Monday, August 19, 2013


Elder Hoskin is finished with his mission Aug. 20, 2013.  Mom and Dad are going to Brazil to tour and visit for a week, then Elder Hoskin will be home.  Sorry I haven't transcribed his letters laltely.... !!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Hello, Good Morning everyone!  It is the 22nd of July, 2013… 7:00 in the morning. 

I hope everyone is doing okay.  So let me tell you what happened this week. 

This week was pretty interesting.  We had my last Zone Conference on Tuesday.  It was my last zone conference, but the first one with the new president.  I got to bear my last testimony, because every zone conference, the missionaries that are going home, between that one and the next one, they have to give their last testimony.  So, I got to give my last testimony, and that was awesome.  I have been reluctant to do that for a while, but that’s done.  It was cool, I learned a lot from the zone conference.  There was a really cool video that I liked, it was like a church video called, ‘only a stone-cutter’.  I don’t know if you guys watched before, but it’s about a stone-cutter, and how he sacrificed everything to fulfill his calling.  Its really good.  I highly recommend it.  So, that was on Tuesday, then, we got back to our areas, and me and my companion just worked a lot, which is how I want it to be this last transfer.  It was really good, we just worked a lot, we found a lot of cool people.

We found this guy named Cosmo, like Cosmo Kramer, and he’s really, really, cool.  We found him on Wednesday.  And, he already has a response about the Book of Mormon and everything.  And, he came to church on Sunday and he is really, liking church.  And, he already wants to be baptized and everything.  And, I think what really changed it for him, was what he heard whenever he went to church.  And, also during the messages, and like, I don’t know.  He told us that he had gone to lots of churches in the last four months trying to find the one that he wanted to go to.  I don’t know if I told you guys this, but Brazil has a ridiculous number of  churches, all over the place.  So, we shared with him our message and he started feeling like it was the truth.  So, that’s what he says now, ‘I found what I needed to find.’    He’s a really good story.  Cool side notes which are not of that much importance, but are still pretty awesome is that, he has a twin brother.  A look-alike twin brother.  So we are going to start teaching his brother too.  And, they are both going to start going to church together, and we are going to have twins in the ward. 

What else happened this week…  Me and my companion are doing pretty well.   Elder Wade, he’s pretty awesome.  From Indianapolis.  He’s got a year and a half on his mission, and we get a long really well.  He is one of the more dedicated companions that I have had, which is a good thing.  So this week….

I got really tired yesterday.  I have been getting really tired lately, towards the night and stuff.  But, you just got to kind of push through it and it works out okay.   The exercises definitely help.

Not to get trunky, but four weeks till you guys come out here.  I hope everything is going well, I hope everything is getting ready.  Thinking about presents, like mom said for people.  You don’t need to go that crazy, I was just thinking like, a little souvenir to give to some of the people we pass by.  I don’t know, something that they could keep in their house, because Brazilians love little American souvenirs.  And, also, chocolate oranges would be good, and that oven mitt, for that lady… the one I am close to, that I am really good friends with.  And, other than that, just bring American sweets, and we can just give them out to people.  Just because it would be cool. 

So, I hope everything is going well, and the preparations for that.

I am starting a plan for how everything is going to go down for college and everything on P-Days, so that’s going pretty well, too. 

I don’t have that much to say to you this week, I am not going to lie to you.  But, one thing I can tell you, is that, the closer I get to the end, this started two or three months ago, but I try to think as little as possible about finishing the mission, or the fact that its ending soon.  But, whenever someone talks to me about it, or I have to think about it, or I just think about it, I get these feelings, that are good feelings.  They are feelings from the spirit, they could be, like, as of now, I have done what Heavenly Father has wanted me to do for the most part.  So, those are really good feelings that are coming.  So, I just keep working, then I will be able to keep those feelings, then when I am able to finish the mission, I will be able to feel like it really was a good mission in the Lord’s eyes.

I am really excited to see Desmond.  He has probably already grown a lot since he was born and everything.  I am really excited to see him, and to see everyone.

Yeah, people keep asking me what the first thing is that I want to eat when I get to America and stuff like that.  And, I probably just want to go to Chick-fil-a, I am not going to lie to you.  Like Chick-fil-a, and get just like a chicken sandwich, ha ha.  But I don’t need to worry about that I guess, right now. 

I got this email last week- it kind of stinks- but I got this email last week, where, all the missionaries get it, the ones that are ending their mission.  Or, it’s the letter from president, ‘So, you are ending your mission…’  Then, it gives the whole letter, like, how you need to finish the best way possible, and how the savior only turned into our Savior during the last week of his life, or the week of his ministry/life, all that kind of stuff.  So I got that letter, and I also got this itinerary of the last three days.  I wanted to know the flight times, if you guys could give me the flight information of both when you guys get here, and when we go.  In regards to like the hours we are going to go, when you guys are going to get here, just so its all clear in my head.  Just so we can try to plan it out well. 

That’s basically it for this week.  I hope the best for you guys, I hope everything is going well… Pioneer day is coming up.  Remember the pioneers.   I am excited to learn more about them whenever I get home, learn more about our pioneer heritage.  I already know some stories, but, I could totally know more.  Have a great week.  Say hi to Jenny and Abby for me too, I will talk to you guys a little more in the email, then I will talk to you next week.  Bye!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hey Mom and Dad and everybody!  This is the 15th of July 2013, Monday, here in Bauru.  I am happy to talk to you guys!  First week of my new companion, his name is Elder Wade.  He is from Indianapolis, he is really awesome!  He’s got a year and a half on his mission.  He’s from the group of missionaries that I trained.  And, its funny, cause whenever I went to go get my trainee, you know, everyone tries to guess who they are going to train, and I thought that I was going to train him, elder Wade, my companion.  But, I ended up training Elder Glover, if you remember that, in Marilla.  I was like, what?  I thought I was going to train Elder Wade.  He just became a zone leader right now.  And, we like to joke around and say that I train Zone Leaders as well.  So, it still happened.  Really cool.

So, anyway, he is really, really good… really awesome.  We have been able to work a lot together.  Its funny how nothing gets easier.  So, even thought I have a better companion right now, the Lord is going to give us other challenges.  And, that’s been in the works.  We have been working a lot.  Its been really hard work, but, its going good.  I’m happy.  We have had a lot of good experiences this week.  It just shows the hand of the Lord in our work.  Also, one thing weird.  As soon as my companion left, and this companion got here, there’s a different spirit in the ward.  The ward is happier, they are willing to do more.  We are leaving with a lot more people, on visits and stuff.  And, everything just has a better spirit to it.  Its really weird.  That’s just because he brings a really good spirit to our area, I guess. 

So, we found some new investigators this week.  I think we had 5 or 6 that were like, ‘yeah! I want to go to church!’  But, one thing about Brazil,  is people say all that stuff, but then they just, don’t do it.  So, on Sunday morning we went to go get everyone, and no one came to church, and we were really kind of down.  We were like, ‘we try so hard with the work.  Why is this happening, you know?’  And, of course, you learn to just confide in the Lord, that, you know, things are always difficult, but He’s going to give a way.  And so, we got to church, we didn’t have any one.  We were just sitting there, like, ‘whats going to happen?’.  Then, out of no where, these two guys just walk into the chapel.  They were like, ‘yeah we are friends, I had gone to one of your other chapels before, and today was our day off from work, so we thought we would come here and visit.’  They were just random people out of no where decided to go to church.  We had two investigators at church because of that.  And, it was really cool to see that the hand of the Lord is always in it.  Those things will test your faith, and try your patience, like, in the end, he is always going to give you the blessings.

Another cool experience:  We were going to go to this neighborhood that we had never been to before, cause we had a meeting at 5:00 with the ward council.  So, we had some time to kill, and our area is really far away, so we couldn’t go to our area, cause we would have to turn around and come back as soon as we got there.  So, we found this tiny little neighborhood that we had never gone to.  On the way there, I was just like, ‘lets stop at the chapel real quick so I can use the bathroom.’. In my head, I was like, you don’t need to waste 5 minutes like that, but, I just felt okay with it.  So, we went in there, and we ran into the Bishop, and he was like, ‘where are you guys going to go to right now?’  Yeah, we are going to go to this neighborhood called, Jarjeen Quadalajara.  And, he was like, ‘oh, I know a member who is there.  They have an incomplete family.  Wait…’  so he found the address on the church system, and gave us a church restoration DVD.  He said, ‘just go give it to them, and tell them I said HI!’  So, we just got a Bishop reference, a member reference on the way there.  It was really cool to see how the Lord guides us.  But, then, we were about half way to the neighborhood, its kind of far away, but half way there, this car stops us.  And, they are members from a completely different state, eight hours away driving.  And, they were on their way to the temple in Campinas.  And, they stopped in the city, cause they have a girl that they are in the process of adopting, so they couldn’t’ bring her to the temple with them, so they were going to leave her at a family members house here.  Who is actually inactive, we didn’t know.  And this family lives in our area!  So, this family was in their car, they saw us and they were like, ‘oh we are so glad we ran into you guys!  I guess their phone had broken, and they had no clue how to get to this place because they had never been in Bauru before.  They were like, ‘you two are a blessing, because we needed help, and we saw you two missionaries, and we thought, oh, the missionaries can always help!’  So, we got in the car with them, and brought them to the chapel, where the Bishop is and everything.  And, the Bishop helped them out and got everything fixed up nice so they could continue on their journey.  And, it was really cool, because we saw once again, we were used by the Lord to be a help to somebody.  And, then at the same time, the people who they were finding, the family they were finding to drop off that girl at, they are in our area, and a less-active family.  They are incomplete.  So, at the same time, we got a reference from them to go there.  So now, we are going to go there and start working with that family as well.  Its Crazy how the Lord is in… everything. 

That’s basically how the week has been.  Its been difficult, but really fulfilling.  And, I am very grateful for the house I have right now.  I am living with four Americans.  I have never lived with four Americans before.   But, its nice.  Its just like ??? change.  I am really happy with my companion.  We are leaving with two people a day.  We are leaving with young men in the afternoon, and men at night.  So, we are able to work on members a lot more.  That’s been going really well. 

And, things are going great.  I am starting to get excited.  I have started using P-day to plan out how its going to be after the mission.  Because one thing is for sure, you can’t go into something without planning it.  And, that’s why I have been asking for the college schedule and stuff.  Cause, I will only have ten days when I get home.  So, one of the things I want to do is use the principles of planning that the mission has taught me, and use them for life afterwards.  So, I have been making plans, like really specific plans on how college is going to go down.  In regards to what day I am going to the temple, what hours I am going to class, what hours I am going to study and stuff between classes.  All this stuff, I am planning it out really well.  You will see whenever I show you.  But, its going to help me be a lot more prepared when I go to school,  and its going to help me have a lot better time in learning and having success in school.  Its also going to help me keep the standards that you make. 

That’s one thing I am going to try hard to do, is to keep the standards and the spirituality that you gain on your mission.  In regards to spirituality, study time…  I know it won’t be the same thing, of course, because I am a missionary dedicating all day to the missionary work.  But, in regards to work, and keeping the schedule, and spirituality too.  I am really going to try hard to have my standards stay… they are not going to go down, they are going to keep going up.   

So things are going really well.  I miss you guys.  I am really excited for our trip.  I am trying to confirm with everyone the days, so I hope Dad sent me the last day-by-day sort of thing so I can confirm with members for lunches and stuff.

I hope everything is going well for you guys.  I miss you guys!  Let me know how Desmond’s doing:  Joseph and Alayna and Desmond and all them.
And, I will talk to you guys next week.  I love you guys.  BYe

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hello Family!  It is the 8th of July, 2013.  Today is transfer week, we get our transfer information today.  I don’t ever think about this, but, if things would have gone normally, I would be going home today.  But, luckily, I am staying on my mission six more weeks.  And, for that I am very grateful.  My companion went to the bus station this morning at 7:15, he has already gone off to Londrina.  I will probably get my new companion on Wednesday, or Tuesday, and I am actually really, really, excited.  We have a lot of stuff to do in my area.  We have a lot of people to teach, a lot of people to help, and a lot of people to find that we don’t even know yet.  So, I am feeling like this last transfer is really, its going to be the best.  When I tell the missionaries that I talk to about this kind of stuff, is really what I feel is true.  Every transfer that I have had on the mission always grows in three things:  it gets harder, it gets better, and it gets faster, sadly.  Yeah, so I know its going to be a little bit harder than last transfer, but I also know its going to be better.  So, I am excited for that.  I don’t know who my companion is going to be, but I am sure its going to be great, whatever happens.  It might be a new zone leader, because they are going to be calling a lot of new zone leaders, ‘cause a lot of zone leaders went home. 

Yeah, so let me think about this week.  This week was kind of a difficult week.  Just because my companion was ending his mission, and he was already kind of relaxed in regards to a lot of the stuff.  So the last week where you are saying bye to everyone is difficult as well.  But, we were still able to do some things, which was good, I guess.

We had leader’s council with the new mission president, President Jinado, he’s really cool.  You guys are going to meet him, right?  And, I was kind of sad, I have been sad for a while because you guys aren’t going to be able to meet my mission president, President Tavarez, cause he is MY mission president, and, I was sad about that.  But, President Jinado, he’s really cool, you will like him.  He’s a really, really special guy, he’s a great guy, he is just not as special to me as President Tavarez is.  President Tavarez was my mission president for 23 months.  But, regardless, he speaks fluent English, from what I can tell: President Jinado.  So, you will be able to talk to my mission president in regular English, which will be pretty awesome.  He was telling me that when he got called to be mission president, he had an interview with Elder Uchtdorf.  They just spoke English, they didn’t need a translator or anything.  So, he speaks really well.  So that will be good for you guys to be able to speak to him. 

Leaders council was really good.  I got to see all my old companions who are still on the mission, like Elder Hutchings, who I am going to be working with in Oregon.  By the way, that whole summer job thing in Oregon—I think I told you the basics, but his dad and his dad’s friend, they started a restaurant, this business, in a place called Sisters, Oregon.  Its 20 minutes away from his house, kind of up in the mountains, it is kind of a resort place or whatever.  And, they started this restaurant, and what his dad said was the following, “we are going to see if it goes well this summer, like, successful, and if it does well, then you will be able to work here next summer.  And, Elder Hutchings was like, I have this friend, Elder Hoskin, could he work with me and my sisters?  Cause we were making plans and stuff for my next summer job.  And he said, ‘Yeah, to tell you the truth, you two could both run it.’  All the restaurant would need, is two people.  So he said that me and elder Hutchings, it could be our work for the summer.  And, as long as it does well this summer, then he said next summer, they would be fine. You know how businesses start out, and the first year is always critical.  So. Elder Hutchings has been telling me that apparently his dad is having a lot of success.  So, it looks like I will be going off to Sisters, Oregon next summer, as soon as school gets out, and staying there all summer, and just working, staying with my friend Elder Hutchings, living in Oregon, which is like Pittsburgh on the West, and I am also going to be having a summer job which will be great.  I need to also make money to provide for my school and stuff.  So that’s good news. 

I had some cool experiences this week.  There’s a ward.  There’s a Bishop in our stake, its called the Independence ward.  And, that ward hasn’t had missionaries for four and a half months.  The zone leaders use to be there a year ago.  The zone leaders got switched to my ward which is called Jarjng Santano.  So what happened is this:  They got a new Bishop in their ward, and the Bishop is against baptisms and stuff, a lot of the time.  So, they reached a point with the Elders, where he said, ‘I am not going to allow you guys baptize anyone anymore, unless it’s a man.  You can’t baptize women, youth or children, you can only baptize men.  He said, ‘I am sick of not having men be baptized.’  So, President Tavarez just took the missionaries out of their ward, cause he was like, ‘he needs to learn, better’, so, President Tavarez took all the missionaries out of the ward.  So, there were no missionaries there for about 4 and a half months.  And, that’s the strongest ward in our stake.  It has a frequency of, like, 180.  Which is a lot.  And their chapel is the biggest chapel.  Its one of the best areas of the mission, but the Bishop was like… getting sketchy with the missionaries.  So president took them out.  The entire ward went nuts.  President said, ‘I want you to show me that you want missionaries working in your area again.’  So, the 4 ½ months the missionaries were gone, the members were working.  They would go out and do visits and find people to teach and stuff, it was crazy.  So, this last transfer that I got here, the one that just passed right now, was whenever they put missionaries in there again. 

So, there is this lady… So there has already been baptisms and stuff that the bishop hasn’t said anything about.  They have all been women and men and families and stuff, so its been okay.  So, there’s this lady who has been going to church there for three years.  And, her name is Sua Lee.  And, she is like 42 years old.  She has been going to church for three years, but she is kind of slow, mentally.  She is not mentally handicapped.  When you look at her, and even when you talk to her, she doesn’t seem slow, but she’s a little bit slow.  Slow enough to the point that the missionaries called me and were like, ‘hey, she wants to get baptized, but we don’t know if she should get baptized.’  You know how there’s that certain point where people who are a little bit slower mentally are like,… they don’t need to get baptized, they don’t have the accountability.  You know what I mean?  Like mentally handicapped people.  And, this missionary never dealt with this kind of stuff before.  And, the Bishop was giving him a lot of grief about it too.  The Bishop was, like, ’I don’t know if we need to baptize her,  I don’t know if she has the state of consciousness in her head.’  So, I went there and I did the Baptismal interview: Two Saturdays ago.  I did the interview.  And, I figure the things you’ve got to look for in the interview when you want to know if someone is accountable to be baptized, is the understanding that she has about repentance, and right and wrong.  Right?  Cause, that’s what makes the difference.  If you know what’s right and wrong and you choose to do right or wrong, then, you need to be baptized.  You know, little kids, they don’t have that.  So, that’s why they are not baptized before they are eight.  So, I went there, and I can tell that she was a little bit slower, but she understood repentance.  I asked her what repentance was, she explained it.  She didn’t explain it like Neal A Maxwell explained it, but she explained it.  She said, ‘whenever you do something wrong, you have to stop doing it and do better.  She had a basic understanding.  But, I was still in doubt.  I just wanted to make sure 100% that she was able to get baptized.  So, what I did, I was like, ‘Hey, the interview went well, there were not problems, she has a good basic understanding of repentance.’  Then, I was like, ‘hey I am going to make a call real quick’, during the interview.  So, I went to another room, and I just prayed, I was like, ‘Heavenly Father, if she should be baptized, just send me your spirit right now, so that I can know.’  So, as soon as I said that, I felt the spirit.  I felt a really, clear, strong response, that was the spirit!  So, I knew that was the Lord telling me that she should be baptized.  So, I told them that.  I said, ‘hey, you passed the interview, you can get baptized.’  This was two Saturdays ago.  And, she was really happy, and she was like, ‘oh yea!’  And, the Elders were like, okay, great.  So Sunday comes around, and they are not able to find her.  She just went off to go do something.  The baptism was going to be with another lady, the lady I talked about last week.  It was going to be with her, and they couldn’t find her.  So they just started the baptism without her, just with the lady I talked about last week in the voice clip.  But, half way through the baptismal service, Sua Lee just shows up at the chapel, just hangin’ out.  We were like, ‘hey, whats up?’  She was like, ‘Hey, is my baptism still today?’  We were like really excited because we were like, ‘where did she go for like hours!’  But, we were like, ‘yeah, it can be today, do you still want it to be today?’  I was like, ‘do you still want to be baptized and everything?’  She was like, ‘yeah’.  We were like, ‘are you feeling good about it, are you feeling ready about it?’  She was like, ‘yeah, I am.’  So, then we went to go tell the Bishop, cause we were in the middle of the baptismal meeting, someone was giving us a message when this was going down.  And, Bishop, who was already kind of sketchy about it before hand, was like, Well, beforehand, he was like, go ahead with the interview.   But, we were like, Bishop, she showed up and she wants to get baptized.  He looked back and saw her, and he was like, ‘I don’t think she should get baptized.’  I was like, ‘what?  Didn’t you say we could do the interview and stuff?’  ‘I don’t think she needs to get baptized, I don’t think you should baptize her.’  I was like, ‘no, but I did the interview, and she passed the interview and everything.’  But he was like, ‘Elder, I don’t think she has the good conscious and everything.’  I am sure he had already had this talk with tons of other elders, you know, but I kind of pulled a wild card on him.  Because, he was like, even though she passed the interview and everything, I don’t know if she has a good understanding.  I was like, ‘Bishop, I had doubt too.  And, then, I went, and I prayed about it.  And, I asked Heavenly Father, during the interview, I went to another room and I asked Him to give me His spirit if she should be baptized.  And, I felt like she should.’  And, his face was just like, ‘What?’ He wasn’t expecting that, you know.  So, he was like, ‘AAh, if it was up to me, I would not baptize her today.  But, you guys can do whatever you want.’  When he said you could do whatever you want, that meant, ‘I am not part of this.’   And, President Tavarez taught us that you have to have the support of your leaders.  You can’t just be like, screw you, and go baptize.  So, I told him, I was like, lets do the following:  Since she is already here late, lets mark her baptism for next week, but as she keeps passing by (???) it will be next week, it will be a little bit easier, she will be a little bit more prepared.  And, the bishop was like, ‘okay, lets do that.’  So, even with the date marked for yesterday, Sunday, apparently at the beginning of the week, he was still wishy washy.  Apparently he didn’t, what you will see later is that he didn’t believe me, he either didn’t believe or didn’t trust in what I said.  Me, as being the interviewer, being like, she’s ready.  So, they had their executive committee meeting on Tuesday, and he was like, ‘I don’t know if she should get baptized.  I don’t really know if she’s ready.  He didn’t say anything about me specifically, but just the fact that he said that, you can see he doesn’t confide in the fact that I interviewed her and stuff.  Whatever, he doesn’t know who I am.  So, its not like I am offended or anything.  But anyways, the most important part.  So, the elders are like, ‘what are we going to do?’   So, they are trying to figure out what to do.

 And, then, on Thursday night, the Bishop calls the missionaries.  And, they were like, oh great, the bishops calling.  This is what they told me on Saturday.   So, Bishop calls, and he is like, ‘Hey elders, how’s it going, blah blah.’  Its going good… ‘So, listen Elders, about Sua Lee,…’  And, they were like, oh crap! Then, Bishop was like, listen, last night as I was thinking about Sua Lee and her situation, I prayed, and I prayed to know if she should get baptized.’  This is the Bishop, right.  ‘I prayed to know if she should get baptized, and I felt like she needs to get baptized.  So, you guys can mark her interview for Saturday, and we will just go ahead and do it.’  Ha!  And, they told me this story on Saturday, and I was like, I liked it!  Because there are a lot of lessons you can learn from this story.  First of all, I was happy that I confided in the response the Lord gave me.  Like him (Bishop) being against the baptism, I could have just gone back on the response the Lord had given me, but I knew the Lord had given me a response, and that’s what really mattered.  Another lesson, is that, I don’t consider it a bad thing that he went and had to pray for himself.  It’s the same thing as the Book of Mormon.  If he wants to know, then have him go and learn for himself.  Its cool, because you can pray about anything, and get a confirmation about anything that’s in your stewardship.  And so, he didn’t know if she was ready or not, so all Bishop needed to do was to go pray, and he can have the same response that I did.  I thought that was pretty cool.  So it was a great learning lesson.  I saw the Bishop afterwards and he didn’t say anything, of course, because we had a confrontation about this.  But, I feel like because of this experience that the Lord gave us, his (Bishop’s) confidence in the missionaries has grown.  His confidence had been shattered whenever the area got closed and everything.  It was a really good experience… I mean, he won’t even remember my name, of course.  But, at least he will have this experience to be able to confide in the missionaries a little bit more.  Whenever they are like, ‘yeah, this person is ready.’ Or whenever they are like, ‘we want to help these people’.  Because, he will just confide a little bit more.  I think that was the real purpose of this whole thing.  And, its interesting how the Lord took that, and totally made it for his purposes to be worked out.  Not just fur Sua Lee, but for the future.  There will probably be cases in the future where the Bishop will have to confide in the missionaries when people are ready to get baptized and everything.  So, overall a great experience. 

Last night there was a devotional for return missionaries, and the stake president asked my companion to play the piano in it cause my companion plays the piano, and it was probably the trunkiest thing I have ever seen.  Everyone cried during one part, I cried too during one part…  There was a music video, literally 5 minutes of some country singer singing about the mission, and then 5 minutes of clip after clip of footage from the airport of when the missionary gets of the plane and runs to his mom and everyone is crying.  Over and over and over and over and over, different clips.  And, I just lost it, and started crying.  Everyone was crying.  It was the most I have seen people cry before.  It was like Lamentations.  But, it was a really trunky devotional, I am glad that its over.  That made me excited to think that I am getting toward the end to see you guys. 

I feel really good about my mission.  I know that no one’s perfect, and that surely the Lord has a lot in store for me that I wasn’t able to complete because of my limited capacity.  But, I feel, as I keep trying on my mission to do my best, I feel like it has really been, like, the best experience, you know.  It’s the kind of experience that will go for the rest of my life.  I feel like the hard work that I have tried to put in since the beginning, has really,… made a treasure in Heaven as they say.  Like to compare it to something else, its comparable to my journal.  Whenever I started writing in my journal, it was kind of tedious to write everyday.  Mom sent me that journal when I had 5 months on the mission.  I have written in that journal every single day since I got that journal for the last year and a half.  Every single day.  So, in the beginning it was tedious, but now its complete, you can tell that it’s the most worthwhile thing that I have.  Cause it has all the experiences that I have, everyday it has all the experiences that I go through, and I will be able to go back on that.  It’s the same thing as the mission. 

So, I am excited about my new companion, I will let you know who it is if I already know him at the internet Caf√©.  But, I will get it on email.  

I love you guys, I hope everything is going well with you guys.  I know I have asked this like ten times, but this is the last time.  Just a last, final draft of how the trips going to be, the days and where its going to be and everything.  Just so that I can already start planning.  Elder Hutchings, he is like my best friend on the mission, he is serving in Maringa.   My old area Maringa where I served for six months.  So I already have him talking to members about a lunch for you guys there, or a dinner for us there,  Also I will plan for Presidente Prudenche.  I just got to know the exact days, so if you can send me one more of those.  Love you guys, also , I am not sure what you guys are planning on bringing from America, but if mom could find, just a little present for people.  Like a little present for the people.  We can talk about that later, but I have some people I want special stuff for.  Cause they are really special.  But, anyways, I will talk to you guys later, BYE!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Voice Recording from 7/1/2013

Hello Family!  It is the first of July, 2013. Wow!  We are already into July.  This will be the third July that I am here, in Brazil… WOOT!  Yes, so I hope everything is going well with you guys, I am doing well, doing good.  I am still doing exercises.  Even with all the time I have on the mission and stuff, so its helping me out, its blessing me to feel better.  I feel nice and good right now on P Day morning. 

This week was a really good week, let me think…  So, we were going to have interviews with my mission president, right?  We were going to have them on Tuesday.  But then, they ended up not happening.  And he ended up rescheduling them for Friday, cause he is really busy.  Its his last week on the mission.  But, on Friday, at 6:00 in the morning, he called me.  He was like, “hey, something came up.  I can’t come up and do interviews with your zone.  And, because of the time left, I won’t be able to reschedule, but, I am really busy and stuff, so I am sorry.”  And so, we were the only zone in the mission not to get interviewed by president at the very end.  I didn’t get to talk to him before the end of the mission.  Or, before he ended his mission.  The zone conference we had two weeks ago, I didn’t talk to him because it was really rushed.  And, he was like, ‘no we will just talk at interviews.’  He said that to everyone, he was like, ‘go to your bus, go home, keep working, and we will talk in interviews.’  So,  that’s what we did.  Do I never really got to talk to him again.  He left yesterday… he left today.  His last day was yesterday.  So, we officially have a new mission president.  I don’t know him, but we have a leaders council tomorrow, already.  So, today we are going to go to Londrina, and tomorrow we are going to get to know him.  Should be pretty cool.   President Tavarez was my mission president for 23 months.  So, I am going to miss him a lot.  And, I’m going to have this new one for 2 (months), so that should be pretty interesting, I guess.  So, that happened,… or didn’t happen, per se.

But, other than that, just a really good week.  Remember the other week I went to those four cities outside of Bauru and nothing really worked out, well, President Tavarez always said you don’t always see your fruits afterwards: not at the moment that you do things, right?  Well, that happened this week, I got to go back there and do lots of interviews in the towns and stuff.  So, that was really nice.

Our Zone is doing really well.   This month of June has ended, and we are pretty happy with our work and what we have done.  I had a really, really, spiritual interview on Saturday.  As of right now, it’s the most spiritual interview I have had on my mission.  It was a lady in a different ward.  The ward is called Independence, and her name is Eiada.  And, she had been going to church since 1989.  But, she never got baptized, she never wanted to get baptized, like, she knows the church is true, but she never wanted to get baptized.  She is, delaying it I guess, or whatever.  Her kids got baptized back in 1989, so they’re, like, 20 now.  Or, they are, like, 28 now.  They have been baptized for 20 years.  She just never got baptized.  And so, the Elders, they found her, at her house and everything, and they started teaching her.  Then, so, they started teaching her for a little bit, cause she was already going to church for a while, but they thought they would give it another try.  So they taught her this last week, and then, they earmarked an interview with her for Saturday.  They were like, ‘just talk with the missionary, we will see how you are feeling and everything.’ So, I got there, and I was talking with her, and she really didn’t want to do anything with it.  She was like, ‘yeah, I have been going to church since 1989.  But, I don’t want the responsibility of calling, or I don’t know if I am going to be able to ----- the commitments… we talked about a lot of stuff.  And, I tried reading scriptures and stuff, but it didn’t really help.  Its one of those classic stories where you learn you can’t really do anything by yourself.  So, I tried to share scriptures, and tried to explain a little bit, and then we started talking about prayer.  And so, for five minutes, it was just like, me asking her, ‘if you were going to open your heart to the Lord right now, would you do it to receive an answer about being baptized?’ And all this kind of stuff.  These were questions to set up the prayer, so she knew what kind of prayer she would be saying.  So, after five minutes, I asked her, “will you pray right now to know if you need to be baptized tomorrow?”  The Spirit was already really strong.  So, she was like, ‘yeah!’  And so, she prayed, and she asked.  And, after she asked, we just kind of sat there in silence, we just felt the Spirit.  We sat there in silence for about two minutes.  But, two minutes of silence, when you are doing interviews is a long time, right?  If feels longer.  And, I was feeling the spirit really well.  I didn’t even want to put my head up, cause I didn’t want to ruin anything.  But, she wasn’t saying anything, and after two minutes, she looked up at me.  She was crying and everything.  All I said was “Ta boung?”  In Portuguese it means, “All right?”  You okay?  And, she just put her head down again.  Looked around, kept quiet a little bit more, then she looked at me.  She was like, after a few minutes, she said, “what time is the baptism going to be tomorrow?”  And, when she said that, I was just like, Woa!  We both got really happy.  I testified to her that I knew it was the Spirit and everything, and she knew.  So, she ended up getting baptized yesterday.  And, that was one of the best interviews I ever had.  I am never going to forget that experience it was really cool.    And, I got to go to her baptism too, which is cool, so see her get baptized.  I didn’t teach her anything, but it was a good lesson how the Spirit is really the one that’s going to take over.

So, other than that, this is the last week of my companion on the mission, this transfers.  So, certainly I am going to get another companion on my mission for this transfer.  Yea, we are getting along fine.  There are not problems in how we are getting along.  But, its going to be exciting.  I am excited to see my friends at the leadership council.  I am excited to see you guys here in 7 weeks, although I won’t be trunky, but….just stating fact. 

Mom, I was actually going to ask you for some favors in regards to college.  I don’t want to be lost when I go back to college.  What President has always told me is that you are going to have to deal with some things at the end of your mission.  There’s no getting around it.  And, I need to know my class schedule.  Like, what class I have on what days, and what times.   Just so I can get mentally prepared, you know.  I am going to plan really well, like I have been planning on my mission.  I am going to plan when I am going to do stuff, so I need to know the schedule.  Also, I am pretty sure there’s a way to find a list of textbooks that you need, and I was going to ask if maybe you could get a little head-start on that.   Cause I know that on the internet and stuff, with some of the textbooks, there’s ways to get them really, really cheaply.  I won’t have the time to search on the internet, to try to find cheap books to buy on the internet cause I will only have ten days before school starts.  Which would already be shipping.  So, I was just going to ask you to see what books I needed, and see if you could find any really cheap books.  There’s a missionary who is living with me, his name is Elder Porter, and he is going to end his mission the same time as me, and he is going to BYU.  And, he said his sister is helping him out, I think its his sister, and I think he said he found some books for really cheap.  And, that would probably be a good thing, just cause, I don’t want to get lost, I don’t want to feel like I am behind when I get home, I want to feel like its already good to go, you know?  So, please send me a schedule, look into those textbooks if you can. 

Other than that, everything is basically good, in regards to things after the mission.  I don’t really need to buy any new clothes.  I don’t really need to buy any new garments either, cause I have, like, 8 new pairs waiting for me that I haven’t opened yet.  I will just need some socks.  Some normal people socks.  Maybe a pair of jeans, but I think I have two in the house.  I don’t think I need to buy anything, except for, like, school supplies.  I’m going to try to go as cheap as possible.  I am not really sure how I’m going to live, in regards to what I am going to eat and stuff, but we can go over that too.  The message I want to get across is, even though I don’t think about it outside of PDay, we need to start thinking about it: especially on PDay.  Because, we need to make preparations and everything.  So, If you could just help me out with that, that would be great.  I just need the help right now, without access to anything. 

We watched that leadership transmission last night, that happened a week ago, and I really liked it a lot.  I am already as excited as I have ever been to do missionary work, there is no doubting that.  But the transmission, what it did for me, is, it prepared me to be a member missionary after I get home. I am really learning a lot, through experiences good and bad, and I liked that training how I am really going to need to have my family really dedicated to missionary work.  So, it really helped me to have a good vision of what I have to be, or what I have to do when I get home.  What I have to help my kids become and stuff, and be able to really help the missionary work grow. 

Yeah, that’s basically it.  Just want to tell you guys that I miss you guys, hope things are going well.  I hope Joseph and Alayna are doing great.  Desmond, my boy!  Not my boy, but you know what I mean… figuratively .

Its winter here right now, but that means its, like, 70 degrees.  So, yes, that’s mildly interesting.  My friend, Elder Porter says, “Hi!” He’s from Fargo, North Dakota.  Yea, so cool.  That’s about it, I will talk to you guys next week, bye!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hello family.  Good morning this is Elder Hoskin on the 24th of June, 2013.  That means that there is a little less than two months left on my ministry so I need to make the most of my time that I possibly can.

It’s actually getting pretty cold out.  I think that winter has officially started here and by that I mean 60 or 65 degrees but it’s still cold for me because I’ve gotten use to the heat hear.

This week was a pretty crazy week.  We had our zone conference on Thursday which was the last zone conference with President Tavares.  So we went to Marillia  and it was a pretty good experience.  It’s kind of sad because it’s his last one but it was good because we got to end it on a good note.  I also got the opportunity to see a lot of friends and it was just a really good experience.  We talked a lot about the sacrifice of the pioneers and it shows the sacrifice that they made for us so that we could be here today.  We also talked about the sacrifices that we make as well and how they are so little compared to the pioneer’s sacrifices.  We listened to the story of John Tanner which is a really good story.  We also watched a video on the Church website about John Tanner and now I’m a lot more interested to hear stories about our family histories and our pioneer ancestors and to hear cool stories about them like their sacrifices to be able to do what Heavenly Father wanted them to do.  When I get home I will be looking up some of those stories because I know that we have them around.  So that was a good experience. 

Marillia is only an hour away from Bauru so we didn’t have to leave crazy early or anything.

So I don’t know if you have been noticing but there have been a lot of protests lately in Brazil.  On Tuesday there was a protest in Sao Paulo where a couple thousand people protested about the bus and taxi prices and the next day there were even bigger protests in over 100 cities.  So all over Brazil there have been protests about how ridiculous the bus prices are because everyone takes the bus.  So the busses in Bauru have been on strike for all of last week and the area that we work at is about 1½ hours from our house walking and you have to walk about ½ hour on the highway so it takes a really long time to get there.  At the same time, you won’t be able to get investigators to walk to church because of the highway so we had to arrange car rides for everyone so that’s been a challenge to our missionary work this week.  But then, last Sunday was the most tired I have been on my entire mission but it was ok because it was worth it.  We had to get up at 4:45 and we had to be out the door by 5:30.  So we walked the 1½ hours to are area and got there at 7:00.  So at 7:00, we started waking up everyone.  So then everyone got ready and the car rides came and it was 8:00.  So we left again because there wasn’t room in the cars because there were lots of investigators, which was good.  So me and another missionary left at 8:00 and we got to the church at 9:30 we spent 3 hours walking before 9:30.  But it ended up being really good because we had a lot of investigators there and it was really worth it.  But that doesn’t hide the fact that between 2:00 and 6:00, that was the most tired I have been on my entire mission.  And it wasn’t sleep tired or being sleepy,  it was exhaustion.  It was good though because we were able to learn about sacrifice in our zone conference and whenever I set out the plan to wake up at 4:45 and to arrange to have everyone picked up, I knew it was going to be a sacrifice.  But I knew that it would be worth it because I knew it would be the best thing for our investigators to get to church so it was totally worth it.

So my companion has two weeks left in his mission and, do you remember how it was with Elder Senna, the other missionary companion that I had that ended in Maringa? It ended really well because we worked a lot and he had the attitude of it’s not over until it’s over.  However, my companion right now has some opposing attitudes.  He’s breaking down as it gets closer to the end and so its been kind of difficult for him to do 100% of the work because, mentally, he’s kind of out of it and so, what I have been doing is I’ve been doing everything possible in my capacity.  An example is that Saturday night, we were at family home evening at a guy’s house in our ward and there were probably 30 people there including the bishop.  So my companion was just having a good time and eating cake and talking to the members and I was having a good time to but there were two people who were there that weren’t member of the church.  They were friends with the guy hosting the event.  Anyway, I have been going nuts lately trying to find every opportunity to teach the gospel to anyone because my companion has been kind of lazy about it.  Anyway, I started talking to this couple and tried to see how they were doing and then I ended up teaching them the restoration and giving them Books of Mormon.  It was fun because this was in the middle of the party and everyone could tell that we were talking about gospel stuff and they were really interested and they said “Wow, I’m going to read this book and I’m going to see it it’s true.”  So it was a really good experience but it shows that, right now, what I have to do with my companion is to continue to keep the pace that I want to keep going.  I had to teach them in the middle of the party and it was all by myself.  Also, any time we are doing anything that doesn’t involve sitting down and teaching a lesson I try to find ways to teach a lesson like talking to non-members that are in the houses that we go to.  So it’s been an interesting experience.  But I won’t say too much else because I’m not supposed to talk bad about my companion.

So our zone is doing really well and I was really, really tired going to bed last night so last night I was knocked out but I woke up this morning feeling a little bit better.

I want to know what you guys think about that crazy audible that I suggested about traveling to the Campinas temple when we are in Marillia.  Campinas is about 3 hours away from Marillia.  Even though it would be kind of a hike, it would be completely worth it because I passed through that temple when I was at the MTC and you guys would be able to say that you passed through a temple in Brazil.  I think that, other than Iguacu Falls, this would be the highlight of the trip.  Also, even though the falls will be cool, the temple will be more cool because we lead gospel centered lives so a trip to a temple in Brazil would be awesome.  So just think about it and let me know what you think.  Also, we wouldn’t have to stay over night.  We could drive there and drive back.

Everyone who was in my group of missionaries when I first got into the field are leaving in two weeks.  So that’s been interesting because at our final zone conference I heard some of them give their testimonies.  But I don’t really think about that.  It really hasn’t come to me that I shouldn’t have stayed one more month or that it stinks that all my group is going home.  It feels really natural staying here one more transfer so I’m grateful for that.  I’m also very excited for this next transfer because, no matter what happens this next transfer, it will be special because I wouldn’t be able to have the experiences I am going to have if I wouldn’t have stayed.  That means there are going to be people that I am going to be able to help that I haven’t been able to help before.  So I’m very thankful for the opportunity.

So that’s about it for this week.  I miss you guys and I hope Desmond is doing well.  I also hope that Joseph and Alayna are doing well.  I hope Abby and Jenny are doing well .  I miss all of you but I’m not getting to trunky at the end, because when I think about it, I don’t really get homesick because in two months I’ll be there.  So I don’t get homesick at all.  Maybe it was a different story when I had been on my mission for 8 months but now, when we are so close to the end, I don’t get homesick because you just need to finish your mission out as best you can. 

I love you.  I hope you have a great week and I will talk to you later.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Good Morning Hoskin Family!  It is the 17th of June, 2013, here in Bauru.  This is Elder Hoskin.  I am feeling really good today, hope everything is going really good with you guys.  I was glad to hear all the news from last week.  And, I hope I hear from Joseph this week, if not, then next week.  I want to hear the baby update, although I am sure he’s doing fine. 

Yeah, so this week was kind of crazy. Ha ha!  Literally, CRAZY!  And, I’ll explain to you guys how it was crazy.  So, I don’t know if I told you this yet, but in my zone, we have the city of Bauru, which has 7 pairs of missionaries, and then there are four other little cities outside of this city that each have a branch.  So in each of these  four  cities, there’s one other pair of missionaries.  So, they are an hour and a half outside of this city.  The city of Bauru has been having a lot of success since I’ve gotten here, but those cities haven’t been doing as well.  And, so, I had the idea to do a division with the district leader out in one of the cities called Agurous, is his city.  And, so on Tuesday I was going to do a division with him, and me and my companion talked about it, and he was like, “ I think you should go there, for the entire week, and spend one day in each area to try and help them out.”  And, so that’s exactly what I did.  This week I spent the entire week traveling from one city to another trying to help them find people and teach the people, and help their investigators who have problems.  And, so, that’s what I did.  On Tuesday I worked in Agurous, and then the rest of the days I worked in the other cities.  The cities are the following names:  Agurous,  Lensweis Palista,, Machituba, Perdenadas.  (spelling?)  So, it was a really cool experience to work with all them, ‘cause I got to get closer to the missionaries we were working with,  I got to work with four different cities…

I have a friend from college named Jeff, he is serving in the Hebrau Preta mission, its another mission in brazil, right above us, and we always joked about being close and stuff, I emailed him, two weeks ago and told him I was in Bauru, and he said that we are literally two hours away from each other, by bus.  And, so, I went even farther, to Sao Paulo, to go to these cities,  and I asked the people at the bus station, ‘how far away are we from Sao Pedro?’  They we like, ‘an hour or an hour fifteen minutes.’ I was like an hour away from my friend.  So that’s pretty interesting, cause we knew each other at BYUI, and somehow, we are an hour away from each other here in Brazil.  So, that’s what I did the entire week.  Mainly, I got to work with the district leader, his name was Elder Bodwin, he is from Oregon, a place called SeaSide, Oregon:  Where the Lewis and Clark trail ended, it’s a really small city.  But, he’s really awesome.  And, this is a quick side-note, I am getting to know a lot of people from Oregon, and become really good friends with them.  You will hear a lot about Oregon in my future afterwards, because I will go to visit a lot of my friends.  Like, the whole summer job thing, as well as there’s one who lives in Vancouver, Washington, on the border or Oregon.  There’s a couple  of other ones I made in Oregon.  I don’t know, from what I hear, Oregon is just like Pittsburgh, or Pennsylvania, but just the West Coast.  Yeah, so I made some pretty good friendships.

I was thinking the other day, because someone was telling me about the leadership style of one of their other zone leaders, how they were really hard on them, they like, burned them.  And, all they cared about was baptisms.  And, I was thinking about the war chapters in the Book of Mormon, and how, I can’t remember his name, but one of the bad leaders of the Lamanites, he didn’t care about the shedding of his people’s blood, you know?  He didn’t really care if a lot of people died in his army, he just wanted to win.  And, then Moroni, like it said, the opposite.  He didn’t like the shedding of blood, he didn’t want to see his people get hurt, tried to avoid fighting at all costs, and he put men’s welfare first.  I thought about that, ‘cause everything is applicable in the Book of Mormon, I thought about how that’s applicable in our day.  And how, I don’t know, at least for me on the mission, I feel that whenever you are in charge, or you have stewardship over a certain group of missionaries, the most important thing, first off, is to make sure everyone is good, and everyone is okay.  Everyone needs to be working, everyone needs to be doing their part, but that all starts with them being okay spiritually, and physically and everything else.  So, that’s something that I tried to put an emphasis on these last couple of weeks.  And, its been working out really well.  Whenever I am with missionaries, we will talk and get to know each other, but we also have semi-serious conversations too, where I will ask like, ‘how’s your personal study going?  How’s your spirituality going on the mission?’ blah blahblah.    I do what I call ‘mini PPI’’s, personal priesthood interviews.  Its really funny.  I guess they were just sitting down waiting for a baptismal service to like, and I just started, like, asking all these questions like that to one missionary, it actually ended up being a really good experience.  So, I have really been able to get to know the missionaries this week.  So, that’s basically what took up the majority of my week.  There were some things that happened that made me kind of sad, and I can share them with you.  You always have big learning experiences, right? 

So, like I told you I was gone all week.  So, what happened was this.  I had gone to each of these four cities, and we had arranged for baptismal interviews on Saturday, and we had taught lessons with people, blah, blah, blah.  In each of the cities we had one or two, some cities one, some cities two, half and half, two cities had one, two cities had two interviews on Saturday.  And, I had perfectly planned out the bus schedule so that I could get to each city and do each interview.  So, like I said, I was out of the house.  And, on Friday night, they had a couple of interviews here in Bauru, in the city.  And, my companion and the other district leader, he is the district leader over half of the city here, and the two juniors:  the junior that my companion was with, and the junior, the district leader, they got done doing the interview, and it was like 8:30 and the Bishop (I think??) said, ‘Hey I will take you guys out to eat or something!’  And, Elder McGuire who is the district leader, he confessed it to me, per se , so I could tell that his was a sincere story.  He was like, “we knew if we went, we were going to get home late.” cause members don’t really care, “but we just chose to do it anyway.  He was kind of repentant but still kind of sad, because they went out, and they took them to a restaurant, and they ended up getting home at 10:20 at night.  I didn’t know anything.  I was calling them to talk about the bus times the next day, cause Elder McGuire was going to have to get a bus to go do interviews with me, so I was trying to call them, and they had turned off their phones.  And, they got home really late.  I could tell that when Elder McGuire was telling me the next day that he was really repentant and he felt bad.  But  -----  my  companion doesn’t really feel bad.  And at the same time, even if we are repentant over the things that we do that are bad, we are still going to suffer the consequences.  I am sure that it helps, it limits the consequences.  But, I mean, Adam was probably repentant, but was still cast out of the garden, right?  So, it  was really, really stressful because I had done a fast on Saturday that these interviews could work out, and that all the missionaries could really be able to help these people make covenants.  And, everything just fell through.  Every, Every single, every single interview that we had made, every plan that we had made in these four cities fell through.  Every single one.  It was terrible ‘cause I had met Elder McGuire, he had gotten a bus to come with me in the morning, to go to Macatuba, the first city.  So, as soon as he got on the bus, he was like, ‘Dude!  I need to tell you what happened.  I am just going to tell you ‘cause I feel horrible about it.’  So, as soon as he said it, I was just like… ‘crap!’  ‘Cause we don’t have the Lord’s promise.  You don’t have the Lord’s promise when you are consciously disobeying or choosing to break a rule.’  So, I got really worried.  So, we had the fast prayer… I tried to…. I don’t know.  It all just fell through.  Every single one fell through.  So, the entire day, in regards to -------- the interviews was a waste, I believe I still tried to show my faith to the Lord, I was really, really trying.  So, for me that was good.  Like Preach My Gospel says, real success is measured in the diligence that you do, when trying to get results.  And, so, we had six people who had already committed to be baptized here in the city, and only three of them ended up being baptized, or four.  So, there was a lot that fell through here too.  I don’t think the missionaries that were a part of that Restaurant thing really understand.  But, I understand because I have seen it before in my zones.  Whenever we break the rules like that, we lose the Lord’s promise, and we don’t have His promise, we don’t have His Promise protection for our investigators to not get tempted by the enemy, or for them to be protected, or for them to still have the spiritual desire to be baptized.  And, it was really sad.  It was really sad.  I felt like someone in the Book of Mormon who is just like, I don’t know, I have my problems too.  We all have our problems.  But, this kind of hurt.  It just hurt.  ‘Cause you try to be as obedient as you can, and as soon as you leave the city your companion, and some of the other missionaries just disobey the rules.  I want to do divisions to help out the other missionaries, but I would have to sacrifice my own area.  So, that was an interesting lesson that I learned.  And, it wasn’t one of the prettiest lessons I have ever learned either.  Like mom always said, ‘I guess I learn from observing a lot as well,’  While I didn’t necessarily break the rule, I was still able to observe the consequences of it and learn from it.  So like everything else on the mission, it was a learning experience.  But, I was pretty bummed out about that. That’s basically how it happened.

It has been getting pretty cold here, which is good.  I am getting excited for you guys to come to here, to see us. 

So, there’s a guy who served a mission here six years ago, and he came back with his wife this last week to visit.  So, they were in our church on Sunday.  Pretty cool.  He’s from Wyoming, his wife’s from Rhode Island, and, he’s a big Penguins fan.  They came to church on Sunday, and I was just like talking to them, I said in Portuguese, ‘to do bein?’  They were like, Hi, we’re Americans.  I was like, oh!  Cool! cause she didn’t speak any English (I think he meant to say Portuguese), and it’s kind of hilarious because she gets kind of freaked out.  This is kind of trunky, but its just fact.  Maybe one day I will come back here with the person that I am eventually married to, and it will be like that.   Or, like how you guys are, you know.  Although, I don’t think you will be freaked out like she is, cause she kind of got freaked out, you know, when people are talking.  But, like they were like, ‘yeah we are from Rhode Island.’  And I was like, ‘yeah I am from Pittsburgh.’  And they were like, ‘WOW We were in Pittsburgh last week!’  I was like, ‘really?’  Apparently, she has a brother who just graduated from Carnegie Mellon.  They were like, ‘yeah we went to see his graduation in Pittsburgh.’  I was like, ‘hey, did you like the city?’  She was like, ‘Yeah, Pittsburgh is a really beautiful city!”  I was like, ‘yeah… Pittsburgh’.  And, then he was like, ‘are you a Penguins fan?’.   I said, ‘yeah I am’.  He was like, ‘Dude!  I am a huge Penguins fan.’.  He was like, ‘the Bruins totally beat them!’.  And she was like, ‘Yes!’  ‘Cause she is from Rhode Island, so she is a Bruins fan.  I was like, ‘yeah, my dad told me they got swept: two goals in four games!’  I was like, ‘ouch!’  It was funny though.  It was cool because I got to talk to them in English.  It was different.  You just don’t see Americans everyday.   And then, that was pretty nifty.

 So that’s basically how my week went.  This week’s going to be a lot better, I hope.  I am not going to do any divisions or anything.  Its going to be the last Zone Conference of President Tavarez on Thursday.  We are going to take a bus to marilla again, my favorite city.  And, so, that will be fun. 

I hope everything is going great with you guys.  I hope dad is keeping up on his spiritual goals, and that the girls are doing their spiritual things in the morning as well, and that Joseph and Alayna are still managing to have spiritual time with the baby, and with all the work.  I hope its all going well.

Oh, yeah!  One more funny side story.  Whenever I was in Agurus, one of those small cities, they had the biggest catholic seminaries in Brazil.   You know, Seminaries where nuns and priests stay.  Its like 5 kilometers outside of the city, its like 4, maybe 4 and a half.  So me and Elder Bodwin, the guy that I was with, we woke up at 6:30, and we did a jog to do exercises.  But, we didn’t have enough time to get there, because it was so far away.  So the next day, we woke up at 5:50,  he he, 40 minutes early, and we ran.  And, it was so, like, foggy and dark.  Its really hidden in all these trees, and this hill, so you can’t see it from far away.  So we ran all the way there at 5:50 in the morning.  It was huge!  We took a lot of pictures.  So I will send some pictures of me at the seminary.  And that was kind of a fun adventure too. 

Also, I have been running recently, in the morning.  You are probably thinking, ‘how can he be running!  He’s go 22 maybe 23 months in the mission.   But, I guess I am just living the word of wisdom.  But, yeah, I am getting back into running again, which I love because I ran a lot before the mission.  And, I am going to be running again afterwards.

So I hope everything is well with you guys.  This is the message I will leave with you today.  I love you guys, I hope everything is great.  I miss you guys too, let me know how everything’s going.  Don’t forget about me, just ‘cause I want to hear how you guys are doing.  So, I will talk to you guys later.  I will probably say a little more in the email.