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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Manifestations of Love 7/21/13

Definitely an answer to our prayers!!    ;)   ~Linda

Crazy week...none of you will ever believe what's happened.
Sister T got transferred, so I'm still in Borongan! Also...I got a new companion (duh), guess who?? Sister Pettijohn! Sister Lindsay's companion in the MTC! It is SO crazy! So waray follow-up trainer, batch-mates na lang. So now here in Borongan, there are 2 American sisters, who have no idea what's going on. When I found out, I got scared out of my mind. Sister Pettijohn's first area was Cebuano, straight out of the MTC. I know basic cebuano, and the languages are similar, but also...SO different. So right now, I'm leading the area, and kind of getting a feel for how training will be. S. Pettijohn knows no one, even speaks a different language, it's kind of like she's starting over. It's mas marisyo dinhi yena.

Me and Sister P with CJ and J, after their baptism

Manifestations of my Heavenly Father's love for me this week: Heavenly Father answers prayers, because He loves me. Every time I ask him for something in a new companion, he's provided, every time. I just wanted an American companion, so I could communicate with her, and understand her, and work at the American pace, and just have someone to talk to, and oddly as this is...I asked for one who could sing. Random, I know, but I got everything. Sister Pettijohn is from Oregon, she was in my district in the MTC, so we already know and love each other, and she's an amazing singer!!!!!!! I feel so bad, and I feel so needy. I'm always asking Heavenly Father for things, and He's always giving them to me. But it's just proof that I'm not alone, I have NO reason to feel alone, lost, or afraid. But I always seem to feel one of those things at least once a day. The trick I've found, is to just pray to have an experience to get me out of one of those traps. Heavenly Father never fails to help.
Us with Dona C. after her baptism

This weekend was amazing! We had a wedding, and 3 baptisms! I'm pretty sure you remember the family who's little daughter died at the beginning of my first cycle in the field, the Cabacaba's, well...they got married on Saturday, and baptized only an hour later!!! And then 2 boys we've been teaching, who's mom is a member, got baptized. The Cabacaba's are so great, Dona, the mom, has always been really quiet and shy with me. But now that Sister Tumala is gone, she's opened up a lot to me, and is trying her hardest to speak the English she knows. And her and her husband help me with my waray waray. The whole Branch has been amazing! I feel like it's a completely different branch, because now I talk to them, ask them for help, and I'm more myself with them. It's been so good for's kind of like I had to grow up and just talk and try harder. I've been so blessed this week. Things are definitely ten times harder now, but Sister Pettijohn and I talk about it, and work it out, and encourage each other. So I don't feel so alone anymore.
Also, our area got changed. We're now in the city, the Elder's area. President wanted us to switch just to be safe...which is probably better with 2 Americans here now. So it's kind of like we're white washing an area too. So extra prayers could definitely be used right now. I speak the language so much more now than before, it's so fun. Things are improving, and getting harder! Which only means one thing: I'm going to grow even more. 

The new Borongan gang. Us, and our new ZL, Elder C, from American Fork UT. (He's a Pott's twin...he talks just like them, and laughs just like them. It's so weird...I feel like I already know him!)

I know our Heavenly Father loves all of us. I know that despite our times of discouragement, he is always there to help us and build us back up. It's so hard, I know. I experience discouraging moments about every other hour here on the mission, but times like the Cabacaba's wedding and baptism, make EVERYTHING worth it. Especially when they express their deep gratitude for the difference we've made in their life. I honestly don't even know how to describe how rewarding that is. The mission has been so hard for me. Most of the Sister's here were so anxious and excited to serve a mission. So there are times I'm not very motivated to learn the language, or teach, especially when I feel like a failure when I teach or try to speak. But you can't get good at things until you fall, and some people fall more than others. But since I've been able to focus on the little moments, that's when I really see how much I've grown, and the difference I'm making. So recognize the daily miracles, the daily manifestations of love, and like Britt Green told me a few months ago in a letter, look at how much you've accomplished, not how much left you have to do. "If you keep looking forward to tomorrow, you'll have a lot of empty yesterdays".
Like always, thank you for your prayers and support. I love you all. I love you mom. Thank you for everything.
With love from the Philippines,
Sister Hogge

 FHE at the C's house!

The last of the Borongan gang, with Nan F. The day Sister T left.

Haha a few weeks ago, me, sis. b. and sis. l. with our new bags! haha matching matching, purple tripled!

Dona and Paul's whole family, and us :) after the wedding!

Damo mga pictures ini semana! Enjoy! 

Love from the Philippines,

Sister Hogge

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