Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hello family.  Good morning this is Elder Hoskin on the 24th of June, 2013.  That means that there is a little less than two months left on my ministry so I need to make the most of my time that I possibly can.

It’s actually getting pretty cold out.  I think that winter has officially started here and by that I mean 60 or 65 degrees but it’s still cold for me because I’ve gotten use to the heat hear.

This week was a pretty crazy week.  We had our zone conference on Thursday which was the last zone conference with President Tavares.  So we went to Marillia  and it was a pretty good experience.  It’s kind of sad because it’s his last one but it was good because we got to end it on a good note.  I also got the opportunity to see a lot of friends and it was just a really good experience.  We talked a lot about the sacrifice of the pioneers and it shows the sacrifice that they made for us so that we could be here today.  We also talked about the sacrifices that we make as well and how they are so little compared to the pioneer’s sacrifices.  We listened to the story of John Tanner which is a really good story.  We also watched a video on the Church website about John Tanner and now I’m a lot more interested to hear stories about our family histories and our pioneer ancestors and to hear cool stories about them like their sacrifices to be able to do what Heavenly Father wanted them to do.  When I get home I will be looking up some of those stories because I know that we have them around.  So that was a good experience. 

Marillia is only an hour away from Bauru so we didn’t have to leave crazy early or anything.

So I don’t know if you have been noticing but there have been a lot of protests lately in Brazil.  On Tuesday there was a protest in Sao Paulo where a couple thousand people protested about the bus and taxi prices and the next day there were even bigger protests in over 100 cities.  So all over Brazil there have been protests about how ridiculous the bus prices are because everyone takes the bus.  So the busses in Bauru have been on strike for all of last week and the area that we work at is about 1½ hours from our house walking and you have to walk about ½ hour on the highway so it takes a really long time to get there.  At the same time, you won’t be able to get investigators to walk to church because of the highway so we had to arrange car rides for everyone so that’s been a challenge to our missionary work this week.  But then, last Sunday was the most tired I have been on my entire mission but it was ok because it was worth it.  We had to get up at 4:45 and we had to be out the door by 5:30.  So we walked the 1½ hours to are area and got there at 7:00.  So at 7:00, we started waking up everyone.  So then everyone got ready and the car rides came and it was 8:00.  So we left again because there wasn’t room in the cars because there were lots of investigators, which was good.  So me and another missionary left at 8:00 and we got to the church at 9:30 we spent 3 hours walking before 9:30.  But it ended up being really good because we had a lot of investigators there and it was really worth it.  But that doesn’t hide the fact that between 2:00 and 6:00, that was the most tired I have been on my entire mission.  And it wasn’t sleep tired or being sleepy,  it was exhaustion.  It was good though because we were able to learn about sacrifice in our zone conference and whenever I set out the plan to wake up at 4:45 and to arrange to have everyone picked up, I knew it was going to be a sacrifice.  But I knew that it would be worth it because I knew it would be the best thing for our investigators to get to church so it was totally worth it.

So my companion has two weeks left in his mission and, do you remember how it was with Elder Senna, the other missionary companion that I had that ended in Maringa? It ended really well because we worked a lot and he had the attitude of it’s not over until it’s over.  However, my companion right now has some opposing attitudes.  He’s breaking down as it gets closer to the end and so its been kind of difficult for him to do 100% of the work because, mentally, he’s kind of out of it and so, what I have been doing is I’ve been doing everything possible in my capacity.  An example is that Saturday night, we were at family home evening at a guy’s house in our ward and there were probably 30 people there including the bishop.  So my companion was just having a good time and eating cake and talking to the members and I was having a good time to but there were two people who were there that weren’t member of the church.  They were friends with the guy hosting the event.  Anyway, I have been going nuts lately trying to find every opportunity to teach the gospel to anyone because my companion has been kind of lazy about it.  Anyway, I started talking to this couple and tried to see how they were doing and then I ended up teaching them the restoration and giving them Books of Mormon.  It was fun because this was in the middle of the party and everyone could tell that we were talking about gospel stuff and they were really interested and they said “Wow, I’m going to read this book and I’m going to see it it’s true.”  So it was a really good experience but it shows that, right now, what I have to do with my companion is to continue to keep the pace that I want to keep going.  I had to teach them in the middle of the party and it was all by myself.  Also, any time we are doing anything that doesn’t involve sitting down and teaching a lesson I try to find ways to teach a lesson like talking to non-members that are in the houses that we go to.  So it’s been an interesting experience.  But I won’t say too much else because I’m not supposed to talk bad about my companion.

So our zone is doing really well and I was really, really tired going to bed last night so last night I was knocked out but I woke up this morning feeling a little bit better.

I want to know what you guys think about that crazy audible that I suggested about traveling to the Campinas temple when we are in Marillia.  Campinas is about 3 hours away from Marillia.  Even though it would be kind of a hike, it would be completely worth it because I passed through that temple when I was at the MTC and you guys would be able to say that you passed through a temple in Brazil.  I think that, other than Iguacu Falls, this would be the highlight of the trip.  Also, even though the falls will be cool, the temple will be more cool because we lead gospel centered lives so a trip to a temple in Brazil would be awesome.  So just think about it and let me know what you think.  Also, we wouldn’t have to stay over night.  We could drive there and drive back.

Everyone who was in my group of missionaries when I first got into the field are leaving in two weeks.  So that’s been interesting because at our final zone conference I heard some of them give their testimonies.  But I don’t really think about that.  It really hasn’t come to me that I shouldn’t have stayed one more month or that it stinks that all my group is going home.  It feels really natural staying here one more transfer so I’m grateful for that.  I’m also very excited for this next transfer because, no matter what happens this next transfer, it will be special because I wouldn’t be able to have the experiences I am going to have if I wouldn’t have stayed.  That means there are going to be people that I am going to be able to help that I haven’t been able to help before.  So I’m very thankful for the opportunity.

So that’s about it for this week.  I miss you guys and I hope Desmond is doing well.  I also hope that Joseph and Alayna are doing well.  I hope Abby and Jenny are doing well .  I miss all of you but I’m not getting to trunky at the end, because when I think about it, I don’t really get homesick because in two months I’ll be there.  So I don’t get homesick at all.  Maybe it was a different story when I had been on my mission for 8 months but now, when we are so close to the end, I don’t get homesick because you just need to finish your mission out as best you can. 

I love you.  I hope you have a great week and I will talk to you later.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Good Morning Hoskin Family!  It is the 17th of June, 2013, here in Bauru.  This is Elder Hoskin.  I am feeling really good today, hope everything is going really good with you guys.  I was glad to hear all the news from last week.  And, I hope I hear from Joseph this week, if not, then next week.  I want to hear the baby update, although I am sure he’s doing fine. 

Yeah, so this week was kind of crazy. Ha ha!  Literally, CRAZY!  And, I’ll explain to you guys how it was crazy.  So, I don’t know if I told you this yet, but in my zone, we have the city of Bauru, which has 7 pairs of missionaries, and then there are four other little cities outside of this city that each have a branch.  So in each of these  four  cities, there’s one other pair of missionaries.  So, they are an hour and a half outside of this city.  The city of Bauru has been having a lot of success since I’ve gotten here, but those cities haven’t been doing as well.  And, so, I had the idea to do a division with the district leader out in one of the cities called Agurous, is his city.  And, so on Tuesday I was going to do a division with him, and me and my companion talked about it, and he was like, “ I think you should go there, for the entire week, and spend one day in each area to try and help them out.”  And, so that’s exactly what I did.  This week I spent the entire week traveling from one city to another trying to help them find people and teach the people, and help their investigators who have problems.  And, so, that’s what I did.  On Tuesday I worked in Agurous, and then the rest of the days I worked in the other cities.  The cities are the following names:  Agurous,  Lensweis Palista,, Machituba, Perdenadas.  (spelling?)  So, it was a really cool experience to work with all them, ‘cause I got to get closer to the missionaries we were working with,  I got to work with four different cities…

I have a friend from college named Jeff, he is serving in the Hebrau Preta mission, its another mission in brazil, right above us, and we always joked about being close and stuff, I emailed him, two weeks ago and told him I was in Bauru, and he said that we are literally two hours away from each other, by bus.  And, so, I went even farther, to Sao Paulo, to go to these cities,  and I asked the people at the bus station, ‘how far away are we from Sao Pedro?’  They we like, ‘an hour or an hour fifteen minutes.’ I was like an hour away from my friend.  So that’s pretty interesting, cause we knew each other at BYUI, and somehow, we are an hour away from each other here in Brazil.  So, that’s what I did the entire week.  Mainly, I got to work with the district leader, his name was Elder Bodwin, he is from Oregon, a place called SeaSide, Oregon:  Where the Lewis and Clark trail ended, it’s a really small city.  But, he’s really awesome.  And, this is a quick side-note, I am getting to know a lot of people from Oregon, and become really good friends with them.  You will hear a lot about Oregon in my future afterwards, because I will go to visit a lot of my friends.  Like, the whole summer job thing, as well as there’s one who lives in Vancouver, Washington, on the border or Oregon.  There’s a couple  of other ones I made in Oregon.  I don’t know, from what I hear, Oregon is just like Pittsburgh, or Pennsylvania, but just the West Coast.  Yeah, so I made some pretty good friendships.

I was thinking the other day, because someone was telling me about the leadership style of one of their other zone leaders, how they were really hard on them, they like, burned them.  And, all they cared about was baptisms.  And, I was thinking about the war chapters in the Book of Mormon, and how, I can’t remember his name, but one of the bad leaders of the Lamanites, he didn’t care about the shedding of his people’s blood, you know?  He didn’t really care if a lot of people died in his army, he just wanted to win.  And, then Moroni, like it said, the opposite.  He didn’t like the shedding of blood, he didn’t want to see his people get hurt, tried to avoid fighting at all costs, and he put men’s welfare first.  I thought about that, ‘cause everything is applicable in the Book of Mormon, I thought about how that’s applicable in our day.  And how, I don’t know, at least for me on the mission, I feel that whenever you are in charge, or you have stewardship over a certain group of missionaries, the most important thing, first off, is to make sure everyone is good, and everyone is okay.  Everyone needs to be working, everyone needs to be doing their part, but that all starts with them being okay spiritually, and physically and everything else.  So, that’s something that I tried to put an emphasis on these last couple of weeks.  And, its been working out really well.  Whenever I am with missionaries, we will talk and get to know each other, but we also have semi-serious conversations too, where I will ask like, ‘how’s your personal study going?  How’s your spirituality going on the mission?’ blah blahblah.    I do what I call ‘mini PPI’’s, personal priesthood interviews.  Its really funny.  I guess they were just sitting down waiting for a baptismal service to like, and I just started, like, asking all these questions like that to one missionary, it actually ended up being a really good experience.  So, I have really been able to get to know the missionaries this week.  So, that’s basically what took up the majority of my week.  There were some things that happened that made me kind of sad, and I can share them with you.  You always have big learning experiences, right? 

So, like I told you I was gone all week.  So, what happened was this.  I had gone to each of these four cities, and we had arranged for baptismal interviews on Saturday, and we had taught lessons with people, blah, blah, blah.  In each of the cities we had one or two, some cities one, some cities two, half and half, two cities had one, two cities had two interviews on Saturday.  And, I had perfectly planned out the bus schedule so that I could get to each city and do each interview.  So, like I said, I was out of the house.  And, on Friday night, they had a couple of interviews here in Bauru, in the city.  And, my companion and the other district leader, he is the district leader over half of the city here, and the two juniors:  the junior that my companion was with, and the junior, the district leader, they got done doing the interview, and it was like 8:30 and the Bishop (I think??) said, ‘Hey I will take you guys out to eat or something!’  And, Elder McGuire who is the district leader, he confessed it to me, per se , so I could tell that his was a sincere story.  He was like, “we knew if we went, we were going to get home late.” cause members don’t really care, “but we just chose to do it anyway.  He was kind of repentant but still kind of sad, because they went out, and they took them to a restaurant, and they ended up getting home at 10:20 at night.  I didn’t know anything.  I was calling them to talk about the bus times the next day, cause Elder McGuire was going to have to get a bus to go do interviews with me, so I was trying to call them, and they had turned off their phones.  And, they got home really late.  I could tell that when Elder McGuire was telling me the next day that he was really repentant and he felt bad.  But  -----  my  companion doesn’t really feel bad.  And at the same time, even if we are repentant over the things that we do that are bad, we are still going to suffer the consequences.  I am sure that it helps, it limits the consequences.  But, I mean, Adam was probably repentant, but was still cast out of the garden, right?  So, it  was really, really stressful because I had done a fast on Saturday that these interviews could work out, and that all the missionaries could really be able to help these people make covenants.  And, everything just fell through.  Every, Every single, every single interview that we had made, every plan that we had made in these four cities fell through.  Every single one.  It was terrible ‘cause I had met Elder McGuire, he had gotten a bus to come with me in the morning, to go to Macatuba, the first city.  So, as soon as he got on the bus, he was like, ‘Dude!  I need to tell you what happened.  I am just going to tell you ‘cause I feel horrible about it.’  So, as soon as he said it, I was just like… ‘crap!’  ‘Cause we don’t have the Lord’s promise.  You don’t have the Lord’s promise when you are consciously disobeying or choosing to break a rule.’  So, I got really worried.  So, we had the fast prayer… I tried to…. I don’t know.  It all just fell through.  Every single one fell through.  So, the entire day, in regards to -------- the interviews was a waste, I believe I still tried to show my faith to the Lord, I was really, really trying.  So, for me that was good.  Like Preach My Gospel says, real success is measured in the diligence that you do, when trying to get results.  And, so, we had six people who had already committed to be baptized here in the city, and only three of them ended up being baptized, or four.  So, there was a lot that fell through here too.  I don’t think the missionaries that were a part of that Restaurant thing really understand.  But, I understand because I have seen it before in my zones.  Whenever we break the rules like that, we lose the Lord’s promise, and we don’t have His promise, we don’t have His Promise protection for our investigators to not get tempted by the enemy, or for them to be protected, or for them to still have the spiritual desire to be baptized.  And, it was really sad.  It was really sad.  I felt like someone in the Book of Mormon who is just like, I don’t know, I have my problems too.  We all have our problems.  But, this kind of hurt.  It just hurt.  ‘Cause you try to be as obedient as you can, and as soon as you leave the city your companion, and some of the other missionaries just disobey the rules.  I want to do divisions to help out the other missionaries, but I would have to sacrifice my own area.  So, that was an interesting lesson that I learned.  And, it wasn’t one of the prettiest lessons I have ever learned either.  Like mom always said, ‘I guess I learn from observing a lot as well,’  While I didn’t necessarily break the rule, I was still able to observe the consequences of it and learn from it.  So like everything else on the mission, it was a learning experience.  But, I was pretty bummed out about that. That’s basically how it happened.

It has been getting pretty cold here, which is good.  I am getting excited for you guys to come to here, to see us. 

So, there’s a guy who served a mission here six years ago, and he came back with his wife this last week to visit.  So, they were in our church on Sunday.  Pretty cool.  He’s from Wyoming, his wife’s from Rhode Island, and, he’s a big Penguins fan.  They came to church on Sunday, and I was just like talking to them, I said in Portuguese, ‘to do bein?’  They were like, Hi, we’re Americans.  I was like, oh!  Cool! cause she didn’t speak any English (I think he meant to say Portuguese), and it’s kind of hilarious because she gets kind of freaked out.  This is kind of trunky, but its just fact.  Maybe one day I will come back here with the person that I am eventually married to, and it will be like that.   Or, like how you guys are, you know.  Although, I don’t think you will be freaked out like she is, cause she kind of got freaked out, you know, when people are talking.  But, like they were like, ‘yeah we are from Rhode Island.’  And I was like, ‘yeah I am from Pittsburgh.’  And they were like, ‘WOW We were in Pittsburgh last week!’  I was like, ‘really?’  Apparently, she has a brother who just graduated from Carnegie Mellon.  They were like, ‘yeah we went to see his graduation in Pittsburgh.’  I was like, ‘hey, did you like the city?’  She was like, ‘Yeah, Pittsburgh is a really beautiful city!”  I was like, ‘yeah… Pittsburgh’.  And, then he was like, ‘are you a Penguins fan?’.   I said, ‘yeah I am’.  He was like, ‘Dude!  I am a huge Penguins fan.’.  He was like, ‘the Bruins totally beat them!’.  And she was like, ‘Yes!’  ‘Cause she is from Rhode Island, so she is a Bruins fan.  I was like, ‘yeah, my dad told me they got swept: two goals in four games!’  I was like, ‘ouch!’  It was funny though.  It was cool because I got to talk to them in English.  It was different.  You just don’t see Americans everyday.   And then, that was pretty nifty.

 So that’s basically how my week went.  This week’s going to be a lot better, I hope.  I am not going to do any divisions or anything.  Its going to be the last Zone Conference of President Tavarez on Thursday.  We are going to take a bus to marilla again, my favorite city.  And, so, that will be fun. 

I hope everything is going great with you guys.  I hope dad is keeping up on his spiritual goals, and that the girls are doing their spiritual things in the morning as well, and that Joseph and Alayna are still managing to have spiritual time with the baby, and with all the work.  I hope its all going well.

Oh, yeah!  One more funny side story.  Whenever I was in Agurus, one of those small cities, they had the biggest catholic seminaries in Brazil.   You know, Seminaries where nuns and priests stay.  Its like 5 kilometers outside of the city, its like 4, maybe 4 and a half.  So me and Elder Bodwin, the guy that I was with, we woke up at 6:30, and we did a jog to do exercises.  But, we didn’t have enough time to get there, because it was so far away.  So the next day, we woke up at 5:50,  he he, 40 minutes early, and we ran.  And, it was so, like, foggy and dark.  Its really hidden in all these trees, and this hill, so you can’t see it from far away.  So we ran all the way there at 5:50 in the morning.  It was huge!  We took a lot of pictures.  So I will send some pictures of me at the seminary.  And that was kind of a fun adventure too. 

Also, I have been running recently, in the morning.  You are probably thinking, ‘how can he be running!  He’s go 22 maybe 23 months in the mission.   But, I guess I am just living the word of wisdom.  But, yeah, I am getting back into running again, which I love because I ran a lot before the mission.  And, I am going to be running again afterwards.

So I hope everything is well with you guys.  This is the message I will leave with you today.  I love you guys, I hope everything is great.  I miss you guys too, let me know how everything’s going.  Don’t forget about me, just ‘cause I want to hear how you guys are doing.  So, I will talk to you guys later.  I will probably say a little more in the email. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Good Morning Everybody!  This is Elder Hoskin.  This is the voice clip for the 10th of June, 2013.  Bauru is the City.  This week was an interesting week, I guess.  And so, I will let you guys know how its all going.  First order of business is to say to Dad, Happy Birthday!  Because, if today is the 10th, then on Wednesday is Dad’s birthday, the big 45.  So, Dad, Happy Birthday, and…. Yeah.  Just know that its good to have birthdays, cause that means you are still living.  Um, Happy Birthday! 

Yeah, so this week has gone pretty well.  We had some interesting stories.  So we went to Londrina on Monday, and this is the second farthest city away from Londrina.  Its Falls de Iguasu, then its Bauru.  So, it was like 6 hours on the bus.  Apparently, just some interesting facts, cause if you look on google maps, its right on the tip of our mission.  So, if you look on google maps, the city that I am in right now, is five hours away from Londrina, but its about three hours away from Sao Paulo, and about eight hours away from Heo  Judinao (spell?).  so, its getting pretty close to all that kind of stuff.  Like I am going back to the MTC, but …  So, we took that six hour bus ride, and that was not that great, because on Saturday, last Saturday, a week ago, we fasted and everything.  Then on Sunday we ate lunch to break our fast, it was Fagewata:  Really heavy, usually Americans think its gross Brazilian food, but they throw all the parts of the pig into the beans and stuff.  And, so, I kind of got really sick, not really sick, but pretty sick.  Because, I hadn’t eaten anything for 24 hours, and I just ate that.  And, so I was kind of sick from Sunday after lunch, to Thursday.  But, on the good side, at least I went to Londrina the majority of those days, so it wasn’t like I wasted any time in my area.  Because on Monday, the entire day, we didn’t have P-day, we just traveled down to Londrina, and that was pretty nasty on the bus ride, I was feeling pretty gross.  And, we got there, and we had a leaders council on Tuesday, which was really good.  That was the last leaders council of President Tavarez, so it was really sad, everyone just, like, cried.  We planned a special surprise for them, and it was just really sad cause it was the last leaders council.  But it was also my third, or second to last leaders council.  But, I am going to be sad to see him go.  Luckily we still have interviews with him this month, so I will be able to talk to him.  But, yeah,… so that happened.  And, then on Wednesday we came back, took six hours again, we got here, and we ate lunch at about three o’clock, but I still wasn’t feeling like eating anything, then we worked in our area.

So I told you guys about the story of the guy named Klebber in President Prudenche, he left his work so he could go to church, right. So, I had another example happen the last two weeks that I’ve been here, that’s a really good example.  Her name is Patricia, and she is the granddaughter of a recent convert member.  Basically how it happened was, the missionaries were passing by her house, ??? her extended family to church for six or seven months now.  But, she never had any interest, she would never sit there for the lessons, she would never want to hear anything, blah blah blah.  So, that’s her, Patricia.  But, when I got here, I didn’t know that she didn’t want anything to do with the church.   I just thought she was cool with us like everyone else in the house.  So, the first time we were there, I was like, Ah!  So, I was getting to know everyone, ‘hows it going? Lets go to church’ blah blah blah.  And so we left a message with them, and it ended up being really cool.  She’s like, yeah, I’ll go to church.  I didn’t see anything different.  Then, as soon as we left the house my companion is like, Wow!  I can’t believe she is going to go to church, because none of the missionaries have been able to get her to go to church.  And, it just taught me that your attitude towards people, your vision towards people sometimes prohibits things.  Because if our vision was like, ‘oh, she’s not going to accept, oh she has always not liked the missionaries of the church,’ then, it probably would not have worked out as well as it did.  I didn’t even know anything, so I just went in there, and invited her to church.  So, she went to church last week and she loved it.  So, she’s reading the Book of Mormon and everything, and she feels like the Book of Mormon is true.  And, everything’s true.  She prayed and felt good about it, so she got a response and everything.  So, last week we challenged her to be baptized.  But, she was like, ‘no, I don’t really know..’.  So, we were trying to find out what the problem was.  So, we were talking and talking and talking, and it came out that she had a boyfriend, so I guess she knew she was having certain commandment difficulties.  And, so we taught her about the commandment again, taught her about how its not a commandment of the church, but it’s a commandment of God.  And, she was feeling really good about it, like how it’s a commandment and she’s willing to follow it.  So we asked her to talk to her boyfriend, and asked, ‘would your boyfriend accept your decision to, abstain?’  And, she was like, yeah, I think he would.  And we were like, okay.  And I was like, ‘good, this will be a good test for him.  Because if he really likes  you, actually likes you, and actually interested it you, then he will respect your decision.’  Ha ha  So, we went back two days later, and she had talked to him.  She was like, ‘yeah, I just told him that it was going to be this way from now on.’   So, she’s like, ‘yeah we’re gonna stop, we already stopped, and blah, blah, blah.’  So, I said, ‘are you excited for baptism?’ and she was like, ‘yeah! I am excited for baptism.!’  So, the entire week she is like, pumped, excited to be baptized.  And, she got baptized.  And it was really awesome because you could see the real repentance that she had.  It was like the other story of Klebber was like.  But, he gave up work.  She was able to make sacrifices in order to follow the commandments, and it was a really special experience.  So that was really cool, that went well this week.  Um, what else went well…… um, yeah. 

I did a lot of interviews on Saturday.  There are four chapels inside the city, and there are four chapels outside the city in this stake we are at.  It’s a big stake.  On Saturday I ran around to four of them.  Just doing interviews and stuff.  But it was fun, I like doing that stuff, I like running around.  So, that was good. 

Oh, yeah, we had another interesting story, that you are probably interested in hearing.  So, there’s a ward in our zone called Mar de shall Hon Don.. its weird.  We are just going to call it Mar de Shall to make it easier.  And so, they (the missionaries) are looking for a new house, because their old house that they were in, there was a druggie living right next to it.  So the police had to break into the missionaries house one day, in order to break in to this guys house.  And, so, the President was like, ‘yeah, that’s probably not the safest place to be, so you should find a new house.’  So, they have been waiting to try to find a new house, and have been living in our house, and they found another house.  But their old house still has all the furniture and stuff.  So, there’s a lady, who is an old investigator of the Elder’s, who moved to Marilla, but she moved back two weeks ago.  So she knew one of the members, and she didn’t have a house or anything, and she has three kids.  And, the member is like, ‘yeah, you can live in this house because the missionaries aren’t living there right now.  So, she started to let the lady live in the missionaries old house.  Which, is charitably fine, except for the fact that it breaks a lot of rules as far as missionary logistics, or whatever.  So, I don’t know how President found out.  I didn’t even know, either, but President found out on Friday, and he was really, really, really, upset.  I just don’t think he was that great informed.  I think all he knew was that someone was living in the missionaries house.  I don’t think he knew it was a single mom with three kids who didn’t have anywhere to go.  So, he called me, like, really, really, angry on Friday, and he was like, ‘listen, I am going to put money in your account, you have to go there tomorrow morning, you have to go at 5 o’clock tomorrow, Saturday morning, and you have to take all the stuff.’  So he was like, you have to go there and take everything.  I was like, ‘we are not going to leave anything for her?’  And, he was like, ‘No!’  He was like, ‘you can only leave stuff, if its broken beyond repair.’  So, only if it is broken to the extent that we couldn’t repair it or use it any more.   And so, ….  I already knew this lady, to tell you the truth.  Because, her daughter is getting confirmed this week.  So, I went there on a Saturday morning with five of us.  And, the lady was really, really, cool about it.  She wasn’t like mad or anything.  We told her we had to get the furniture and use it for other houses and stuff, and she understood.  Cause she accepted that she was just kind of living there free.   But, I still felt really bad.  So, we went in there and we took almost everything.  She had her own mattress and stuff, but, we took everything.  So, I called Sister Tavarez, during the move, to see if I could get permission to leave some stuff there cause I was feeling really bad.  One of the things was a clothes dresser.  There were four clothes dressers.  There was two brand new ones, one that was old beyond repair that she wouldn’t even use cause it was so old.  And, there was one that was old, but it still kind of worked.  So, I called Sister, and tried to ask her, but, she was like, ‘no elder you have to bring it too if it still works.’  So, I was kind of bummed out.  So, usually I am really excited and cheerful and stuff, but, I kind of gave her a really subtle guilt trip, and said, ‘oh okay, all right.’ She was like, ‘are you all right, is everything good?’  And, she kept talking to me, but I was like, down, cause I was really really sad.   So, she called me back, like an hour later, and she said, ‘Elder Hoskin, I was thinking about it, and you can leave that other dresser there.’  So, I was like, Yeah!   I got her a dresser.  So later that night… We moved everything out in the morning, so that night, President called me and asked me how the move went.  So, I informed him a little bit better about who the lady was, how she was investigating the church, she had three kids, President was like, ‘Oh’  well, what furniture did you take?’  ‘I took everything President, I did what you told me to do.’  I took the shower heads, I took the washing machines, I took the fridge, I took the dressers, except the one Sister Tavarez told me to leave, I took the microwave, I took the beds, I took everything.  And he was like, ‘ oh, but you didn’t leave anything for her,’  And, I was like, ‘Well, President, what you told me to do was to take everything that wasn’t beyond broken, like beyond belief.  I was kind of being sneaky right now, I was kind of laying it down for President, kind of giving him a little bit of a guilt trip as well.  Because I was really sad, cause like, on Friday night, President was really mad, and he was like, ‘go and take everything!’  So the missionaries at our house were like, ‘the members were, like, doing a stupid thing’ and like blah blah.  (I think was Zach is trying to say is that the missionaries at his house were complaining about the members of the ward who told that lady she could live there.) I was really mad cause their (the missionaries) behavior was really really poor in regards to the situation.   So, I kind of got mad on Friday night, about the poor talking and stuff, so I was like, “All right guys, maybe they didn’t do exactly what was right, but the least you can do is forgive them for trying to be charitable.” Ha ha, I was just like, burn…  But, I was really trying to help this lady out, cause I felt like the other missionaries, and President, were a little low on the charity on the love during this whole move thing.  So I talked to President about all this, told him the situation, and I sort of made a little bit of a guilt trip.  And, then, an hour later, he called me back.  He was like, ‘okay, Elder, I’ve thought about it, and I have a list of stuff that you can just leave for her, and the mission will buy the rest of the stuff.’  Cause half the stuff is pretty old, but still functioning.  So, he’s like, okay, ‘you can leave the oven,  you can leave a fridge, you can leave a bed, you can leave a mattress, you can leave a table, blah, blah, blah.  So I guess he kind of like saw that she was really needing help.  So, he was like, you can leave these things cause they are older, but still working and the mission will just buy new ones, whenever we open up the new house for Mar de Shall.  So, for me that was a big success.  I felt like I was able to not lose my integrity, and stand up for what I know is right, try to just do what was right and help out this lady. 

So that was this week, and I love you guys, I hope everything is going well, and I will talk to you next week, bye.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Good Morning Family, this is the 3rd of June, 2013, at like 6:00 in the morning.  Yeah, I got transferred.  I told you in my last email.  I got transferred to Bauru, which is one of the only two cities I haven’t worked in yet.  So, I am here in Bauru.  And, you should look it up on google-earth, its still in the state of Sao Paulo, its about three hours away.  Its really like the end, the end of our mission.  Falls de Iguacu, with all the waterfalls and everything, is on the other end. 

So, transfers happened.  I had a really, really, really, really, really great experience with transfers.  So, I am not sure why it happened, but I am grateful for it.  So, every transfer that I have seen on my mission, they always plan it so that you go from your city to Londrina, then from Londrina to your new city.  Even if it seems relatively inefficient, you always pass through Londrina.  I think its just for, like, safety, and so they can monitor all the missionaries and stuff.  Anyways, like I said, Bauru is still in Sao Paulo.  Its above Marilla.  So, what I thought was going to happen, is that I would go to Londrina, then go to Bauru.  But, I am not really sure why, they sent me straight to Marilla.  Then, I stayed in Marilla for six or seven hours.  Then, I went to Bauru.  So, on Tuesday, I left at, like, 7:40 in the morning… on a bus.   I am not going to lie to you, it was one of those buses that’s like, in the inner city, that’s like an every day bus.  Which are not very comfortable buses.  I got on the bus at 7:40, then I got to Marilla at, how do you say it, noon, a little bit after noon.  You know that my favorite area has always been Pamital, in Marilla.  The family with Casia, the lady who has been my mom here in Brazil, all that stuff.  So, I got there at noon, and my bus was going to leave to come to Bauru at, like, 6:10.  So, I had six hours.  So, I got there, and the first thing I did was call someone in the ward of Pamital.  And, I got a car ride, and I got a ride back to my area, and then, I went straight to Casia’s house, who is, like, my favorite member ever.  And, it was exactly one year since I had left Pamital, it was the 28th of May.  So, I went back, I showed up at their house, I knocked on their door and stuff, and they had no clue that I was going to come.  So, she opened the door, and as soon as she saw me she started freaking out, it was awesome!  It was such a great reunion.  And, they knew that I was going to come back in three months to see them with you guys, but, I got to see them.  So, she made us lunch, and them we just kind of stayed and visited with her the entire day, because its transfer day, and I am in a city that I don’t work in, so I didn’t have anything to do.  So, we spent the entire day in her house with her family.  It was one of the most satisfying days on the mission, just ‘cause I got to see them again.  We got to catch up on everything.  And, it was just really, really, really nice.  I was actually really grateful for that blessing.  It was totally a blessing from the Lord, ‘cause I have never seen anything like that happen before.  So that happened, and that made me really, really happy.  I was happy about that for the entire week.  I would wake up in the morning, and still feel happy from that. 

So, then I got to Bauru, its really nice.  I think it’s the second biggest city on the mission, just behind Londrina.  We literally live in front of a huge mall.  A huge, huge, huge mall.  Like Robinson-size mall, or bigger.  And, the thing is, that missionaries in our mission are not allowed to go into the  mall.  Ha ha, But, we live in a really cool house, my companion is really awesome.  His name is Elder Homos.  So, my companion, he served in the Sao Paulo North mission.  But, something happened there, so he had to leave that mission.  So they gave him the option to fill out his papers again, or to stay in this mission.  ‘Cause he lives in Presidente Prudenche.  He lives in the branch I was serving at, up until Bauru.  So, he’s like, ‘yeah, just keep me in this mission.’  So, he’s a missionary in our mission, but he will never to go Presidente Prudenche ‘cause that’s where he lives.  But, what’s interesting is that, literally, I just got done serving three months in his branch.  So, I told him, I was companions with Elder Homos, and he was like, Ha Fao!  (I think he slipped into a little Portuguese here.)  Ever since I got here we have been talking about his branch, the members, and how they are doing, blah blah blah.  I just never had that experience before, of course, cause it never happens.  So he’s a member of the branch that I was just serving in, in Prudenche.  So, he’s actually really, really awesome.  I like him a lot.  He’s actually going to end his mission this transfer, and I will end my mission next transfer, so he will end right now, then I will get another companion.  That’s crazy, right?  I only have two more transfers left.  I try not to think about it.  People try to give me grief, and tell me this would be my last transfer,… (Portuguese again???)  Yeah, but I really like all the people here.   I like the ward a lot.  There is like a hundred people in it.  It’s a good, healthy ward.  One thing I have noticed here is that the members are a lot more active in the work than I have ever seen before.  We get references every time we go to church.  They are excited to leave with us, they are like, ‘yeah, lets go on visits!’ blah blah blah…  There is, like, even among the young men here, there is a competition, to see how many people they can help the missionaries baptize.  So, its kind of like the dream-ward.  I thank the Lord that he has saved the best ward, and the best missionary work for last, for me.  My last area seems like to me, it will be THE best area I have had on my mission.   Yeah, this area is really, really receptive.  I think we are going to find and teach a lot of people.  

One thing I really like about my companion right now, my companion I had before… I don’t know we just were not able to achieve this, but my companion right now, we are doing it with other companions, which is where you know what you are going to teach, we are going to teach about faith.  And, you go in, you talk to them, you, like, find their needs, let the spirit guide you to know which scriptures you need to read, and what you’re going to say.  Because there are some companions who you are not able to do that with.  But when you are in good harmony with your companion, then its possible.  And, my companion is totally awesome.  I figure just because of the experience that this has happened.  So the most experience duplah (?) on the mission, I think.  Cause we both, should be ending our missions right now.   But, he’s really awesome. 

What else is there… I am going to Londrina today.  That’s not really that great of news.  Oh Yeah!  I got grandma and grandpa’s package!  I just want to say thank you very much for that package.  I still haven’t eaten everything yet, I really appreciate it.  I think it’s the last package I am going to get in the mission, so I am grateful.   One thing I thought was interesting is that on the package it said, ‘candy and missionary materials’ .  But I don’t know why they put that, cause the only thing inside was just, candy.  So, I just hope that the Brazilians didn’t steal anything from the package.   But, I am really happy with what I got.  Cause, I love Laffy Taffy. 

What else…. Oh yeah, so it was fast Sunday this last week.  My studies, the last week or two, I have been reading a lot about the enabling power of the atonement, you know.  There’s the redeeming power, the enabling power…  There’s a really good talk by Elder Bednar that  you have probably read before, that’s called, “Strength in the Lord”,  oh, “In the Strength of the Lord”.  It’s a BYU speeches talk, but I am pretty sure it was in the Ensign too, once.  That talk is so good!  So, there are two parts of the atonement, right?  There’s the redeeming power and the enabling power.  Says that David O Mckay, of Spencer W. Kimball, one of the two, says that the gospel is made to turn bad men to good men, and good men to better men.  If you are a bad person, it helps you become a good person, where you follow the commandments.  Then, the atonement also helps you come from a good person to a better person, where you become stronger and you perfect yourself.  And, so he talked about that a lot.  And, I really enjoyed that.  So, with the fast, it was going to be really hard, cause its really hot and all that stuff.  Whenever I started my fast, I asked for the enabling power.  I didn’t ask him to change my situation, the Lord, but I asked Him to give me strength to handle my situation -  which is what the enabling power entails.  And, so, I didn’t even have problems with the fast.  It was awesome.   But, whenever I was breaking my fast, yesterday at lunch.  We ate Fazewada, which is the heaviest  Brazilian plate (?) they have in Brazil.  Its basically like beans and rice, but the beans, they throw in all the parts of the pig.  Meat, ears, nose… So, I have been kind of sick after eating that, ‘cause it’s the first thing I ate after 24 hours.   It kind of wrecked me.  But, I’m okay, I’m alright. 

So I hope everything is going well with Desmond.  I think its interesting how Grandma is going to call him Eli.  Desmond, maybe I’ll call him Eli too.

Yeah, we are going into the month of June.  So, we are getting relatively close.   Oh yeah, I don’t know if Dad has booked the hotels yet, but I’d like to know dad’s plan right now, on where we are going to go when he comes here.  Because, my ideas have sort of changed.  But, I want to know what you think.  Because, for example,  there are some areas I haven’t been to in a long time, and I have lost contact with the people there, so it might be relatively hard to stay there the whole day.  I don’t know.  I was thinking, this is what I was thinking, staying two days in Falls,  one day when we can just travel from Falls to Marilla, but stop in Maringa, and see Maringa and all that stuff.  And, then we stay in marilla for two days, because I love the people there, and it would be totally awesome to stay there for two days.  And, we stay in Prudenche for two days.  Let me know what your plan is right now, then we can talk about it.  But, I am not sure either if we are going to come to Bauru.  The people here are really, really nice, and I have made good friendships with them already.  Already talking about my going away.  My thing here, which I guess they always do for missionaries.  So, I am not sure if we are going to go here either.  Just let me know what the plan is right now.  But, I love you guys and we will talk next week, bye!

Good Morning Everybody!  It is the 27th of May, 2013, which means it is officially 22 months since I have been on the mission.   OOOH!  Its 6:30 in the morning, I am still waking up, but that’s okay.  Today is Monday, transfer day, in President Prudenche.  I will find out at about 11:00 if I am getting transferred or not, and if my companion is getting transferred or not.  It has gotten relatively cold here for being Brazil, here in Prudenche.  I wear sweaters and stuff.  And, it rains a lot now.  So, its kind of feeling like Pittsburgh, which I like a lot. 

I was with another American elder, who is from Utah, who is brand new on the mission for about four days this week.  His name is Elder Delgado.  He is from American Fork, Utah.  And, my companion went to his area, another city called Azvala Cruz (?).  He stayed there for four days to help them try to find people and stuff.  So, he did that and I stayed here in my area with Elder Delgado.  And, so, he’s really cool.  We actually knew each other beforehand, so we are actually good friends.  We stayed together in Division for four days.  Why I am saying this is because he asked me how Pittsburgh is, and I started telling him about Pittsburgh.  I told him all the stuff, like about the Strip, how Pittsburgh is, the tunnels and bridges, all the stuff, and how its really nice, and how there’s a lot of trees.  That made me miss Pittsburgh.  That’s okay, though.  I mean, it didn’t effect me or anything, but, you know that I miss Pittsburgh, and I hope that one of us lives in Pittsburgh for the rest of our lives, and we can always have a reason to go back. 

Anyways, I want to start off this voice recording telling you what could be one of the best mission stories that I have.  One of the best stories that I have in my mission.  So, there’s this man named Klebber.  And, we have been teaching him for over a month now.  He works with maintenance and industrial machines: The big industrial, factory machines.  The way his work schedule is set out, he works 6 Sundays, then he doesn’t work 2 Sundays.  So, he is only able to go to church, twice every two months.  Maybe two times every month and a half.  So he went to church once, and he loved church.   And, he felt like he had a response that the book of mormon is true, the church is true.  He is the best investigator that we have, only in the last four weeks he hasn’t been able to go to church because he has to work.  Every Sunday, he would say, ‘no, I have to work.  I really want to go to church, but I have to work.’  He told us, ‘as soon as I can come to church, I am going to bring my whole family with me too.’  ‘Cause he went once, and he really liked it.  So, my companion wanted to cut him, because he never goes to  church.  But, he’s a really really good investigator.  Whenever we go to his house, we ask, “Is there anything we can do to help you?”  He’s like, “just keep coming, please.”   And, so, two Fridays ago, we passed by his house, and he started to notice that we were passing by a little bit less.  We were passing by on a weekly or a bi-weekly basis, because we knew he wasn’t going to go to church.  So, he’s like, “please don’t give up on me.  I am really trying.”   And, that is something that investigators never say.   So, me and another missionary, who is not my companion, we taught him ‘the Sabbath day’, and we shared with him one of the most over-rated scriptures that there is.  1 Nephi 3:7.   I was like, ‘the Lord never gives a commandment without a way for you to do it.   The Lord will give you a way, so you can go to church on Sundays.’   So, that happened, and we left on Friday, and we came back on Wednesday.   So, we came back in the afternoon, and he was there.  We thought it was one of his days off.  He was totally calm, and a lot less stressed than he usually is.  He is really stressful with his work.  So, we show up, and we are having a conversation, “hey, how are things going?’ and I was like, ‘so, is today one of your days off?’  So, he goes on to explain, ‘Well, about that,’ and this is what he said happened.  He asked to get released from his work.  So, they released him, and because they released him, and he didn’t get fired, he going to get 6 months of unemployment.  He has been working at that job for about 7 years.  So, he was like, ‘ yeah, I got released from my job, I asked to get released.’  I was like, Woa!.  He was like, ‘yeah, I am going to get six months of unemployment, I am going to work something small on the side.  I will be able to take it easy for a while.’  I was like, ‘wow , that’s really interesting.’  We kept talking about it, and his decision and stuff.  And after a couple minutes I was like, ‘Wow, that really means that your’re going to be able to go to church, right?’  And, then he responded, ‘No, that’s the reason why.’  He said that after we left on Friday, and we left that scripture (he was referring to 1 Nephi 3:7) After you left that scripture, it just kept coming into my head that the Lord would make a way.  So, I just felt like I could do this, I could get released from my job, I could go to church every Sunday, and then during these next six months where I am getting unemployment, I will find another job, where I will not have to work on Saturday and Sunday, so I can go to church every week.  So, he’s like the man of the house in his family.  So basically, he left his work, which he has been working at for seven years, just so that he can start going to church.  He has only been to church once.  So, I was like, crazy I was so happy.  He knew I was going to go nuts to, so he was being all sly about it.  But, its seriously one of the best stories I have had on my mission.  So, now his entire family is going to go with him this week, and he is just going to keep following.  ‘Cause we knew he had a testimony and everything, he just needed to go to church.  That’s definitely one of the better stories I am going to have on my mission, cause he made the sacrifice in order to be able to go to church.  He had the step of faith, you know, cause he had to ask to be realeased from his job.  And, they decided to release him nicely, with unemployment and everything.  Now, he’s going to be able to relax a lot.  Also, he smokes.  When we met him, he was smoking one pack of cigarettes every day.  At this point he managed to get it down to like, six or seven.  But, he would always tell us, ‘the more stressed I get, the more I smoke, so I just need to be less stressed.’  And, his job was really stressful.  So, when we went there, I said, ‘so its going to help you with smoking too, right? Because, you will not be stressed or anything!’   And, he was like, ‘yeah, I don’t even know if I have smoked yet, I can’t remember.  Cause he doesn’t really do anything any more, he kind of hangs out, and takes care of the family.  Because, his wife also has a little tiny salon behind their house.  So, they’re going to get money from that, from his unemployment, and from his little, on-the-side stuff.  So, he’s basically awesome!  So, that was the best story ever this week. 

Other than that things have been going really well.  Like, I said, I stayed with another missionary, Elder Delgado for like, the whole week.  He is pretty fun, he’s a new missionary, so we were able to become good friends and stuff. 

Today starts my second to last transfer on the mission.  That’s ridiculous.  If I hadn’t extended my mission, this would be my last transfer.  That’s even more ridiculous.  Is weird cause I want to go home and see you guys and everything, but I want to serve the mission more. 

I really like going to the small cities.  There are always these little small cities where the missionaries are at, in every zone of the mission.  My dream since the beginning of the mission is to be able to go to one of these small cities.  I could just work there, and have the whole city to myself.  That’s never been able to work out ‘cause I have always been in the big cities and stuff.  So, I got to work in a really small city called, Azvoldu Cruz (?) , and Ada Monchina.  Which means little diamond.  Like, little diamond mine.  That’s how you would say it.  And, its just been some really neat experiences, ‘cause I have been traveling a lot. 

What else is going on….  That’s basically it.  Oh, yeah, I had my birthday.  That was alright.  I have been traveling a lot.  So, you will have to forgive me on the traveling expenses.  But, I think, because I should be getting my reimbursements and stuff, I think I won’t have to use any more of our money.  I’m really going to try and not use our money.  Woo! 

That’s basically all I have for this week.  I know its what the Lord wants, not what I want, but, if the Lord wants it in any way, shape or form, I would love a new companion.  He he ha ha.  We never fight or anything, but if He wants me to keep polishing my patience, I guess we can stay together a third transfer.  But, if He feels like I’ve reached a point that is good enough for Him, for now, then, maybe I can get a new companion.  But, the thing is too about the mission, is that every transfer is better, and faster, but its also harder.  So, I think, ‘it will be interesting to have a new companion’ but I am pretty sure that whatever happens, the bar is just going to get raised a little more.  Its just going to get a little bit harder with whatever the Lord decides to throw at us.  But, our zone is going really well.  This month, we broke the record in this zone, for baptisms.  This zone has never had as many baptisms in a month as they have had here.  Like I said when I was getting transferred here, this is the hardest place in the mission, but our zone had the most success out of any other zone this month.  The missionaries are really working hard, and they are really getting blessed.  Everyone is being really obedient, at least is seems to me, and working hard.  Its not all about numbers, but just the fact that the Lord is really blessing the missionaries and stuff with people that are willing to accept the gospel and everything. 

So its going really well.  That’s basically this sound clip. I love you guys!  If I remember anything else I will throw it in the email real quick.  I hope you have a good week.  Happy birthday Joseph!  Woo! And, I will talk to you guys later, bye!

(in the email): alright! im getting transferred... my last area on the mission! bauru. its in são paulo still, i will be traveling tomororw. i already send the sound clips! but i will send some more later today, ill come back to write and all, i just had to get the transfter info right now. ok!