Monday, March 31, 2014

Mr. Darci and Mr. Bennett are Brasilian.

Dear Mom and Dad,
     I spent awhile writing a couple of my siblings today, they are great. I love them a lot. What is Nic doing in Newfoundland? I really like the pictures, but what is he doing way up there? Some snow would be nice though (just saying). Shoes don't tend to last so long down here because the sidewalk melts the soles and they wear out really fast. I bought new shoes twice; they just don't last, not even a month, not even nice shoes. I think what I have will last a few more months though. 
    This week we started mission choir practice. Our mission choir director, Elder Ruberson, listened to lots of people sing last week and we are now in 24 preparing for a Restoration-ish fireside. Among the music we have "Consider the Lilies of the Field" and "O Divine Redeemer." All of the music is, of course, in Portuguese. At least one piece they couldn't find in Portuguese, so one of the office elders translated it. We started this morning about 9 and are singing until 6. We have 4 p-days to prep. Here in about 3 months or so we are going to sing for the stakes of Ribeirao Preto. It should be great.
    Debora was confirmed this week! I just love watching people make covenants with Heavenly Father; its just such a tender experience. Tiago was confirmed too. We sang `Daughter of a King`with Debora in Sacrament Meeting the same day. Tiago commented afterward...she is new and already sharing her talents. He was handing us photos he took at his baptism. He is an awesome photographer. Alena, you probably would love to see his pictures. Ok, so my time just ended and I didn't even notice. I have to go, but I love you both a Brazilian.
    Have a great week and keep up the great work sharing the gospel. Quick idea, something we do here is that we have Family Home Evening in members' homes. We bring a friend, volunteer to share a thought or to bring dessert, and the member family does the other parts. Its pretty awesome. We have lessons with members and members meet our investigators without having to leave their home. Just a thought.
 
Love you, 
Sister Hoggan

Monday, March 24, 2014

B...b...b...b...baptism!

Dear Mom and Dad,
     That's right, I hit my year mark this week. Quinta feira...whatever day of the week that is in English. I think it means Thursday, but you stop thinking about the days of the week having real names when you only call them by number for so long. But yep, a year...eeek! My departure date is set for September 15, just in case you wanted to know. That's when the next transfer starts. 
     We had a baptism this week! Our friend Debora was baptized yesterday, juntos com nosso outro amigo Tiago [together with our other friend James]. We had a double baptism with the elders and it was AWESOME. You work and work and work to help people prepare for baptism. You just want them to understand that you feel so amazing when you get baptized by priesthood authority...please just read and pray about what we say. If people only understood how great the blessings of the gospel are from the beginning, more people would chase after it. But, that is part of agency and part of the process. We have to let them find it for themselves. 
     Her husband was able to watch her be baptized. It was the first time he had entered into one of our chapels. It was really special. Really, really special. The elder who baptized Tiago is now serving in another area (he was from the companionship to first find Tiago) and actually taught Debora while he was here too. He had no idea that she too was going to get baptized. What a wonderful surprise it was. It was truly a tender experience. When he complimented us on our special musical number at the end, I asked if we were going to sing at his baptism too...? I think I caught him off guard. But that's ok.  
     That was the highlight of my week. Just so you know, I love you both a ton and am glad that you are having a great time back in California. 

Com um grande abraço, 
Sister Hoggan

Monday, March 17, 2014

God tries those who try

Dear Mom and Dad,
     The office elders sent me an e-mail asking for my information so they can buy my plane ticket home...6 months and I'm back eek. They like to tease me about having to send in my information to go home, but one elder teasing me is finishing in about 3 weeks so he can't laugh at me too much. Man, watching someone you work with be so close to the end is strange. 
     Just so you all know, I did by myself some Brazilian shoes, so I can walk again. I actually have had to buy shoes twice now. Brazilian dress shoes aren't quite as good for walking, but that's ok. I bought red shoes with red bows...I click them together and say there is no place like home. Actually I don't, but I do feel like Dorothy. 
     I don't know about you, but I am beyond stoked for General Conference. Can it come any faster? It seriously is like Christmas...and this time the stake center is in my area so it will be easier to coordinate watching it in English. [For those of you who would like to check out General Conference, it will be broadcast live on April 5th and 6th at LDS.org.]
     We were suppose to have the baptism of our friend Debora here this week, but her husband needs a day off so he can watch her be baptized and he finds out super last minute when he gets time off. We called her Sunday morning and she told us it would have to wait another week. Que triste! We had even made brownies for her baptism. First time I've made brownies in Brasil...its ok though, we were troopers and ate them for her. We gave her husband a Book of Mormon this week too. He believes that we want the best for his family and that we are called to preach the word, but he has lots of questions that he asks her but not us. He won't sit down and talk to us because he is always working, so we wrote our testimonies in the front of a Book of Mormon and left it open on his treadmill (his wife said it is a guarantee he would find it there). He thanked us for it later, I sure hope he reads it. It really is the only way you are going to know if its true, you have to read it (just like any other book) and then ask God (because its his book) if it is true. Its a guaranteed response too. I love the Book of Mormon and I'm currently reading it for the first time all the way through in Portuguese....other than the Isaiah chapters it is pretty simply written. Even without natively speaking the language I understand 95% of the words.
      I am really glad my memory card got to you, I was starting to get nervous about that it. I said a prayer that it would get to you this week, and God responded pretty fast. I love you so much. Dad, you are the best member missionary I have ever known. High five. Have a great week!

Muito amor, 
Sister Hoggan
The sister missionaries in my zone.
 

Missionary shoes that have fought the good fight. 
 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Fastest email ever

     Fastest email ever. This week was incredible. Our ward Relief Society President came home from traveling and decided she wanted to visit every single sister on our ward list. We are hopefully going on divisions with her this week. My companion from the MTC is arriving tomorrow and will be living at my house. We had 8 people at church this week (I was so happy I almost cried). Two teenage girls we are teaching decided they want to wear skirts too. Yay! That means they want to keep coming to church!
    We are going to have a baptism this week. Our friend Debora is going to be baptized this weekend and the elders are going to have a baptism next week. We got a reference for a teenage girl who wanted to come to church. We arrived at her house not knowing what to expect....my companion recognized her as someone who she had taught once and never been able to return to teach her. This young girl told us about she prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true and got a really, really special answer. Really special. The Lord is blessing us so much. Missions are purifying kilns, put they are also full of such joy. 
     Thank you so much Mom for sharing about the virtue scarf with me. Can you give Sister Olsen a hug for me the next time you see her?

I love you both!
Sister Hoggan

P.S. Did Mom's birthday envelope ever get there?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hello Baby... He said something!

March 3, 2014

Hello Wonderfully Enlarged Family of Mine,
     I was the happy recipient of many photos of my nephew Broderick today...I got lots from Ben and a few of the hospital from you. Ben and Monica are blessed with beautiful kids. Congratulations! I have been telling everyone in this city `Meu sobrinho vai nascer essa semana` ['My nephew is going to be born this week'] or `Ele vai nascer em 2 dias` ['He is going to be born in 2 weeks']. He is going to be really handsome. Just saying. 
      This week we were in a trio with Sister Rodrigues, and we will continue working with her until next Monday, and her companion along with the rest of my MTC district arrives in Brasil. We have been getting along really well as a trio and so far the work has been great. This week Carnival began....everything is closed. The shops close, school closes, etc. Everything closes and the people have about 5 days off. Basically its just a huge party. Closer to Rio de Janeiro (pronounced Hio, not Rio) and other large cities, the parties get bigger, but so far here its been pretty tranquilo here. I think mostly, people are just glad to not be working. 
    By the way, Mom, how was your birthday? Did you receive the envelope I sent you with lots of photos. I took a huge risk with that envelope, so if you could tell me if it got to you that would be great. I guess we can say that you got Brody for your birthday, which must have been the greatest present of all. 
     This week we had lots of people come to church with us which was great. I was pretty excited. A mom and her daughters, along with another woman we are teaching and her daughter...they seemed to have liked it which made me happy. 
     Eu sei que o evangelho de Jesus Cristo esta na terra e realmente tem tudo. Tem um profeta, tem 12 apóstolos, tem poder, tem tudo, e sou grata que tenho esse conhecimento. Parabems Papai por compartilhando o evangelho com todas as pessoas. Voce e um otimo exemplo para me. Amo voces! [I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth and that it really has ever everything. It has a prophet, it has 12 apostles, it has power, it has everything, and I am grateful to know this. Congratulations Dad for sharing the gospel with others. You are a great example to me. I love you!]

Sister Hoggan

P.S. Hi Brody!