August 31, 2015 – Short, but LONG week!

  • Companion: Elder Combrink
  • Area: Jennings Branch, Louisiana

So it’s been a long week but a very short one! Somebody explain that!? I had new missionary training and got my driving privileges and a lot of fun experiences.

For example… We get an allotted set of miles for a month. We get 1850 a month and as of Saturday night we had 48 miles left for the month and we needed to get to Stake Conference (an aired video in Jennings). Then the next day (today, Monday) we need to go to Lake Charles (35 mile drive), because Elder Combrink is headed to Houston with the zone leaders for training. We thought about ending up a few miles over and that would be ok because we didn’t need our Jeep for a day (we lose a day for every 10 miles over we go, i.e. 1-10 = 1 day lost 11-20 2 days lost etc.). The zone leaders told us we might just have to go over on our mileage, if we couldn’t find a ride to Stake Conference. Well we couldn’t, but we decided to be obedient and we biked to Jennings from Welsh on Sunday morning. We biked 12 miles to Jennings, all day around Jennings and then biked home. It was a lot of biking in one day, we went 33 miles total, but it felt so good that we would be able to be obedient! I have already felt some of the blessings from that. It helped strengthen my testimony of obedience. No matter how hard it may be, we didn’t have to bike to church.  We biked along the frontage road, the whole way there and it was cool to see how many people honked at us. We counted 10, which may not seem like a lot, but for Louisiana that’s a lot. Sorry but this week has been a huge BLUR!!! I felt like I was just emailing yesterday… good thing for journals.

So the next few days will be crazy like I said, Elder Combrink, my companion is going to Houston today and I get to have a crazy exchange.  Elder Noel and Elder Combrink are both district leaders and they need to go to Houston tonight at 5pm with the zone leaders for a meeting tomorrow. So they are leaving me and Elder Blackburn (Elder Noal’s companion who came out with me) together tonight to cover their area until Mid-day tomorrow. Then we drive back to my area with Elder Blackburn to cover my area tomorrow afternoon, then sleep at our apartment. On Wednesday morning we have to find our way to Beaumont, by ourselves for Zone Conference and be there by 8am, where we’ll meet up with our actually companions there. So… exchanges with a new Elder who has just as much experience as me for over 24 hours… Yay! Haha it will be a great week! But my mission is going by toooooo fast!

The story of the 2000 Stripling Warriors has inspired me lately. I had it compared for me using missionaries. The missionaries aren’t on the front lines like the Stripling Warriors, we are behind enemy lines. The Stripling Warriors were awake and not idol, there is no way they could be “asleep” and idol and not have a sole die in some of the deadliest battles, in the book of Alma. All of you back home are on the front lines, remember that! The Laminates were asleep, idol, and let the Nephites gave of their wine (because they were weary, they wanted wine, smarties) and they became drunk and the Nephites over took them without a single life lost. So remember to stay awake and not be idol or you could fall and be taken prisoner. Stake strong in the gospel just like their mothers taught them and we will ALL make it through!

Elder Brian Hobbs

DSCN0315

Elder Combrink & Hobbs Riding to Church (12 Miles)

DSCN0325

Riding Along (Singing a Song)

Driving Privledges YEA!

Driving Privledges YEA!

For David- I finally did it!

For David- I finally did it!

Still Weird!

Still Weird!

Typical Scenery

Typical Scenery

August 31, 2015 – Importance of a Testimony (Letter Home)

  • Companion: Elder Combrink
  • Area: Jennings Branch, Louisiana

So story time….. It’s been happening ever since the first week I got here, but we had an interesting, stressful run in with our crazy neighbor. The first time we met her was when she was happy, as time has gone on, we have realized she has multiple personality disorder. ….Ugh we were out one night about 10:30pm talking to her because she told us she was thinking about suicided and then how her husband was beating her and kicking her out and all sorts of stuff. Then she began to yell at us and tell us we are liars for 5 minutes repetitively. Well we are 99.9% sure her husband is not beating her; we met him about 3 times, before this. It has been quite the month with her. We are pretty sure she is holding a stethoscope up to the wall, to listen in on what is going on in our apartment. She yells and cusses us through the wall when we are too loud and this can be either at 9:30 pm or 8 am. Sometimes we get the wall pounded on when I flush the toilet in the morning. Once we got a phone call from her in an Australian accent (we are 99.9% it was her, but she refused to tell us who it was), telling us to stay away from her home and don’t talk to her husband. Elder Combrink picked it up and it turned out she couldn’t talk to him, but she could talk to me. To make the long 15 min phone call short, she kept asking questions about why we are called Elders, about us having a prophet and about why we were so young. And I would give her an explanation (remind you this is all on speaker phone so me and my companion can both hear) but then she would say how it’s barbaric that we call ourselves Elders at such a young age and its barbaric how our Deacons are 12 and Priests 16 and on and on and on and on. She used other words too, but mostly barbaric came up a lot. But she did try my testimony, saying how could I believe this, over and over, and that we were brain washed by our parents and leaders.  She pretty much called us horrible people for thinking we have a prophet and that we are Elders and so on. But I just kept bearing my testimony over and over again. It didn’t happen in phases like all the talking and explaining, then the ridicule, then the testifying. It happened after and during each subject that was brought up.  We got this call 3 minutes after we left to go to Vidor to spend the night at the zone leaders place (we had a mission conference the next day), we were backseat of their car. There was more said but that call happened about a week and a half ago.

Long story short I’m thankful for my testimony of this gospel and what I’m doing, because I know that conversation would have really ripped some people apart. It hurt me some, but thanks to my testimony I was able to become stronger by it and not dwindle in my faith. So I learned how important a testimony is!!

Elder Brian Hobbs

August 24, 2015 – One month over too soon!

  • Companion: Elder Combrink
  • Area: Jennings Branch, Louisiana

When a month goes by and it feels like you just left home and you realize there is only 23 of these left you start to want more!! It has been a great week! We didn’t make it to the temple which is a bummer, but that’s ok because we had a good day regardless. We got to have Elder Corbridge of the first quorum of the 70 talk to us which was really cool! He had so many inspiring things to say to us! This week it rained a lot! We got wet, a lot! But yesterday was a really good day. It was Extremely hot because of the humidity from the rain but it was still good. We “play” this “game” it’s not really a game, its just a challenge to pass the time and keep us motivated, but we go through the ABC’s of gospel words as we contact people. We start on A so like Atonement and we go through Z but we just give each others words to use that pertain to the gospel and that person has to contact (or talk to) people until they use that word, when they talk to them. Well we haven’t been able to talk to many people recently, so we said a prayer asking God to put enough people in our path to finish the alphabet, and he did, sort of. We started on C from the previous day and only made it to I, but we were able to contact (or talk to) 27 people yesterday that was enough people to get through the alphabet, we just didn’t quite make it through.

We have been really focusing on Fearing no Man and we started telling ourselves every day that we Fear No Man and will do our best to accomplish our goals. We may not be able to accomplish our goals every day, but we definitely end the day feeling better about ourselves and that we have tried our best. The “Fear no Man” comes into play when we are talking to people. Me personally, [I] hate talking to strangers, I feel like I’m an idiot and they will think I’m weird. But that’s ok! because I am! Who else would dress up in church clothes and ride their bikes around in the rain or the extreme heat? What’s the worse that can happen? They say no? That happens A lot!! But hey most times you will never see them again, so what does it matter that you make a fool of yourself when you are trying to talk and the right words come out?
1 big thing I learned this weekend is that it is not the missionaries jobs to find people to teach. I already knew that but now I really understand that better! I challenge all of you just to talk to a friend and invite them to come, to come closer to Christ, not to church, but to Christ, he is the foundation of our church. Invite them to hear the missionaries out for at least one lesson and to read part of the Book of Mormon. [When] They pray about it with real intent (with the desire to know it is true and with willingness to act upon any answer you will receive) I know all who really do that will come to know this is true and will come closer to Christ. (Which I invite all of you to do as well weather you invite the missionaries to dinner or just to teach a lesson.) What do you or anyone else have to loose? 5-15 mins of your time? That’s nothing! There is no harm in prying either. What is there to lose? Not getting an answer? If that’s the case, no harm no foul. But if they come to know the truth then the consequence is Joy! Now that sounds good. If i was presented with a way to have more joy than I currently have and all I had to do is read a book (or at least part of the book) and pray, I would do it. Who Wouldn’t!? I know that this Church is true and that all can receive joy and come closer to God by abiding by the precepts found in the Book of Mormon. I invite every one to read it and pray about it and to gain a testimony or a stronger testimony of its truth. Go forth and fear no man! and most of all don’t judge a book by its cover. You never know who would accept the gospel or who is going though a hard time and could simply use a friend! Go forth and be a light to all nations!
Elder Brian Hobbs
Hanging the Louisiana flag. {A member bought them each a flag.}

Hanging the Louisiana flag. {A member bought them each a flag.}

Still has a sense of humor!

Sense of humor! {Mom stole this picture of his companion’s blog 🙂 Sneaky!}

Sunlight breaking through the clouds after a rainstorm. The picture does not do it justice.

Sunlight breaking through the clouds after a rainstorm. The picture does not do it justice.

It's Raining! The canals are approx 5' wide and 3' deep, running FULL of water. With water pooling in the streets.

It’s Raining! The canals are approx 5′ wide and 3′ deep, running FULL of water. With water pooling in the streets.

August 17, 2015 – Zone P-Day

This is our zone. Elder Blackburn (who is on my shoulders) came to the field with me and Elder Combrink wouldn’t get on my shoulders 🙂 don’t blame him. haha! The two in the tiger shirts Elder Heaps (top) and Elder Rosenland (bottom) are the only other two in our district and they are in the Crowley area which is our branch.

{Elder Hobbs, center, gray pants and gray shirt}

Zone P-Day

Zone P-Day