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

Monday, September 14, 2015

Singing... and the Rain

This last week was a good one, I´ll say.  Here in Nacaome it´s been - first, hot, and then, rainy. Really rainy. But now it has cleared up. 

        So, our young women Rachel and Sodgi are reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church and everything - the last time we talked about baptism they said they still didn´t feel prepared, but we´ll see how things go this week. They´re doing well though. We´ve also been able to - sometimes quite miraculously - find new poeple to teach as well. President Bowler, amond other chapters of preach my gospel, had us read Lucas 15 in the New Testament, which I highly recommend. But it helped remind me that we are here to find and help and bring back those that have been lost - investigators, less actives, and members that need to be fortified in their testimonies. 

         The first one we found was an inactive member. We don´t understand all the reasons for why people leave the church, but I do know that Heavenly Father has a plan for each one of His children becuase he put us in this young man´s path, who wasn´t coming to church but in a short time, came back, and has desires to serve a mission. 

         Another was Hermano Castillo. One day we were walking along, an appointment fell through, so we contacted a man outside his house. He turns out to be a former investigator - he studied a lot with other hermanas last year, but for his legs could not attend church. Now his legs have healed up, though he still depends on crutches. We´ve began teaching him again, and he said he would come to church. He came. On his crutches and everything (and he´s not that young either) but he came. I was in awe.  Another interesting thing was that - the first time we met him, my companion accidentily left her triple there. For a few days we had no idea where it was! But, when we found it, Hermano Castillo not only gave it back, but had put a plastic protector on it so it wouldn´t get damaged. He´s a very caring person. 

           Yesterday was also a very interesting day - and another testimony to me that Heavenly Father always knows best. We were in a lesson with a member. She´s great, but tends to talk a lot, and my mind had to work in double - being there for her, but also recognizing that there were other people waiting for us. But suddenly I had a very strong feeling bout that thought - there was someone waiting for us Right In That Moment. So I asked, Where? and I felt that the answer was The park. So as soon as we could wrap up the lesson, I tapped my companion and said, We´re going to the park right now. (except, I said in Spanish) With promptings we´re not always 100 percent sure - that´s why they require faith. But I felt sure that we had to try.

         We got to the park and contacted the first people we talked to - which lead to a conversation that left me feeling humbled. We began talking about the church and she said she had talked to me and my former companion before, but we never passed by. At first I didn´t recognize her. But then I realized she was right. For whatever reason Hermana Aguiñada and I couldn´t meet her, but Heavenly Father was telling me that I needed to pay more attention, that she was ready to listen to us. So, we´ll be passing by on Sunday. 

          Many missionary experiences are wonderful. But sometimes they´re also embarrassing. Like, this week we were riding the bus, and there were no seats so we had to stand. But if one happens to not be holding on well enough, then if the bus slows down suddenly, then one might just go flying into the cobrador (the man that takes the money). Not that I speak from experience. 

         On Wednesday it started to get a little rainy, the power in and out (fortunately in right now - and I hope I didn´t just jinx us) but yesterday was a storm. It started coming down really hard and we got caught in it, more than once. But it was fun. And then today we went and played water games with our zone. So I haven´t been dry since Friday, basically. 

Not exactly a glamour shot of me, but that´s ok. The point is, we got wet in the storm. And that´s my apartment. It´s cute. So that´s all.
          And, well, this week on Thursday I´ll be completing a year, which is really weird. But thanks to all those who have congratulated and well, congrats to all of you to, for being supportive during all this time.  I love you all. I may not have changed that much, but in many ways I feel like I have changed. I feel closer to God, and I better understand His doctrine. I definately don´t regret coming out here, even though there have been a few times when I had doubts. So, thanks all of you, for all you do. 

I love you all so much,
         Hermana Hogge

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Good Week

This was taken a few weeks ago and I like it a lot. I've loved all my companions here,
Hermana Ferman, Me (I hope you haven't forgotten what I look like), Hermana Platero,
and Hermana Aguinada. It's special because I've trained them. My daughters :)
Only missing Hermana Dubon, but I'll send another picture with her in it.
 Buenas Tardes! Hello everyone, I´m happy to be able to receive emails from all of you and hear updates on the family. It´s always very important for me to hear.

        Well, this week has been an interesting one, as my companion has been getting to know the area and I´ve been doing my best to guide us around. Hermana Dubon and I get along well. I imagine it´s not easy being a mini missionary, but she does it well, and we´ve been able to accomplish it a lot. 

        This last week, well, I got a little sick and had to take a few days to just rest. I went to Tegus just to have a check up and make sure that nothing was wrong (and nothing is) but it was interesting on our way there we had the opportunity to talk to a gentlemen sitting in front of us on the bus. After we sat down he turned and asked ¨you´re Mormons aren´t you?¨ We said yes and were able to talk to him a little about the church. He had visited with the Elders before, but was still interested enough to talk to us. I had a pamplet of the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith with me and  gave it to him - he fortunately has a quality that I don´t, which is the ability to read on the bus without getting sick. He read the entire pamphlet, occasionally turning around to make a comment or ask a question, like ¨Wow, so Joseph Smith was only fourteen years old!¨ or ¨This was in the year 1820!¨, and ¨Who is Moroni?¨ We did our best to answer his questions and encourage him to read the Book of Mormon that the missionaries had given him. He´s one of those peole whose progress we can´t follow very much but I wish that we could. 

          We have been able to see progress in other investigators. Rachel and Sodgi, the two girls coming to church with us, also invited their sister Katerine to come to church and she came with us as well. They have the desire to be baptized, so we´re trying to help prepare them before the end of this month. The Lopez family is doing well, still interested, but haven´t been able to come to church, and our meetings with them aren´t as frequent as I would like. Still, they now have the scriptures in their hands and want to read them. So, keep them in your prayers. 

           This week we also ran into an hermano that we had contacted before - something that I´m sure was divine design, because he really needs the light of the gospel in his life. He´s not sure if God even exists or loves him. I am grateful that I know He loves us, so much. He loves us even if we doubt he does. Sometimes we feel He might not be there because we haven´t seen an answer, or the answer we want. But answers always come, I know they do. 

             In the limited time we´ve had to work we´ve been able to see blessings - and in the time I was able to rest as well. I read a lot of the book Our Heritage, which is a brief history of the church and a great reminder of how small my problems really are. We truly do have a great heritage - in the church and within our own family. I love sharing the stories about our ancestors, and I´m grateful to the missionaries that knocked on their doors. 

 Here is my other daughter, Hermana Dubon in a cave in Amapala.

             Well, not much else is new. Ever hot and occasionally stormy, Nacaome is as busy as every but some people in Nacaome are listening to a still, small voice. I hope that we can all take time to listen to that voice. 

             ok I love you all and wish an AWESOME WEEK! Thank you again for always being so great and supportive!

Hermana Hogge

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Power Outage in Nacaome

Feliz Martes! Well, these past few days have definately been an adventure. I apologize that you did not receive an email yesterday. There we were sitting in the cyber and I noticed that the sky outside was getting darker. And darker. My wonderful Nacaome has one very distinct characteristic - when it rains, even just a little, the power goes out. So I was writing when BLACK went the computer. The lights came back on in a few  minutes, I rushed to write another shorter email when BLACK went the computer again. So, i tried not to cry into the keyboard as we packed our things - there wasn´t anything we could do. I knew everything would be ok, but i was more worried for all of you and my new companion, who barely has a few days as a mini missionary.  We recieved permision this morning to write - and when we went to write AGAIN the power went out. But, now it´s back. :) 

          My new companion is Hermana Dubon, and is very sweet. In appearance she reminds me of Ally a bit. She is from Tegucigalpa and will be with me for the rest of the transfer. After being in a trio in San Lorenzo for five days, I was ready to get back to Nacaome, even though it´s possibly even hotter here. But I missed my area and was worried about it. Hermana Dubon and I have already been finding and teaching some good people. Even though there are always the same rejections every day, there are also many blessings that make up for it. 

          We had a nice family home evening with a new family that moved in to the ward. I felt and continue to feel that they have a purpose here in Nacaome. This little branch is growning. We have about 70 or so people every Sunday, and we hope that it keeps growing strong. We have had a few young women investigators that have come to church with us for the past two sundays, Rachel and Sodgi (17 and 10) I hope they continue to progress a lot. This Sunday we also had a special visit from the counselor of President Bowler, President Espinal, that gave us a workshop-meeting in the third hour. It was a blessing and a help to us. Even in branches where there aren´t very many members, Heavenly Father´s work of salvation keeps moving forward. 

           Yesterday we had a fun experience with the zone - we went to an island called Amapala, which is about 10 minutes from the shore in boat. There are elders assigned there, and their house doubles as the chapel. We had fun playing futbol on the beach and relaxing a little. (pictures to come - sorry!) 

           Yesterday evening we left at 6 to work, as usual, and our first appointment was with Hermano Lopez. We were going to visit Sunday, but he wasn´t able to at last minute he had an emergency. But we learned from the experience that Heavenly Father always watches over us. I think I´ve mentioned the Familia Lopez before. When I met them they had two kids. Now they have three. The Hermana Lopez had her baby boy. We visited Hermano Lopez and one of his sons, the oldest, Kevin, 11 years old. We taught on their patio, responding to some questions Hermano Lopez had. We started by singing the hymn about eternal families - and there was one point in the lesson that it started raining really hard! We were under an aluminum roof, and had to stop talking, but the Hermano Lopez called his son over and showed him the hymn we began with - Kevin read it and smiled and nodded. The two of them at the end of the lesson agreed to be baptized. We don´t have an exact date yet but I know that we can set one once we are teaching the whole family. One can feel the Spirit very much when we teach them - we can really feel like we are in the right place at the right time. That was a really good lesson for us, especially after we weren´t able to write our families. 

             So that´s how this week has been. Again, I´m super sorry for yesterday. I hope you are all well and happy. I love you all so very much. I hope you remember that you never need to worry about me. Heavenly Father knows of all of our needs and wants what is best for us - he wants more than anything for us to learn and progress.  I hope we never tire of doing what is good and right  - Doctrine and Covenants 64:33-34. I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Hogge

Monday, August 24, 2015

Choose Joy

Hello Friends and Family,

I don´t have as much time as normal today. Things have been a little different and slightly hectic. This last week were changes (transfers) and Hermana Aguiñada was called to another area. Sadly, I said goodbye to her on Wednesday. President Bowler shook my hand before the meeting started, smiled, and asked Are you ready to trian (again?) I said yes. What I didn´t know is that I would be receiving a mini misionera, Hermana Ferman. But, only for five days. Or, that is to say, she left today. She is from Choluteca and has a calling for the Dominican Republic and leaves next month, but hasn't been set apart as a misionary yet. She´s really great, is a convert to the church, and I know she will do excelent. Right now I´m in San Lorenzo (about 20 minutes from Nacaome) in a trio while I wait for another mini misionara who will be here on wednesday. So, that´s been my week. It´s been interesting. But good. 

Also, good news. My former companion Hermana Platero told me on Wednesday in changes that - you might remember how I told you that her father wasn´t a member? Well, he is now! Her father was baptised this months :) I was so happy for her!

       The best part of this week was the conference we had on Saturday. For a few weeks we´ve waited in anticipation to receive the counsel from one of the Apostles of the Lord. Elder Nelson took time to shake the hands of each and every misionary from Honduras Tegucigalpa and Comayaguela. I felt very fortunate to be there. I know that the Lord cares about misionary work very much. Among various things that Elder Nelson shared - about eternal marriage, teaching your companion your language, and working with the ward mision leader - what stood out to me was his testimony of the atonement and the need that we have to bring the love of Jesus Christ to the people. And to really know and teach God´s Plan of Happiness so that they can be with their families forever. 

          I love this gospel and I am very grateful to be apart of this work. I´m learning a lot - sometimes it´s dificult. But in this conference we also had the oportunity to listen to President and Hermana Duncan  from the area 70 of Central America. Hermana Duncan taught about choosing joy. The mision isn´t easy, but she reminded us that life isn´t easy either, and we can choose to be obedient, clean, grateful - we can choose joy. Though there are many things beyond our control, we can work on and discover what is within our control. 

           I love you all very much and hope you have a wonderful week!

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Words of Christ

Buenas Tardes! How is everyone? I hope this email finds you all well :) 

I´m doing well. In these past weeks I´ve gotten to know Nacaome and it´s people much better.  It´s been hot as usually but we´ve had a few days with clouds and spurts of rain. It´s not what people need, but it´s better than nothing. 

     This has been a week of testing and a few trials, but I know that tests become testimonies and trials can be triumphs. We´ve seen obstacles but also many blessings. 

      We´ve been teaching a father of one of the members, who is an elderly man with a love of the Bible. He´s a good person, but thinks that we´re completely lost. In one small visit that we had with him, he invited us to look up a scripture - I did, out of curiosity and respect for the man. It was a scripture from the new testiment, a warning about following the traditions and words of men. Ouch, hermano, I thought. But it left me feeling a little confused - this is a  very spiritual man. I wondered why, if he has often felt the Spirit  in his life - could feel our message is not true. I felt troubled, but decided to turn to the scriptures. I felt prompted to read in Doctrine and Covenants, and I opened to section 18. I read the chapter and felt inspired by these words:

 33 And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it.
 34 These words are not of men nor of man, but of me; wherefore, you shall testify they are of me and not of man;
 35 For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you, and by my power you can read them one toanother; and save it were by my power you could not have them;
 36 Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words
I not only read these words but felt that the Spirit confirmed that they are true. I know that all those who seek can find answers, and that we can read in the scriptures the words of Christ - In the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the words of living prophets are truly the words of Christ. I know because I´ve read and prayed and asked. 

       It´s such a beautiful experience to help others do the same. Kelva is progressing a lot. She told us that, even though she had so much studying to do, reading a little from the Book of Mormon before she studied helped her to have a clear mind. She´s praying, but not out of obligation to us.  There´s also an investigator we are teaching that is the mother of a member. Her name is Ilaria, and due to their ditance from church it´s hard to attend. We always have invited her, but she hadn´t showed up. But, her daughter´s example and I´m sure spiritual help from Heavenly Father helped her to take that step. When Hermana Aguiñada and I drew near to the church, my companion said to me - I think that´s Hermana Ilaria. I doubted at first - but to our pleasant surprise, she had come! Not only that but another sister in the ward imediately reached out to her. I was very grateful for that. 

         I got to give a talk in church yesterday - I gave it on charity, and based a lot of my talk from a talk from General Conference - Truly Good and Without Guile. It´s a very good talk and helped me to understand that position and status aren´t as important in the sight of God as being truly good and without guile. The best acts of service are often the ones that only God sees. I know that it´s true. I know we all have the potential to develop the atribute of charity, it we seek it. 

        This week are transfers, but we don´t know if my companion will go (she has almost 3 months here ) or if we´ll both stay. As I´ve only got a month and a half here It´s pretty sure I´m staying, but you never know. I´m also looking forward to this saturday because we´ll be having a special conference. All the missionaries from the Honduras Tegucigalpa mission and the Comayaguela mission will be together (over 400 of us). I´m amazed they found a place big enough! But I´m excited and will be able to tell you more next week. 

        I love you all! Remember to keep doing the little things that are important, spending time with each other, and learning from the words of Christ. I love this gospel. I know that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored. It is on the earth and Christ is at it´s head. I hope you all have an awesome week!!

Hermana Hogge

Monday, August 10, 2015

One Week in Nacaome, Too Many Blessings to Count!

Here in Nacaome it´s been another hot week full of wonderful blessings. I think my faith and diligence is tiried sometimes - like life is asking me how much I really want to go out and work. But Heavenly Father has given us more strength than I thought possible and has helped us achieve more than we could on our own. This gospel really changes hearts, which is why I am always motivated not to give up. It´s true that we are here to help people be baptized, but it´s also true that many times we are here to sew and others are here to harvest. I just received news, for example, that an investigator from my first area was baptized recently. She´s actually the little sister of Rocio, the first person I saw baptized 8 months ago. When we tried to teach her - she was frank with us that, right then she just wasn´t ready and didn´t really seem interested. But, just look at where she is now. 

       We keep working with the people here and finding new people to teach. Gabriela wasn´t home when we passed by, but we´ll keep trying. We had a lesson with Daniel and his mother - who surprised us by intently listening to what we had to say. As I´ve discovered, there really are miracles in this gospel. They often aren´t miracles that the eye can see, but they really do exist. Little by little, I believe her heart will soften. Kelva is awesome. She reminds me a lot of Rocio in a way because she´s very inteligent and absorbs everything, does the reading assignments we give her. Right now she can´t come to church because of her studies but she´ll be in vacations in a few weeks so - cross your fingers and say your prayers :) 

        And  - best story of the week. We found a family! It´s hard to express just how happy that makes me. The Lopez family we found just by opening our mouths one evening with Hermana Lopez - she was sitting outside the gate with her little girl, we started talking. Then her husband and son showed up. And they´re about to have a 3rd  child really soon. They invited us to come back the next day, but when we showed up they weren´t home. We wrote a note and as we left we felt we need to talk to a woman on the street, so we did. As she was telling us how catholic she was, the Lopez family showed up!   We knew that Heavenly Father wanted us to share a mesage with them that day.  They´re both really mellow, kind people. I admire Hna Lopez for even being willing to listen to us - she´s about ready to pop. (makes me think of my own sister´s belly growying :) The sister of Hno Lopez is actually a member. He´s had his doubts about the chruch in the past, but thanks to his sister´s good example he opened up to us. And we´re very grateful to be able to work with them. 

         So, other things. Last night it rained. I heard about your storm in Kaysville, which was a lot worse than our shower here. Though it rained pretty hard for about 20 minutes, it didn´t take down any trees.  
        One day we were street contacting and we began talking to an elderly man  - well we were trying to explain what we believe and I started talking about the apostacy, how the church was lost  - he cut in and started telling me he wasn´t lost.  My companion suddenly developed a cough. We couldn´t stop laughing for about 10 minutes.

         We have a little pet gecko in our apartment. It runs and hides whenever we walk in. We should give it a name. I´m rambling because I don´t know what else to say. My companion and I were feeling a little under the weather yesterday (in more than one sense of the phrase) but today we´re doing a lot better today.  So - that´s been my week. I hope you all have a good one! I love you all so much!!! 

This is me learning how to make tortillas. I hope to perfect it before I get back so we can eat honduran food :)

This is home right now. Thought you all would enjoy!