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Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Lord is always with us 9/30/13

What a week, do i say that every week? Well, what a week :)

So Dad wants details, so i'm going to try my hardest!

We had exchanges last Thursday at 10am Philippines time with our STL's (Sister Training Leaders - So like ZL's (two Elders assigned to each area of missionaries are referred to as "Zone Leaders" or ZL for short). There are 3 sets of STL's in our mission, and there are probably 70 sisters or so. So they are busy going on exchanges with each companionship every transfer. They are so amazing! We only had a few hours with them because they had to get back to their area for a baptism, and their area was 4 hours away. So we went to contact a few investigators we've taught a few times. One wasn't home, so we were asking her neighbor, May, when she'd be home. Well, May asked us if we wanted to come in and we looked at each other and said, "Syempre!" Haha so we began to teach her, find out what she needed, ask her about her life, religion, family situation, etc. It was such a great lesson, and while we're on the topic of May, I'll skip to last night. Sister P and I taught her again last night, the full message of the restoration.  What a mess, haha our language was all over the place, i felt so unprepared because we just stopped in on her, there were no fans, we had 2 members with us (which just adds to the pressure), I'm the trainer so I'm still taking the lead and making sure things aren't awkward and such haha, and and we haven't worked for 2 days. So I felt like it was a mess and i was super distracted...but it was the most spiritual, humbling experience. I know, from that experience, that the Lord really does prepare people, and when the Lord prepares someone, it doesn't really matter how horrible you do, as long as you try. She was the most real person i've taught. We asked her to be baptized and she said, (translated) "I don't want to be fake and say yes right now, but i will if i get an answer and after i learn more about your church. I want to really know." - Is that a golden answer or what? I was amazed. The Spirit totally helped us in that lesson, and looking back, even though I struggled and it was so embarrassing, we gave the whole message of the restoration, in the language, and she understood. I take no credit for that, other than being where the Lord wanted me and doing it despite my fear and abilities. He totally provided a way for us to get through to her, and that was definitely through the Spirit.

So, that was cool :) Another cool story? Ready? So Friday was set aside by our mission president as an all day cleaning the apartment day. So that morning, Sister P came downstairs and was burning up, so i gave her ibuprofin and told her to go back to bed. she was better at lunch, went to take another nap, and came back down at 5:30 burning up again. We took her temperature, she was 106.9 F!!! My stupid unintelligent self sent her back upstairs to sleep (little did i know she was "cold" so she had the fan off and her covers were on, oh and i forgot to make her eat when she took the medicine) She came back down a little after 6 to go to the bathroom, and Sister B and I asked her if she was response. She got out of the bathroom and looked like she was going to pass out! We quickly called the ZL's, and Sister Andaya (her Mission President's wife) to know what to do.  We sat her in a chair while we waited for the ZL's to come bless her and just wiped her down with cold cloths to get her temp down. Her head and eyes kept rolling and she was unconcious for about 30 minutes! It was the scariest thing of my life. the elders got there and we rushed to the hospital. (Well, we walked until we found a tricycle that could fit all of us and take us there -  emergencies in the philippines haha, so funny). Basta, we got there and it still took a lot of time to get her to talk but she ended up being fine. We totally saved her life/almost killed her too. Super dramatic. We weren't allowed to work Saturday and Sunday just so she wouldn't relapse. 

Wow, I am out of time. I need to go. But there are my 2 stories for the week! (Detailed enough dad??? :) let me know what i'm missing)

I just want you all to know that i love being a missionary, it makes all the random experiences so much more cool since i'm a missionary :) haha This work is so special and so sacred. And the Lord watches over his missionaries. How blessed were we to have worthy ZL's bless my companion. And she ended up okay :) and how blessed were we to have the spirit with us in that lesson. Such a sacred calling.

Love you all! Have a good week!!

With love from the Philippines, 
Sister Hogge

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Alive and kickin' 9/22/13

So I hear there's a lot of storms up near Manila, and everything makes sense. It has been so windy and stormy this past week! Nothing huge, but I was curious why no one was worried. Anything not a "Bagio" is called "Low Pressure" even if the wind is crazy and it's raining and the waves are huge and crashing everywhere, if it's not classified as a "Bagio", then none of the Filipinos are worried (if they aren't worried, i've learned not to be worried either). So all's well here in Region 8.

The other day, Sister Pure and I were riding a tricycle down the highway, next to the dagat, and we got sprayed so hard every time the waves crashed. It was SO windy. Luckily my skirts are heavy enough to not flash the whole town. We walked home that day and sister pure had to hold down her skirt with her bag and umbrella while we walked. It was funny because everyone's going about normal, but the palm trees are swaying back and forth so forcfully, the ocean is so wavy, and the sky has been dark the past few days. It looks like a storms a coming, but waray. Just the effects from up north. 

Anyways, that was a really bad description. Mom, you asked me how things were really going, if I was struggling. I'm glad to say, I have not broken down yet. I'm honestly still doing fine. Training is fun, sister Pure and I get along great! I know there's a lot more that I could be doing, but i'm trying my best, and I'm learning a lot on the way. I'm not perfect, so I'm not expecting myself to be perfect. Mistakes this transfer have helped me grow more than they have stressed me out. It's still way hard. The way of living, in a cramped apartment, totally stressed me out at first, but we're settled in and used to our arrangements, so honestly...everything's going fine. Our area's a bit far from our apartment. Our appointments are all over the place. We'll have one in Carayman, then one in Greenland, then one in Rawis. They're all like far from each other, which makes it really expensive to travel everyday. So we're learning to organize and set days and times to go to specific places so we aren't all over the place. It's a learning process for sure haha.

We had a fun experience the other day. We traveled all the way out to Carayman to an appointment, only to be punted. We stopped by 2 other of our investigator's home's and they were both very cold with us. We've been struggling so hard to get an investigator, a good, solid one. So we headed back, praying for inspiration on the way back home. We decided to stop to try a former investigator named Gina. We went to her door and asked if Gina was home and she said, "Yes, come in!" (In Waray). We went in, followed her upstairs, and she seated us as she went and grabbed her book of mormon and pamphlets. What the!! The progress record said she wasn't really interested, but we got there, started asking her questions, and she wants to be baptized! We were shocked. We invited her to church (she didn't come...but that's okay), and we have a return appointment on tuesday. We're excited to see what she needs and see what we can do to help her. Our first real potential progressing investigator here.

There's so much that happens here, that i don't even know what to focus on. Just know that i'm alive and doing GREAT! Really. I was thinking the other day about what it would be like to go home, to be in the states. I started crying. I am so nervous to come home (did i already tell you this...i feel like i did). Basta, I love it here. No, I don't love being fat and sweaty, but the Philippines has become my home :) I'm so greatful for this next year. Keep me in your prayers I'll keep you in mine.

Love you all!

Loving the philiippines, 
Sister Hogge

ps. Oh my goodness, you know how there are 3 American's in our apartment, and 1 Filipina? Well, we're wearing off on her. We're teaching her American slang, and now she can recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It's so funny! Filipino's english is so proper, so to hear a proper little filipina say things like "catch ya lata bro", sugad, is hilarious. We're having so much fun. Asiya :)

Any questions????


Me with my package! Loved it!! (Anybody feel free to send me things. American's candy and stuff is so fun to give filipinos!)

Me and a scared little kid that I made sit by me on the bus. There was no room anywhere else, so he sat by me, we talked, i gave him candy, and we were bff by the time he left :) so fun! (the rule "don't talk to strangers" doesn't apply here haha)

Just in the philippines playing soccer at the beach for pday. Living the life.

"Blindness cometh by looking beyond the mark" 9/15/13

This week has been hard. I love it here, I really do. I don't know what I would be without the things I've been through. I officially can't picture myself at home, which is the weirdest feeling. I had a thought of what it would be like to go home the other day and I almost cried (yes, I am going to be one of those RM's). I am so glad I am here for another year, and at the same time I can not believe it's only a year. I'm not ready at all to leave, or for this to be over.
The mission so far has been one of the most humbling learning experiences of my life, and while there are times I don't feel like i've changed or improved myself, just the fact that i can't imagine going home or not doing this work tells me i'm changing without knowing it.
Training is so stressful. I love it, but at the same time I don't. There is so much pressure and responsibility you have to take on, and I am so independent. My job as a trainer is to teach and lead by example, and to share responsibility, because how can you learn if you're not given the opportunity to apply what you learn? Well, I'm learning that very quickly. I read in Jacob 4:14 this week, "Blindness cometh by looking beyond the mark". And I want to compare it to my experience right now. I'm stressed, and not enjoying the responsibility. I feel uncapable, unworthy, unprepared, etc. I don't feel good enough to train this sister to become the sister missionary she needs to become. But that's just it...I'm looking beyond the mark. I'm missing the little moments that make the future possible. I'm thinking too much I guess, rather than just doing the simple things that make up the big picture? Am I making any sense?
I liked David's email this week, he told me to, "Believe in yourself!! Don't ever think you're not good enough. If you are taking the sacrament and praying sincerely and searching the scriptures diligently, you are more than qualified." Man is he right. You tend to forget those things sometimes, especially when you have SO much to focus on. And it's something we all need to remember. "Those whom the Lord calls, he qualifies".
I know that to be true. I know that I am qualified to do this work, to be the trainer and missionary the Lord needs me to be. I know that because I wouldn't be here if He didn't trust me. I wouldn't have felt the promptings from the spirit to come on a mission, or have a desire to serve the Lord.
I also know that He doesn't expect me to be perfect, and we shouldn't feel bad for not being perfect. Our purpose here is to learn how to become perfect. How can we learn if we start out like that? Well, we can't. I know that for a fact. It's a learning, growing process, that we will only accomplish after picking ourselves up and continuing after the many times we "stumble, trip and even fall". We can do it though, because the Lord is always there for us. And that's really all we need to know, that He will always be there, and He will always help us, as long as we try our hardest. 2 Nephi 25:23 (23:25? I can't remember). It is only after we do all that we can do, that His grace will take affect and He will finish the job for us. That is a promise.
I love you all! Thank you for all the support, love, emails, letters, prayers, etc. Please know how grateful I am for them. I know how lucky and blessed I am to have so many people who love me. I feel it, and I just want every one to know who prays and supports me that they will receive blessings. Because I have used every prayer ever sent to me, and they have helped me tremendously.
Continue working hard, and don't stop. No matter what happens, never stop. Ever :)
Love you all!
With love from the Philippines,
Sister Hogge

Calayog, Week 1 9/8/13

Hopefully this won't be confusing.  The first paragraph is mostly Waray so I asked Kevin Smith to translate it for me.  That is below, with her e-mail if you want to compare.  The transformation has been remarkable!  Thanks for your love and prayers.  I believe it makes all the difference!  ~Linda

Maupay nga aga sa iyo nga tanan! "Good morning to you all!"
What a week. I have no idea where to even start. First of all, figured out this week that this was Kevin Smith's area! Kevin, I got your email :) you are welcome to tell me anything about your area, or anyone you want me to visit for you. Unfortunately, The Elder's area is the one nearer to the church, the other Sisters have the city proper, and we have Pido St and on...harayo ora ora! Haha pero ok lang. Mas maupay kon maglakat kami, mas marisyo, di'ba? Not really...pero kinahanglan ako maglose weight, so mas maupay. Basta, area namo sa Rawis, Bagacay, ngan Carayman. Carayman is so far, sugad we got off the tricycle at the Hwy, on that kalsada that leads into Carayman, tapos maglakat kami didto...grabe! Harayo! We got maybe 1/4 of the way in 30 minutes, ngan waray mga balay didto, so we turned around :) Ine nga semana, magadto kami didto, all the way in. Magfinding ngan magcontacting kami, referrals namo tikang sa mga miembros. Oh and Yes, Nagkita ak si Brother Salazar, Maupay siya. Buotan ora ora...we're being taken care of.

Translation for this section: 
"...we have Pido St and on... very far. haha but it's ok. It is better for us to walk, it's more fun, no? Not really, but I need to lose weight, so it is better. Anyway, our area is Rawis, Bagacay, and Carayman. Carayman is so far, like we go off the tricycle at the Hwy, on the road that leads into Carayman, then we walked there, gosh! It's far! We got maybe 1/4 of the way there in 30 minutes, and there's no houses there, so we turned around :) This is the week, we went there, all the way in. We are finding and contacting our referrals from the members. Oh and Yes, I saw Brother Salazar. He's good. Very kind...we're being taken care of."

So yeah, my area's far. but that just means there's more to explore and more people to find :) So this week, that is our focus. We want to make sure we know where all the less actives live and then we're going to focus on finding professionals out there. It's a super pretty bukid (mountainous) area, and it's also right on the coast...ish. Basta, it's pretty :) I love Calbayog. The people here are so nice and patient with us too. And believe it or not, it's hard to change all my H's to S's...I don't know why I'm struggling so much with that! But it's coming :) slowly but surely. A lot more people understand english here than Borongan, so it's a nice default when I'm struggling too much. But I am trying to speak the language. That is our companionship goal. She's super good at English, but she teaches in Tagalog. So we're trying to just cut out English and Tagalog and teach in pure Waray. That way we can both follow along in the lesson. It's fun learning Tagalog though :) I'm starting to understand it a little better.
It's super distracting opening an area. I haven't really focused on the spiritual aspect of the work so much this week, and it really takes a toll on things. I feel like we're just walking around, getting to know people and our area. So now that we're into a better routine, and know each other better, my goal is to be better at studying and listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and not relying on myself as much. It's hard, but I know that I'm here for a reason, and one of those reasons is to learn to trust in the Lord. He should be my #1 source for help and guidance. Training is such a humbling experience. There is seriously no way I can do this alone...I do not feel good enough or prepared enough, but to know that the Lord knows I can do it, makes me want to work even harder. 
So sorry there's not a whole lot this week. I love you all. Thank you for the love and support always. Remember to do as I'm doing and trust in the Lord. If there's ever something you're unsure about, don't even wait for a second, go and pray and ask for guidance. If you wait, you'll find that there's some way you can figure it out. But why not just go straight to our Heavenly Father first? He knows everything, and He will always help :)

As always, with love from the Philippines,
Sister Hogge


Us 4 sisters in Calbayog :)
And Our area, Carayman, with random goats. It's so pretty and green!

New Area! 9/1/13

Just jumping right into her new assignment!  She sounds great!  What a relief and a blessing!!  Thanks for your love and prayers!  ~Linda

I'm in a new is so weird to transfer! But it is beautiful here. It's so green and there are so many mountains. I'll have to send you more pictures later in the transfer. Too much to do right now haha.

I'm also training, just as a side note ;) I'm opening an area that they split with the other Sister's for us called Calbayog, and I'm training a Filipina. Her name is Sister Purificacion, from Northern Luzon (the island that Manilla is on). She's so cute, she speaks pretty good English, but there's still a language barrier that makes it hard to constantly be communicating. So we don't talk a lot, but we'll get there, I'm sure.

This weekend has been CRAZY. We got to our area on Friday night, late. The apartment we got to was TINY, but we literally got there and just died haha. The next day, we tried our hardest to do our studies, but it was a weird day. We had district conference this weekend so we had to go all the way down to Catbalogan, about an hour or so South of Calbayog (Cal-bye-youg) - that's the only way I know how to explain how to say that word. It's still on Samar, so I was on Eastern Samar when I was in Borongan, now I'm on Western Samar, and up North a lot a bit. Go look it up on google maps! 

So anyways, it's been a crazy weekend. We haven't even been in our area for 24 hours! But we'll get it. We got back late last night to our area, and they delivered our beds...and our beds don't fit upstairs! So our huge bunk beds are just chillen in our kitchen. Waray space!

We taught one lesson on Saturday, to an investigator of the Sister's. That was fun, seeing as I now have to speak Waray Waray S, which isn't too different from Waray Waray H, but it's harder than it seems to change all my "H's" to "S's"...I guess in due time we'll see how it goes. 

I don't really have a ton to add this week, we haven't done a lot yet, I've hardly even spoken the language, which will be hard. When I go too long not speaking it, it gets worse. I feel like i'm going to lose it if I don't at least teach 1 lesson a day in the language. So this transfer I'm really praying for the gift of tongues and praying really hard for Heavenly Father's help. Because I can not do this alone. I'm training and opening an area, and speaking a different language! I need to step it up, and get my head in the game, and turn it all over to the Lord. So that's where I'm at right now.

Honestly, that is about it. We're living with 2 American sisters (There are so many american's in this mission now! they're everywhere!). I really miss Sister Pettijohn, and our huge, clean, bright apartment. But I'm sure I'll get used to the dirty, dark, small, crowded apartment. Adventures right?? The sister's we're living with are SO nice, our zone is awesome, OH and my best friend is in our zone, Elder Muir!!!!! Nicole, you met him. Love that Elder. We were so excited to see each other! We were best friends in the MTC, and he's been in a Cebuano area these last 3 transfers. So it'll be fun to see him struggle too :) Struggling is fun we decided!! 

Anyways, asiya! I love you all! Thank you for your support! Be prepared for next week! Haha prayers would help keep my chin up for the hard weeks that will be coming. I'm staying positive, but some extra help is always needed.

With love from the Philippines,
Sister Hogge

Batch mates!! Elder Muir and I
Kelsey, look what candy i found in Tacloban!
And this is my anak :) she's so cute huh?

Missionary by day, Balut seller by night 8/25/13

Filipina ak na!!! It's official, I ate balut. Explanation to come later.
What a week. Time is flying, and it's actually starting to scare me. Harani na ha 6 months! Missionary work is pushing along. It's been hard work. Sister Pettijohn and I are loving our time together. It's so precious to us, because we feel like any second it will be taken from us. It's important not to get too comfortable, that's what I learned. We work every day like there's no tomorrow. Sadly, despite our hard work, our efforts aren't really showing yet. Waray success upod ha mga investigators. Waray nagsimba hira. It's so frustrating not to see their progress, and to have lessons fall through day after day. Someday's I come home so tired, despite our lack of appointments and I honestly don't understand why. It's hard not to get caught up in the numbers. I just want to be successful and teach and watch these people progress, but it's just not happening. But despite all of that, Sister Pettijohn are trying our hardest to continue and to enjoy our time here as missionaries.
Being a missionary is so much fun. It's so hard, even for us, to recognize the Spirit in our lives. Which is hard for me to understand. But we were talking the other day as we were walking to an appointment and Sister Pettijohn explained, "Sadly, I think it's because we really didn't do much in our lives that involved us desperately asking for the Spirit's guidance. Here, we need it in EVERY aspect of our work. And when we don't have it, we feel completely weak and incapable. So the Spirits presence, and absence is a lot more noticeable." I don't know how I survived back home doing things without desperately calling for the Spirit's help. We were given His guidance as a gift when we decided to follow Christ. What worth is a gift if we don't appreciate it and use it? It's useless. I encourage all of you, to use it. Constantly ask for the Spirit to be with your where ever you are, where ever you're going. You don't want to miss an opportunity to hear him, or to be led to do something. Former missionaries, you remember what it is like to be led by the Spirit. Don't lose it.
In the Philippines, there are Balut sellers EVERYWHERE! They walk around the streets yelling, "Baluuuuuutttt!!!", and I'm secretly a Balut seller. I can yell it better than all of them! Anyways, last week I challenged everyone to eat Balut. If you guys don't really know what that is, it's an unfertilized egg, a half grown baby chick. So when people eat balut, they're eating a little baby chick (with hair, a beak, blood, veins, brain and all). Wow, that sounds nasty when I describe it like that. Well, I ate it! And I got sister Pettijohn to eat it, along with a couple filipinos who have never tried it. Where is this coming from mom? Remember when I'd be the last one at the dinner table with a bowl of cold soup because I would not eat my soup? Or remember how I HATE fish? Yeah, now I'm the one egging (haha, that's ironic) people on, to try nasty food. It's so weird haha. It's so fun though :) It really wasn't even that bad. You drench it in vinegar and close your eyes so you don't see the baby chick staring at you, and you just eat it! Ahhh!!! Trying new food is so much fun :)
That's really about it for this week. Sorry there's not a ton to share. Like I said, being a missionary is so hard, but it's so rewarding. There is SO much I wish I studied before I came out here. I feel so much closer to my Heavenly Father, and I feel like my mind has been open to understanding so much that I didn't even care about before. It's really amazing what the Lord can work with. He's being very patient with me, and I am so grateful for that. Because there is so much to learn and I'll tell you this, "the time is far spent, there is little remaining", so "work with a will"!
I LOVE this gospel. I LOVE this church. I LOVE the Savior, and I LOVE that He loved me so much to die for me. I LOVE that my Heavenly Father trusts me so much to send me here among the Filipinos. I know that this church is true. I know that the gospel is the ONLY way that we will ever be able to truly live and be happy forever with our families. It makes bad people good, and good people better. I know that it truly is the gospel of peace and happiness. I know that through our actions, and through our desires to follow Christ, He will help us. I know that life is hard, I know that life is distracting, and I know that it's hard to just start. But I promise everyone who is struggling, that the only way is through this gospel. Is through faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, and then receiving the precious gift of the Holy Ghost to guide us to righteous choices and literally guide us back to Christ and our Heavenly Father. I can't even express my love for this gospel and this plan enough. Stop feeling alone, stop waiting, and just start from the beginning. That is all He asks :) NOW IS THE TIME!
Love you all! Pray for you all! Think of you all sparingly! Miss you all! And I'm working hard for you all! Continue doing what you're doing! It'll all be worth it, I promise :)
With love from the Philippines,
Sister Hogge


So here's our Balut eating gang :) It was SO much fun, and not even nasty,
and this other picture just made me laugh. Yes, this guy is sweeping the beach. And Sister Pettijohn called him Gandalf haha, so I couldn't resist a picture

And us on top of a jeepney...yes, we top-loaded!!! It was so fun! :) better pictures to come in the future, maybe :)

7 Miracles 7/14/13

Before I start, Kobe is so cute!! I have the cutest nephew. He's so tiny, but I pray for him and the whole family every day. And it keeps me going and keep me connected to you all :) tell him I love him!!! 

So last week, you asked me to look for a miracle every day. When you told me that I was like, "Okay! I can do that! Easy." Haha I sat down with my planner on Monday night with a blank stare, I had no idea what "miracle" happened that day. The same thing happened on Tuesday, and on Wednesday. Finally, on Thursday, I had enough. How do miracles happen every day when you feel like every day is the same? Well, that's the thing. If I feel like every day is the same, then I'm wasting my time here. I decided to turn to my only resource: the scriptures.
The Bible Dictionary says, "Miracles should not be regarded as deviations from the ordinary course of nature so much as manifestations of divine or spiritual power...miracles were and are a response to faith and it's best encouragement...they were never wrought without prayer, felt need and faith...miracles are a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If miracles cease, it is because faith has ceased" And then I was referred to Moroni 7:27-29, 33-37, where it asks, "Have miracles ceased just because Christ has ascended into heaven", NO WAY (my translation for "Nay"). If we start off every day with faith in Jesus Christ, to do his will, then miracles will occur. After I turned to the scriptures, I turned to my second source: Sister T. I just asked her, "Sister, do you recognize the miracles in your life?" She sat there, and thought about it, and finally said "Yes." Then she said, "Sister Hogge, you're still here. You're still happy every day, despite what we're going through. We're patient with each other, and we haven't killed each other yet. Those are all miracles."
Miracle #1: I'm still here, and I have the ability to smile and be happy despite the hardships I'm going through
Miracle #2: I can still laugh really hard, which I found out on Monday when my  Zone Leader, Elder M., screamed so loud because a bug landed on him. I've never seen anybody so scared from a bug before, and it was the FUNNIEST thing. I was laughing the rest of the night, it felt so good to laugh again :)
Miracle #3: I organized a musical number for our mission tour with Elder Teh. I hate playing the piano, especially playing while their singing, but I did it. 
Miracle #4: We then sang, me as the only alto, and one verse just me and this another sister. Where did I get this courage to play the piano and sing in front of people? I have no must have really been a miracle haha.
Miracle #5: We have 2 baptisms and a wedding next weekend! At the beginning of the month we weren't sure if they would be progressing enough. But even though we had to push both of their dates back twice, they're officially ready. 
Miracle #6: I made it to 4 months of my mission, this past Saturday.
Miracle #7: I smiled all day on Sunday, despite my lack of enthusiasm to go to church this week. Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it. It was a miracle I made it through yesterday, but I did it.
So there you go mom, there are my 7 miracles this week. It's so hard to recognize miracles that happen every day, but I promise and I testify that they are there. And once you recognize them, you'll hardly recognize yourself. You have the ability to grow every day! So you should never be the same person :)
Thank you for giving me that challenge. It distracted me from the hard times I had, which was very much needed.
Thank you also for your extra love and is still very much needed, and I find out on Wednesday whether I'm transferred, or whether Sister T.'s transferred. We've both changed so much, it's funny you don't notice it at all when you're going through it, but if these things had happened to either of us back home, we'd have given up by now. So despite feeling weaker since i've gotten on my mission, I know that I'm stronger because of what i've endured already.
With love from the Philippines,
Sister Hogge

Pretty cool!  Elder Teh from the First Quorum of the 70 toured the Tacloban Mission.  She's standing right behind him.

quick email 8/4/13

This was all I had time for this week....sorry!
This was at a parade in Sulat, a city up north :) it's fiesta time here in the philippines!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I'm the least creative title maker ever! 8/18/13

Hello Babylonians!!!
Wow, what to focus on this week? Borongan zone is officially legit! We have more sisters! Now there are 4 of us here! We just had our zone activity today, which was a complete blast...why? Because we played soccer, on the beach, in the philippines. That is why. It's actually really cool to think about, but i'm suprised i'm alive right now. I seriously felt like I was playing soccer in a spa. I was dripping sweat, my feet probably have blisters because the sand was SO hot. But it was so worth it. If I die or get sick this week, just know it's from the heat ;) I'm a survivor (not a cancer survivor though...not as cool as dad ;) )
Anyways, yeah. So fun. I'm beat right now, but so pumped at the same time. Which is funny. Our numbers this week were SO low. It's so weird how you'll have 3 weeks in a row where your numbers, investigators, lessons, experiences, etc are just amazing and skyrocketing, and then the next week everything drops to "0". We were so disappointed. But we're not done yet. We're carrying on.
Our investigators are fun haha. They have so many questions, and Sister Pettijohn are learning so much, just about the basic doctrine of the church. (I can't even tell you how much i just want to read every book published from the church right now. It's out of control.) Anyways, it's fun :) Our investigator Mercy, she's 21, she's a fire ball. And she's SO curious! She's half waray/half tagalog. She's not the easiest to understand, but when we taught her the message of the restoration, you could just see the wheels in her head turning. Everything was clicking for her. Everything was making sense. She's SO interested but she doesn't understand it still. She thinks she's just curious and enjoying learning more. But we'll get her ;) Missionary work is so much fun. Even if she doesn't realize what's going on, I know one day she will. Whether it be with me or not. She'll get it, because you can't hide from the Our Heavenly Father's plan, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for long :)
I think that's about all I have time for. Transfers are again next week. I am so fine staying in Borongan. I am loving it here. This zone, this branch, our investigators, my comp. It's a blast right now, even with the hard discouraging times. Because I am learning so much! I'm trying to just soak it all in.
I love you all :) i'm curious about mission calls. Haven't heard about ANY lately. What's going on? Any updates would be awesome. Congrats to MaryKate and her wedding! AH! I want pictures :) I am SO happy for her :) And I forgot to mention it when I found out, but congrats to all the engagements/entering of the mission field, and to Katie and Tom Hall's baby boy :) I'm so glad everyone's doing so well and enjoying life. It is meant to be enjoyed!
Again, I love love love you all! This gospel is so amazing. What a great plan Our Father has for us. He gives us such direct guidelines and counsel, and endless amount of opportunities to be better, and to learn. But guess what, I will tell you right now, don't wait. Please don't wait to start reading, start praying. Don't wait to be better, or to invite your friend. Do it today! Text them right now! Go read right now! Because the time is running out. It's as simple as that. Alma 34. Read it and Act.
With love from the Philippines,
Sister Hogge