May 20, 2013
Sister Hoggan left the Provo Missionary Training Center last Monday (5/13/2013), and is now in the New York New York South Mission. Think Long Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, etc. In short, she has been shipped to a different planet to wait for her visa to Brazil! Her new mailing address is below. It should be good for at least 6 weeks, maybe longer if her visa is still delayed.
-------- Original Message --------
Yo hablo espanol
Mon, 20 May 2013 13:31:13 -0400
Sister Rebekah Hoggan
85-69 60th Dr.
Elmhurst, NY 11373
Dear Mom and Dad,
I feel super limited on time, I have an hour to write, but the library computer only goes for half an hour so I have to log off and get back in line to use the computer. So I'm not in Brazil, I'm in New York. I have no idea when my visa will come, they'll let me know when it does though. I think the new policy is that we finish whatever transfer we are on before we leave, so I'll be here for at least 6 weeks. I'm about to hit my 2 month mark for being on a mission. That is so crazy to me. The address listed about is the mission home address, all mail goes there and I pick it up whenever I am in the area.
So my first day here started at the top of the Brooklyner, this super tall building that looks over much of New York. We ate dinner at the top, there's a room you can rent out/reserve with a huge deck on top of the building. We went up, looked out over the city, wrote about what we hoped to accomplish on our missions and learned more about this mission and what it's goals are.
We spent the night at president's house. The next day we got assigned companions. As we were assigned companions, I noticed that there were a significant number of Hermanas and not very many of us that speak Spanish. Yep, that's right, I'm serving in a Spanish ward! Half the people in this town (I'm in Richmond Hill by the way) don't speak English. I make do with my Portugues, usually they understand what I am trying to say. My trainer, Sister Mortensen is from Bountiful, Utah. We get along pretty well.
I don't have "an area" like most missionaries do. Rather, I work in something call an elliptical. There are 2 districts of missionaries in the Richmond Hill area. So, 12 of us that all have church in the same building. We teach lessons, like other missionaries, but during the day, if we don't have an appointment, we do activities as an elliptical to bring the church out of obscurity here and find people to teach. We do things like singing on buses, service projects, playing games with people on the street, and many other things, all to help create opportunities to talk to others. President started using ellipticals in our mission a few months ago. It's different than what you typically expect missionaries to do, but we still teach and we still share the gospel. I definitely had culture shock when I got here. In part because we use public transportation ALL the time. I ride the bus and the metro several times a day. Before I got here I think I'd ridden a bus 3 times in my life. The metro is huge and looms over the street. New York (at least this part) is pretty dirty, at least compared to San Jose and Rexburg. Everything is dense here too. Dense, dirty, noisy, and not in English. Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but this is not the atmosphere I am used to.
My first Sunday was stake conference so I haven't met many members yet, except for the ones we've gone to visit.
Audrey is so tall in the photographs you sent me. I thought she was going to stop growing until I got back. Just kidding. Oh, I opened the red scarf the first day that I got here. Thank you so much! I loved it and was so happy that you found. I was not expecting to find one wrapped up in my suitcase. I was seriously so excited. I think my companion was confused a bit, but that's ok. Thanks again, I love it!
Quick quirk: they call apartments "pads" here, I'd never heard that before.
I love you both so much! New York is different, but I am learning to love it. I love the gospel, I love my Savior, and I am still excited to serve.
Com muito amor,