For those unfamiliar with our church missionary program - we only get to talk to our missionary on Christmas Day and Mother's Day (some exceptions if Father's Day is more appropriate for some missionaries). We email once a week. No contact in between (no texting or calling, etc.). If we have any issues or instances that our son should be aware of (if we are hospitalized and it's serious, etc), we contact the mission office and go from there depending on the situation. So this was a BIG DAY!!! We hadn't talked to him since Mother's Day (225 days!!!)
*Lufkin is about 3 hours southeast of Dallas - and the area they cover is about the same as the whole Dallas area! (He included a map below!)
*The Spanish branch only has about 20 people! He can't imagine how the members will feed them dinners every night - so they might cross over to be fed by the English ward, as well? (I'm going to send some food and walmart gift cards just in case!)
*It's VERY RURAL! They are the only missionaries in the Texas Dallas mission with a 4-wheel drive truck. They've already helped with baling hay and also with a bull that got out! haha!!
*He's still COLD (which made me laugh).. The highs this week are "only" in the 40s and 50s. (He's going to be freezing when he gets home next fall!)
*He is SUPER SUPER SUPER GRATEFUL for the letters, emails and packages.
*Elder Hogg had very limited time in his last area to reply to emails.. so he hopes that he will have more time now to respond individually, rather than just the "big blog" email!
*He misses snow!
But most of all..
*Brett bore his testimony of the home teaching program. Missionaries are often asked to do what Home Teachers should do.... (All families should be assigned a home teacher.)
*Missionary work is inspired... miracles happen... and lives are changed... it's something hard to describe!
*We need more understanding between people (all over - in and out of church).. more compassion!!
*He loves what he's doing... he loves the people... and enjoys even the tough moments, actually!
*He shared some perspective on the Church itself.. the organization and wisdom of how things are set up and what he's witnessed, etc.
He was able to say HI to all of his Wisconsin cousins and his Uncle Nathan - some he hasn't seen in a few years! We kept him busy and we also got a little time to speak just with us.
|Cousins Meagan, Bethany, Jenni - Brother Scott|
And Bethany's older daughter, Evelyn
pictured with Scott!
He misses all of us, but wants to be where he is... and doing what he's doing! He loves meeting people all over.. helping people... talking to people.. and just getting to know everyone!!!
If anyone would like Elder Hogg's mailing address in Lufkin, or his email address - just comment to this post or call/email me!
-Brett's Mom, Sue Hogg
|Baptism in Oak Cliff!!|
|Zoom in.. it's a picture of Brett's long-time apartment in Oak Cliff. His desk is below the Texas flag.|
|Goodbye to Elder Rodriguez. :'(|
|In Lufkin - time to stack the hay!!|
|Opening packages after transfer!|
|A gnome from Aunt Lisa!|
|A Bob Ross doll from Aunt Lisa!! Too funny!|
|TIES from Aunt Lisa! ♥ (Unknown Sister missionary photo bomb)|
|GRANDMA DEBBIE'S CHRISTMAS COOKIES! YUMMY!|
(Unknown sister.. haha.. I think she wanted some!)
|Klement's Summer Sausage from Mom (or Grandma Debbie - I can't remember)!|
|Spicy Wheat Thins from Grandma Debbie! ♥|
|Wisconsin Hat from Grandma Debbie!|
|Homemade Christmas Card from Mom!! ♥|
|Lufkin ward boundaries (see the related size of the city of Dallas! Wow!! They are covering a lot!)|