Family! This letter is going to be awesome, ive read all of yours and you guys had such great news and such! so i will respond to that soon. Also i have great news and experiences to share, so this is going to be a happy letter!
First of all im going to start off by saying, thank you for the emails and letter! i appreciate them so much, they make my week great, so thank you!
Grandma and grandpa, thank you for your email. it was uplifting, and i am glad to be able to continue to be kept up to speed in your lives. happy birthday! i didnt know beforehand, but i am happy for you! Go Snake River!
Dad, thank you for your email very much. im nowhere near the sons of mosiah, but i am the son of Robert hoskin! and i use you and them as examples daily. to answer your question, i am doing much better than previous weeks, because hands down this was the best week of my mission, when it comes to missionary work and growing as a missionary. im sorry to hear that your surgery had been painful, i have been praying for you every prayer, and also included you in my fast this week, so i hope that helps because thats all i can really do from here. thank you for sharing that missionary experience for me, it has been tough but i am working it out. also, ive been pretty uptight the first couple of weeks as a missionary when it comes to my personality, but this week i have found the balance to loosen up and be myself, while still being a missionary, and i see the difference in my happiness during the day, and the relationships and success that i have with my companion, other missionaries, investigators and members alike, so that is improving! Thank you for the inspiring words about money, i always feel bad using money in that account, but i promise you i will use it as you have directed, and feeling bad will help me use it more wisely. and its true, i will never waste it on anything, in fact i dont have oppertunities to really waste it, but i will be wise with it. Father, thank you so much for being able to be in a position where money is not a huge scare for us, it really helps to know that if i am hungry, i can buy stuff, and its all because of your hard work. i really appreciate it! The devils need to step it up, i think that we need to figure out how we can help. but im sure they will turn it around... and the penguins.. i dont know what to say about them. im sorry joseph and alayna arent coming out for christmas, i got the impression this week that i should start emailing joseph and alayna personally, just to keep in touch with my brother, so i am going to do that. joseph, were going to email every week!
Ok now to my week, well the first thing i want to talk about is the good news that i have today, and that is... I GOT MY FIRST BAPTISM!!!!! wooo! i baptized João (Name removed for good reasons.) on november 5th, 2011, my first baptism. and for those whove seen v for vendetta, remember remember, the 5th of november. ok so anyways, i had made a calendar for john with a scripture each day to help him continue to overcome his drug addiction. and president tavares had known about john because we had to call him to know when we could reschedule his baptism. so president called me during this past week and asked what we were doing to help him, and the progress and stuff, and he said that he felt like since john was fulfilling all of his commitments we could baptize him ´in any moment´ so we had the baptismal service saturday night! and his family was there, and they all told us that they could see the change in his life, and i think were going to baptize them too! its all good with John, im so happy to be able to get my first! now i dont have to worry about numbers, and i can just focus on being the best missionary i can be.
For other news, my training is over after only half the time. Today is the day that everyone finds out if theyre being transfered, because transfers are today, and my companion is being transfered out of here to another area, and i am no longer a trainee, just a junior companion. CRAZY! i dont know why it happpened, because i need to be trained for 12 weeks, but now theres no excuses for anything, i am a missionary just like everyone else, not being trained. wel this is exciting! my new companions name is elder de jesus, or of jesus, haha i dont know about these names! but he´s going to be the district leader, and i am his right handy man. but my companion doesnt know what happened. anyways, new companion tomorrow, how crazy!
now to explain the pictures really quickly. one is me, 2 p-days ago, relaxing in a hammock of another missionary, looking through my photo album of michelle and me. another is my face, super excited for baptism! and another is me, my companion, john, and his dad at the chapel for the baptism. the other is of my old district, which i dont even know why i put the picture up now because its all being changed, but i hope you like the pictures! the one of the hammock can be in my plaque at the 5th ward chapel hahah.
ok so this email has been all over the place, now i will email about the things that i had noted chronilogically.
there are am/pm´s here! its wierd because everything literally gas is brazilian, but somehow they have convenience stores here the same. i wonder if ill ever see a 711..
i had a division again with my old district leader, elder bennett, and it was amazing. first of all, we had lunch at a gourmet self serve place, and it was once again the best meal that ive had in brazil, better than the all you can eat bbq from the week before. i learned alot from elder bennett once again, its great being with american missionaries sometimes. but we had a miracle! here it goes. we were trying to find the house of a reference we had written down, and so we knocked on the door of a house near the area to ask for directions. well we got to talking with the father, and we asked to share a message. turns out, the spirit had put us there in that exact day, in that exact moment. he (renaldo) had been in portugal for the last year, and had just returned the day before. he had taken all the lessons with the missionaries, and we during the lesson learned that he had been going to church for 2 months! and had a testimony of the book of mormon, and had been looking for an LDS church here, and couldnt find one. and he wanted to be baptized, but ran out of time in portugal. so its not in my area, but they are going to baptize him next sunday, it was truly the spirit that lead us there because he was truly prepared to recieve us haha. and also another big thing happened. there was a guy sitting in front of his house smoking cigarettes that we started talking to, and during the restoration lesson that we were teaching him on the street we all felt the spirit, and he was totally fired up, so we asked if we could literally take his cigarettes and throw them away for him, and he was like yes! i am going to quit. and so apparently elder bennett and his companion returned the next day, and elder bennett said it was one of the most powerful spiritually experiences he has had in his entire mission, and that he knows that man and his entire family are going to be baptized. so it was a transfer with alot of spirit, and i was very much grateful for it!
Just a side note, dad your nametag that i brought with me now sits all nifty on my desk where i can see it everyday, when i said earlier that i look to you as an example i meant it! haha :)
so i was sort of pouting over the fact that i wont have any sort of thanksgiving, and i came across this scripture during my personal study. 2 nephi 8:3 literally talks about how i can have thanksgiving in any place, so that i just what i am going to do! try my best to make it feel like thanksgiving is here.
I also had the oppertunity to have a division with another missionary this week, one elder Thiago. it wasnt a big one because he is an assistant to the president and we live in the same house, so we just spent the whole day working with eachother, then returned to our companions. i dont think i will ever have an oppertunity to work with a missionary with as much experience as he has, seeing has how he is done with his mission and is going home the day after tomorrow. ive really looked up to him during my time here, and with him we taught alot of great lessons, so i was glad for the experience. he has been giving away some of his stuff since he is leaving, and while he hasnt started that much i have aquired a really nifty bright gray v neck sweater here! i will get a picture of me in it because i want michelle to see :)
things have been really crazy here, and will only get more crazy because of these transfers, i literally found out i was getting a new companion as i was typing this! and now my companion is not going to buy groceries since he is leaving, and its just going to be a big mix up! elder teuscher, my zone leader is being transfered, and i liked him alot, he was always someone i could talk to since hes an american and all, but that is okay because i still have an elder pope, who is crazy at night but is growing on me.
i have to go now, things are crazy because of the transfer, but i hope you like this email! i love you all so much, and am grateful always, i say thanks for every one of you in every prayer this week, it was a good experience. and i will continue! please lets keep eachother in our prayers, and until next week, i love you guys!!!