Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hello Family!  This is Elder Hoskin talking on January 28 on 2013.

Not to get anybody trunky or anything, but yesterday was my one year, six month anniversary of being in Brazil on a mission, so Holy Crap!  I made this parable today, and I am getting worried about ending my mission.  As of right now, the first year and a half, I don’t have any regrets, I have done what I needed to do, I feel that satisfaction.  But, I  was telling someone today, I imagine this is what a terminal disease would feel like.  If you were told you had one year to live.  And so, you live it up, you try to live as much as possible, then, it kind of gets into your head - - Crap!  I only have one more year, or I only have 8 more months .  That’s how I am feeling.  I’m starting to get sad the closer it gets to the end.  So, that just, like, its gonna be really sad whenever it ends.  So, I’m just gonna make the most of it right now. 

I hope everyones doing okay.  The highlight of this week was that I had the best fast of my entire life.  So, I’m gonna tell you how that fast went down right now.  So, President,  we have a president’s letter every week.  Whenever we go on the email on Monday, we can go to the mission website, and we have a different letter every week.  So, last week’s letter was a story of a missionary that was having a lot of problems baptizing, what he dis was, he prayed and fasted for a day, So, through that fast, it was defined of things that he needed to stop doing and  ways that he needed to sanctify himself more.  So, he made a list, and for 40 days he would strictly follow that list, and not do the things he decided he was going to stop doing.  Every night he would look at  his list, and with prayer, he would make goals to see if he could be better.   So, after 40 days, he literally had become a better person by sanctifying himself.   And, president challenged the whole mission to do that.  So I did the fast on Saturday to Sunday.  Saturday lunch to Sunday lunch.  And, it ended up being one of the best fasts I have ever done my entire life.  First what happened is Saturday we went to Atapongas, its another city in my zone.  Apucarana has about 12 missionaries.  Atapongas has four.  So, its just another city about half an hour away. 

So, we went there to do a baptismal interview, for a woman.  She had been really excited all week to get baptized, then, on Saturday morning,  she had a big fight with one of her kids.  She was like, I am not getting baptized, I’m not feeling like it.  I’m not even going to talk to that missionary with the interview and stuff.   That’s what she told them, so it seemed like it had all fallen through or whatever.  I was thinking that it was Lucifer, like there is opposition in all things.   So, they ended up getting her to go to the interview, and I went into the interview with her.  She is a really really spiritual person.  And, it was the best interview I’ve ever done, one of the best.  I’m not going to lie to you, we were both crying- - which shouldn’t be one of the indicators, but you know it kind of is.   We didn’t go over the interview questions until, lie, 20 minutes into it.  In the beginning I shared with her the scriptures about opposition in all things,  and stuff like that.  It ended up being a really really good interview, and I felt the spirit really well.  And, so that was like, Woa!  My fast has been going really well because of that.  So, she ended up passing the interview, she got baptized yesterday.  That was the highlight of the day.  Then, we went home, and kept working.  And, we got into our house about 9:30, and I broke out my scriptures.  And, I looked for all the scriptures that talked about fasting.  In the Bible Dictionary is says the Book of Mormon helps a lot more to explain the benefits of fasting, and it had a bunch of references.  So, I studied fasting, and that helped bring the spirit.  One thing that I thought that was interesting, that I never had to do before cause I have never had anyone close to me die,  is that you can fast to mourn – to get comfort with the loss of a loved one, like the did in the book of mormon.  I thought that was really interesting.  Then, I went to bed.

Then, on Sunday, it was a crazy day.  So, we get into church, and our Branch President’s like, ‘hey!  Elder Hoskin!  Our first speaker for five min, is not able to do it, can you give a talk? ‘  And, so I gave a really cool talk, like, I really felt like I needed to give this message, so I gave it.  So, I gave a talk on Mosiah Chapter 26 or is it 27… Its 27.  About how like Alma the younger had an angel come to him, and the angel said I am here as a response to your fathers’ prayers, and because of his faith.  So, I gave this message that was short, but really awesome.  I just felt like I was inspired  to give that message to any parents or kids even that were falling away from the church.  Those parents need to keep fasting and keep praying for their kids, because the Lord responds to that, we learn it through Alma’s experience.  And, so afterwards there was a woman who came up to me, that I have never really talked to before.  She told me about her daughter that has fallen away from the church, and thanked me for my message.  So, I know that message was for her.  A really neat experience, just a really cool experience.  I saw the spirit working in my life more.

 So, theres a woman who goes to the other branch that shares our chapel, she has been an investigator for two months, and she never got baptized, just because she felt like she wasn’t ready.  I am in a trio right now, it me and my companion, and a district leader in our same branch, because his companion went to Londrina,  so me and the district leader, as soon as I got done giving a talk, we just left the chapel,  we went downstairs and got this woman, her name is Sirlainea, and we just sat down with her.  And, we gave one of the most spiritual lessons that I have ever been a part of.  Every time something spiritual happens, I think , ‘ that’s the most spiritual its ever been!’   I am pretty sure that’s true, because every time we have another spiritual experience,  we feel the spirit a little more, we expand a little more.  But, it was crazy, and we talked about Mosiah 26,  and then used Alma 7.  And, she didn’t want to get baptized for a lot of weeks,  and we invited her after the lesson, we said, ‘will you get baptized, today?’  Like, today today.  And she accepted!  So, this was a huge miracle, and she got baptized at 7:30, and she was crying the entire time with like, JOY!  As soon as she got out of the water, she started sobbing, it was crazy.   Because she was really repentant of stuff she had done in the past. 

So that ended up being one of the best fasts I have ever done.  There was so many spiritual experiences in that, it was crazy.  And, so, that basically made my week.  It’s the last week of the transfer next week.  This is a seven week transfer.  I am pretty sure I am going to stay .  My companion could stay or could go.  I want to tell you guys that I love you, and that I am really enjoying the mission.  Everytime I get sad about the mission ending, I work harder.  But, I know its going to be sad whenever it ends.  I am really grateful for everything you guys have helped me with.  I hope you have a great week and hope that everything is going well.  I will talk to you next week, I am doing well, no health problems. I am doing great.  I will talk to you next week. Okay, bye.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Voice recording from Jan 21, 2013

Good morning family!  Mom and Dad, everybody.  It’s a nice morning here in Apucarana.  This week has been a lot hotter than last week.  But, its all good cause it’s the last summer in Brazil.  So, I was kind of expecting it.  This week was a really, really crazy week.  The assistants always take turns going to the different zones to see how its going and all that kind of stuff.  And, so this week was our zone’s week, so the assistants came, and I am pretty good friends with them, so it was awesome.  I was in a division the entire week.  I think I worked with my companion just on Wednesday.  And, every other day,  I was with either one of the assistants or another missionary in the zone.  So, I was traveling around and stuff, which is what I like to do, it was really cool.  We had a lot of good experiences, and it was fun, pretty fun.  I, um, I don’t know if I told you guys this but right now we are doing a read the book of mormon as a mission.  Everyone got the same calendar, and every day on the calendar is a different chapter or group of chapters.  And it went from the beginning of the year to May.  I asked President if I should read it in English, because its been a while since I have been able to read the book of mormon in English; so I can see the difference in my understanding of the gospel, stuff like that.   And, he was like, “yeah, that’s a really good idea!”  So, I have been reading it in English, which has been a really really good experience.  One thing that I really liked that I want to share with you guys was in 1 Nephi 22, 21 or 22, it was talking about how like.  There is a scripture here that I never really got before.  Its talking about the Mellinium, right, so before, I thought that Satan would have no power, whatever, in that Chapter I figured out why.  Its something that I am trying to apply to our zone, and to me in general.  In the scripture it says Satan won’t have any power just because of the righteousness of all the people.  Its not some magical, ‘okay, you won’t have any power, you are locked-up’, but its like the righteousness of the people who are going to be governed by Jesus Christ is going to be why Satan has no power.  I thought that was something really interesting .  And, I thought of how there is always things going on in missionary work where your like about to baptize someone, or someone is progressing really well,  and something will come out of nowhere, like a family member,  or some kind of bizarre thing that will almost destroy it.  You know, that’s like the enemy, trying to bring down missionary work.  And, I thought about it, and the more righteousness that we have, in anything, like the mission, or in zone, or in our companionship, the less power Satan will have.  So, random things that go on, they will happen less, because Satan has less power.  I remember at the temple dedication of Manaus whenever we watched it, in Falls de Iguasu, I think it was Elder Uchtdorf.  He said that each time a temple is built, Satan’s power diminishes here on earth.  Its because of the righteousness.  So, that was something really cool that I learned this week that I liked a lot, that I’m really trying to apply.  So, the more righteousness that we have, the less those things are going to impede our missionary work.  I am really liking the Book of Mormon in English this time around. 
            So, my Visa, you know how like the visa was for like two years, right? It’s a one year, then you have to renew it for another year?  You have to have a second one year visa.  So, my visa expired in July, and I still haven’t renewed my visa.  They haven’t called me to go get my visa renewed.  Which Is really weird.  Usually they call you two or three months after your year.  Usually it delays a little bit anyways.  But, I have a year and a half on the mission now, which is strange by the way.  And, I still haven’t gotten my visa renewed.  When it was one year, I got a slip, and you can bring the slip around and it will prove to the police and stuff, and whoever asks that your visa, even though its expired, that its in the process of being renewed.  But, that slip expired, like four months ago.  Like, I am totally an illegal immigrant. Just thought I’d let you know, that’s kind of cool .   But, I got a letter from Brazilia, which is like, the capitol of Brazil, that’s all the way up north,  Zachary Paul Hoskin got a letter from them, that President Tavarez said he had never seen before.  The letter told me I had to present some document to some person, and I had no clue what it meant.  They didn’t know what it meant either.  So, he sent it to the missionary department in Sao Paulo  and they’re gonna try to figure out what it means.  That’s kind of strange.  But, everythings gonna be okay.   But, because of this visa information, I am pretty sure this week, we are going to get our visa’s renewed.  I have called President two times about it, and I think the secretaries are putting everything together for us to go get our Visa’s renewed this week, that will be good.  That means I will be all in the clear.  I’ll have what would be a green card, right?  I won’t be an illegal immigrant any more.
            But, yeah, things are going really well here.  This transfer is going to be seven weeks, instead of six.  That means I will have two more weeks in this transfer, and we will see what happens.   Hopefully we will stay here because my companion has more time.  And, he might stay with me one more, because we are working out really well together.  So, we will see what happens, its not anything to worry about. 
            Um, I am starting to get really pumped for Joseph and Alayna to have their first kid, cause its almost getting into February.   And, the baby is supposed to come in early March.  Which means for me that the baby could come anytime right?  Like, babies get born early all the time, right?  I’m really pumped to hear about that.   Um, I wanted to ask about how Grandma and Grandpa Barrowes are doing.  I always hear from Grandma and Grandpa Hoskin, but I was just wondering how they are doing, just haven’t heard about them for a while, and I was thinking about them the other day.  Then,  things are going pretty well here, I’m pretty happy.  I am trying to use sunscreen as much as possible  to get as white as I can, but it doesn’t really help.  I am getting really tan still, but that’s fine. 
            I am really excited for the plans to get finalized for Dad to come out here.  That’s something that we kind of have to do.  As soon as Dad finds out if he can or can’t we need to make the decision.  The quicker  we plan it,  the cheaper it is.  Then, I will also be able to tell some members and stuff about how we’re coming.  So, when the assistants came here, the week before, they were in Marills, the place where I passed 6 months.  It was last year that I was there.  And, I heard so many good stories about the people that I worked with there.  And, I was so happy. I really want to go back there, like I am dying to go back  to Palmethial  which is the ward I served in, and see everybody. 
            So I need to end this because it is too long, so I just want to tell you I love you, I will respond to your em

Monday, January 14, 2013

Voice recorded message:
Good Morning Mom and Dad, Joseph, Alayna, Abby , Jenny.  I hope everyone is doing very well on this 14th of January, 2013! Woa!

This week has been a really good week in regards to feeling really good as a missionary just because of what it says in Preach My Gospel in Chapter 11 about the different things you can have to be a successful missionary.  One of the things is being guided by the spirit and also, like serving others and stuff.   We have had a lot of experiences this week… its probably the week with the most experiences where I felt like the spirit has been in our work and we have been able to see it pretty clearly.  So, that’s been really nice. 

I have a pretty cool story that I could share with you guys.  So, we went to the leaders council on Monday, and then we got back on Wednesday morning.  So, we got off the bus in our city, Apucarana, me, my companion, and my one district leader, we were all feeling weird.  Like, this weird feeling.  We didn’t really know what it was, but we knew something was up.  So, we went through the day, and we kindof felt like something had happened in the zone.   That’s why we were getting that feeling, it was like a prompting by the spirit or something.  And, so what we did, my and my companion we sat down, and we had the missionary manuals in our hands, we just prayed.  We were like, Heavenly Father, please show us what happened in the zone so we can like take care of it and everything.  And so, as soon as we were done with the prayer, we both felt like it was something with entertainment.  So, we opened up our manual to go through it, and we both opened up to the entertainment page.  And, we were both like, Woa!  I think that something happened with the missionaries, and like watching DVD’s or something for entertainment.  And, so, we were like, okay, now what are we going to do?  So we called the District leader that was also having those kind of feelings, and we were like, Hey!  We feel like its entertainment, so anything that you see, or hear about with entertainment, you’ve got to tell us.  You’ve got to look out for it too.  And, so then the next day, he calls us.  And he’s just like, Hey!  He had gone to Londrina with us,  and his companion had stayed in a division with another house.  And, he was like, my companion told me that he might have seen some DVD’s of the world.  Cause he asked his companion about it.  Inside the study desk of one of the missionaries.   And, so we were like, Oh Crap!  So as soon as we heard that, we were in our area, and we walked all the way over to the other area, and we called the missionaries, and we’re like, ‘can you meet us at your apartment in like 20 minutes?’  They were like, Why?  We were like, no, we just want to talk to you guys.  So we went over there.  We sat down with them, we said a prayer.   I was like, ‘okay, ever since we’ve gotten home, we have had this feeling like something has happened in the zone.  Me and my companion prayed about it to know what happened.  We feel like we received inspiration, revelation that there is something going on with entertainment in this house.  Which is true, that’s how we felt.  So, do you have anything you want to tell us?’  so, it ended up that one of the missionaries had a couple of zombie movies, and one warewolf movie in his study desk.  So, he told us everything, and he’s like, “I will send them home!”  And, he sent them home.  So, it was actually a really cool experience because out of nothing it was like, there’s a problem with DVD’s in another house.  It was just a really cool experience about how to follow the spirit. 

Some other notes, so I was praying a lot this week about the BYU thing.  Because every time I think about it I have like five different ideas about what could happen.  And so, Mom, basically what I ‘m feeling after I have been praying about it all week, is that I can just stay in BYU Idaho, I can get my associates in something, like architecture.  And, then, if I want to, I can go to BYU utah and get my Bachelors.  Or, go somewhere else and get my bachelors.  So, if you could like change it to an associates in like, Architecture or something, that would be awesome.  Also, this is another quick side thought, so I am going to get home the 27th of august which cuts it pretty close to the fall semester.  So, I was wondering if you could find out when the fall semester starts.  Also, I just want you to think of what the pros and cons would be if I were to wait one more semester to start school again.  And, get back on my feet and stuff, and kind of get settled.  I want to know what you think about that.  Just tell me honestly, because I am not really considering it, it would just be another possibility. 

I want to ask you guys if I can use my bank card to go on LDS. Org and order another set of scriptures.  I know we talked about it briefly on the Christmas call,  and I just feel like it would be really good to get another set of scriptures.  And, I would give my old ones to a Brazilian who wants to learn English because most of the Brazilians are trying to learn English. And they get really really happy when Americans give them a quad in English.  They don’t have the Quad in Portuguese, they have a triple, but they don’t even have the Church King James Bible bible here in English.  So, think about that too. 

What else, the Leaders Council was good this month.  We talked a lot about being excited about the mission, and about obedience.  I have been really big on obedience lately.  I have been really liking the obedience topic.  It going to be something that’s going to be good to learn on the mission, and its going to help me out for like the time afterwards as well.

 Also I was in a lunch and a member had a DVD of the strength of the youth 2013, and it had a bunch of little clips about the plan of salvation, the temple, stuff that’s in the For the Strength of the Youth, and I really recommend you guys watch it as a family, with like, Abby and Jenny.  Because, they are like crazy good videos.  And, you can probably find it on LDS.org .  For the Strength of the Youth, Stand in Holy Places, something like that.  The one on the Plan of Salvation is my favorite but, there are some really good videos I think you guys would really like.  So, this on will be a little shorter than the other one, the other one I had to cut in half cause it was so long.  But, I am doing really well here, doing really great.  Me an my companion are getting along really great. 

We had a really spiritual experience at church this last Sunday.   It was like a really spiritual sacrament meeting because of the talks and everything.  It was really nice.  I love you guys!  I will send a little more in an email.  Let me know about everything we talked about with school, scriptures, and waiting one more semester.  I am excited to go to the Lian house and talk to you guys today.  We will talk to you next week.  Bye!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

This is a transcribed voice recording from Elder Zachary Hoskin. 12/30/2012

Hello Family
Good Morning, its like 6:50 in the morning I am going to be sending this in apucarana.  So the Christmas call was pretty awesome, we will do that next time we do a call.  I remember thinking before we did the call, I hope I don’t regret not skyping the first two times, but yeah,  that kind of happened.  But, we will just do it on skype next time, and that will be fine.

So, what happened the rest of the week, on Thursday I got to travel to Londrina.  I got to accompany an elder in our zone, who is one of the more difficult missionaries there is, he was called by the president to have an interview with him.  So, I got to travel to Londrina with him.   I got to be there in the mission office for two hours while he got interviewed.  And then, we were there the entire day cause we like traveled there after lunch, then be there, then travel back.   It was actually really good because I got to know him a lot,  and talk to him, so I will be able to help him more.  So, that was really cool.  Also I got to talk to president a lot because we were right there.  That was also really nice.  Also, we have this family that are recent converts here.  The man’s name is Jose Antonise.  His family of 7 has already been baptized.  But, last week we baptized his parents in-law, his wifes parents.  They got confirmed today, so we went by there today after church, or yesterday after church to see how they were doing.  And they had their whole extended family there because the grandparents will be (going to be?) baptized and they have like 7 kids.  And they all have little families now.  So we talked to two of their sons who were ther with their families.  One of them had already decided to start going to church just because of  what they already said about it.  Also, there is another one who played soccer at the church like 17 years ago, so he already knows a lot about the church.  Its funny, cause like in the US they play basketball, but here they play soccer like every Wednesday night, and there are always lots of people who aren’t members.  Its really cool..  And so we are going to keep working with this family to see if they can be baptized.  We are going to fill out a pedigree chart with them, which is going to be sweet. 

And, then, what else happened good this week.  It has been raining a lot here, which has made it colder, which is really nice.  It looks like its going to rain today again, which means theres not going to be any sort of sun, which is awesome.  I have almost already eaten  the entire Christmas package already.  But that’s all right.

I was thinking of names for Joseph and Alayna’s kid.  I don’t know if you want to go for any ‘out there’ names, or like, typical names.  But if it had to be a typical name, I like the name Joel, that’s a pretty cool name for a guy.  I also like the name Charles or James.  I love the name James.  I think the name James would be a pretty cool name.  But, I am sure you guys will figure it out. 

So I am on top of a really big hill, its high altitude or whatever.  And I don’t know why, but here, we have so many mosquitos.  And, mom, you guys know I have always got eaten alive by mosquitos.  So, like, so far on my mission I have always gotten mosquito bites, but its never been bad.  But like, here, I am getting eaten alive.  But is okay cause I am getting use to it. But, every time I wake up I have like, a lot more.  But, its actually pretty good.  Cause, that’s the worst that’s happened to me in regards to like health, so its okay.  So, I have been thinking about the BYU provo, BYUI type thing.    Whatever you look into mom will be pretty….  I just want to get transferred to byu utah, but I k now  a lot of people who are going to byu Idaho, so I feel like it would be okay if I had to keep going there.  But the priority is going to byu utah.  And the reason I want to go to BYU utah is because, I just feel like I need to go there.  I just feel like I could meet a lot of cool people there. 

And, Yeah, so that’s basically how I spent my week.  I probably sound tired right now, that’s because I just woke up.

So, this week is going to be good.  We are going to start teaching those two families I talked about.  And, we are just going to keep doing missionary work.  I started to read the book of mormon in English.  I talked to my mission president., I said hey, do you think I should start reading the book of mormon in English.  Because  what happened is at district meeting they always ask one missionary to bear their testimiony in Portuguese and one in English.  So, recently I bore my testimony in English for the first time in a while, and I could totally tell there was a lot more conviction, and lot more sincerity by what I was saying.  I could tell my testimony had grown inbetween that time when I had said it last.  That was a really cool experience, so I thought it would be cool also to read the book of mormon in English, so see if my general understanding and my general knowledge of the scriptures has grown.  So, I asked him, and he said that was a totally good idea..  so he gave me a normal copy of the book of mormon in English.  He said that General Authorities, they usually say that you should always study, when you do personal study, you should always study in your native language.  No matter what happens, you will always pick up more with your native language.  So, I am going to start reading the book of mormon in English, and that will be pretty awesome.  Two days ago, I read 3 nephi 27.  Its really good in English now.

 So, I hope everything is going well for you guys.  I hope the winter is not too harsh.  I think Joseph and Alayna are going to be going back to school these days.  So I hope the best for them. 

I love you guys,  and this is my voice recording for this week, and I will talk to you next week.  And, I love you.