Monday, February 25, 2013

Good morning Mom and Dad:

It is February 25th, Monday.  I literally just woke up, its 6:31 am.   This week was a really, really crazy week.  And, I will go into some details about why.  First of all, I had some really humbling experiences this week; In regards to seeing things that make me feel more grateful for everything that I have., that we have.   Brazil is not the worst place on earth, but its also not the best place.  This week I had two experiences that were pretty humbling. 

The first experience is that, we were walking down the street, and there was this old guy.  He had to have been in his early 70’s.  He stopped us and said, “I need your help.  I need your help.”  He brought us to his house.  His house was one room.  A one-room shack.  His son lived there, in another house, but, it was another shack.  There was one bathroom for both of them that was in between the houses.  They had nothing.  He was telling us as he was crying.   His wife had just died 40 days ago.   The old man was, like, 70 years old.  He said, “We were married for 30 years.  I can’t stop missing her.”  He kept going on and on and on about how much he missed her and how horrible it was.   And, as he went on and on, his son started crying too.   So, that was pretty sad.  It was really sad.  So, we taught them a little bit about the plan of salvation and everything.  I think it helped.  We are going to go back this week, so that should be good. 

After that, we were in one of our usual neighborhoods at night,  and we saw this girl, a little ten-year-old girl that was in the street just crying.  We didn’t know why.  It was already 9:00 at night, and really dark and everything.  So we talked to try and figure out what was wrong.  And, she was like,  “My dad just left, and I don’t know where he went. “  We asked her, “Where’s your mom?”   She said, “My mom’s in the hospital.”  We asked her, “Is your mom sick?”  She said, “Yeah my mom just had a miscarriage. “  So, it ends up her mom had just had a miscarriage in the hospital,  and her Dad had just gotten stressed out and left the house.   And, she was just sitting outside in front of her house crying because she didn’t know where any one was.  It was really dark.  So after a couple of minutes, the Dad came back.  And, we started talking to him.  And, he was freaking out  Because, he had been a drug trafficker a Bunch of years of his life, but he had stopped.    And, as soon as he stopped, really big difficulties started coming up with him and his family.  And so, he was going around begging everyone for money so he can buy his wife some fruit.   Cause the doctor said,  “you should buy your wife some fruit.”  Right after the surgery she had.  But, he couldn’t even afford it.  So, he asked us for money and all that .  We gave him a little bit of money, I only had like two Ha-I ‘s. Because he had gone around to all his old friends and asked them for money, and they were all like, “I don’t know!” They had all flaked out on him.  So, it was a really sad story.  And he told us, “I am really close to going back to my old ways to find money.  If I wanted to, I could find some drugs, and make some really quick money.”  So, that was pretty sad, but we helped him out.  Then, the next day, we went to the grocery store and bought a bunch of stuff.  Then, we brought it to the hospital for his wife.  They wouldn’t even let us in, but we just asked them to, “deliver the bag of food to this number room.”    So that was a cool experience.

I don’t know why but the last two weeks we have just had a lot of service opportunities come up on the mission.   Its actually been really neat, really cool. 

What else, Oh yeah!  One of my mission dreams has started being fulfilled this week.  Ever since I got my mission call, and I talked to the guy who had already served here,  before him, I had heard there were a lot of places in our mission who had never heard the missionaries.  And so, one of my dreams is to open an area where there were never missionaries before.  So, there’s this guy who moved to our ward.  And, he was a Bishop in Sao Paulo, and he lives in a city called MarumBe.  Its about 40 minutes out of Apucarana.   Apucarana is already a small city, so 40 minutes out of an already small city.  Its got, like, 9,000 people this city.  But, he served a mission, he was a Bishop, he was really excited.  The first week he came to church he already brought people to visit the church.  So, we planned to go out there, and we went out there on Friday, and on Sunday.  But, we went out there on Friday, and we were literally the first missionaries in this dispensation, like ever, to go out there, to go into that city.  It was nuts.  No one knows anything about our church.  Everyone is Catholic, and there is one Catholic church that everyone goes to at 7:00.  So, we showed up there, and now we are starting to open up the area.  And, there’s already some people who went to church with him on Sunday.  He’s really excited, and we did a Family Home Evening with him on Sunday night.  And, so Literally, we were able to open up a brand new area where there’s never been missionaries before.  So, its going to be really cool.  Its just really a fulfilling experience because we are going to start baptizing people, and we’re going to open up a group, and then open up a branch.  We are basically going to open up a branch here.  And, so its going to be really good.  I am really excited.

Things are going really well here.  I bought some really intense Sun Screen.  So, now I’m protecting myself from all the sun.  Yeah, things are going fine.  There’s a transfer in two weeks.  There’s a good chance that I might leave because my companion only has one more transfer.  So, either I leave, or I stay another 6 months in another area.  I would stay six months here if President wanted me to. 

But, I just wanted to leave you all this, and I love you, and I will talk to you next week. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hello family!

Well this week i will not be able to have a voice recording, but this week is an exception, so its all good. Anyways, that means that i am going to chug it out on this email thing!

Mom, thank you for getting all my byu stuff cleared up for this next semester! the next hurdle is where i am going to live, eeesh. my dream, per se, is to live in nauvoo house, which is a good apartment where alot of missionaries from my mission slash friends from before the mission will be living. it is not the most expensive apartment, nor the cheapest, so just see if it will be feasible, im not even sure if its time for that yet! i remember that in the beginning of my mission it was hard to feel the spirit while teaching, because i was concentrating on speaking the language so much. it happens, i guess, just the more you do it the more apt you´ll be, until it comes. i was happy to hear that jenny is getting into volleyball! just tell her to keep fueling these good interests. also, thats great that you and dad got to go on a date! even skiing, haha. i remember your story of one of your first dates, with you guys skiing and mom not having the best time...

dad, so far so good on that whole sister situation, the bonus is that im not her district leader anymore (my 2nd transfer in maringá (2nd of 4), i was a zone leader as well as the district leader for that district, oh yeah), and they live in another city. ill lay it out so you can understand. in my zone there are 16 missionaries, 12 in apucarana the city, and then theres one other branch in a city half an hour away called arapongas. the sisters opened up arapongas, so theyre not even in the same city. also, beyond everything else, im just going along doing my work, and so thats whats keeping it all under wraps. the lord certainly has given you some calls to fulfill with home teaching and the young mens president. are you a stake auditor? here in brazil they have stake auditors. also, im glad to hear that home teaching is happening somewhere in the world! one of the hardest things to get a ward slash branch to do here is home teaching. the devils are tearing it up! david clarkson is as well. are there any players on the devils who are new and doing well? or anything like that?

so onto the other stuff, my new companion is named Elder Leete. He is from Portland, Oregon, and this is his second to last transfer on the mission, which means that 95 percent most likely i will leave this area next transfer. on a quick side note, this transfer is only five weeks long, so this is the start of the 2nd of 5 weeks only. anyways, he is really good, we are working alot and finding new people, so so far so good! we have a couple of "married" couples that are progressing to get married slash baptized. here in brazil, the biggest barrier per se of baptism is that no one is married legally. woo!

anyways, so i am going to londrina this week for the next leader´s council. i love the leaders councils, and it should be a good one as always. i will be traveling today, and coming back on wednesday.

so! i have been reading the book of mormon for the first time in english in a while, and it is turning out to be a wonderful experience. i really love chapters 2-5 of mosiah, they are some of my favorites without a doubt. this morning i read how the people were changed because of the spirit that testified to them what he said was true, and how they had to have faith and open their harts to recieve that witness, and that is something we can easily apply. whenever someone speaks, especially general authorities, we need to have the faith that what they are saying is the will of the Lord, and then opening our hearts like that lets the spirit testify of it, and before you know it we have had just a little more of that change of heart. good stuff!

here has been pretty cold for me the last week, something very bittersweet. the entire week it was really cold (60´s) and rained, which was a nice break from the brazil heat and everything, also its the middle of summer here so this cold is basically a miracle! but! it rained a ton on sunday morning, and this was the bad thing, because people were lazier to come out to church. this is another brazil/south american specific note. when people say they will go to church, you have to wake up early and pass by everyones house to wake them up, or they simply wont! about 90 percent of the time, no kidding. every sunday on my mission has been leaving the house at seven, and waking everyone up. so when it rains, people get alot lazier, and its harder to get them to come! so that was sort of a downer and all...

so things overall are going really well, i am seeing more of the "constand companionship" in the phrase "constant companionship of the holy ghost" than i ever have before in my entire life, and that is really just leaving me with good feelings. i cant help but miss you guys, miss my beloved county, but in 6 months i will be back, and that has to suffice. its funny that the higher you raise the bar on your standard of living the commandments, the higher the bar lucifer goes with the temptations. for example. someone who is completely addicted to drugs, and is ok with it, may not necessarily recognize or even feel much of the tempation beyond the proper dependancy. but someone who is trying to get out of that, satan goes after. its because when youre trying to become better, he is losing any grip on you, and does whatever he can to get that grip and bring you back to where he is!

no matter how pure you manage to be, or how exactly you follow the rules and commandments on the mission, satan will always TRY (keyword, try) to use the fact of you being far away from your family as something to get you down. but, when we just put something in eternal perspective, its easier to feel better. we´re sealed for eternity! so even though we´ll still have lots and lots of years after the mission to be around eachother, we will also have that for eternity, so 2 years is just so small that its worth it to work in the lords vineyard.

one thing that really i find true, is that the main goal of satan is to make us forget who we are. when we forget our divine heratige, or how were part of the plan, thats when we are suseptible to sin. imagine, if someone who is having problems with, lets use any example, pornography, imagine if each time he has the temptation, he just sits and thinks and remembers who he is? he remembers that he is a child of god, and that he is here on this earth to earn all the father has, and how he chooses the right here can do all of that, ect, ect. if he just remembers who he is, he will lose that tempation! and then he´d change a little, each time he  came out on top, until he doesnt have the desire to do it anymore. if we didnt like it, it wouldnt be temptation! and so if our hearts are changed to the will of the lord, we wont even have the temptation, we´ll look on sin with abhorrence, and we will be perfected in christ. just my train of thought! when i dont have anything else to say about the week, what better than just talk about gospel topics, haha.

well, i hope you guys have a great week! i love you all, and i cant wait to hear more next week about how youre all doing. your emails really mean a ton to me, and im very grateful for them. you are the only connection that i have outside of the mission! so i get literally everything that is going on outside of brazil londrina mission from you. until next time!

Elder Hoskin

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Transcribed from a voice recording:
Good Morning, Mom and Dad and everybody.  It is Feb. 4th, and it is the Transfer day!  Wooot!  I don’t know if I am getting transferred or not.   I will tell you in my email when I get to the email house, I will know by then, but right now I don’t really know.  This week was really crazy, I did a lot of divisions… A lot of divisions…A lot of divisions.  On Saturday, there was an emergency division I had to do with a companionship that was having a lot of problems.  So I had to travel on the bus all the way out to a different city called Adupong (?)  and do a division there.  It was weird because we usually never do divisions Saturday to Sunday because of church and everything.  But, I did it, I helped them get their investigators and stuff, it was really weird.  But, this week was actually really good.  We had training with president.  He came by and gave us a training like he did to everyone else, and it was a pretty nice training. 

We have filters in all the houses now for water, which is a huge upgrade.  They are these huge clay filters.  Its like a giant clay pot.  There are two parts to it.  The bottom part is where the water stays,  the top part is, literally, the part where you pour in the water and then there’s like three holes.  In the holes you put in these giant filters.  They are called ‘porous rocks’ they filter 90-something percent of all the bad stuff.  Because the rocks are porous and they trap stuff, its really cool.  Its actually pretty nifty.  You know how I like clean water, so that’s been pretty good. 

So an update on the Elder Hoskin future situation.  I have literally received a revelation this week for how its gonna go down for the rest of my life in regards to teaching and stuff.  And, it comes down to my partiarchial blessing.  So, it comes down to Architecture, and Religious Teaching, right?  So since you guys are my family, I’m gonna share with you some of the stuff that is says.  First of all, my patriarchial blessing,  When it talks about raising my kids,  it says to follow the example of my parents, “so that I can be a stalwart father in Zion, and a teacher of righteousness.”  There’s the first Teacher reference right there.  Yeah, I think you see where this is going.  But then, “the Church will ask much of your time and talents”, and then it goes, “I bless you with the gifts of teaching and speaking, that you may raise your voice in proclaiming the gospel, and teaching its precepts.”  So the church is going to take a lot of my time and talents, and some of my talents are teaching and speaking.  Its not like you’re gonna be able to teach and speak.  Its like you’re gonna be able to teach and speak so that you can proclaim the gospel and teach its precepts.   So, I will be, like, teaching the gospel.  And then, the Lord has given me talents, or those things that He just told me, and you will have opportunities to develop them.  So, then it says, “I bless you with inspiration in making decisions concerning your future career.”  So, I was really thinking about it, and I have been blessed with the talents of teaching and speaking and I need to use those.  I really need to use the talents that I have like it says in my partiarchial blessing.  So, like basically, you’re gonna feel like a cool feeling whenever I say it, but, I’m gonna be like an institute teacher.  That’s what I’m doing.  I’m gonna get my major in Religious Education, cause they have a major in that at BYU.  And, then I’m just gonna be, like an institute teacher.  Or, like the head of the institute teachers.  That’s like a future plan.  My Mission President was one of these before he got called to be a mission president.  So, I am going to ask him all about it .   But basically all I hear, is that you just work for the Church.  And the Church decided, based on like, where you live, how many kids you have, and things like that.  They decide how much money your gonna make , and they give you the money necessary. So, basically what that says to me, the Lord’s going to give me salary, how much he knows I’m gonna need.  Also, you get moved around a lot, to different cities, depending on where they need you.  So, the Lord, through inspiration, is gonna send me to places that I need to go.  So, I’m really feeling good about it.  Its something I feel good about, it says it in my patriarchial blessing,  and I’m just gonna get my major in Religious Education.  I’m just gonna be an institute teacher for  the rest of my life.  That’s basically what your son is, that’s what Elder Hoskin is gonna be.   The whole Architecture things is a really big love, like passion of  mine, but, its not gonna be my career, because it doesn’t talk about that in my patriarchial blessing.  So, I just have to do what the Lord told me to do.   Which is exercise and use my talents, which is teaching and speaking.  So, I am really excited for that.  That’s going to be awesome.  Mom, if you want to try to find a way to switch my major to religious education, I know we have already switched it, like, four times,  but this is it now, it’s a for sure.  The Lord has said that its it for sure.  And, so that was really exciting, I am really happy about that.  I want to know how you guys feel about that, cause that’s gonna be really good.  Ever since I have been on the mission, I have really had a desire to be able to work for the church for the rest of my life.  Even if I was going to go into Architecture, I wanted to end up working for the church, but now I’m gonna work for the church work for the church.   And, its gonna mean my entire life is going to be devoted to the gospel.  I told this to my companions, and I thought it was a pretty cool phrase,  okay, people who play baseball, people who dream of being the best they can be,  is to one day play baseball for money.  When you are a professional baseball player, you are doing what you love, for money.   I am trying to be a professional disciple of Jesus Christ.  So, why not get paid to do that.  Have that be my career.   So, that’s what I’m gonna be.  I am going to be an institute teacher, a professional disciple of Christ.  I am gonna teach people, like it says in my blessing.  I am going to help people to understand what I understand.  I am already doing that on my mission, so this is great preparation.  I am learning how to do it better.  So, I am really excited for it, and I hope you guys are excited too.  Its gonna be awesome, its gonna be way awesome.  

I love you guys.  I’m gonna tell you whats going down in transfers, although its gonna be way busy today in the internet café.  So, if I don’t write too much, you will have to understand.  But, this week was just really good.  I was able to work with a bunch of elders .  I remember there was one day, we just went in, we taught a lot, and then just came home.  We found a lot of people and stuff, and it was a good feeling day.  It was nice to get out and work, you know?  Cause a lot of times as Zone leader, we have to deal with a lot of problems and stuff, like Dad said, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to actually do the work.  So, it felt good this week where I had some days, that I just did the work.  I love you guys, I will probably stay with transfers, but I will let you know.  And, I am really excited about the revelation I got in regards to being an institute teacher.  I am really excited for that.  Love you, and talk to you next week.  Bye!