Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Remembering our Savior

Dearest Friends and Family!

          It´s a special time of year, as we recognize, remember, commemorate and celebrate the last week of the Savior´s early ministry, His Atonement, and His Resurrection. 

           Lately in my studies I´ve been trying to learn something about the Atonement everyday. Knowledge about something so important and infinate doesn´t come all at once. But, I know that as we make an effort to learn about Him, we will be blessed. I´ve been able to see a bit of the traditions of other religions for Semana Santa (Holy Week) Yesterday many people were gathered with palm fronds, more or less, for Palm Sunday. It was really interesting to walk past on our way to church. But I was even happier in the chapel because all of the talks and classes were focused on Him and His atonement.

           Well, this week was interesting because we spent more time indoors than we had planned because my companion was still sick and a few days it was enough that she needed to just rest. There was that and a few other disappiontments, but overall it was a good week. I´ve learned a little more about caring for the sick and being a better companion. At least I hope so. You might have to ask Hna Araujo. 

         We were also blessed to watch the Women´s General Conference, which was amazing. I like the example in the first talk about the two cans, one empty, one full. When you squeeze the empty can, it crumples, but when you squeeze the full can it isn´t effected. Sister Esplin compared it to us and filling our lives with the Spirit so that we can withstand temptations and trials. Sometimes we might feel like the empty can when times are hard, I thought, but really if we are doing our part to fill our lives with good things, we will have the Lord on our side in every moment. I know that might sound very missionary-ish but I say that because I know it´s true with all my heart. It was fun because we watched it with the other hermanas and when we walked home we were singing Lead Kindly Light because it was dark and I lead with a flashlight. It was really funny. 

           I´m really excited for this weekend becuase of 2 main reason. One is General Conference, and the other is that Hermano  Eugenio, from the familia Doblado that I always talk about, will be baptized this week!! His wife probably won´t be this week but will be baptized in the coming weeks. They´re amazing. We watched the new video Gracias que El Vive (Because He Lives) with them yesterday. We also had another lesson with a new investigator last night in the house of a member and even though he doesn´t seem sure about joineing the church, we had a very spiritual family home evening message centered in Jesus Christ and the Atonement. 

          Sometimes I don´t really know what else to tell you about. We took a bus to an activity with our district and made food and watched Epic and played a little football. We have to take a bus to pretty much everything outside of Santa Lucia. There isn´t a supermarket here so we do most of our shopping in Tegus. Fortunately there´s a ciber (like an internet cafe) here and pulperias to buy the basics.  

       I often carry my pictures of the family with me to show to members when they ask about my family. They always tell me what a good looking family I have. Normally they think I have three sisters (that´s you Mom!) Glad that Mom and Dad had a good time on their trip and, becuase I forgot to congratulate you earlier, happy (late) anniversary! 

        Love you all so much!
        Hermana Hogge

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When you are in the service of your fellow beings...‏

Hermana Araujo y Yo
Dearest Family and Friends,

        Sorry that time was short the last two weeks. Today will be better. 
Here in Santa Lucia it´s been warm during the day and cold at night. It rained once this last week. Unfortunately my companion has had a cold because of this. And her companion might have accidentaly given her the medicine for nighttime instead of daytime...and she might have been groggy for a while...but, lesson learned. 

        Things have been interesting with Hna Araujo. I can't say we've always agreed on things, but I can say we do care about each other a lot. We've also gotten along well with the other hermanas in our branch, who live in the same place we do - our apartments are right next to eachother. It`s just us and the landlord and his wife. And their dogs. Toby you have to watch out for. He isn't mean, he is just a hyperactive pomeranian that tries to get into your house if you aren't careful.

         This last week we had some interesting adventures.  

        On Wednesday of this last week, we had a family home evening at a place called CAIPAC. It´s a center for the blind/visually impaired. We and the other hermanas in our branch, Hna Bautista and Hna Juarez, shared a message with a few of them from the story of David and Goliath, and applied it to them. It was a very unique experience, and I can say they are some of the most humble, loving people I´ve met. It was different sharing a lesson with them, but I have a testimony that everyone of us can feel the presence of our Father in Heaven, even though we can`t see Him. I know He is there, even when we make mistakes-His love is always there. 

       Thursday, my companion and I were walking along the street that has the lagoon (more of a pond - but it´s pretty) and we saw a woman who had stopped to rest and went to contact her. It turns out she (a woman of about 60) was trying to carry this heavy log all by herself! Of course we offered our help, even though she turned out to living farther away than we thought! Hna Araujo and I took turns carrying this log down the street, down, down, down a large hill until we reached her friend to help her carry it. It took a while, and she doesn't even live in our area, but it felt good.  Everone needs a helping hand. 

       What else? new foods: pupusa. A tortilla that is made with cheese and sausage inside of it.  empanadas; a food that is not traditional to Honduras but rather Paraguay. It`s scone-like with meet and peppers and onions inside, or at least that's how we made them, but you can put different things inside. And I also ate cow heart yesterday, which was new. Not as bad as it sounds, actually kind of good. 

        With our golden family we shared about general conference, which is getting me excited about it again. Eugenio and Mirta are getting excited for their baptism, asking all sorts of questions about what will happen. We love them a lot. We had a family home evening with them and played that game What would happen if...? which is also super funny in Spanish. One question was What would happen if (one of the boys) was a Martian. The answer from the next paper read: all the woman would suffer. Hno Eugenio almost couldn´t read it, dying laughing. He will be a future leader of the church, I know. 

        I´ve been trying to help my companion learn English, and in return she´s been helping me with Spanish and occationally she teaches me words in guarani, which is the native tongue of Paraguay. I can`t remember any right now...but maybe next week. 

        One thing I read from my studies this week was the story of Abinidi. One thing he asked the priests of Noah was about the commandments. He taught them, and us, that we need to have the commandments "written in our hearts" As we study them and live them and love them, we write them in our hearts. At the center is our Savior, Jesus Christ.  As he and His doctrine are written in our hearts, we can be sure that we are on the right path. I love the scriptures and the knowledge and peace they bring. I´ve loved reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish - surpised and thankful that i can! I know that it has been the gift of tongues and some sweat that has helped me learn. I`m still learning, but it`s coming along. 

        Thank you, always for your prayers and support. Keep doing the little things that matter.

Me, Hna Juarez, Hna Bautista, Hna Araujo The first day in Santa Lucia‏

granted i look weird in this picture, but I like it because it was the day of changes and I found out I was going where Hna Arango was before she was my companion in choluteca. the same hermana that trained hna Arango also trained Hna Araujo. Now Hna Arango is training (her new comp is on the left) it was an exciting day!

         Hermana Hogge

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

6 Month Mark

I can't believe tomorrow is my 6 month mark! But it's true and I am very grateful. Hermana Araujo and I are working hard - this is area is different than what I am used to. Its busier and less open but we have still been blessed to find people. 

The familia that i told you about is Hermano Eugenio and Hermana Mirta - they're children are grown but they and the gramdkids join us in lessons often. They are amazing. They,ve been investigsting the church for a while and i am fortunate to be here with them. They sre more than ready but wont be baptized until April. I love them very much - the other day we had a family home evening and taught about the temple and eternal familied. It was very worth it to learn about my ancestors before coming here. 
Here, we walk -hike- hills every day. Sometimes we take moto taxis which are these small red cars more or less that can only fit three people in the back and the driver up front. Its fun, too bad we csnt take them everywhere.

We have two grest ward missionaries thst are yooung women but sniw us ariund everywhere. 
I got the package thak you so much! Love you,

hermana hogge

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Hello Santa Lucia!

So we received a VERY quick email from Sister Hogge yesterday. And she was obviously in a hurry! I debated whether or not to fix her typos, but figured everyone deserves to see how endearing it is. :) 

Well i justo want allí of you to know that things are going well, even though i was nervous wednesday not knowing where i was going por who i woulf be with. Some poeple were hard to say goodbye toó, but chsnges are a part of the mission - so here i am un Santa Lucia with Hermana Araujo. She es súper fin, es from Paraguay and justo finished being trained. This área is beautiful with a small lagoon and stone pathways. It is next to Tegus and higher up so its comer (this translates to "eat" in spanish, but we think she means cooler?) and has lotes of hills . We have a family that es ver y positive , but km still gwtting to know everyine so i will havw more detalles in the fiture. I lo ve you allí and hope you have a great week.

:) It made us smile. 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pieces of the Lord's Love

Buenos tardes, todos! 

     I still don't know if I will stay here or change. I will know tomorrow, so unfortunately you all won't know until next week, but, wherever I stay or go will be for the best. It's been a good four months here in Choluteca, Honduras. I have felt pieces of the Lord's love for these people. One was for an inactive member named Marta. I think I've mentioned her before, but she was inactive for about 10 years and was very discouraged. She just didn't feel the desire to go to church on Sundays. But, thanks to her hardworking, loving family, prayers of faith, and an article from the Liahona, she told us that she woke up, she decided, and now is making an effort to go to church every sunday and stay all three hours!  It was a very happy moment, and I was grateful for the time I've had here. 

      Another thing I am grateful for and can testify of is obedience to the rules that our mission president gave us for our lessons, and thanks to the rule of always challenging our investigators to be baptized, we have a lot more poeple that are really working toward baptism, working toward a goal. We found an investigator named Ana last week, and it was in teh moment she needed us. I know we were lead there so she could recognize that the Lord was aware of her. She's very positive, and even though she wasn't able to go to church yesterday, her son did. 

      Some of the best moments of this last week was simply offering service with Hermana Arango. We cleaned and washed dishes, even helped  man pushing a lady in a wooden wheelchair over a dirt road, in the heat. It's pretty hot. And it's always a custom to greet women with a kiss on the cheek, right, but sometimes that is kind of gross when you're both sweaty. But, whatever, that's the life. 

        Today we celebrated the 6 month mark of my companion, and it's weird to think I'm close to mine. But, I've learned a lot, especially the importance of always doing the small things, especially remembering that each and every one of us is important and has a part to play. When we really have the trust to follow the insturctions of our leaders and the whisperings of the Spirit, we can work miracles. I have apersonal testimony that Jesus Christ is the head of this church and can guide us. 

            I love you all!

            hermana hogge

p.s. And, another big blessing was that Melissa was able to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. She even brought some names of her own family, they were grandpas, but it was wonderful for her and she had a great experience. i am so grateful for the blessings of the temple.