Monday, February 23, 2015

All Because of Him - A Final Testimony

So remember how last week I said we were going to make my last week one of the best? Well, it has come true. The Lord has blessed us tremendously! This has honestly been one of the most amazing weeks of my mission. FULL OF MIRACLES. Get ready,because you may just be crying by the end of this because of the miracles we've seen, I know I'll be crying as I type this.

First off, yesterday was the best Sunday ever! P was confirmed, and D, C, and R all came to church! I just looked out at everyone and I was so filled with joy and gratitude for so many amazing people that have blessed my life. Such a good day.
"C" and her beautiful family
So if you remember, we have been teaching C. She has been thinking a lot about baptism, but there are a few things that were holding her back from baptism. She had a few concerns about the Virgin Mary, and she also needs to get married in order to be baptized. Last week we had an amazing lesson with her about prayer and emphasized the importance of asking the Lord specific questions, and you will receive specific answers. So this is what happened. Hermana Saenz and I were on exchanges with other Hermanas on Tuesday and when I came back on Wednesday we were eating lunch at Subway and she turns to me and says, "I have a picture to show you." So I look at it and it is a marriage license with C and A's names on it! Ahhhh!!! Just wait it keeps getting better. So C dropped A off at work and she got home from school early, so she had time to read and pray. She was praying to know about the Virgin Mary and also about marriage when she heard a knock on the door. She was home alone so she had no idea who it would be. She answered the door, and A was standing there. She asked him "Why aren't you at work?" He didn't even respond to her question and just said "Let's go get married." So they got the marriage license and they are getting married on Wednesday!! C took that experience as a sign that she needs to get baptized, so she will be getting baptized within the next couple of weeks! That is honestly one of the most amazing miracles ever! She was showing the Lord her faith through prayer, and He answered her so immediately! It's amazing too, because A was hesitant about getting married, but something changed his mind--I'm convinced it was the Spirit. :) She also said that she received an answer about the Virgin Mary--she feels that she has been idolizing her too much and needs to change that. The Spirit testifies of truth!!! We are fasting with her right now for her to know when she should get baptized and that she will be able to overcome any doubts that may be put in her path. She is incredible! I said goodbye to them last night, man I am going to miss her and her girls and N so much! I am so happy for her though, that she was able to receive her answer. Now she's getting married and baptized! SO HAPPY!!!!!!

Then, that very same day, guess what else happened? We set a baptismal date with D!! She's going to get baptized on March 14th!!! We taught her the Plan of Salvation--I love teaching that lesson. She was soaking it in like a sponge and LOVED it. It made so much sense to her. Because it's true! Before we could even ask her the question about getting baptized, she said "Sisters, I know what you're going to ask, and I think I'm ready." Ahhh!!! MIRACLES!!!! I was absolutely blown away by how many amazing things were happening, and the Lord was in it all. We taught the Plan twice that day and both times they each told us, "You all are really good." I just looked at them and said "It's not us. It's the Spirit." That is something that really really hit me this week. I had the opportunity to finish el Libro de Mormon for the last time as a missionary on Sunday and I was so humbled and so filled with God's love. I focused on the fruits of the Spirit as I read it this time. As I read Ether 12:27 it made me think about another scripture in Jacob 4:7 which says, 
"Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things." As I read that, it hit me that everything that I have seen, experienced, and done while on my mission wasn't because of me. The Lord did it all. I am nothing without Him! I was filled with an inexpressible gratitude for Him because everything that has happened while on my mission is all because of Him. I owe everything to Him--everything. I realized that I came on my mission deeply indebted to my Savior, and that I will come back owing Him even more. I cannot possibly express to you the joy I feel representing Jesus Christ as a full time missionary. As I come home I do not intend to stop representing Him. When He asked me to be His disciple, it wasn't just for the 18 months that I am a missionary, it was for time and all eternity. I will strive to represent Him my entire life, because I love Him. I owe Him everything. I am more sure than ever before that He lives and that He is my Savior and Redeemer. I am full of joy and full of gratitude. As I have studied the fruits of the Spirit, I have been filled with them. I cannot tell you the joy that has filled my soul as I have served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I know that this church is true. I have no doubt about it. I honestly just don't even know how to express the feelings I have right now. I am so happy to be a missionary!!! 
                I will always love the people I have served with in Houston!
 So, I will end with this.                                                                    
"I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
It is all I can do right now to pour my heart out in gratitude to God for all that He has done for me. My heart is overflowing. I will praise His name forever. GOD IS GOOD.
I love you all so much and want to thank you for the amazing support that you have been to me while I have served. I couldn't have done it without you. I LOVE YOU ALL!! See you soon! :) 
Con muchisisisisimo amor,
Hermana Hoj


Monday, February 16, 2015

THE SECOND TO LAST. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Hola a todos!
I hope that all is well with y'all! It sounds like you are staying busy and enjoying life! I'm excited to tell you a little bit about some of the experiences we had this week.

Our Valentine treat boxes from the Spanish Primary
How awesome is that?!
On Tuesday we had Zone Conference--always such an uplifting experience! We talked about the third lesson, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how to master teach it. So we did a lot of role plays. :) We also got a new little machine for our cars called the what it does is keeps us safe. haha It monitors our speed, if we stop, accelerate, or turn too fast, and if we have our seat belts on. It warns us if we are going to fast or tells us that we are driving aggressively. haha But, we are doing great! It hasn't chastised us yet! So we're trying to drive really good. Sometimes we get honked at for going too slow, but we're being obedient so all is well. haha This was also my last Zone Conference, so I gave my departing testimony--that was so weird. I remember sitting in my first Zone Conference listening to the departing missionaries share their testimonies, and then in the blink of an eye it was my turn. How did that happen?! The Lord has and is blessing me so so much! I am so grateful for that. So let me tell you more about the miracles we have seen this week regardless of the trials we have been facing.
P's Baptism
First off, we had the best Valentine's Day ever--filled with God's love! P was baptized!!! It was such a happy day, such a happy experience! Hermana Saenz and I both had the opportunity to speak at his baptism. I spoke on baptism and she spoke on the Holy Ghost. It was such a privilege for me, and I was learning so much as I prepared--my testimony was strengthened and I was reminded of the importance of the covenants we make at baptism. At the end of the baptism, the 6 missionaries in our ward sung Mas Cerca Dios de Ti (Nearer My God to Thee) for the closing hymn, and wow was the Spirit strong. I looked out at P, C, and J as we were singing and it was obvious to see the Spirit they were feeling. They were smiling, and P's eyes were teary. It was such a beautiful experience. I am so grateful that God permitted me to still be here to take part in his baptism. It is so amazing to see the change that the Spirit and the power of the Atonement cause. During my mission I have been able to see that in many others, and especially in myself. It's truly a miracle! Unfortunately, they got food poisoning and couldn't make it to church on Sunday, so he has to wait until next week to be confirmed. A lot of our progressing investigators got sick this week and weren't able to come to church. :( But that's okay, they'll be able to come next week. But...guess who DID come to church? R!!! Yay!!! It was her first time being there in months, and she was so happy to be there. She was just beaming, and it made my whole day to see her there. C was there too, and we were able to visit with her yesterday and had an awesome lesson with her. She's going to get baptized soon! We were able to recognize and solve some of her concerns with baptism, and you could tell there was a change of confidence within her. Her sister N is so awesome too. N is the only member in her family and she is working and praying so hard for her sister! So amazing. I love them so much! Such a wonderful family!
Hermana Nunez . . . . I LOVE THIS WOMAN!!!!!
Here is my big learning moment of the week. Yesterday started off a little rough for the two of us. We were really sad about P not being able to come to church when he was supposed to get the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then some things just kept getting thrown on top of us and we just felt like we weren't able to help everyone with their needs. We felt as if we were letting a lot of people down, and so we were very frustrated with ourselves. We had been asked to teach the Relief Society lesson in the English ward though, and the lesson was made for us. I'm telling you, it was absolutely exactly what we needed. It was called "Living Joyfully in Troubled Times." As we were going through that experience, that was the only thing that I could think about, and it helped me so much. There was so much in that lesson that just applied exactly to us in that situation and to my situation as well with my mission coming to an end. I have a testimony that the gospel is the solution to our happiness. I felt that more profoundly yesterday than perhaps during my entire life. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what we need to be TRULY happy! "Happiness must be earned from day to day. But it is worth the effort." How true that is! Make the effort to choose happiness every day of your lives, and seek that happiness from our Savior Jesus Christ. "Be cheerful in all that you do. Live joyfully. Live happily. Live enthusiastically, knowing that God does not dwell in gloom and melancholy, but in light and love." ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT!!! Seek happiness in all that you do and you will be utterly filled with the Savior's love. That is my goal this week. I'm going to make the last week of my mission the best, and the happiest that I've had so far. We're going to finish this off strong. I love you all so much! Thank you for all of your prayers and love. YOU ARE THE BEST!!!
Hermana Hoj

Monday, February 9, 2015

So much work to do! So little time left!

Buenos dias familia! Espero que todos esten bien!
So we are here doing all that we can to bring people closer to the Lord! We have had another great week and are working as hard as we can. Ahora les contare los milagros de este semana.
First of all, all of these miracles have come with the power of fasting and prayer. Our Zone decided to do a week long fast to find and progress families. Hermana Saenz and I started the fast on Monday and then another companionship would fast Tuesday, another Wednesday, another Thursday, so on so forth. So it was a week long continuous fast, and it brought so many miracles!!
Milagro uno con nuestro investigador que esta progresando en nuestro barrio de espanol. P passed the baptismal interview and is getting baptized on Saturday!! :) yay yay yay!!! He really has changed so much, you can even see the difference in his countenance. The Elder that interviewed him came out and said that he passed 100%. haha But he said that it was one of the best interviews he's ever been able to be a part of--he said P is completely ready. P is so willing to accept and live the teachings of the gospel and I know that he and his family will be forever blessed! Speaking of forever families...yesterday our mission had the first ever Houston Texas Temple Tours!! President Mortensen and the mission presidency have been working with the temple President to create a tour of the temple grounds to explain more about what the temple is, what goes on there, etc. Missionaries bring investigators, members bring friends, and everyone is uplifted! It was a really amazing experience, we went with P and his wife, Hermana Cantu, and her daughter Jocelyn. The temple is so beautiful! I think it was really amazing for them to see the temple and know that in a year they can go there and be sealed as a family. When we were taking pictures I told them that we'll have this picture and then put it next to the one when we all come back for their sealing and say "One year later." SO AMAZING!!!! Yesterday over 200 people showed up, and many investigators decided with the Spirit that was there that they wanted to be baptized. What an amazing experience!
Pictures from the temple tours
Another miracle this week came from when we were teaching one of our new investigators, S. She is from Trinidad and Tobago and really is such a sweet woman. We introduced the Book of Mormon to her this week and found out that she already had one! We were like "What?! How did you get a Book of Mormon?" She told us that she was once staying in a hotel and found a Book of Mormon in the drawer, and she really wanted to learn about it. There are no coincidences with God! She really is so sweet, she keeps telling us that we were two angels that knocked on her door. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ will help her get closer to the Lord and that she will be able to find so much happiness!
We made some really good progress with R this week too. She struggles with the Word of Wisdom and we really want to help her overcome her addiction so that she can continue progressing. Last time she tried to quit everything I think it became a little overwhelming and she didn't feel like she could do it all at once. So we are starting little by little with her. We started with her tea and took all of that from her, and she really does want to give it up. I know that she can overcome everything, she just needs to have more faith in the Lord and more faith in herself. We love her so much!
C is doing well too, she came to church and we also visited with her and her family yesterday. We taught them about the Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom. We are praying that C and her boyfriend will decide to get married! I know that C really wants to, and her boyfriend is a good guy too so I hope that they can work it out. They are such incredible people and I know that as they follow the commandments their girls will see their examples and learn from them.
Cr came to church again too, and we visited with her this last week as well! It was really awesome because we were able to invite her husband to sit and talk with all of us as well, so we will be teaching the whole family! YAY!!! I'm telling you, eternal families are the greatest gift! There is so much potential for them too!
So that's about it this week! Amazing things are happening here in Houston. Miracles are abounding, hearts are changing, and life is good. Well, GOD IS GOOD. As always. Please keep these people in your prayers this week. Pray for P that all will go well with his baptism, pray for C that she can get married, pray for R to overcome her addictions, and pray for these families to be unified and strong so that they can be made eternal! I love you all and I am so grateful for your support and love and prayers. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Con muchisimo amor,
Hermana Hoj

Monday, February 2, 2015

"I like to ride my bicycle, I like to ride my bike . . . . . . "

Okay everyone....hold on. This letter is going to be crazy and disorganized but full of wonderful things! So try to bear with me and try to follow me as I tell you all about this week. There was A LOT that happened.

So this week started off a little rough for me. There is a lot of change coming my way and I just want more than anything to finish my mission strong and with the least amount of distractions as possible. I also know that I need to accept what's coming my way. Let's just say that Satan had a hold of my thoughts this week and was doing all that he could to discourage me and make me belittle myself. He was trying to make me think that with this little time left I couldn't make a difference in anyone's life. The part that was most frustrating about it was that I knew it wasn't true! For a little while though, my mind could not let it go. I prayed and prayed and prayed for the ability to change my mindset, and finally after a long 3 days it did. And after that, whooo what amazing miracles we did see! I was thinking about how the Lord will not give us trials greater than we can bear, and that we can get through them if we turn to Him. That is always, always the case! So I saw that this last week, and my testimony of that grew even more. 

The first thing that I think helped me change that the most was MLC. So so amazing!! We talked a lot about overcoming fear, and having confidence in ourselves/helping others gain more confidence. We read a talk from President Uchtdorf called "Fear Not, I Am With Thee." Wow, it is amazing! I love MLC's, and I am sad that it was my last one. But I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to go to the ones I did. I learn so much from them. So later that night, Hermana Saenz and I put that overcoming fear pep-talk to use! We were contacting in some apartments and we saw this guy blasting rap, covered in tattoos, etc. We debated whether or not we should talk to him, but we decided that we needed to. And good thing we did!! We taught him the Restoration lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon! He recently got out of jail and he told us that he had seen that book in prison and really wanted to learn more about it. Then, we showed up and gave it to him. There really are no coincidences with the Lord. 
The beautiful downtown Houston skyline
A free library for anyone to come borrow a book
Of course we contributed the Book of Mormon!
So this week we ran out of our limited allotment of miles for the month...something very common among us missionaries. haha So we had some awesome adventures contacting! On Friday we walked all day and we went to the very border of our area....DOWNTOWN HOUSTON. We talked to a lot of people along the way and took lots of pictures too. It was so awesome just contacting like crazy! We loved it. I will send pictures with captions of some of the things we did there. But here's a crazy story (another there are no coincidences with God story) There was a mural that we wanted a picture by, and there was a woman standing there with a camera, so we asked her to take a picture for us. (we figured she probably knew what she was doing) After, we got talking and she told us that she used to see missionaries like us exercising in the gym at her apartment every morning. She remembered there was one that was always so happy and so friendly and she was amazed by that because it was so early in the morning. She said she lives in Spring, and I started thinking....that was my first area....turns out, it was Hermana Driesel and I! (So that goes to show that missionaries still make an impact on people after they leave their missions. Way to go Hermana Driesel!) So that was awesome! It was a fun day though!
Then the next day, we still didn't have what did we do? We biked a total of 22 miles! It was so much fun. I felt like such a missionary. :) I think that Sisters on bikes probably attract more attention than the Elders because everyone is thinking....who is crazy enough to ride a bike in a skirt?! haha we had so much fun! We were biking in the ghetto though...and that made it even more fun. :) haha I turned to Hermana Saenz and said "If only our moms knew what we were doing right now..." haha but don't worry mom. We are being safe and following the Spirit. While in the process of biking we also contacted almost triple the people we did the day before! So we feel pretty happy about that. The second half of this week I truly just felt swallowed up in the joy of missionary work. There was a big difference for me between the first part of this week and the second. I'm grateful that I can recognize that difference though! And I am grateful that I experienced the hard part, because then the good part wouldn't have been nearly as great. 
Lots of amazing murals in Houston
Rockin' the bike helmet
As far as investigators go, we had two amazing lessons with A this week! We taught him about family history and temple work and he looooved it! He thought it was so amazing that he can still help people after they have passed away. And it IS amazing! THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!!!! C is progressing really well too, she came to church again and everything. We're having a hard time getting them to commit to baptism--it's something they want to do, but they just want to be sure of it before they make the decision. But I know they'll both get there! We also had a lady come to church yesterday with her 3 kids and she is looking for a "home-base church" in her own words. They stayed for all three hours! We're going to start teaching her this next week. We are so excited! WE ARE SO BLESSED!! Being a missionary is the best thing a person could ever want. Yes, it's hard. Yes it's a lot of work. But oh it is soooooo rewarding! I hope that you can all feel a little bit of the joy I get to experience as I share my experiences with you. It's so hard to describe it, it's just something that you have to feel. I love this work. These last 3 weeks are going to be amazing.


Con muchisisisisimo amor,
Hermana Hoj

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Special Witness In More Ways Than One!

Howdy y'all!

Thank you Chipotle for our pre-fast burritos
I just switch back and forth between that and Spanish. haha it's too great. Hermana Saenz and I were just talking the other day about how lucky we are to get to experience so many incredible things on our missions. So many different cultures to experience and we feel so lucky! The mission is the best.
We have had a great week! We're still trying to figure out how to adjust and set our priorities's a little bit of trial and error, but we're getting it figured out slowly but surely. What's going to happen is that once we get it figured out, I'm going to leave. haha that's how it always works! Once you start to get comfortable, the Lord sends change your way and you get to grow some more! If you're comfortable, you're not growing. So I'm taking it as a good thing that we are not perfect in our missionary work--we're doing our best, and that's all that's asked of us.
We've had a very busy week though with some surprises, some disappointments, some miracles, etc but all in all it has been so great. We decided to push P's baptism back to the 14 of February so that he could have some more time to prepare. They weren't able to get married yet, and we still had a few more lessons to teach. We don't want it to be rushed, we want to make sure he understands everything and is committed to live it. So we are looking forward to a great Valentine's Day filled with the love of God! The best thing you could ever want! haha Here's the surprise that happened this week though. We were sitting in the gospel principles class and Hermana P pokes her head in and motions for Hermana Saenz and I to come out and follow her. So we do, and she takes us to the Bishop's office. We sit down and Obispo asks us, "So, do you know what's going on right now?" We look at each other all confused and answer "No..." Then he said "Hermana P and P are getting married right now and you are going to be the two witnesses." We were so confused! haha but it was so great! They got married, and are now one step closer to becoming an eternal family! That is so so happy! :) 
This week we were able to find 3 new investigators! One of them is the sister of a member. Her name is C. She is 19 years old and has the two most adorable little girls ever. At the beginning we were just teaching her--she told us that her boyfriend didn't want to be there when we were talking to her. But then a miracle happened! Yesterday we went over after church and we taught the Plan of Salvation to the whole family! He was there too and he was loving everything we shared with him. I mean who wouldn't, the Plan of Salvation is so beautiful and it fills us with hope. As we talked about eternal families and the steps that we need to take here on this earth so that we can live in eternal families, you could just see the wheels turning in his mind, and you could tell that it was something that was so important to him. Another eternal family in the making!!! 
One of the investigators that we picked up from the English Sisters is R. She is so sweet! She's an older woman, and she's been taught for awhile. She has a smoking addiction that she's working on overcoming, but I know that she will be able to do it. She wants to be baptized, and I know that the Lord will help provide the way for her to do so. It's a lot of fun, we get to serve her in many ways. She has really bad arthritis and recently had surgery on her foot, so it's hard for her to get around. This week we bathed her dog for her and fixed her dinner too. She really is just so great. Oh, and she lives in this apartment complex for seniors--there are about 4 or 5 members from our ward that live there, so every week we do an FHE with them. haha we had so much fun. The message was shared, and then we had an activity. I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the game Zip Bah, but it's pretty hilarious. Basically you have to say the words zip and bah without showing your teeth. We thought it would be a fun idea...proved to be right! haha but you see, Rebecca automatically won the game because she doesn't have teeth! haha but we played anyways. It was so funny and everyone had so much fun. I just love being with such great people!
Our weeks seriously are filled with so many things. We are visiting so many people and trying to find people, that half of the time I feel like I'm not even telling you half of what's happening down here! Everything is good though, and I am so happy just getting to be a missionary and getting to experience so many wonderful things. It's so fun! Both of the wards are so different from anything I would be able to experience at home, so I am blessed to be able to experience so many wonderful things! I know that the Lord has many opportunities awaiting us as well, we just have to work hard and be obedient and then He will guide us along! I know that's the case with life in general! So family, work hard and be obedient. I love you all and wish you the best week!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hoj

Monday, January 19, 2015

Milagros en todos los lados - Miracles from all sides

This week has been jam packed with things to do, and even better--WITH MIRACLES!!! So we have begun our first week as a Zebra area and we are very busy. But that's the best thing ever as a missionary! We've been running back and forth all over our area between appointments so it's kind of hectic at times trying to be on time to everything. But it has been so wonderful! This week we spent some time meeting the leaders in Melbourne, the English ward, just to find out the best way we can help them and to get names for people we should focus on. There are way too many people to try to see them all and actually get to know them. So we've talked a lot with the Bishop and the Relief Society President. We actually spoke at a Relief Society activity so we were able to get to know some of them a little bit better! Church was fun too. haha we were there all day just running back and forth between meetings, but it was so awesome. We're really looking forward to the amazing work that is headed our way!

A member from Louetta at the Spanish fireside

Something super awesome that happened yesterday was the Why I Believe fireside--the Mission President's Fireside. It was the first one held in Spanish!!! Ahhh it was so so amazing. We (as a missionary choir) sung A Child's Prayer, Called to Serve, I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go, and the EFY medley in Spanish! There is something about singing it in Spanish that made the Spirit even stronger. Ahh it was so amazing! And the best part was it was in my old church building in Louetta, so I was able to see a ton of the members from over there! There were also members there from the other wards I have served in too. Ahh I can't even explain to you the joy that filled my heart being able to see so many of the people that I love so much that have changed my life all in one place. As we were singing I was just looking out over the audience overcome with gratitude for the opportunity I have been given to serve a mission and to know so many of the people that were there. It was such a tender mercy from the Lord and I was just filled with so much love. So that was definitely one of the major highlights from my week. 
Hermana Nunez's famous tortas
Okay now for the miracles. All of them that I am going to share with you came from fasting. We fasted from Saturday to Sunday and whoa...the miracles. Fasting is powerful! On Saturday night we had a Relief Society night with the Spanish ward as well...haha and they had lots of good food that we couldn't eat. We were very tempted by it but we refused to eat and break our fast. And we are SO HAPPY that we didn't. We got a phone call just a few minutes later from the Elders in our ward. They had just had a lesson with one of the investigators that both of us have been teaching, Pedro. They told us that they taught him an awesome lesson, bore testimony, and then he told them that he didn't want them coming back to teach him again. When I heard that my heart dropped and I was so so sad. But...turns out he was tricking them and actually HE WANTS TO GET BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!! WHOOO!!!!!!!! We are so so so excited! So we rushed right over to his house and congratulated him! So I don't know how much info I have given you about him, but he is the boyfriend/soon to be husband of a woman in our ward. He heard about how families can be sealed in the temple, and ever since that he wanted to learn more about our church. So we have been teaching him and really trying to help him receive his answer, and I guess he did! So they will be getting married this week, and then he is going to get baptized on Saturday! Yay!! We are so excited! I think it's so cool how he has the goal of the temple in his sights already and that it's his motivation for baptism. So yay!!! We are so so so happy for them!! Then here is another great miracle that came from fasting to find new people to teach...yesterday at church 5 members came up to us saying that they had someone that wanted to learn more about the church and wanted to meet with that doesn't happen every day! A young woman also asked us for 500 cards to put on the lockers at her school. That is so awesome! I can't even tell you! Ah so amazing all the miracles that you see on a mission! We are looking forward to all that will be happening in the next few weeks! 

I love you all so much and am so grateful for your support and your love! You are so wonderful! Good luck with everything that you have going on this week! You are in my prayers always! 

Hermana Hoj 

Monday, January 12, 2015

IT'S GO TIME!!!!!!!!

A fond farewell to Hermana Hammar
Buenos dias! Muchas cosas estan pasando ahora, y muchos milagros estan en camino...y'all ready for this?

So it's transfer time and we are going through some big changes. First off, Hermana Hammar is going to be transferred to another area :( But I know that the Lord needs her somewhere else right now and that she is going to do amazing things throughout her whole mission. She's got this!  So here's the second crazy thing. You know inception? Like how they have dreams within dreams? So that's kind of what's going to happen to us...but with whitewashing! :) haha We are going to be doing a whitewashing within our whitewashing! How crazy is that!? So what happened is this--the English Sisters that cover the same area as us are both being transferred, and we are going to be changed to a Zebra area. So we will be covering both the English and the Spanish wards within our area! There is so much work to be done! So in the words of President Mortensen, "It's Go Time!" I think Heavenly Father knew I needed to finish out my mission busy as can be, so this last transfer we are going to be working sooooo hard! Amazing things are going to be happening....stay tuned!

So these past few weeks the whole mission has been focusing a lot on finding new investigators. We are contacting and knocking doors from 6-8 every night unless we have appointments with progressing investigators. I am so grateful for the revelation and inspiration that President receives for us, it is always spot on! Something that has been a little bit hard for us as a companionship this last week is that even though we are finding, when we go back to visit the people that we contact they are either not there, or have to reschedule again. We have had a really hard time getting in with people. Yesterday that happened to us with multiple potential investigators that we knocked into--we had 4 appointments and all four cancelled. We stopped for a minute and discussed what we needed to change about our approach. Our goal is to help them feel the Spirit so that they will want us to come in right then to share the message we have. We decided that we needed to emphasize how much the gospel blesses families--mention it with everyone that we contacted--and as well do all we can to relate to the people with whom we speak. We said a prayer right before our 6:00 contacting for help to do this, to find families, and to teach. When we changed our mindset on how we were going to contact, it made the BIGGEST difference! The moment we stepped out of the car we recognized an opportunity to serve someone by helping her take her groceries to her apartment and she said she would be interested in listening to our message another day. We also talked with a couple who was at the apartment complex selling food...turns out they are a family of 8!!! We found a potential family of 8!!!! And even better, they had been talking with Elders in El Salvador before they came to Texas just 4 months ago! We gave them a Book of Mormon, and they said that they would like us to come visit them. Then we continued knocking and found a woman who let us in so that we could share with her the message of the Book of Mormon. She wants us to come back too! It was a great night of contacting, and I know that it was because of the way that we approached our contacts and that we humbled ourselves before the Lord in prayer. We prayed to find families, we prayed to have someone let us in, we prayed that where we were was where we needed to be and the Lord provided. He always does. We did all that we could to testify of the blessings that the gospel brings us and our families--the happiness, joy, unity, etc. We are so excited to keep going, to keep teaching and sharing this special message with everyone! MISSIONARY WORK IS THE BEST!!!! I love it so much, and I know that these next 6 weeks are going to be the best yet. I love you all and pray for you every day! Have an amazing week!!!
Love love love love love
Hermana Hoj

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Start of A Great Year!

Buenas tardes!

What a wonderful week we have had--one full of the Spirit as a result of fasting, MLC, and Zone Meeting. So many good things in one week. MLC is always incredible--after every single one I leave feeling very humbled because I recognize how much I need to work on. It's so great to be able to counsel with President and the other leaders in the mission, there is so much revelation that comes in those meetings. I learn so much and I am always drained afterwards. It's hard work! haha but it is so worth every moment. The Spirit is so strong and we are uplifted and edified! As Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders we base our Zone Meeting off of the topics discussed in MLC. The Zone Meeting we had went so well, and we were so grateful for that! We had a lot of people share their testimonies of specific questions like "How has your mission changed your life?" or for a convert "How did missionaries find you?" We are working a lot on finding effectively in our mission right now so we talked a lot about that and also a lot about consecration and sacrifice. The Spirit was very strong, and I think we were all pumped up to work after that! There are going to be some really good things happening!
Here's a funny story for the week....
So there we were....knocking doors. Something kind of uncommon to missionaries right? haha We had to go, but I decided that we should knock one last door. As we stepped onto the porch, there was an eruption of barking--probably about 8 dogs barking from inside. I saw there was a pad lock on the door too and thought, they're probably hiding something inside...but I knocked anyways. A guy looks through the little window on the door and says "What do you want?" So I start saying, We're missionaries from the Church of...and then he cut me off and said something I couldn't understand because of all of his dogs. So I said "Sorry I can't hear you, what did you say?" Then he said it again...still couldn't hear him. By the third time I finally understood what he said--"Don't trespass again or I'll loose my dogs on you." hahaha I was cracking up as we walked away. 
                           Dinner with D and her beautiful children

Good news for the week--we set a baptismal date with D. Yay!! We went to dinner with her on New Years Eve and had a lot of fun with her and her two kids. They're so cute. They picked us out necklaces--mine was an angel because I was the angel in the nativity at the church Christmas party. haha We got some good fortunes though! These were mine...words of the wise here.
"Impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools."
"Love lights up the world."
"You're not afraid of storms, for you're learning to sail your ship."
Who ever said you were limited to just one? 
Then, today was awesome because we got to go to the temple! Yay! It was so wonderful to be there, to be spiritually nourished in the house of the Lord. I love the feelings of peace and love that are always there when you enter. The temple is definitely one of those places where I want to be a lot. That was actually one of my New Year Goals--to go to the temple weekly (well I guess when I'm not a missionary anymore), so y'all are free to join me when that happens! But missionary work is the greatest. It's fulfilling as a full time set apart missionary, but you can receive that same fulfillment from doing temple work as well. It is the same great, redemptive work. Never forget that! I want you all to know that I know that this church contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that I am so grateful to have it in my life! Even more so, I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to dedicate to the Lord to share it with others. Do the same!! LOVE YOU ALL!!
Con amor,
Hermana Hoj