Elder Hoskin is getting transferred! I will transcribe his voice recording when I get back from Virginia, maybe the weekend.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Hello! Family, everybody!
Today is the 20th of May, 2013, and this is my voice recording for this week. This week was really awesome! There were some things that happened this week, that were sort of my dream for the entire mission, one of my dreams for the whole mission was completed this week. I guess I’ll go over that a little bit. So in our group that we have, here in Presidenche Epitasao, that other city, that’s kindof on the border of our mission, on the border of that giant river, Parana River, we had a double wedding marked for this last Saturday. What we did, is, we asked President Tavarez if he could do the wedding. Anyone could have done the wedding, our Branch president, our district president, but, we asked president, and he’s like, ‘yeah! I’ll do it!” So, the plan was for the four people to get married, and then get baptized, president was also going to baptize them with us. But, what ended up happening, is that two of the four didn’t pass the interview because of some commandments that they still needed to follow. So, two got baptized on Saturday, and two are going to get baptized on Tuesday. It was a really, really nice wedding on Saturday, it was really well put together. And, it was really cool to see the message that President Tavarez gave; it was like a wedding with a mormon swing on it. I thought that was kind of interesting. And, I baptized in a river! Which is probably one of the coolest things I have ever done in the mission…. Up until this point. They took a lot of photos, I gave my camera to this girl that was there watching the baptism. I was like, ‘hey can you take photos?’ She was there watching the baptism. I was like, ‘take a hundred!’. Just go for it! I will send some to you guys, its really cool. I baptized in the Parana river. It’s a really, really big river. You will see in the picture. Its not a small brook or anything like that. But, it was really nice, a really nice experience. And, it’s a dream I have had since the MTC. Just because we talked about it in the MTC, and I always wanted to do it. Also, its been a while since I have been in a river, or any body of water. That’s also kind of cool.
So, I am still in a Trio. This is the last week of transfers that’s starting right now. So, we will see what happens. I could see me and my companion staying together a third transfer, like in Maringa. He only has one transfer left, and I have two left, so I can see him finishing here with me, and me finishing here as well. I feel like that’s going to be the case, because whenever President Tavarez was with us on Saturday, he asked the third elder, Elder Harf (?), he asked him, “What has Elder Hoskin and Elder Mendez taught you since you have been in the trio?” He said, “oh, they have really good union and stuff, unity when they are teaching and stuff like that.” So, he might just keep us together. Another cool part about Saturday, is that we got to spend the entire day with President Tavarez. He came and picked us up at our house at 7:00 in the morning. I go through the whole day with you guys. At 7:00 in the morning, he came to our house and picked us up. Then, we drove with him in his car to Epitasao, which is 2 ½ hours in a bus, but in his car it was 50 minutes. So I really think its going to be a lot easier for us to travel around when we have the car with you guys, anyways… So, we got there around 8:00. So the wedding in the paper, the wedding in the….. I don’t know how to say it, the wedding that wasn’t with the church, but with the law, that was at 9:00. And then, 9:30 for the two couples. So we went there. And, that was nice, that was normal. And then right afterwards we went to the, we went to… There are two people, there’s Christina and Faheta, and they are a couple in that city. And, they helped us out the most, and they have a lake-side cabin right outside the city. So right after the wedding, the marriage in the law, we all went out to that cabin. And, he has a pool, and they were going to get baptized in the pool, but they wanted to get baptized in the river. And I kind of wanted to baptize in the river. So there’s a place to walk out, and it ended up being perfect. So, 11:00 in the morning was when the baptism happened, then after that, we ate lunch with president, and president was there for the baptism as well. Then, we spent the entire afternoon teaching people in the city with President. We took some references, we asked some of the members who were there to tell us people to go pass by. And, we just went, and taught with President Tavarez the entire day. That was really cool. We have a lot to learn from him. So, at 7:00 was when the wedding started. And, there was a lot of people at the wedding, which is really good as well. Its always kind of sad when you plan for 80 people and 20 show up, but we planned for 80 people and 80 people showed up, so that was really good. So President gave the message at the wedding. And then, we kind of just ate a little bit. Then, we left in president’s car, and by that time it was already 9:30. So, we got in President’s car and we came back to Prudenche. So, we got home at 10:30. So, we just went upstairs and went to bed, and just woke up already at 6:00, and went and go investigators (yawn). We went and got investigators. So it was probably one of the bast days, one of the highlights of the mission, just because I got to baptize in the river, and be with president. And, other than that, the week was pretty normal, to tell you the truth. We just worked and everything.
But, I am really excited for t his next week, it should be really good. Our zone is doing really well. I won’t say how many people, just because its stupid to say how many people, but, this last week, our zone baptized a third of the baptisms that the mission had. So we are actually doing really well. And, everyone is real excited. We we are going to keep going with this. I love you guys, I hope you have a great week. I hope this thing works, and I can put it in the email, and I will talk to you guys later. Bye!
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
(No new pictures this week.)
Good Morning, Family, this is Elder Hoskin. It is the sixth of May, Monday, like 6:30 in the morning, and it is kind of cold. Woooot! Seems like Brazilian winter has finally come, which means, 60’s. Which, I am really glad about.
This week has been an interesting week. To start off, I am going back to Maringa today. That is the city I was at before Apucarana, the one where I stayed 6 months. One of the elders that is living with us, the one that doesn’t have Dinghy, he had a medical appointment in that city whenever he was passing by there because he has one leg that’s just a little bit shorter than the other one. So, they made in-soles for him, so he would be balanced out. But, the guy made him two left feet. So, President was like, ‘ you have to go back there, and let him get it changed.’ So, he has to go back there today, so I’m gonna go with him. So, I am going to travel today, for the majority of the day, and travel tomorrow as well.
This last week, on Monday, we went to Londrina for the leader’s council. And that was really good. There are sister leaders now in all the missions in the world. Its kindof like they made a Relief Society in side the mission because…the district leader and the zone leader are still supposed to be leading the sisters, but within the sisters, there are one or two designated to do divisions and stuff. So, that’s pretty interesting I guess. So, there are six sisters in our mission that are called to go to all the leaders counils now. Pretty interesting. That was on Tuesday, we came back on
Wednesday. And, on Wednesday I went to Toupao. That’s that city that is part of our zone, which is about two hours away. Because after we to to each leaders council, we have to give our training thing. So, I went there to give it, and I went with another Elder in division. So, I stayed there, I gave a training, then we came home.
And, like I told you last Sunday, there is an elder that has Dinghy, which is kindof like a sickness or whatever that they have to stay home for. So everyday this week, someone had to stay home with him. So, its been divisions all week with us rotating the order. I stayed home on Saturday, and that last Sunday that I told you guys. I studied the entire day, and, its really not that fun. Cause you lose the blessings of being able to go out and serve. For example, the day that it was my day to stay inside, my companion, and the companion of the elder who has dinghy, they went to go contact the reference of a member who we hadn’t planned to contact. It ended up being a really, really good spiritual experience. So, it just stinks to stay inside because you lose the blessings.
Mother’s Day call, is this next week. I have everything all set up. I will see if you have any preference of time when I go on the internet today. But, its basically whenever we want in the afternoon. So, its going to be on Skype, I already know the family, they have a laptop and everything. I may have forgotten my Skype account. I don’t think I have, but if you want to just send me an email, with a Skype account that I can use and the password again, then, if I don’t remember, I can get on my email real quick, and I can do it. But, don’t judge me, I haven’t been on a computer in two years. So, I am sorry that I can’t remember the account number. So that’s going to be good, the Mother’s Day Call. I don’t want to say that it’s the last call I am ever going to do on the mission, but, its kindof a fact, so I might as well just say it. So, it’s the last one, and the next time we talk like that, you guys will be here in Brazil. Pretty Sweet!
I hope everything is going well with you guys. I woke up this morning, and my throat is really hurting. Not sick or anything, but really dry. It can get really dry here. That’s okay, though.
So, because of travel and everything, I probably won’t be able to email until around 2:00, so don’t get worried.
It will be cool to go back to the city I already served six months in. that will be pretty neat. Although, I didn’t really make that much of a difference anyway.
Yeah, so my best friend here on the mission, his name is Elder Hutchings. He was my companion during the last Christmas call in Apucarana. We are kind of the same person, but not really, so we are best friends. He lives in Oregon. In a place called Bend, Oregon. He’s totally awesome, we are going to be friends forever, blah blah blah. His dad has started a Hot Dog stand. Not a cheap one, but, if you ever went to Dormont Dogs in Dormont, it like that, a gormet hot dog place. Its really weird, but awesome. His dad started it in a city called, Sisters, Oregon. Its like a resort, and everyone has a cabin or a house. Its not all old people, but older people. So, he started a hot dog stand there, and he wants Elder Hutchings to work there. Next summer, not this summer, but next summer, the summer a year from now, he wants him to work there, and he also said he would need one more person. So, Elder Hutchings is like, ‘hey! Next summer after college, you should come and live with me in Oregon, right by the mountains, and it would be just you and me, and we will sell hot dogs, watch the world cup, and make money for college. ‘ So, basically that’s the best idea ever. We went through all the details and stuff, and apparently its pretty awesome, where he lives, its ten minutes away from the mountains in Oregon. The city where we work is ten minutes away, and its in the mountains. So, we would stay there, and work there everyday for two or three months in the summer. We would be able to make some money. It would be an awesome summer job. That’s pretty cool, and pretty neat set-up.
I love you guys, sorry this wasn’t that good of a sound clip, but, I will write you more in the email, and I will talk to you next week! Next week is Christmas call, talk to you more next week! Woot!
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
(This week, Elder Hoskin sent 3 voice recordings. It may take you a while to read.)
Hello Family! It is Sunday, the 28th of April, Elder Hoskin speaking.
So, its Sunday, as opposed to Monday, about 5:00 in the afternoon. What is Elder Hoskin doing at home, when he should be out doing missionary work? Well, me and my companion live with two other missionaries that also work in our branch. And one of them has Dangue. I am not sure what disease this means in English, but, it’s a mosquito-transmitted disease, and you are basically bed-ridden. You have to stay in your bed for two weeks. Because, your entire body hurts, and is sore, and you can’t do anything. So, this missionary, he got it, he actually had it for a week already, but, he didn’t know so he walked around sick for a week. But, now Sister Tavares called me, and was like, ‘Hey! He is staying home now. Every day you need to rotate who is staying home with him. ‘ So today was the first day, and today I decided to stay home with him. And, so, yeah, that’s why I’m home. I have been home all day doing my favorite thing, other than preaching the gospel, and that is, of course, studying. And, I have some really cool experiences to share with you guys. I have a lot to talk about today. I might send two sound clips, cause that’s just how much time I have on my hands right now.
I have been studying since 8:00 in the morning, if you don’t include lunch. Yes, that’s right, I did not go to church today. Sister Tavares did not allow us to go to church. But, I actually listened to it by telephone, isn’t that weird? Today, Something happened in church that I have never seen happen before in my entire life. You have stake conference, general conference, ward conference, here they have regional conference. I guess it only happens once every five years. It was this whole region of Brazil. I heard there were 51 stakes, and 13 districts that were involved. And so, it was a transmission just like general conference, but, from Sao Paulo. And so, the people who spoke was the presiding bishop, a missionary couple, who I think are mission presidents now, and then, Elder Richard G Scott. And so, my companion, who went with the sick missionary’s companion to church, he called me on the phone (cause we have unlimited missionary credits between missionary phones), he called, and just put the phone next to one of the TV’s in the chapel. And so, I just listened to it for two hours, it was 10 – 12:00. So, I got to hear Elder Scott speak. That was really cool. Why was it cool? Because Elder Scott, he spoke in Portuguese. Apparently, he knows how. I think he was a mission president. I thought he was a mission president in Argentina, but one way or another, he knows how to speak Portuguese. So he spoke in Portuguese and that was pretty awesome, hearing an apostle speak another language. So, that was cool.
So this week, first of all, a quick shout-out to Joseph, I need you to go on my facebook and accept everybody from Brazil again. Just because, its been a while, but that’s okay. Its not important. Okay, lets keep going.
So there is a golden truth that me and my companion have put into practice this week. It’s a truth that I learned from the beginning of my mission. Its about missionary work. And, everyone says, ‘oh, the mission is so hard… you walk so much… its so hot….’. But the truth is, the more you teach, the less you walk, and the less you stay in the sun. And, so, one thing that I have always tried to do, putting this into perspective, is that the more you try to teach people, among other blessings and good things that happen, you stay out of the sun, and you walk less. (chuckles) Me and my companion on Tuesday, we were like, ‘okay, we are going to knock this huge street.’ It was a really long street, but it wasn’t like an avenue, it was like a normal road. Almost like Broadmoor, you know? So, we started to knock it, and it took us about 2 ½ hours to knock 100 yards. Because, people were letting us in. And so, 2 ½ hours of the afternoon, which is the hottest and most difficult time to be out, we just spent indoors just teaching. And, that was one of the better days in regards to being able to teach like that, cause, we taught a lot of people, and I wasn’t even tired that day. It was really good.
So, we have this guy, (here we go) his name is Klebber. He went to church last week. I might have talked about him, I might have not. I found him with Elder Petersen, two weeks ago. And, he basically is awesome. He got a response about the Book of Mormon, he believes that its true. He is the head of his family, He’s got two kids. One of them is 14, the other one is 1, and his wife. And, the whole family has now accepted the gospel. So, it’s a complete family. It’s the best thing that could ever happen on the mission. The only thing is, that, he smokes one pack a day. So, we are really trying to help him smoke less. And, he has actually gotten down to 8, I think one day he had 7 cigarettes a day. So, he is already improving. He said he is praying two or three times a day. And, he use to go weeks without praying. I can really tell how the gospel is having a good effect on his life. Aslo, the Book of Mormon. And, it’s a really, really, really happy story. Whatever happens with him, you guys are going to meet him. They don’t speak English at all. But you guys will meet him. He is totally awesome.
Um, Transfers happened. My companion and me stayed together. Yeah, that’s basically all there is about transfers. I might stay here till the end of my mission. After this I have two more transfers, so I could. We will see.
So, I have cried a lot this week. That’s weird for me to say. But, I’ll tell you, I had some weird experiences. First of all, Wednesday night, I woke up in the middle of the night, and I was just sobbing. I just woke up, and I had been sobbing in my sleep. And, I remember what the dream was, but, I just don’t want to talk about it. But, I woke up, and I could feel my eyes were full of tears, and, I could tell I had already been crying and stuff, and I felt my pillow, and my pillow was wet. And, I know that it wasn’t drool, cause it was kind of like cold. It was weird. But, my pillow was wet cause I was crying so much. I was crying in my sleep. That has never happened to me before in my entire life. That was really kind of weird. I woke up, and I was like, what the heck? After that I had a really, really,…. Landmark experience. I guess that’s the way you would say it, in regards to my testimony of the Atonement and missionary work. But, I’m going to talk about that in the next sound clip, cause this one has already been 7 minutes long. So, hold on.
So, like I was saying, on Friday, we were just knocking on some doors, and we found this guy, at like 2:00 in the afternoon. His name is Wenseslau (?). He is 77 years old. He lives by himself. His wife passed away about three years ago. We started talking to him, getting to know him before we started teaching him, you know? And, his biggest difficulty in life is that he feels so alone. He says, he is just alone. No one comes to visit him, he doesn’t have family here. He was going to one church, but no one visits him from that church. And, so, he goes sometimes. He just felt really, really alone. And, I knew we had to teach him the second lesson about the plan of salvation. Just tell him, how its possible for him to live with his wife again for eternity cause he was really missing her. So, we taught him the plan of salvation. And, we just tried as hard as we could to help him understand how he could have a family for eternity. He understood! We asked if he understood, and he responded with what we said. He was actually a pretty smart guy. He understood a lot for having 77 years. So, we taught him. But, he didn’t want to make the commitment to go to church. He said, “No, if God wants me to, He will prepare a way.” We were like, ‘No, but, its right here! This is our message, we are trying to get you to come to church.’ And, he just didn’t want to make the commitment to go to church. And, I have had so many rejections before on the mission, you know? Every one does. But there was something different about this one. I think its just my testimony that has been growing these last 21 months. But, I just got so sad. I got devastated. I was thinking in my head, ‘ if he doesn’t accept it right now, he might never be able to see his wife again. Ever. Because, after we teach him, we are giving him his free-agency, you know? And if he doesn’t change his behavior, or change the way he feels about the gospel in the spirit world, it might be the same sort of way. And, I started to go nuts in my head. I started to freak out. If he doesn’t accept it right now, if we don’t find some way for him to be able to come to church right now, he may never see his wife again. He doesn’t even have kids, its just him and his wife. They never had kids, and so I got really, really sad. I was basically begging him to come to church. My companion could tell there was something different. At the end of the lesson we asked him if he could get us some water real quick. Then, I looked over to my companion, and I was like, ‘Elder, if we don’t help him right now to come to church, he is gonna be condemned.’ And, my companion started laughing. He thought I was just joking around. I said, ‘No, seriously! If we don’t help him right now, he may never live with his wife again.’ My companion, kept chuckling cause he thought I was just joking. And, I got mad, I was like, “why are you mad right now?” Its his salvation! If we don’t actually help him right now, he may never be able to live with Heavenly Father again, or his wife. It was so intense. My companion could already tell I was getting different, you know. I begged him. I wrote down the address of the church, I wrote down the time, I have him a pamphlet; I was like, “please! Please! Are you going to come to church at least once?” I just begged him. I get freaked out thinking about it right now. When we left his house, my companion had to call President Tavares about something else that was happening in our zone. So, we sat down on the curb for him to call him, and I started crying. I just lost it. I tried my best, and I couldn’t do it. I got so caught up in him specifically, that I just started crying. It was nuts. And, I remember I felt bad for, like, an hour afterwards. And, that’s totally all because of my testimony. If I would have had one week on the mission, I don’t think I would have even blinked. But, there’s things that have changed inside me, in these last 21 months. You can’t really tell your progress, you know? But, when I think about who I was, before the mission, I can tell, that at least there is something different inside me. I’m a different person. I guess I am greatful for it. But, just thinking about it make me emotional, that guy. I am never going to be able to forget about that old man, because, I just felt like that was it. It was really intense.
And, so basically that’s how my week’s been going. Let me think of what else there is. Today, like I said, I have been studying from 8 in the morning to right now. And, boy do I love to study. I just read a BYU speeches talk called, “Jesus Christ, gifts and expectations.” By Ezra Taft Benson. Its from 1974. It was absolutely ridiculous. I read it, and my mind was blown, like, 30 times. Its right before Christmas, the 10th of December. So, he starts talking about, first, all the gifts that Christ gave us. Or, some of the gifts that Christ gave us. And then, he talks about some of the gifts that we can give Christ. The way he described it, I felt like it was being a light unto my mind. I feel like the spirit taught me, you know? Like, when the spirit teaches you and you don’t forget: its part of who you are. He talks about all the different gifts. He gave us His life as a model, he gave us a prophet. He talks about the importance of a prophet, like Thomas S. Monson today. He talks about how Christ gave us His church: the importance of His church. He talks about how Christ gave us the scriptures. How Christ gave us the constitution of the United States. That was really something that I hadn’t learned that much about before. And then, our gifts to Christ, how we can sacrifice everything . And, one thing I have tried to do, is sacrifice everything to the Lord. In these last couple of months, I have been able to realize, especially after the whole Michelle thing, that the word sacrifice makes it sound like a bad thing. Like, you are going to have to give this up, which stinks to give up. But, the truth is, its good to sacrifice. It feels good to give sacrifice. Like he said in this talk, there is a Brigham Young quote. Brigham Young was like, ‘I enjoy it! I enjoy giving everything I have to the Lord, because I know that he’s just going to give me better. And, that’s totally how I have been starting to feel these last couple of months. You just try to give everything that you can to Him. All your strength, all your focus, all your sins. Its difficult in the beginning, but then it gets good. And, its just a really, really great talk. There was a quote by Boyd K Packer that just knocked my socks off. Let me find that quote.
“I am not ashamed to say that I want to be good. And I have found in my life, that is has been critically important that this was established between me and the Lord. So that I knew, that He knew, which way I committed my agency. I went before Him and said, ‘I am not neutral, and you can do with me what you want. If you need my vote, its there. I don’t care what you do with me, and you don’t have to take anything from me, because I give it to you. Everything. All I own, all that I am. ‘ “
And so, I love this talk. You should definitely look up this talk. Mom, Dad, Joseph, I know dad likes to read talks, this one is totally important to read.
So that’s been how my weeks going. Yeah, this is the third sound clip. But, I have the time so I can send it to you guys. Also, I already have the Mother’s day call set up. I will have it at my mission leaders house. The family that’s really excited to meet you guys. They are the best family ever. So, you guys can see them and stuff before you meet them in person. That will be cool, but they already have it set up.
Yeah, so what else has happened this week? I am going to Londrina again tomorrow. Its funny cause when I say it in Portugues its “Londrina” , and when I say it in English its, “Londrina”. (He just rolled his R in the first one.) But, I am going there tomorrow for a leaders council again. Its almost every two weeks that we have them from now to July. But, things are going really well.
I am really trying to love my companion. I have seen some parallels. I am trying to find out how every single thing on the mission, is in preparation for the next life, right? One thing they really stressed on us here in Brazil is: Lock your Heart. A talk by, I think it was Spencer W. Kimball. Where its important to not look for relationships, or think about who you are going to marry on your mission, and all that stuff. So, missionaries are like, ‘well, what about if it just happens naturally? What do you do?” People are always questioning it, you know. I was thinking about his, just let me get to my point, I am trying to make my point about how I am trying to love my companion more. I was thinking about this, the commitment we have on the mission to dedicate everything to the Lord. And, that means we can’t think about things like relationships, with girls, or who we are going to marry…stuff like that, you know? Think about it, it’s the exact same commitment you make whenever you get married. One day I am going to be married, and I am going to have to have the same commitment that I have right now to the Lord, to not even open up a little bit, to anything, to a relationship with anyone. That’s how it’s a preparation for us on the mission. Its like, as long as you can completely dedicate yourself to the Lord, then, you will be able to completely dedicate yourself to your wife.
But, then, also, I am trying to love my companion more. So, I also think about my companion, he is my companion on the mission. He’s my best friend, we work together and all that. And, I have a lot of really, really good friends on the mission who are not my companion. I have a lot. I am going to be rooming with them at BYUI, We are going to be going to conference together, stuff like that. Or, at least trying. We will see how that works. But, he’s a really good person, I have never fought with him before or anything. But, we are not like the best of friends. So, I think about that too, in this parallel. One day your are going to be married to your wife, and she’s going to have to be your best friend. Because, if she’s not, whenever there is difficulties, or whenever you want to have fun, or enjoy life, you will look to your other friends as a source, and you won’t be as close to your wife. So, I need to be best friends with my companion as possible. I don’t know, maybe I’m going nuts. Maybe you think I’m going nuts. I’m just trying to apply everything in my mission. But, I don’t really think about that too much, if its about marriage. And, right now, its mission time. I am just trying to think of how to help him more. How I can love him more.
So that’s basically all I had this week. I hope everything is going well for you guys, everything is going well for me. Its getting colder, and I like the cold. What else…. That’s basically it.
Let me know the exact days we are going to be in every city when you are coming out to Brazil. Once I know the exact days, I can start officially notifying the people, like, ‘hey! Can we come by your house, and have lunch with you guys on this day?’ Cause there are people who want to give you guys lunch. They are like, “Oh! When your parents come, pass by here, we will make lunch. We will meet them and stuff” It just requires us to have the right planning.
I hope everything is going well with Joseph and Alayna and Desmond as well. I really enjoy the photos you guys sent me of Desmond. I can’t wait to meet him, he’s a good lookin’ guy, I won’t like, he’s pretty sharp. There’s one photo you sent me, I am pretty sure he’s like a Russel Crowe baby. He looks like Russel Crowe. Just want you to know that. For me it’s a good thing, I don’t know about you guys, but I watched Cinderella Man.
I hope everything is going well with Abby and Jenny as well. Thinking about it right now, I am really glad High School is over for me. But, I am sure it’s a good experience for them.
I love you guys. I know I never really say that when I was younger, but now days I just say it whenever I mean it. Instead of like never saying it.
So, I hope everything is going well with you guys, grandma and grandpa. Be sure to tell them, if you didn’t tell them last week, they don’t need to use mission ties anymore, they can go ahead and email me. And, you guys can get rid of mission ties and save some money.
And, also, you guys don’t need to send me a birthday package. You don’t need to send me one, its all good. We are already in the home stretch, if you know what I mean, in regards to getting things from America.
Yeah, so I love you guys, have a great week, and I will talk to you next week.