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Monday, August 19, 2013

Forget yourself and go to work! 8/11/13

What to focus on this week...I've seen the Lord bless my life more these past few weeks than I have my whole life. I can't believe how much the Lord can do when all you do is show him your desires to be good through your obedience and diligence. The advice President Gordon B. Hinkley got on his mission, as hard as it is, is direct counsel: "Forget yourself and go to work."
This week has been fun. Sister P and I sit in our beds every night and we are always confused how we got there. I feel like we are constantly going to bed, and constantly waking up preparing for another day. That sounds funny, because literally...we are. But the days are just flying right now. And it's all both of us can do to just reach out and try to grasp everything the Lord provides us with every day. We work so hard, are so obedient, and just are doing everything we need to with exactness (obviously we're not perfect ALL the time). But when we're really trying, and really working, that is when we see miracles, and receive blessings.
Sister P and I are amazed at the blessings and miracles the Lord has sent our way. I've got a cool experience for you: We tracted down this really poor street this one day as we were early to an appointment and somehow ended up at such a big house that we thought it was a business building. Well, it wasn't. We yelled at it, "Maupay", and this man came out. "Hello who is it?" (Yes...English, so cool). We told him who we were and he let us in, just like that. We started talking to him (all in English), and just getting his background, his interests, his beliefs. It was so unreal to be speaking to a Filipino in perfect english haha. Then somehow, somewhere, we got into the restoration. The moment that we connected all of his beliefs with ours, and shared our special message, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. We recounted the First Vision to him, bore testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and promised him that through his sincere prayers, the Lord would reveal any truth he wanted to know to him. He said, "I have no doubt that what you said is true."
I was shocked. I had no idea what to say or do. Somehow, we ended, and we planned to bring him a Book of Mormon the next day (which we did yesterday). Honestly, I don't know what his real intentions are. If he felt the Spirit, if he is interested in joining. But I do know that the Spirit spoke through me in that lesson, I have no doubt. Even though it was in English, there was no way that through all of his beliefs and thoughts, that I could have connected them with ours so easily, and provided him with further knowledge. I hope and pray he felt that spirit. But even then, it is his job to act.
I am so grateful for that experience. I can literally feel the Lord strengthening me every day, and I can feel my confidence in him increase. Whether it's just leading me down the street, or helping me in a lesson. The language really does come and go. Sometimes I can go off in the language, very choppily, but still...that's a miracle. But other times, I just struggle to find the words. And I am finally okay with that. I've seen the Lord's hand in this work, and I know that if he wants me to speak the language, I will. As long as I have that connection with him, anything is possible.
There's still a lot to learn, obviously. And I look forward to the future, when I struggle again. We struggle now, to be strong enough later, to do it again.
I love you all. I'm so grateful for the love and support of family and friends. It breaks my heart to see so many members of the church here come to church on Sunday's and sit alone. There aren't enough missionaries to sit with every person, and it's SO frustrating!  But I am so grateful for their example, and for their diligence. For going to church, even though they have to go alone. Please don't ever let someone sit alone at church! They are there to feel love, not because they have to be there. So be the one to love them :)
With love from the Philippines always, 
Sister Hogge
Ps. HAPPY LATE ANNIVERSARY TYSON AND KELSEY!  I am such a bad sister. I remembered last week right when we got back to our apartment. I love you both :)
Pps. On a fun note, I bought a sundang this week (a Machete!!!) One of our "kind of investigators" made it for me, carved the case and everything. Dude, it's legit. :)

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