Monday, January 6, 2014

Voce fala Baleies? (Do you speak whale?)

     This week has been an adventure. It has been a pleasure to have Sister Beck and Sister Cruz in our home. I worked with Sister Cruz a few days this week and Sister Leite worked with Sister Beck. It was great. Sister Cruz, who is currently being trained by Sister Beck, is an amazing missionary. We shared some uplifting stories with each other and a few, much needed, laughs. She speaks a pretty good amount of English, I was impressed. I watched her try to teach her American companion the Restoration in English. She rocks. She also knows who Ms. Piggy and the Muppets are, I have yet to find another Brazilian who knows who she is. 
    One of the days we did divisions we had Sister Leite and Sister Cruz work together. They were both extremely nervous and laughed to Sister Beck and I saying, "...but we are still dependent on you both." I want my companion to learn to be independent. So we sent the two of them off and they were blessed with miracles. Together they found 9 new investigators. A family of 7 and a mother and daughter. 9 new investigators in one day! I was really proud of Sister Leite and Sister Cruz. I know that God trusts them and I wanted them to see that. We talked about it afterward during nightly planning. It does not matter how much time we have in the field, but that we learn to trust in the Lord. If you can learn to trust in the Lord with however much time you have in the field, he will make you an instrument in His hands. 
     I pulled out my suitcases from the spare room today (pronounced "spar oom"...anybody?) and they had a spider or 3 on them that I....I killed by myself! I know some of you are thinking I should have grabbed a cup and picked them up and set them gracefully outside, but people with arachnophobia don't do that. I used the broom, which is my makeshift 39-and-a-half foot pole. I killed 3 or 4 today and about 15 last week as we were cleaning out the spare room. I remember (I think it was Sister Garrett) who said something about maybe conquering my fear of spiders would be something the Lord would try to teach me on my mission, I shuddered and laughed. I think she was right though. 20 spiders by myself is a multi-life record for me. Ask anybody. 
   I fasted again this week. I fasted in order to have faith and wisdom for me to trust in the Lord. I want to learn to trust in him more fully. I want to understand the Atonement. I had a conversation with Sister Leite, the 2 of us, about how sometimes it seems like only the Lord knows what we are experiencing. Afterward I thought to myself that I need to learn that this is true, that sometimes only the Lord does know, and that is okay. That is one of the ways he teaches us to rely on him.
   I still have difficulties, I still think things are hard, and sometimes I want to cry. But, I know that the Lord understands, and that is sufficient for me. If there is always someone to give me relief, I will not learn how to seek the relief that only he can give. 

   I would like my siblings to know that they are amazing. Sorry I don't write you each individually. But honestly, your letters are amazing. They make me smile, sometimes they make me cry, but I love reading each one of them. Ben, PARABEMS for graduating from college with a degree in something ridiculously hard, you deserve it and for maintaining the prize for world's cutest niece. Nic and Katie, Christmas in Hilo with a 19.5 pound ham sounds amazing. Alena, I am glad you are surviving the temperature of California water; if I was wearing socks you would have rocked them off already! I love you each hunches and bunches. 

   Mom and Dad. Your insights and inspiring quotes make me really happy. I hope you are getting to work together a lot with work stuff. Mom, are you still doing just 4 days at the office or are you down to 3? Oh, Dad, in response to your comment about singing, I sang and danced in the rain this week in one of the more remote parts of my area when I was on divisions with Sister Cruz. She took pictures, Ill share them later. Mom might like some of them for the wall in the hall. It felt really good.

   Anyway, I love you all. Thank you for you prayers and your efforts to share the gospel. Keep up the good work!

Sister Hoggan
 
P.S. My companion from the MTC is arriving in Brasil next week!!!

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