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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What a week 5/20/13

This week I've felt just about every emotion you can feel on your mission.

Me and Sister tumala in a petticab

It's been a good, but hard week. Every morning I wake up homesick, and sometimes more tired than I was when I went to bed. But every night I almost die as I get into bed. Missionary work is exhausting, but it is SO rewarding.

Me and Sister Tumala at church
We visited a less active family in Cabong this week, about a 20 minute drive from our apt. We got there, committed her to come to church this week, and then got stranded. No one drives out that far, it's in the middle of the jungle. So we had to walk all the way back into town, about an hour walk, and my feet payed the price, (And she didn't even show up to church). So it was a frustrating day haha. I had to wear sandals the next couple days because my shoes rubbed my heels raw!

My heels haha

 But we continued to work hard, and the Lord blessed us. We found a lot of less actives we've been looking for, and got 5 potential investigators this week! And got fed almost every day. I've had fish about 3 times this week: grilled, salted, marinated, always served with rice. It's actually really good! (Those of you who know Katie know that she claims to hate fish...) (Probably because it doesn't taste fishy haha).

Me and my dinner haha
My dinner last week!
Me and Sis. T and our fish spines!

And then we got fed this extremely weird looking coconut drink from a member who climbed up a palm tree and hacked down about 10 coconuts for us. It was intense, and actually really good.

Me and Sister Tumala at "Paradise": this is where we had that coconut drink i was talking about!

The drink :)

 Another member made us Spam and Rice, because that's all she had. Oh my gosh, fried spam is so good. I was disgusted with myself for liking it so much, but then I got over it. Food is food. And it's fattening here. My two favorite things about being on a mission so far: the food, and reading the Book of Mormon. I know I already talked about it, but I'm just so shocked at how good that book is. How lucky are we?? I can hardly put it down! I wake up early just to read it haha. Oh and Nicole, I write in my journal every day for you! I'm already 1/4 done with it...

My planner, for nicole (I asked her to take a picture of this for me because on Mother's Day when we talked to her, she had written in her planner on her To do List: "Be happy! (you just talked to your family!) DON'T CRY ALL DAY!!" She said sometimes she has to make little goals to start with, like don't cry today...and then go from there :) poor katie!)

Then Saturday came. I was so pumped from how hard we've worked and seeing the reward of our service almost immediately, that I was thrown off when Sister T came downstairs with a worried look on her face. It wasn't even8am yet and we received a text from one of our part member families, P and D. I don't think I've told you about them yet. When we got here, the last the Elder's had heard from them they were waiting for President to get his license so that he could marry them (does that make sense?). P's a returning member, and their 2 daughters. P and A, had just gotten baptized a few weeks ago. D, the mom can't get baptized until they're married, and they've never been able to afford to get married. So the week we got there, President got his license! We went to tell them, and teach them at the same time, but when we told them, they didn't get excited or anything. It was weird, but we didn't really know them so we didn't think about it. We taught them another time, and we've just been confused as to what to do. They weren't planning a wedding or progressing at all. The next time, we noticed that A was sick, so we asked what was wrong. This little girl is only 8, and we found out she has Leukemia. They had just visited the doctor, and because they have no money, they couldn't do anything. All they could do was wait. I felt even more inadequate to teach them. They do not prepare you well for these situations in the MTC. We encouraged them to read the Book of Mormon as a family and pray together. That is the ONLY way that they can receive help and comfort from their Heavenly Father at this time. We checked up on them every day this week. Most days they weren't home. But we've tired our best to be there for them. So Saturday morning we received a call to go to their house with the Elders, because A needed a blessing. We got there, and it was the most somber I've seen any of them. The dad was just holding her, and she was breathing so hard like she was struggling to stay alive. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen. Everyone was crying, even all of us missionaries. We all received a text from LDS news, telling us Sister Monson had just passed away. This was not going to be a good day. We left to give them space, but told them to call us, and we'd be back to check on them in a few hours. We hadn't even been home 30 minutes before Sister D texted us, A passed away. We rushed over there. The dad, P, was leaning over her, holding her head, just holding onto her and wiping her face. The mom was just sitting there, holding her younger daughter, no emotion on her face.
I have no idea how to help them. I felt on the top of the world this week, conquering every day and working so hard. And then this happened, and I was humbled. The only way that we can help this family is through the Spirit. I have SO much to learn. It hit me really hard this week. This really isn't about me. All I can do is prepare the best I can, and then get to work and follow the Spirit. You know the scripture in D&C 84:85 I think, where it says: "Take no thought beforehand what ye shall say..." Can I just tell you how easy the Lord makes thing for us, but how hard that is to do? It really takes dedication and practice, and I can tell you that I have not mastered that yet. I was extremely humbled this week. I can not preach this gospel and give myself credit, because I'm not good enough! I can't do this by myself. But when I learn, I'll be able to say exactly what the Lord wants me to, whenever I need to. I have so much work to do! I think I said that last week too. There are times, daily, that I think about going home. Then I remember the things I haven't accomplished yet, and I remember my weaknesses. I am not going home until I can turn those into strengths. As much as this mission is for me and about my growth, the only way any of us can grow is if we forget ourselves and serve others. Read the end of Moroni 7, it teaches us everything we need in order to have a perfect faith in the Lord. Because none of us are there yet, I promise. There is always something to work on and improve.

Our apt!!!
I hope this email wasn't too depressing. I really am doing well!!! One more story before I go? I'll make it quick. We've had a fun guest stay with us this past week!! He likes to hide and pop out and scare us every so often. Last night, after hiding the past 3 days, he jumped on me out of NOWHERE while I was showering! Unsa ma na!!?? (Cebuano for "What the heck?!", Sister T says it all the time, so it's a common phrase in our apt.) This guest of ours is a spider, about the size of my hand; kind of like a tarantula, minus the hair. I screamed so loud!! And Sister T is a champ. She burst into the bathroom with a mop and killed that thing in less than 5 seconds! I actually felt bad...I think it had just fallen from it's web and it was thinking "I'm gonna drown!" at the same time that I was thinking, "It's gonna kill me!" So we just misunderstood each other. But now he's gone :/ And Sister T saved my life. So we reached a whole new level of closeness this week.
Our house guest :)

More stories to come, I'm sure.
Sister Hogge
PS. Pray for me! I go on exchanges this week with the STL's (Sister Training Leaders). I am so nervous!

How missionaries travel in the Philippines during zone conferences (all the elders just pack in anywhere!)

Me and elder call!!! We're in the same zone!

My batch! Our zones met for zone conference!

1 comment:

  1. Finding this blog was a miracle in itself! Im so glad for the example that sister hogge has set for me. I never told any of them but a week before they left the mtc the spirit witnessed boldly unto me that they were ready to enter into the field. What a rewarding feeling as a teacher. That was a result of their faith, obedience, and charity! I look forward to following this blog. Seeing her and these other missionaries fill my heart with so much love for them and the Lord that it wants to burst. And thats an understatement. Theyre were theyre supposed be. I testify of that.
    -DeeJay Pasikala