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Monday, March 18, 2013

Kumusta Ka!

(Hello! How are you?)

So the MTC haha, is interesting. Dad and Nicole told me about how much fun it is and had so many stories to share about the good times they had. I loved that, but it made me expect too much. I'm sure I'll have those stories after I leave, I even have a few right now. But let me tell you, do not go into the MTC expecting it to be fun. Expect it to be work. I never really understood how hard a mission was going to be until last week. WOW. I've never struggled and had so many highs and lows in such a small amount of time. Every other hour is a new emotion. I think I've felt every emotion here! Nicole was right to say that you just have to make it to the first Sunday. I thought that was stupid at first. Sunday morning we had sacrament mtg and every talk made me bawl, the relief society speaker made me bawl, music and the spoken word made me bawl. I was like, "How is this better...?" But then we had a temple walk with our district. Wow I love my district. They are amazing. We all get along so well and I think they're the only thing that keeps me going. We have fun, we have spiritual moments, we struggle with the language together. We do EVERYTHING together. I'm so grateful for that.

My Kauban (companion)! Her name is Sister Bray, and she is so happy. All the time haha. I met her on a facebook group before we got in the MTC so it was awesome that we were actually companions!

I really struggled thur-sat. I didn't cry until Saturday though! That was the day I finally thought about how I was in this for the long run and it scared me. It's such a long time right now, and if I think too much, I cry :) Missing everything is hard. That is why missionaries hate free time. It's nice sometimes, but not when you have it to yourself. It's so hard. If you stay busy, you can be strong and feel the spirit, and have the gift of tongues.

We taught our first investigator on....Thursday! Haha crazy huh? We found out who she was thursday morning, had 3 hours of language study, and then taught her in Cebuano that night. Dude (we're not allowed to say that by the way...which is hard haha), but dude. I think everyone in our district just spent the time staring at her. Blank faced. We got down to business really fast. We teach her everyday except Sundays. Always in Cebuano. All I can do really good right now is pray and bear my testimony, which is really cool! Cebuano is hard, but it's really easy to pronounce all the words. I'm grateful it's letters and not characters.

I think I've been missing home so much because I hadn't heard from anyone until today. We just found out Saturday that they gave our district leader the wrong mailbox! We've all been waiting for letters!!!! So I literally just got all the dearelders and letters from everyone. I got one from Cindy Jensen (yes I'm a real missionary now! isn't it so crazy?! Name tag and all.) And she had a lot of questions that I wish I had time to answer them all. I do know that I'll be here for 5 more weeks. I leave the MTC on April 23rd (I think). So i'll just be missing Jackie. I got a huge dearelder from Aunt Vick that made me cry. Mom, did you show her my talk? I love you Aunt Vicky, and needed your advice. I love the experience you had when the Spirit just wrapped his arms around you. I've needed that so bad. I kind of experienced it on Sunday, the spirit here is just so strong it's hard not to feel it. I also learned that there isn't a MTC choir this conference, and even if there was, I wouldn't sing. I cry during every song. Missionaries sing so powerfully, that I doubt I'll ever be able to hold a note. It's such a cool experience. Mom, I already emailed you, but thank you for all your letters and emails too. It's so comforting hearing from you. Moms make everything better! Kaitlyn, I'm in the process of writing you, you and Manna.  Jackie, love the quotes, I will totally use them! I also got a letter from Laura and Dan and then Sandy Mariano, I'll be looking out for spencer this week?? Cool! I love you all!! Oh, Colton also wrote me a letter, which I'll respond to too. I have the rest of today to write so I'll try to get it done. Colton made me cry haha. He's so sweet, and I loved his advice. Write down what you feel, don't worry about getting every word that the speakers say on papers. Your feelings are more important. Thank you for that. I suggest everyone try it out, it'll mean so much more to you if you do that.

Wow, this has been a long email! I'm gonna try to send pictures but none of our camera's are working. So you might have to wait another week. Our district is awesome. The other 2 sisters in the pictures of me and my Kauban, Sister Bray, aren't in our room but they're in our district. SO sweet. I love Sister Lindsey. She just hugs me when I cry, and she has the cutest personality. We have 4 other Elders in there too. One is from Australia (Elder Muir, he's sitting right next to me). Funny guy, we love his accent! He's so sarcastic and just a fun guy to be around. Elder Call is his companion and he reminds me of Chad Campbell! So it's like I'm serving with Chad! So fun :) Elder Agavale is from Samoa and Elder Kaafi is from Tonga. NO ONE understands Elder Kaafi but we crack up whenever he talks. He always just laughs. Elder Agavale is my best friend. He's cool! The sisters in our room are in another district but I love them. Sister Bray and I are having so much fun together. Prayers work!!!! So everyone please pray. Palihog paguma.

*Katie wasn't able to get her camera to work to send us pictures, so these aren't  the ones she was talking about, but these are from one of the Elder's cameras. Hopefully she will get her camera working for next week...

The giant map! They are pointing to the Philippines, wear they will be heading after their 6 weeks at the MTC is up! The Sister in the pink is Katie's companion, Sister Bray.

This is at the temple on Sunday. Usually the missionaries all walk up there on Sundays and take pictures and sing. Its relaxing after a long hard week. Hopefully soon we'll figure out who each of these missionaries is!
The Elders from her district? I'm assuming? This is probably multiple districts though..

I love you all. I have such amazing people in my life. I NEED a picture of the Green's!!! I miss them! Send me pictures everyone!!

Oh, and I only have a half hour to email, so stick to dearelders. Those are THE best.

Ah! I have to go, but I love you. Writing this was such a relief, so know that I'm doing good! It's really hard, but I'm trying my best. Keep encouraging me!

Love, Sister Hogge


Note from the editor (aka Nicole):

Several of you have asked how you can best contact Katie so I'm sending you instructions on how to write her.  Dear Elder is best way as she gets them the same day usually and it doesn't use up her e-mail time. 
Go to, click on the drop down menu and select "Provo MTC", then see picture tutorial below:

**If you send it before 11:00 in the morning (Utah time) she'll get it the same day.  Otherwise she gets it the next day.  It's faster than e-mail and she doesn't use up her computer time reading e-mails.  Plus, she gets to keep them and read them over and over.

Thanks for your love and support.  She's really homesick right now.  That's normal, and she'll be just fine.  She made it through Sunday, and it gets better from there!  Thanks for keeping her in your prayers!

Leave a comment if you have any questions or want to pass a quick word of encouragement on to Katie. I write her daily on dearelder so I can include your note if you prefer!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for keeping up on this Nicole! I love it!

    It's really quiet around the house. Sammy keeps going from room to room, "Where's Ni'cole, where'd Katie go?" :(