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!