Monday, April 29, 2013

April 26, 2013


Dear Mom and Dad,
     Can you believe I've been here for a month already!? It's definitely interesting how the days are long, but when clumped together they fly by. This week started off without a teacher. Our teacher's wife is pregnant and her due date was Sunday. Monday comes around and he doesn't show up (he warned us this might happen, of course), so we all assume he's at the hospital. We had a substitute teacher on Tuesday, who sounded like he had served in Portugal because he says Manaush, instead of Manaus, but had not, he served to Brasil. Yesterday our teacher returned, bringing with him pictures of one of the world's cutest babies.
       Devotional Tuesday was given by Elder Evans, of the quorum of the 70. I love when general authorities speak because their wives always speak first--I love their wives, they are truly examples of righteous daughters of God and always have wonderful things to say. Elder and Sister Evans both started by talking about the principle of "non-distraction". Essentially, as Elders and Sisters, what we do, what we say, and how we dress should not be distracting to others. We are here to serve the Lord and should focus on just that. I thought they were going to talk about this principle for their rest of their time but instead, Elder Evans talked about repentance! 
      Last week during my planning time, I focused on what I could study this week that would help both me in my life as well as those I will teach in the future come closer to Christ. What could I study that would help us both? There are lots of answers, but the one I chose was repentance. After two days studying repentance in the scriptures, Elder Evans gave his talk. It's wonderful when the topic of your personal study and the topic the speaker chose go hand in hand. I used the scriptures he gave in his talk to further my study.
      This week, my district set 4 goals (well, reset the same ones as last week because they were effective). They are: to make 18 contacts (talk to 18 people in Portugues about the gospel/share our testimonies), learn 60 vocabulary words, read in the Portugues Book of Mormon for 60 minutes, and to speak only Portugues for half of every day (starting yesterday) until we leave the MTC. The hardest one for me right now is contacting people because I tend to get caught up in the day, going from class to class, and simply forget. But, last night, my companion and I found a whole district going back to their residence halls, stopped them and shared our testimonies will all of them at once; there was about 12 people. I started with (in Portugues, of course) "I know you won't understand what I say because it's in Portugues, but it's okay"...they thought that was my whole testimony and started clapping and then turned to go. We were fast though and grabbed them before they walked off and were able to bear our testimonies for real.
       We haven't had anyone in our district receive a visa yet, so we'll be getting re-assignments next week. I'm excited to serve anywhere the Lord needs me. We talked about this during devotional too: it's not about where you serve, but that you are serving. We are each giving the Lord 18 months to 2 years of service, and that can be wherever he needs me. I look forward to finding our where I'm going when I leave the MTC in a week and a half.
I love you lots,
Sister Hoggan

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