Hello family! Grandma and grandpa, thank you very much for the letter! i got the second one there today. i am going to write you a nice full letter today and send it to you, which youll get through the email address that you usually send me things here. i love you guys, and i am glad to hear that it is beautiful in the cabin! i cannot wait until we can all meet back there again after my mission, and just be together again. it will be a very happy time. i love you guys, and i am grateful for all the time you take to write me letters, i will respond today i promise! mom, thats news that abby got braces! how long is she going to have them on for? and i remember the expander, it was very painful, but i loved cranking it because it felt like the whole braces process was getting along. the faster, the better for that. i remember the mental health days during school. im not going to lie, they were not only a help to get a break and take a breather from school, but alot of times i got sick of the people in school, more often than not for how their conduct was contrary to our standards. so know that it was more than just a day off of studying and all. i think it helped me, because whenever it got to be too much i just wanted to get away from it, and i think that the days helped me to not just get lazy and accept that kind of stuff around me. woo mom! well to indexing, i just read the talk of Elder Bednar on family history and vicarious work, and while you are very much up in other religious things, its great dad is doing that because i have been learning this week alot about those sort of powers we have here on earth, and how it is important. alyssa is getting married!? what!? tell her and them that i said congrats! im stoked for her, but am also excited because now i KNOW that i am next in the hoskin family to be marrried, woo! haha but that is really exciting news, tell her i said congrats! Dad, i am very happy to hear about the success the devils are having. it sounds like the devils are really kicking it up right as i leave the country, but i am glad for their success. keep me posted. thats awesome that you got to see President Benson, that is similar to how i felt about Elder Cook. i think that one of the sweetest parts was that it was the most specific audience ive ever been in while getting instructions from an apostle of God, he was telling us what we as our mission needed to do, and that was a big spiritual experience for me. i will give the update on the mothers day call in a minuto. im glad things are going so great, its just what Elder Cook said about how our loved ones will be blessed more than we will for our missions, so im glad to hear it!
so this week i have gotten sort of fancy with my flash drive. i pulled off about 10 talks i thought could really help me out from general conference in the past few years, put them on my pen drive, and now i listen to them at night before i go to bed! one of which being jeffery r holland´s testimony on the book of mormon, which leads me to my next topic.
so this week, the theme in my personal growth has been the book of mormon. i know its the word of God, and are the revelations selected for our benifit in these days, but i came into this week just wanting to strengthen my testimony in it more, and with fasting and prayer, and reading it happened! i went up and bore my testimony at church, and it was probably the most powerful feeling testimony i think ive ever born. it was a great spiritual experience to draw closer to the book of mormon, because at the same time we draw closer to christ.
in regards to my flash drive and music, there is a song that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir does that is now my favorite church/motab song. it is called ´homeward bound´ and even though i have been listening to it these entire almost 10 months on the mission, just recently its become one of the best songs that i like. you can interpret it for a mission or the plan of salvation, either one that you would like (although the ladder 2 are comparable also) and its just really good for inviting the spirit.
this week, for personal reasons, i have been studying alot about the prophet Elijah. i have been startin there in 1 Reis 17, and using the portuguese old testament institute manual and everything i can find, and i can now easily say who my ´favorite´ prophet is. Elijah. He is the epitamy of faith, which is also the epitamy of magnifying the priesthood, and i think he is a great example in many many ways to us. one of the more generally applicable is that when he was challenged by the priests of baal to see which God was the true God, there was only him and 450 priests of Baal. its a good lesson because one of us members can stand against any adversity with the lord on our side.
so i had a crazy mission story this week that was a great spiritual experience, of how the lord will always prepare a way for people to come unto the gospel, leaving out the importance of time (1 Nephi 9:6). we found a man 2 days ago through a member reference named Mauro. so we showed up at his house, taught him, and it ends up he had the book of mormon already. how? well he told us this story. 12 years ago, he was sitting on a bus going to work like every other day. and a missionary sat next to him, and begand to casually converse with him. then right before the missionary left, he asked mauro if he would like a present. he accepted, and the missionary gave him the book of mormon. so this member referencew only had where the street was (´the street in front of the bigger market´) so we knocked on all of the doors looking for a mauro, and after over 50 houses (and finding many other people to teach, side blessings) we found mauro. he had not had any contact with missionaries since those 12 years ago in that bus, but he had read the entire book of mormon cover to cover, gotten married, had a kid, and then we showed up at his house. he accepted everything we had to teach him, and right now he is in the process of recieving an answer through prayer, but it is na amazing story about how the lord will never forget about anyone, and no matter what time frame he will always provide a way.
so i have to go now, but i love you all! i am super excited to talk to you on sunday, so just remember 4 oclock, and i love you all, i cant wait! have a great week