Saturday, January 24, 2015

Week 28 (Or Week 1 with Hutch)

I think I might start labeling my emails Week 1 with the Hutch (my new comp Elder Hutchinson). I don't even really know if I can adequately explain to you this human being. This last week was one of the most interesting ones in my entire life.

So let me tell you about my new comp. You will get a kick out of this. Before let me just preface by saying I love him and he is a good missionary. I am just stating facts as I have seen them the past week. So first, Elder Hutchinson tries to talk to the goats in the road. Super funny, I think I am picking up some of the goat dialect he knows. After a week with Hutch I can already tell you basically everything there is to know about Star Wars, Star Trek, computer video games (not xbox or playstations he is strictly a computer gamer), super heroes, and how Mozambique needs to change their political system and country infrastructure. Im a genius now! Oh also Hutch unveiled to me his master plan on how he is going to take over the world with his robots. Like I said, what a week.

We walked a TON this week. I was a little bit overwhelmed getting an entire other area added on top of mine, but its coming together. We usually walk the mornings and afternoons in my old area and walk nights in the new one. We have a ton of work to do too its great! We have 12 families that we are teaching right now! 8 of which came to church on Sunday. That lead the mission btw. So ya we are being super blessed in the area right now and I am very thankful for that. Especially because Im adjusting to running everything without Elder Ipsen. Yes I do miss him already. Ornelas´baptism went well. I got to baptize him which is always a neat experience. Our closest families to weddings and baptism are Jeranimo e Suzette and Joao e Zinha. We are looking for the end of February for them both. We also picked up 2 new families that are neighbors and have come to church the past 2 weeks. Fernando e Ana and Fani e Crizalda. Super prime families!!! If things go well with them we are looking for late February as well. In the next 10 weeks we could have 4 to 6 families baptized. The Lord is going HAM in this area right now.

Studies this week were super nice because Im in 3 Nephi. Could just read that one book for the rest of the mission and still learn something new each time. Its osum reading the words of the prophets and the doctrine they teach, but obviously its just that much better when the actual Savior teaches these things. I really liked chapter 12 verse 15 where Christ tells us that we cannot hide. We have the truth and other people need it. Our job is to be an example. And in ch 18 verse 32 I really like it because He says we never know when someone will change, or when they will repent. We can only do our part and keep giving them support and having hope for them. Hits hard as a missionary when sometimes I want to slap people upside the head who don't understand or who continually choose to do that which is contrary to the commandments. We can always give another chance to somebody else, after all how many chance does the Savior give us?

Well great week, great emails and I love you all. Enjoy this next week. Until Monday.

Much Love,
Elder Hruby

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Week 27: Official 6 month mark!

Dear Everyone,

This week was definitely one of the longer weeks Ive had, but still solid. We finally got transfers! Ive got a new companion, Elder Hutchinson. We are in my area, Chingassura, but we also picked up the old area of Kotoa and Hatfield since they both left, so essentially Pres. gave me two areas to work. A lot of walking, a lot of work, but a lot of fun and hopefully success! I cant help but laugh at my new companionship. Hutch is literally the most sci-fi, anime, alien-loving kid Ive ever met! He is like a red-headed Spak! He really is like the complete opposite of me and super socially awkward, but I think I am going to have more hilarious stories with him as my comp than at any other time on my mission haha. So I am excited to do work with him.

The Lord is going to work again in our area. Right now I have 12 families that I am teaching. 5/6 that are really progressing well. Then with the addtion of the new area we will have close to 20 families to visit!!!!! Que bencao! I am really happy to be working in this area right now. This next week we will baptize an 18 year old boy named Ornelas. He is super smart and is just a good, dedicated to the Gospel type kid. Hopefully sometime this month Jeranimo e Suzette will be married and baptized too. We are just waiting on documents. The rest are working their way towards baptism. We legit have probably 6 families that could be baptized in the next transfer and a half!

So Friday I hit my 6 month mark on the mission! Crazy right? I wouldnt say time flies, but then again I wouldnt say its dragged on. Its impossible to explain. I made a list of things that have happened in my life the past 6 months. I came up with 43 things. Its a lot but I'll share them cause I like the list.

In the Past Six Months...
I learned:
to speak a new language
that God isnt a puppetmaster. he lets life come at us full speed so that we can grow and learn to rely on him
what Africa-Hot means
how to keep a journal
how to hold my tongue
how to love people (still working on it though)
that being optimistic is much more fun that the alternative
how to cook... kind of
why Returned Missionaries get married so fast after coming home
how to really pray
In the Past Six Months...
I figured out being 200+ lbs isnt always a good thing
The Temple became one of my favorite places in the world
I lived in Africa
Ive read over 1000 pages in the Book of Mormon
I realized how nice it is to have friends with the same values
Ive seen how much I can influence others
My testimony of the BoM went from "this brings me peace and I know I should read it." to "I know this book is the word of God and is the most important book in my life. I will never stop learning from it."
My patience has been tried over and over and over again... and over again
I saw that First class is the way to go for Trans-continental flights
Ive taken countless showers in the rain or with a bucket
Ive been eaten alive by mosquitos
Ive seen the Lord bless my family and my investigators
Ive baptized 17 people, with one more coming this week
Ive walked an uncountable number of miles
Ive eaten some pretty weird stuff
Ive seen and started to adopt a new culture
Seen how alcohol destroys lives and especially families
Seen how the Gospel has something to offer to everyone, even if they seem to have a perfect life or are super happy and dont seem to need help in their life
Seen innumerable boobs and naked kids

Ive sweat my face off
Being clean has basically become and unknown feeling to me
Ive become self-reliant and can live without my parents now
Ive become very grateful for my year at the Academy and all that I learned there
IVe found out who my real friends are
I havent dated a girl (longest period since I came out the womb i think)
I have missed my family and been homesick
I got over the homesickness
I grew up
I realized that its still ok to be a kid sometimes
I enjoyed worrying for others and not myself
Most importantly, in these past 6 months I gained a better relationship with Heavenly Father. I am beginning to realize how much He really does love us and what our potential is in this life, and the one to come. I can honestly say these past 6 months have changed parts of my life, and for that I am excited for the next 6!

I know thats a lot but it was fun to look back and reflect and make that list. The mission is something else, thats all I can really say about it. I love you all and hope the new year is starting off right!

Much Love,
Elder Hruby

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 26

Dear Everyone,

Sorry for the repeat of week 24. Time just seems to mush together here haha. So last week was supposed to be transfers but they moved it to Jan 2 during Zone Conference. Then they lied and switched it to today. Then today when we got on we had an email that said transfers are postponed again until next Monday! I am kind of annoyed, actually all the Elders are. I really dont care what happens with transfers I am just anxious to see. I am expecting to stay in my area, but I think Ipsen will leave. He has already been here for 6 months. I think another Elder or 2 will leave the house too, which will be nice to have some new people around. New things make life exciting and time go by faster.

This week was pretty good still. We got a TON of rain on Monday and Tuesday. After just 30 minutes it was up to my ankles! We had to wear boots for 4 straight days. The only problem was my boots had holes in them haha so I was wet anyways. Dont worry after 3 days we finally got downtown and bought new ones. As far as the lessons and investigators go, this week was kind of just a stand still. We still had good lessons and everyone is doing good, but no major events. Honestly the main thing we did this week was play marriage counselors with our recent converts. I swear I am going to have the best marriage after this mission. They should pay me for how much advice and instruction we give. I always laugh after those kinds of lessons because when I think about it, I am a 19 year old boy who knows nothing about marriage but I am here acting like I'm giving professional advice haha. It is a learning experience for sure.

Zone Conference was super nice this week. Much needed. Its always nice getting some of the Million Dollar training from Pres Kretly. All the Elder performed skits at the end during dinner just for some fun and relaxation. Well my house did the Haka cause Elder Katoa and Palu are Tongan and know it. I lead part of it and was screaming so loud I lost my voice the whole rest of the day and the entire next day! Went hard.

Random stuff from the week... Saw a little girl with a pet dragonfly. She literally had caught it and tied its tail to a string. She would toss it up and let it fly while holding onto the string to bring itback! Probably the coolest thing I have seen since I have been here! New Years was crazy. The are stupid with fireworks. Like I am pretty ignorant and irresponsible with fireworks, but these people take it to a new level of idiocy. I swear I almost saw 3 kids get blown up haha. Also I lost monopoly again this week.

I dig the family theme/goals this year. I will be sure to make my own personal one this week to share as well! I love you all and appreciate all the support!

Much Love,
Elder Hruby

Friday, January 2, 2015

Week 25

We got to Skype with Elder Hruby on Christmas Eve. It was so great to see his handsome (pixelated) face and to hear his sweet voice! He has some amazing stories to share. We chatted like old times. We love him so much and are so proud of him!!!

Dear Everyone,

What a Christmas huh? Skyping was probably the greatest thing ever. It was way better than I expected and I wasnt too out of it afterwards so that was nice. This week was still pretty eventful even though we just talked on Wednesday. Today was supposed to be Transfers and we were all super stoked because its time for change in our house haha, but Pres threw us for a loop and wont be doing Transfers until this Friday after we have Zone Conference. Four more days cant hurt I guess.

So Christmas Eve after skyping we went back to the house and not only were we still out of water but the power went out too! It was hotter in the house than it was inside so we all just loosened up the ties and untucked the shirts and layed on the driveway checking out the crazy stars here. The power didnt come back on quickly so eventually we all went in to try to sleep. I was sweating my face off in my bed so I went and grabbed the 2 Reb Bulls I had bought myself for Xmas and put one can on my neck and another on my chest to try to help cool me down. Luckily, around midnight the power came back on and we got the AC. Then we got a Xmas miracle when we woke up we had water. I got to take my first shower indoors all week and got to do my laundry too! Best present ever! Elder Katoa woke up at 5 without us knowing and made us all a huge french toast, eggs/potatoes, and pineapple breakfast. Super nice. Then we had our baptism that morning. Elder Ipsen and I baptized Nito e Nadino. I baptized Nadino. The entire Manga Zone baptized 17 people on Xmas Day and I think 25 this week! Pretty blessed here. Then we came home to little gift exchanges and everyone passed out for a little bit before going back out to work. We really just went around to our favorite families and ate their food and hung out then gave a short little spiritual thought before bouncing to the next house. It was pretty relaxed.

Friday kind of sucked. WE litterally just walked all day. We only got 1 lesson. Even worse everyone was either still drunk or hungover from the day before so the contacting was pretty worthless. But the good news is Sunday made up for it because we had a ton of investigators at church and complete families too. One of our investigators gave us two papaya this week. Each one is the size of Ben's head!!!

Im loving this area. I was excited to see what happens with Transfers but I really dont care. I am most likely staying in Chingassura but I dont know if that will still be with Elder Ipsen or if I will get a new comp. But I am excited to see these families we are working with get baptized. This next Transfer promises to be pretty great too!

Finished reading in the book of Alma this week. I always feel like thats like a big accomplishment since its so dang long. I am liking the Book of Mormon more and more each time I read it. It makes more sense and I learn something new literally everytime I open in. Its sick. One thing I have been noticing or learning and trying to apply is living up to my potential. I guess this kind of goes along with your email Dad about the goals this next year. My only input is this: We are capable of so much more than we know or even can believe. The best way to always get better is to see how good we really can be. In all honesty we have the potential to be perfect, thats our purpose is to someday become like Heavenly Father and be perfected through His Son. So ya thats my input I guess, if that makes sense... Live up to your potential.

Well thanks for everything. I love always having great emails to read and getting all the love from you guys. I missed you this Holiday season, but it was great skyping and getting that recharge for the new year. 2015... CRAZY.

Much Love,
Elder Hruby

Week 24: Week of Christmas

So when I went into the MTC my goal was to make it to Christmas. I figured if I could get there I would be golden. I would be almost at my 6 month mark, fluent in Portguese, knowing what Im doing, and just doing solid. True I am almost at 6 months, which is kinda crazy to think already 1/4th of my mission done. I am nowhere near fluent in Portuguese. I still barely have a clue whats going on in this crazy country. And I am doing solid, but I only acredit that to Elder Ipsen making sure I dont die. 

Its crazy how different Christmas is here. Its kind of like it doesnt exist. The only reason I can tell its a holiday is everyone is stocking up on food for the week. We had another Christmas devotional on Sunday for all the members, but not many showed up. It really isnt a big deal here. It has helped me not feel like I am missing out on the holidays, though. The good news is we have baptisms on Christmas Day which will be a nice little present. Our families that are preparing for baptism are having a little trouble with marriage documents so they wont be baptized until January, but thats ok, they are doing really well.

I am reading the War Chapters right now in Alma. They are actually super sick if I pay attention haha. Moroni is a straight boss, reminds me of myself;) just joking just joking. But one thing I liked that I read was how Moroni never stopped making preparations for war, even when there was peace. He was always actively waiting. Applied to our lives I think its a super good habit to have. Always being proactive and not just sitting around waiting for circumstances to change for us. We have to be active and do our part. Then the Lord will take care of the rest, like how He did in strengthening Moroni and his army. We have to do our part and give the Lord something to work with so He can help us out.

Like you all I dont want to say to much since we will be skyping in 2 days, but I love you all and cant wait to talk to you. Thanks to everyone for the emails, especially this time of year! Welp until next time... which will be when we SKYPE!

Much Love,
Elder Hruby