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.

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