Monday, November 25, 2013

House Hunting

Dear Mom and Dad,
     Dad, you are wonderful, thank you for the rock climbing analogy. And the prayers, you are all so wonderful.
     I spent a day and a half of this week looking for a new house, President would like to put a second companionship here. We haven't found anything promising yet. The only options so far are about an hour, walking, from the chapel.
    I don't have a lot of time, I spent most of what I had writing to President. I took my companion to the hospital on Saturday, she has a form of asthma that spikes when the climate changes, and it changes a lot here. We arrived Saturday morning about 10 am and we left today, Monday at about the same time. She is feeling a lot better, but we are going to be really careful with her. Yeah, that about sums up my week...we went house hunting and we spend um bom tempo no Hospital. Foi muito dificil. We are passing p-day in our own house, but we are going to spend most of the rest of the week with the sisters in the area next to us. They too have a sister who has health challenges at the moment. The two sick sisters will stay together and I will teach with her companion. We'll see how it goes.
     Its hard, but I love you.
Sister Hoggan

Monday, November 18, 2013

Working hard, even with challenges

Dear Mom and Dad,

    So another week goes by. Times flies really fast here. I'm going to take your advice, Dad, and read in Doctrine and Covenants 123:17. Thanks. Thank-you to all those who are helping my companion financially too, she is really grateful for it.

    This week was hard again. My companion has fibromyalgia, so her body always hurt. It hurts because it hurts, it hurts because she is working really hard, and when she has strong emotions (which she often does, because missions are hard) it hurts even more. I am trying really hard to serve her everyday...you love people more when you serve them, right? She woke up 2 or 3 times this week with a sore throat and was unable to get out of bed.

     Today she was sick again. I woke up, studied, and cleaned most of our house by myself. She woke up, I finished cleaning, and we left to write our families.

     I feel like I do a lot of things by myself. I try to do a lot in our house, because I know my companion is having a hard time. Its hard to do it by yourself, but what can you do when your companion is already maxed out? You just keep doing it by yourself. I feel pretty lonely a lot of the time. She wants to know why I'm not super happy-go-lucky like her. Normally, I am, but when I have someone to share things with, and I don't feel like I can share personal  things with her. I look forward to email time each week because I get to write about how I feel to someone who listens.

     She trying to be a great missionary, she really is. But sometimes, you just need a little bit more help than you are getting.

     We had a baptism again this week. It was the mother of the girl we baptized previously. She was so happy to get baptized. When her daughter was baptized and described the feelings she felt after she was baptized, her mom didn't understand. How do you explain how you feel after baptism? When she came out of the font, I asked, so do you believe your daughter now? She said yes and tried to describe how she felt. It was a truly wonderful moment.

     Thank you for all your prayers, I honestly don't know where I would be without them. I haven't received any packages yet, but I am going to pass by the mission office this week, maybe there will be something there.

I love you both and my siblings too (sorry I don't write the 4 of you very much).

Always,
Sister Hoggan

Monday, November 11, 2013

God, give me patience...NOW!

Dear Mom and Dad,
    This week was a bit better. We are going to have a baptism on Saturday...yay! The woman who will be baptized is the mother of our recent convert (who was baptized 2 weeks ago).
    So as President suggested, I have been trying to talk to my companion more. When we don't talk to our companions we explode. I've been working on talking to Sister Leite. We are learning to get along. Its all a process and, honestly, it is really tiring. Her natural reaction to negative situations is anger, which is really hard for me. She is frustrated a good portion of the time. She isn't frustrated or angry with me, just with how things play out. Its really hard for me to have to be next to someone who is so different from me. She comes from a part of Brasil that is very different from here and its a big adjustment for her. I keep trying to think about how it was for me when I first arrived on the mission so that I can better support her.
    I feel like God keeps giving me high-maintenance companions, and I don't understand why. Sometimes I feel like maybe its me. Maybe I am the one with problems and everyone else is normal. I think at some point or another all of my companions had thanked me for being the calm, collected one, who can help them learn patience. Its kind of hard to always be the patient one, but someone has to be.
      Other than that...we had Mission Tour this week. Our Area Seventy is visiting our mission and the others surrounding them. Elder Mazzagardi I think is his name. We got a wonderful training about the importance of Preach my Gospel, always making Baptismal invites, and making lots of contacts. He is wonderful. He told us to read 2 Nephi 31 everyday and then, after, to invite your companion to be baptized, just as you would an investigator. And, that if we did that every day we would become much more powerful missionaries.

     To answer a few of Mom's questions before we run out of time. I live a a house with 2 medium small bedrooms. We sleep in one and keep the majority part of our belongings in the same one. In the other room there are a few spare mattresses for when other sisters pass by our house, an ironing board, etc. We also have a kitchen with a stove, fridge, etc. and a small living room where we study. Imagine the 2 room townhouses, but a bit smaller and without carpet. I actually really like our house. We have a washing machine and hang everything on clothes lines. There are only 2 of us that live in our house, my companion and I...

I'll try to answer some more of moms questions in a letter after, I'm running out of time, sorry. Thank you for always praying for me, and for Sister Leite. We both need it. I love you both. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful adventures with me.

Lots of love,
Sister Hoggan

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Dear Mom and Dad,
    Training is wonderful, but you`re right, it is a big responsibility. My emails have been short, I don't remember if all of them are short, some are because of time, I think another because I wasn't feeling so great, but mostly I think because of time. Sister Leite is wonderful so far and is so much easier to work with than my last companion. She has more experience in the mission field because she served a few mini missions. I feel that I am able to teach more powerfully with her.
           I love missionary work, truly, it`s wonderful. People (like my last companion) are just so dang complicated. Arrgghh. I think that about sums it up. Oh, and my other problem is that the culture here is that people expect your life to be an open book. That is not how it works in the U.S., when you want a private conversation with an adult, you ask for one, and no one has a problem with that. But here, people are so open, its kind of odd. It has its ups and downs.

    That about it for right now.
    Sister Leite is so much easier to work with. She is truly a wonderful missionary. She comes from a really poor family though. The stories you read in the Ensign magazine about people selling everything they own to make a week long bus trip to the temple for the first and maybe only time in her life. Yep, that's my companion. She`s short a few supplies for the mission and didn't know what kinds of skirts work for missionaries because she took out her endowment in the MTC. Ive been sharing a lot of what I have with her, we`ve traded a few clothes as well.

She works really well and that's the important part.
Could you do me a few quick favors? Could you send me a recipe for brownies?
Love you tons,
Sister Rebekah Hoggan