Friday, December 27, 2013

Feliz Año Nuevo!

I know this won’t be as good as Skyping ha-ha.
OK... so this week has honestly been one of the most fun weeks of my mission so far.  Monday was pretty uneventful, but Tuesday and Wednesday were soooo awesome! Tuesday was Christmas Eve and the people here celebrate more on the night of the 24th. We ate dinner like 4 times and I was so full. Here the people stay up till midnight and light off fireworks (more like we celebrate New Year’s).   And the 25th was even better! Talking to you guys was sooooo good. I really needed that. I just feel recharged and ready to go.

Yesterday we had the Christmas Activity for the mission. It was a lot of fun. We played some games and watched the movie Arthur's Christmas. It came out when I was working at Harkins but I never saw it. It was really good. Afterward, in the spiritual part, I did a special musical number with a Hermana from Panama. We sang “Joy to the World”. I played the guitar and sang and everyone liked it and complimented me. Today is P Day and tomorrow we will have the baptism of the little old lady Bertha. 

Yeah, we are staying really busy. We have a lot of potential baptisms in January. I think we will have 3 or 4. Well I love everyone and hope y'all had a wonderful Christmas. Hope y’all have a Happy New Years as well. I’m going to have to look for some Martinellis Sparkling Cider here to celebrate with my companion.

Thanks momma! I love you so much! Can’t wait till May on Mothers Day when we can Skype again!  I love being your son! Tell Dad thanks for giving me the Hoy musical talent.    
 Feliz Año Nuevo!
Skype 2013 Christmas Day

Friday, December 13, 2013

Baptism and a New Identity

We’ve been really busy. This week we went to go visit this guy that we’ve been teaching. His name is Juan Antonio. The former elders were teaching him before I got here. He's been a pastor for 30 years. He talked with a drunken inactive member one time and decided to go to our church. He has gone around 15 times to church and has a super strong testimony. He already finished the Book of Mormon and is reading the Doctrine and Covenants. But he hasn’t been able to get baptized because according to the government, he doesn’t exist which means he can’t get married. His ''wife'' is a less active member. He has been waiting for over 3 months for his lawyer to find his information and create for him a new identity basically. Finally... his papers will be ready the 15th or the 20th so he will be getting baptized this month! We are super excited for him! 

Thank you for paying for my braces. I see so many people down here with their teeth falling out and I am just so grateful that I was born into our family! I love you guys sooooo much! OK Momma I love you lots and can’t wait to see you! But my time is up! Start learning Spanish so we can come here on vacation after I get home! Love you!
A Family that we are Teaching
Kids, Kids Everywhere!
Me and the Kids!
Thanks for my Braces!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mixed Blessings

Well this last week was alright! Monday I got super sick! I didn’t like it at all!  I think it was only food poisoning because it passed in one day! So Monday I slept all day with a fever. Tuesday I still felt bad, so I went to the doctor to do some exams but they didn’t come up with anything. We spent half the day in the house until we got the all clear from the mission nurse. I was glad though because I got to read a couple of the books from the missionary library. One of them is called "Our Legacy" and it’s all about the history of the church and all of the prophets. I learned a lot! It was so sad reading about all of the trials that the early saints of the church faced, but also inspiring to read about the amazing faith that they had.

I also started another book called "Our Search for Happiness"  by M Russell Ballard. It just explains a lot about the doctrine and beliefs of the church. It’s almost written for nonmembers so that they can understand more about the church. I’ve taken a break from reading "Jesus the Christ" because it’s a little harder to understand.

It actually has been pretty cold down here too. Well not cold but I had to buy a long sleeve shirt to sleep in at night! But I like it! It beats the heat for sure! I can’t believe it is already December! I’m almost a third done with my mission! Can you believe that?? I can’t!

Yeah... sorry I kind of peeked at everything in my Christmas box. I love the new ties! And as far as talking to you on Christmas day, it’s like whenever I want... I think. What hour would be the best for you guys when everyone can be in the house?  I don’t know about Facetime because not that many people have Macs here, but we can do Skype! I’ll start talking to some members to plan everything! Here's a picture of me and a cute little baby boy! I love you guys a lot! I’ll see you in a couple weeks!
Beanie Baby!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Super Excited to go to the Temple

I’m writing today and my time is short because tomorrow we're going to the temple in San Salvador. I’m super excited! We get to go 3 times a year and it’s a little over an hour away from where I am now.

My new companion Elder Salmon is good! He’s only been out 3 months! We get along great. The mission president is in my ward now but I haven't seen him yet at our meetings. He will be released next June.
My new area where we live is a lot nicer than my old area. It’s a pretty affluent area. But we work in a different place that’s a lot poorer. It  may be even poorer than my other area, at least in some parts. We are a lot busier here. We are going to have a baptism on Saturday for a young girl named Monica! I'm really happy about that. I’ll send pictures next week!

So to explain the photos, three of them were saying goodbye to the people in my last area, first to the familiar Valenzuela, (one of my favorite families), to Harlen and Jaime and their kids, and to Julio and Walter. It was hard saying goodbye to all of them but I really like my new area. The other photos are  with Elder Salmons my companion, and with Elder Griffin, my friend from Tempe.
My time is up. I love you all. Elder Hoy
The Valenzuela Family
Harlen , Jaime and their kids
My First Baptism, Julio,  and Walter
My New Companion Elder Salmon
My Tempe Friend Elder Griffin

Friday, November 15, 2013

My First Transfer!

Hey mom! I had changes and now my P-DAY is Friday! Ok, here’s the update from the last 3 days! I had changes on Wednesday! I finally left Las Colinas! My new area is called El Trebol 2, in Zone Modelo. We are right in Santa Ana which is cool. My area is a lot wealthier than my other one. There is a huge shopping mall called The Metro Centro. It is just out of my zone. Everything is a lot nicer than before.

My new companion is awesome. His name is Elder Salmons, and he is from Alexandria Virginia, which is the town where the movie "Remember the Titans" happened. It’s really close to Washington D.C. It’s really nice having my first gringo companion. We can speak English and stuff and relate to each other a lot more.

This morning I got to play basketball with my Mission President. He is soooo good. It’s cool getting to know him a little more. His house in in my area, so we will see him a lot. This last transfer, only 4 missionaries went home and 28 new missionaries came in. That was really crazy. We have some good positive investigators right now, and one of them has a date for baptism.

I’m really excited to be in this new place. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Well, I love you guys a lot and I won’t write you until next Friday. Love Elder Hoy
Adios to my First Ward in El Salvador

Monday, November 11, 2013

42 People at Church...a New High!

This week was pretty awesome! We had the highest attendance in church in all my time here! We had a whopping 42 people! We had 5 investigators which was really great. Also Jaime and Harlen and their family came to church again! I was so happy.

I’m almost positive I’ll be leaving this area. I’m going to miss it a lot, but I’m also excited to get to know a new companion and area and everything. If I stay this transfer I’ll be here until February which will be a long time in this area.

El Salvador is beautiful, especially the area that I’m in. I love it! Here are some photos from the week! We took a hike this week with Jaime and some others that was so fun but really hard. If I do get transferred, I’ll miss Jaime and his family soooo much! Well other than that,  nothing super special or extraordinary happened this week. I love you and hope y’all have a great week! I’ll have more to write about next week if I have changes! Love you! Elder Hoy    
A Real Fixer-Upper
Machete Man
Almost to the Top!
Group Photo Shoot

Monday, November 4, 2013

Awesome to See the Change in People!

Ok, so this week was kind of crazy. One of the elders in our zone got sick so his companion, Elder Jacobson, was with us in a trio for the day. We went to his area to visit one of his investigators that has a baptism date set. His named is Walter. He is paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheel chair. He used to be a drunk, and he fell and that’s how he became paralyzed. His wife left him because of his drinking. But since the missionaries started teaching him a couple months ago, he hasn’t had anything to drink almost the whole time. It was really humbling and inspiring to see his faith and his desire to get baptized and erase all of those sins and errors that he has made in his life.

Also, Jaime, the guy who always puts pictures of me on Facebook, came to church with his family after 20 years of inactivity. It is awesome to see the changes in people! I love that family so much and already promised them I would come back to visit them! So start planning our trip to El Salvador in a year and a half! Ha-ha. I was able to do exchanges with Elder Griffin again. He is the elder from Tempe.

The Bishop told me yesterday that his mother in law from Arizona is coming down here again in December. So you can talk to her about sending another package with her. I would love some more letters from the kids. Love you Momma!
Photo shoot with Elder Griffin and I
My Favorite Girl!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Missionaries, Members and Temples

This week was pretty normal again. We had a Multi-Zone conference Last Thursday and we’re going to have another one this Thursday. Our President is really stressing the importance of working with the members, especially because this last General Conference had a lot of talks about missionary work. I’m sure that’s going on in all parts of the world. 

Wow, no I didn’t hear about Brittany Spencer’s mission call. That’s so crazy. I’ve heard Swedish is one of the hardest languages to learn. Our next change/transfer meeting will be on November 13th . How many missionaries are serving from our ward now? It’s like almost 20 isn't it? That’s so crazy. It’s crazy to think there are over 80 thousand missionaries. They told us that since the age change, more sisters than elders have entered the mission field.

Jaime and his family are some of my favorite people here. We always make big lunches and dinners with them and their kids are adorable. I love them. We are still working with them.

I miss the temple a lot. We haven’t gone once since I’ve been in the mission. I miss going every week in the CCM. Yeah, that youth temple walk we did was so fun. I want to see more pictures of the temple since it’s almost done. I'm still so sad I’m going to miss the open house and dedication. Tell Diane and Ralph I say hi when they get there. I miss the Showalters a lot... and everyone else too!  ha-ha. Well I love you guys and hope you have a great week!

Cute Puppies!
Eating Pizza at Zone Conference
Zone Conference

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sad to Miss the Gilbert Temple Open House

Aw… I’m so sad I’m going to miss the open house and dedication of the Gilbert Temple. Oh man... I miss the Powell kids so much! I can’t wait 'til Christmas when I get to Skype with everyone!

This week was super average. But we did have something good happen this week.  Harlen, the wife of  Jaime (the guy that sent you the pictures of me and stuff), well they are inactive, but she came to church yesterday which made me so happy! Now we just need her husband to come!

Tell Ashley Happy Birthday for me!  In addition to black pants, missionaries are allowed to wear khaki pants.  So in my Christmas box, could you add my pair of khaki Volcom dress pants? 

I definitely miss all of the activities and members there in Gilbert. It’s very hard here where you have only 30 active members to do activities. But everything is getting better in the area. I still hope to get moved to a new area in the next transfer. Well I love you all and hope you have a great week!

I love the kids!
Even these kids!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Come to El Salvador!

Hi Momma. Yeah, the weather is pretty nice here right now too. Ummm… I want you guys to build a house here in El Salvador, forget Belize. But in my area that I’m in right now you guys should buy/build a house...for reals.  It so cheap and they use American money here.  You guys could retire right now with just the money from your rentals.  Just learn Spanish really quick ha-ha!   Yeah it’s very rural and country like. The town is pretty small but super safe. The area next to mine is super safe too. But there are some really nice houses here that Americans have built. I really want you guys to build a vacation home here…like for reals. Yeah I love this area geographically!

Unfortunately, the work is going really slow. We did companion exchanges on Saturday and Sunday and I worked with Elder Griffin again. He’s the elder from Tempe. We had 7 investigators in their ward and we had some really good lessons.
For Christmas I want peanut butter and Nutella and more G2 pens and more ties. And maybe some money so I can buy new pants because I need another pair. Or you can send me another pair.

But yeah momma I have to go now so I’ll talk to you next week! I love you a lot and miss you! I was looking at the family pictures you sent me and all of you guys looked like strangers to me. Super weird. But yeah love you!
Elder Hoy
I love the kids!
Cute kitty!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Listening to Conference Makes a Difference!

Happy Anniversary Momma! I did remember because yesterday was also Ty’s birthday.  Conference was really good. I loved all the talks. It’s amazing the difference paying attention makes… hahaha. I really liked Elder Uchtdorf's talk. It really helped me a lot.  

This week was a little better.  I’m just bummed because we have no investigators progressing even though we are working hard,  but it’s ok. Yeah,  I’m still with Elder Arizmendi. He goes home December 12. I think I’ll have changes before he goes home. I'm just really ready to get out of this area. Even my companion says that in all of his time in the mission, this is the slowest/most difficult area he’s been in. But I know that I just have to push through it.  I love you guys sooo much and miss you a lot.

This week we had some good lessons with this older guy named Victoriano. He came to conference with us too. We continue to teach Mary and Hector but they don’t have time or they don’t want to come to church. But we are still working with them. I’ll try and make this week good so I have more to tell you next week. Love you all!

Elder Hoy

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Outdoor Grillin' and Feasting

Hey Momma.
The work is going, but very slowly. I’m going to be staying in this area that I’m in for another 6 weeks. I’m ready for a change but I think the Lord still has work for me to do here. We’ve been doing a lot of activities with the ward and it’s starting to become a little more unified. 
Lately, the people here haven't wanted to listen to us. In my little area alone, there are more than 20 different churches. Everyone goes to different ones but they don't live what they're being taught. I try not to let it bother me.
The family that put those pictures up on FB is so awesome! I love them so much. They are inactive members, but we are doing everything possible to reactivate them. I love you guys and I’m going to try and make this week better so I have better stuff to write about next week.                                       
Oh and I finally got my birthday package!!!! Everything arrived here well. I love the shorts and they fit me perfect. The photo album is awesome too! And everything else!  And also I love the music you sent too. Thanks momma! Love you!
This was 10 pounds of meat!
My companion and I...outdoor grillin'
And the feast begins...

After playing soccer...not sure what he's looking at...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Help the Missionaries!

Hola Mamasita,
 Everything is going good here. Mary is reading the Book of Mormon and thinks that its true so I know that your prayers are helping. I love some of the ties you got me, well the two that are new and the weird black one. The other two I can't use because they are way too short but I'm going to give them to some of the kids here. I like the little toys too, but those are to give away to little kids right? I hope so.  I've been eating a lot of that candy. I loved the kids letters. What did you put in the other package? I'm praying that it gets here somehow. 

We have a lady that washes our clothes, and a member that has a washing machine that we use for our personal items.  Yes mom, HELP THE MISSIONARIES! You don't even realize how important the members are in missionary work. They are almost more important than the missionaries. Give  them referrals or allow them to bring investigators to your house. HELP them. I wish I would've helped them before, because now I need their help and I'm not getting a lot of help. 

I love you guys so much and hope everything is going good with everyone. 
Elder Hoy 
We caught this frog at church
I dressed up as a Ninja one night on splits with Elder Griffin

One of the members puppies
My you know I'm being well fed!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Alma Chapter 7 and No Possum for Dinner

Unfortunately, no I haven’t got my package from you guys but on Thursday I got a package from the Showalters!!! It was filled with candy and toys and letters and fun stuff for my birthday. I almost started crying when I got it. I miss that family so much. I think that’s one of the first things I want to do when I get back is go visit them.

But yeah this week was good. We had some powerful lessons with this lady named Mary and her husband Hector. She didn’t want to read the Book of Mormon because it ''didn’t call her attention'' so I read her the summary of Alma 7 and asked her if that called her attention. She said yeah and committed to read that chapter and pray to know if it is true. That was yesterday and so we are going to go see her today and follow up. Please pray for her and her husband for me. I really want them to progress and get baptized.

We were eating lunch at a members house yesterday and she told me I look like I’m getting fatter  ...ha ha ha. I couldn’t believe it but I think so too. I measured myself the other day and I’m like 5'11'' now. I’m catching up to Dad fast.

Last week we caught a possum that has been coming to eat our trash a lot. Our neighbors had a trap and they loaned it to us. Supposedly they eat possums here so we wanted to eat it. But it was so small and I felt sorry for it so we let it go.
Yeah... that little girl in the picture from last week that I sent is like my favorite person here. I love her. She’s so crazy and funny. Hope everything is all good there! Love you guys! Elder Hoy

Possum Anyone???

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cats and Dogs

Sorry momma, still haven’t gotten the package. I’m praying that it shows up this Thursday. NOOOOOOO NOT THE FISH!!!) That’s so sad. (Our fish died)  The other day we were in a bus waiting to leave, and when the bus started moving we heard a really nasty sound and it turns out there was a dog sleeping under the bus, and yeah it died and I almost threw up/cried cuz it was so sad and gross.

On the bright side, we did  have good lessons this week. Oh and I saw a really awesome sunset! It reminded me of home! We also had a multi zone meeting with President Kevin R. Duncan, a member of the first quorum of the seventy. It was really good. Some of the quotes that I really liked from his talk (translated to English)
``The Lord doesn’t expect a lot from us, he just expects everything``
``If you want charity, pray for it. If you really want it, Practice It`` (This one is helping me a lot.) 

 Alright funny story of the week. This explains the pictures. So on Thursday night, I got woken up at like one in the morning to the sound of breaking glass or something. I always leave the light on in my bathroom, and I saw that something was moving in there. I thought someone was in our house for a second, and then a cat poked its head under the door. It went crazy and tried to escape and was running around our house for a few minutes until it went out the door that it had come in.  My companion had left it open by accident. That was the craziest thing that happened, along with the dog thing. But the work goes well, as do my studies. I love you all and hope y'all have a great week!
Love Elder Hoy
Beautiful sunset that reminded me of our Arizona sunsets
I love the children!
Our visitor in the night
I guess he needed some place to sleep