Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Monday September 17, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
It really is starting to heat up here in Paranguá and the humidity is ridiculous. It seems like taking a shower is useless because I´m dripping in sweat five minutes later. I love the elements and trials that I´m going through on my mission. If I wasn´t a man before, I will be when all is said and done.
This past week flew by once again and the weather is getting super hot and humid here in my area of Guarani. I am feeling the desire more and more everyday to help all those that I can. I know I can´t be Superman and do everything, but I know I can be a Supermissionary with the spirit of the Lord as I obey with exactness and I can help all those that the Lord whould have me help.
Tais and Andrea are looking like they will be baptized this next Sunday if all goes well and it is truly amazing to see the new light that is in their lives and eyes. The Book of Mormon and the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal happiness,
Posted by Colette at 5:02 PM
Monday, September 10, 2012
Dear Dad, Mom, Liz, Kirstie, Ashlynn, McKay, Family and Friends,
This past week flew by like a dream. I can´t believe it´s close to the
middle of Setembro. I learned this past week that as you lose yourself
serving others, thinking less about yourself, and more about helping
others overcome their personal problems, the problems and concerns in
your own life seem to disappear. I witnessed this as we worked like
crazy this past weekend to teach people, that we´d encountered in the
street, in their houses the message of the restoration of Christ´s
church on the earth today. Saturday evening we went to the house of
Ianderson, Fabiana and their family to teach them how their home can
have more peace and love. It was amazing to see how receptive they
were to our lesson and then to hear them say that they´d been looking
for a church and a religion where they could feel peace and happiness.
After teaching the restoration to them and having a spirit of peace
fill the room, I committed Ianderson and Fabiana to be baptized at the
end of this month. They responded that they will do everything in
their power to be prepared for baptism at the end of this month. As we
left their house that evening I could feel a warm feeling within me
and that is when I realized with more surety that this church is the
church of Jesus Christ and baptism is the only way to gain eternal
happiness. Look for people in your everyday life that lack peace,
happiness and unity in their families and their life and open your
mouthes and share the gospel.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Dear Dad, Mom, Liz, Kirstie, Ashlynn, McKay, Family and Friends,
Spiritually miraculous....that is what this past week was. This past week my companion, Elder Funk, and I set a goal to obey with more exactness and live in a way that we can find and teach people by listening more to the promptings of the Spirit. I learned that to be the best possible instrument in the hands of the Lord, I need to obey all the mission rules and commandments with exactness and not make exceptions to even the smallest of rules. What I learned this week was that miracles take place when we do all in our power to listen to the Holy Ghost. This past Wednesday night we met with Andrea and Jorge, the non-member parents of 3 young men who are members. One of their sons is serving a mission in João Pessoa in the north and so we talked to them about how they are feeling with their son being on a mission. For the past 3 months that I have been here in Paranaguá, Andrea and Jorge had little interest in keeping commitments and going to church, but as we talked with them, Andrea said that seeing pictures of her son on his mission helping others changre their lives has brought an indecribable joy, when she said that we testified that the joy he is experiencing and the joy she was feeling was because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We then committed them to read the Book of Mormon and pray specifically to know if it was true and if Joseph Smith was the prophet of God, that restored Christ´s church on the earth.They accepted the invitation and as the Spirit was strong, we committed Andrea to be baptized on the 16th of this month, and for the first time in three months she responded, ``I will prepare to be baptized on that day.`` Then the next miracle happened, Friday night as we were walking back toward our house I had the prompting to visit Andrea, even though we hadn´t planned to visit her. I knew that we should follow the prompting,so we went to Andrea´s house. When we arrived and clapped at their gate, she answered and we asked her if she had read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it was true. She then responded, to my amazement, ``I did and I felt a feeling of peace and happiness come over me.`` We then responded that the feeling she felt was the Spirit and that she had received an answer that it was true. She then asked us with a smile on her face, ``Can you pick me up and take me to church on Sunday?`` We happily responded of course and yesterday, Not only Andrea came to church, but her husband Jorge, as well. I know that if we obey the commandments with exactness, miracles will take place. I have seen this happen as I am understanding and speaking a lot more with the locals here and listening to the Spirit.
Thank You For Your Love and Support!
Elder Jonathan Hokanson
Monday August 27, 2012
Dear Dad, Mom, Liz, Kirstie, Ashlynn, McKay, Family and Friends,
This past week was a week full of a roller coaster of emotions, as it
was my trainer´s last week with me, as he went home today. It feels
now that a part of me is missing, I love Elder Evans like the older
brother I never had. He truly taught me how to be the best missionary
possible and fulfill my true potential. It is amazing how close you
can get to one person in just a matter of eight weeks. This mission is
truly amazing and the Lord is helping me endure and overcome the
obstacles and pains that have come upon me so far as a missionary here
in southern Brasil.
This past Friday I got my stiches taken out at a old little health
clinic in a neighborhood in the area I serve. You may be wondering why
I had stiches to be taken out of my head. That is where my Brasilain
soccer and hospital story comes in.
Two weeks ago today I was playing soccer, in the rain on an outdoor
court at the stake center, the main LDS church here in Paranaguá, with
the other elders in my zone. I was playing goalie and I was running to
get the ball in the corner of the court, where there was an extra
slick part, as a defender was coming at me. I don´t remember much
after that, but I slipped and smaked my head on the concrete as I was
running to pick up the ball. After squirming in pain and grabbing my
head, I saw that my hand was covered in blood, that is when I started
going in and out of conciousness and my arms and legs were tingling.
The next couple hours consisted of going to the hospital by ambulance,
getting x rayed and then after seeing that nothing was broken they
gave me 4 stitches and wrapped my head in gauze. I ended up walking
out of the hospítal looking like a soldier from the civil war, as the
wrap they put on my head looked pretty ridiculous. Attached should be
a photo of how I looked the night of the accident. The best part of my
brazialian soccer and hospital experience was that all the medical
care andf ambulance ride were free due to the brazilian health care
After about a week and a half of pretty bad neck pain and headaches, I
am feeling pretty normal for the most part, aside from the scar on the
back of my head and the occasional neck and back pain and headaches. I
know that the Lord blesses us as we keep his commandments and that as
a representative of Jesus Christ I was and am still being watched over
and protected from not being injured more seriously.
Thanks for your prayers and support.
Elder Jonathan Hokanson
Posted by Colette at 5:00 PM
August 6, 2012
Dear Family and Friends,
This past week I got my first look at what it´s going to be like without my trainer and first companion Elder Evans, as he is finishing his mission here this week. On Friday, I showed the new missionary and zone leader, in the area next to us, our area and I for my first day ever was leading the conversations with the people we were meeting with and teaching the majority of the lessons. I realized how much I´ve relied on Elder Evans the past eight weeks and that this next week when he leaves, I´ll be relying on the Lord to help strengthen me and be an example to help my new companion, that I´ll get next week, adjust to the area. More importantly, I´m learning to put my faith in the Lord that he will help me completely understand all the people we talk to and I´m learning that the Spirit, if we live worthy of it, can be a great help in understanding, speaking and teaching. Yesterday I think I ate the best dessert I´m had here yet, it was a bowl of fresh tropical fruit, with sweet condensed milk and chocolate, coconut ice cream. That dessert we had for lunch, then we went to another members house and a recent converts house and they fed us more food. The members here and the people of Brazil love feeding us, so we are never hungry, which is great and I don´t have any problem with it since I love food.Trials are occuring here in my life and in my area, but I´m learning that if we rely on God we can do all things and help those that are in need.
I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Tuesday Aug 7, 2012
Urgent... Read Please ASAP
So my companion Elder Evans, from Wilsonville Oregon, is going home this next Monday and his parents are picking him up. Do you have any way possible to get my wobble chair and cervical traction up to Wilsonville and dropped off at his parent´s house before Saturday. They can bring it to the mission home for me, and I can pick it up. Maybe Nate and Kristin or Janae could bring it, I don´t know, but I could really use the wobble chair and cervical traction because my back and neck are hurting me pretty bad. If you can please send these things in a duffle bag ready to be checked with $50 or so for the baggage fee. If you can do this give Elder Evans´ Mom, Kari, a call at 503-638-7115 or 503-490-4721 to arrange the drop off. Their address is 23544 SW Gage Rd Wilsonville, OR.
PS- If you are able to do it make sure everything is done by Saturday because they leave Sunday. Also, don´t include the spinal molding or weights if they don´t fet because I don´t want to have to carry around a ton of unecessary stuff during my mission.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
At first I was thinking that this last week nothing too exciting happened, but thinking about it more I realized that we did have a lot of cool things happen. Well, cool might not be the appropriate word but a lot of good learning experiences. Here is one.
We had a crazy story with our menos activo that just got reactivated named Isaac:
We have been working with him to get him all the possible blessings, so we have talked with the Bishop and with Isaac about getting his Patriarchal Blessing. He finally had the interview the other week and when it came to the question asking about if he was being honest with his fellow man and had been keeping all the commandments he came clean that he had been robbing power. He is an electrician so he hooked up the cables and gets free power. (They are in a HORRIBLE financial situation). Well, he called the electrical company to "confess" so the guy came by and cut their cords and took pictures and so now he is going to get hit with a big fine. Not only did they cut his cords but they found out that the majority of the block was robbing power so they cut their power as well. However, the whole block paid 10 euros to a kid down the street who knew how to plug back in the cords and what not, and when they accidental plugged in Isaac's, Isaac ran down and told him to unplug his. We visited him in this crisis, and he told us, "You know how easy it is to just go downstairs and plug back in my cables? I know how to do it and our family needs power to even turn on the stove top to eat. I can easily justify it. You know how easy it would be to do this?"
I asked him, "Then why don't you?"
He said, "Tengo que ser recto. Tengo que hacer lo correcto." (I have to be righteous, I have to do what is right.)
He refused to do it and until now they are still without power. The power company said they won't turn the power back on until he pays the fine, which is a large one to say the least. The bishop has helped though. Some one brought over a gas powered stove so they can cook and a generator to keep the fridge running. The Relief Society also has pitched in with the food and they are being blessed. Soon, he will get his blessing and it will all be worth it. It was a great lesson that he taught me.
I guess, THAT was something exciting that happened this week.
Posted by Colette at 10:16 AM
Sunday, July 29, 2012
The last week wasn't actually anything too exciting. Oh wait... we had a baptism!!! Yeah, another one. We have been blessed with a lot of miracles here in Elche. The ward hasn't had a baptism in over a year and we just had three baptisms in the last three weeks. Elche is on fire! All of the prayers and little things the members have been doing are finally bearing fruit. Another testimony that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. To be honest, I don't even remember if I sent you the photo of the last baptism we had, so I will send you both. It has been a great miracle and blessing. I actually think that it is my favorite baptism just because of the great miracle story behind it. I think I might have told the story before but I will tell it one more time:
About two transfers ago we visited a less active member named Isaac Torremocha. He was a really good guy but he was pretty much done with everything. He was just laying on the couch and didn't really want anything. In fact, he is only in his 40´s but has already had two heart attacks. He isn't overweight or anything he just has poor health. Well, he had pretty much given up and we aren't really sure what we did but the next week he started coming to church and that itself was a miracle. A long story short, the two daughters both got baptized this last Saturday and their mom is on the path to baptism. Their goal is to be sealed a year after the mom's baptism. It was a great service the last week. I baptized one of the daughters and one of our recently returned missionaries baptized the other. Elder Jordan didn't baptize either of them only because he arrived 3 days before the baptism. Anyways, here are the photos of the baptism.
Also, this last Friday we had another one of those days called Dia de Diamante. We were to have no citas and only contact all day in the streets. As a mission we got more than 2600 futures in one day. All of this with the goal of having more than 70 baptisms or more in August. Anyways, the mission is going great. I have to do some traveling ths week. We are going to Alicante to have interviews with president on Wednesday and then on Thursday I have to go to Almeria to grab my DNI card so I can stay here legally for the last three months of the mission haha. Actually, my old card has been expired since February, so I am only going to grab this card and have it for a few months but it's necessary in case the police pull me over for whatever reason. Anyways, I will take more pictures and we'll talk soon!
That reminds me of a quote that the MTC president, Ralph W. Smith said while I was at the MTC in Provo. He said there is no such thing as selective obedience. It is a way to do it the convenient way and that doesn't exist. When we break just one rule or commandment, we let Satan know that we are willing to break more. That kind of impacted me a lot since I can still remember it. Anyways, that trip sounds like it will be super fun. Make sure to take a lot of photos, and if you run into any return missionaries over there from Málaga Spain make sure to tell them Elder Card says hi. If I remember right there are a few RM from this mission that live in that area haha. Keep your eye out!! Until next week!
Elder Steven Card
Elder Steven Card
What else is new?? Well a few days after having that success we met with another one of our investigators and he surprised us by setting his own baptismal fecha!! He will get baptized in two Saturdays and he is pumped, and so are we. We also have been working with this other family and the two daughters are getting baptized this Saturday. As you can see we have been really busy and so I have been trying to do other things. Don't worry though it is still all written in the journal event hough it isn't very well recorded here on email. We are all really excited and so is the mission. This ward hasn't had a baptism in over a year, and now within three weeks we are having four. It really is a testament to hard work and that God does work miracles.
We also met our new mission president, President Deere. He is a super cool guy and we all are really excited for him to be here. He brought two of his children with him as well. So the mission house is a young hip place lol. We are all pumped for this new mission president. Soon I will get a picture for ya. Anyways, I am really sorry that my emails have been kind of failing over time, but I will try and do better and not be as lazy. Until next week!!! Thanks for all!
PS: Oh yes, we got transfer calls. I am staying but my comp is leaving which means after only one transfer together he is leaving. My new comp is Elder Jordan. I am excited to have him come over. He meets me on Wednesday! Wish us luck together!
Well this week went by super super fast. It was a pretty fun week actually, and now things are taking a turn for the better. Yesterday we had a record amount of investigators come to church, at least for us. We had 6 people come to church and all of them were brought by a member. It was great. People are progressing like crazy. Hopefully we will see a lot of progress here this week.
Last week we sadly said goodbye to President Clegg. He will still be here for a couple weeks but it was his last "public appearance" if you will. We had a zone conference in Murcia and so we took the train ride down there to attend the conference. There we watched some of his home videos from before he came as a mission president, and then we watched another DVD of photos and funny videos he had gathered during his years as a mission president here with us. It was a touching and really funny video. He made copies for each of us. We then separated into three groups into three different rooms. The first room we wrote our final goodbye note to the Cleggs to put into a book and also signed a piece of patchwork. Then, in the second room we wrote our welcome letter to the Deere family who comes soon, and then in the third room we had our last one and one time with the Cleggs. There, he gave each of us his personal contact information, a list of "rules" and advice that he put on a list and laminated it for us haha, and he also gave each missionary a ring. On the ring is engraved PRO, and on the inside of the room is inscribed, "I will pray, read and obey everyday." It was pretty cool. I still wear mine. I figured he gave it to us to wear not to put away, so I have it with me now.
The rest of the week went really well. We saw more and more miracles like we did last week. For example, my companion is from Africa, and grew up in Portugal and so he knows how to speak Portuguese. Well, we were knocking on doors and this lady answers the door and just by the way she was talking Elder Barbosa figured that she could speak Portuguese and so he starts talking to her in Portuguese. She was from Brazil, and once you hear your native language you just will let anyone into your house so she let us in haha. There, we impressed her even more. While we were talking I saw that she had a Rubik's cube on the table unsolved. I asked her if I could try and solve it. She told me that she had been working on it for years and had never figured out how to solve it. Well, I told her I could try and do it, and not just solve it, but solve it in under three minutes. She told me to try it, and well I did it and Barbosa timed me and I solved it in 2 minutes, 43 seconds. She just was speechless and started to bust up laughing. She told me, "Wow.... you are special. You, my young friend, have a gift. You must be one of those chosen ones." hahahahaha. Needless to say we got a return appointment haha.
Another cool language story. Our area is just covered with Africans, and the majority come from Senegal and Mali. Well, just for fun, I have been trying to learn a language called Bambara, it is the language spoken in Mali. I've been learning how to say the normal hellos and goodbyes and Gospel terms from one of our investigator friends who is from Mali. Well, usually I am fairly timid to try and speak it with the Africans in the street but last week I finally tried to contact someone in Bambara, and it worked haha. I actually had a 45 second conversation with a guy from Mali in Bambara before I lost what he was saying and we had to start in Spanish again. It was a cool experience and we got his info lol.
Well, until next week! I hope everyone is doing great! Stay in touch!
Posted by Colette at 12:35 PM