Thanksgiving – November 30, 2015

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

Well this week has been an interesting week with Thanksgiving. I honestly can really remember Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. I do remember Monday we went bowling with other missionaries and there was
11 of us, 8 Elders and 3 Sisters. It was really fun. However, I really don’t know what else we did that day. Life can be a really long blur!

Thursday, Thanksgiving. No, that day shouldn’t even exist on a mission! For Thanksgiving we went two places to eat. First (at noon) we went to an older couples house and the four of us ate and that was really nice and they loved having us over. The second (at 3pm) we went to an older lady’s house and she feed us and it was her son and the four of us who ate together. It just felt like regular dinners we have other than pie and it was just 2 dinners really close to each other. Around here dinner is lunch, and supper is dinner. But other than food, Thanksgiving sucks on a mission. It’s a non-proselyting day so we go around looking for service, but everyone’s too busy with family and tells us we should go home and just relax. Even the members we ate
with, when we told them we were looking to serve and asked if they had some service we could do, we went, but by the time we got there they said “don’t worry about it today, just enjoy yourselves.” On a mission that feels weird not being able to proselyte, because that’s all we do!

So on Thanksgiving we sent out a Happy Thanksgiving text out to most of our phone contacts and one guy called us, his nickname is Rev. He invited us to their Thanksgiving dinner the next day (Friday) at noon and we don’t even know Rev. He is not a member. So we decided to go! The Elders in Crowley came with us too and when we got there he had his whole family there and they were finishing up cooking the food. After about 20 mins they brought out a pig. Like a full pig, head and all. It was a pretty good size pig. I’m sure it weighed more than me by a lot! When we got our plates they just cut the meat right from the pig and oh boy was that the best pig I have ever had! We got a chance to talk to Rev while the food was cooking and he is a great guy. Our discussion with him, end up leading to us giving him a blessing. He has a bit of health problems going on right now. By the time we left, he said he was already feeling a little better. Got to love the Power of God!

Saturday we went to Catholic Mass again. This time it was their full thing and not just part and there was a lot more people. It was the first weekend of Advent. So that made it a little different, and they had music this time. Father Mac (MacMillan) recognized us again and afterward several people came up to us and thanked us for coming, a few of them talked a little longer to us and we were able to give them our Christmas Initiative cards, “A Savior Is Born.” We invited them to watch a 2 min video about Christ’s birth. Then we got to talk to Father Mac on the street with a bunch of people watching us. He gave us a hand shake which turned into a hug. It was kind of funny with all the Catholic people who don’t talk to us, watching us. We talked to him [for] a bit and he invited us to go out to dinner with him sometime this week, if we can find a free time that works for the both of us. We also gave him a card and he said he would watch the video. He gave us a hand shake at the end and he went to cover my hand with his, but he stopped. He covered my companions hand though and pretty much everyone else’s hand. There is this thing; I don’t know what to call it. But at least the more “elegant” or “high up” or even “older” people in this area do and it’s more than just here. What they do is cover your hand with theirs, when they think they are more “high up” or “better” than you. I don’t know if it is the same all over, but we found out from multiple people around here, that’s why some people do cover your hand. So apparently, I have gained the respect of Father Mac, which I think is pretty cool.

Sunday we had to get a ride to church because we are low on miles and when we got home we had to bike pretty much everywhere and we biked over 15 miles, which I haven’t done for a while. But the weather was crap! It was 82 degrees and it had just rained a little, not enough to cool things down but just enough to add a lot of humidity! It was just like summer, but all over again! Anyways is been an interesting week, it has definitely drug on and on. But gone by so fast all at the same time! I hate that feeling so much! But I’m glad I have the chance to be out here serving a mission. I know this is where I need to be right now.  Christ, our Savior was born, he died, and he lives again! The Book of Mormon is the word of God and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Gods Kingdom on earth. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet today. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Weather Change – November 23, 2015

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

Well this week has been a good one. Elder Sirrine and I got the chance to go to New Missionary Training.  In which every new missionary and their trainer goes to their 4th week out. We had to be over by Houston at 9AM Wednesday morning so we got permission to stay at our Zone leader’s apartment in Vidor, Texas. This is an hour away from where we live, so it took an hour of drive time off [of] our morning. However, Tuesday there was a tornado here in Louisiana (Sadly not close enough to us; I want to see a tornado!)  But it brought some really bad winds all day Tuesday and in the afternoon and in the night it brought a ton of rain! At our apartment we only have curb side parking, so we are in a gutter. And [the vehicle] being in the gutter made for a fun experience. We had our bundles of stuff to go stay at the Zone leader’s place and it was like there was a lake above us that just let all the water out. When we opened the doors to the car we noticed the water was only 3″ below the opening of the door on the one side. I was driving so I had to get across the water, not just jump into the car from the curb. Needless to say my feet got wet; I had to attempt to get across 5ft of water out from the curb. Once we got on some of the main roads there was not so much water on the road, as all the side roads, but the rain still was coming down. One thing is for sure, I wished it always rained that much where ever I live, because I love the rain and bad weather! The worse the weather gets the happier I get! I know I am weird, but if you didn’t know that before, now you do. Sunday we finally got cold weather here! From what everyone tells us it normally doesn’t get this cold until late January. The temperature was in the 30s and early 40s and with Humidity it “Feels Like” 30, or so the weather app tells us. It actually felt really good out, until we got on bikes, then it got a little cold.

Over all it’s been a good week….I think. It’s so much of a blur I don’t even know what has happened. In the moment, time seems to be at a stand-still, but when the week is over it feels like the whole week was just a day. In turn it feels like I’ve been on a mission forever and my life, but I thought it was just last week I left the MTC. High School even feels like a dream. The Holidays definitely feel different to me. I don’t realize that Thanksgiving is Thursday or that Christmas is just around the corner. I’m a musician, and I’m not practicing Christmas music…. that’s weird. It just got cold, No Snow, No Christmas music on the radio or Christmas movies on TV. Now those last two are because I haven’t seen TV or heard the radio in a few months. But overall it’s been a good mission and a good week.

In the light of Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for all of you. I’m thankful for my Savior and the sacrifice he made for me. I’m thankful to be on a mission serving the Lord. I can’t think of any place I’d rather be. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is Christ true church on the earth today. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and we can come closer to Christ be abiding by its precepts. Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and Thomas S. Monson is now the living Prophet of God on the earth today. I’m grateful for all I have, and all I know, and that I have the privilege to share it. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Catholic Mass – November 16, 2015

Well this week has been a good one. We went to Catholic Mass and at the end of it the Pastor said, “I would like to recognize our brethren from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,” and he said a few more things, but in the end everyone clapped for us which was definitely different.

“Jim” is doing great; he is now 5 days sober and a little longer drug free. He came to church again, we actually had 7 nonmembers we are working with come to church and 7 members who haven’t been in a while come to church so all and all it was a great week.
We went mountain biking again today and that was a blast! It rained and we got covered in mud! This past week has been such a blur I can’t even remember most of what happened. Being on a mission is truly an
amazing experience and as taught me so much. Just in the few short months I have been out I have learned more than I ever would of in 2 years of not being on a mission! After the events in Paris last Friday I have truly gained a greater appreciation for Christ’s Atonement and the Plan of Salvation. We can be with our families again! Christ really did die for each one of us. He knows what we are going through. The Book of Mormon is true and Thomas S. Monson is the true living prophet. I know this all to be true and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Elder Brian Hobbs

Week 2 of Training – November 9, 2015

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

Well it has been an interesting week! I learned how to play poker and I won on several occasions. I’m now $100 richer if it was real money! I was able to get 4 Aces several times and a Royal Flush and no I was not dealing the cards! Ha-ha! There has been a ton of rain still and Friday it got up to 85 degrees with 99% humidity! It’s November!!!! Can I please have some of Utah’s Weather?! Nice and COLD! Not in the 80’s and 70’s!

We had a long weekend too….

We ended up getting a call from some sisters telling us that one of our investigators, who I’m going to call Jim, called them telling them he was going to commit suicide. Jim called the sisters because an Elder who used to be there taught him before he moved to our area. After we went to Jim’s house and talked to him a bit, he lost it and started to take handfuls of pain relief pm pills, but before he could get a second hand full we were able to get the bottle from him. He had just got in a fight with his mom and daughter who had left to get away from him and he has been in a really rough place. We talked to his mom and daughter and found out we were an answer to their prayers. Before they were even done praying we had called them and told them that we were there with him. We arranged a time for them to come back while we were there the next day, to allow Jim to spend time with his daughter, who is 8. So that night we talked to Jim and got him to calm down and we said a prayer and the spirit was really there! We continued to talk to Jim and helped him realize that even if his family doesn’t care about him, that there are many others who do.  And that Christ knows how he feels, and loves him no matter what his mistakes in life [he makes]. We gave him a blessing and told him we would come back tomorrow. We did and his mom and daughter came. We talked with them for a while and the mom shared her story about how we are angels sent by God to her son. It was really cool and spiritual. We invited them to come to church and all 3 of them came to the broadcast! (There was a south western United States broadcast from Salt Lake.) She told us the whole thing was amazing!! How she loved it a lot! She said she is going to come back next week too! We also brought up the Ensign, Friend, and General Conference and how they have other talks just like that. So this morning we signed her up for a year subscription for both, The Ensign and Friend. But their family relationships seems to be better than it ever has [been] before! It’s amazing to see the Spirit at work and the effects of Christ’s Atonement!

I have had a lot of interesting experiences on my mission that usually do not make it past my journal because of one reason or another. But this time I felt like I needed to share this with you. I have really been able to witness the devil at work as well as the power of Christ’s Atonement! Christ’s Atonement is truly remarkable! Christ did die for each and every one of us and he knows how we feel and what we are going through! Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of God! The Book of Mormon is true! I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.