Hello everybody, this is your missionary Elder hoskin, first email from the field! before i go into lots of details about everything so far, i want to go over some logistical details
first of all, in response to packages, joseph i never got your package and i hope that it will get forwarded out to the field. michelle, (my love :) ) send the package that you wanna send to the mission home address i gave you in londrina! send it there in a USPS flat rate box and i will get it in about nine days. its the londrina address, the only one i gave you guys thats not the MTC, and so long to the MTC!
k here we go!
so tuesday i had to wake up at 330 in the morning, and go to the airport and catch a flight to londrina. oh and ps, the weight limits were very generous, so i got rid of my 3rd little suit case. i just trashed it! then i flew in just as the sun was rising. londrina is a beautiful city! i am here all safe and sound, no problems or anything. the city is smaller, like pittsburgh, and means ´little london´ but its really nice! so as soon as we got off of the plane president and sister tavares were waiting for us, they are extremely nice people! hes so excited about everything, which i like very much because he motivates me. in the Mtc i kept hearing that its not about the nuymbers, and stuff like that. but basically he as a mission president has two things that our mission stresses; exact obedience, and baptisms. i like the exact obedience part! it means i dont have to deal as much with brazilians who are slackers, because everyone here seems to be really good at that kind of stuff. i´ll have to get used to focusing on baptismal numbers, but im a missionary, thats my job, and it doesnt meant we cant have great conversions along the way.
So we spent the morning slash early afternoon at the mission home, and that was nice although i was very tired, lots of orientations and such. they have an apartment on this high rise building overlooking a lake, and i look outside and guess what the first thing i see is?? someone doing crew on the lake! haha i heard that. so that was good being at the mission home, then we got assigned our areas and trainers
i am assigned to the ouro branco A area, and my trainer is a brazilian named elder espirito santo! so translated, my area is named ´white gold´´ and my trainers name in english is elder holy ghost! hahaha. but the area that im in is actually part of the city of londrina, which is what i wanted, i mean there are plenty of other areas not in londrina but i like being in this city. being in the city means that i go downtown every tuesday for distric meeting. while downtown, we send letters and check the mail for the mailing address of the mission home that i gave you guys before i left. thats why packages will be so acessible! and also, i was afraid of when slash if i was going to mail letters to michelle, but i already mailed one on thursday, because we were down there! and my p day is on monday, peculiar, but our district meetings will always be on tuesdays, so tuesday is when we mail letters since we´l be downtown by the post office. so im even sending another one tomorrow! what great news. also, im at an internet cafe right now emailing, so theres not going to be problems with that either
Anyways, so after we got assigned our areas and such, me and my new companion got on a public bus with my two big bags and took a bus for 20 minutes to our apartment. i am thankful that i didnt have a third at that point. so then we got to our apartment. im in an apartment with a total of 6 missionaries including myself, 2 are zone leaders, 2 are secretaries, and 2 are me and my trainer. the apartment is by far the worst living conditions i have ever lived in in my entire life. we have a gross washer and lots of clothes lines, squeegees for the showers to make the water go down the drain, and i have no personal space except for a tiny desk. im not angry about it, i guess its just the life of a missionary. i did hear from them though this is one of the dirtieset apartments in the mission. i have a tiny closet where i hang my suits, shirts, and towel, and literally everything else i either keep on my desk, in my everyday backpack or store in my luggage. thats just the way its gonna be at least for now because i dont want to leave things in the bathroom to get all dirty. but i digress, its ok and i can tough it out.
so the first day we just got right down to it! we went out and taught a family that was currently investigators, and did some contacting. so far weve had good success if you ask me, weve gotten lots of new investigators and taught lessons, we work hard and thats the way i like it. its really a great experience to see how the gospel changes peoples lives. i cant speak very much at all, its so different out here, but i am learning quickly! i know more gospel related things than regular right now, so i help teach the lessons half and half, and my companion does alot of the initial street contacting. he is teaching me alot though, about the language and everything, so that is good!
i love getting all these emails from family. i dont usually have time to respond to them each individually, but i am going to try!
so overall things have been pretty good here. ive been so tired at nights, but im starting to grind into the routine so thats making it better. some nights i have hardly remembered getting into bed after saying my nightly prayers. theres lots of american missionaries, 2 living in my apartment, and everyone is friendly. its just like if i have a happy and friendly attitude towards everyone, it´ll be reciprocated. ive already done ALOT of walking, WALKING WALKING WALKING WALKING, but i like the exercise. im usually bathed in sweat towards the end of the day, but i like feeling like ive done work, like a capitalist hahah
im even getting pretty tan, not ridiculously, i dont think i´ll turn black here, it has its ovecast days, but its true that right now i am going into summer, because the seasons are all messed up, so its going to get hot! my companion told me though that it will never really get about mid to high 80s here, so its not going to be bad at all. just lots of sun, then again walking all day really makes it feel hotter
so back to lunch at memnbers houses. mom, everything you heard on missionary moms is absolutely true. NOBODY eats a real breakfast or dinner here! and its always lunch appoiintments with members, its totally the biggest meal of the day. so im trying to figure out how to cope with that. in the beginning i would cram at lunch because i was soooo hungry, but that doesnt work because im still hungry towards the night, and have just over eaten. so i have started to get wise. im going to eat lunch regularly, and live off of the things that i buy here, and more specially at night clif bars, and things of that nature. so i will need more as time goes on! becasue for lack of a better term i basically live off of those things. i have one a day at night, and it holds me over well.
but the food here is really good! every meal, beans and rice, beans and rice, with some other stuff with it which makes it fine, i dont think im going to have a problem with the repitition
so thoughts about being a missionary now that i am officially in the field; i can do this. for the next 21 and a half months, i can do this. its hard work, and its sort of a survival type deal, but i know this is what i am supposed to do, and there are no doubts in my life. i know that me and michelle are getting married 100 percent, so i dont get extremely stressed over that, just over being able to stay in contact because thats whats important to me. but since ive been out here ive gotten so excited for her to go on a mission, i think she is going to love it if slash when she goes! other thoughts, i know that i can be an instrument in the hands of god. everyone has things that they repent for in life, and since ive been a missionary ive made sure that everything i do wrong gets repented for, so that i can be a missionary. well david a bednar said that you can know you are fully forgiven if the spirit is with you and working through you. and i have seen that constantly since being out here, so yes! the spirit i felt in conference yesterday and saturday was so strong, i was so edified and i am so glad. also other thought, from seeing missionaries out here and seeing myself, i once again know that the only thing thats going to change about me is an increase in testimony and spiritual knowledge. this mission is going to do wonders for me and michelles family, i know it. and thoughts like that keep me going! i am a missionary family, i am actually doing the lords work now, not just some classroom in the MTC. and i want you to know that when i feel really tired or sweaty or worn out that i like that feeling, because i know that i have been doing work. doing the lords work.
ok im going to go respond to other emails like grandma and grandpa and joseph and alayna if i have time. make sure that they get this forwarded email though! i love you all so much, and i will write next week. youre the greatest, and im doing just fine out here. talk to you next week! bye :)