Monday, February 23, 2015

5 months!

It was a good, hot week here in Choluteca.
       Some special moments from this last week included a family home evening with a family and their family that aren´t members. We brought the lesson and there was a very good Spirit there. We`ve taught this family before, and though there wasn`t a ton of progress, we'll keep trying with them! We taught a lesson where we had everyone write down a few things that others had done for them and one thing that they would do for someone else. We also had enchiladas, which means a flat fried tortilla with chicken and lettus and chismol (basically salsa - tomatoes, onions, peppers). Bien rico. 

 We also visited the abuelo-grandpa of this family - you might remember I mentioned an abuela in the ward that passed away about a month ago, it was his wife - he's been getting along but the family seems worried about him, so we went to cheer him up with hymns and scriptures. 
  Yesterday in church we had two of our investigators come who are living with some memebers in our ward to go to school. Here the high school is called colegio and is two years, I think, for teenages 16 - 18, and they specialize in something like technology, computation, health, mechanics, etc. Anyway, one is about 13 and the other 16, but they`re good kids and its a good family. They are converts to the church and the son of this family will receive his mission call on Sunday! He`s come out with us a few times, and with the other hermanas. 

           I was also really proud of Melissa who is doing fine and participating in church! It made me happy, especially because I know she has read and understood the scriptures. The other day she told us that she was grateful because she didn't really have a secure direction in her life before, but she was grateful that we kept visiting her and kept visiting her. We also visited her abuela yesterday, whose been sick. 

Can't believe I have five months! I hit my five month mark on February 17th. It was. . . a normal  day. But it was good. 

But . . . what else? 

Oh yes, there was a Relief Society activity on Saturday, which was actually really fun. First there was a message about visiting teaching from the releif society stake president, which I understood almost all of, until she asked me a question and then. . . I suddenly didn't understand Spanish. But really, as a whole, the language is coming along a lot better. I can carry on a basic conversation or teach a lesson. But, i still put myself to study and read the Book of Mormon in Spanish, which helps. The rest of the activity included some singing and dancing and a "Miss Nueva Esperanza" in the ward, and the winner was none other than Hermana Pinita, who is a widow in the wad who is so cute and has such a strong testimony. I love her. We're going to go visit a less active member with her this week. 

           Today Hermana Arango and I practiced memorizing The Living Christ as we washed our clothes and then cooked chicken and rice with Hermana Woods and Hermana Mamani (the other Hermanas in our ward) in the house of our ward mission leader, Hermano Felipe. 

         One of our investigators that we were hoping to baptize this week looks like she doesn't want to learn with us anymore, so I got kind of discouraged about that, but she`s young and there`s still hope :) Every person has there time and Heavenly Father has a plan for everyone. How blessed we are to know what we know and to do what we do! 

          This might be the last full week I have in my area. I won't know for sure until next Tuesday, but I have a feeling that I`ve been in this area for a while. But whatever happens it will be the Lord's will for me. 

          I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way, and the only way, under Heaven that can bring us back to the presence of our Heavenly Father and let us dwell there with Him. 2 Nephi 31:21

          I know that Heavenly Father is never far away, that we are His children, and that He knows us personally and perfectly. Last night when we were visiting the abuela of Melissa we were talkign about the blessings and the evidence that we have all around us of this. Even though she isn't of our faith, she has a testimony of those things too, and it was a beautiful moment to share with her. I love all of you very much! Go have an awesome week, especially by focusing on Eternal blessings and goals. 

          Hermana Hogge

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pancakes Makes Progress!!...or something like that

The Lord said that he would hasten His work in His time. I know that is absolutely true, and can also say that it seems He also hastens His time in His work, because it feels like last monday was yesterday. 
Hope you all had a beautiful Dia de Amor y Amistad. 

Last Tuesday we had a great zone conference. We have some new Golden Rules and were reminded to always always use our time - the Lord's time - more wisely. We also got a surprsie and got to watch Meet the Mormons! That was fun. I hope you've all seen it, because it's really good.  That day we had lots of meetings, but the rest of the week was work, work, work. But it was very good.

On Wednesday we had divisions and I got to work in a trio in the area of the other hermanas in our ward (one sister training leader, one of the hermanas from that area, and me). It was cool to meet the investigators and less active members there to know them better. 

On Saturday we took a bus to our farthest area, Palomar, and talked to a ton of people, trying to find a less active member who lives really far away! We didn't end up finding her (the directions here in this land are...not easy to follow. You keep going straight, straight, straight until you turn the corner at the house with three trees outside and then turn right and there's a dog outside of a house with a red gate, etc.) But, we did get to talk to a lot of poeple adn some are more positive than others. 

We're working with Erika, a 12 year old in our neighboorhood who is really sweet and we are trying to work with more members of her family. We ended up teaching her brother, too, and he's pretty receptive. 
We weren't able to visit Delmy this week but kept in touch through the phone. She didn't come to church yesterday and we still aren't sure why but we'll keep working with her. Sometimes people just need us or some members to stop by and take them with us, so they can know they won't be alone. We did that with some investigators this week - actually we made them breakfast, because there are a lot of people in that house and it's kind of crazy! But it was fun to make them pancakes while they made coffee and got ready for church (in all fairness, we haven't taught them the Word of Wisdom yet).  We were offered coffee the other day, it was kind of weird.  They didn't know we don't drink it, but they were respectiful when we explained :) 
making pancakes Sunday morning to bring people to church!! It works :)

We're always finding new people - two of our new investigators turned out to be good friends. We had no idea, but we found both of them within a few days of eachother and now we're going to teach them together - Gabriella and Yessica. Gabriella is a cousin of a member, so that's good too! Unfortunately, she has work some sundays. That's always hard, especially when they're positive and want to come but can't.
We're also working with a young man, Ariel, that is trying to quit smoking. We taught him wiht our ward mission leader who used to have similar problems. He was also able to give him a priesthood blessing. Up to now, things are going well, and he hopefully can be baptized in the beginnig of march. 

Melissa is still going through some rough times. Prayers in her behalf in helping her find a better job! 
Today we went to the beach, my third time, but it's always nice to sit in the hammocks and play phase ten with other missionaries :) 

I really have loved and am very grateful for my time her, for my companion and for the people I've come to know.  and I love all of you!! Thanks always for your love and support and prayers and letters. It means a lot! 

Hermana Hogge

Some goats outside the stake center and my companion's priceless reaction when they moved
(not staged) :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

4 months 23 days and Counting!

Well, this week was a long one, but I can barely believe it,s monday again. This last week we have been praying for and finding new people and I know it works, when we pray with faith, meaning we trust in His divine help and in the blessings He is already willing to give us if we but ask. 

This last week I learned that there ARE people in our rougher áreas. We went out to abrir la boca (open the mouth) . or talk to people while we walked to our appointments with people. On Wednesday we stopped to talk to some women outside a pulpería. As we were talking to them, one of the women became a lot more friendly when she learned we were Mormon missionaries. I guess she has a nephew that served a misión. But as we talked, her daughter walked up. Her name is Delmy and we've been teaching her almost every day. I believe she is one of those people who has been prepared. Except for the few rare questions, she listens intently and is very interested in learning mroe and is very giving, even though she herself doesn't have much. Yesterday she gave us nail polish. She's 23, but very childlike in a lot of ways.

We drove to a plac3e called Palomar on Saturday with our misión leader. He's one of the most dependable people I've coime to know and is definately the most active member in doing misión work. He was a convert to the church and was also the bishop. He's like a grandpa to us and on Saturday drove us to Palomar in a rickity old taxi that he borrowed from his brother. It was fun. He took us to meet a less active family that we didn't even know was there. It's hard to call them less active when they can't come to church because they're sick and live far away. But they are awesome. They also have pet squirrels with which I will get pictures before I leave, I've already decided.

Today, washing my clothes in a washing machine and doing zumba seemed weirder than washing clothes by hand  We're in the house of a member righ now, writing and eating costaca (i think that's what she said) which is basically a tortilla tosted with cinimon and sugar. Yummy.

As for our people, we lost Yuris. Can't find her, but hopefully we can this week. And Melissa has been hard to have time with, but we did stop by her work on her birthday.

This week's zone meeting was good but a bit hard learning that we aren't seeing as much success as a misión right now. But, with obedience and faith, I know we can change that.

I am very grateful to be here, in the part of the world, as a part of God's work with the people that I've met and learned from.

Love you all so much!!!! Pray with faith everyday and Heavenly Father will guide you every day!
Hermana Hogge

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Finding Yuris

My Dear Family and Friends!

Sometimes I sit down to the computer and think, what on earth even happened this last week? 

     Oh, yes. Tuesday we had a meeting, more or less, with  the other sisters in our region about clothes and being representatives of Jesus Christ as we go out teaching. It was also fun to get together with the other sisters. 

This week we´ve been doing an exercise program with the DVD T25 and so I´ve been sore for a few days, with the other sisters in our ward, but I feel that it helps keep me energized throughout the day. 

          I can´t remember which day it was (actually i think it was last saturday) that our house did´t have water and we had to go the apartment of the other hermanas to shower. Fortunately they live close. Unfortunately they also live with cuckarachas. One of them  found me after I took a shower and I yelled! The other hermanas were wondering what happened to Hermana Hogge. Hermana Arango just laughs at my phobia, but at least I know I´ve got a comp that can kill them. It was big, though! Bigger than my thumb. 

         Ok, so there´s my bug story.
         Other stories this week include:

         Finding Yuris! 
           Yuris we met weeks back at her work, selling fried chicken on the side of the main road. She invited us to sit down when we just were trying to talk to her, so we did and we´ve had a few lessons since. But, she´s not working there now and her phone hasn´t been working. So we lost her for about two weeks. And we´ve been praying to find her. And on thursday, after one of our visits fell through and we were feeling a little down, there she was riding her bycicle! We had a lesson with her in a nearby park and caught up with her. She agreed to come to church again. Unfortunately, she did´nt come. So, we´re back to finding. But, we have faith that we can find her again!

          We actually didn´t have any investigators in church this week, but we did see progress in some less actives! One is a woman who hasn´t been active for 10 years! She said she just didn´t feel the desire to go to church, which made us sad, but we always felt the Spirit and worked with her for weeks, and this week she came to sacrament meeting!

           Today we had an activity with our region - five zones! We played dodgeball and I lost a lot but it was fun! 

           I know that prayer works. I know that we can receive help and be able to do things beyond our own strength. I also know that if I rely solely on my own strength, It´s hard to accomplish much. But when I recognize that I it was through the powers of heaven that we were able to do something, I know Who to thank for it. 

Me, Hermana Arango, Melissa, her daughter Genesis, her neighboor that baptized her, and a random child that decided to be in the picture! Fine by me. It was a very happy day. 

  Congrats to Lauren and Lincoln and also to the Day-Miller family! I wish all the best for you!
  I love you all so much! Go and have an awesome week!!!


Hermana Hogge