Monday, July 27, 2015

Honduran Chef Hermana Hogge

Hola! How are my beautiful family and all friends and loved ones?
It sounds  like there have been several adventures lately, and I hope that we can hold on to all the good memories. 

A lot of times I sit down at the computer and wonder - what on earth even happened this last week?!  

      Well, this last week, we have sitll been working with Maria and her cousin Claudia. Claudia isn´t quite ready for baptism yet, but I know that the Young Women´s program is good for her, and she´s learning a lot.

         It´s been good to work with the members this week. It´s a much better way to find and build up the ward. Through we´re still overcoming hurtles, we have a few activities planned and hope to go out with members more often this week. The young men and women of this branch I admire a lot for their willingness to help us. I wish I had been more like them. We visited a recent convert yesterday, a 16 year old young women named Michelle - we were talking about how sometimes it´s not very easy to endure to the end, but as we remembered the reason why we are members (and as I remembered why I am a missioary) you could see a little more hope return to her. She gave us four references - she´s already a missionary herself! The members often confide in us - it´s humbling even when returned missionaries ask for counsel. That kind of counsel always has to come by the spirit. 

           We´ve been talkign to so many people this week because we seriosly need more people to teach - it´s not an easy thing, but we have found some people. One is an elderly man named Bertilio. He´s been a little sick, but the good thing is he lives right next the church. He basically told us his whole live´s story - sometimes when they get going my ability to speack spanish seems to diminish a little. But, the language is much easier than it used to be. 

           We also had divisions this week - where we have an interchange with the sister training leaders - one comes to our area and one of us goes to their area. So, I got to go to la obrera with Hna Garcia - I haven´t been there in about 8 months. (which reminds me how much time has flied). We found a garrobo (big lizard) outside the apartment in the morning. Those thing are fast! They way they run is so funny. 

           One woman in the ward I really admire is the president of Relief Society. Hermana Toñita. She´s a very Christlike person - very forgiving and full of service. She is a firm believer that charity never faileth. She´s a convert of four years, and her brother is now investigating the church. (he doesn´t live in our area, but we´re excited for them both). On Saturday we helped her make food for a Releif Society activity, making cheese fingers. I heard they were in high demand. I also attemted to make tortillas this week - they turned out alright. I hope to improve my honduran cooking skills before I get back. 

What a beautiful day we had at the temple!! I wish we could go there more often, but I was grateful for the oportunity. The feeling of peace is the same no matter which temple you attend, no less in Tegucigalpa. I love it! 

It was a beautiful night that we had with hermanita Maria (obvioulsy she´s the one in white) and, again, sorry I couldn´t get pictures to you earlier. But, here we are - Tada! Me, Claudia (Maria´s cousin, that we´re also teaching) Maria, and Hermana Aguiñada. They both are progressing a lot, and we´re very happy for them.  ---- Yo, Claudia, Maria, y Hermana Aguiñada, en el bautismo de Maria - estuvo muy bonito. Ellas estan progresando mucho. Les amamos, tenga una feliz semana! ----- 

           I love you all very much and hope and pray that you are all safe and have a wonderful week. Remember that the love of our Savior is always there for you, whenever you need it. It just blows my mind sometimes how much He loves us. But I am absolutely certain he does. He really does. I love you all, and hope you have an awesome day!

       Hermana Hogge

Monday, July 20, 2015

Remembering Covenants

This week was full of blessings. I´m still getting used to Nacaome. Still getting a little lost, but I´m learning.  The city is nice and usually busy. There are things to get used to in every area - the people, the apartment. in Santa Lucia it was how to turn on the shower and in Nacaome it´s how to open the door. (I say that you need magic, and my magic skills are slowly developing. It´s an achievement if you can open the door in less than a minute.) The apartment is all pink on the outside and bright green inside, so it´s perfect for an hermana. I´ve had to also learn about the pot that spills everything - but Hermana Aguiñada is very patient with me. And in the aparmtent there{s a great map of our area - and we have put some zombie stickers that come in cookie packages for where we live and on the houses of our favorite members :) My companion and I have things in common, we like to cook and eat healthy, and we both like to work. We stopped to help a woman pull the weeds out in front of her house- she protested saying we would get our hands dirty. I thought "my parents didn´t raise me to turn away from pulling weeds, or turn away from serving". So, we helped her pull out weeds. 

      This week had two very special surprise blessings: A Temple Trip on Tuesday and the baptism of Maria on Saturday. I say the baptism was a surprise because we were tingking for the 25th but during a lesson we suddenly felt that she was ready and there was no reason to wait. The temple was absolutely beautiful. and even though we had to leave in the early morning and travel on an old school bus, it was all the more fun because we were all together. I was able to better remember the covenants I made for the first time in the temple and receive peace and inspiration I needed - a peace that lasts when we do what we can to be obedient. 

       The baptism was actually a double baptism because the elders in the branch also had a young man that they baptised as well. It´s good to see the support that these young men and young women give to each other. Maria is shy but through her actions I can see her love for the hope that this gospel offers. I know that the hermanas were lead to her and we´re here to help her continue on the path.  It was satisfying to see the Personal Progress that Maria and her cousin Claudia had in their hands on the way home from church. This gospel is so miraculous. I´ve heard a little progress from people in my first area, and that makes me really happy. What we just need to keep doing is keeping the covenants that we have made, and love God with all we are and love our neighboor as ourself.  Our Heavenly Father, the Creator of the universe and Father of our spirits has only asked this of us. Doing the little things is so important.  
       Remember how loved you all are! 

       sorry I don´t have a lot of time, the power went out when I was almost done with the first draft, and now we have to go. Pictures to come! Thank you for all your patience! I love you all so so much and know that so many blessings have and will come. If we don´t see evidence of blessings at first, or evidence of the testimony that we are pretty sure we have - remember that believing is a very brave thing. Jesus Christ said that those who have not seen and beleive are blessed. That is true faith. Always doubt doubts before you doubt faith. Never doubt that Heavenly Father wants what is best for you. Be safe. Be strong. I´m rambling now, but I love you all and HAVE A GREAT WEEK!

Hermana Hogge

Monday, July 13, 2015

Onto Nacaome!

Buenas Tardes familia y amigos. I hope everyone is well. 

        Well, it was time for me to leave Santa Lucia. I loved it, and a big part of me didn´t want to leave, but the Lord knows what´s best for every missionary and the people we will be meeting. I hope that many of our investigators in Santa Lucia progress and I will let you know if I hear news of them. That was one thing that I enjoyed after leaving my first area,hearing news of baptisms, temple trips, etc. I am so grateful for the time I have had in each area, and I know I will love Nacaome just as much. 

          Nacaome is the name of my new area. It reminds me a LOT of Choluteca. I´m here, in the South, getting used to the heat again. The first few days were nice because I brought the rain with me from Santa Lucia. But now, well we´re getting pretty swetty. But I like it here. My companion is Hermana Aguiñada. She´s also from El Salvador, from San Salvador.  I´m finishing her training, she only has two months in the mission. She´s very sweet, mellow, and loving. We work well together, which is important. She reminds me a bit, even more because I, like her, had two trainers and had to show my second trainer Hermana Arango around the whole area, and there was still a lot I didn´t know. So we´re doing the same here.  Nacaome is pretty big, we share the branch with a companionship of elders. 

              The elders had a baptism on Saturday, and we went to support them. The problem was, as the hour of the baptism grew closer, the power went out in most of the city. We went ahead with the baptism, trusting in the lights of candles, flashlights, and cellphones. We were a little nervous, but we went ahead and as we started singing the first hymn, the lights came on!  So, Heavenly Father blessed us there. It was a really great baptism because it was one young man, about 16 or 17, who was being baptized by his friend of about the same age. It was a great opportunity for him to use the priesthood he had been given. 

              We are also preparing for a baptism which we hope will happen either this week or the next.  She´s a 14 year old girl named Maria. I´ll be happy to get to know her better this week, I was only able to meet her once.  There´s also a couple that are members and are reactivating in the church, and they´re great, we had lunch with them on Sunday. I´ll hopefully be able to send pictures next time, right now the computers are a bit slow (sorry). 

               Well, besides the changes, which are always a bit challenging but I´m more adapted to them now, not much is new. Here, like I said is similar to my first area, but busier. There´s a street in the center which is like a market - selling jewelry, fruit, vegetables, tortillas, clothes - you name it. There´s a bus station too so it´s a little loud, but we´ve still managed to do some contacting.  There´s lots of dogs everywhere, as usual. But they´re used to the people and don´t do anything. It´s often the dogs that have owners, not the strays, that are meaner, I´ve learned. Especially if they don´t know you. I actually got bit by a dog in Santa Lucia and don´t want to repeat the experience, because it kind of hurt. So, I´m being careful, but here there doesn´t seem to be as many problems. 

                 We got together with the zone today to play soccer and watch How to Train you Dragon. It was good to relax a bit. In my zone is my former companion Hermana Araujo, which is fun.  And there are a bunch of poeple I still don´t know and will be getting to know over the next weeks. 

               I just want to say that I love you all and hope that we all can recognize how blessed we are to have the gospel. I hope we can all remember that no one is perfect and everyone needs a friend, that the church is like a hospital and a school, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way - we must follow Him if we are to become like Him. If we make the effort to keep our covenants we will be able to achieve that. I like to read the sacrament prayers (D and C 20:77) to remind me of those covenants, as well as Mosiah 18. As we keep our covenants, we are putting on the armor of God. We might make mistakes, but the adversary will not have power over us. Of that I truly testify.  I love you and hope you have an amazing week!

              Hermana Hogge

Monday, July 6, 2015

I'll go where He wants me to go

Dear family and friends,

This week was a good one. We worked with members, had a nice family home evening with a good family that invited two of their nephews - we hope to keep on working with them in the future, they´re 14 and 17. The 17-year-old is a twin, and we have yet to meet the other twin, but we´ll keep working with them. They´re still new. Working with members is much nicer, and I know every member is important in missionary work. It´s important to consider how each one of us fits in, whether we take time to explain a princple to someone who doens´t know the church, invite someone to an activity, or  help someone stay in the church by sharing our testimony - it´s all important.

       On Wednesday we visited the hermana that I told you about last week - that was baptized when she was little but basically never was an active member, that we shared the restauration with last week. Well, this week we were able to share a little with her husband. He belongs to another church, but has a good spirit about him. We hope to give them a Book of Mormon and share more - we´ll see how things go. 
       On Thursday we went with an hermana to a part of our area that´s farther away to visit an hermana who is a little less active, but really I admire her a lot for the distance that she walks to come to church, even more because she comes with three small children. 

       On Friday to Saturday we had divisions with the sister training leaders, the hermanas Garcias. Because they´re both named Garcia. It was great and we learned a lot, we´re getting better at opening the mouth, trying to teach everyone we can. We also had a lesson with the familia Doblado on Friday during the divisions, and we shared the restauration with one of the daughters of Hermano Eugenio and Hermana Mirta, Mary. She paid attention and the spirit was there, she´s reading the pamphlets that we gave her. She hasn´t come to church yet but I feel she will be baptized one day, especially because her little 6 year old girl loves the church and primary very much. Other members of the family are faithfully attending church as well and although they aren´t ready for baptism right now, we hope they soon will be. Hermano Eugenio and Hermana Mirta were called as ward missionaries on Sunday, and they both shared their testimonies. I love this family so much and I´m so happy for them!

        I was, of course, saddened by the news of President Packer. I was with Hermana Garcia when we received the news. We paused for a moment and were comforted by knowing that he has passed to the other side because he has completed his mission here on earth. 

        I know that the Plan of Salvation is real. I don´t remember the preexistence, and I can´t see into the spirit world, but I can feel the Spirit testifying it´s true. I also want to give a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Annette and Bryan and the whole family, and I´m so excited - becuase I guessed right :) hehe. Anyway, I love you all and I´m happy for you all. 

 Oh, and Happy Fourth of July. Though that doesn´t mean a lot here. And Happy birthday grandma Hogge! I love you! 

           Well, not a lot more to tell about this week. We have some activities planned in the ward and we´ve been finding new people, so I hope I stay in Santa Lucia, but whatever the Lord´s will is fine with me. I´ll go where he wants me to go.    

            I´m also glad that my family shares a lot of love for one another, and always says their family prayers ;) I´m grateful that I´m physically doing well, and that we´ve been blessed to find and know the people we´ve come to know here. 

         I love you all so much and I pray for you! Have an awesome week!

         Hermana Hogge