Monday, August 26, 2013

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine unto understanding.

Dear Mom and Dad...and the rest of the Hoggan clan!

We had a great surprise this week...multi zone training with the mission president! We missed the memo that it was happening and found out this week. It was in Rio Preto which is 3 hours away. We spent the night in Birigui (which is an hour away) and then rode with all the elders in our zone the last 2 hours the next and arrived in time for an awesome training. President talk about the importance of revelation through prayer, through the Book of Mormon, and through the Holy Ghost. He introduced each principle, our zone leaders gave a demonstration, and then we practiced teaching about each of these 3 things. It was great, really helpful.
I´ve been working on learning to trust in the Lord. It is one thing to trust in the Lord in your day-to-day life, but it is another when you are teaching someone else about the gospel and extending commitments...all in Portuguese. The Portuguese is coming along pretty well, you would be pretty surprised at how much I can say, I know I sure am. Its different though, to say things in Portuguese than it is to teach and share your testimony. I'm working on merging the 2 and trusting that God will help me with all of it, and, although I may not be the best teacher in the world, the Holy Ghost is, and he is the one that truly does the testifying.
Thanks Monica and Alena for the awesome photos! I'm glad you all had a great time together at the beach house, I especially loved the picture of Gemma and Audrey.  
 
Quick question: after my mission, will I be able to access this email account so that I can grab photos and notes that are important to me?

Also, if you try to send me anything in the mail, could you possibly include a memory card or two? I'm having difficulties finding them here because we don't have a lot time and don't live near a place that sells them.  I found one, but its causing me a bit of grief. 2G and larger if possible. If not, its okay.
Thank you for your prayers, they really do make a difference. I love hearing about your adventures at home. Great job sharing the gospel. Keep up the good work. Congrats to McKenzie too, we are the same age.
Love you bunches!
Sister Hoggan
Sister missionaries at the zone training

Doce (sweet roll)

Sister Hoggan with maracuja (passion fruit)


Monday, August 19, 2013

A Quick Note

August 19, 2013
Dear Mom and Dad,
I'm not really sure how long this letter will be because we have a questionnaire to fill out about Preach my Gospel, to help better the work here. Just out of curiosity, did you and dad send emails last week? I didn't see any, but I got awesome emails from my siblings! My companion´s mother had trouble with her email so she didn't hear from her mom either.
Your adventures at the beach house sound wonderful. I look forward to those pictures! Congrats on all the cookie making too. I'm glad you all liked the photos and that Audrey was excited about them. I'm pretty sure Monica´s pregnant...any details about when Audrey´s little sister is going to arrive?
The work is great here, but really hard. I have a cold and have lost my voice somewhat which is super frustrating. my companion is taking care of me.
We had 2 baptisms this week, a mother and her 12 year old son. They were so excited it was awesome. After they were both baptized, the mom bore her testimony to everyone who was present. I felt really blessed to be there.
I love, have a great week! Sorry I don't have time to write more.
Yours truly,
Sister Hoggan

Happy Father´s Day!

August 12, 2013 
I know I already wished you a happy Father´s Day, Dad, but it just so happens that in Brasil, Father´s Day is in a different month, so I get to celebrate you being the best father ever, twice!

Dear Mom and Dad,
      I sent you some presents, they should have arrived this week....one of the them is named Ben, another Monica, Nic, Katie, Alena, Audrey,....and another one, I'm not really sure what her name is yet. I hope you are having a great family reunion.
      Maybe I should be slightly jealous that you are all there together and I am not, but I am here and I love you all. I think I can safely say congratulations to Ben and Monica? At first I thought the surprise in the photo was that the tortoise peed, just kidding. When did you find out that Mo is pregnant..?When does my niece arrive? Details, if there are any please.
       I got Nic and Katie´s letters this week, thank you a Brazilian. It sounds like you are having a life full of adventures together.
       This week passed by so fast, it was nuts. Last week, a missionary serving from the branch here returned from his mission. He wrote saying that he wanted to baptize his little sister when he got home. We started teaching her this week. We taught with him to help his little sister receive the gospel. She is 8 years old and is eager to learn. Her baptism was supposed to be Saturday, but the Primary (children's organization) was hosting a Father´s Day ward activity\presentation on Friday and since the whole branch would be at the chapel already, we decided it would be best to hold her baptism on Friday. So, after the ward activity, we all gathered together and watched our adorable little investigator enter the waters of baptism. What a truly precious moment it is when we are able to partake of the blessings of the gospel with our families.
        There was massive amounts of food at the Father´s Day activity. They ran out of plates for people to use, so we waited for people to finish eating so we could wash their plates and eat (they were glass plates, not paper, don't worry). My companion decided to be creative and used the lid to one of the pots as a plate. It was the lid to one of those enormous pots that they have at the church that is used to cook food for like 40 people...yeah, she used it as a plate. It was hilarious, but hey, it worked.
       We had divisions this week with our sister training leaders. The drive from their area (in the same city in the mission office, Ribeirao Preto) to our area is about 5 hours and there are 2 buses a day that make the trip, one at 10:30 am and the other at 11 at night. We´re not allowed to travel at night...so they arrive at 4 in afternoon, and leave early the next morning. It´s really great to work with them though.

Monday, August 5, 2013

And then there was one...

Dear Mom and Dad,
     I hope you are both having a great week. All is well here in Brasil!
     Well, when I say all is well, I mean with me and my companion, but we had some interesting experiences this week. We didn't have district meeting because of transfers, which means we didn't receive new planners. Anybody who has served a mission...please imagine missionary work without a planner. It is a nightmare. We were writing everything on a piece of paper, but then you need another sheet for references, goals,....it was crazy, especially when we counted our numbers at the end of the week. But, the week was an AMAZING week of work.
     We also weren't able to get more copies of the Book of Mormon because we didn't have our meeting. We started the week with, I think 3, and have been trying to use them oh so wisely. We always do, but you are especially careful when you don't have a way to get more. Luckily Heavenly Father knew this was going to happen. Normally we teach about the Restoration and share the Book of Mormon at the end, but because Heavenly Father knew this was going to happen, he had us share the Book of Mormon with lots of people, teach about it, but not teach the Restoration. And then, when it happened that we didn't have more copies of the book, we went around teaching all the people who had one about the Restoration. We were able to teach lots of lessons, and people already had copies of the Book of Mormon.
      Congratulations to my home stake on setting incredible goals to share the gospel. I am really proud of you. The missionaries that are serving in your area will honestly remember this experience for ever. They will write about it in their journals and share it with their children. I'm not joking in the slightest. Ill be praying for you all too.
      Our branch had a missionary work activity on Saturday. We met up at the church, had a quick training...(we opened with a song and prayer, the ward missionary asked if everybody remembered how we had done the activity last time...tudo bem.) We made a quick poster and off we went. We put pictures on the poster of precious parts of the gospel--the priesthood, temple marriage, temples baptism, families, etc. We then went to the center of town, set up a table with Sunday school manuals (teachings of various prophets), copies of "The Living Christ", and "The Family Proclamation to the World." We talked to everyone who walked past; handing out the book as gifts, and sharing our testimonies of those things that are important to us. We talked to about 200 people. It was great. I love our little branch.
      As a random side note...in English class this week I taught the names of different fruit, and colors. When we got the fruits: lemon and lime, we had a bit of a confusion. We figured it out more or less, and I laughed about it later at the grocery store with my companion. In Brasil, the small green fruit that we call limes in the US are called limao, and the large yellow fruit we call lemon are called lima. Basically, lemons are limes and limes are lemons. When you make a cup of herbal tea, in the states we use lemons, here, they use limes, because limes are lemons. Ummmm hmmm, think about that one long and hard.
      Mom, I loved what you said about the conference talk ´When You Save a Girl, you Save Generations´. I loved your thoughts about how that talk applies to you. Its funny that you would mention to me to think about this because I have known this for awhile and actually used your experience in explaining to one of my investigators the impact his decisions will have on his posterity. I explained to him that my service is a result, in part, of my mother's conversion. Its true though, there really is power in saving the soul of a girl. 
     I love you all and hope you have a great week. Keep me updated on the status of the stake progress. To my friends who may be reading this...to anybody getting married or receiving a mission call lately: you've got to remember to tell me these things!
Love you,
Sister Hoggan

From Dad:
Sister Hoggan mentioned 2 documents and a talk in her letter that you may find of interest. You can read them at these links: