Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Zone Conference

This week was a good one. I cannot explain to you how much the Lord is pushing me. Sometimes I feel like I´m going to explode. This area is making me go farther than I´ve gone before and have to have a lot more faith and trust more in the Lord. However, we´re doing it. We´re making things happen here.
This week we had a super special meeting with President and Sister Souza. Back in Fortaleza, everyone had two conferences. One last week and one this week. The first being a zone conferece, the other a mission wide Christmas conference. However, do to high travel costs between Juazeiro and Fortaleza, we had both of our conferences together, like on the same day. We showed up at 8 in the morning and didn´t leave until after 8 at night. IT was awesome! I felt like I was at the MTC again. Just a nice, big spiritual feast (and a real food feast that wasn´t bad either...
Anyway, I´m excited for Christmas. Things are going great here. We´re doing everthing we can to creat a stake here in a very catholic area (seriously, try looking up ´´Mount Horto/Padre Cicero´´ on google. We ran there today from our house. It was an awesome 2 hour adventure.) . Like I said before, it´s pushing me to my limit, but it´s making me grow a lot too. I ´m learning that just about anything is possible when we work with all our souls and trust in the Lord. Love has got to be our motive and we have to be completely altruistic.
Love you guys. Can´t wait to talk to you on Chritmas EVE!
Elder Hodson

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Time Again

 October 8, 2012

I missed the last session of conference because we had to fill up the baptismal font though. It was all set to fill up during the first session and them we would baptize between sessions but when we went to check on it we saw that the water had run out! We tried using the fire hose, buckets, and a lot of prayer for rain but nothing was working. The stake president had a pump so we throw the pump in the well we have on the chapel grounds and used a hose to fill up the tank. We had to guard the well after that to make sure no little children fell in and drowned. so that's why we missed the last session. I´m about to listen to Elder Bednar´s talk. It´s cool because, from the part I´ve already heard, he talked about exactly what I´ve been thinking about these past few days and weeks.

So, Joana was baptized, Oséias´mom. She was really happy. Now, the dad might get baptized too. He´s really liking the church and even said he wants to prepare for baptism.

The Church is true and prophets walk the earth again. The Priesthood is also real and with it come many duties, responsibilities, and powers that no other group or sect enjoy.

October 15, 2012

This week was good. We had a solid week of work. Well, I´m taking care of two wards, again. I feel like it´s been this way for almost my entire mission. Anyway, We´ve got some good work going in both of them. Sumaré, which is the larger ward, will have a baptism this week of a young woman who has been going to church with her friend. Jatobá, which needs 60 more people for a chapel, will have 2 this week. We are working very hard.

In Jatobá we´re working pretty much with one recent convert. We´re teaching her mom, her friend, and her neighbors, Tonight we´re gonna grab a bus and go out there again. We also made a contact and brought 4 people to church. Turns out they were the family of this recent convert´s friend from school. We went to pick up this family and because they weren´t ready we got to sacrament meeting as the ward was finishing the sacrament hymn. They saw us walk in with investigators and got SO excited! I think it´s been a while since the missionaries have done ANY work in that area. It was fast and testimony meeting and there were some pretty solid testimonies and the Spirit was strong. Afterwards a lot of members came up and said ´´Elder, Elder, there´s this family that I want you to meet. Pass by this week...´´ it was cool. We´ve got work to do in Jatobá now!!!!

Check out this video. It´s powerful. Christ is amazing. Sometimes we need to be strong and bold in the face of evil. We play a huge role in the bringing forth of the Gospel in the last days. We know it and no one else does. We are the ONLY ones who can preach the Gospel. We are the only carriers of the Gospel. If we do not open our mouths to share whet we know and what we are, NOTHING will change and NO ONE will come to know the Gospel of Christ. We MUST share who we are with other and let our light shine before men so that they may come to know the only true and living God and Jesus Christ who He sent. We are the holders of this truth and the cause of Christ. Others want it. Others need it. They are praying and begging God for knowledge and light to guide them to peace and hope in this turbulent world. There is nothing better than being the answers to these prayers. Sometimes they won´t know that you are the answer that they´ve been waiting for, at first. But after many trials come the blessings. There are many people searching for peace that the missionaries do not know and only YOU know. There are people that need YOU. Share the Gospel. Open you mouth. The Spirit will give you power beyond your own to change the course of your brother´s and sister´s eternal lives. Pray and ask God for missionary opportunities. Fast for them. Plead for them. There are so many people to be taught and the time we have is not infinite.

I love this work and Jesus Christ. i can´t wait to be with you all again.

October 22, 2012

This week I lost my voice and then got sick. I learned that a missionary without a voice is like a doctor without hands or a soccer player without legs. I wanted so much to teach people but couldn´t because of my voice. All I could do was bear my testimony and try to convey to them the importance and the magnitude of our message. I was actually on a division with the assistants this day. I was with Elder Dias in his area (he wishes Micky a happy birthday.) I don´t like being without a voice. I´m almost totally better now but I passed a few days pretty sick. After passing the numbers and planning yesterday I went to sleep at 9:30. I ´m gonna sleep some more today too. 

October 29, 2012
Dear Family,

Anyway, this week Paula was baptized. She´s 17 and lives next door to some members. We´ve been rooting for her so hard for a few weeks now. She wasn´t able to stop drinking coffee for a few weeks and had some problems going to church. Her grandma is also very sick and she´s just looking for something to help her in her life. She chose Jesus. You can never go wrong choosing Jesus. She finally stopped drinking coffee and Elder Omena was able to baptize her. She seemed so happy at the baptism. It´s just so sweet to see the face of the people after they´re baptized. You just know that the church is true and that Christ´s Atonement really does have the power to save us from our sins.

My companion gave a talk this week in sacrament meeting too. It was pretty good. He talked about sacrifice. In the closing prayer, the sister asked for forgiveness for the entire ward.

Anyway, I just want to bear my testimony to you guys about missionary work. It brings life into any person, group or ward that has the faith and courage to open their mouth and share their testimony. It is not hard once we start talking because God gives us the words that should be shared with each person, if we just listen. However, missionary work is also very challenging because not everyone will except the message of Etenal Life the first time, or ever. Sometimes you will feel depressed and hated and trodden on and mocked. You´ll want to give up. You´ll want to go home. You´ll want to play football and frisbee and videogames and date and a million other things. But if you just forget it all and put it to the side and serve God with ALL of your heart, might, mind, and strength, you will have success. Christ will take your soul and make you into what He would have you be. You´ll realize that your desires are changing and the Holy Ghost is working a great work upon your heart. If you serve well enough and search humbly enough, maybe you´ll even experience true joy, as did Ammon upon seeing Alma and his brethren after his mission. That is what it´s all about. not numbers. Not positions of leadership. True, pure, absolute, clean, unspeakable joy. That´s what I want and what I work for. I have great faith that I will attain it. 

I love you all. Please share the gospel. Please just have faith in the promises of God and be righteous. I know He lives. I know He loves us and gives us commandments to lead us to happiness and eternal life. I´ll see you all soon.

November 5, 2012

This week was a good one for me. We had 5 baptisms this week. We baptized the cousins of a member and their friends. It was super fun. I was just in the font and they came walking in in a line. I felt like John the Baptist! But even more important than the fun factor was the fact that they have now received the gift of the Holy Ghost and will one day enter the kingdom of God! They´re super happy and excited. They´re neighbor,  is set to get baptized this week. He´s a good guy and I´m super excited about the baptism.

Anyway, that´s about it for me. I love you guys a lot. I´m working on becoming a better person. There´s only one way to get into heaven and if we want to get there we got to take it. The way gets rougher and the incline higher but our souls expand and our love grows and we become Children of God. Let´s do it! As Spencer W Kimball said,´´ Give us mountains to climb!´´ So go climb some mountains, invite your friends to learn about the Gospel and pray and fast for missionary opportunities. The speed of the work is increasing. The Lord is quickening his work. He is at the doors and comes quickly. Be ready and bring others with you. 

Elder Hodson
November 12, 2012

What up family!
Anyway, the streets that I walk are now paved, at least in part, and not just a bunch of rocks. I´ve been transfered to JIAZEIRO DO NORTE! It´s way interior! I´m in the southern part of the state of Ceará. We´re 10 hours away from Fortaleza and mission headquarters. I was on the bus all night. We left at 11 P.M.
It´s gonna be a blast out here! Please pray for me and my work.  I love this work and seeing the Kingdom of God grow here upon the earth. Remember that miracles are possible, we just have to have unshakeable faith.
Trust in God. Serve Him. Become converted to Him. He will reveal His mysteries unto you.

November 19, 2012
Hello Family!
 The food is the same but the people here are a little better off. Less violence. Hotter. Drier. Has a big statue idol of an old Catholic priest that people worship. It´s a little different here.
Anway, this week was a challenge but I liked it. We searched out and found a lot of good people. We´ve got a good teaching pool now. Thanks you for your prayers. I know the Lord has heard them. This Saturday night as I went around to confirm that everyone would be going to church on Sunday, EVERYONE fell through. They had work, and school and other things that they placed in front of church. I was devastated. I didn´t know who would be at church yesterday. I just prayed and told God that I had done everything I could but I didn´t know who would be at church. I asked Him to help me and do a miracle. He did. I´ve learned that if you just put the work into His hand you cannot fail. I failed this last week but God didn´t. He sent me 3 people. One was a man invited to come to church a long time ago. He wasn´t able to come until yesterday. He stayed the entire time (even an extra hour to watch the baptisms) and seemed to really enjoy it. Another was a lawyer who was´passing in front of the church and felt like he should walk in. We´re going to pass by there and see what the Lord would have us do.
 I know the Lord has heard our prayers. I´m just really excited to be here at a time like this. God is so good. Never get depressed. Only believe. He really is mighty to save His children and will lead those who seek and listen, to the truth.

November 26, 2012
What up fam?
This week was good!
Juazeiro is super Catholic. The work here is hard. God has given me a mountain to climb. i have a testimony that it is possible to baptize in any part of the world, even the most catholic city in Brazil (as Juazeiro is known.)
I worked really hard this week. i´m trying to work more with the members. I´m also exhausted. I´ve never felt so good and so much peace in relation to my like. i know 100% that I am doing the will of the Lord. When His Spirit tells me to do something i do it. This last week I saw a group of people near another church. i felt like i should go talk to them. They turned out to be missionaries from another church. we gave them a Book of Mormon. They said they would read and pray about it. I was surprised at how open they were. We´ll see if anything comes of that.
I know Christ lives and loves us. Follow His example.
December 3, 2012

Well hello family,

This week was filled with some good work. The Lord is answering our prayers. When Jesus teaches us in the scriptures that when we ask, we receive, He wasn´t kidding. I have a great testimony that if we get on our knees and humbly plead with the Lord to bless us and work with us, doing miracles in our areas, our lives, and our souls and then get on our feet and serve Him,listening to the whisperings of the Spirit and working with our whole soul, He will hear and answer our prayers wit blessings, knowledge and miracles. .

I can see that God wants this work done. More than anyone else I think He is the most interested in this work. He wants His children to know His plan and understand the truth of who they are and what they can become.
However, I can now testify with even greater certainty. I really do KNOW by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He is the Son of God. He loves us. He will do all in His power, as He has done all in His power, to save us. He lives today. We can feel His love in our lives. We really will draw closer to Him through the Book of Mormon than any other book. I love Him and declare myself as one of His disciples. Through the way we tread is rough and full of dangers, enemies,and obstacles,He is our captain. He leads the way. He will not allow us fall. We cannot fail when He is with is. He is the Life and Light of the world. He will lead us to our Celestial Home again, if we follow Him. He will empower us through His grace to make us as He is. That is the hope and the faith that we as saints have. I testify that all these things are true. In His name, Jesus Christ amen.

Elder Hodson

Monday, October 1, 2012

Enjoying New Area

This week I´ve been thinking a lot about the family unit. As the prophets teach us, the family is the basic unit of society. The other units of which we are a part have a huge influence on who we are. For example, which nationality, which church, which college, etc. The family has a larger effect on the character of a person that any other place. I´ve seen this week the influence parents have over children in the family. It´s astounding. If the parent is impatient, irresponsible, and just yells all the time, the child will follow the example. I´m kinda nervous to be a dad because it´s a huge responsibility and you have a big influence on the eternal progress of another child of God. I really got prepare and become the best I can be.
 I´d like to share a part of the CES fireside talk given by Elder Jeffery R. Holland. He explained how Zion has always had to flee Babylon to be safe and able to live the gospel. IN all of the dispensations from Abraham to the pioneers, we´ve had to flee. However, this dispensation is different from the others. The time has come to set in our stakes and create Zion in every part of the world wherever we are. We no longer have to run. The time has come to fight back against Babylon and establish God´s kingdom! We cannot be quiet! We cannot run! We must stand were we are and be the light to draw in the elects of God! Think and pray about how you can do that better i your life. As Elder Holland has said ´´It´s getting late.´´ It´s time for us to do more than we´ve done before.

 One of my favorite scriptures is D&C 107:99-100. Read it. Remember it. Just going to church is not enough. Just being baptized is not enough. If we want to be worthy to enter into God´s rest, we must serve with ALL of our heart, might, mind, and strength. So do it. It´s worth it.

I love you all and can´t wait to be with you again. I know that Christ is our Savior and Captain. We are His disciples and therefore must model His perfect life.

Anyway, this week I got to speak in Sacrament meeting. They don´t have a chapel, just a house. There were a good amount of people there though. I had a blast. i spoke about.... MISSIONARY WORK and how it makes us happy. And how we have an obligation and duty to do it if we want to receive eternal life.

We also had a baptism this week. His parents are also very interested in the church. The mother knows the church is true and will likely be baptized in a few weeks and the father is listening to us and said he would go to church! I´m excited for everything that´s happening now. We´ve really got some good work set up in the area now. 

We taught a lot and some miracles happened this week. President and Sister Souza came to our ward and discoursed. It was really good. The Spirit was really strong. We had Lindomar come to church (his divorce is finishing up right now and we´ll start his wedding this week.) 

Alberto also went. His wife was inactive for 20 years but came back to church  before I got here. Her daughter was baptized too. The husband, Alberto, is very Catholic and never had come to church. But, this week he came for the first time and stayed for all three hours! I think he really liked it. We´re gonna work on getting him a date for baptism set up now.
I´ve been thinking a lot about conversion and what it means to really be converted to the Gospel of Christ and be a Disciple. I was thinking, ´´I wonder if I am truly converted? Would I be willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING, not just my life but all of my time, efforts, desires, personal status, and comfort for Christ?´´ I´d like to think I would. I´m grateful that I haven´t been put up to that test yet. I´ve seen so many people who draw close to God with their lips but whose hearts are very from from Him. Be a Disciple of Christ and converted to His Gospel. It is the only path to lasting happiness. Trust in Him and He will direct thy paths.

Love you and cant wait to see you,

Elder Hodson

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Elder Hodson

Spencer is doing great on his mission...I had a busy summer and stopped posting his letters, sorry.  I will post highlights from his letters to catch up to date.  He was transferred and is now in his 3rd area.

Well, this week was really great, other than the sickness. We are working a lot to strengthen the recent converts. It´s cool because there´s two young single adults that have been baptized recently, Eder and Galileu. The first is Colombian and the other is African. Sometimes we walk down the street together and everyone just stares. It´s not often that you see a Colombian, an African and 2 Americans walking down the street conversing in Portuguese. Sometimes I just stop and think about my life and how cool it is.

We are making so many street contacts. I love it. We just talk to random people and I´ve met the widest variety of people and seen how they think and why they do what they do. Many times it´s sad though, because of the many things the world has to offer, everybody has usually attached themselves to something and aren´t willing to sacrifice it or look beyond it. They don´t seek God or His Glory. They don´t understand the true purpose of life. I´m so grateful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation that gives us purpose and drive in our lives. It directs our actions because we understand the consequences. I´m so grateful that God called a Prophet in our days, to lead us and guide us on the safe paths and the high roads that lead to salvation and eternal life. Our purpose and potential in this life is so great, but there are so many things to stop and impede that great potential.

 I´ve felt such an increase in my love for the Children of our Heavenly Father lately. I just want to pick them up, carry them on my back, take all their difficulties upon me and help them do what´s right. I was on the bus doing a division with my zone leader and I just felt a huge overwhelming love for everyone I saw on that bus and on the streets. I saw a glimpse of the hope that God has for everyone of them. Of their real potential. Life is the perfect test. We have so many chances to change our old ways and start fresh and new. I love my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ and My Loving Heavenly Father. They are so good. I just want to be like them and help everyone do the same. SO do it. Set aside the sins that so easily creep into lives and personal characters and put them behind you. Then the sanctifying and uplifting, empowering qualities of the Atonement work in you. Everything is possible to them who believe. I know it´s true.

 This week was fun. We had a good week of work and a baptism this Saturday. His name is Eduardo and he is a miracle. His family is returning to church and we´re going to try to teach his non-member mom now. He was so happy and excited. Sunday he was confirmed and afterwards he received the Aaronic Priesthood. That afternoon he went out proselyting with us. He is a really excited little fellow. IT´s funny because he talks SOOOO fast and he would show the Book of Mormon to people holding it upside down and backwards. But he did not have any fear. He was talking before we did. I like this kid a lot.

 The common link that all these people have is Jesus Christ. They are searching for the peace and strength that He can bring into their lives. I love these people and helping them see the Lord´s hand in their lives. I love to see the hope in their face. When we enter the house and they´ve been fighting and thinking of separation and divorce and by the time we leave, they´re laughing and planning to be together for eternity.

As President Monson has said, ´´There are tired hands to be lifted and broken hearts to mend. Their are souls to comfort and console and lives to inspire!´´ We have such a great opportunity to be a part of the Lord´s work in bringing to pass the salvation of the Children of God. Despite all of our weaknesses He will qualify us and give us strength to fulfill our callings. And there is nothing that will bring us greater joy! For if we labor all our days and save but one soul in the Kingdom of God how great shall be our joy! And if we bring many souls unto our Savior that joy will only grow.
 I´m loving the mission! It´s SO hard you wouldn´t believe it, but that´s what makes it so great. Now, I KNOW it´s not my work. IT´s God´s work and His Glory and NOTHING can stop it from reaching every clime and sounding in every ear! The Church is True! It was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. Jesus Christ lives! He´s our Savior! God wants us to be happy and has a plan for us!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day!

What up fam!

How´s it going?! I love you guys! I was thinking about you a lot this week. Sometimes when I´m here in this area I ALMOST feel like I´m in the States. IT´s definitely different here.

The difficulties and challenges are continuing to rise. I can´t say it´s fun but it´s almost enjoyable. I know I´ve got to be careful saying this but it´s kinda cool being tested and tried. It´s just makes me want to work that much harder. I´m really wanting to baptize right now. IT´s been a few weeks since my last baptism and I´m fetting (I can´t remember a good word in English for this feeling) anseioso. This week it rained and so a lot of people desisted going to church because they have to walk. Those days are always a little disappointing.

But, a miracle happened! There´s a family in our ward were the mom and younger sister ,of 18 years, are baptized and the older brother has served a mission, but the middle sister isn´t a member. We´ve passed by there a few weeks now and have lunch there once in a while. We´ve talked to her but she´s usually pretty busy with college (philosophy major.) Actually the mutual love of philosophy was what softened her at first. I don´t think she´s ever met a MORMON missionary who knows about the Catholic bishop philosophers of the early middle ages. 

Yesterday, she went to church!!!! It was SOOOOO cool to see her there! Apparently, last week during the temple dedication she went to a conference for single adults and last night she went to some other activity!!! I´m so pumped to see what happens! Her family has been trying for years to get her to look into the church. Now is such a propitious moment for her. Please pray because we´re looking for a miracle. 

Also, lately I´ve been studying the Old Testament manual on P-days and guys, let me tell you, the Church is true. I´m telling you, it´s perfect. It´s amazing how eternal and unchanging the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. The requirements are the same for any man who desires to enter into God´s presence. It does not change with the passing of years or the movement and disturbance of cultures and nations. It cannot be altered, even by a shadow of change. And it all starts with baptism. Study the scriptures and trust in them. Apply the things that you learn. Study them with the intent to find something to change in your life. As you do, your eyes will be opened so that you may see and understand.

Love you all!

Elder Hodson

Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Birthday Elder Hodson!

Today is Spencer's birthday and also P-day, so we were able to wish him a Happy Birthday via e-mail.  He sounded happy in his e-mail back to us and even though we miss him we know that he is having a great time serving the Lord.  May was a little crazy...can't believe it's been a month since I've posted a letter.  Here are the highlights:

Hey Family!

What up?! Happy June 11th to everyone. I really like this day. This morniong Sister Souza called me and wished me a happy birthday. I made those pancakes (this experience reminded me that I don´t know how to cook the simplest things) and we blew up all the balloons. Thank you for the package. I got  the first one. My Birthday has been fantastic thanks to you. You never fail with the decorations either. Way to go.

This week was cool. We got to watch the Temple dedication of the Manaus Temple. President Utchdorf was there and I was very surprised at how good his English was and how terrible his Portugues was. I guess if you don´t need the gift of tongues it doesn´t come. The dedication was very cool. The church and the Gospel are just so cool. I cant think of anything else that I´m more passionate about (frisbee gets pretty close.) 

Adriana is a woman we found looking for a less active member. She´s been going to church for a month but is waiting to get baptized until she visits interior and then returns. She wants to forgive some people first. I don´t know if I´ll be here or nor but I´m happy to see the change she has made as well.

Aline, who lives with Márcia (a recent convert, who went to the temple dedication with us) is now getting ready to be baptized as well. The work is moving and changing this area and us. I can feel and see the effects that Gospel service is having on my own life. Sometimes I sit and think, ``Why am I so happy?´´ Based on all exterior evidence it really doesn´t make a whole lot of sense. I´m always tired and we walk all day in the hot sun, and no one wants to talk to us and it goes on and on; and for some reason I´m still always happy. It´s what Jesus can do. It´s a miracle. There isn´t anything better in life. 

Love you all and can´t wait to see you again,

Elder Hodson
June 4th:
Hey Family!
This week was fun! This area is sooooooo much more fun, due to the level of difficulty and the fruits. It´s weird because in my old area a lot of people wanted to, or at least accepted talking to us. here people are rich and don´t want to talk to us. It´s so weird for me because usually we can find SOMEONE new each day to teach. Now, we´re working our tails off and finding less people. But I sure appreciate those we do have to teach now. I feel like we´re preparing these people to be disciples of Christ and not just numbers in baptism statistics. It´s a lot of fun. 

Anyway, God is good. He blesses us in small ways everyday. I love to see it and live it. Don´t ever get down. There´s no point to it. 
Keep up the good missionary work back home.

Love you all,

Elder Hodson
May 28th:
How is everyone? We just ended our transfer and are starting a new one. I´ll be staying here in Aguanambi with Elder Receveur. Elder Smith is going to Juazeiro (so far away) and Elder Conceção to Beira Mar (all Favela). We´ll be getting two new missionaries here. one from my group and a greenie who´s arriving today or tomorrow. It should be fun. 

This week was a blast. Elder Godoy of the Seventy was here and spoke with us. He is a man of God. It´s so cool to see the General Authorities. Their so full of the Spirit and you just know they know the church and the gospel are true. They´re so full of faith, hope, and optimism. He was defiantly inspired in what he taught because it helped me a lot.

As for this week, it was good. We found some new people to teach and are preparing them for baptism. 

Hey check out this cool videos that the Church is doing of Jesus. They´re very inspired.

Love you all,

Elder Hodson
May 21st:

what up! this week was fun. I got to travel a bunch to other areas, we had a zone conference, and M醨cia was baptized! it was cool because it was in a swimming pool in our house chapel. She's super excited about the baptism too. she has so much faith in Jesus Christ and is doing everything she can to rely on His all powerful arm. The example of new members really impresses me. To change your life and face the difficulties that accompany that change.  I loved to search for, find, and work with God's children who are looking for more in this world than what is generally offered by the people in it.

My testimony grows everyday of God's love, mercy and goodness to His children. I no longer believe in coincidences. God guides some of our smallest steps when we allow Him. Many times we don't see it until after the miracle has happened and I believe there are many circumstances where we don't see the miracle at all, but it was there.

燗 few examples from this week: Thursday night, around 6 30, After a long days work, I was really needing to use the bathroom, and God did a miracle. I was trying to think of members who lived close by where I could go, and I remembered a mom and son who are members with a non-member husband-father. We went asked to use the restroom and then after she told us she had been praying all day for us to stop by. She was sick and needing a Priesthood blessing. We had no idea. God didn't tell us she needed a blessing, but He lead us there in a strange and mysterious way. It could've been called coincidence or accident, but it wasn't, it was God. In that experience we saw the miracle right away.

Last Friday, we had lunch with an older woman in the ward. her son and daughter-in-law had lunch with us. At the end they asked us to leave a message and we did. It was a simple scripture in Alma 37:17 (I think) about the Lord fulfilling His promises to us. This week we had lunch with the son and daughter-in law. They told us the scripture had been a source of comfort to them throughout the entire week. They have been having financial problems and to remember the promises of the Lord helped them feel peace and comfort throughout the week. The Lord provided them with what they needed. In this experience we had no idea that what we had done had any effect at all, but one week later, we saw what God had done.

God lives and loves us. He does work in our lives. We just have to open our eyes so that we may see.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of salvation for God's children. When we live it, we feel it's power. If you have any doubts, follow Christ's teaching in John 7:17 and just do it. Them the answer will be given after you show your sincere desire ti know and DO (Ether 12:6.) It's the beginning of the Gospel of Christ.

The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Joseph Smith was Jesus Christ's servant and prophet to restore the work. In Elder Morrey's e-mail he posted a link to one of the most powerful testimonies of one of the most powerful men in the Gospel of Christ. What it. https://www.lds.org/pages/mormon-messages?lang=eng&query=testimony book mormon&cid=email-shared#testimony-of-the-book-of-mormon

Love you,

Elder Hodson
May 14th:
 Hey FAM!

It was fun talking to you all yesterday. It was fun to hear all of your voices and hear all about your lives and whatnot. Keep up the good work and being successful. Don´t waste time on stupid things like video games and TV. Instead, focus on developing your talents. ALL of them, mental, physical and spiritual. There´s a lot to learn and get done and time is limited and precious. Make good use of it. 

As for my toe, it´s doing better. There´s actually a funny story about that too. I was on a division with Elder Smith (who was at the MTC with me) and we were looking for a less active sister to bring back to church. She does nails in her house (a lot of people do, apparently it´s a good way to make money here.) Well, when we got there she was following up on a young man´s old ingrown toenail. I was told her that I had one too that was pretty nasty. The man told me I had luck because she knew how to take the out and she had taken his out. We were joking around about that (because I didn´t really believe it) and then she told me to take off my shoe. I was like, ´´What? I thought you were kidding. Last time I got it taken out at the hospital and they numbed up my foot first and i didn´t feel anything. I didn´t come here for this.´´

She told me again to take off my shoe. She was pretty persistent. Now, at this point I had a decision to make. I could let her take out my nail and by doing so show her that I trusted her, or run and she would probably not go back to church. I´m pretty sure you guys already know what I did. I too the shoe off and sat down on her little bench. She grabbed some scissors and started going at my foot. She told me it would hurt, but just or a little bit and after it would get better. Let me tell you... it HURT. First, she had to find the piece of nail that was dug in under my skin and then she had to rip it out by the roots. It was not enjoyably at all. But, the whole time I was smiling and talking to her and at least one of us was happy. Anyway, in the end it all worked out. She got the piece of nail out (it was pretty big too!) and she´s coming back to church with her sister who lives in my ward. But that was probably the most pain I´ve ever felt in my entire life. Do not ever rip your toenail out by the roots.

Well, like I said before, this week was great (except for the toenail). We had the baptism of Maria  (almost everyone here is named Maria) and are working on helping others prepare for baptism and confirmation as well. It´s the best work there is.

But really what hit me since we last talked, is the importance of the Priesthood. Yesterday after we talked, my comp and I were passing by a house of a less active member who had said they would be at church, but then they didn´t show up. We saw the brother playing soccer with his son in the garage and hung out with them a bit. We got around to asking him about church and he said he was sick. We asked him if he wanted a blessing and he said yes. He had never received a blessing before. I was able to explain it to him and then we offered the blessing. The Spirit was strong and I know it was exactly where God wanted us to be. To be a holder of the Priesthood is such a blessing because we literally have God´s power that we can use to bless His children. I always took it for granted because we always had Dad there but now I realize just how special it is. I´m grateful for the opportunity yo bless others through Priesthood service. The Priesthood is centered in service and the greatest joy in bearing it comes from serving others. Ben, Josh, be worthy of the Priesthood. Study hard and serve harder so that you can be powerful holders of the Priesthood. 

Anyway, got to go. Love you all. Thanks for the love and support.
May 7th:
 Hello Family,

This week was fun. We  taught a lot and ate a lot. My ingrown toenail has returned with a fury like never before. It bleeds a lot. The thing is I don´t want to go to the hospital and waste time when I could be working. I think I might go this week if the medicine I´m about to buy doesn´t work. It looks so gnarly. Maybe I´ll take a picture.

Well, I have a lot less time to work in the field now. We have training meetings and I do interviews. They eat up a lot of time. I don´t know how I can continue to find people to teach, baptize, and confirm without help from the Lord. He´ll have to guide me pretty closely now because there´s not a whole lot of time to waste. My district is pretty big too. That means a lot of interviews. But I gotta say that´s probably my favorite part of the mission so far. there really isn´t a whole lot better. The Spirit is very strong and lets you know exactly what you need to know. . 

I can´t wait to talk to everybody, especially Mom, on Sunday. I´ll probably call from 4 to 6 o clock here which should be 12 to 2 there. I´ll plan it out this week and let you know on Saturday... maybe. President hasn´t said anything about the Saturday pre-call yet.

Love you all. Talk to you soon.

Elder Hodson

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Area

Hello querido Family!

This area is great! I´m loving it! It is soooo different from the other area I passed in. The people here are... rich. The members are some of the oldest in the city and we get to eat some of the best food in the mission. From a temporal standpoint this has got to be the best area here in the mission. 

Really the food is one of the shining points of this area, There´s a sister here who owns an all you can eat restaurant. We eat there twice a month. If lunch falls, the members give us a very good amount of money to go out and eat. I´ve already eaten at McDonald´s (which is expensive here) and some other places. There are so many people here that know how to cook and this week we´re going to go teach a chef at a nearby restaurant! Oh man I´m loving it!

On top of all those great things, man companion is great. He´s funny and speaks Portuguese!  We´re meeting some good people who are accepting us and our message. We´ll see if we can´t help them go to church and make covenants with God. 

It´s kinda cool because we have a lot of Africans here studying at the local colleges. One is a member and knows so may people to teach! He´s also helping me learn Criolo(?) not sure if that´show it´s spelled. It´s an African language very similar to Portuguese. Also very cool.

The more I work out here in the field, the more I know that God is a part of this work. Just yesterday we had two experiences. First, we went with the African member! to talk to his cousin who used to go to church but stopped a few weeks ago. She wasn´t there but a friend of her husbands was. He said the last time he had been there the missionaries had stopped by too. But we haven´t been there in 2 months and neither has he. The first time the Elders met him, he hadn´t been by their house in 3 months. God is trying to talk to that man, and after a few hours of talking to him (he had quite a bit of doubts and problems) he´s going to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. 

We´re also working with an English teacher, single-mother here. She is awesome. She went out of her way to contact the missionaries in the area where she works. She´s been going to church and church activities. She didn´t show up at church this Sunday though and we were worried to see what had happened to her. We already had stuff set up for the day  and couldn´t get there until the night. When we got there we were able to help her clean up her house. She said that she hadn´t gotten any sleep because of here s year old who was up all night (I thought of Mom.) She told us about what´s going on in her life and said that she was needing the visit that night. By the time we left she was feeling much better.

I know from these simple experiences, any SOOO many other like them, that God will lead us where we need to go when we go about His work. Many times we won´t even realize we´re being lead, but when we´re worthy and willing, and put in our effort, God makes miracles happen in the lives of His children. 

I also know that there are many people searching for the gospel and would accept it if they only knew where to find it. I love just talking to people on the street. it´s become a new hobby of mine and Elder Receveur thinks I´m crazy but it rocks! We find such good people to teach that way who would never know about the church if it weren´t for us. Most of the time the people won´t accept our visits or will but won´t do anything after. But through all the working, sweating, teaching, and searching, we always find someone who was praying to God for something more in their life. Something to ´´fill the gap´´ as one investigator put it. The heart filler is the Gopel of Jesus Christ. It works miracles and changes lives when we let it. And not only this short mortal life but our entire eternal existence. 

So thank you all for sharing the gospel and blessing others with your testimonies. Help the missionaries and feed them good food. We love good food. 

I love you all and know that the Restoration of the Gospel occurred through the Prophet Joseph Smith and that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. The Holy Ghost testifies of it.

Bom trabalho!

Elder Hodson 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Last week in 1st Area/Transferred to New Area

Whoo! What up família!?

THis week was fun. I´m SO tired. I´m pretty sure this area is killing me. Haha we have such a big area and so many people to teach that live on the exteriors of the map. I know I´ve said this before, but I walk SO SO SO SO SO SO much. But it´s a blessing. I´m not SUPER fat right now, and my shoulders are getting nice and strong from carrying around my scriptures.

Finally Maria went to church! I was so happy! She didn´t show when Sacrament meeting first started and I was thinking we would have to wait another week, but right as the sacrament ended, she came in! I haven´t been able to talk to her yet, but I think she loved it... We´ll find out tonight. She could get baptized before I leave here
THis city is just so screwed up. Religion is a big part of life here. I see dozens of pastors everyday. Some try to fight but others are cool. The whole city is stuck in the Jospeh Smith, Spiritual Revival Period.

ANyway, I love you all. Next time I write you I could be anywhere in Ceará! I´m unexplicably excited to get some cool new area that I haven´t seen before.

Talk to you soon.


Elder Hodson


Next Letter...Transfer #1!

Hey Family!!!

What up! I´m so happy! Especially after reading all your e-mails and
hearing about all the good news from home. And I don´t know why but I
just seem especially happy this week! I´m so happy to hear about
London! I think that´s so cool that she is getting baptized! When I
heard I just couldn´t stop smiling! I wish I had been a better
missionary before the mission. To see that my friends are makes me
very happy. Let me know how it all goes.

And.................................. I was transferred!!! Finally! New
area! I´m so happy! I loved the old one and was pretty sad saying good
bye to so many people that I love, but it was time.

Haha but I´m living with Elder Smith now (who was in my room with me
at the MTC) and we´re going to start running like we used to. I love
Elder Smith. He´s one of my favorite people in the world. He´s with
Elder Conseção and I´m with Elder Receveur (yes another American.)
He´s fantastic! He´s got 2 months less time on the mission than I do
and we´re gonna kick some Brazilian trash out here.

Oh! Also, I´m District Leader now. I get to do interviews for the
elders in my district and do trainings at District Meeting, as well as
pass numbers and whatnot. I´m pretty excited.

In all, the mission is just absolutely fantastic. I think this next
transfer will be terrific and I´m just excited to meet new people. I´m
very close to the mission center as well so I might be seeing a lot of
President. We don´t have a chapel here though. It´s a house-chapel.
But from what I hear it´s got a swimming pool. I´m thinking baptism in
the swimming pool... does that sound cool or what?

Anyway, thank you for the love and support and care and all that good
stuff. I´m happy and healthy and highly blessed of the Lord in all
things that have any importance. Thank you for getting the package
off. They make my week. Thank you for all the letters from everyone
who´s writing. I´d love to hear from anyone else out there as well!

I know that the church is Jesus Christ´s and that His Eternal Gospel
has been restored in it´s fullness again on the Earth. The battle that
was waged before mortality continues today. As we know it is not a
battle of swords and steel but of testimony. The battles are growing
each time more violent and intense. The enemy knows his short season
of power and dominion is coming to an end. But we are the soldiers. it
is us who have to act. To put on God´s armor and take the final steps
to complete the victory. We must share our testimonies with everyone
we know and shine light through the dark clouds of deceit and
ignorance. When the Spirit is our weapon there does not exist any
power on earth or hell that can withstand our testimony of truth and
righteousness. I know that you always read my e-mails, but are you
actually acting on the words that I share? I know that we must share
what we know with those in the world around us, through example and
testimony. So talk to your friends. Share your light and testimony.
There are many that are searching for the blessing of God but know not
where to find them. You do. Help them learn about the restored Gospel
of the Eternal and Endless Jesus Christ. I promise that as you do, you
will feel the Spirit more fully in your life and reach a higher level
of joy and happiness that can only be enjoyed by the ´´truly penitent
seeker of happiness´´ (Alma 26, 27, or 28 verse 17, 18, or 19.)

I love you all and can´t wait to hear about all of the people you know
who are being taught by the missionaries through your references! Let
me know how it goes. Talk to you next week.

com muito amor,

Elder Hodson

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Hello Family!

Thank you as always for writing me. One of my favorite parts of every week is remembering you guys and everything that´s going on at home. I can´t believe that Josh made Jazz Choir. Like, I literally don´t believe it. I don´t think it happened. He´ll have to prove it to me with his voice this Mother´s Day (which is getting close.) I´m excited to talk to you guys again. I´ll probably be in my new area.

 We had one investigator at church and she lives in a different city were the church doesn´t exist yet. We gave her a Book of Mormon though and I´m hoping that some miracle happens out in that far away city.

So some fun things that have been going on lately. This week was Semana Santa so we saw a lot of interesting things. They eat a lot of fish and burn Judas. That´s probably the funniest part. People stuff clothes and make life-sized dolls of Judas. Then they burn him. It´s not very Christ-like but I guess it´s more the spirit Peter had when he cut the soldiers ear off. Whatever it is... it happens. Also, we saw donkey races. A bunch of kids got on donkey´s and raced them right down the middle of the street. Oh! and I´m on Google Maps! The guy drove right by us twice. Check it out because I haven´t seen it yet. It´s in the neighborhood of João 23 or maybe Bonsucesso. Street Aristóteles Gondim
next to Theogenes Gondim and also on Bias Mendes next to the same first street. It´d be cool if you say me there.

We got ovos de Pascoa (Easter eggs) too. They´re super expensive but some people we know shared with us. I know SOOO many people in this area.

And congrats to Alex! That is honestly one of the coolest things I´ve heard in such a long time. It´s lifted my spirits and I´m honestly feeling a lot better now. That is the Gopsel of Jesus Christ in action. I can´t wait to come home and see him bless the sacrament with my own eyes. The Gospel literally changes lives.

My time is up and I have to go. I know that the church is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I am so grateful to our Heavenly Father for restoring the fullness of His Gospel and Plan of Salvation in these days. I´m especially grateful for the role that Jesus Christ played in that plan and for fulfilling the role that no one else could. Through Him we may be resurrected to Eternal Life but only through obedience. Love you all.

Elder Hodson

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

General Conference

Hey family!
How´s everyone doing? Did you like conference? I thought it was fantastic! I was able to watch all 5 sessoins. And in English! It´s so much better in English. We had investigators that came and watched too and they loved it! There is nothing like prophets and apostles to help in the conversion process.
This week was super fun. We taught a whole lot and had interviews with president. We have many people preparing for baptism. I always want to find more though. It´s so much fun bringing people to church.
This week we found a new family. Well, really only two people live there in the house. An aunt and nephew. The rest of the family lives off in interior. The people from interior had never heard about the church but really enoyed our message. I love it when people ask, ´´Does your church like the Catholic church?´´, because there are many churches which attack the beliefs of others. I always answer, ´´I love the Catolic church!´´ and people love us so fast!
Anyway, with conference this week I feel very renewed and remotivated. I loved many of the talks and hope everyone was able to watch. The priesthood session was fantastic too. It seemed like they talked a lot about families. I remember one in particular, I think Elder Ballard, that talked about how famillies are sealed together; and so even if they are on the other side of the veil or the other side of the WORLD we are still a family and we can always have the hope of a glorious reuniuon. I´´m glad that our reunion right now is in the near future and that I don´t have to wait decades to see you all again. But, even if it was a little farther, we will always be a family throughout the eternities. Dad will always be OUR dad and Mom OUR mom. And I ALWAYS get to be the bigger, smarter, faster, more attractive, older brother. How good it is to know that! Haha but for real, that really is the goal that we all need to have. It´s not a right to any child of God. It is a gift and a reward for those that keep their estates. For those of us that honor our second estate, we will recieve and even more glorious family unit. But that really is what joy and existence are all about. That is what God Himself lives for.
I kow that it is through living the Gospel of God´s Son, Jesus Christ, that it is possible to attain this exaltation together. How perfect is the plan! We have the path, but more than that we have other etertnal inteligences here that are walking that path with us. Other eternal beings that love us and will do anything to help us make it down the path. No one will be left behind. Because no one in this family will allow it. So let us continue along the path, steadfast and immovable in charity and good works. Ands let´s bring others along the way with us so that we can have joy with them FOREVER. No sacrifice is to great to bring even a single soul before our God and Father blameless and sanctified, ready to recieve glory and progression from one eternity to the next.
I love you all so much. Read the scriptures and know our Father´s words of Eternal Life. Pray to Him to know His will. have the courage to do the portion of the truth that He shares with you through the Holy Ghost. Love others and share with them what God has given you. And in ALL things, remember Jesus Christ and do that works which you have seen Him do.
Elder Hodson

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

8 Months


Oi, tudo bem? Eu acho que eu só vou escever em Portuguese hoje. Nevermind...

Well, reports for the week - it was a good one. We worked (honestly could´ve worked harder this week though I was pretty exhausted) but next week  we´ll work even harder. We´ve got a wedding to restart and interviews with President, not to mention all the training studying everyday, but it should be a fun one.

We had a baptism for a man named Marcos. It was fantastic! Ha after he passed  the baptismal interview I called the rest of his family in to invite them to the baptism. His mom, on hearing he would ´deny´ their family religion, flipped out. The man´s 28 years old though. It was funny. Anyway, I explained to her how no one can get baptized without an answer from God and that they were welcome to come see what the church is like ( a lot of people have weird ideas about the church  because a lot of supernatural things go on here and they ´re fairly normal.) His parents and sister ended up going to church and watching the baptism! It was awesome! The service went really well too! We´re going there tonight to teach the rest of the family.

We´re also teaching an older woman who´s been Catholic her whole life. She has many family members in the church and is now going every week. She is also preparing for baptism. I´m excited for her. She used to hate the church and kicked out her daughter years ago when she decided to serve a mission. It´s amazing to see how the Lord prepares people - and it doesn´t always happen right away. But we can have faith and trust Him because He knows His children and what they need for their happiness. We just need to do everything we can and then leave it up to Him.

  Well, this week I´ve been thinking a lot about the  great men of the world and of God. There is a man here known as President Cabral. 20 years ago he was the stake president here. He´s a legend. The church grew SOOO much when he was serving. At the time he was called he had been a member for 2  years. He´s now on the high counsel and working with our weaker ward. I´m so excited to have him here working with us. Things should start happening now. He´s very practical in his thinking. W e have to act. It´s that simple. Work. I t´s something that I´ve come to realize in my short time in the field. We can change things. We can change the world. We are children of God with so much potential. If we just do it in accordance with His will, anything and everything is possible. We just have to act in faith. I thought about how Napoleon and Alexander the Great must have felt realizing that they could change civilizations and nations. The same power is ours. But we fight for good. We fight for righteousness. It is amazing to see the power and potential we have. I am realizing it as my 19 year old companion and I build up, not our kingdom but God´s here in this part of Brazil. The capacity to work and do is real. We just have to have the desire to do it an then JUST DO IT. So, work hard and accomplish things. Change the world. It´s more possible than you think. That´s why you need to be an influence for good to everyone around you.

Love you all,

Elder Hodson

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Times Flies!

Hello Home!!!!  February 20th
Stuff here is progressing. I'm never content and always want more but I'm learning to recognize my limits while still working as hard as possible. Training is a blast though! My comp is great. The only down side is that we study for 2 extra hours everyday which results in a loss of 2 working hours. But that down side comes with the upside of 2 extra hours of study! I honestly cannot emphasize how much I study. I love it. I finished Jesus the Christ and I'm reading teachings of Joseph Smith right now (but that's just in my spare time.) When I finish that I'll go back to Jesus the Christ but this time in Portuguese.

You all keep being amazing and remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth by a prophet. The more I study about Joseph Smith the more I learn about revelation and just exactly what it means to be a prophet. It's a lot simpler and less magical than a lot of people think. And very real. I've found that many people imagine that spiritual gifts are cool powers that the ancient saints enjoyed but the fact it they are very simple gifts that God grants to the faithful TODAY. They are real and not a distant event to be enjoyed in the future. We have all the rights to the powers of heaven right NOW based on our own obedience to each law placed. Be worthy. Seek for the powers of heaven. We have all the rights as the patriarchs of old to knowledge, power, intelligence, and all the mysteries of God. The Church is Jesus Christ. We have covenants that bind us to Him.

See you all soon,

Elder Hodson

 Family!  February 27th

This week was fantastic! We are working hard and the Lord is blessing us greatly. I am loving my companion and the work he puts in. We are very busy and teaching and finding many people right now. At first I was a little intimidated with the senior companion role but I´m loving it more and more everyday. We are having the faith and courage to talk with everyone about the gospel - and striving to do it in a not overbearing, proud, selfish kind of way. We are meeting some very faithful people who are ready for greater light. It´s exciting!

I can see it in a woman here I know. I´ve known her since I got here 5 and a half months ago. She wouldn´t look at me or talk to me for the first 2 months because she thought we worshiped the devil. We baptized her husband and she opened up to us a little bit more. We baptized her grandson and she sees how he likes church. We talked to her this past week and she´s going to go to church with us on Sunday! It´s what happens with patience and a Christ like example. I´ve been here for such a long time that I´m getting to know a lot of these people and it´s having a very strong effect.

We also baptized a young woman this week who was just shining after the baptism. Her sister will probably follow her and her mom might too. I´m loving the renewed excitement in the area.

I love you all and know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. It is the path to eternal life and happiness. We should help as many as we can along our path reach exaltation with us. Think of how much sweeter it will be if we lead others onto the path! There is no greater reward that we can receive or happiness that we can attain. Serve others. BE examples of Jesus. Be obedient. Help the missionaries. Give them references and go teach with them. Especially Ben. I went many times with the missionaries and loved every minute of it. I wish I had gone more. Don´t miss any opportunity to go with them. Above all just follow the Spirit and seek to hear it whisperings.

See you soon.

Elder Hodson

Dear, dear family,  March 5th
How is everyone? I´m sorry to hear that Sam was sick. That is always super lame. My comp and I haven´t gotten sick yet at all together, which is a blessing here in the field. President told us at a leadership meeting this week that 10-30% of missionaries, either specifically in our mission or Brazil or South America, are sick on any given day. Those stats where pretty unspecific and lame but they´re kinda somewhat reliable.
On Sunday, we went to church a little disappointed and very tired. At church we had one of the best fast and testimony meetings I´ve ever been a part of. It was over an hour and a half long. Just mentioning it I can feel the Spirit of the meeting. No one wanted to leave. The best and most touching part for me was that almost everyone mentioned ´´the elders´´ in their talk. I saw I man who was so far gone, drinking and indulging in the vain things of the world, go to the front and bear his testimony of the church, the restoration, and his desire to take his family to the temple.
I felt so at peace and comforted. God showed me that I need to have more faith and stop getting disappointed when things don´t work out the way I wan them to. That God has a work and He does it through us, and that we are having much success. One of the young women from this giant family who we´ve helped come back to church, literally almost brought me to tears. It was her first time bearing her testimony ever and she was so nervous but she did such a good job. I don´t know if all the love we received was deserved but it made up for the whole week of disappointment.
Then the ward poured so many references of their friends onto us. This week is going to be so good I know it. I´m so happy to be here in these wards. I´ve already been in this area for 5 months and I only have 1 1/2 left. I´ll be sad to leave but I hear they´ve got good plans for me after.
Anyway, training is a blast. My companion is a champ. He loves to work hard and helps me stay clean at home. He´s a good example for me.
Also I´d like to give a special shout out to Wall E. He´s awesome and speaks English. Eric too. They are fantastic men and very open to light and truth. And would love nothing more than to see them progress in the church and become the men of God that I know they can become. They have already been blessed with so many talents and skills, making covenants with God would only magnify and sanctify those God-given talents.
I love you all. I know that the Church was restored through a prophet. I know that the church is lead by a prophet. I know that God loves us and that His thoughts are higher than ours. I know that He has a perfect plan for the salvation of His children and that that plan was wrought out through the sacrifice and Atonement of the Only Begotten of the Father, Jesus Christ. I know that as we receive everything in our lives with gratitude (including the difficulties and trials through which we pass) we will become sanctified and exalted.
I love you all. Don´t sin. Write me letters (that´s a part of not sinning.) Help the missionaries in our ward. Talk to your friends about the gospel and INVITE them to partake of what you have.
Elder Hodson
 Hello Family,  March 12th

This week was super fun. W've teaching a lot. I love how down my comp is to work hard. We start working at one in the afternoon and just go until 9 30 at night. It's awesome. The Lord is putting so many people in our path as we learn how to plan and look for new investigators using Preach My Gospel as a guide. Sometimes I wonder why President made me a trainer when I still have so much to improve on, but then as we rely on the Lord, He does His work through us.

Anyway, this was the end of another transfer. It marks the start of my last transfer here. At least I think it will be my last here. I've been here since the beginning. Now, I just stay one more and finish training  and then I think I'm leaving.

The end of the week was good though. We baptized a young man that we met about a month ago. He'd been going to church with his neighbors and loves the church. After the baptism he started to cry and I thought maybe something has gotten in his eyes but he told me he just felt really, really good. It's sweet to see the Spirit bear witness to others that the church is true. It's a testimony builder for me to see.

Haha filling up the font was fun before the baptism. I had talked to the bishop of Parangaba (where the baptism would be) likle three times. They meet in the morning but wanted to have the baptism at night after Joquei. I saw him get there during the sacrament of Joquei so I figured everything would be alright. I went to check with him the 3rd hour of Joquei and he said he hadn't started filling up the font yet. I went in to check it out and it was pretty dirty with dead bugs and had only two feet of water. The plug also wasn't in. That's when I remembered "If you want something done, do it yourself." I rolled up my pant legs and went to go put the plug in. Unfortunately, I forgot about the phone in my chest pocket. It fell into the water along with my missionary handbook and was soaked. Luckily, it's rock solid and still works. But, the font was full on time and everything went smoothly.

Remember that the church is true. Remember that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in it's fullness by a prophet. Remember that obedience brings protection from all the powers of evil. Remember that God loves each and every one of us and wants what's best for us. All things really do work together for our good. Joesph Smith taught that those who receive ALL things with a spirit of gratitude will receive Eternal Life. Be grateful for your blessings and trials. Study the scriptures. The give THE correct perspective that we need to be successful in this life. Life, light, and truth are NOT relative. They are REAL. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and through His grace will we be resurrected and receive our eternal reward.

Love you all and see you soon,

Elder Hodson


Friday, February 17, 2012

Training Now


Well this week had a little change up. I sent you the e-mail on Monday telling you that Elder Call would be my comp. Well about the same time that I sent that e-mail, President called the house. I called him back and he asked me if I would be a trainer for one of the new missionaries coming in the next day. So I have a brand new comp fresh out of the MTC and I love him! He just loves to work!  I´m actually getting pretty tired because at this point I do most of the talking but he already speaks really well and in a couple weeks he´ll be fantastic! . Super good guy.

It seems like one of the big themes going around with the general authorities is that we are children of God and He loves us. The Liahona this month was super good. That is always such a huge comfort to me.

So this week we worked our  butts off. I talked to one off the elders here. He has a step counter. He walks about 15 miles everyday. His area is a little more confined than mine. I wouldn´t be surprised if we walked 20 miles a day this week. We are teaching a lot of really good people. The problem is that we´re  getting so spread out between the two wards.

But we´re baptizing a little girl this next week. We´re helping her family get baptized but we have to wait for her parents marriage which will take a little time.

Something else that was pretty cool. We´ve been working to bring a less active family back to church. We baptized a few of their kids and the mom saw how happy they are now. She is dating a man and breaking the law off chastity. She told me she wants to be baptized too and be as happy as her daughters. She already gave up coffee and talked to the father of her daughters. If he won´t get married and move in she is willing to stop having a relationship with him. I love finding these people who are willing to sacrifice everything to follow Christ and keep the commandments. It makes all the other heartaches worth it.

Elder Hodson

P.S. Tell Alex thanks for the singing Christmas card. I love it

The Next Weeks Letter:

Hey family!

I磎 glad everyone is doing great! Keep up the fantastic work!

Ha ha first off all, what is Valentines day? They don磘 have it here. All they have is Girlfriend磗 day in June. Actually, I think it磗 right after my birthday. What we have this week is Carnaval. I am not excited at all for it. Everyone goes insane. All of our investigators are going to out of town. Quite literally almost everyone travels. I hear that kids like to throw eggs and flower at people in the street too. That should be fun... Anyway, we磖e just gonna have to turn it up a notch this week. I just love being here though. I love speaking Portuguese and making these friendships that I have with all these people here in Brazil. I磛e spent a long time in this area and know everyone here in this area.  By the time I've finished up here it'll have been 7 and a half months here. I'll leave here in April.

Anyway, spiritual experience of the week. We were following up on a 17 year old girl who we taught a couple weeks ago. We asked her if she had prayed about the message and she said yes. I asked her if she felt anything and she said yes! I was so stoked because it's been so long since someone has just known after praying. Usually we have to teach more and try yo get them to church or they forget to read and pray or something. Anyway, we gave her a Book of Mormon and by the next appointment she had read to chapter 10 of 1 Nephi (that quite literally NEVER happens, its usually half way through chapter one b/c the people aren't super fast readers). Anyway, we were teaching her again and her boyfriend dropped her off. He drove off on his motorcycle and we talked a little about him. She called him and he came and listened and loved it too! He went to church and we're meeting with them this week! They are just golden. I love it went stuff goes right.

The church is true!

I know that The Church of Jesus Christ is literally Christ's chosen covenant people here on the earth. That in it resides all the power and glory of the ancient prophets and holy saints. The priesthood and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are again her on the earth! We have so many reasons to be happy! God and angels have spoken with man once more revealing the mysteries of God that were lost. Today, we have prophets and apostles that lead us in truth and righteousness unto the overcoming of darkness and sin. The missionaries are spreading this light today in the world to fulfill all the prophecies of the prophets. But the missionaries really need the help of every member to get this work done.

O love you all. See you soon.

Elder Hodson

Thursday, February 2, 2012

6 Months Down!


Wow! This week is my six month mark! I never thought it would come so fast. It scares me a little how fast it´s gone by. The time out here has literally been some of the best, most fulfilling time of my life. I´m just gonna keep working as hard as I can until the end.

This week has been great. We helped a bunch of families and had interviews with president. It all went super well. It was one of those happy, good, almost nothing goes wrong weeks. I like them.

A lot of people like the church and the Book of Mormon, and believe that they´re true, but don´t want to go to church every week or don´t want to leave their church. One family in particular has this problem. They live in one of the favelas around here. The mom died a couple years ago and the father is taking care of three daughters, ages 17, 13, and 4.  But, the daughters are inactive and going to an evangelical church. The dad wants everyone to go back and be reunited. We got there one night and it was super obvious that they had been in the middle of an argument. The daughters go to church every night and don´t get back until super late. Well, we sat down in their one room and talked about the gospel. We talked about the Book of Mormon and the restoration and nothing really special seemed to be going on in the room. I had the impression to talk about the temple. So I did. Why it´s important. I asked them why their parents had sacrificed so much to go there. We talked about eternal families and the potential that they have. The Spirit in the room was so strong. The oldest daughter had tears in her eyes. They promised to come back to church and strive to get to the temple.

The story is still going. They still have problems and Satan is super trickery. It really is a battle everyday. Free agency is one of the hardest things to accept. I just wish sometimes that everyone would be obedient to the commandments of God. But, there are many people who choose not to.

There´s another couple that we´re teaching. It´s in our new area that we inherited 5 weeks ago from today (just before Christmas when we started taking care of both the wards.) The other missionaries had done a fantastic job preparing the husband. He loves the church and loves the scriptures. He says the Bible (which he´s studied since he was 8) makes a lot more sense now. He doesn´t feel good if he doesn´t go to church. He´s stellar. The wife, when we got there, did not want to go to church or get baptized. She is Catholic, like the rest of the world down here, but said the only two churches she believes will go to heaven are the Catholic church and the Church of Jesus Christ. We spent two hours at her house teaching, very firmly, that this is the ONLY true church that has a FULNESS of the gospel. When we went back the next week she was a little more receptive, She´s listening to her husband read the Book of Mormon to her - that was a big point we used. The next week she told us she wanted to get baptized and sealed in the temple. She said it was out of love for her husband but now she´s going to church and preparing to be baptized. We should start their marriage process this week so I don´t know if I´ll still be around for the wedding and baptism but it was sweet to see her change.

We heard about a family that had been baptized a few months ago. The mom and son were still going to church. The older sister is married and her and her husband had fallen inactive. We went to their house and first taught the wife. She was pretty stubborn and scared at first but she has such great desires to do what is right. We talked about faith (how it´s dead without works), and how we only have two paths to follow in this life (2 Nephi 2:27). Those are some of the scriptures I use the most. It´s so simple and true. The scripture that really got her was 2 Nephi 32: 8-9. She hadn´t wanted to pray so ELder Henrie used it at the beginning of the lesson to motivate her a little. At the end she didn´t want to go to church so we asked, ´´Whpo doesn´t want us to pray?´´ ´´The enemy...´´  ´´So who doesn´t want us to go to church? Who will you follow?´´    She´s back at church and super strong. We´re helping her husband stop drinking and find his faith right now.

See ya soon,

Elder Hodson


Well this is the after six months mark and I would like to start it
off by thanking everyone for the love, letters, packages, and suppoirt
up until this point. With that, I also here that after 6 months
everyone forgets you so I guess now I can consider myself forgotten.
IT´s cool. I understand.

But, the mission is going great.
I´m with Elder Call now in my same area. He´s cool.

Righteous living is so much better than wickedness. We´re helping a
man return to church, get married and baptize his family right now. He
said he hates the sin that he´s in. Do what´s right.

Love you,

Elder Hodson

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Last Two Weeks

Hey Family!!!

How is everyone? Sad to hear that Ben got hurt. You probably shouldn´t be jumping into metal bars man. That is not smart. Are you gonna get a scar? Dude, if you end up looking like Scar that would be sweet! Be more careful though.

Oh so I´d like to apologize to Sister Henrie about the story of her son passing ill in one of my e-mails. The wording was very poorly thought through. After we were leaving the house he joked around about it being worse that it was. He just ate something bad and his stomach had a little pain. Everyone is safe and healthy here. We are definitely  protected by the Lord.

Anyway this week was weird. I don´t have a whole lot of time to write because we´re busy tonight but the enemy is at work here in all of Fortaleza to hinder the work. Every since the temple ground was broken it seems like opposition to the work has increased. He doesn´t want this people enjoying the blessings of the temple and is doing EVERYTHING to stop us. I´ll explain it a little.

So here in Fortaleza Brazil everything you can think of can go on strike. The banks, the post offices, the schools etc. It´s ridiculous. So this week, right before new years, the cops went on strike. That´s something that no one´s every heard off before. So, what happened because off that? A bunch of really bad, bad people formed something called an arrastão which translated is more or less ´dragnet´. They just get a bunch of guys together with guns and rob the big super markets.

Down in the center of the city that have a bunch of stores like a huge outdoor mall. They had the military down there protecting that area.

It wasn´t so bad in our little area. We don´t have a whole lot for people to go after. The thing was, everyone was scared out of there minds. We would walk down the streets and they were empty. People heard bikes coming down the street and ran inside. We had to be inside before dark. It stinks because that night we would´ve met with a man who is trying to stop smoking and be baptized (and I think he stopped) and talk to a lawyer about a couple divorces. Now that has to wait until next week.

I also got to take a run at senior comp this week. We went in a division this week and I went with an elder fresh out of the MTC. He didn´t speak a lick of Portuguese. It was weird being n the other side of things. I had him teach a few parts of the lessons that he´s never taught before and he did great. Now, I have a lot more respect for Elder Henrie. I realize how hard it is to be senior and he does a fantastic job.

The next day we had a wedding in the center. The first of marriages worked perfectly! It´s cool to see people stop living in sin.

We had a bunch of people at church too. So, Satan may be working but so are we. And we have Christ on our side, against who Satan has absolutely no power and has to give way.

I know the church is Christ´s. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. We have prophets. The Priesthood is on the earth for man to use to bless the lives of others and further God´s work.

Love you

Elder Hodson


IT´s good to hear that everyone is keeping busy. Don´t waste time. Time is precious. Use it to improve and progress. One of Satan´s greatest tools to keep us from reaching our fullest potential in this life is procrastination and laziness. Don´t spend too much time watching TV. I wish I had spent more time before the mission reading my scriptures. Study them in your free time. You´ll be blessed with a solid understanding of doctrine.

Anyway, on the topic of the scriptures, I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time in Portuguese. That means I´m fluent in Portuguese. An apostle made that promise. It´s true. But, I also know that the record is real. That it was written by the power of the God and the Spirit of prophecy and translated by the seer Joseph Smith. We really can come to know God through the teaching of the Book of Mormon than any other book. I was studying the atonement in the New Testament and it is almost silent on the subject. It has some good information but the apostles who wrote the gospels were asleep while Christ suffered in the garden. The prophets in the Americas saw It in vision and explain it clearly and simply. I love the Book of Mormon. It is undeniable proof of the reality as Jesus Christ as our Savior, Joseph Smith as His revelator in these last days, and the Church being the Kingdom of Heaven here on the earth in preparation for the 2nd coming of the Messiah. Go and read it.

Oh so thank you for all the letters and packages I´ve been getting. Tell the Fishers and the Millets thanks for me. Also the Fishers asked about getting on an email list. Dad´s parents sent me cereal. That´s the best gift I´ve ever received! It´s already gone. Tell Grandma and Grandpa Squires, and Aunt Barbara and Grandma Johns thanks for the letters, too.

This week I took a two hour bus to go on a division out in the interior. IT was my first time away from the city and it was sweet. I got to take a motor taxi (which was AWESOME!!! I´m buying a motorcycle when I get home...) and taught a bunch. It was out in Elder Baker´s area. He´s from California too. He went to the infamous Del Oro (think football section semi-finals my senior year) and he´s an awesome elder.

Anyway, love you all! until next week.

Com muito amor,

Elder Hodson

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A New Year

What up Family!!!

Well this week was nuts. Running these two areas is going to kill me. We are literally running to almost every appointment. Not to mention the 5 marriages we´re working with. Just a word on marriages - they stink. You gotta go to the center like 3 times per marriage. The Center is a little over an hour away by bus. It takes up a lot of time. But, the good news is that these people are getting married and changing their lives to start keeping the commandments of God and become His saints.

Well, the holidays here are cool. New Years is insane. Everyone has fireworks in the street. We were leaving a lesson to walk to the chapel for a New Years party Saturday night and I felt like I was walking through some sort of Call of Duty war zone. It helped that there was a pile of garbabe on the street too and we walked through the smoke all slow and ´hero´ like.

So after that we went home and got to sleep by 10:30 and I was thinking ´´This is going to be the first new years that I´m not up until midnight for. I was wrong. When midnight struck we were awakened by the sound of what could´ve been World War 3. I cannot explain the wonder that ran through my mind. First, I was dead tired and was abruptly awoken. You know how that is, you  don´t really know what´s going on at all. On top of that I heard B-15´s dropping bombs all around my apartment. It was pretty annoying. It would´ve been cool if it was the 2nd coming.

This church is absolutely 100% true. Along with Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon and all the Latter-Day prophets. I knew this already because I had received confirmation from God before the mission. That´s why I left. But now I´ve talked to so many people from so many walks of life and with so many beliefs and the Gospel of Jesus Christ confounds them all. There is not anyone that has anything of any value against the church. If I were just an observer of the missionaries and everyone they talked to I would know, through pure logic, that the Church is true.

I Also recieve affirmation almost every day that this is all true during my personal study and when  I teach. It makes all the sacrifice worth it.

Oh and I got the package! Thank you! It was perfect! My favorite part was the quote book.
´´when the harder you try the harder it gets, take heart, so it has been with the greatest men in history.´´ Jeffery R Holland. I love that one.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Elder Hodson

Sunday, January 1, 2012

December 2011

OK...I've been forgetting to post Elder Hodson's letters because I've been busy with Christmas. It was so great to talk to him for 40 min. on Christmas Day!  He sounded happy and is loving the work.  Here are the highlights from his December letters:

Hey Family!!!

What up! So to answer you´re questions before I forget: no I can´t drink tap water - they have lots of places that sell the big bottles that you´ll see in offices and stuff, actually the water stand in THE OFFICE is a perfect representation (Ican´t tell you how much I miss that show)
But, this week was kinda weird, my comp got seriously sick and almost died. We went home for a while but I was like, ``No man we gotta go you´ll be alright´´, so we went out again. I was just gonna do all the talking but when we went to the house he had like a half heart attack our something. So we had to stay in for like 2 days. I just did a whole lot of studying and played a little guitar (I´ll talk about that next.) I can´t tell you how much I love to study. IF I have like any free time I just go study. IT is honestly the greatest thing in the world. The scriptures are the explanations of how to live like Jesus Christ. And you can just feel the difference when you read the scriptures. I read a little bit of ´Doctrines of Salvation´ the other day. It didn´t FEEL the same as the scriptures. When you read the scriptures you just know 100% that´s it´s true, even if the feeling is subtle. Elder Bednar left us a blessing here that the missionaries in this mission that studied the scriptures at every opportunity they had would be blessed with treasures of knowledge and inspiration from on high. Apostolic blessings are legit, so I´m doing my part to put in all my effort. I realized just how much time I wasted before the mission. Stop playing video games and watching TV. Study the scriptures instead. Or learn how to play an instrument or go workout. We don´t have a whole lot of time in this life and the more we do with it the better of we´ll be.

And yes I got a guitar. SO now I practice it for about 15 min to a half hour everyday. I´m getting better. I can play ´Hallelujah´ by Jeff Buckley (the song from Shrek.) It´s pretty slow but pretty cool.

Other than that I don´t have a whole lot to say. Things are going great here. We had one of our baptisms fall this week but that´s alright. We´re having some legit success with a lot of people and I love it.

I don´t think I can impress upon how real I know this gospel to be. LIke 100% without any doubt - this Church is the Kingdom of God here on the earth. We are preparing the world for Christ´s coming. Be good member missionaries. Give the elders references to all of your friends. Everyone needs to know about the restored Church of Jesus Christ with all of it´s power, keys, and authority. Live up to your potential as a member of the church and a child of the covenant. God has great blessings for us that we have to search and find by the Holy Ghost to understand. But, they´re there. When we make the Kingdom of God and obedience to Her laws our number one priority we are sanctified by the Spirit and quickened in every aspect. If you want to get better at soccer - read the scriptures, pray with real intent, serve other, keep the commandments, never sin - and you´ll get better. Same thing with school, singing, work or anything else. Do what God wants and he will bless you with whatever you desire. It´s kinda like Nephi in Helaman 10. In fact, go study Helaman 8-11and watch how obedience brings power and pride and disobedience bring a false sense of power followed by very real weakness. ACtually, the whole book of Helaman and really The Book of Mormon are full of examples of this. But, become a man (or woman) of God. The BoM is full of good examples of them too. It´s so sad to watch people here not be oedient to God, non-members and members alike. No one is perfect but why shouldn´t we be. God is our Father. We have so much potential. Go find it. I love you. Gotta go.

Elder Hodson

 Hello Family!!!

Well, how is everyone. Another week has passed, more people have entered God´s Kingdom, and I am completely happy. To settle your worries, yes my toe is splendid now. I´m wearing shoes, which makes me happy because I hate sandals. i did have a pretty terrible experience this week though. I caught a tropical fever, and it´s the middle of summer here. Shoot, that was not fun. We have to walk quite literally 5-6 miles every day so I just about died. But it was totally worth it because we found some great people.

So we got transfers this week. I´m staying here!!! I´m so pumped! I´ve got some people I want to help get baptized before I leave. We finally got the deaf girl´s mom to give permission for her to get baptized. We just got interview her and whatnot. That family really loves us. They have an ice cream shop and always give us free ice cream. It´s fantastic. But, with our old ward we´ll also be taking care of another ward now. The other elders left and we inherited their area. They left us quite a few progressing investigators and their ward mission leader is AWESOME! I´m super excited about this next transfer.

But, as Christmas comes upon us, let us all remember the purpose behind the holiday. It´s not Just a good excuse to buy stuff and eat a lot of good food, not to mention stop all the schools and most businesses. It´s also, and primarily, a very good time to remember a Man known in history as Jesus of Nazareth. Remember what He did. Remember who He was and what He taught. Follow His example in all things because He is and was the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. Each day we should try to know Him a little bit better ´for this is life eternal´ (John 17:3) and really isn´t eternal life what we all want. Just love people and serve them like He taught. It´s funny, I was thinking a lot about Christ the other day and why people don´t follow His teachings when they say that they love Him. Anyway, you have to be really dumb to not follow the teachings of Christ. Even if you are the most selfish person in the world, you would still want to follow Christ, if you had just a little wisdom. because living the gospel brings more happiness than anything else. If nothing else just serve everyone else and sacrifice everything you have for yourself ok? Kinda funny huh.

Anyway, love you all. Tell Alex hello as well as my other friends that are in town and out. I´d love to hear from them all. I wrote some letters a while ago so I´m hoping they all get home.

Keep being fantastic people and just do what´s right. We really don´t have any time to lose. Do you realize I´ve already been out for 5 months!!! that´s nuts. It´s been like two weeks. All see you all soon!

Lot´s of Love,

Elder Hodson


IT was so goo talking to you yesterday! Thank you for all being there. Tell Alex it was great talking to him too and I'm sorry that we didn't have much time to talk, but like you said I do have a family.

Anyway, this week was good. It was pretty rough teaching wise because people are traveling or partying. Mostly the latter but tudo bem. We've working on 4 weddings right now. We're gonna be taking a lot of buses into the center, which is about an hour away, to get all of these weddings done. It's almost funny how NO ONE here gets married. Almost..... really it's just annoying and pretty sad. Everyone here is living in sin and you can just see it in there eyes and bodies. The chains of hell are not pretty. Don't sin if you don't want to literally and physically be old and ugly.

Anyway, Christmas was fantastic. After church we went to an old ladies house that we know. It was here birthday and everything so we sang her Happy Birthday in English and she loved it. She's always so happy. She gave us cake and we just hung out with her.

Have a great week and I will talk to you after New Years! Remember to be good and stay out of trouble. Keep the commandments and always listen to the Spirit because He's gonna keep you out of trouble. And if you want to make me happy, just never sin. That would be fantastic. And go with the missionaries to teach your friends. That will make the missionaries, and eventually your friends, happy.


Elder Hodson

Oh! and Happy Birthday to Elder White. Hope it's a good one full of baptisms and happiness!