Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Queens, New York

May 27, 2013

Dear Mom and Dad,
     It definitely feels like it has been more than a week since I last wrote you. I should print off my blog pages too when I get home because it is so hard to keep up my journal...not because I forget, but because there just never seems to be enough time in the day. This week was absolutely crazy. I probably shouldn't tell you all the crazy details...
     We taught this mom and her two daughters this week. The elders found her while we were out knocking doors. We went back the next day and taught her the first lesson. It was AMAZING. The spirit was so strong during the lesson and she seemed so ready to learn. When we talk about Joseph Smith and the first vision, she said it was miraculous and had wondered why she had never she had never heard of this before! We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and committed her to start reading it. It was hard to find a time where we could come back and teach her because she is a single mom who works and goes to school full time, but we found a time she was free and we could teach her and her two daughters again. It was truly wonderful. I felt so blessed to have been in that room at that time. I wish the story continued just as wonderfully... but we tried to call her later in the week to see if she had any questions and she didn't answer our call. We've been trying to get in contact with her all week but she isn't responding. We went by the day our next lesson was scheduled for, but she wasn't there. We aren't giving up hope quite yet (hopefully she's just busy). Hopefully  she will let us continue to teach her.
     On a completely different noted, yesterday as I was walking back to my apartment with my companion, I said hello to someone I was passing on the street (I say hello to everyone on the street). He asked how I was doing, but I didn't respond because I we had already passed each other so it was really important. He stopped and asked why I didn't respond. Any idea where this is going? You'll probably guess wrong so...yesterday I had my first conversation with a fairly drunk ex-marine. He was also engaged and trying to hit on my companion. Being the wonderful companion she is, she said a prayer in her heart that the elders would show up so that we could leave. And they showed up right then. Tender mercies of the Lord my friends. He was fairly crude in his language and didn't believe in God because of the war that he had seen, but I bore my testimony to him. Just as I finished, the elders came and we snuck off. It's frustrating to see people who are so lost and confused. I know that Heavenly Father loves all his children and that every soul is great in the sight of God. I know I have been called to serve in a marvelous work of saving the souls of men. And, no matter what you have done, or what you have witnessed in your life, the Atonement of Christ can heal it all.
     Sunday was my first real day at church because last week was stake conference. Can I just say, I was super lost. It was all Spanish to me. Luckily, the members of our ward are so nice and I speak enough Spanish to tell them all I'm learning Spanish and make a bit of small talk. Our ward and the English branch had "missionary Sunday" this week, which is basically where the ward puts the missionaries in charge of all the talks. We helped the English elder with their special musical "Brightly Beams our Father's Mercy", I sang with the elders and my companion played the piano. We then got to go to church again in our own ward where some of the Spanish missionaries spoke. I'd never hear of missionary Sunday before....The ward really was wonderful though.
      I love you all, especially Mom and Dad. Thanks for the update on my visa status. I don't hear about it's doing, so it's nice to know.
    I really do love you all. Thanks to all who are cheering for me. Thanks for the pictures too. Have a great week and remember to share the gospel to those you love because they need just as much as you do.

           From New York,
            Sister Hoggan

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