Monday, April 28, 2014

Eeek, the chicken´s on the floor!

Hi Wonderful Family of mine!
     I hope you are having a great week. I am glad to hear that Tutu is doing so much better. One of the ways I know my grandmother is the best, is that she trains for the Tinman triathlon less than a week after having cancer! But hey, its Tutu, what do you expect..? There is no stopping that woman.
    Alena, I sure hope that whoever buys your senior project puts it on display somewhere because I would really like to see it up close. It was cool on the wall in the picture, but I think it would be even greater in person. 
    This week was nuts, as most of them are. We went on....divisions! I thought I knew all the sisters in our mission but apparently there are a couple I have yet to meet. I worked with one of them this week, Sister Sidan. She´s from Argentina. We had a great time, but I think I should start taking an umbrella on divisions with me because we arrived at their house and it starting pouring rain. Luckily it stopped once we started working. We had lunch with one of the sisters in their ward. She gave us pão de mel...which means honey bread, but I didn´t see honey anywhere. It looked more like a giant hostess cupcake (ding dongs?), but she filled some with coconut, others with doce de leite, brigadeiro...it was goooooood.
    We also had another day where we went to the chapel and had mission choir practice. Our choir is about 25 missionaries; we are preparing for a musical fireside in July that we are going to give. President however hosted a fireside this week and wanted us to sing. We started at 9 am and went until the fireside at 7 pm with a couple hours for lunch and dinner. That´s a lot of singing. Just saying. But I liked it a lot, so it´s okay.
     So this fireside was 25 American missionaries who served in Brazil between the years 1948 and 1970. They are all adorable old men and their wives. A few shared their testimonies and president spoke at the end. One of the younger missionaries that was visiting (he was about 50) translated everything into English for the non-Portuguese speaking wives. He was having a bit of a hard time, he understood about 80 percent. It was really funny because all of the speakers spoke English perfectly they were just speaking in Portuguese for the members. Whenever the translator messed up or didn't understand the speaker quite right, the speaker himself would mutter the right word to the translator and the translator, who was also American, would repeat. Group Portuguese....it was quite the laugh. One of the Brazilian sisters who is learning English decided to help the American translator too. Group English from the Americans and Brazilians. It was also pretty funny. Also, the fireside was meant to start at 7:30, but the visiting Americans got lost on the way to the chapel. It doesn't help that our neighborhood is mostly one-way streets. Anyway, they arrived at 9:30 and the fireside ended at 10:30. We got to stay for all of it. President announced though that every missionary had to be given a ride home. Sweet. We didn't sing nearly as well as we had hoped, but the fireside was a tender experience. 
    I love you all pass-along-cards and sunscreen. Hunches and bunches.

Sister Hoggan

Monday, April 21, 2014

Patterns of Light

Dear Mom and Dad,
    Way to many things to share and waaay too little time. HAPPY BELATED EASTER!!! I hope it was a good one. Considering Tutu left the hospital, I think we can safely say it was a good one. I have the strongest Grandma in the world. Boy am I happy she's getting better. Thanks for keeping me updated. Did somebody give her a big hug from me? Thanks.
     The last week of Christ´s life is a huge holiday here. People stopped working on about Wednesday and everyone is on holiday until today.  Which means nobody went to church this week. I think all of our investigators traveled...sad. But hey, they are all with their families so I can't complain too much. Families are the greatest. There is a series of 3 videos on the Church website called `patterns of light` that I hear are pretty great if you want to take a look. We watched the first one on Sunday during lunch. 
     While walking to our last appointment yesterday we stopped to talk to a group of men at the park. One of them apparently paints pictures on tile with one finger. He showed us his painting which he did with just one finger. Thats right, one finger. He asked if he could paint us one...sure, why not. So this 60 year old man ran one, grabbed his paints, and painted each of us the sunrise with just one finger. Its drying in my apartment. 
    I went on divisions this week with sisters in another area. I was companions with....Sister Leite for a day. Its really interesting to see how the other sisters progress. It was a great day, and we had a really tender experience teaching the Restoration at the end of it.
    Ben..... MAN, CONGRATULATIONS. When are you moving? I saw when classes start, but when are you moving? A masters, in 11 months, is that normal? But seriously, congrats. I always knew you were a genius.              
     Dad, go ahead and grab my mountain bike from Aunt Susie´s house. Mom using it would be far better than it rotting, that's true. There should be a helmet with it too. If she decides she doesn't like the bike, you can sell it too if you would like.

Anyway, that was my one hour. Boy does it pass fast.
Te amo muito!

Sister Hoggan

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sister, you are going to have a hard time adjusting to English when you go home.

Sister Wonderful Family of Mine,
     So apparently I won't get to write anybody separately this week. We lead divisions this week for the first time. We started with the sisters that live in our house. This week we will be branching out to one of the other areas here. We will get to have lots of sleepovers this transfer because of divisions. It was great. I got to be companions with my companion from the MTC. My companion, who is 19 years old, went on divisions with another sister who is 27...what do I teach her she asked? Don't think about teaching her, just go love her and whatever you need will come. Teach each other. It was fun. And funny. It think 2 Americans surprises people. They are used to always seeing a Brazilian and American together.
     THANK YOU for sending me new shoes. I suggested Merrills or whatever they are called because another sister has a pair and says they are great. Hopefully you found out my size from what was in my closet. You really are the best family ever. Thanks. 
     Thanks for filling me in about Tutu too. I know sometimes people don't like to share news from home with missionaries because they think missionaries will get distracted or what not. I like to know. I hope things go well in the hospital, that the doctors are really nice to her, and the hospital bed is comfy (sometimes they aren't...). I love you Tutu!
     I got to watch the General Women`s broadcast this week. It was all in Portuguese. We had 3 American Sisters watching, but all in Portuguese. Its weird hearing them translate conferences out of your native language and into something that is slightly harder to understand. The talks were great, and I loved when they had all the little girls stand up and sing to their mommies. 
    Our friend and recent convert Debora was called as Young Women´s president this week. She's been a member about 3 weeks. She's a bit nervous, but we all know she will do a good job. And, more importantly, Heavenly Father knows she is going to do a good job. It is fun explaining everything about the YW's program to her...Personal Progress and all. There´s alot to understand about the YW's program. The recent convert of the elders, Tiago, was called as our ward mission leader. Hurrah! We didn't really have one before. Tiago is also excited about his calling, but a bit nervous as well. He really wants to serve a full time mission but is 26 and has to wait a year before he can serve and I think the cut off is 27.  Being sad that he can't serve like us like he so much wants to, he is stoked be responsible to work with us all the time. He too will do a great job. Just weeks as new members and God has huge work for them to do already. 
     The Gospel really is Great. I was reading in the Book of Mormon this week and came across the story of Sherem in Jacob chapter 7. I never noticed before how great Jacob is. It says that Sherem specifically sought out Jacob because he knew of the greatness of Jacob´s testimony. He must have had an incredible testimony for an Anti-Christ specifically decide to come after him. Great story, and pretty short too. 
     Just so you know, I love you all ALOT. Can someone give Tutu a big hug for me please, and Grandma Shari. Best grandmas ever, just saying.
 
tem um otima semana!
Te amo, 
Sister Hoggan

Monday, April 7, 2014

Transfers!

Hi Mom and Dad....and Ben, Monica, Audrey, Brody, Nic, Katie, and Alena!

I hope to write lots of awesome stuff this week so I'm going to address this one to all of you and then try to send real letters to you later.

Guess what? They called me as a Sister Training Leader! Its kind of like being a district or zone leader, but I'm only in charge of sisters. All of the mission leaders are elders, which means they can do divisions with other missionaries to help them in their teaching, except with the sister missionaries. But since we have about 40 sisters in our mission, we have 3 companionships of sisters that do divisions with the other sister in the mission to help teach them and make sure they are ok. This week was transfers...President called and asked if I was close to my companion Sister Marchant. I thought for sure he was going to call her to be Sister Training Leader (why else would President call on the day of transfers?)...But what did he do, He called us both! That's right my dear family...I am sticking with Sister Marchant for another transfer and we are going to be Sister Training Leaders together. Eeeek! But of all the people I could be with, she's great. We are responsible for 6 companionships of sisters. 6 times going on divisions in a transfer...wow.

I have a few comments about General Conference. Was it great or was it great? We watched in English in the High Council room. There were about 15 of us. Most of us actually spoke English. We had 3 Brazilian elders with us too: 2 that understand everything and a 3rd who didn't understand a lick. He wants to learn English. We also had 3 or 4 ward members there that spoke English really well and the parents of some of the outgoing elders that had come to pick up their sons. If you want to come pick me up, you would be super welcome, but I think I`ll probably see you in the airport when I touch down. 
     All of the talks were great, but I (I think like everyone else) have a few favorites. The one that comes to mind right now is about our 4 minute Olympic performance. Being, our 4 minutes (perspectively) here on earth. That puts it in eternal perspective. Isn't having a prophet and 12 apostles just the greatest? I agree with Katie, it is truly a deep joy we feel for those who share the blessings of the fullness of the gospel with us. 

We have this adorable elderly woman we have been teaching for about 2 months now. She loves us bunches and thinks the gospel will bring her happiness (I think the same thing!), but she does not come to church. I think she gets ready, but just cant convince herself to leave the house. We decided to stop teaching her once or twice, but every time we do she appears again and wants to learn. She just doesn't want to stop learning. Hopefully she will being to progress now.

I think that covers most of it. Just so you know, I loved all of your letters. I'm excited for Alena to graduate! I know its a bit early, but I can't help it. I love you tons wonderful family of mine.

Sister Hoggan