the bus, we watched Remember the Titans and Narnia. It went great! But now, we really don't have much time before we have to go to our first appointment. So, wish me luck!

This week was really tough, but there has to be trials in this life, especially after all of the blessings my companion and I have received. We had 8 people ready to be baptized the 9th of May, but 4 of the baptisms fell through. One didn't recieve her permission to get married when she thought she would (so we just have to postpone the baptism), one man still has a few doubts and doesn't feel the tranquility that he wants (though we know he will also be baptised soon), and two young boys that we are teaching lost permission from their mom. The worst part about the last case is that the mom is also a member of the church, inactive, who once worked in the temple! And now, she doesn't even remember how to pray! She told us that she will not allow her sons to be baptized until they are 18, or if we can somehow teach their father and help him accept the gospel too (he doesn't live with them). This made my companion and I really sad, especially to see the disappointment in Estéfano and Jovani, the two sons. But, we know that we did all that we could, and we'll keep on working with these children (Estéfano is 11 and Jovani is 9). And, maybe we can help their father!

But still, even with the disappointments that come in this life, I will never be disappointed in myself. I know that I did all I can, and everyone in this life has their agency to choose. I just pray that the people I teach will remember the spirit they felt and return to learn the truth again someday!

Still, there are tons of miracle in this great missionary work every day. And, we still have 4 people who are going to be baptized on Saturday! One of the miracles that my companion and I witnessed is when we were teaching Maritza, the mom of Ricardo (a 28 year old convert of 3 years who just returned from a full time, 2-year mission). We were teaching her months ago but saw no progress. Right when her son returned, we saw her understanding of the gospel increase along with her testimony. Though she was a little fearful of accepting a baptismal date, last week she did! She now tells us that she is SO happy and excited to be baptized this Saturday by the hands of her son, Ricardo. Wow, it was a true miracle! And, this past Saturday, we had a barbeque (asado) at their house, and it was incredible! Mmmm, the blessings of being a missionary... :)

Well, I guess that's about it for today. I love you all, and I will talk to you on Sunday!!!!

Mother's day call instructions

April 27, 2009 (One more thing...)

Hello family! I just received the email for Mother's day. Here it is! You can have Jared translate! :)

Nuevamente se acerca el día de la madre y tendremos otra vez el privilegio de conversar con nuestras familias por teléfono. Para esta llamada tenemos las siguientes instrucciones.

La Llamada será el día domingo 10 de Mayo de 2009. El día 9 de Mayo 2009 habrá una prellamada solo para confirmar los horarios y los números de teléfono que utilizarán. Esta llamada no debe pasar los 5 minutos. Les sugerimos que hagan la prellamada con una tarjeta de llamada de no más de 2000 pesos desde el teléfono donde recibirán la llamada para que sus padres puedan verificar que el número funcione. Frente a cualquier dificultad en contactarse con su familia llame al Presidente Urra.

· Está permitido hablar por solo una hora.

· Un compañero llamará a las 5pm hasta 6pm y el otro de 6pm hasta 7pm.

· Las Tarjetas para llamar (excepto una tarjeta de llamada de no más de 2000 pesos para la prellamada) se deben comprar con dinero personal, no con dinero de la misión.

· Recuerden a sus familias que los números que utilizaron para llamar los deben olvidar y que deben comunicarse a través del número de la oficina o del Presidente Urra para cualquier asunto.


I'll send more info later. Just know that I'll be calling for 5 minutes on may 9th. Chau!

Babelfish translation:

Again the day of the mother approaches and we will have the privilege again to talk with our families by telephone. For this call we have the following instructions. The Call will be the day Sunday 10 of May of 2009. Day 9 of May 2009 will be a precall to only confirm the schedules and the telephone numbers that will use. This call does not have to spend the 5 minutes. We suggested to them make the precall with a card of call of not more than 2000 pesos from the telephone where they will receive the call so that their parents can verify that the number works. Against any difficulty in contacting itself with its family it calls to President Urra. · It is allowed to only speak by one hour. · A companion will call to 5pm until 6pm and the other of 6pm until 7pm. · The Cards to call (except a card of call of not more than 2000 pesos for the precall) are due to buy with personal money, not with money of the mission. · They remember his families who the numbers that used to call them must forget and that they must communicate through number of the office or President Urra for any subject.

Seven (7) months

April 27, 2009 (Time is flying by....)

Hello my family (and everyone who will receive the forwarded message from my mom)! Wow, can you believe that I've been out in the mission for 7 months already??? I can't believe it! The time here is flying by like crazy.

We had another week filled with miracles. I had the great chance to baptize one of our little investigators: Ayleen Soriano. I'm sending some pictures from before the baptism with Ayleen, my companion Elder Knackstedt, and Ayleen's family. When my companion and I filled the baptismal font, we found that the cold water wasn't working, so we turned the heat down a bit. But, I guess we didn't turn it down enough because the water was still really hot! You should've seen the face on Ayleen! It was really funny. So, we ended up BURNING the sins out of Ayleen! :)

We still haven't received the information about our call on Mother's day, so I'll keep you informed right when I get the info. But, this week was truly amazing. Even with the baptism, we taught 19 lessons with members present and 10 other lessons. We have 7 investigators with a baptismal date for the 9th of May, the last Saturday of this transfer. So, I guess we'll have a lot to talk about on Mother's day! But, I don't know, it's really awkward for me to speak in English. I guess that's a good thing, but my Spanish still isn't perfect. Oh well, I still have 17 months to go! I plan on serving with all my might every minute of every day! I love being a missionary -- it rocks! ;)

This week, we taught a lady named Maritza. Her son, Ricardo, is a member who recently returned from his mission. While he was serving, Elder Cañellas and I visited with Maritza, but she wasn't really interested in our message. She just wanted to see her son again! Now that her son has returned, Maritza is coming to church every week. We are teaching her, and we can see that she knows this church is true. We explained a bit about baptism, and Maritza basically told us that she will be baptized, but when we challenged her for a specific date (May 9th), we could see doubts enter her mind. She said no, but we left her with an invitation to pray to know if she should be baptized this day or no. She happily accepted our invitation. I'm looking forward to our next visit to see how it went! I'm really grateful for Ricardo and his example for his mom. It's incredible to see the great change wrought in the heart of his mom just by the example he has set.

Well, I am grateful for all of your emails and your support. Thanks for all that you do for me! I am loving every minute of this mission, and even when I can see my weaknesses and when I make mistakes, I know that if I can just press forward with faith in Christ, everything will be all right. Let me know how things are going at home! I love you all!

Easter package

April 20, 2009 (Package received, food inventoried, food eaten, apartment pics, beach pics)

Hello Family! I'm just writing to let you know that I love you!

I'm also sending a lot of pictures of the happenings of the week. For example, I received the Easter package filled with junk food! Oh man, does my family know me or what? Thank you so much! I got the package on Friday, the 17th of April, and all the food disappeared before the end of the night. (but not really, we're still enjoying the chocolately goodness of the States -- and so are many of my investigators). Other pictures: mom was a little afraid that I didn't have a kitchen, so I'm sending some rocking pictures of our little cooking station. We're still cooking pancakes every morning for breakfast, and I'm really looking forward to baking some brownies in another week or so!

Today, we went to La Cueva again and took some pictures as a zone. We then explored a few caves, played dodgeball on the beach, and had a good time. I'm only sending a few pictures of that because I didn't have time to take too many. :(

But, the most important thing that happened this week were the miracles that took place in the ward in which I am working. It was literally the best week of the mission, if not the best week of my life. We have been focusing on purifying our lives to teach with more power and authority, and I can tell that obedience really is a principle of power. I think Jacob will be interested in the numbers of the week, as he was recently serving as a missionary himself. To start out (as follows in your missionary daily planner): 0 0 7 10 15 14 - 4 - 10. That is to say, we had 0 baptisms, 7 baptismal dates, 10 investigators in our sacrament meeting, 15 lessons with members present, 14 other lessons, 4 referals from members, and 10 new investigators. What miracles! We worked hard this week, and we saw the fruit of all of our effort these past two transfers. I can definitely say that my Heavenly Father is merciful and loving, and he has allowed my companion and I to have the great success, even when we as His servants are imperfect and make mistakes every day.

I can really feel the love of my Heavenly Father in every aspect of this great work, for every single person we meet on the streets, knocking on doors, in the home of members, etc. It is truly a grand blessing to be a missionary in these latter days, to see the Lamanites here in South America bloom like a rose in the desert. I wish I could tell you about every single investigator that we have! I just love them all! Maybe I'll have more time on Mother's day to talk about them...

I'll just write a little bit about two of them: Silvia and Ivania. Silvia is a single mom; her husband died some years back, and her daughter, Ivania, is nine years old. We found them just by talking to people in the street, and in our second lesson, we gave a baptismal challenge for the 2nd of May. They accepted the challenge full-heartedly and have come to church twice since that time. Silvia, however, started to speak with people of different faiths and have some doubts. As we taught, my companion and I felt the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and we just went for it. At the end, we kneeled in prayer together. The Sunday after this (yesterday), we spoke with them in the church. Ivania still had a huge smile on her face (like always), and her mom (Silvia) told us that they prayed and that she was willing to continue forward all of her life because she felt in her heart that it was true. What a miracle! This is why I love being a missionary. I love seeing the change wrought in the hearts of the people and the joys they receive when they forsake their sins and follow Jesus Christ.

Well, that's about all. Just to let you know, the life in the mission is the best. I love you, and I'll write again next week!

A week of miracles!

April 13, 2009 (Easter week)

My Easter week was filled with lots of work and even more miracles. And I loved it! Sorry that I don't have any pictures this week; I forgot to tell you that a couple of the pictures I sent last week (of the red bumps on my arm) are from when I got bit by a few fleas. I don't know how that happened, but they sure did itch! You can probably see from the picture that my arm got pretty swelled up. But don't worry, the bites are all healed by now, and I will be more careful not to touch any nasty dogs.

Oh man, where can I start explaining all of the miracles that I witnessed this week in the mission? My companion and I have been focusing on achieveing the focus of the mission, to purify our own lives in order to teach with power and authority. I saw many miracles as we did so. The first amazing experience is with a goal that we had to set baptismal dates this week. Since we found 16 new investigators the week before, we decided to pray over who could accept a baptismal date, and then we focused specifically on these people. First, we passed by the house of Silvia and her daughter Ivania. We taught, and as we taught the spirit testified of the truth and guided our words. I testified about priesthood keys that are in the Earth to seal our families together forever, though I didn't know much about their family. As I testified, Silvia told me that her husband, the father of Ivania, died some years ago. We taught about the temple, and then we gave them the baptismal challenge for the 2nd of May, and with a huge smile, Silivia and her daughter Ivania looked at each other and then at us, and they confidently said, "Yes!" Wow, what an experience! I'm so grateful that my Heavenly Father guided us to this family that was prepared to receive the gospel and that He guided our words to help them receive it whole-heartedly.

We also had the chance to teach a girl named Ayleen, and she too accepted a baptismal date for the 24th of this month and wants me to baptize her! And, what a blessing it was to see that every single one of our investigators attended church with us yesterday! Yesterday, I also had to give my first talk in Sacrament Meeting on missionary work among the members. It went really well. I also taught our gospel principles class about the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Another amazing experience this week is when we stopped by the house of Alberto. We found Alberto just talking to people in the street. We learned that he attended BYU in 1981 and was considered a "dry mormon." He is amazing, but he was reluctant to let us in his house. Finally, we convinced him by speaking in English. So, we had our first lesson in English, and in our lesson we learned that Alberto had attended church every week at BYU, and he even attended the Tuesday devotionals! He knows the church is true, but he told us that his family is devoutely Catholic, and they don't want anything to do with the "Mormons." We taught and testified again about the families and the importance of a valid baptism, using the talk of President Uchtdorf "Faith of our Fathers." It was an amazing experience, and the spirit testified strongly. At the end, Alberto told us he wants to be baptized, but he doesn't want to abandon his family. We have an appointment to teach him again this Thursday, so I just pray that everything will go well! I am hoping that we can share with his family this week also.

Well, that's just a few of the miracles of being a missionary. I love this great work! I don't have much more time to write, but I sure do hope you all know how much I love you! You are in my prayers every day. I'll try to send more pictures this coming week.

I love you! Happy Easter!

Another week is gone!

April 6, 2009 (6 months in the mission)

Wow, another week is gone, and I officially have 6 months in the mission! Yay! And, this week, I really have seen some great miracles. I have learned of God's love for ALL of his children, and I have felt the strength of the spirit working in their lives.

This week, we saw a miracle as we taught 19 lessons and found 16 new investigators! Our ward has been hurting for new investigators for some time, and as my companion and I focused on the counsel of our Mission President, we really did see a miracle as we found these people who are ready to hear the gospel.

I'm sending some pictures of one of my favorite investigators, Karla, who recently moved back to Santiago with her husband! She was visiting her family here in Arica for some time, and her dad just happened to be the first counselor in the bishopric. So, we stopped by (starting in January, I think) and taught all the lessons. Karla really is amazing, and she is going to be baptized in Santiago, where she lives. It was really sad to see her go, but I will always be grateful for the great experiences we had with their family, especially in seeing Karla's testimony of the church bloom and the hope of the gospel fill her life.

This transfer in the mission, we have a focus to purify our own lives and develop christlike attributes in order to teach with power and authority. I think it's really interesting how, out of all of the miracles that Jesus Christ did here in the earth, the Pharises and the people were more amazed at the teachings of Jesus Christ than anything else. And, it's because the miracles such as healing are only temporary. They will pass away with time. But, teaching is something that is eternal and can help all people receive eternal life. We learn in the Doctrine and Covenants that all our knowledge will rise with us in the resurrection. What a great blessing it is to be able to teach and see the great miracle of the gospel in the lives of the Ariqueños!

Hmmm, and as for stories this week, the general conference was amazing. I had the chance to speak with some people in English on Saturday and Sunday just to find that it was REALLY hard. That makes me happy! :)

Well, I love being a missionary. Thanks for all the letters and support! So that you know, the daylight savings in Chile has changed us so that we are only 2 hours apart now. We entered fall, so we "fell back." You entered spring and thus "sprang forward." I'm not quite sure how it all works, but whatever. We only have 2 hours difference!

As for other things, if there is any emergency, here is the number of Presidente Urra: 97420908. I'm not sure the country code... The number for the oficina (Elder and Sister Steed speak English) is: (055)222841. Again, I'm not sure of the country code...

Well that's about it. I love you all so much, and take care! And know that I am loving every minute of my time here in Chile!


Elder Hobbs

PS. Tell bishop Hall thanks for the letter. It was great to hear from him! But now, I need the address of Chris Okoli. Do you happen to have his new address?

My fourth transfer

March 30, 2008 (Fourth Transfer)

Wow, what a week!

This week was truly amazing. We had 22 lessons this week, found 10 new investigators, and got some really good references from the members in the ward. Also, as the pictures show, I had my first baptism! Her name is Ámbar Nuñez, and the baptism went well. (I hope the pictures aren't too dark because they look really dark here on the screen. But if they are, dad or someone can touch them up on photoshop!) Sadly, Ámbar isn't one of our converts -- it was a ward baptism. She just wanted me to baptize her, so I did it. However, the baptismal service was a great opportunity for many of our investigators to feel the spirit and learn more about the church, so it went really well.

Today, you can see some pictures from the Morro here in Arica. Know what that means? This transfer, I'm staying here in Arica! I'm really excited for that. We have a bunch of investigators ready for their baptisms, and I really didn't want to leave them. Also, I love the members of the ward, the investigators, and all the people I'm getting to know here in my sector, Simón Bolívar!

El Morro was amazing again. You probably remember the other pictures I sent with Elder Cañellas. This time, we hiked up el Morro as a district (Elder Lamprecht, Elder Castellanos, Elder Knackstedt, me, Hermana Daly and Hermana Zamudio). We toured the museum and learned about this historical landmark where Chile won a war against Peru. I hear that there is a lot of tension between Chile and Peru again, so I guess I should be careful here in Arica. We're only 30 minutes away from Peru by car!

Wow, so there were tons of miracles this week. I don't know if I can remember them all to write. First of all, I can kind of speak Spanish, so that's cool. I can understand a bit more and teach more to the needs of the people. I really don't like speaking in English very much here in the mission, so writing this email is actually pretty hard. Please don't make fun of the way I speak. :) But, I want to learn some more good study methods for Spanish. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks!

I have learned a lot of patience, faith, and love for the people this transfer. These are things that I will cherish forever. We learned that some of our investigators have some serious problems, but I will continue to have faith in the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and continue praying for them. We felt the spirit powerfully as we testified, taught, and did all we could to help the people this week.

I really don't have any more time to write, but when I come home you'll have to read about some of the awesome experiences in my journal! We reactivated 3 families this transfer and had great success in other areas. There are definitely miracles in the world today!

I love you all so much! Thanks for the love, thought, expensive candy sent in the mail, etc. It is all much appreciated!


Elder Hobbs

PS. Jacob, you have to tell me when you're getting married. I have to be up to date on these sorts of things!