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