Sunday, June 21, 2009

Laughing about Jacob's wedding

June 15, 2009 (Almost 20)

I was just thinking how crazy it is to think that I'm almost a fifth of a century. How fast the time flies when we're living life to the fullest! If you want to know the best thing to send for my birthday, it's just money. I can buy almost anything down here in Copiapó because there are tons of stores that are based in the states. It's great. The only thing I really don't have is some good pictures of the family all together. That would be sweet. :)

I loved hearing about Jacob's adventures -- I was laughing so hard! I hope Jacob doesn't mind. It's something he'll cherish the rest of his life, all the stories for his kids. Tell him that when he gets a chance I want to see pictures of the wedding!!!!! :)

Hmm, so I hear that I'm the last one left to get married. How crazy. But, don't worry. I won't get married for a while. I'm too busy serving down here in Chile! We're having some great success right now in my sector. Our church attendance is hurting a little bit because of Sábanas and his many temptations, especially because the weather is starting to get a little bit colder, but I know that somehow we can get it back up. This is the work of the Lord, and where there is a will there is way.

What more is new? I'm sending a picture of me and Elder Rivas for you to enjoy. We are going to go to a conference on Thursday in Antofagasta where 2 general authorities are going to speak to us. Yay! Other than that, I'm just working like crazy.

Well, I'm off to teaching the gospel. Take care, and know that I love you!


Elder Hobbs

PS. Here's an exerpt from my letter to Presidente Urra. I hope my Spanish is getting better! ;)

Estamos compartiendo con una familia actualmente donde no todos son miembros. Creo que le conté ya un poco de como encontramos a esta familia. Tocamos puertas y entramos de inmediato. La Hermana Raquel es una miembro menos activa, y ella está lista para regresar a la actividad de la iglesia. También, sus hijos (Katherine y Max) no son miembros pero son muy receptivos al mensaje de la restauración. Tuvimos algunas lecciones con ellos esta semana, incluso una noche de hogar en nuestro barrio. Todo salió muy bonito, y ¡los hijos están progresando hacia el bautismo! La mamá tiene un testimonio fuerte de la iglesia y en realidad quiere entrar en el camino correcto y perseverar hasta el fin. A Élder Rivas y yo nos encanta enseñarles porque siempre el espíritu santo está en abundancia.

El único problema que tenemos actualmente es que hace frio los domingos y les cuesta a muchos levantarse de su cama, incluso a los miembros. Está semana, queremos hacer más para que haya más personas que puedan asistir y disfrutar las bendiciones de la reunión sacramental y la santa cena.

babelfish translation: We are sharing with a family at the moment where all are not member. I believe that I told him already a little how we found this family. We touch doors and we entered immediately. The Raquel Sister is a less active member, and she is ready to return to the activity of the church. Also, their children (Katherine and Max) are not member but they are very receptive to the message of the restoration. We had some lessons with them this week, even one night of home in our district. Everything left tuna very, and the children are progressing towards the baptism! The mother has a strong testimony of the church and in fact she wants to enter the correct way and to perseverar until the aim. To Élder Rivas and I enchant to teach to us to them because the spirit santo always is in abundance.

The unique problem that we have at the moment is that it does cold Sundays and costs to many to rise to them of its bed, even to the members. It is week, we want to do more so that there are more people than they can attend and to enjoy the blessings the sacramental meeting and santa has dinner.

Coat and Viola

June 8, 2009 (Coat, Viola, Blessings, Neo-Nazis update)

Hey, how is my incredibly fantastic, amazingly wonderful family doing in gringolandia?

Here in Chile, it couldn't be better. I'm sending a few pictures of my splurge last week in the mall here in Copiapó. I bought this nice looking jacket for $15,000 chilean pesos and a viola for $115,000 chilean pesos. I just couldn't resist the viola and the beauty of its sound! And, I think that was a pretty good deal, don't you? :) But, I'm interested in seeing how my balance is doing in regards to my checking and savings account. I have been taking money out of my savings account (supposedly), but I haven't been able to check it because I can't here in the mission. Dad, do you think you could send me a copy of my balance, just so that I can prevent any unneeded problems? Thanks! :)

Wow, Jacob is almost a married man... I can't believe it! It seems like just yesterday he left for his mission, and now he's an old man. How crazy. You need to send me some good pictures of the whole event! You just need to make them a litte bit smaller (like 100kb every one) so that my email account isn't overloaded.

Well, as for life here in Copiapó, this week we found a really awesome family. The mom is an inactive member, and her children are really receptive to our message. We found them just be knocking on doors, to tell you the truth. Whoever says that this is ineffective should take a look at the success we've had! It's pretty crazy... Anyways, when we were teaching, the spirit was present really strong. I asked if the mom believed that God answered prayers. She said yes, and then she started going into some stories about her life. Here in Chile, dreams and visions are common among all the people. However, this less active mom started telling us more about how her daughter, Catharine (who was present during the lesson) had fallen as a child. She received a priesthood blessing at the door of the airplane before leaving to a hospital in Santiago, and she was miraculously healed. When my companion, Elder Rivas, heard this, he had a look of shock on his face and asked a few more details. Then, he said, "This isn't the first time I've heard this story." It turns out that a former bishop of our ward was the one who gave the blessing and told my companion what happened. How we found this specific door I don't know. The sister asked us if someone had sent us to teach them this message (her aunt is a member of our ward), but we just looked towards the heavens and thanked our Heavenly Father for guiding us to this family. It was pretty amazing.

Also this week, we had a funny experience when we found out that one of the inactive members we are working with is the Leader of all the Neo-Nazis in this region of Chile! He's a great guy, and we didn't believe him at first. But, when he insisted that it was true, we could see that it was. We then told him about the assault the other week (mom, it really wasn't bad at all. Don't even worry about it. It was more just an experience to tell my grandkids. We only had to go to the hospital so the doctors could fill out paperwork and the police could arrest the neo-nazi. We didn't even have a scratch to show to the doctors...) and gave him the name and description of the guy who attacked us, and the inactive brother told us he'd take care of it. I thought that was pretty neat. It's great to have allies high up on the food chain. :)

Well, the mission is definitely the greatest experience ever. I'm loving every minute, and I'm grateful for a Mission President who receives revelation to guide and help us. This is an amazing work to be a part of! I'll try to keep you up to date more!

Teaching Pro Soccer Players from Peru

June 1, 2009 (Teaching Pro Soccer Players from Peru)

Can you believe it's already June? We're just starting to have winter here in Chile! Here in Copiapó, it's actually quite cold. I'll probably go buy myself a nice jacket today with my tax refund. :) I'm also thinking of getting a violin for relatively cheap, but I need to ask permission from my mission president. We can't call him right now because our cell phone service is really lame and we don't have any coverage right now. I hope he says yes! While my companion and I were in the center of Copiapó, we saw some violins and violas for pretty cheap (like 80,000 pesos). I'll have to test them out today if we can call President Urra...

Well, I'm really loving life here in my new sector, Los Pimientos. The members are great, and my companion and I had great success this week as we worked really hard. I'm trying to focus on improving my teaching skills, and I've learned a ton. My companion, Elder Rivas, is an amazing teacher and missionary, and I'm learning lots from him. As we've worked together, we have literally seen hundreds of miracles in our ward. Last week, we taught 8 lessons in all with hardly any investigators to teach. This week, we found 14 new investigators and taught 18 lessons! It was truly miraculous. Man, I love the mission! Heavenly Father really knows how to take care of His children. :)

This week, we started teaching 2 professional soccer players from Perú. We met them only after every single one of our set appointments failed and we resorted to do the only thing we could do: knock on doors. These young men are really spiritual and ready for the message of the gospel. As we taught, the spirit guided our discussion, and both of them (Jean Carlos and Juan Hernesto, aka Coco) told us they felt pure joy in their hearts. They told us that our visit was an answer to their prayers, and they were crazy excited to receive the Book of Mormon and start reading. They are truly golden! However, the only problem is that soccer is their life, their job, and everything. On Sunday, they were really excited to attend church, but at the last minute they were called in for an un-scheduled practice. So, this week we need to focus our teachings on sanctifying the sabbath day, and I can only hope and pray they will have the faith to speak with their coach and choose the right.

We also met a lot more people this week who are just amazing! I am excited to work with them this week and start challenging them to keep their commitments. I love being a missionary!

Thanks for writing, for your love and your support. Tell me if you want to hear anything more from me. It's a bit tough because we don't have much time, but that's okay.

I love you all! Take care, and send my love and appreciation to everyone back at home!