Monday, August 25, 2014

Èlder Costa, Dad, do you remember Èlder Costa?

Dear Family,
     You have all got to stop being trunky. I still have people to baptize before I come home. I guess I can´t tell you not to be trunky, but...If we just keep working, we don't think about it and the end will be a surprise. 
     These last few weeks we have been fasting a lot for the work to go forward. Our ward is doing amazing. The chapel was so full Sunday. They filled all the benches and then filled in almost all the extra space with folding chairs When you have Sacrament meeting last, its motivation to finish your lesson on time or you won't find a seat in the chapel. What a great problem that is, not having enough seats in the chapel to hold everyone. 
    We didn't have very many investigators with us at church on Sunday, but some very special friends walked into the chapel. It has been awhile since they walked into the chapel, but Sunday they were there and it was a very tender moment to see them again. 
     We had Family Home Evening with one of these people this week. We made cookies with her and her family. Just a note of advice for other people reading this: If your family doesn't like family home evening, it needs to change. I think sometimes people find FHE a burden, but the point is to spend time with people you love. If you don't enjoy how its planned in your house, plan something else. Say a prayer and eat cookies. It counts. Eating cookies with someone you love could save your relationship. 
     Other adventures of the week...we were making contacts with people on the street. We passed a man and then decided to go back and talk to him. He was polite, but it did surprise me a bit when he said--I'll be honest with you both, I sell drugs--What? Yep, he just told us he sold drugs. He told us briefly how it was his way of helping people. We gave him a pass along card and left. Never had that happen to me before. There were a lot of other people nearby, pretty populous area, don't worry.
     I was also invited this week, along with my companion, to be the guest speaker at the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We haven't gone yet, but one of the youth leaders asked us to come talk about what it is like to be a missionary. I think it would be an awesome experience.
     I love you both, a lot. Keep on sharing the gospel...I'm super proud of you both.

Com amor,
Sister Hoggan

Monday, August 18, 2014

Just go to Church! (name that movie...the District!)

Your jobs are not to be sick when I come home. Ok? I sure hope you feel better soon!

Dear Mom and Dad, 
     It sounds like the 2 of you had a blast of a week. I REALLY liked the missionary experiences. Thanks! You should come out here and share the gospel...we wouldn´t mind. 
    So I´m at the LAN House in the elders´ area because everything we want today is super close together in their area and we have to travel either way to use the internet. All the people in my area are pretty rich so there are no internet cafés...so we grab the city bus to some place that does. One of the Elders in their house left his shoes outside the door last night and was warmly welcomed this morning by a scorpion sleeping in his shoe. He is at the hospital getting his foot taken care of. Fun, right?
    I can't believe time is flying by so fast. Last night, after most of our appointments falling through, we visited a young lady and her husband. They are both about my age and her mom is a member of our ward. We went over with her mom and little brother and taught about the Restoration. It was one of the best lessons of my life. He had really, really good questions. I could see his minding churning as we shared our message. I can't wait to go back and teach them again. When it was time to go we asked if he had any more questions about the message and he responded,"What do you believe is paradise?" Wow, whole nuther lesson, but an awesome question. 
    I love it here. It is the middle of winter and super hot. I´m going to die in Idaho. I love you both a TON!  Have a wonderful week and keep sharing the gospel like you do.

Sister Hoggan

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

Okay, so I said last week that his name was Elder Baldwino, but I guess his name would have been Elder Pereira. Dad, did you serve with Elder Pereira? He came up to me on Sunday and asked if I knew William Hoggan, so I sure hope his name sounds familiar.
Dear Mom and Dad!
     Yesterday was Father´s Day here. Basically people made nice lunches for their dads and then everyone just relaxed for the rest of the day. They didn´t seem to be spending too much time with their families after lunch, but whatever. I hope you did something special. So I really am on the home stretch. I'm not going to lie, its a bit hard not to think about how close the end is. Its just so strange that I will be in another country here in a few weeks. We are still working really hard, don't worry. It is just one of those thoughts that is a bit hard to push out of your mind. I will most definitely sleep when I am old, but I also took a few minutes to sleep today (p-day) because we walked a lot this week. We had found a great group of investigators and were stoked to teach them, but they started flaking on us so we got to find new ones, which involved a bit of walking. One of the neighborhoods here has lots of apartments that we can enter and the people there are really receptive, but its a lot of outdoor stairs. We were blessed to find lots of new people, but did go up and down a fair number of stairs. 
     This week was really hard, teaching wise, because no one wanted to go to church. Going to church is pretty important, just saying. If you ever want to do something to make the missionaries happy...just go to church. We will love you forever. But, we endured to the end and having an awesome companion makes it all just fine. You can get through just about anything with someone super cool like SISTER MARCHANT by your side. Yup, we had transfers last week and my new companion is Sister Marchant. When I come home I will have passed 9 months (or half my mission) with Sister Marchant. She´s great!
     Somebody asked me to marry him this week. He didn't wait for my response though, so I don't know how sincere he was. He just walked by said `marry me´and kept walking. It was a bit strange actually.
     I'm happy, I'm alive, I love you tons.

Yours truly, 
Sister Hoggan

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sister Faria and Èlder Balduino

Dear Mom and Dad,
    So I actually met Elder Balduino first. I think that's how you spell his name. Its a bit funny to be approached at church in Brazil...Sister, do you know William Hoggan? What kind of a question is that, I thought to myself...of course I know William Hoggan. I responded that he´s my dad. I got really excited when he said he was your companion. Yep, I met my one of your companions. He then walked down the hall and told Sister Faria, who then came and found me and asked to take a picture with me. Mission reunion. 
     This week was geat, thought Sunday was rough. Sister Beck was transferred back to her first area so we said goodbye to her today. But Ill see her again soon so its okay. Working in a trio was  blast. Its great for working with the members....you send one sister off with a member and then the other two go tackle someone else. 
    Our friend Carlos was supposed to be baptized this week but was being super wishy-washy. He didn't come to church on Sunday...we announced his baptism anyway. We went by his house after church to see what was up and he said he´d decided today wasn't the day he was meant to be baptized. I was not happy with him. It turned out to be good that he wasn't baptized because he had some concerns to resolve first, but I had been so excited for him. We´ll see how it goes in the coming weeks. This week we had an awesome amount of people we were teaching, a few dropped us at the end of the week. One starting reading the Book of Mormon after some good pushes, and did not like it. Well, she liked it, just not that it was scripture. 
    The hardest part about teaching people is that you love them sooooo much and you want to do everything you can to help them, so it really hurts when they tell you they don't want more help. Breaks my heart.
     Between this transfer and next will lose most of the zone leaders, assistants, and sister training leaders....President is slowing calling in others to help. It will just be interesting to see who will fill the spots when we all start disappearing. Luckily, there are some pretty amazing missionaries here so I'm not worried. 
     I love you a ton. Please don't get too trunky. Dad, Elder Balduino says hi. And if mom someday decides she doesn't like mountain biking, I've decided, can you at least wait until I get back to sell my bike? 
   
Lots of hugs, 
Sister Hoggan

P.S.   My birthday package came this week and it was AWESOME!!!! Thank you!