Tuesday, November 3, 2015

If The Savior Stood Beside Me

Hello! How is everyone?

Little things that we do can make a big difference, and can mean a lot to someone else. I´ve seen an example of that in my companion, and we have been able to help others as well. 

      The scripture that I´ve been meditizing this week is from 2 Nephi 2: 27 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spiritñ and unto unoe else can the ends of the law be answered. 
      It reminded me how we all ought to have a broken heart and contrite spirit and being willing to give what the Lord asks of us. I know that if we do we are richly blessed.
In Nacaome, and in all of Honduras and I´m pretty sure the entire Hispanic world, it has been a flower-filled weekend. They don´t celebrate Halloween, but today is a day that for us would be closely related to Memorial Day, when they put flowers on the tombstones of their family members. I think their is a tradition that says the dead speak to their families, which is why, for me, it feels a little spookier than Memorial Day. (In Mexico it´s called the Day of the Dead, but here I think it´s called something else. I´ll have to check). So everywhere you go today, they´re selling flowers, plastic or real. 

I found this little guy in our apartment. I wonder if these butterflies are migrating through honduras right now, because they are everywhere. This is what I look like today. Anyway, have an awesome day everyone, and if you are sad, remember Hermana Hogge with her mariposa and you will feel better.

        This last week we´ve been finding and teaching, visiting members. We are teaching a sister of one of the members, who also lives next door to a member. She has been sick - gravely sick - but is recovering and feels like she has been given a second chance. Though she can hardly walk right now, she wants to come to church. She wants to do the right thing, and be in the church the Lord wants her to be in. Her name is Eufemia. She´s a middle aged woman and sometimes talks a lot but she´s awesome. She says that if she feels an answer to her prayers, she would be willing to be baptized. 

       Last week and this week a man that we´ve been inviting to church has been coming. When I first got here to Nacaome I thought he was a member, but then I discovered that the missionaries had spoken to him before. His name is Jose, and we pass by where he works often. He doesn´t live in our area, but because we invited him - many times - he finally decided to come, and it looks like he´s learning a lot with the elders. 

       Among practicing English with Hermana Vera, I´ve been rediscovering my spanish, and continue to make mistakes and learn from them. The other day - i don´t know what I was thinking, because it´s something I already know - but I burped and instead of saying ¨perdon¨ which is like saying I´m sorry, I said ¨permiso¨ which is what you say when you want to ask permission to pass through or enter a house. My companion looked at me like ? and now that´s just the word we use and we laugh. She also accidently said ¨Let´s go to the chicken¨ instead of ¨kitchen¨ and it made me laugh and think of Annette :)

         On Thursday in the district meeting I sang ¨If the Savior Stood Beside Me¨ and it reminded me how imagining the Savior at my side helps me to have more courage, and be the person I want to be.         

         Today we bought food and made ourselves a nice lunch of chicken and vegitables. I like learning a little from every companion and culture.  

sorry for the scary white person taking the selfie but I wanted a picture with us both and the healthy food we are eating :)

         I think that´s all for now, I love you all so much and hope that your week is wonderful. Hang in there!! Remember we can always do a little more. 

Hermana Hogge

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Witness Unto You That I Am God

My scripture from this week 2 Nephi 29:8. (I´ll let you look it up becuase I do not have it memorized in English yet) 

 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

This scripture was a strenght to me, just as the Book of Mormon has always fortified my testimony that the church is true. I know that Heavenly Father loves all of His children and the Book of Mormon is his prepared way to learn the truth. It makes me ponder that He loves the people of Nacaome, Honduras just as much.

This week was great, with less sickness.

On Monday we helped a daughter of a member move into the ward. 

On Tuesday we had a Zone Conference, and it was excellent. (If i´m not wrong there will be pictures ont eh blog) We realized many things that we can be doing better. So we will keep moving forward becuase there are still people in every area that are being prepared.
The rest of the week we continued to work. We´ve found a couple with three children - we actualy opened the mouth with them last week and they said we could pass by again. And we did and were surprised to find that the husband had lived in the US and attended church several times, and the hermana had read the pamplet we had left. We hope Hermano Luis and Hermana Guadelupe can progress very much!

On Sunday we had District Conference. The messages were all excelent. I saw more of the need to teach the commandments to the people - I know that even if they don´t accept the complete gospel at this time, they will at least be blessed for keeping the commandments. 
I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Hermana Hogge

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Let Us Cheerfully Do All Things That Lie In Our Power

The scripture that I chose to meditize this week is found in Doctrine and Covenants 123: 17. Therefore, dearly beloved bretheren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power, and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation fo God, and for His arm to be revealed.

Deciding to memorize and meditate in that scripture helped me out a lot this week, because it turned out to be a time when I couldn´t do all that I wanted. But I learned that if I focused on doing what I could - what was within my power (or to use the spanish translation, within my reach) - I could still feel the Spirit with me and know that everything will be alright. 

        To make a long story short, I´ve been sick. A cold going around knocked me down (even though it is very hot, it´s also been raining), and I didn´t have much energy for a few days, but now I´m getting myself back up.  Heavenly Father is always with us - He´s been so great to me this week, letting me know over and over again that everything is going to be okay. He has a perfect plan for each one of us. He wants us to learn and grow, and knows that it is most often through adversity that we really learn to develop - in faith and love and strength. Hermana Vera has also been a good sport, even making me food to make me feel better. 

         The branch had a Talent Show Night on Saturday, which was super fun. The young men and young women of the ward did a lot to participate and also sold food to raise money for SOY (their EFY, basically)  It was a big success.  I wish we could have had more investigators but we were able to have some and other less active members come, as well as our lovely converts Rachel and Xochil. They´ve also invited a cousin of theirs to church with them, so hopefully we can help her know more about the gospel of Jesus Christ as well. She´s only 11- the faith and love that children have inspires me. 

         On Sunday when the primary ran out of teachers my companion and I helped the kids learn songs. It´s been a long time since I´ve been in primary, but it worked out well. Xochil has only been a member for a few weeks but already is singing the songs like she´s known them all her life. 
         We have an investigator Jose who came to church, but only for a few seconds - he wanted to come back but then couldn´t. But we will keep doing what we can to help him. He is the investigator that, as I shared a few weeks ago, made me think of dad because he likes astronomy. We hope he can come to all of church next time, but we were surprised with the interest he showed and - well, I will let you know how things go with that. 

           We have a zone Conference tomorrow (I´ll be leading the music - yay) so that should be very good, and help me to get back on my feet. I love you all and thank you all for your prayers in my behalf, they help get me through everything.         
         I hope that things continue to go well in work and school, in celebrating the good times (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!) and saving turtles and getting through the darker days - Remember that at all of these times, God is never far away. 

           I love you all and wish you all the best of the best (sir!). Do all that is within your power and do it with a grateful heart, and you can know that Heavenly Father is pleased with what you have done and who you are becoming. 

             HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
             Hermana Hogge

Monday, October 12, 2015

Be Thou An Example

Let no man dispise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 

           I was meditizing that scripture this week. I realized that everything that I am asking others to do, I must begin with myself. It would be very unfair to preach otherwise. That doesn't mean I´m perfect, but I do try. I like the first part Let no man despise thy youth - I know that refers to me too. I may be young but I can still dedicate my life to teaching and helping others. 

         Word and conversation. I tried to apply this by thinking and speaking more positively. I also dedicated (and we as a mission are dedicatint) more time to teach my companion English. She loves to learn it and I love to teach it, so it works out. She knows all of Families Can Be Together Forever now. We actually had a zone meeting on Thursday and President Bowler surprised us with a visit. But it was also really nice of him to offer us and some other missionaries a ride back to Nacaome and other areas. Hermana Vera and I started singing the song in English and President Bowler suggested that we all join in. We were like a family going on a road trip, singing in the car. It was a special moment. 

         Charity. A level of love that comes with The Spirit and a service, patience, and kindness. It isn´t something that comes all at once. But we had a good experience in service this week. We went to visit a sister in the ward - we started teaching a message we had prepared, but we soon realized she was worried. We asked her and she told us about some of the challenges she was facing. We did what we could to testify that everything would be ok, and then moved outside to help her take up the weeds in her yard. Hermana Vera cut the grass with and weeds with a machete, and I worked with the kids, pulling up weeds with my hands. Then Hermana Vera taught me how to use the machete. So, don´t worry, I know how to use a machete now. :) 

         Spirit and Faith. When you don´t know what to do, pray. Heavenly Father is always there, when we are need and when things are going well. Having the Spirit is super important, which is why prayer and scripture study are important. As a mission we read Nephi chapters 3 to 7 and were reminded of Nephi´s example of obedience and faith in our Father in Heaven - his faith that He would provide a way. Here in the mission, we receive rules, standards of excelence, we have goals and plans to help the people, and they don´t always work out the first time. Sometimes we have to reanalyze and try again, just as Nephi and his brothers did in getting the plates. President Bowler also taught us a lesson about Ishmael and his family: they had been prepared by the Lord. There are also families and people in our area that are being prepared. 

      Purity. Repent every day and keep trying. Live worthily to enter the temple. 
Take the sacraement every week and remember your covenants. 

      Well as for our investigators, we keep moving forward. This week was a little dry but we know that blessings are around the corner! This sunday in testimony meeting was very nice. 
We´ve been enjoying the goodies you sent. In case you were wondering, the chocolate frog card was Dumbledore. Oh and some news: the mission has a new blog! It´s not something for me to go check out but it´s for our families and returned missionares. You get to read my emails but you don´t always get to know what´s going on in the mission as a whole. So here it is if you want to take a look:servingintegucigalpa.blogspot.com. Enjoy!

New Missionaries with their trainers. 

        I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week. Ally, good luck with AIDA I hear it´s going great, Mom and Dad, have fun in Mexico, Miles keep being awesome in school, and Bryan and Annette in preparing for the big day in November. My birthday! Haha just kidding. I admire you all so much and wish you all the best.  Miracles happen every day! 

        All my love,
        Hermana Hogge
Oh and speaking of rules, just to remind all of you - please don´t write me while I´m online. You can write me later and I will read it next week. I love all of you but it´s better if you don´t write while I am on, okay? Okay. Love you all.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Thoughts Of Conference

Well, what do you know. The power went out. I hope this is able to reach all of you. So this week has been a good one. Hot, and right now rainy. But it sounds like the weather there hasn´t been that different. I hope you are all well, having adventures, and are happy. 

           Like I said earlier, Hermana Dubon was only with me for a time. My new companion is named Hermana Vera. She´s a convert to the church of two years, comes from a family with seven brothers, and is from an island of the coast of Ecuador. She had to travel three hours to get to church, if you can believe it. Basically, she´s amazing. She´s got a lot of energy, and a willingness to serve. I´m training her, but really she came prepared.  I like training, but I don´t think anyone is suprised that I´m training again - missionaries I don´t even know came up and asked my how long I´ve been training  (If you´ve been keeping track, about six months). Even though it requires a little more patience and effort, I like it a lot. 

           This week we´ve been working with people and finding more. There is a mother and daughter that Hermana Dubon and I found, the daughter we found when I felt I needed to go to the park. Well, they´re positive investigators, named Ana and Kelin. Kelin is the daughter and has a little five year old boy. 

          Hermana Vera and I also found a young man and were able to visit him and his family yesterday. They are only here temporarily in Nacaome, their work is to make these boquets (more or less) of paper flowers that they sell. It was interesting to enter a home and teach surrounded by piles of paper flowers, and the boquets hanging from the walls and ceiling. But they were a receptive group, even the children quieted down (that almost never happens). It was a good lesson, the young man Olvin is very ineterested in learning more.

          General Conference was, of course, amazing. THere were a few hiccups in the technology (namely, at the time that they were announcing the new apostles, thank you.) It was a very emotional thing to say goodbye to those great men but also very exciting to receive the new ones. Elder Bednar´s talk nearly made me cry. I loved all of the talks. I noticed the theme about the importance of having and following the Spirit. I loved the talk about asking what I need to improve and acting on the impressions of the Spirit. I also like the idea of metidizing the scriptures. This week I will be starting with the scripture that President Monson spoke of in Conference - Timothy 4 12. I´ll let you know what I learn this week. 

             I also loved the talk by Elder Holland on Mothers. I thought of you, Mom, very much and also about Annette who is preparing to be a mother. I thought of my grandmothers, aunts, and other examples of mothers that I have had throughout my life. And I thank each and every one of you, especially you Mom. I love you very much and know what Elder Holland said is true. The love of a mother is the closest thing to the love of our Father in Heaven. 

             Things are going well here. I´m healthy, the shoes and clothes are still holding up (though I´m looking to buy a new backpack) and I did receive the package, thank you all for the game, the chocolate frog and other goodies. Made my day! I love each and every one of you. Don´t worry, the time will fly. So just enjoy it! Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. I love you all. 

           Hermana Hogge

Monday, September 28, 2015

Opposition in all Baptisms

Good Afternoon folks!!

I hope this email finds you all, and leaves you better than it found you. Just know that I love each and every one of you and hope that you can feel that love and remember the blessings that God has given us. There must be opposition in all things. And it´s healthy, in fact I believe eternally important, to learn to find out how to endure well opposition. And then come experiences that bring great joy.

Knowing there must be opposition, just know that the rule of missionary work is that there must be opposition in all baptisms. But, the ones that are meant to work out will, and often end up as good stories later. For Example -

       We had to change the baptism to friday and not saturday for the Women´s Conference. So, we had to also change the day of the interveiw before the baptism. But the baptism worked out fine - it was really very beautiful. We had great support from the branch. Maria, who was baptised 2 months ago, was also there, along with many other members. 

       Rachel was baptised first and then Xochil. We struggled to find clothes that fit Xochil, she´s ten and is tiny! But we ended up being grateful for safety pins. But then the unthinkable happened in Sunday - we realized that we were all confused about Rachel´s name. In Spanish cultures, everyone has two names and two last names. We confused her two first names - it´s really Ivana Rachel and we had put Rachel Ivana. But, as baptisms must be correct in all things, we had to run to her house, grab  the baptismal clothes, come back and do hers all over again! What a Sunday it was! 

       But everything worked out alright in the end. 

       So they are now members of the church - and all because we were lost trying to find another investigator´s house and stoped to ask directions. They let us in, and let us come back. They came to church. They read the Book of Mormon. They prayed. It´s simple, though many would make it more complicated. It isn´t always easy, but Heavenly Father helps us every step of the way. 

        Other things of the week - Hermana Dubon is still finishing filling out her mission papers(like i said she is a mini missionary) so we had to go to Choluteca. We even passed through my first area and it was all I could not to run to find the people I love there! But that all turned out alright as well. We had to wait sometimes but we filled the time learning English - me teaching, Hermana Dubon learning. I´ve found that teaching English to speakers of other languages is something I enjoy very much. One hospital we went to had a collection of dolls from different cultures and we gaped at them for a while, they were so pretty. That meant speanding some time away from Nacaome, but it was necessary. We also went to Wedny´s there and - surprise - ran into President Bowler (not literally, he´s fine)

            Yesterday I nearly broke my umbrella when a dog started barking at us. I don´t know what I was thinking, but it was the only thing that popped into my head because the umbrella was the only thing I had! But don´t worry, the umbrella and I are fine. No more dog bites. Hermana Dubon and I just laughed for a while about my reaction. 
            Today we spent some time with the zone. This week are changes, but it´s 99 percent sure that hermana Dubon was only going to be here for this change - so It´s pretty sure I´m staying and she will go to her house to keep getting ready. Maybe I´ll train again but who knows. 

         I really enjoyed the Women´s conference and I am super excited for this weekend. I hope you are all too. I love you and want you to always remember it. 

          Hermana Hogge

Monday, September 21, 2015

Daily Decisions Determine Destiny

Thanks everyone for this weeks letters and the experiences you are all having.  I love you all very much. This week has continued to be hot and occasionally rainy, but nothing compared to the week before. 

           Well, we continue teaching and tracting. Rachel and Xochi (I learned this week that´s how it´s spelled, though I don´t understand much how .. . .) are ready. In fact they will be baptized this weekend! We´re really excited for them, they're great girls. They went to activity on Saturday and continue coming to church. We were also able to have more support from a family that lives close to them. They actually moved into the ward about two months ago, but have since been a great support to the branch. So, they´ve helped us a lot in getting to activities and church. But these girls are really great, and continue to learn a lot. I´d like to use Xochi and Rachel as examples to my other investigaters. Xochi is only 10 and she readsmore than most of them!

            One member who had been less active is now active again and has intoduced us to a freind of his, Junior. We´ve had a few lessons and he seems very interested in beginning a new life. Didn't come to church, but we have hope he will come soon. 

             Along with some exciting successes we've had a few surprising dissapointments of investigators who seemed interested at first but now don't seem that they want to change. But, I know that no time is waisted and it's very possible that in the future they will underestand. 

              But I´ve seen a difference in the people that take the time to read and understand and be obedient from those who don't progress. It's so important that we take the time to read, to pray, and to do Heavenly Father's will. Our daily decisions determine destiny, as President Monson has said. 

            This week I passed my year mark (yay) and because another sister missionary was finishing her mission we went as a zone after our weekly meeting in San Lorenzo to a nicer seafood restaurant at a place called The Doors of San Lorenzo. It's like a bay, and it's very pretty there. 

             Today as a district we hiked up a small hill in our area, that has a statue of the patron saint of Nacaome. It's not a large hill, but being so steep and, as always, very hot, I was red and sweaty when we reached the top. But, we had fun. 

            I was reading a talk by President Uchtrorf about adversity. Being here, and having the trails that Ihave had, has taught me a lot. Things I wouldn't have learned had I not been here. Like, how not to get upset when the whole world promises you they'll come to church and almost no one shows. THat's not to say we don't have faith that they will come when we invite them, but we are able to keep moving forward in helping them, or understanding who really wants to follow the Savior. 

             Not much else is new. I love you all very much and hope you all have an amazing week! 
Thanks so much for what you are all doing in supporting each other and me. Never forget how much Heavenly Father loves you, too. 

Hermana Hogge