Monday, July 15, 2013

Let Us All Press ON (the hymn)

Dear Mom and Dad,
What a week! There are so many things I want to tell you, but alas, I will only share a few. Eu mandei uma carta para voces in today's mail so keep an eye out for. I've never sent mail from another country to the United States, I think you just add U.S.A. to the address? They didn't teach us about that at the MTC. I put one in the mail for the Gunns to, so hopefully they will get it.
This week we planned to have 6 baptisms. Its a huge goal, I know. But think about it, 6 children of God talking the first step on the strait and narrow path. We planned like Ive never planned before, fasted prayed, coordinated everything. But in the end, it is not us that chooses to get baptized. Agency is truly one of the greatest gifts that God gives his children. And sometimes the agency of others is really frustrating. It can be really frustrating to understand so much and want it for other people, but not have them want it for themselves. We had 1 investigator at church yesterday, and its not someone we had ever met. There is one family in particular that my companion and the elders before her worked with a lot to prepare for baptism, but, they are moving this week. Hopefully they seek the gospel in their new home. The lesson I learned this week is was agency and the timing of the Lord. Heavenly Father has a plan and we do all we can to follow it. Sometimes we want things to happen, and they don't, because the Lord does things in his own time, not the time of the missionaries.
This week I also had some great experiences with "first seek to obtain my word and then I will give unto you in the hour that you need." I had some great personal study time this week and was able to use many of the scriptures I had read during personal study, in lessons. Sometimes Sister Castro has to tell me its time for me to use the scriptures I read, but I was able to use them. Yesterday we talked to this amazing less active family about the importance of going to church (for the of you who have you who have questions about the importance of going to church, I'm telling you its essential. You can ask my parents why its so important, they can explain...or you can write me and I'll tell you). My companion lead into the conversation for me..."Sister Hoggan read about the Sacrament this morning in the scriptures, what did you learn?" And so I shared. It was great. the Spirit was really strong.
Its funny, I can say lots of things in Portuguese, because its really hard for me to understand people I've never met before. Last night during our lesson, I had this problem. The family we were teaching asked if I could knew how to speak the language because I hadn't said anything. My companion explained that sometimes I'm a bid timid when I first meet people, but I know how to speak the language pretty well. I'm timid because I don't know what they are saying. I open up in later lessons because I start to understand their accents. Oh well. I'm lucky to have have a native speaking companion.
I love you both! Congratulations to all the members of the San Jose stake that are receiving mission calls! I can't wait to hear where you are going! Have a blast at Young Women's camp too, and with the biking.
Love always,
Sister Hoggan

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