Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A week of changes!

Hola to All!

My last few days with Hermana Molina were her last days in the mission, so there were a lot of goodbyes, not only here but also in an area close by called Graneros. It would be awesome to be in that area sometime, the people there are really great.  We had one last lesson with a family named Castro and Hermana Molina bore a powerful testimony. I think that touched their hearts and hope they continue to progress.  I think they really can, because they´re children are young and they have awesome friends in the church already. 

But, the other hermanas will be teaching them. And even though I´m sad to hand them over, cause they´re great, I am relieved to say that we have two more hermanas in our barrio (ward)!  Yay! Hermana Woods, from Arizona, and Hermana...whose name I can´t remember because she doesn´t have her own name tag yet. She´s training, she´ll actually be serving in El Salvador.  She´s awesome, though. I really respect her for going out before she´s even in her own mission. She´s from here in Honduras. 

On Wednesday, we left at four thirty in the morning for cambios (transfers) in Tegucigalpa. Saying goodbye to my trainer was hard! But I´m also really happy for her! (Hope you´re able to read this and everything´s awesome with your family!) My new companion is named Hermana Arango. She´s from Panama, from the capital. She´s really great. She only just finished being trained herself. I can imagine that might be pretty tough, but she´s a very good teacher. She´s good at including people in the lessons. She´s more mellow than my previous companions, and speaks only a little English, which is a blessing in disguise for me :) 

Miraculously though we´ve still been able to communicate pretty well. I understand most of what people say, it´s talking that´s harder. I´m still trying to study 45 minutes a day and not zone out when people are talking ;) 

And you don´t have to speak the same language to express love! THat´s the beautiful thing! 
As far as our investigators go Melisa is awesome. She´s still going to chuch before her job on Sundays, without our help. But I want for her to be able to have closer friends at church. She wants to be baptized, but she doesn´t want her family to know. I´m not really sure how we´re going to work through that, but with the Lord´s help I know we´ll find a way. She loves the book of Mormon and I believe that when people recognize who sent us, they´ll stay true. 

In one lesson with an investigator named Francisco, well, he´s facing a similar problem because his family is catholic, too. But we felt like the Book of Mormon would help him decide. 
We haven´t been able to see the familia Romero or la familia Pool yet. 

Hopefully we see the familia Romero soon. I left my hymn book in their house. Plus, they´re awesome and we beleive they can progress. 

This week has been kind of stressful because I´ve been showing Hermana Arango around the area and been doing most of the planning becasue she doesn´t know the area or members or investigators. So, that´s been tough. But I´ve also felt that Heavenly Father has been here with me, maybe even stronger than before. 

There´s also a boy named Kelvin. He basically has no home (he sleeps outside a pulpuria, thankfully it´s warm here), though he does have a job. He´s 15 and has epilepsy and works to pay for his medicine. I think his mother lives in Tegus. It´s really sad, but he´s a kind person. And he was happy with the Book of Mormon we gave him. 

We also met a woman named Alba who sells fruit in our area. We felt the spirit when we talked to her, but she didn´t come to church. But hopefully we´ll continue to work with her. 
Rocio is doing well too! She´s starting her personal progress! 

And Indira and Isis we´re still working with because we love them, but they´re still learning how to keep commitments, which isn´t easy when, again, the family is of a different religion. 

It´s weird to me that Christmas is around the corner! I´m not exactly sure what to expect yet. It´ll be the first Christmas in the mission for all four of us Hermanas in this ward. But it will be fun. All I know about Honduran traditions so far is Tomales. Lots and lots of Tomales. and I´m still getting used to tomales. they´re kind of. . . hard to describe if you haven´t had them. They´re burrito shaped but its not a tortilla. Often they have a little chicken or vegitables inside a sort of thick, warm, soft  wrap. It´s a little weird the first time. But I´m learning to like them.  And I think they celebrate more on the 24th. We´re still working out exactly when and where to skype but don´t worry we will! It may not be on the 25th but it will happen! 
I love you all so so much! Thank you for praying for the Lord´s investigator´s here. They do need it! 
Hope you´re having a wonderful Christmas season! I love you!

Hermana Hogge

I also have new picture of Christ on my wall - thank you Grandma Williams! I loved the chocolate too! Everytime we eat some we say Gracias Abuelita!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Do you wanna build a... Sandman?

So, there have been so many blessings this week! There have also been dissappointments and challenges but I feel like we met people we were supposed to meet and were blessed for the work we did. 

       So, last Tuesday and Wednesday we went to Tegucigalpa again. This time it was for Hermana Molina´s visa. So that slowed down some work here, but we were blessed to sit next to a family that hasn´t really been investigating the church but is very interested in their family history, and another lady whose husband is an investigator, I think. It was really sad to see people who didn´t get visas to go to America. But Hermana Molina got hers, so yay!

          Other good news: My box finally came!! I have pictures, but they´re on my camera. And my camera decided to die. But I will send some pictures from Hermana Molina´s camera today, don´t worry :)  I really enjoyed the package very much, and all the love you sent with it! It really was a perfect ending to a long week.

Receiving her box from home!! 

          One of the hardest things this week happened with Melisa. She´s going through a really hard time right now with her work and it would be very good to keep her in your prayers. 

           We haven´t been able to go with the family Pool, even though Hermana Molina and I prayed and felt impressed to go with them this week. But things have been progressing with the familia Romero. Earlier in the week we invited them to go to the Christmas devotional and even though some of the kids wanted to go, the parents weren´t committed. But then, we visited them again and this time we were armed with a USB full of Mormon messages! And then they said yes :) But as it turned out, not everyone went. But some did, and that was good, and it was very beautiful. it´s been nice to start getting into the Spirit of Christmas. Even though its still, like, 85 or more outside. 

           The highlight of my week was Rocio´s baptism! That day was so stressful. But it turned out to be beautiful and she was so so ready. I am so grateful for her cousin that decided to serve a mission and was an example for her. I was amazed at how clean and pure she felt when she shared her testimony. it was amazing. 

            We haven´t been perfect, but i know that the Spirit is still with us in our work. We were guided to visit a recent convert before the baptism for her birthday, and it is a good thing we did becuase she was really lonely. She´s so sweet though. There are many moments like that, were we visit someone, or contact them in the street, and later it turns out that they really needed us. i know that Heavenly Father has a plan for  us, and for others around us, more than we can fully understand right now. I still feel like i know so little, but I also feel like I know that more than I ever have before. I think that is because of a visit we just had with an old convert of Hermana Molina´s. We are actually in a different area right now, visiting people. We visited one woman whose husband died five months ago, before they were able to be sealed. She´s pregnant and still very discouraged because they loved each other so much. But she´s had some experiences that let her know that her husband didn´t suffer in his accident and that he is still there for her and the baby. It was so sad but so incredible. And I know there is so much work going on right now, on both sides of the veil. That´s my testimony that i leave with you this week. 

           Oh, and we went to the beach today with my zone! it was so fun. I played futbol with the elders and it was really fun, even though I was terrible. it´s been a while. 

           I´m a little nervous about getting a new companion this week but I am praying that we will both be dedicated to the work, and that I will be able to show her around the area and remember people´s names and such. 

           So, that´s been my week!

           I love you all very much, and thank you again for just being yourselves! 
           Con amor, Hermana Hogge

P.s. No I have not eaten the cow stomach soup yet, Annette. I don´t remember what it´s called, but I won´t eat it unless I have to. 
        And dad, to describe my apartment better, we actually have two floors, which is rare. There{s a little kitchen and our desk and chairs and downstairs, and then two rooms upstairs, one for sleeping and one for our luggage and closet. The walls are red. There is no carpet but there is electricity and air conditioning, so that's a blessing. I´ll send pictures soon. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Healthy and happy....tired, but happy. :)

We missed Jessica this Thanksgiving! 

She just needed a little turkey....

But she said she had a good Thursday. :) Here's this weeks news!

Hello to All of my Beautful Family! It sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving!! That makes me very happy :) I had a good Thursday. And I had baliatas - which is like a tortilla with beans and sauce inside. That might not sound very exciting, but it´s actually very good and apparantly you haven´t been to Honduras until you´ve had baliatas. So I´m officially here, I guess. I´ll have to learn how to make it.

        This week was very tiring. There were some disappointments, but also little miracles that let me, and others, know that we are being guided, protected, and inspired. One blessing was this investigator that is in our new inherited area. Her name is Monse and she is twelve, I think. She´s kind of intense, but she´s got a missionary spirit and introduced us to everyone. Actually we have a new family because she asked a SeƱor if we could just sing a hymn with him when he said he was busy. He´s very nice, but also busy. We met his little family a few days ago and we have another cita (appoinment or date) with them tonight. Hope all goes well with la familia Castro. We are also teaching a few other families- or trying to, they are always a bit harder, but more rewarding at the same time. One is family of a family in our ward, so they are very important to us. Hermana Molina and I prayed very hard for them this morning and we practiced teaching about the restauration. My love and knowledge for this gospel grew. It grows everyday. And in the center is the Savior, and that´s why it´s so awesome. 

       Things are progressing with Melisa, too. Going to chruch is difficult for her because of work, but she loves the gospel so much.  We gave her a journal so she could write about her experiences now and share them with her little girl later. 

       And Rocio is our miracle of the week. Let´s just say Hermana Molina and I were humbled. Ok, not all of it was our fault, but Rocio is preparing to be baptized and so she came out to preach with us. We ended up borrowing her for more than we planned, becuase people like to talk and it was an important lesson. And her mother wasn´t happy. She didn´t let Rocio go to church on Sunday. We feared the worst, that Rocio wouldn´t be baptized.  But we felt prompted to go and apologize. So we did. But she just said gracias  and walked away so we had to insist a little more. But eventually her heart was softened just enough (with some Heavenly Help I´m sure). I´m really excited for Saturday! And I learned a good lesson in responsability too. 

          It´s amazing how much you can be guided when you are trying your best to do what is right. We went to the home of a recent convert and I know that my companion was prompted to think about her when we were in her area. We didn´t know that she was struggling or that her abuelo just passed away. But she came to chruch on Sunday! Actually it was a stake conference, which was great. But it was kind of stressful because Monse and her brother came but their parents don´t go to church and her little brother was sick, so we had a lot on our plate. But Presidente Bowler was there and gave a short talk. That lifted my spirits a lot, because it was about missionary work :)

          I´m really falling in love with the people here. It´s really important to reach out, because you don´t really know what people have gone through or what they are going through, so I´ve learned to be a little less shy becuase of that. Not that talking to people in a language I still struggle with is my favorite thing, but I´m learning to do it anyway because it might be a blessing for them.

           I´m healthy and happy, but at the end of the day I´m tired. But happy  :).  

           I love and miss you all! It´s really interesting having Hermana Molina getting ready to go. We have a lot to do! But even though I love you all so much, I´m actually grateful I have time here to keep teaching and learning and working. 

          All My Love, 
          Hermana Hogge.