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. 

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